Posts tagged protein
High protein pizza base... in minutes!

I never really worry much about getting protein on a vegan diet as my focus on real whole foods of maximum variety typically does that by default, but it is nice to know that it's easy to put together a high-protein meal when needed- particularly something like this pizza when the base itself gives a great protein boost and you can top it up with anything you like knowing that I've got a well balanced meal in the bag!

vegan High Protein Pizza Base

In addition it's always nice to have an answer to the question 'where do you get your protein?' and also offer a simple option for those who are looking for high-protein veggie-based meals.

oh and did I say... Pizza?

Yay, pizza :-)

The pizza base contains just three ingredients- quinoa, almonds and flax (plus any herbs if you wish to add them). Each ingredient is in itself a great source of protein, amongst other nutrients, Plus it couldn't be easier to make in minutes. Such a winner!

You can top the base with anything you like, I'm not a fan of fake vegan cheeses so I used home-made hummus mixed with tomato purée and then just any veggies I had to hand. This base also freezes beautifully as I have now done on multiple occasions since I first created the recipe. It makes for an amazingly speedy last minute dinner!

vegan High Protein Pizza Base

Recipe: High protein pizza base

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • ½ cup ground almonds

  • 2 tbs flax

  • 1-2 tsp mixed herbs (optional)

  • ½ tsp salt

Pizza topping:

  • 1 tbs tomato puree

  • 2 tbs hummus

  • 1 cup worth finely chopped veggies of choice- tomato, onion, bell pepper, courgette and sweeetcorn work well.

Method:

Process all ingredients together until you have a well blended slightly sticky dough. It should still be easy enough to handle and roll. I found it didn’t stick to my rolling pin at all but if this is a problem for you that’s the running pin with a little dry ‘flour’ of some kind- such as fine almond flour or protein powder. Attentively press out into pizza bases with your hands.

Once you have rolled the dough to approximately 3-4mm thick, bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes until sealed then flip over and bake for a further 10 minutes until just beginning to turn golden.

You can remove from the oven and allowed to cool and then freeze at this point or simply add all your pizza toppings and bake for 10 minutes until cooked and golden.

vegan High Protein Pizza Base
vegan High Protein Pizza Base

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My daily boost... revealed!

This is a recipe post that's a little bit different from the norm in part because it's all shot through my iPhone, not my usual slick pics of the finished product! Also because I realised that this is something I do nearly everyday yet haven't told you about before!

I realised that sometimes I forget to tell you about the little simple things I do every day, the things that make a big difference to me yet are so simple and barely a 'recipe'... however that's probably all the more reason I should!

I don't really talk much about supplements and 'superfood' powders and I will clarify here that I do not think that either are absolutely necessary or a replacement for a heathy plant based whole food diet BUT I do think they can have a important place and I want to share with you my thoughts and how I get a boost of goodness in one easy, tasty hit!

It's not going to be a lengthy post all about supplements, I just want to mention quickly what I do you take and why. B12 (not available in non-animal products) and Vitamin D (pretty essential for climates such as the UK with little sun especially in winter!) 

I also aim to take a probiotic every day, alongside drinking kombucha and eating homemade sauerkraut when possible (great for digestion and good bacteria).  I hate pills and capsules as I just can't swallow them.... BUT top tip here! Just empty the probiotic capsules into a smoothie or the energy pudding as shown below and it's so much easier as you cant taste them and they blend right in! This was a game changer for me when I started doing this abut a year ago.

On to the 'energy pudding'. I have been buying various powders as listed below and blending my own mix made from equal amounts and storing this in a tub kept in the fridge (all powders should be kept cool for optimum freshness- fridge or freeze.) I also usually add the probiotics when I make the pudding up and I then also add a tiny bit of sweetnesss (unless I used banana to mix) often by way of 1/2 tsp sugar free jam.

I either eat this as it is for a mini snack, or if I want something more substantial I add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds and a little extra liquid and let sit to firm up for a few minutes. 

For me it's a total winner when I want a little boost in the morning but not a full on breakfast (I don't often like eating much before late morning or if i'm training first thing), or the chia pudding serves me well as a post work out snack. Or make a bigger portion and have a spoonful here of there throughout the day. Options.... options!

You can add your own powders and mix-ins of choice but I have listed my favourites below (the ones I use most often are in bold). To make life even easier, Real Food Source have just started selling a new 'Energise' blend which pre-mixes many of these powders to save you buying your own individually. I now use this as a base and add my other favourites to it.

BASE: approx. 1/3 cup soy yoghurt, coconut yogurt, one mashed banana or chia pudding

POWDER OPTIONS I LIKE:

  • acai powder
  • beetroot powder
  • raw cacao powder
  • baobab powder
  • goji powder (or whole berries)
  • maca powder
  • lucuma powder
  • greens powders (add a little at a time as this is likely to have most flavour impact)

SWEETENER: (a tiny touch to taste): fruit juice, banana, sugar-free jam, stevia, maple syrup.

TOPPINGS: if you want extra indulgence or just want to change things up a bit you can add nuts, granola, chopped fruit, or as I do my Wholeplus Toppers as a sprinkle on top!

I created a FREE recipe book for Real Food Source using their energy powder blend. Great for inspiration for using various powders as an addition to my super simple daily boost! Their blend contains: white chia, raw caca, baobab, maca and coconut milk powder for a creamy finish.

You can grab the book here!


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PB&J cinnamon tofu sandwich... protein packed!

Whilst I was experimenting with Keto eating, boosting my protein without beans and pulses needed a little more planning. 

I don't tend to cook with a lot of tofu, partly because I don't really enjoy it as a meat substitute but also because tofu tends to get a bit of a bad rap on terms of digestibility and it being more processed than other food options. I also eat soy yoghurt as my go-to non dairy option (convenience more than anything) so I don't want to rely on tofu in other forms and overdo it.

All that said, there are times when it is a great low carb, high protein boost. I really enjoy it in chocolate mousses an baked croutons (recipe in my book) or now ...as a sandwich! It made great 'bread'.

It worked really well here as a sweet option. Though I imagine a savoury filling and seasoning would be good. I served it hot and crisp from the pan. If it cooled I imagine it could get a little rubbery... i'll leave you to test that :-)

I used a handful of raspberries that I mashed with chia seed to make a quick 'jam'. Depending on how much fruit you used would depend if it fell into the keto camp in terms of carb count. You could literally use a thin layer as a little taste which a big slather of peanut (or even better almond) butter.

Recipe: PB&J cinnamon tofu sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices packaged tofu (approx 8-10mm thick)
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • few drops stevia

Filling:

  • handful raspberries (or other berries)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • approx 1/4 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)

Method:

Mix the berries and chia on a small bowl and set aside.

Slice the tofu and lightly press it to rid some of the water. Warm the coconut oil in a frying pan (or griddle for pretty lines!) then add the cinnamon, vanilla and stevia and swirl around the pan to mix.

Fry the tofu slices in the oil mix until cooked through, crispy and golden- approx 5 mins turning halfway. 

Serve hot as a stack layered up with nut butter and the chia jam.

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Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Dressed up bean salad (that will last you all week!)

I've been meaning to get this recipe up on the blog for you for ages!!

I made this salad quite a few weeks ago and have since recreated it in numerous guises depending on what beans I had to hand, peas also work well. I love the fact I can simply make up a big batch (i'm talking tripling the recipe to fill a huge tub) and then eating for lunch, or dinner or as a side dish or simply to grab a spoonful when i'm in need of 'a little something' that could otherwise have turned into grabbing a cookie (yeah, you know that feeling too!)

This is most definitely my salad of the summer and so I happy when I came upon the original version (noted below) which also had a hummus accompaniment (I was being lazy with that part but by all means add it too!)  This dressing is also beautifully balanced, lovely and light with a little kick from the red chilli pepper flakes. I'm enjoying using sun dried tomato paste with my meals the moment too, but you could substitute regular tomato paste.

Tell me, what are you favourite go-to summer dishes?

Recipe: Dressed up bean salad 

Recipe adapted from this recipe by Cookie and Kate

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas or cannelli beans
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 stalks celery- chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Dressing

  • 2 tbs sundried tomato paste
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ tsp teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp red chilli pepper flakes (less or omit of preferred)

 Method:

In a serving bowl, combine the prepared kidney beans, chickpeas, onion, celery, tomato, cucumber, parsley and mint.

Make the  dressing: Mix all ingredients together and pour dressing over the bean and vegetable mixture and toss thoroughly. Serve immediately for the most flavour, or let it marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for a couple of hours or longer.

Notes: I kept this in the fridge for 4 days and enjoyed it both warmed and cold. Different beans can be used- whatever you have to hand.

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places:

 

 

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Chilled chocolate banana chunks

Phew, crazy week!  I feel like i'm using that word a bit too much recently. Too many high and lows for my liking... yup still working on the old balance thing!

You will hopefully have noticed that my e-book has been released yay!  I'm not the best when it comes t marketing- it's just not my strength and i always feel like i';m pushing things on people, BUT i am actually really happy with this little achievement and want to celebrate with you all!


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There is menu tab up top called shop- hopefully i;ll have more things in there over time. You'll also find the e-books I have written for the dal Food Source you'll notice the similarity in page design ;-)

I also gave my first event public seminar of 'plant based food for fitness' last week. Ut was so streusel leading uo to it (stress out upon myself for no good reason!!) but it went really well and i got come lovely feedback. 

So far 2014 has been filled with a few milestones! 

back to my book- there is are over 30 recipes, half are taken from the blog over the years and half are new recipes created for the book only.

This little recipe is a great example of an old recipes tweaked and taken further into a new one.

Everyone is pretty up to speed with good old chocolate pudding using silken tofu, right? That was one of the first recipes I ever created for my blog... the photos were not great back then! I re-vamoed the recipe photography for he book and then decided to take it a step further and make frozen choc banana chunks. The chocolate pudding works really well to create a thick chocolate coating. You could add flavours or other dressing if you like!


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Recipe: Chilled chocolate banana chunks

Serves 3-4 medium bowls  (depending on bowl sizes)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 packet silken tofu (approx 360g)
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbs agave (or other syrup) and approx. 1/4 tsp pure stevia to taste
  • 1 tsp flavourings (optional) orange, mint or almond extract
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (don’t skip this as it makes it set to a thicker mousse)
  • 2-3 bananas sliced in to 1 cm chunks

Method:

Add all ingredients (except bananas) to a blender and blend away until fully mixed and very smooth, the mixture will be fairly runny but will firm up further in the fridge due to the coconut oil content. Allow to set in the fridge for a little while until beginning to thicken- but still easy to work with.

Once the mixture is thick, coat the bananas and lay them on a lined sheet, or on skewers, or as mini lollies if using larger banana pieces.  

Allow to fully set in the freezer. Store in the freezer for a sweet treat nibble in times of post-Christmas chocolate cravings!

Note: Make sure you use silken tofu and not regular firm tofu as it wont blend so smoothly!


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P.s this is the chocolate mousse version as captured for the book before being made smothered around the banana! Why not try both ways!

P.s this is the chocolate mousse version as captured for the book before being made smothered around the banana! Why not try both ways!

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me here:

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'Rescue Remedy' Lentil Pot

I'm giving my fitness routine a bit of a kick.

Every so often in life, you need a kick start or a change of direction, whether it be your diet, your hobbies or even something as simple as your journey to work or the chair you choose to sit in front of the TV. It's easy to get stuck in a routine that could benefit from a little freshening up from time to time.

lentil bowl 2a.jpg

I'm trying out a few new classes at the gym, and in addition I've started weekly training with a PT to give me a sense of structure to my workout week. We'll see how it progresses.... I'll report back.  After my first session my muscles were super sore...obviously in need of that little shake up!

So, this meal was a quick 'throw it together' protein packed rescue remedy for sore muscles. Pretty much all the ingredients are renown natural anti-inflammatories and so made for a super healthy antidote to pep me up! The fact it took little more than 5 minutes to cook up is always a bonus.

Also check out these Turmeric Spiced Burgers that were specifically created for post-workout situations... namely my Tough Mudder challenge!

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Recipe: 'Rescue Remedy' Lentil Pot

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup green lentils- precooked
  • 1 cup packed spinacg
  • 1 small onion- diced
  • ½ tsp tumeric
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Cook onion and spices in a little coconut oil for 3-4 minutes, add remaining ingredients and warm through until the lentils are hot and the spinach wilted. Add salt and pepper to serve.

Note: I use pre-cooked frozen (and defrosted) lentil portions, but you could use canned cooked lentils or cook dried lentils for approx 25 minutes prior to following method.

 

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Peas & beans noodle soup- 5 minutes!

There is nothing I love more than 5-minute meal!

... Actually I change my mind, there's nothing a love more than a 5-minute dessert but let's not get distracted... here we're talking five minute meals of the savoury variety! (Note: sometimes I do have a dessert as a meal)

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I love a good dip with raw veggies, and I'm often to be found whipping up a batch at a moments notice. Now I've discovered that with just an extra couple of minutes work you have yourself a bowl of thick hot luxurious soup! The day after taking these photos I made the soup again (more dip leftovers) and added turmeric (to heal my sore gym muscles), and spinach. Its a 'throw in whatever you fancy' deal.

Yay for five minutes!

Yay for plant protein power!

Yay for warming soups and noodles!

Just so you know the soup came about as I made ridiculously large batch of the dip (for a gathering I'd overestimated) and figured I wouldn't get through fast enough just as a dip, so why not make a double batch and have it both ways. 

For extra inspiration see the posts below for ways I've used the dip.

 

Stuffed pancake stack

Stuffed pancake stack

Christmas tree flatbreads

Christmas tree flatbreads

Recipe: peas and beans soup

Makes 1 bowl of dip and 2-3 servings of soup (depending on thickness and mix-ins)

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas (thawed)
  • 1 cup cooked/canned white beans
  • A few green jalapeno peppers (optional)
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ red onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbs coriander or mint (i added fresh mint this time at the end)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Extras to make into soup: 

  • 1 cup boiling water 
  • approx. 1/2 cup or more quick cook GF noodles (I used buckwheat)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (optional) 
  • 1 cup spinach (optional) 

Method

Pour the boiling water in a smallish pan and add the noodles and turmeric, simmer for the required time till cooked (mine took 3 minutes)

Meanwhile, blend all the dip ingredients in food processor until fairly smooth.  Add to the water and cooked noodles and mix to heat through- add a little more boiling water to reach desired thickness. Mix through the spinach for a minute until wilted and garnish with fresh mint, salt and pepper to serve.

 

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Banana quinoa slice

Served hot or cold this sheet cake slice seriously hits the spot. I've made this cake a few times...and I seriously can't believe I haven't got it up on here before now...crazy!

quinoa banana 6.jpg

It's moist, dense, protein packed with a sweet banana kick… If you're an activity centred junkie in need of a healthy pick me up or simply love something satisfying for a mid-afternoon snack… Come on over and serve it hot with a slather of melty peanut butter.

This freezes superbly too and because it's pretty dense it also travels well... Whether that be to the office or backpacking up a mountain. 

Stir in some extra dried fruit, spices, seeds or nuts, just whatever you fancy to get that texture just as you like it. The quinoa gives it a great texture as it is, this is no 'airy fairy barely touched the sides cake' it's a subtly sweet snack to get your teeth into. This is one slice that will handle whatever you decide to throw at it!

You could also warm it through and serve with a little maple syrup and vegan cream (that's a thick cashew vanilla cream pictured) if you fancy getting more indulgent since this is fairly lightly sweetened cake by itself. 

Yes I have gone a bit quinoa crazy of late. It's just that it's a high protein 'seed' (not a grain- don't get confused) that seems to sit really well with my digestion and give me lots if sustenance to power me on. Plus it's so versatile I can't help but have a play in all manor of sweet and savouries... just type 'quinoa' into my search bar and you'll see :-) 

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Recipe: Banana Quinoa Slice

Makes approx. 12 slices

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup oil (I use coconut)
  • ½ cup date paste (or ¼ cup syrup of choice)
  • ¼ tsp stevia (or add another ¼ cup dry sweetener of choice)
  • 2 cups coarse ground rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbs flax/ground chia
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1 ½ cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • ½ cup flaked coconut or nuts of choice (I used walnut chunks)

Method:

Prepare the quinoa (I have pre-cooked freezer portions at the ready!)

Mix all wet ingredients (except quinoa), add the dry (except nuts) and stir through lightly to mix until smooth. Add the quinoa and nuts in the last few strokes.

Use a lined medium square baking pan (the mixture should end up approx 2cm deep) spread the mixture evenly and drag a fork across the top for texture. Bake at 180C for approx 30 mins until the top is golden and banana lightly browned at the edges.

 

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