Roasted vegetable pasta with vegan meatballs

Thorw togetehr meals are my forte! I feel like throw together meals should get alot more credit than they do….. you don’t always need a recipe. Sometimes you just need some creativity.

Of course…. with throw together meals, there is always a risk that the meal will be a disaster, that something goes wrong along the way. Maybe to much salt, maybe too much garlic (is that even a thing?), maybe too much or too little sauce… Sometimes the seasoning combo just doesn’t work.

For me personally, i find that the majjority of these types of meals always turn out good. Alot better than expected… maybe because i always have such low expecations of the results, hahah.

So what do i mean by a throw together meal? When you just throw together a bunch of ingredients and foods you have at home. Often making a stew, or a stir fry. Sometimes just throwing a bunch of veggies, beans and tofu onto a baking tray (i.e after washing and peeling) and into the oven is a throw together meal. But usually i make some sort of stiry fry, stew or pasta sauce using what i have at home.

This meal which i will post the recipe for down below was a throw together meal. I opened my fridge and cabinets and asked myself… what can i do with the food i have at home?

And the result was a vegetable pasta with vegan meatballs.

After these throw together recipes, i also usually find other adaptions you can make to the recipe and things i can do differently for next time. But usually it is the first step of a recipe or developing a new meal idea… just testing and then adapting the next time.

Adaptions for this recipe is that you can grill/roast the veggies instead of frying them like i did. The roasting process will give alot more flavour.

I made the meatballs out of Anamma vegan soy mince. All you need to do is defrost the mince and then it is ready to foll and form like regular minced meat. However you can of course make bean balls, falafels or skip the vegan meatballs and maybe add some beans or fried tofu along with the pasta.

Recipe:

Pasta of choice – i used 2-3 portions so that i have enough for lunch boxes.

1 red bell pepper, chopped in larger pieces

1/2 zucchini, chopped in larger pieces

Cocktail tomatoes, cut in half

2 red oinons, chopped in larger pieces

3 garlic cloves, diced

Oil to fry in

Salt and pepper

Parsley

Crushed tomato sauce

50ml oatcream

For the vegan meatballs:

200g Vegan soymince from Anamma (formbar färs)

1-2 tbop bread crumbs

Around 1/2tbsp soya sauce

2 tsp mustard (you can use dijon, but a sweet/strong mustard also works)

Black pepper

How to:

Boil pasta according to instructions. Take the soy mince out of the freezer and allow to defrost, if you haven’t already done this.

In a frying pan add a little oil. Begin by frying the garlic and onion until golden brown. Then add the zucchini and bell pepper and allow to fry until soft. Add the cocktail tomatoes along with some salt, pepper and parsley.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain of water. Then pour in the pasta with the fried vegetables. Add some crushed tomatoes along with a little oatcream and allow to simmer. Mix so that it is well combined. After about 5-10 minutes, remove from the heat and set aside.

Begin making the vegan meatballs by combining all the ingredients to make the meatballs. Mix. Then form into small balls and fry in some oil on medium heat. Rotate the balls so that they cook evenly.

Add the meatballs to the pasta and roast vegetable mix. Serve warm, and save the rest for later!

This meal would also work great with some garlic bread, which you can find a recipe for HERE.

This meal was an absolute hit according to me. Infact just writing out this recipe makes me want to rush home and make this again.

It’s crazy how somethign so simple can be so good… but the roasted vegetables was key!

Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram (itsahealthylifestyle) if you try this recipe, or comment down below what you thought 🙂

Red lentil and carrot soup with naan bread

Cheap vegan eats…. that is going to be my new hashtag and theme of eating.

Or maybe…. quick student eats.

There are so many food blogs out there, so many recipe creators and so many amazing vegan youtubers sharing amazing meals.

And where do i fit in among all these creators….? Well, i fall in the category of “student”, “nutritious food”, “cheap food”, “20 minute cooking”.

I want my food to be quick and easy to make. I want it to be relativly cheap… even if i also know that my food buget is higher than other students out there, because i run a food blog and isntagram, and treat myself to vegan soya products and vegan cheese/creme fraiche etc

I also want my food to be nutritious. Even if not all my food has to be 100% nutritious, i want it to be based on wholefoods and lots of vegetables.

This is my niche and focus among all the other food creators. And i also think that is why many follow me and recreate my recipes… because they are simple. And that is what i will stick to…. even if i will also try making more fancy meals time to time, because i do also enjoy that!

I also want to show how easy it can be to eat plantbased and to also eat healthy. Because you can eat plantbased and just noodles and ketchup, that is vegan and cheap… but maybe not so nutritious. Many think eating plantbased is complicated or takes alot of time, but it doesn’t have to. You can veganize pretty much any meal.

Of course, seasoning is key. Learn how to season – and i am still learning. I am the type of person who relies alot on garlic and onion as well as salt and pepper to season my food. But also pepper, ginger, lime, soya, brown sugar, parsley, basil…. and even cacao and red wine can be used to season certain foods!

Also, don’t be scared to buy premade seasoning mixes if you don’t feel like seasoning or mixing together spices yourself.

Adaptions to this recipe:
You can use sweet potato instead of regular potato

You can skip the chickpeas

You can skip the crushed tomatoes, or use coconut milk instead, or just use water

Recipe:

This recipe makes about 5-6 portions. Time: 30 minutes

450ml red lentils

4 carrots, peeled and diced

5 potatoes

750ml water

1 can of chickpeas (240g)

2-3 cloves garlic

1 red onion

optional, 1 vegetabl stock

Chili powder, paprika powder

Salt and pepper

400ml crushed tomatoes (optional) you can choose to just use vegetable stock or use coconut cream instead

Top with some cilantro or parsley

How to:

In a pot, add diced carrots and potatoes. Add a little salt and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about 10 minutes so that the carrots have softened before adding the red lentils. Add 1 vegetable stock to the water.

While the carrots and potatoes are boiling you can chop and dice the red onion and garlic and fry in a little oil to bring out more flavour. However you can skip this and just add these directly to the stew along with the red lentils.

When you have added the red lentils, allow to simmer/boil for about 10-15 minutes until the red lentils are soft. Add the garlic and red onion, as well as your spices of choice. Example, chilli, paprika powder, salt and black pepper.

Pour away a little of the water if it is too much, and if you are using the crushed tomatoes add them now.

Add the chickpieas (save the aquafaba for another recipe).

With a handmixer, mix until desired consistency. Whether you want it super smooth or still want a little texture from the carrots and lentils.

The best cheap meal which tastes just as good cold as it does warm!

Recipe for the naan bread:

Original recipe from Lovingitvegan.

The naan bread is very simple to make, all you need to do is mix together the ingredients, allow to yeast and rise for 30 minutes and then you form into naan bread and fry in some oil for about 3-4 minutes on each side. The result is fluffy, warm bread.

My adaption to her recipe is to add some garlic, sea salt and parsley to the mix so that the bread tastes even more. Also, you can make some garlic butter and spread a little on each side of the naan bread before frying so that it tastes extra of garlic!

If you are craving bread and have these ingredients at home, as well as can wait about 60 minutes… then give this bread a go. Also works great to freeze, hahaha.

If you try either of these recipes or get inspired by the meals i eat, don’t forget to tag me and let me know!!

Chickpea buffalo salad | Vegam

If i am honest… calling creamy potato, pasta or bean salad a salad is rather strange according to me.

It feels like pretty much anything can be called a salad today, hahah.

Some previous “salad recipes”

Potato salad, beetroot salad, pasta salad, vegan chicken salad

But you know what…. if it makes more people eat vegetables than why not. However it can be important to think about how big the portions are or how often you eat the creamy based salads. Or maybe choosing options such as soya yoghurt or quark as the base instead of mayonnaise or creme fraiche if you frequently eat the cream based salads.

A few weeks ago i made a chickpea “no tuna” salad, which i still haven’t posted the recipe for (that will be coming asap). But i thought… why not make a similar recipe but with a bbq base.

This dish works perfect to eat just as it is, or as filling in baguettes or baked potatoes or even add it to pasta or a regular vegetable salad!

Recipe:

1 can chickpeas, c.a 240g

c.a 150g tofu or vegan chicken pieces

1/2 small red onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper

100-150ml vegan creme fraiche/vegan mayonnaise or use a soya based quark

Optional, 1 celery stalk or spring onion, diced

2-3 tablespoons Bbq sauce – homemade or storebought( recipe for homemade bbq sauce)

Salt and pepper

Oil to fry in

Optional add ins: Grated carrot, sun dried tomatoes, avocado

How to:

Start off with frying the chickpeas and the tofu or vegan chicken pieces in some oil in the frying pan. Optional, is to add the diced red onion if you want them soft in your salad. Or you could just add the red onion raw to the salad. After 2-3 minutes and the vegan chicken pieces/tofu has gotten a little colour, add 2-3 tablespoons barbeque sauce. Allow to heat on medium for a few minutes, or until the BBQ sauce is well absorbed and mixed in with the chickpeas.

In a bowl, add the BBQ chickpea/ch*cken and add the diced onion, bell pepper and spring onion. Add the vegan creme fraiche along with salt and pepper as well as any other extra spices you may like such as chilli, cayenne pepper or more BBQ sauce. Mix until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning according to preferance, or if you want more sauce.

Eat as it is, or add to baked potatoes or bageuttes.

This dish works great to be eaten cold or eaten slightly warm right after preparation.

Give this recipe a try and don’t forget to let me know what you think. Either in the comments section below, or on my instagram: Itsahealthylifestyle

Chickpea tofu

Tofu is typically made out of soybeans… so if this can be called tofu is uncertain.

However it’s cube formed and rich in protein… so similar to tofu.

Infact i thought…. why not do a little nutritional comparison. The nutrition lover in me finds things like that fun!!!

Of course… there are different types of tofu which have different nutritional values, but tofu – whether firm, soft or marinated is all based on the same thing, soy beans.

And with chickpea flour which has turned into chickpea tofu, i am going to base the “nutrition” on just chickpea flour 🙂

Both tofu and chickpeas are based on beans, meaning that are rather similar in nutrition.  Both are rich in protein. However chickpea flour  is a better source of folate and iron compared to tofu, which has more calcium than chickpeas. Of course, depending on the amount you eat and the fact that chickpea flour is grounded chickpeas and therefore more “nutritios per gram” than tofu… that also matters.

Both chickpea flour and tofu are good sources of protein, so a good alternative for meat or fish or if you don’t want to eat just beans or lentils.

 

For those who have a soya allergy, chickpea tofu is a great alternative as it is rather similar in nutrition and a similar to tofu in consistency, but doesn’t include the soya beans!

The consistency and taste of chickpea tofu?

Well, it’s soft just like tofu… however when fried it doesn’t quite have that firmness which tofu does.

If you have eaten chickpea pancakes before… well it’s similar to that. Almost anyway.

It does work to marinate this tofu however the crispiness is not the same as pressed tofu. But nonetheless it is very tasty and also easy to make!!!

 

Recipe:

Ingredients:

120g chickpea flour

440 ml water

Pinch of salt

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Optional, 1/4tsp turmeric for colour

How to

Grease a baking tray with some oil, or line with parchment paper.

In a bowl add the chickpea flour and seasoning. Then slowly add the water while continuously whisking. You don’t want any clumps, so my suggestion is to use an actual whisk and not a fork.

When the mixture is clump free, pour into a pot.

Heat on medium and stir continuously. The mixture will begin to thicken rather quickly and become rather gelatinous… but keep stirring, there is risk that it will burn or turn clumpy otherwise. Keep stirring, in total I cooked mine for about 5-7 minutes. It was thick and cooked all the way through.

Once cooked, pour into your baking tray and spread out evenly. Allow to cool slightly before placing in the fridge for 2-4 hours or preferably overnight.

In the morning, or after about 8 hours the chickpea tofu will have firmed up and you should be able to cut it into desired shape. Such as small cubes or long fry shapes. You can eat it just as it is, or cut into cubes and marinate before frying. Or you can just fry as it is in some oil.

I finished mine in about 2 days, so unfortunately, I can’t tell you how long it will last. But I would say that it should be fine about 3-5 days in the fridge, however I can not tell you how the consistency or taste will turn out.

I will remake a batch and allow to sit in the fridge for 2-3 days and then update with the results… or unless someone else tries before me and can update in the comments section.

Not, you can vary the seasoning according to preference. And I am pretty sure you can use vegetable stock instead of water, which will give it a lot more flavour 😊

I will also remake this recipe and try baking the chickpea tofu once it is done, to see what the results are… so expect an update on that front as well.

Top 10 vegan lunches/dinners on my blog!

I have been blogging on here for about two and a half years now, and that means a whole bunch of recipes. Some have turned out great, whereas some may need a bit of an update now, haha. And that is one of the things I am currently going to work on… looking back on some recipes and updating. Such as measurements, seasoning, descriptions as well. So in the future there may  be some updated recipes rather than “new” recipes.

But when looking back I realised that I have a lot of super delicious recipes, and a few of them I make on repeat at home. Of course, which meals I prefer eating also depends on what season it is. In winter and autumn, I prefer soups, stews and warm dishes. Whereas in summer I prefer “Lighter” dishes such as salads, eggplant aubergine, tofu fish fingers, pasta salads etc

This post will focus just on lunch/dinner recipes, and not any snacks, breakfasts or desserts. But I do have a post coming up with all my dessert recipes, which you can save for when you want to make a sweet dessert.

So here are my top 10 recipes which I think you should all try, haha. And don’t forget to let me know if you have any recipes from my blog which you love!

 

Sweet potato pizza crust. This is infact one of my most popular recipes and most created ones…. And I can say, there is a reason for that. You can also see when I make this recipe in an Instagram video, here.

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Buffalo cauliflower wings. I love these so much, and I would make them on a weekly basis if cauliflower was cheaper, haha. Note, it does work with frozen cauliflower which you have defrosted, but fresh cauliflower does taste best.  I have different variations of this recipe: BBQ cauliflower wings, sesame cauliflower wings, airfryed cauliflower wings

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3 bean lentil and sweet potato chilli – Aside from the sweet potato crust this is in tired place with my most created and loved recipe. It is what I would call a “go to student-meal prep” dish. It is cheap to make, you can make a huge amount, works great to freeze and is so delicious. You can vary which beans and seasoning you use. I do also recommend you use sweet potato instead of regular potato as it – in my opinion – tastes best, but it is fine to use regular white potato, it is cheaper then as well.

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BBQ chickwheat – I have tried making seitan many times before and it has never really worked for me… but each time I make this recipe it turns out so good! Of course, it takes about 2+ hours to make, meaning that it may not be one of those dishes you just “throw together” on a whim. However, you can make a huge batch and freeze in, and then you have your cheap protein source for a while. For those of you who don’t know, seitan – which is made from gluten, is infact high in protein. Of course, if you have a gluten allergy or intolerance then it is not an option for you.

Also, to make a BBQ sauce for these chickwheat shreds, click HERE

 

Vegan “meat” stew – This recipe/meal has fooled many meateaters into thinking they are eating meat. It is so similar to a typical “meat” stew…. though what really adds that meaty texture is Oumph!, which is a soybased fake meat alternative. It has just the right texture. So it won’t work to switch for example tofu or a lighter fake meat, however it may work to use seitan instead.

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Red lentil and vegetable lasagne: This meal was one which i just threw together one evening when filming a “my followers decide what i eat in a day” challenge, where lasagne was choosen as my dinner. I created lasagne just using what i had at home and this was the very delicious result!! I would definitely recommend you make this, not to mention that it works great for meal prep and you can make the lasagne directly in glass lunch boxes so you have portion lasagne!

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Pasta with pea pesto – This pea pesto can be made in many different variations. I.e adding avocado, adding tofu, adding nutritional yeast, using basil or spinach….  But the base is peas, oil and then adding either spinach, fresh basil, tofu or all of them! It turns out so good and the peas give this dish extra protein.

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Eggplant schnitzel – For years I said I didn’t like aubergine… that was because I had one tried making “aubergine pizza” which was a complete disaster, and after that I was sort of scarred and not willing to try aubergine again. But then last summer I decided to give it a try again… and then I tried making eggplant schnitzel and I am hooked. The key is to cut them thin, salt them so that some of the moisture is sucked out, this makes them super crispy!

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Tofu fries & BBQ tofu Two recipes in one here… well because they are both tofu and they are both delicious. The tofu fries are more like a snack, or can work great in a salad or in a baguette! This BBQ tofu is one of my favourites and works so great just as it is or part of a salad, or with some noodles or why not use it as your “Burger” instead of meat or halloumi?

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Sweet potato and peanut butter stew   This meal is combining all of my favourites into one meal… sweet potato, peanut butter, sundried tomatoes, peanuts…. what is not to love? If you are allergic to peanut butter this would work great with almond butter as well 🙂 Also a great meal to make a huge batch and eat as your mealprep along with some rice!

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And there you see some of my favourite meals/recipes on my blog which you should definitely check out. These are also my top viewed/recreated meals and there is a reason for those 🙂

This shows how you can create a huge range of different dishes and meals as a vegan and they don’t have to be boring or tasteless. Just get creative 🙂

If you recreate any of these dishes or get inspired by the meals and recipes i share, don’t forget to tag me on Instgram (Itsahealthylifestyle) or comment on my blog!