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?

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)

New Years Eve vegan dinner ideas

New Years eve is coming up and that may leave you wondering…. what should i make to eat? The last meal of 2019 – and the decade – it should be special right?

Well, of course it doesn’t have to be…. my recommendation is always to just go for your favourite foods or meals to end the year. Why make something complicated and gourmet if you won’t like it?

But of course, many end the year with a 3 course dinner and i thought i would give you some tips on what to cook or prepare…. or what to bring to the party to impress your non vegan friends. Because whether vegan or not, the majority of people can all enjoy a vegan meal! So why not end the year with a vegan 3 course meal….?

So i have gathered some recipes and ideas from the internet which i thought i would share with you. If you want to check out the recipe, click on the name and it will take you to the recipe.

Starters/appetizers:

Bruschetta with a tomato and basil mix on top (or 3 other topping ideas, HERE)

Different canapes such as “crostini” with tomato topping, or an olive mix on top.

Spinach, sundried tomato and olive puff pastry

Crisps and guacamole/hummus

Dumplings or bao buns with smoky tofu

Yorkshire puddingsThese look so amazing i am tempted to give them a try myself

Garlic bread

Smashed potatoes with gucamole, or a pea and avocado dip… or why not make a ranch dressing.

Pinrolls with example sundried tomato, basil and cream cheese. Or spinach and cheese pinwheels. 

Focaccia – tomato and thyme

Pizza twists with pesto, cream cheese and vegan bacon

Savoury stuffed dates

Tomato tart

Beetroot, vegan feta cheese, rocket and walnut salad with a balsamic vinagrette

Roasted bread with tahini and israeli salad “vegetable-tahini toast”

Main meals:

Hassleback potatoeswith seitan steakand grilled asparagus with ared wine sauce

Vegan Bouef Beourginon or try THIS recipe by Jävligt Gott(it is in Swedish, but it is a really good recipe)

Baked potatoes with chickpea “tuna” salad.  Or twice baked taco stuffed sweet potato. Or baked potato with vegan feta, rocket and sundried tomatoes.

Vegan “beef” wellington

Creamy Mushroom risotto

Saffron paella

 VegetableStuffed portabello with salad

Pizza or sweet potato pizza – choose your favourite toppings! It can be a fun idea for everyone to make their own pizza or if you buy premade dough that everyone tops their pizza themselves.

Lasagna

Savoury crepe with a creamy mushroom filling

Mini pizzas with vegan feta cheese, walnuts and rocket.

Make your own sushiis also a good idea. It isn’t as difficult as you may think!

Langos with smoked tofu and cream cheese

Potato gratin or give THIS recipe a try by the Minimalist baker

Dessert

Chocolate mousse with whipped cream, nuts and berries on top (or try chocolate mousse based on aquafaba – it is surprisingly good!)

Nutella pizza top with eg. bananas, berries, nuts

White chocolate mousse with saffran cookies – recipe is in Swedish, but should work fine to translate

Creme brulee this recipe includes both tofu and turmeric, which may not be for everyone. So then you can check out THIS recipe which is creme brulee with the basic ingredients like sugar, cream, corn starch.

Tiramisu – can make into portions or in one large form

Saffrons parfait or some other parfait ideas HERE

Mojito cheesecake

Oreo mousse cake

Snickers mousse cake

Raw food chocolate cake

Mango and passionfruit cheesecake

Chocolate ganache pie

Vanilla pana cotta (this recipe is based on cashews) ortry THIS recipe based on coconut milk

Triple layer vegan cookie brownies! [i.e slutty brownies]

 

 

Hopefully these give you some ideas on what to make for new years eve! Remember it doesn’t have to be too complicated just because you want to make vegan food 🙂

I hope you all have an amazing New Years Eve and a great start to the new year!!!

And if you are planning to give Veganuary a go… don’t forget to follow me on here – and myinstagram (itsahealthylifestyle) where i will be sharing tips and advice to help you 🙂

Broccoli and tofu red lentil curry with rice

Last Friday when my mum was visiting me we were discussing what to eat or make for dinner and she suggested something warm, such as a curry. Then as usual, my mind began thinking about to throw together this meal and make something delicious…. Preferably not too spicy, too watery or too salty.But I can say, even if it was a throw together meal, it turned out really good and I will definitely be making it again! As I shared this recipe in my Instagram stories, I thought I should also share it on here 😊 I have a a habit of either only sharing on my Instagram stories/captions or only on my blog… but it can infact be useful to share on both platforms.This meal also worked great to be frozen and then reheated… the only thing to think about is being careful with rice and how you cool it and reheat it… preferably it should not be reheated more than once due to bacteria growth. And also to cool the rice rather quickly and not let it stand in room tempterature, so just a little FYI. But if you are worried about this you can of course opt for some quinoa or another form of grain to compliment the curry.

Recipe:

Makes 3-4 portions

Ingredients:

3-4 portions rice

1 red lentil

2 cloves garlic

1-2 cm ginger, in small pieces

250g tofu

1-2 tbsp olive oil

200ml red lentils c.a 160g

1 tsp paprika

1tsp curry powder

1/2tsp curry or 1 tsp sambal oelek

2 tbsp tomato paste

Pinch of salt and pepper

1-2 broccoli

400ml coconut milk

1 vegetable stock & 500ml water

1 handful crushed peanuts

1-2 tsb lime juice

How to:

Begin by rinsing the rice several times and then boiling in the right amount of water according to the portions you are going to make. Boil according to instructions.

In a large pot add 1-2tbsp oil along with the diced onion, garlic and tofu cut into cubes. Allow to fry until golden brown. Add the ginger along with the spices (paprika, curry, chilli) and the tomato pasta.

Pour in 500ml water along with the vegetable stock and 200ml red lentils. Mix and allow to simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat.

In the mean time chop the broccoli into small florets.

After 10 minutes, add the coconut milk and broccoli and heat for another 10 minutes under a lid. Add a little lime juice along with salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasoning according to preference.

Once done, remove from the heat and serve with the rice as well as some salad or coriarnder and salted peanuts.

*Note, there is a lot of liquid in this curry, so you can limit the water to 350ml if you want less liquid and more coconut milk flavour.Also, you can substitute broccoli for cauliflower or add sweet potato instead of either of those.This recipe should work fine to half or double if you have a VERY LARGE pot, haha.

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.