Crunchy Black Pepper Potatoes and Avocado Mayo (NO OIL)!

raw till 4 potatoes

Now, everyone loves a good roast potato or chip: crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle but completely saturated in oil. In fact up until a few months ago this would be the only way I would eat potatoes, until I discovered a new way, where I could eat twice as many, just by removing the oil! Super healthy with the same great taste and texture. I often eat 1kg of these in one sitting because you are practically halving the calories by taking away the oil! I like to eat these potatoes with avocado ‘mayo’ which is basically half an avocado blended with some lime juice, and a big head of crunchy lettuce! On this high carbohydrate vegan lifestyle I try to keep my fat intake below 10% of my daily calories and I find it is best to stick to avocadoes, olives and nuts rather than large quantities of oil as they also contain some fibre.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1kg potatoes (or less if you are having them as a side dish!)
  • 2 tablespoons of polenta (ground up corn) or semolina (ground durum wheat)
  • ½ Avocado
  • ½ lime
  • Mixed herbs (I like to use dried oregano)
  • Lots of black pepper
  • A pinch of sea salt

 

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
  2. Peal and chop the potatoes into your desired shape (you can use this method to make chips too!)
  3. Steam them for around 10 minuets, the potatoes should be al dente.
  4. Drain the water from the saucepan and put the potatoes back in, add the polenta or semolina, herbs, salt and pepper.
  5. Now, this is a trick I learnt from Nigella Lawson: put the lid back on the saucepan and hold it on tight while you shake the pan up and down. This will make the edges of the potatoes go fluffy, which creates the crispy outside!
  6. Spread the potatoes evenly between the two trays and bake in the oven until golden brown, this should take around 35-40 minuets.
  7. While your potatoes are cooking, you can start the avocado mayo!
  8. Scoop half an avocado into a bowl with the juice of half a lime and blend using a soup sick. You can also do this in a food processor but the consistency should be silky smooth like mayonnaise!
  9. Once the potatoes are cooked, serve in a big bowl with the lettuce and avo-mayo!

 

Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

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This sweet potato curry is so quick and easy to make, it also happens to be low in fat. Making big batches of curries, soups and stews is perfect for students, especially if you are not eating meat or cheese because it is super cheap but so good for you! I normally make a big batch of something (this week it’s curry) and eat it in the evenings throughout the week. It’s healthy and wholesome fast food!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 1 tin of coconut milk (I like to use the reduced fat one but you can use full fat if you want to!)
  • 400ml of water.
  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • 2-3 large handfuls of split red lentils
  • 2-3 large handfuls of frozen peas
  • 2-3 large handfuls of organic baby spinach (It is really important to by organic leaves because the pesticides will absorb into them!)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of garam masala
  • 1/2 tablespoon of ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Lime Juice (serve each person with 1/2)
  • Fresh coriander
  • Enough brown rice for each serving (1/2 cup per person)

 

Method:

  1. Chop the sweet potatoes into small chunks, don’t worry about pealing them the skins are really good for you. Just give them a little bit of a scrub if they are muddy.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 175 degrees C.
  3. Put the spices, potatoes, coconut milk, tomatoes, water and lentils in a big pan and heat until the curry is bubbling.
  4. Put in the oven with the lid on for around 45 minutes.
  5. After 30 minuets start cooking the brown rice, and then about 5 minutes until the end add the frozen peas.
  6. Once the curry and rice is cooked, stir in the baby spinach and let it wilt. Then serve with a sprinkle of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime.

 

Chilli NON Carne

vegetarian chilli

When the weather is really cold like this, veggies like me really need something hearty to warm us up! As a kid one of my favourite things was Chilli con Carne, however now I have turned veggie, it’s something I can no longer have. This chilli is full of plant protein, so it will really satisfy your meat cravings, and give you that extra boost of energy that will keep you warm! It is really best to serve this with non-refined brown rice because it has a lot more fibre. Brown rice is not actually brown, it is just normal rice but un-refined so it still has the husks on. I tend to make big batches of things like soup, curry and chilli and then freeze the excess so I have some for lunch the next week, or a quick dinner for when I get in from work.

 

This makes enough for four people with plenty left to freeze.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of tinned tomatoes or passata
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 large handful of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 large handful of chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 large green pepper
  • ½ tablespoon of cacao powder
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 125 ml of vegetable stock
  • 2 large chillies
  • 1 large red onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • A glug of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 builder’s mug of brown rice
  • 1 portion of my ‘Lazy Guacamole’ to serve.

 

Method:

  1. Chop the onion and garlic cloves finely and sauté them on a low heat in the olive oil along with the spices.
  2. Chop the pepper, tomatoes and chestnut mushrooms into small chunks and add to the onions and garlic to soften.
  3. Cover the dried porcini mushrooms in boiling water and leave to soak while you make up the vegetable stock. I like to use Marigold vegan bouillon stock powder, but you can use any.
  4. Finely chop the 2 chillies and stir into the vegetables
  5. Add the beans, tinned tomatoes or passata, cacao powder, porcini plus soaking water and the stock and leave to simmer on a low to medium heat for 1 hour.
  6. While the chilli is reducing, cook the rice and make my ‘lazy guacamole’.
  7. When the chilli has reduced by half, check the seasoning and serve with the brown rice, guacamole and a green salad.

 

Enjoy! x

 

 

Spaghetti con Funghi

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This pasta dish is inspired the deliciously creamy ‘tagliatelle con funghi’ which, I’ve had many times at ‘Heaven 3000’, Bormio. It has got to be one of my top 5 pasta dishes ever, but it is extremely fattening and not plant based! So I have adapted a recipe from Jamie’s 15 minute meals to make the perfect vegan and gluten free mushroomy pasta… it obviously will never beat Heaven 3000’s but it is a pretty good vegan alternative.

The view from the restaurant... pretty impressive huh?

The view from the restaurant… pretty impressive huh?

Ingredients:

  • 250g chestnut or portobello mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 500g gluten free pasta (I find corn the best)
  • 1 large handful of porcini mushrooms (these really make a lot of difference)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A drizzle of truffle oil
  • A glug of olive oil
  • A handful of fresh parsley
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 dried chilli (crushed)

 

Method:

  1. Put the kettle and pasta water on to boil, make sure that you salt the pasta water I normally use 1tbsp of salt for 4 people.
  2. Chop the garlic and sauté in olive oil with the thyme and chilli.
  3. Cover the porcini mushrooms in boiling water and leave to soak for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Once the garlic is soft, crumble the mushrooms, into the pan and stir.
  5. The porcini should be rehydrated now, so pour all the mushrooms and stock into the pan.
  6. Leave that to bubble for 5-10 minutes and put the pasta on to cook.
  7. Once the mushroom stock has reduced, put all the mushrooms into a food processor and pulse until your desired consistency.
  8. Drain the pasta and mix in the mushroom sauce.
  9. Finish with a drizzle of truffle oil and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

 

 

Thai Green Curry

 

thai green curry

In my opinion, Thai food is the perfect thing to have in the winter especially if you have a cold, because all that chilli gets rid of a snotty nose! This green curry is inspired by Madhur Jaffrey, but I have adapted it a little to make it completely plant based (vegan). It is best to eat it with brown rice rather than refined white rice (you get a lot more fibre that way)!

Ingredients:

  1. For the paste
  • 12 birds eye green chillies
  • 3 inches of ginger
  • 2 large handfuls of coriander
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • Tamari (gluten free soy sauce) and/or salt to taste
  • 2 small onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 stalk of lemongrass finely chopped
  • The juice and rind of 1 lime
  1. For the Curry
  • 1/2 an aubergine
  • 1 tin of bamboo shoots (you can get them in most supermarkets. The tins are about the same size as tuna tins)
  • Handful of green beans
  • Handful of baby corn
  • Handful of frozen peas
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of shiitake mushrooms
  • 10 leaves of Thai or Italian basil
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 builder’s mug of vegetable stock
  • Sprinkle of raw coconut chips
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 builder’s mug of brown rice (this will serve 4)

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Method:

  • Boil the brown rice on a low heat for 30mins. For every mug of rice use two mugs of water. (1 part rice, 2 parts water.)
  • Put all of the paste ingredients into a food processor and blend.
  • Once the paste is blended take half of it out and put into the freezer to use for another day.
  • Place the other half into a pan with some coconut oil  and fry for around 2 minutes.
  • Once the paste starts to smell it is cooked, then you can stir in the coconut milk.
  • While the coconut milk is heating, chop the vegetables into bite size pieces and add to the pan.
  • Add 1 builder’s mug of vegetable stock, I use 1 teaspoon of stock power per mug of boiling water.
  • Cover the pan and leave to simmer on a low heat until the vegetables are tender but still have a little bit of crunch.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the basil leaves
  • Serve on a bed of brown rice and top with raw coconut chips.

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