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!! 😊

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)

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 🙂

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 🙂

 

The best homemade hummus (&how to boil your own chickpeas)

A few weeks ago I was in Israel, together with VibeIsrael, where I got to try some of the amazing food that Israel has to offer. We were predominantly in Tel Aviv, which is known as one of the vegan capitals of the world, and I can say that there is a reason for that. If you want to know where we ate or are in need of some recommendations of places to eat at if you are in Tel Aviv, then i have a post coming up real soon with some tips and recommendations.

We only visited a few places, so of course I can’t say that all places are amazing for vegan food. However, we tried both gourmet food, fast food, market places, to go pizzas, brunch places and different restuarants which all made amazing food, so I can only say good things about the food.

Of course, it is worth mentioning that it is expensive in Tel Aviv, so even if it is an amazing place for plantbased food… you might want to come there ready to spend money as you will want to try all the amazing places.

While I was there I got very inspired with all the different foods. So many different spices that are used in the food, which I want to try incorporate into some of my future recipes. However, one standard food which could be found almost anywhere was hummus. And you know I love hummus….. it is a staple in my diet and meals. But now, after trying hummus in Israel, storebought hummus just isn’t the same… and I want my own homemade version to taste even better.

So I thought it was finally time to update my hummus recipe, also sharing tips on how to prepare dried chickpeas yourself so you can make a large batch of hummus for yourself.

Below, I will also share 2 other variations of hummus you can try.

The tahini I am using in the recipe comes from Al Araz, and I got the tahini while I was in Israel…. Which makes it feel a little more authenthic.

Tips when preparing your own chickpeas:

The first is to soak them for atleast 10-12 hours. This is important as raw chickpeas have lectins, so called anti nutrients, which you don’t want to consume and can be toxic for humans. So by soaking legumes you decrease the amount of anti nutrients they have and therefore make them edible. Bubbles and foam will begin to appear during the soaking time, so you can change the water after half the time If you like.

Tips, I usually soak mine before I go to bed and then boil in the morning. Or I soak them in the morning before I head to school and then in the evening when I am home again, they will have soaked for long enough.

You can add 1 tsp baking soda in the water when they are soaking, this helps them to soften up more, which is what you want when making hummus.

Before boiling the chickpeas, you need to pour away the water that they have soaked in and rinse for 2-3 minutes to make sure they are clean.

Fill a large pot with the chickpeas and pour over water that covers the chickpeas and a little more. Bring to the stove and bring to a boil. Allow the chickpeas to boil for about 5-10 minutes, before lowering the heat to medium and covering the pot with a lid and allowing to simmer for 60-90 minutes. Note, a foam may form when the chickpeas are boiling which you should remove.

Tip, after about 40-50 minutes, add half a tbsp baking soda. This will soften the chickpeas. You can also add some onion to the water to give the chickpeas an onion flavour.

Also note, if you remove the “skin” from the chickpeas once they are cooked it will give much smoother and leaner hummus. This may take some time to do. But you can place the chickpeas in a plastic bag and sort of “roll” the chickpeas on a hard surface and that can help to loosen the skins off the chickpeas… but it is a time consuming process, but it is worth it.

Key ingredients when making a good hummus:

Good quality olive oil, which of course may not be easy to find. Fresh garlic. Good quality tahini, use the runny kind. Fresh lemon juice. Salt and pepper.

Spices: Ground cumin, coriander, sumac

And of course… what mixer you use is important. If you don’t use a high quality mixer it won’t be as smooth. My mixer isn’t as high quality as i may like, hence why my hummus isn’t 100% smooth. But nonetheless it is tasty.

Note: No, I am not saying hummus is an Israeli food, it is a middle eastern food. Certain food may originiate in certain countries, however it does not necessarily belong to a certain country either. And I am aware that the food in Israel is a mixture from different cultures, so hummus may originate in another country, but you still find a lot of it in Israel.

How to make the best hummus:

(250 grams) cooked chickpeas (c.a 2 cans). Prefarbly with no “skin”

1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup (60 ml) runny tahini (recipe to make your own tahini)

2 garlic cloves, minced

2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) olive oil (more for serving)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water or aquafaba(should be cold)

Optional: Add sumac or coriander to the mix or on top for serving

Serve with some fresh corianer or parsley, pita bread or why not some fried tofu

How to:

Add the chickpeas and tahini to your food processor. Begin mixing for 1 minute before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Note, start off with only half the liquid (oil and water/aquafaba) and add more as necessary. Keep mixing as it will take a few minutes to get it fully creamy…. don’t be scared to add more olive oil as that adds flavour.

The best is to eat it fresh, but it does store in the fridge up to 5 days if stored in an airtight jar!

Adpations to this recipe:

Roast 2-3 red peppers in the oven for 20 minutes at 200c. Note, drizzle some olive oil and salt over the peppers before hand. Add to the hummus mix. Roasted red pepper hummus | Recipe

You can aslo make beetroot hummus by adding 2-3 precooked beetroots. Note, y ou will have to add more liquid. Beetroot hummus & different types of hummus recipe

Or make some roasted carrot hummus. Similar to the roasted red pepper recipe. I.e chop carrots, drizzle over some oil and salt. Bake in the oven for c.a 30 minutes and then add to the originial hummus mix. Note, the liquid amount will have to be increased. (Roasted carrot hummus | Recipe

Other hummus adaptions:

Sweet potato hummus | Vegan recipe