3 bean pasta bolognaise

One of the tips I always give when someone wants to cut down on meat or try to start eating more vegetarian… or just wants to eat more fruits and vegetables is to try to do 50/50 beans/meat (or plantbased meat) in dishes where possible. For example, lasagne, stews, tacos or bolognaise it works great to omit some of the meat or plantbased meat and instead use beans or lentils.

Personally, I am trying to use less plantbased meats and use more beans and lentils… not just for the sake of saving money but also to not be so dependant on fake meats. I love the texture and taste of them and can gladly eat them twice a day… but just like with meat…. I think it’s best to keep it at a minimal and focus on “wholefoods” when possible. Even if my stance is that it is better to eat plantbased meats than real meat for the sake of the animals. Even if some meat isn’t unhealthy.

Image result for benefits of eating beans

But enough about that….

Bolognaise is the perfect dish to switch 50% of the meat/plantbased meat for beans or lentils. It will provide you with fibre, protein, complex carbs as well as had less impact on the climate… so just positives of making this switch.

You could just use your basic bolognaise recipe and switch beans for meat*, but I thought I would share a simple recipe down below if you don’t have a standard bolognaise recipe you usually use.

Recipe:

250g Pasta of choice – I used penne pasta as that was what I had at home

Sauce:

350ml pasta sauce (or used crushed tomatos and you season the sauce yourself with garlic, onion, black pepper, some rosemary or thyme)

1 shallot onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, mined

2 tbsp tomato paste

Optional, 1 carrot grated

Optional, 1 celery stalk, chopped

Salt, pepper, rosemary (fresh or frozen)

c.a 100ml vegetable stock

c.a 1 package of mixed beans, i used kidney beans, black beans and chickpeas (but white beans would work as well or a premade mixed beans package)

150g vegan mince

100g sweet corn

Serve with some vegan parmesan

How to:

Boil the pasta or spaghetti according to instructions.

In a large frying pan or pot, fry the garlic, onion and minced meat in some oil. After about 5 minutes, add the sauce ingredients (tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, carrot, celery and vegetable stock). Allow to boil/simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans and sweet corn along with rosemary, salt, pepper and other seasoning of choice. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve along with the pasta/spaghetti, adding some vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast on top for extra cheeseyness!

You can make bolognaise in many different ways, from just a basic tomato sauce, salt, pepper and minced meat to a red lentil bolognaise (recipe HERE) and some like to go fancy adding red wine or white cooking wine to their sauce along with some extra fancy spices. Whichever type of sauce you prefer… opt to use some beans instead of meat for health, taste, texture, the environment and the animals!! 😊

31 vegan dinner ideas for veganuary

January the 1st 2020. And many of you are *hopefully* comitting to veganuary… or maybe you have just decided to eat more plantbased and are looking for some meal inspiration…. well then, here are 31 lunch or dinner ideas you can try making or incoporating into your weekly diet!

When you first start eating plantbased you may find it hard to know what to eat and you end up just eating salad, or you take away the meat and dairy but don’t replace it with anything so you end up unsatisfied, hungry and get cravings.

So my best tip is to 1) Remember to substitute what you take away. I.e switch dairy products for non dairy alternatives. And if you take away the meat or fish on your plate, don’t just take it away or substitute with more potatoes. Instead substitute it with tofu, tempeh, beans, soya products or something else that gives you protein.

Another tip is to write down all your favourite meals and find a way to veganize them. Now a days the majority of dishes can be veganized in one way or another. Though of course, you do have to be prepared for the fact that the dish won’t taste exactly the same. So some prefer to note veganize and isntead just recreate new vegan dishes which don’t try to replicate a non vegan dish.

I would suggest you write down a bunch of different meal ideas or recipes you want to try or try to recreate and have that as a back up for when you don’t know what to cook or eat. A good idea is also to have the list on your phone for the days you are tired and hungry and need to quickly shop for food.

Invest in some cookbooks or follow a bunch of vegan recipe creators online (such as myself 😉 Instagram: itsahealthylifestyle)

Also, here is a post with some good staple foods to always have at home &what’s in my fridge/freezer

And for more inspiration or cooking videos, you can follow me on my Youtube channel – IzzyM

Meal ideas

*click the picture for the name of the dish*

There you have many different dishes you can try out 🙂 I have plenty more recipes you can search for on my blog. Also a whole bunch of breakfast, snacks and desserts which you can check out.

So now it is just to get cooking and try different recipes, see what you like and what you don’t like!

If you try any of these recipes, let me know in the comments down below or on my Instagram (itsahealthylifestyle)

Salted caramel-tahini-roasted nut nice cream

Ever since I bought my food processor this summer all I have wanted to do is mix foods….. hummus, soup, nice cream…. It has definitely been a well used kitchen appliance.

And the panic that set in when my food processor began overheating and smoke was coming from the motor…. Full on panic that I would no longer be able to make nice cream. It was then I relized that adding smoking hot soup directly to the blender and blending a little too long was not a good idea i.e the motor overheated. But it is working fine now once it had cooled down.

You can see the blender I use HERE: (amazon affiliate link)

As you saw in my previous recipe, I made a salted date caramel, which was tasty just as it was. However once I made the caramel I also realized I didn’t know what to do with it… of course, I would gladly eat it just on it’s own with a spoon… but I thought I should try making something with it.

And it was then when I was looking in my pantry that inspiration struck….tahini and dates works amazing… add it to nice cream along with some roasted nuts. AMAZING, am I right?

And luckily for me, I had some banana slices in the freezer ready to be turned into nice cream when cravings hit.

So what is nicecream… well if you haven’t heard it before, it is basically just bananas, frozen and then mixed into “ice cream”.

Nice = because it is tasty but also nice = as in no animals were harmed to make this ice cream.

You can find some of my other nice cream flavours HERE. But it is just to go wild and crazy and use whatever extras, toppings and flavours you want. Just use bananas as the base and then add in some coconut milk or substitute half of the bananas for berries and then add some nuts, seeds, nut butter, cacao, cookies, brownies, chocolate chips etc

The best is to use a highspeed food processor when making the nice cream. And I recommend you take the bananas out of the freezer 10 minutes before making just to let them get a little softer so that your food processor doesn’t overwork or break from trying to mix the frozen bananas.

How to make the salted caramel tahini nice cream?

Ingredients:

For thesalted caramel, use THISrecipe. Then add 2-3 tbsp or more depending on your preference

Tahini, 2-3 tbsp

1-3 bananas (for one serving). Peel, chop and freezer for 3-4 hours or overnight. (Note, freeze in a container with a lid on, or in a plastic bag/freezer bag

Handful of nuts – salted or unsalted. Either buy preroasted or roast yourself

How to:

Begin by peeling, chopping and freezing the bananas. The best is to buy bananas when on sale and just peel, chop and freeze a whole bunch of them. I recommend you store 2-3 chopped bananas in separate freezer bags so that you have them proportioned instead of freezing them all in one container as then it can be hard to get only some of the banana out.

Freeze for 3-4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Make the date caramel if you haven’t already.

Roast the nuts – Place the nuts on a baking pan, spread them out evenly. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 180c. Note, you can add a little oil/vegan margarine and salt, but then just check on the nuts to make sure they don’t burn. You may need to rotate them after half the time.

Begin making the nice cream by adding the frozen bananas, some date syrup and tahini to the mixer. Mix on high speed until smooth. If necessary, add 1-2tbsp oat milk, though this shouldn’t really be necessary.

Once done, taste and add more date syrup or tahini according to preference. Add the roasted nuts, mix in and then eat and enjoy!!

Another amazing nice cream flavour to add to the books! Not everyone will like this flavour because of the sweet and saltiness… the salt from the salted caramel does stand out against the sweet dates and the sweet nice cream, but I liked that!!

Lastly I do need to note that even if this is nice cream and the caramel is made from dates, do consider this a sweet treat. Fruit sugar may not be exactly the same as white table sugar, but it still contains quite a lot of sugar and therefore it works great as a dessert. Of course if you just use 1-2 bananas and 1-2tsbp date syrup it is not a big deal, but I wouldn’t recommend going overboard with bananas or date syrup.

Salted date caramel

I don’t know about you…. But I love the sweet and salty combo.

Fries in milkshake? Yes please.

Ice cream and crisps? Yes please.

Caramel popcorn? I want it all.

Salted caramel rice cakes? I could eat the whole package at once.

I am a huge fan of salted caramel but I have never made or bought a vegan kind. I think I have eaten brownies with salted caramel sauce in a restaurant, but never tried making my own.

I am pretty sure it is easy to make your own… Brown, coconut milk or soya cream, vanilla and sea salt. Boil it together and make some caramel.

But as I had bought a bunch of dates and I knew date caramel was a thing I thought…. Why not try making salted date caramel?

And I can say….. it was so yummy. Of course, it was not as smooth as maybe a regular caramel sauce or a store bought one as dates has a lot of fiber and the skin is on the dates which contribute to a rougher texture. But it still tastes good.

The best is to use fresh dates, the kind that are super soft and “moist” (gotta love that word!). However, if you do use dry dates just put them in a bowl and soak in boiling hot water for 5-10 minutes, then they will become softer.

I also recommend using a highspeed food processor and not a handmixer, just because it will get the job done quicker and will make it smoother. But you can of course use a handmixer.

I used soya cream at home as that was what I had at home, but it should work fine with coconut cream (though the caramel will have a taste of coconut then) or you could use oat cooking cream.

Note, I used a sweetened soya cream which wasn’t necessary as dates are already so sweet. So I would recommend using an unsweetened cream if possible.

How to store this caramel?

I stored it in an airtight glass jar in the fridge, and it lasted about 5 days. So that is what I can guarantee, but it should store longer.

You can adapt the quantities based on how much caramel you want. You can use more liquid to thin it out, add more sweetener or salt depending on your preferences. So this is just a base recipe, but you can adapt it as much as you like. And if you do want a really thin and smooth caramel sauce I do recommend you go for a coconutmilk/brown sugar caramel sauce and not use dates.

Also, you can use less liquid and instead make more of a date caramel paste which you can use to dip apples in or even use as filling for cakes!

 

Recipe:

I used about 15-20 dates. (Use the fresh kind, if not soak in boiling hot water)

Around 200-300ml soya cream/oatcream/coconut milk or cream

1-2tsp sea salt

Optional, 1tsp vanilla or brown sugar for muskiness (though the dates or so sweet this shouldn’t really be necessary)

How to:

If your dates aren’t fresh, soak them. If they are fresh then add them to a pot along with c.a 200ml liquid (add more as necessary when mixing). Heat on medium for 5-6 minutes and allow to simmer. Add 1 tsp of sea salt.

Pour of the contents into a high speed food processor and mix until smooth, or if using a handmixer, mix directly in the pot until smooth. Keep adding liquid until you have reached the right texture. (add a little at a time). Give the caramel a taste and add more salt according to preference. It is better to start off with a little and add more, rather than add too much and not know how to fix the saltiness.

Once smooth, pour over into a clean glass jar and store in the fridge!

This caramel works great to eat just as it is, or use in cake fillings or why not eat with some apples or crisp bread!

It should of course be noted that even if this is date caramel sauce, it is high in sugar and should still be considered a sweet treat!!!

Have you tried making your own date caramel sauce before…? If not, it is about time you try!!

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments down below if you made this or tag me on Instagram, itsahealthylifestyle.

Creamy kale and tofu pasta | Mealprep Monday

Last week i had a fridge filled with kale and not quite sure how to use it all before it went bad.

At the same time i was craving a creamy pasta dish… and that was when two ideas merged into one! Creamy kale pasta. Quick to make, very nutritious and of course warm and works great for mealprep.

Nutrition benefits of kale:

So what are the nutrition benefits of eating kale? Well, kale is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin K which is important for blood coagulation. It even contains a little omega 3, just like brussel sprouts which are in the same group of vegetables.

It is of course rich in fiber as well which can help with satiety and also important for your gut bacteria 🙂

If you compare kale with spinach, kale has alot less oxalates (anti nutrients – which can decrease the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals), making it alot more nutritious. However, some people can get digestive issues with kale compared to spinach due tot he fiber amount… so not everyone can handle kale. But boiling it, steaming it or cooking it can help with the fiber and digestion 🙂

Some other ideas of what to do with kale:
Kale chips

Kale pie

Kale and apple salad

Kale pizza

Add kale to smoothies!

Just some ideas… but now onto the actual recipe!

Recipe:

Ingredients

2-3 portions pasta (choose the kind you like)

200-300g fresh kale (frozen works as well)

200g tofu (or vegan chicken)

2-3 garlic cloves

1 red onion

1tbsp vegetable fond

150-200ml oat cream (or soya cooking cream)

Hazelnuts or walnuts

Olive oil

Salt and blackpepper

Optional, some nutritional yeast

How to:

Begin by boiling the pasta according to instructions. Cook the amount you want, the sauce is enough for about 2-3 portions, or 4 smaller portions.

While the pasting is boiling, start making the kale sauce.

Dice the onion and garlic and add to a frying pan with the oil. Dice the tofu and add to the pan (or if you are using vegan chicken pieces). Fry until golden brown.

Add the kale and add another tablespoon of oil. Allow the kale to heat and begin to shrink.

Pour in the oatcream along with the vegetable fond. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and allow the sauce to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Once the pasta is done, drain from water.

Once the sauce is done mix together with the pasta. Add some nutritional yeast if you have at home, as well as some crushed walnuts or hazelnuts.

Eat warm, or store in lunchboxes for upcoming meals.

This is definitely a meal you should write up on your “to make” list! I can’t wait until i am home again and can reheat my lunch boxes consisting of this meal prep!

If you try this recipe, don’t forget to let me know down below or on my Instagram: itsahealthylifestyle