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: Spinach soup and gooey garlic bread

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This is a recipe I can’t take credit for. Every now and then the boy likes to invent soups and they almost always turn out lovely, so I can’t complain too much (and I do want to complain, because he doesn’t use recipes and HOW CAN YOU COOK SOMETHING NEW WITHOUT A RECIPE?!). This was a lovely creamy and spicy soup and the garlic bread we made with a bake at home baguette, slathered in margarine with crushed garlic and parsley. It was perfect for the cold and rainy day we ate it on and it only took 30 mins to make. The recipe is similar to this one: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1571/creamy-spinach-soup

Price: £0.75

Protein: 27 grams per portion, with added nutritional yeast. Mmm, nutritional yeast.

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: Super healthy quinoa kale bowls with mushroom and asparagus

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I’ve been working late for the past two weeks and as a result I’ve not been eating as well as I should. Some fries here, a takeaway there and before I knew it I’ve gone days without actually cooking anything. So I was feeling particularly inclined to put together something nourishing and healthy when I finaly had the time to cook again. Enter this lush recipe: http://86lemons.com/quinoa-kale-bowl-mushrooms-asparagus/

It’s a light, zingy meal that tastes very much like a nice hearty salad, but much more filling and with minimal leaves!

Price: £0.90 per portion

Protein: 30 grams with a bit of added nutritious yeast

Dinner: Garlic fried rice

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This is a very simple recipe, but so so so delicious. It’s quite fast if you have some leftover rice from the day before and if you’re good with veg chopping!  I am the biggest fan of garlic, so this recipe is right up my street.

Recipe (serves 4):

About 400 g brown rice, cooked

One broccoli head, chopped

250 g mushrooms, chopped

15 asparagus spears, cut

Two big pak choi heads, stem removed, leaves chopped

Large handful kale, chopped and stems removed

A whole head of garlic, thinly sliced

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil

Optional protein source (I used leftover pepperoni and facon slices I had in the fridge)

Cook the rice, chop the veg in the mean time. Put the oil in a pan and fry off the garlic. You want it lightly brown and the oil fragrant with garlicky goodness. Fish out the garlic and reserve for later. Add all veg except kale and pak choi to the oil. Cook until it’s just cooked, then add the rice to the dish. Fry it for a few minutes, then add kale and pak choi and cook for a few more minutes. I added my pepperoni and facon and some nutritious yeast along with the kale and pak choi. Lastly, sprinkle the fried garlic on top and serve.

Price: £0.75

Protein: 33 grams without the pepperoni and facon

Dinner: Creamy polenta with teriyaki stir-fried veg

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A quick recipe full of iron, perfect as a post workout meal. I usually add a sausage or other protein to this, and make a green smoothie to go with it, so I can feel good about workingout and eating well, if only for that day!

Recipe:

Cut any veg that is on hand. I usually use broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and mushrooms, but use whatever takes your fancy. Fry the broccoli first, using a bit of olive oil.

Make the teriyaki sauce: I use 4 tablespoons white or rice vinegar,1/4 cup soy sauce (I always add lots of soy sauce, but add it to taste),1 tablespoon sesame oil, 3 teaspoons brown sugar, 2 garlic cloves (I usually add more because I love garlic), 1/2 teaspoons ginger, 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes, black pepper to taste

After 10 mins of frying, add the rest of the veg to the broccoli and all of the sauce. Cook for another 10 mins, or until the veg is cooked. Add some nutritious yeast if desired. Cook polenta last, it should only take a few minutes. Optionally you can add a bit of grated vegan cheese to the polenta after it’s done, to gove it a creamy flavour. Spoon the veg over the polenta, add a protein source if you want and enjoy.

Price: £0.80 per portion

Protein: 15 g per portion

Takeaway dinner (and lunch!): fried tofu with green peppers and black bean sauce

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So, I didn’t make this, but I wish I knew how because I would make it all the time, literally every day, forever. Me and the boy had the great idea of ordering takeaway from the local chinese place and the tofu dishes are like £4, so we decided to get 4 dishes and have enough leftover for lunch. Oh boy. The portions were quite vast, so we ended up with much more food than we planned, but that’s never a problem with two hungry vegans under one roof. I mixed up the leftovers for my lunch, so I have tofu, cashews and a bunch of veg from different dishes, all smothered with the black bean sauce of joy. It’s a shame I’ve yet to find black beans in stores here, the closest I get is dried beans from the chinese supermarket, which take a day of soaking before they are fit to cook, and that ruins all of my plans, because I do not plan ahead with my cooking.

Price: £4

Protein: at a guess, 32g per big portion including the rice

Gooey and delicious no-bake peanut butter and chocolate squares

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Well. It is safe to say that this is the worst recipe I’ve ever tried. Not because it doesn’t work or tastes horrible, but because it’s so easy and delicious, that I’ve already made it twice and eaten most of it myself. It takes maybe 20 minutes to make these and there is no baking required. I give you the recipe in the hopes that you will be able to use its power for good (and not end up cursing me at 2am when you were on your way to get some water, but somehow ended up in the fridge, wolfing down the last bits of the chocolate square remnants that were stuck to the kitchen foil you wrapped them in. Not that that’s ever happened).

http://spoonuniversity.com/recipe/no-bake-chocolate-peanut-butter-bars/

Obviously for a vegan recipe, I substitute the butter for margerine and use dark chocolate. For the graham crackers, I use any old vegan biscuit I can find and blitz in a food processor. The only thing I’d note about the recipe is that the peanut butter dough is a bit too dry with the amount of oil the recipe uses, so I add a bit of warm water (or milk or oil or whatever you have handy) to the mix, so that the consistency is still very firm but loose enough to spoon into the tin.

Price: £1.20 for the entire batch

Protein: 50 g per half a batch, yay peanut butter

Dinner: Butternut squash linguine

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I do love my pasta. Sometimes I find myself eating nothing but pasta for days, because it’s easy and diverse and I love it. So I am always excited to try out new pasta recipes, especially when they involve things I wouldn’t normally put in it. Butternut squash! As a creamy sauce! Who knew.

I got the recipe here: http://cookieandkate.com/2014/creamy-vegan-butternut-squash-linguine-with-fried-sage/

I left out the fried sage and substituted it for dried sage and it worked out nicely. I also added edamame beans to the sauce, a cauldron sausage and some fried kale crisps on top to make it a protein and iron rich meal. This recipe makes A LOT of sauce, so be sure to freeze some for later.

Price:£1.35 per portion

Protein: about 20 g per portion