19 August 2016

BBQ Tofu Protein Bowl


I've really been trying to live in the moment lately, which is why I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front. I've definitely been a bit more spontaneous, and apart from work, haven't had every moment mapped out, so when I have free time I've been spending time with my friends and having fun, in my last summer before I graduate. The other day we went to the New Forest for a BBQ, which was decided about an hour or so before we went, and it's so nice sometimes just to see where the moment takes you, rather than having everything mapped out, to fit life in around a busy schedule. So, I'm enjoying the somewhat freedom whilst I can and making the most of this summer. 


Bulgur wheat, garlic, herbs, broccoli, kale, mushrooms, tofu, BBQ sauce, sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast combine in this next dish for a wonderful BBQ  tofu protein bowl. My recipe  for this dish featured as one of the daily specials at Mad Cucumber and it sold out in under 2 hours! I've since scaled back the recipe and made a few minor adjustments, to make sure that it's extra delicious. 

Here's the bowl at Mad Cucumber:




There's always someone questioning where vegans get there protein, and as a nation we actually consume too much, however sometimes you need a little boost and if you're exercising then extra is needed for muscle repair. The recommended amount of protein for the average person is 0.8g/kg body weight. Alhough this is a protein bowl, with the ingredients from the grains to the dressing containing some protein, it's also high in other essential macro and micro nutrients. Calcium, iron and B12 are other disputed nutrients among vegan diets and you'll be pleased to note that this recipe is also rich in those too, thanks to the nutrient dense ingredients like the bulgur wheat, kale, broccoli, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast and tofu. So, if you want to use that term, yes, this is a 'super-food' bowl!


BBQ tofu was the first way I cooked tofu that I actually enjoyed it, I baked it in the oven and it went chewy and sticky and it was simply perfect. I thought it would make a great addition to this bowl in terms of nutrition but also taste and texture too. The sunflower seed dressing contributes unsaturated  (good) fat, allowing the body to absorb vitamins A, E and K in this dish, whilst also containing iron, protein, calcium and many other vitamins and minerals essential for good health. Using sunflower seeds as an alternative to my usual cashew nuts makes it not only a cheaper option, but is great for people who can't eat nuts/don't like them. When blended with garlic, salt, nutritional yeast and combined with herbs, this dressing is the perfect addition to this super charged nutrient bowl!



BBQ Tofu Protein Bowl | Serves: 4 | Time: 40 mins

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups
  • Food processor/blender
  • Sieve/fine colander
  • Large frying pan
  • Non-stick frying pan
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon/spatula

Ingredients


Bulgur Wheat:
  • 1 1/3 cups dried bulgur wheat
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms
  • 150g kale
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Large handful fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
BBQ Tofu:
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1/3 cup BBQ Sauce
Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (B12 variety)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp dried chives
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. Bring a medium sized sauce pan of lightly salted water to the boil, then chop the broccoli into small florets, slice the stem into small pieces and add to the pan, along with the bulgur wheat. Boil for around 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes, drain and put to one side.
  2. Dice the onion and fry in a large saucepan, then crush the garlic and also add to the pan. Slice the mushrooms, add to the pan and cook until most of the water has evaporated, then squeeze in the lemon juice, add the kale and allow to wilt. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and fresh parsley, then add in the bulgur wheat and broccoli, stir to combine.
  3. Meanwhile, drain the tofu and cut into small cubes. Then fry in a small amount of oil until slightly golden, then reduce the heat, cover with BBQ sauce and simmer until the sauce has fully reduced, so the tofu is fully coated and quite sticky.
  4. To make the dressing, blend the sunflower seeds with the juice of half a lemon, garlic, water, nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt. Then stir in the chives and parsley.
  5. Divide the bulgur wheat into 4 bowls, then top each with 1/4 of the dressing & tofu and enjoy!
Cassidy xx


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6 August 2016

Cavolo Nero & Roasted Chickpea Salad


Approaching my final year of my undergrad degree I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do once I graduate, my answer is still unknown, but I have learnt that I love to cook food like this, food that excites my taste buds, whilst also being balanced and healthy too. I've learnt that I love sharing the experience of food with others, through my readers, cooking for my friends and having the opportunity to educate others with nutritional knowledge. And whilst it's pretty scary that I'm graduating in a year and I'm not sure exactly what I want to do, I know what I love to do and I trust that to lead me in the right direction. So, my little piece of advice today, is no matter where you are in your life, find that thing that excites you and in whatever way possible, integrate it into your life.





Every so often I cook something that I just think I could probably live off of for week and not get sick of it, this next recipe is one of them. Cavolo Nero, Black Kale, Tuscan Kale, Lacinato Kale...or my personal favourite name - Dinosaur Kale, is the base and star of of this dish, sauteed in garlic and lemon juice, layered with smokey roasted chickpeas, crispy croutons, cherry tomatoes and a creamy sunflower seed dressing. 

26 July 2016

Portobello Pizza & Garlic Bread


Pizza is one of my favourite foods, along with many other people, but it's definitely not the healthiest food ever. My version, whilst not meant to replace pizza, is more balanced alternative to the traditional option, making it more of an every-day option. The baked portobello mushrooms are topped with a herby tomato sauce, red peppers and oozy vegan cheese, served up with a side of ciabatta garlic bread and salad. The whole meal is so delicious and whilst containing up to 4 of your 5 a day, doesn't taste like a 'healthy' meal. 


This recipe is great for fussy eaters, kids and adults alike, it's a great way of introducing more veg into a meal, whilst still delivering the flavours they may be used to. My favourite kind of recipes are those that show people just how wonderful healthy and nutritious food can be, that it's anything but boring. So this post is the perfect one to celebrate this blog turning 3! I feel like I've come so far in the last 3 years, with my education, my cooking, photography and personal growth, so much has changed for the better and I'm looking forward to what's to come.

21 July 2016

Hibiscus Mint Lemonade


In Budapest, almost every place we visited had fresh lemonade on offer, I don't really drink fizzy drinks, simply because I don't like them, so I really enjoyed all the still lemonade! Across the week we had strawberry, raspberry, mint, regular and a few others, so with the weather being so hot here in the UK, I thought it was a great excuse to make some myself. 


When it comes to summer in the UK and we have a few days of hot weather, you find that we don't quite know what to do, you will hear people expressing that though they wanted "summer", they didn't want it this hot. I'm quite fortunate by being near the sea and having work hours that allowed me to spend some time on the beach on the hottest day so far, temperatures reached 31°C here, which is pretty amazing, as temperatures are usually around 20°C.

17 July 2016

Harissa Roasted Aubergine


I've been in my new place almost a week now and the best thing about it, is having my own kitchen. As someone who loves to cook, to have unlimited freedom in a kitchen is just about the best thing ever. So I've been making use of it and have come up with a new recipe to share!


On the first night after my mum had helped me move in we went out to eat to a place just round the corner, they had a couple of options on their menu; one being a spiced aubergine crumble - with cumin, coriander, chili and a hint of cinammon coming through, and it gave me the idea to roast some aubergines, using the harissa spice rub I'd yet to use from Absolute Spice, which contains many of the spices from the dish I'd ordered.