Tofu Bolognese

tofu bolognese - vegan

First time I have made a vegan version of the traditional bolognese sauce, we served it on the day off at the yoga retreat and it went down a storm and it’s sugar free, dairy free, meat free, gluten free (if using tamari and not shoyu) – it’s practically angelic!!

Shopping List
Plum Tomatoes
Onions
Carrots
Firm Tofu
Tamari (or shoyu)
Fresh Basil
Garlic
Capers
Dried Origano 
Dried Marjoram
Salt
Olive Oil

Break up your tofu into little pieces and cover in the tamari, you need enough to turn the tofu dark brown.  Leave to marinade until later (you could even leave marinading overnight in the fridge).
Take a quarter of your tomatoes and half of the carrots, roughly chop and then place in a roasting dish with a couple of garlic segments, cover in oil and salt and place in the oven to roast for about an hour.
Dice the onions, great the remaining carrot, finely slice two more segments of garlic and roughly chop half of your fresh basil.
Heat some oil in a large saucepan and sauté the garlic until soft, then add the basil, and stir and then the onions and carrot and a large pinch of the dried origano and marjoram.  Stir well until onions and carrots are soft.
If you have time peel the remaining tomatoes (place tomato into boiling water until skin splits and then slide skin off being careful not to burn your hands). Then roughly chop and add to the saucepan.  Chop the capers and add to the sauce.
Leave to simmer for about an hour, stirring every now and then to prevent burning at the bottom.
When the roasting tomatoes and carrots are ready, remove from the oven, place in a bowl and blend with an electric hand held blender – then add to the bolognaise.
Now is a good time to have a taste – add salt, more herbs, maybe even a little tamari if needed.
In a separate pan or wok, heat a little oil and then stir fry the tofu with a little salt until cooked and beginning to crisp (don’t stir too often, let it brown a little)
When the Bolognese is tasting delicious stir in the cooked tofu, chop the remaining basil (leaving a few leaves to garnish if you wish) stir into the sauce.

Serve with some brown rice noodles if you want to avoid pasta.

Summer Fennell and Mung Bean Salad

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I got the inspiration for this dish from a tabouleh recipe, wasn’t quite sure if it would work but it turned out to be super yummy and perfect for the hot summers day that we have.

Shopping List
Mung Beans
Fennel
Fresh Mint Leaves
Fresh Parsley Leaves
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
Salt

Cook the mung beans until soft and set to one side to cool.  Thinly slice the fennel, steam until soft and also allow to cool.  Finely chop the parsley and mint leaves and place the chopped leaves, mung beans and fennel into a bowl and stir.  Take the juice of a lemon or two and in a blender blend with equal amount of olive oil and a little salt.  Have a taste of this dressing (should be nice and lemony) before adding to the mung bean and fennel mixture.  Pour the dressing into the mixture, give a good stir and taste again.  Add more lemon, oil, mint, parsley or salt if needed.

Roast Sweet Potato with Sprouted Seeds and Houmous

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This has got to be the most trouble free, simple, delicious recipe of all; I love sweet roast potatoes, I love sprouted seeds, I love love love houmous, I love easy recipes, cant go wrong really – stick the potato in the oven, time for a quick yoga practice and chuck it all together when done!  I actually made this recipe for the first time purely by what I had left over in the fridge and it has quickly become one of my favourites.

Shopping List
Sweet Potato
Sprouted Beans/Seeds (I used a real mixture of alfalfa & broccoli seed, aduki & mung bean and chick pea sprouts! or you could sprout your own?)
Houmous (or make your own, recipe coming soon)
Olive Oil
Rosemary
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

After scrubbing your sweet potato under water, rub the oil, salt, pepper and rosemary into the skin and pop into a hot oven (180℃) for 30-50 mins depending on the size of your spud.  The skin will be crisp and you should be able to stick a fork easily into the centre when done.
Chuck on a large handful of sprouts and a huge dollop of houmous and you are ready to tuck in.
Super simple, super easy, super delicious!!!

Berry Chocolate Green Smoothie

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I love a green smoothie, and this one is my favourite recipe at the moment, I will quite often have one for breakfast, they are super nutritious, quick and easy to make, great to set you up for a busy day working and delicious after morning yoga practice.
Being a chocolate lover, but unfortunately being a little sensitive to caffeine, using carob powder gives that wonderful chocolaty flavour that goes so well with berries, without the disadvantages of consuming chocolate.
If you want to make a green smoothie you will need a high powered blender to break up the cells of the green leaves, I use a Vitamix.  My friends commented that you would have to be mad to buy such an expensive machine, but I have to say that it has been worth every penny.  I use it pretty much every day and it is extremely good at what it does.
There is a whole host of information out there regarding the benefits of drinking green smoothies, I personally would say that I feel good when I drink them, I somehow feel more awake in the morning after drinking a green smoothie.

Shopping List
Green Leaves – I used the carrot top leaves in the photo, they are quite peppery so less needed if you are new to green smoothies, spinach is less strong so perhaps could use more of these
Berries – I used frozen blackberries, any will do, fresh or frozen
Ripe Banana
Almonds – handful, soaked overnight in water
Coconut Water – you could use almond milk, rice milk, plain water….
Spirulina – 1 teaspoon, perhaps less if you are new to spirulina
Carob Powder – 1 large teaspoon, or more if like me you love chocolate!
Acai Berry Powder – ½ teaspoon

Add the leaves, berries, almonds and liquid to the blender and blend at a high speed (for about 30 seconds if using a Vitamix).  Once the mixture has become liquid turn off the machine, add the banana and the superfood powders and blend again.  I have given a couple of guidelines for amounts in this recipe, but do play around with it, different flavours in different amounts create new tastes and experiences.

I feel that it is worth mentioning here that it is always good to use a variety of leaves, eating too much of anything, good or bad, can often lead to problems and/or boring habits.  So although this may become your favourite recipe too, use different leaves and fruits often, try different things – and don’t forget to let me know if you invent a good one! x

Delicious & Healthy Breakfast or Snack

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I absolutely love this tasty little treat, one of my favourite quick and easy breakfasts or snacks, was a favourite with the yoga apprentices this summer, no sugar, no wheat, just healthy yumminess!

I love rye bread but it really needs toasting to bring out its full nutty taste and softness with a crunch.  I bought this delicious variation yesterday with nuts and fruits (it tasted as good as it looks)  Once toasted I covered it with lashings of organic almond butter and sugar free organic blueberry jam!  Very self-indulgent.

Justyna’s Sugar Free Fruit Crumble

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You will never believe that this delicious simple recipe is sugar free, we got to make it on Friday afternoon at the Windfire Yoga Retreat and absolutely everyone loved it!  A big thanks to my beautiful quiet friend Justyna for this recipe ♥

Shopping List
Any fruit you want!!!
I used: Apples, Pears & Nectarines (blackberries would be great too)
Oats (if you want gluten free, then use gluten free oats)
Roast Hazel Nut Flour (super simple to make, see below)
Rice Syrup
Sesame Oil
Cinnamon
Sea Salt

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
Roughly chop and deseed/stone the fruit, place in deep roasting dish and cook until soft, about 20 mins.
Meanwhile to make the topping, using your hands (go on!) mix the oats, nut flour, rice syrup, oil, cinnamon and salt until you have a crumbly mixture.  Lots of oats, I like jumbo but you could use porridge for a less grainy texture, keep tasting as you may find you do not need as much rice syrup as you think.  Just a little oil to give that extra crunch.
When fruit is soft, remove from oven, stir in a little cinnamon (at this point you will have to resist eating because it will smell delicious) then cover with your crumble topping and pop back in the oven until it turns golden brown.

If you would like a delicious pouring cream try blending some blackberries with oat cream.  Or to make a hot chocolate berry sauce simply add a little water and frozen berries to a pan, when the fruit becomes soft use a potato masher to squash and then add carob powder (or cocoa will do too)

To make hazel nut flour you will need to roast the nuts in the oven until browning and smelling toasted (I usually keep a jar of these in the cupboard to use in smoothies etc) Place the roasted hazelnuts in a food blender and wizz up to a flour consistency.

This is usually what is left…
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