Dinner: Vegan roast, green bean casserole, mash and gravy

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You know those days when you have a lot to do and don’t really have time to lazy about? And you know how those days seem like the best time to do some experimental, time consuming cooking? Yeah. So I come across quite a few vegan thanksgiving recipes of late and have been meaning to try and make a vegan roast for a while now, so obviously I decided the best time to make this happen was on the busiest day of the week. The entire meal took me just over an hour to make, so all things considered, it was a pretty quick feast.

The recipes can be found here:

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2010/11/thanksgiving-meatless-loaf.html

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/11/best-vegan-green-bean-casserole.html

The mash was the usual boil some potatoes, mash with some soy milk and vegan margerine affair. This was my first venture into thanksgiving cooking and I have to say that the green bean casserole was my favourite. The roast was very delicious, didn’t taste like a meat substitute and made enough food to feed a small village, so I will deffinitely be making it again!

Protein: 40ish grams per portion

Price: £3.30 per portion

Delicious Tofu laksa

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I can’t believe I haven’t tried laksa until now. I had no idea what I was missing! It may have more ingredients than I’d usually want in my mid-week dinner, but it’s quick, easy and so so delicious.

Recipe (2 portions)

1 block tofu

1 can coconut milk

1 veg stock pot

thai red curry paste

2 nests of dry noodles

a few handfuls of sugar snap peas

half a lime

1 garlic clove

2 spring onions

1 tbsp ginger

2-3 kaffir lime leaves

1 tbsp peanut butter

half a bunch of coriander (or some dry coriander)

soy sauce

mushroom sauce

Drain and chop the tofu into thin-ish slices. Mix up a quick marinade of equal parts of soy sauce and mushroom sauce and smother the tofu in it (feel free to skip this part if you’re in a hurry). Fry off tofu in a bit of oil, until it browns then set aside. Bring 500 ml water to a boil and finely chop the spring onion and garlic in the mean time. Grate the ginger and fry it in a big saucepan in some oil. Add spring onion and garlic, fry for another minute. Add the curry paste (to taste, expecially if you’re not a fan of spicy food) and the coconut milk. Stir until smooth and then add the boiled water and stock pot. Bring to a simmer and add kaffir leaves, peanut butter and the lime juice. Simmer for 10 mins, until the soup thickens. Add the noodles, half the coriander and snap peas and cook until noodles are soft enough to eat. Serve into bowls, add tofu and the remaining coriander. I added peanuts at the end and it was amazing.

Price: £1.8

Protein: 28ish g per portion

Dinner: Gnocchi with broccoli and nuts

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I have a special place in my heart for gnocchi. My grandmother used to make them from scratch and fry them until they were deliciously crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. I love them the traditional boiled way as well, but since going vegan I’ve found little enthusiasm for making thick creamy sauces that go so well with these dumplings. So when I remembered I had this recipe lying around and that it required no sauce and very minimal prep work, I was understandably excited. Confession: this is not the first time I’ve made this recipe, but it is the first time I’ve made it vegan.

http://www.myrecipes.com/m/recipe/browned-butter-gnocchi

The margerine didn’t brown nearly as well as butter would, so if you’re making this recipe vegan, I would suggest skipping the brown margerine entirely. I used almond and walnut chunks instead of pine nuts (because I prefer my nuts low price thank you) and sprinkled (ok, smothered) it with Violife cheese. It was quick to make and very fresh, perfect for spring!

Price: £1.9 per portion

Protein: 17.7g per portion

Dinner: The best vegan mac n’ cheese known to man

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Long have I searched for the perfect cheese to go on my macaroni, for the perfect sauce to smother my pasta. I’ve tried many recipes, tried even to create one myself, but they have all fallen somewhat short of what I remember mac n cheese to be. Finally, I came across a sauce recipe so simple and so perfectly melty and cheese-like, and I knew at once that I have found The One. And because keeping this recipe to myself would be a crime against my fellow humans, I’m sharing it with you all today. You’re welcome.

P.S. This sauce is also PERFECT as a nacho dipping sauce and what more could you possibly want in life?
http://www.veggieonapenny.com/vegan-cheese/

Dinner: Creamy garlic pasta with roast tomatoes

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You may have noticed that I’ve been pretty infatuated with garlic recently. This recipe calls for a very moderate amount of it, but I managed to add a whole bulb of it in the sauce, and I think it’s safe to say that I’ve overdosed on garlic for a good long while. I used this recipe:http://minimalistbaker.com/creamy-vegan-garlic-pasta-with-roasted-tomatoes/#_a5y_p=1568083

I added some roast butternut squash and peppers for variety, as well as a side of Fry’s chicken burger. It was a bit bland for my liking (sans all the garlic), so next time I might spice it up with some herbs.

Price: £0.80

Protein: 30 grams with the burger

Dinner: Couscous and hummus salad

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Another quick healthy dinner for when you don’t feel like spending more than 10 mins in the kitchen.

Recipe (makes two portions):

Soak the couscous in boiling water as per instructions (should not take more than 5 mins). Cut up whatever veg you have on hand (I had lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, pepper and corn). Cut up some vegan cheese, drain a can of chickpeas and mix both in with the veg. Add the cousous and finish with a giant dollop of hummus of your choice. This recipe makes 2 big portions, so I had leftover for lunch. If you want to add more protein, add nutritious yeast or protein powder, or have it as a side with  tofu, seitan etc.

Price: £1.60 per portion

Protein: 28 grams per portion

Dinner: Bulgur wheat mediterranean salad type thing

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In the spirit of trying new wheats and pulses, I went and bought a kilo of bulgur wheat. I was determined to make amazingly complex dishes with this and it would taste amazing and I would love it. Except then Tuesday rolled around and I had no time for dinner and even less patience for complex food. So I made a salad with a bunch of leftovers. It was the simplest add-everything-and-stir meal, but it tasted delicious. Can’t believe I never tried bulgur before, it’s my new favorite thing!

Recipe:

Boil the bulgur in 2x the amount of water.

Cut red pepper, cherry tomatoes, olives (as many as humanly posible, if you like olives. Seriously, this dish can handle the olives) and half a red onion.

Drain can of chickpeas.

Have at the ready cut up fresh or dried basil, parsley and garlic powder.

Add cubes of Cheatin’ rashes and some cheese (both optional).

Add all together and stir. Add lemon juice to taste.

 

Price per portion: £1.40

Protein per portion: 25 grams

Noodles

You guys, we need to talk about how much love I have for instant noodles. I know it’s probably as nutritiously barren as a piece of cardboard, but it’s my go to meal at least once a week, when I come home at half 9 and just want to collapse into bed. I almost always suplement it with a smothie with protein powder, because that totally balances it out. My fav by far is the Koka brand (which are rice noodles), not only because I get them for like 10p in the locan chinese shop, but also because they have many vegan flavours. Currently I adore the mushroom one, smothered in sweet chilli and soy sauce:

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Protein content per portion: 7 grams

Price per portion:£0.10- 0.20