Vegan Korean Udon Noodles

My husband’s friends are visiting us from American soon. His friend’s wife is Korean, who apparently cooks really well. Not only that, she apparently is really good at presenting her food, which is NOT my strongest points. Koreans are really big on meat and I want to introduce them to my vegan diet with something they are familiar with. So I came up with this recipe as an experiment and it turned out to be pretty scrumptious.

Before I begin, let me introduce you to Gochujang. It is THE ingredient to have if you want to cook delicious korean meals. Gochujang is a korean chilli paste which is very hot, with a fair amount of saltiness.

picture from google images

I hope you like the recipe:

Serves 4-5 people

Ingredients:

1 bag of stir fry mix (vegetables)

1 Pepper, sliced

1 onion, sliced

10 to 12 cloves of garlic, minced

200-300grams of mushrooms (I used a variety of exotic kinds sold in tesco)

a handful of spring onions chopped into couple of inches long strips

750 gms of Udon Noodles (I used the already cooked kind)

1 1/5 tbsp of Gochujang

2 tbsp of Tamari (or soy sauce)

3 tsp of sesame oil

400 gms of firm tofu

half a cup of water

1 tsp coconut sugar/maple syrup (or regular)

1 tbsp of rapeseed oil

Method: 

First things first, make the sauce. In a bowl, mix gochujang, sesame oil, tamari, water and sugar. Mix well and set aside.

Next, prep the tofu. I simply press the tofu in between two chopping board with couple of heavy books on top of the chopping board to drain out excess water. Then cut them into bite sized pieces and simply fry them in very hot oil. The trick is to have the oil very hot, shallow fry it and don’t rush to turn them over. If you are hasty, you will find your tofu stick to the pan. Fry them and set them aside.

Now in a wok, heat some oil. Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the stir fry mix. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the noodles along with the sauce. Let the noodles cook and soak up some of the sauce. After about 5 minutes, add the tofu pieces, peppers and the spring onions. Cook for another 5 minutes or until most of the juices are absorbed. Don’t overcook the noodles, even if there’s plenty of sauce. A bit of extra sauce is better than soggy veggies and noodles.

Serve hot and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds.

Tips: Sprinkle some crushed seaweed, it will add an earthy flavour and more crunch.

 

Vegan Gnocchi With Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

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This recipe is a complete experiment and it turned out delicious. This is my healthy version of Mac n Cheese or Alfredo sauce.

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets

2 chopped carrots

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp dried sage (or fresh)

3 tbp of nutritional yeast

1/2 cup of grated vegan pizza cheese

1 cup soy milk

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Salt to taste

500 gms gnocchi

Method:

Cook the carrots and cauliflower and then blend it with the soy milk to get a creamy thick mixture. Set aside!

In a hot pan, add the oil and fry the onions. Add the garlic granules and mustard. Stir well and add just a little dash of water to stop it from sticking. Now add the cauliflower mixture, cheese, sage and nutritional yeast.

Let it cook for a couple of minutes and set it aside.

In a separate saucepan, cook the gnocchi as per instructions.

Once cooked, drain and stir it in the cauliflower sauce.

Serve hot!

Tip: Sprinkle some chilli flakes or throw in some butternut squash. Instead of gnocchi add macaroni or any other pasta of your choice.

If you thin out the sauce with some plant based milk, you could have it like soup.

Beetroot & Chickpeas Burgers

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This recipe is so easy and can be made in less than 2 hours. A good way to get those veggies into your kids. The beetroot adds a nice raw pink colour to it which we loved. We were surprised by the combination of beetroot with chickpeas. Flavours were subtle but very satisfying.

Servings: 8 to 10 patties

Ingredients:

3 cans of chickpeas

2 big beetroots, cooked & grated (I used precooked from the shop, a pack of 6 to 7 tiny beetroots)

1 finely chopped red onion

3 – 4 cloves of garlic

Handful of chopped coriander

4 – 5 tbsp quick oats

1 tbsp cornflour

1/2 tbsp of grammar flour

2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

2 tsp of chia seeds (optional)

100 grams of walnuts, coarsely ground

1 tbsp of cumin powder

1 tbsp of smoked paprika

Salt to taste

3 tbsp oil to cook

Method:

Take a can of chickpeas and blend it with its water. It will be nearly as smooth as hummus, pour it in a mixing bowl. Drain other two cans and put it in with the ground chickpeas. Now mush up the chickpeas with a potato masher.

Add all the other ingredients and mix well. I would get in with your hands. If it is too wet, add more oats or a sprinkle of cornflour should do the trick.

Once the mixture is ready, form your patties and set them aside in the fridge to set.

In the meantime, chop up all the other fillings you would like to put in your burger: tomatoes, red onions, gherkins, cheese etc.

After about 30 minutes of chilling. I shallow fried the patties until golden brown on both sides and then put them in a preheated oven on gas mark 5 for 20 mins or so.

Check after 15 minutes and cook accordingly. Voila!

Serve with some homemade chips and cold glass of lager! Perfect way to welcome spring.

 

 

 

 

Zoe Bee Beauty Cream – Review

Courtesy: Zoe Bee

Courtesy: Zoe Bee

I am a big fan of natural products that are easy on the skin. When I was growing up there was a distinct difference between grown up creams and child friendly creams because grown up products often had harsh chemicals that were unsuitable for baby skin. But now as a grown up, I have come to realise that our skin is no less important than any baby skin, given it is one of the largest organ in our body. So if a cream claims to be healthy for our skin but not for children, then it is best to kept away from.

Now since, this pregnancy, I have been after products that are not only good for me but also for the baby when it arrives. A friend of mine suggested someone she knew who makes amazing natural creams from her home. And that is how I got in touch with Zoe. She was very kind to make a blend for me and my baby.

The blend she made for us is rich with raw shea butter and raw cocoa butter, unrefined coconut oil, almond oil, vitamin e oil and aloe vera. Now, don’t you like the fact that you can name and understand each and every ingredient that went into this little jar of magic? There are different scents to pick from but the one she sent me was lavender and pachouli , although you can choose to have no scent at all. But I find no scent a bit meh.

The cream is so rich that it almost feels like wax in your hand. You need to rub a pea sized portion in between your palms until you see nothing but scrumptious oils before you rub it all over your skin. I have to be honest that it took a fair bit of getting used to personally. But I think I struggled with the scent more than the actual cream itself. The time when I received it was when I was suffering from acute hypermesis and any enhanced scent would put me off. And it is only now that I have realised that strangely, during this pregnancy, I cannot stand my favourite smell of lavender anymore. So I won’t blame the cream or it’s scent but my pregnancy.

One thing to note is that it is so rich that it is not friendly for all weather. During winter though, it is a delight. It is absorbed by the skin very well leaving it slightly greasy but not off putting(ly) so. I reckon in summer, it might be a different story. Perhaps, use it over night or change the blend for spring/summer. The best thing about it is that Zoe is so accomodating that she will make a blend to your own requirement.

Although not meant for eczema, it worked a charm on my children’s eczema prone skin. They totally love the smell and it makes them feel that much more special to be using ‘mummy’s cream’ which is a rare delight.

This blend has surely made me curious to try out some of her other products, definitely!

Zoe Bee’s shop can be found on Etsy or here.

 

P.S: This post was sponsored by Zoe Bee Beauty

 

Vegan Fennel Salad

Copyrights: Sushmita C Targett

Copyrights: Sushmita C Targett

Like celery, fennel is one of those vegetables that can be a bit of a struggle for some people like me. I struggle with celery, whereas my husband struggles with fennel. We have learnt to juice them in order to get the nutritions out of them but I have to say this fennel salad recipe got everyone raving.

Ingredients:

A small bulb of fennel, thinly sliced

1 pear, thinly sliced

Handful of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

Half of cucumber, thinly sliced

2 satsumas roughly chopped

Handful of chopped parsley

For the dressing:

Salt

Sugar/runny honey

Lemon juice

Method:

Combine all the ingredients together and set aside. Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a little bowl (I use jam jars, makes it fun for the kids to shake it) and pour it all over the salad. Now get in there with your hands and give those ingredients a good rub.

I would taste the dressing as you go along, I don’t use fixed measurements because it totally depends on your palette. I like mine sweeter, some others might like it tangier. So help yourself!

I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know if you like the recipe.

 

 

Homemade Fishcakes with Pineapple and Rocket Salad

Knowing what goes into your meal is an important aspect of healthy eating. Homemade fishcakes are easy to make and taste way better than frozen ones or ready made ones from the shops. Making them at home also means you know exactly what is going into your fishcakes and you can quality control the ingredients whilst maintaining a budget.

I love making fishcakes at home, because it helps me pick sustainable fishes freshly caught by our local fishmonger, add my preferred flavours, control the seasoning and avoid all the junk that goes into the ready made fishcakes from the supermarket.

My fishcake recipe can be made with any kind of fish you can get hold of or add a bit of tofu/paneer/soy to make a vegetarian version. Add extra breadcrumbs instead of eggs to make it all vegan friendly. Play around with the recipe and enjoy!

Fishcakes:

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Ingredients:

2 Coley/Cod/Mackerel/Tuna fillet (cooked, simply boil them in water)

1 part Potato and 1 part Swede (cooked and mashed)

1 Cup Spring Onions (Chopped)

Handful of Coriander (Chopped)

1 Egg

1/2 Cup of Breadcrumbs (or oat crumbs)

1 tbsp Rice Flour

Salt and Pepper

Oil

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together (except oil) and carefully shape them into cakes. Let them sit in the fridge for about an hour or so. Now, heat oil in a pan and then shallow fry the fish cakes until nice and brown. Turn the heat down and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Alternatively, you could pop the fishcakes into a pre-heated oven on gas mark 5, for 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that it is cooked through and warm right through the centre. Leave them on a kitchen paper to drain all the excess oil. Serve hot with a side of my Pineapple and Rocket salad (below) and some garlic bread!

Pineapple and Rocket Salad

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Ingredients:

Handful of Rockets

A few Spinach leaves

Handful of Basil and Coriander

Handful of Sprouts

1 cup chopped Pineapple

3 tbsp desiccated coconut (fresh coconut is better)

For the dressing:

5 to 6 cloves of Garlic

1 inch of Ginger

2 Chillies (or less)

Hoison Sauce

Honey

Lime juice

Method:

Chop all the greens, add pineapple, coconut and set aside. Finely chop the garlic, ginger and chillies and set aside. Now make a dressing with poison sauce, honey and lime juice and add chopped ginger, garlic, chillies into it. Mix well and use this dressing on the salad. Yum!!

 

I hope you’ll try this at home and let me know ow it was! 🙂

 

 

Cheat’s Cajun Chicken with Mushrooms

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We are not a very mushroom loving household, I have to admit. But when our weekly veggie box arrived with a big bag full of fresh, organic and locally grown mushrooms packed with vitamin D, we had to get creative.

And as much as I like to make my own spices combination from scratch, some days it is simply nice to not work so hard yet be able to put a decent plate of food in front of the family. So, in this recipe I have experimented with Asda’s Cajun mix. Worked really well!

This is nothing like a traditional Cajun stew that is simmered for hours with freshly ground spices but a quick and simple cheat’s recipe. Anyone with minimal cooking skills can put this one together quite impressively.

Ingredients:

2  Organic Chicken Breats (diced)

1 Onion

2-3 Garlic Cloves (grated or chopped)

200 gms of Mushrooms

1tsp Flour

3 – 4 tbsp of Cajun Mix (or to taste)

Salt to taste

1tsp Sugar

3 tsp Vegetable Oil

Method:

In a pan, heat the oil. Add onions and mushrooms. Sweat everything together for 5 minutes and then add the garlic and chicken. Once the chicken goes white from the outside, add flour and cajun spice mix, salt and sugar. Add lots of water, and once everything comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until nice and creamy.

Serve hot with white rice and some greens (I used fresh seasonal purple sprouts from our veggie box).

P.S: If you don’t eat meat, swap it for any vegetable(s) of your choice or some fish. Enjoy 🙂

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