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!! 😊

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

Tofu “egg” salad

When i was a child, my parents sometimes made me egg sandwiches for lunch. I loved them…. but i can say, i wasn’t particularly popular those days because of the smell of egg. Hahah, it’s one of those meals that is best eaten at home alone and maybe not eaten in public. Though that is just my opinon.

Now that i am vegan i haven’t eaten egg in 3,5 years, but i can say… it is one of the animal products i truly loved. Both the taste, texture and of course the nutritional value of egg.

Tofu is one of the best replacements for egg, both in texture and the ability to add different seasoning to make it taste a bit more like egg. You can make tofu scramble, tofu omelettte and i have even seen some people make “fried egg” using tofu.

To get the egg taste you use kala namak, or so called black salt. It contains alot of sulphur which gives the smell and taste of egg…. so just be aware that your kitchen will smell like sulphur/fart when you open the package, hahah.

I have made a tofu salad in the past but then i used nutritional yeast for a cheesey flavour and used soya creme fraiche for the sauce. But now i stepped it up and used kala namak and home made vegan mayonnaise (RECIPE) and this was a very delicious “salad.”

Or not sure i can call it salad… it’s more an american style salad due to the mayonnaise base.

This recipe is in collaboration with VibeIsrael. I was a part of their vegan food tour 2019, and on the second last day we had an italian/israeli breakfast where we ate vegan croissants, home made tofu based cheese, challah, coucscous based sallad, deep dish pizza and also a tofu salad.

So i don’t think tofu salad is meditarranean or israeli food…. instead it feels rather english or swedish. But i got inspired by my trip in Israel to make this dish!

You can of course look at my other israeli inspired dish, Sabich, which is alot more mediterranean. 

I still have more recipes to post inspired by my trip, i just need to get around to make them when there is daylight to photograph the food, haha.

Recipe

Vegan egg (tofu) salad

250g tofu

2 sping onion or ¼ leek

½ large avocado – or 1 small

1 half bell pepper – red or green

c.a 100ml mayonnaise (recipe)

1-2tsp kala namak

1/4 – 1/2 tsp turmeric – to give colour

2-3tbsp nutritional yeast

1tsp salt

1/2tsp black pepper

Optional, add a little pinch of chilli

 

How to:

Begin by making the mayonnaise if you are making your own. Instructions linked above. Otherwise you can use storebought or switch for creme fraiche or soya quark.

Then in a bowl crumble tofu (use a firm sort of tofu), add the chopped spring onion,bell pepper and avocado. Optional, add in some chickpeas.

Add the kala namak, salt and pepper, nutritional yeast and a little nutritional yeast. Add the mayonnaise and mix. Add some more mayonnaise as required.

Taste test and adjust seasoning according to preference.

Eat as it is or top a salad. Or why not eat with some bread like i did, or top a baked potato with the tofu salad!

 

Very easy to make, and also a protein rich salad as tofu has between 15-22g protein per 100g. And like mentioned, if you want a lower fat option use soya quark or creme fraiche instead of mayonnaise.

If you give this recipe a try, don’t forget to let me know and tag me on Instagram: Itsahealthylifestyle

Vegan Sabich recipe

While I was in Israel – invited there by VibeIsrael – for their Vegan food tour 2019.

One vegetable which I noticed was occurring in many of the dishes we ate was aubergine, or so called eggplant. Mushroom was another reoccurring vegetable, however as I don’t like mushroom I am not going to make any recipes based on this vegetable.

Aubergine is one of those vegetables which is very hit or miss. It is very easy for it to turn out mushy and tasteless. It is one of those vegetables which you definitely need to know how to prepare to make it edible.

I have some different eggplant recipes you can try if you are interested: eggplant schnitzel, they are thin and crispy and super amazing. Stuffed eggplant, another amazing dish which I really like.

Inspired by some of the meals I ate while in Israel, I wanted to recreate some meals I ate while there. And the first one is a Sabich sandwich.

I had to do some googling in regards to what is actually in a Sabich, because lets be honest… when I ate it I just enjoyed it and didn’t think too much about it. The good thing about the trip was that I never had to think about if something was vegan or not, as it was already planned and organized already.

From my googling, I saw that there are different ways to make this sandwich. Different vegetables and fillings. I also tried to figure out if there were any specific spices necessary to make this sandwich, but apparently there weren’t any… it was the sauces that added the flavours. I.e hummus, tahini and amba.

Amba is a type of pickled mango sauce with lots of spices.

Originally a Sabich has egg in it, but of course that is excluded in this recipe.

I do understand that if you are from Israel, or the middle east where you may eat this type of meal on a regular basis, you may think that this isn’t the “exact/original recipe”. And I agree… it isn’t. It is my homemade, Swedish style Sabich. It is missing the amba (I used mango chutney instead) and is also missing the Israeli pickles, but it still worked great!!

Pita bread, hummus and vegetables that just don’t compare to the kind I ate while in Israel… but that is ok. I can atleast try to replicate this dish as much as is possible.

It’s funny how I have never thought of this amazing sandwich combo… all the fillings and sauces work so well together, and the fried aubergine is the cherry on top. So next time you make a sandwich, give this one a go.

If you have tried this sandwich before, let me know what you thought…? 😊

Changes you can make to this recipe:

You can bake the aubergine instead, c.a 30 minutes at 200 degrees. Use plenty of oil, garlic and salt. Also, using the spice sumac on the onion or on the eggplant is recommended!

Recipe

Makes 3-4 pita bread

2/3 large aubergine, in thin slices

Plenty of olive oil

Salt

Tahini – a runny kind

Hummus – preferably homemade

Cabbage, purple or white

½ red onion, sliced thinly

4 boiled potatoes, cold and sliced (this is optional)

Tomatoes, chopped

Cucumber, chopped

Lemon juice

Cilantro or parsley

Amba sauce, or mango chutney

4 small/medium potatoes

3-4 pita bread

How to:

Begin by washing the aubergine and slicing thinly. Then fry on medium heat in plenty of olive oil, until golden. Take about 3-5 minutes on both sides. Add some salt either while frying, or once they are done.

If using potatoes, rinse the potatoes and boil for 10 minutes until almost soft. Then place in the fridge to cool down before slicing into thin slices.

In the mean time you can prepare the vegetables. The best is to make a mix of cucumber, onion and tomatoes, which you drizzle over some lemon, cilantro and olive oil and let sit for 30 minutes.

Also, making your own hummus is the best but store bought works as well. Recipe for homemade hummus (HERE).

Recipe for homemade tahini, (HERE), however I do infact recommend storebought one for this recipe.

Once the veggies are done, heat the pita bread in the oven (200 degrees) for 2-3 minutes.

Then begin to layer the sandwich, first with hummus then cabbage, followed by the cucumber and tomatoes. Then add the aubergine and potatoes and lastly the tahini and amba sauce.

Eat warm, and don’t be scared to make a mess!!!

**Note, i have not stated any quantities for the vegetables or sauce because it is all about the quantities YOU want to use. I.e more sauce, less vegetables or vice versa 🙂 You don’t really need measurements for this recipe.

Eat and enjoy and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram (itsahealthylifestyle) if you try this recipe.

Cucumber salad – with vegan greek cheese | Vegan

Do you ever buy vegetables with the intentionof eating them but then suddenly a week has passed and the vegetable is in it’s last few days/hours….. yeah, that’s me and cucumbers.

Sure i like – infact love – vegetables…. but there’s something about cucumbers. They just don’t appeal to me.

But suddenly i had two cucumbers and no idea what to do with them.

Sure… i could them just as they are. Or dip in hummus or even add to water. But i didn’t feel like eating any of those ideas.

So…. i thought… what’s better than a regular plain salad? A creamy salad.

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Sometimes you just need to throw everything into a big bowl, add some garlic, salt and pepper and mix together with some van creme fraiche or mayonnaise.

And that’s exactly what i did. And i can tell you…. i was not disappointed.

Well… aside from the fact that i am trying to limit my intake of garlic and onion, especially raw…. but taste wise this was delicious.

Vitamins, nutrients, fiber, protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. You got it all in this meal!

Recipe

In all honesty, this recipe doesn’t really require measurements…. it’s mostly freestyle and adjust the measurements according to the amount you want to eat and make!

Ingredients:

3/4 large cucumber, or 1 medium sized

1 small red onion, diced

1/2 block vegan feta cheese

1/2 can chickpeas

1/2 red pepper. diced

1 avocado

Vegan creme fraiche, around 150-200ml. Note you can use 50/50 vegan creme fraiche and mayonnaise or opt for a lighter version by using soya quark or vegan greek yoghurt.

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Salt

Black pepper

How to:

Dice cucumber, red onion and bell pepper. Chop the avocado and greek cheese into small cubes. Rinse the chickpeas (save the aquafaba for another recipe).

In a large salad bowl add all the ingredients, including the minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix together with creme fraiche, or your alternative.

Either eat right away with example some bean burgers or as filling in a baguette, or place in the fridge and allow the flavours of the salad to combine and eat later!

 

For some other salad ideas:

Vegan tuna salad

BBQ chickpea salad

Vegan ch*cken curry salad

Beetroot salad

Swedish tofu skagenröra

Potato salad and coleslaw

Next time you don’t know what to eat…. throw some foods into a bowl and mix together with some vegan creme fraiche, saltand garlic…. 50% chance it will turn out good…. sounds like a good idea!!!