Mealprep: Coconutty-sweetpotato and kale soup and pasta with 3 bean bolognese

The first mealprep of 2020 and keeping it very simple.

Though, it is not like any of my mealpreps are that complicated as that sort of defeats the concept of simple, nutritious and quick mealpreps which is what i am to do and share. Though some weeks i guess my mealprep takes more time, requires more ingredients or i do more than 1-2 dishes and therefore is not quite as simple as just making a soup or frying some ingredients.

I will be trying to share my mealpreps on a monthly basis, unsure if i will have time to share every week… and it isn’t certain that i will mealprep everyweek because some weeks i don’t need to. Some weeks i have time to cook dinner each evening and then i just make double to eat for lunch the next day (or dinner the next day and i cook something new for lunch). Otherweeks i batch cook ingredients so i can throw together into meals in the morning and evening… but i will be making posts about that in the future.

Many don’t like mealprepping or think it will take too much time, and i understand that. Mealprepping isn’t for everyone, but i hope i can provide some inspiration and motivation if you are considering getting into prepping your meals. It does save you time and money throughout the week as you won’t have to cook everyday, you won’t have to buy food everyday and also you know you are eating nutritious meals. Not to mention, it will be very helpful if you are giving veganuary a go and still unsure about what to eat/not alot of vegan options in restaurants.

Also remember, you can opt for the easy form of mealprepping which is…. make a huge batch of whatever you are preparing for dinner so you can save in lunch boxes and freeze in for later in the week or so that you have some lunches or dinners prepared for the week. Though this form of mealprepping means you eat the same thing several times in a week, which not everyone likes.

This weeks mealprep consisted of:

Coconutty peanut butter sweet potato soup with rice and pasta with 3 bean bolognaise.

For snacks i am opting for fruit, overnight oats and chia seed pudding. So those i don’t need to prepare for the whole week, instead can just prepare the evening before.

This mealprep will last me about 4-5 days, i will freeze in some of the pasta as that works fine to be frozen and reheated. Rice on the otherhand isn’t the best to freeze, reheat, freeze etc so those will be eaten first.

Also, as i do like to eat varied i do cook other meals during the week so that i don’t just eat the same thing which is also good for the sake of nutrition and health to eat varied!

How long did it take me to mealprep?

I didn’t track the time, but about 1 hour i would say including prepping and cooking.

Nutrition of the meals?

When i mealprep i like to make sure i have foods from all the food grooups, meaning a source of carbohydrate, protein ,vegetables and healthy fats. Typically i go for frozen vegetables as they can be frozen whereas fresh vegetables or salad doesn’t freeze or reheat well, not to mention it quickly goes bad in the fridge. Also i typically try to avoid using rice or roasted potatoes in my meal preps as they just aren’t the most mealprep friendly ingredients, but they are fine to prepare if you will eat the food within 12-48 hours. Being careful about how you store the dishes!

Enough talk about mealprepping… more useful information about mealprepping will be coming to you soon, but if you have any questions feel free to comment down below or message me on Instagram!

For the sake of simplicity and being able to search and find my recipes and meals, i have decided that i will post all the recipes in individual posts and instead link back to them in my weekly (or monthly) meal prep posts. This will mean the posts won’t be too long and i can instead share facts about the meals or tips about meal prepping or time/price/nutrition in these posts 🙂

On to the recipes:

The sweet potato-peanut butter stew RECIPE HERE.

3 bean blognaise with pasta recipe HERE

For some snack ideas…

Overnight oats

Chia seed pudding

Baked oatmeal

Are you into mealprepping… whether you answer yes or no, i would love to know what you like/dislike about it. Or let me know… what are you mealprepping this week?

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.

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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!! 😊

Peanut butter, sweet potato and kale stew

A perfect, warming and delicious meal to throw together in autumn or winter.

Not only is this dish easy to make and super tasty, it is also packed with vitamin A, iron and fibre.

I decided to add some peanut butter to this “stew” mostly because I like the taste and creaminess it adds, but you can opt out of using peanut butter… or switch to another nut butter if you prefer.

It may also be good to think about whether you can bring food with nuts to school/work or wherever you are bringing the lunch box if you decide to mealprep this dish. Then it may be better to just eat this meal at home or opt out of using nuts if you aren’t allowed food with nuts at school/work.

I have made a similar dish to this before, and made one using tofu and sundried tomatoes which is also super tasty, so you can check that out HERE.

Changes:

  • You can adjust the spices or change the spices depending on your own preference
  • You can change coconut milk for example cooking cream (oat or soya based)
  • You can switch kale for spinach
  • You can switch vegan chicken pieces to tofu or tempeh, or just omit this ingredient

I personally wouldn’t switch sweet potato for regular potato as it just won’t be the same. It is the sweetness from the sweet potato which works so well with the nut butter and gives this dish a slight sweet taste.

Now onto the recipe:

Recipe:

Makes c.a 4-6 portions, takes about 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 small/medium sweet potato – peeled and diced

1 shallot onion

2 cloves garlic

c.a 200g kale – fresh or frozen

150g vegan chicken – can use tempeh, tofu or leave this out

1 heaped tablespoon peanut butter

240ml water

240ml coconut cream (full fat) or plantbased cooking cream

½ can crushed tomatoes

½ can chickpeas

Handful of cocktail tomatoes

1 tsp sambal oelek

1tsp smoked paprika

1-2 tsp brown sugar (for sweetness)

1tsp salt (or use less if you are using a salted peanut butter)

Black pepper

Rice

Top with crushed peanuts and some naan bread

Oil to fry in.

How to:

Start by preparing the rice according to instructions (make sure to rinse the rice a few times before cooking!)

Begin by dicing the onion and garlic. Add to a large pot along with 1tbsp oil and begin to fry until golden brown.

In the mean time, peel and dice the sweet potato into small/medium cubes.

Add the sweet potato to the pot along with the water (240ml) and the tomato juice. Add the peanut butter, sambal oelek, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and pinch of brown sugar. Mix and allow to heat on medium temperature under a lid for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then.

When the sweet potato has begun to soften, pour in half or all of the coconut milk , depending on how thick or loose you want your stew. Add in the kale, vegan chicken, chickpeas and cocktail tomatoes (halved!).

Allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes until the sweet potato are soft and the stew has thickened up a bit. Taste and add more seasoning according to preference.

Once done, serve the stew along with the rice and some crushed peanuts on top!

If you try this recipe, don’t forget to let me know what you think 😊

You can find other soups and stews on my blog or other easy mealprep recipes!

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)

Kale and tofu pie | Updated | Chickpeaflour

Christmas is over for this year…. now it is just another 365 days to go until next Christmas. And i am relieved for that….

I have eaten christmas food non stop for the past week, so i am ready to let that go for a few months… until it is Easter and we eat pretty much the same foods again.

But one dish which i won’t be letting go so easily… or atleast won’t be waiting until Easter until i make this again is this kale and tofu pie.

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So i have made this pie several times before, but then i have made the pie filling from a mix of oatcream and maizena. It has worked, but i decided to try make a filling based on chickpea flour and i have to say that i really liked it.

It did make the cake alot more filling which is of course a good thing. Not to mention the chickpea flour adds some extra protein to this dish… not that it needs it as there is alreayd tofu or vegan chicken in it. But the chickpea flour gives this cake more texture and taste which i really liked.

Chickpea flour isn’t always so easily found which might make it hard to make this recipe. But you may be able to order online… and then you can try making chickpea pancakes or chickpea tofu with the remanining flour.

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This pie works to also make directly in glass lunch boxes, i.e you make 2-3 smaller pies ready to bring to work or school. However, then you may need to increase the pie dough with 50% just so that you can cover the whole base of the glass lunch boxes.

I have also madeportion lasagne in my glass lunch boxes, an easy way to mealprep or if you don’t have any large forms!

Give this pie a try and don’t forget to let me know what you think 🙂 Comment down below or let me know on Instagram (Itsahealthylifestyle)

You can also see when i make this pie in my latest YouTube video (HERE)

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Recipe

Serve 6-8 people

Prep: c.a 20 minutes Cook time: c.a 45 minutes. Cool down: 20 minutes

Pie base:

180g all purpose flour

150g margarine, room temperature

Pinch of salt and pepper

2-3 tbsp water if necessary

Kale filling:

300g frozen kale

1 medium/small red onion

2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed

150g tofu or vegan chicken pieces (eg. hälsans kök)

2 tablespoon vegetable fond (not broth)

2 tablespoon nutritional yeast (can be omitted)

Chickpea flour filling:

130g chickpea flour

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon kala namak

130ml oatcream

100ml water

2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Pinch of salt and pepper

Optional: Top the pie with some walnuts

How to:

Preheat oven to 200C

Begin making the pie dough. Add the flour, salt and pepper to a baking bowl. Chop the margarine into small cubes. Add into the flour and with your hands begin to press/crumble the margarine to mix into the flour.

When the margine is fully crumbled, meaning no large pieces of margarine. Add 1-2 tablespoon of cold water to help turn the crumble into more of a dough. Once the flour/margarine has turned into a dough, i.e not too crumbly and not too wet, place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

In the mean time, grease your pie form or glass jars with some oil or margarine.

After the 30 minutes, press the dough into the cake form and begin making the pie base. Press it evenly throughout the whole form and try to press up on the edges of the form as well- otherwise there is risk that the pie filling will just ooze out.

Poke holes in the pie base and then bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

In the mean time, make the kale filling.

Chop and dice the red onion and garlic. Add to a frying pan with a generous amount of oil. Fry until golden brown.

Then add the kale – frozen is best in this recipe. But you can use fresh, just make sure to rinse and chop first (also letting it sit in water with some salt for a while can make it easier to digest).

Add the tofu or vegan chickenpieces and allow fry until golden brown and the kale has begun to shrink. Add the vegetable fond along with the nutritional yeast, fry for a few more minutes or until the kale mix is soft. Then remove from the heat.

Chickpeafilling

Make the chickpea filling by weighing out the chickpea flour and adding to a baking bowl. Add the cornstarch, kala namak, nutritional yeast as well as salt and pepper. Mix.

Then add in the liquid and mix until combined. There should be no clumps and the batter will be similar to pancake batter. Set aside until the pie crust has prebaked.

Once the pie crust has prebaked, take out of the oven and add the kale filling. Then pour over the chickpea flour mix together with the kale filling.

Place bake into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling has firmed up.

Once done, take out of the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Top with some walnuts for extra crunch!

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You can make this pie in many different ways and you can even change the filling… example go for spinach and vegan feta cheese. Or why not go for a tomato and thyme filling?

All you really need is the base pie crust and the chickpea – or cream – filling/”egg”replacement. And the rest of the fillings and seasoning is up to you 🙂