Pho the love of soup: Vegan, crunchy goodness

IMG_5167IMG_5148 IMG_5155 IMG_5163

   ✔Refined Sugar Free

✔Gluten Free

✔vegan

So I don’t know about you, but my idea of the perfect meal is something thats quick and easy to make, healthy and delicious. Finding the balance between all three is often a difficult task. Fear not- I have the perfect solution pho you (heheh).

The crunchier the veg, the more nutrition it retains…so keep those veggies crunchy. Bok choy is an understated vegetable, very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol and works as a catalyst for burning calories and increasing weight lose. Do not underestimate the power of the mushroom either, high in vitamins B12 nd D,low in kilo joules and filling. It ticks all the super food requirements- nutrient-rich,  low in kilo joules, high in bio-active compounds, antioxidants, convenient and affordable. I ♥ mushrooms.

Tofu is an excellent source of vegetarian protein and a cholesterol-free food (as a most plant-based foods). 

As for the chili, ginger and garlic…your practically eating The Three Musketeers of the speeding up metabolism and reducing body fat revolution.

Most of us know that white rice=little nutrition so obviously the same applies to rice noodles, however the rice-to-veggie ratio (almost all veg+tofu) I use works to provide a subtle amount of carb-energy, keep you full that little bit longer and provide texture. Bean sprouts are just as delicious so it just depends how carb-conscious you really are.

Prep:10 minutes + cooking: 10 minutes

Serves 2

You will need

  • 3 stalks of bok choy
  • 3 mushrooms
  • 3 small pieces of broccoli
  • 1 spring onion stalk
  • a small handful of vermicelli noodles OR bean sprouts
  • 200 grams tofu
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 tbsp gluten free, reduced salt soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp chili flakes OR 1 fresh chili
  • 2 tsps coconut butter
  • 4 cups water

How to

  1. Chop up all your vegetables and throw them into a wok on a medium heat with one tsp of coconut butter
  2. Dice the tofu into small cubes and put into a frying pan, again with 1 tsp of coconut butter and 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  3. Add the ginger, chili and garlic into the wok after the vegetables have cooked for 5 minutes
  4. Boil 4 cups of water and pour into the wok
  5. Add the remaining soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable stock and noodles then leave to cook for a further 5 minutes
  6. Dish up the soup into bowls, add the tofu and chop up some spring onion to sprinkle on top.

Note: Coriander also tastes delicious sprinkled on top. If your using bean sprouts just add them to the wok at the same time as you would noodles but no further cooking is required.

Its that simple.

Keep Thriving! ♥ Anya

I Just Want Big Bowl of Pasta: Zuchinni Noodles w/ Spicy Tomato and Walnut Sauce

IMG_4677IMG_4669 IMG_4671

   ✔Refined Sugar Free

✔ Gluten Free

If there is something more satisfying in this world then a big stodgy, cheesy bowl of pasta, then please, enlighten me now. My tummy grumbles at the thought of creamy mushroom ravioli or heavily laden plate of cheese and tomato pasta bake. HOWEVER, we must remember that (white) pasta is not our friend.

White pasta is predominantly made from refined white flour which contains almost no dietary nutrition. It is particularly high in GI (glycemic index) carbohydrates which releases sugars into the bloodstream at a very rapid speed. This in turn causes your blood sugars to rise which triggers a rise in insulin that works to bring your sugar levels back down to a normal level (clever I know).  But here is the part that really hurts…the body deals with the rise in blood sugars by storing the pasta as fat. Pasta is spiteful. It provides so much satisfaction and then moves on to heartlessly inhibiting those fat cells around your stomach  (the reason many people have discovered that pasta “bloats” them).

So the other day I was having one of those sitting on the couch watching movies all day kind of days and naturally all I could think of was pasta. Although I’m not entirely gluten free after largely cutting it out of my diet I genuinely feel the size of a three-story house after eating pasta. This was not an option as I had to squeeze into my skins for work that evening ( I work in a sportswear store).

So cutting a pretty damn short story shorter, I then came up with this delicious recipe for the perfect pasta craving cure. I am not claiming that this recipe out does an actual bowl of pasta but I think anything that leads you to repeatedly question if what your eating is actually healthy because its so delicious, is a success. Zucchinis are super cheap at the moment, I did a quick calculation and I came to the conclusion that a bowl of zucchini noodles works out about 0.5% more expensive than a bowl of pasta…a very small sacrifice to make for a significant on your diet.

Prep: 5-10 minutes + cooking: 15 minutes

Serves 2-3

You will need

  • 3 zucchinis
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 Tsps chili flakes
  • 2 Tbps olive oil
  • A handful of rocket
  • 6 Pork Chipolatas
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Goats cheese (desired amount)

How to

  1. Peel off the green skin of the zucchinis with a potato peeler (its fairly bitter and looks less noodle-ish) Now keep peeling off strips until you reach the seeds then STOP
  2. If you have a griddle (if not use a non-stick frying pan)  place it over a medium heat and lay on the tomatoes (cut in half), the zuchinni “insides” (NOT THE NOODLES), the chipolatas and garlic clove
  3. Once the tomatoes are almost cooked add the walnuts for 1-2 minutes
  4. Using a blender or a food processor combine the avocado, olive oil, garlic clove, zuchinni insides, tomatoes, salt and pepper and chili flakes
  5. Place the zucchini noodles in a steamer for no more than 1 minute, they cook VERY quickly
  6. Chop up the chipolatas and combine with the sauce
  7. Pour the sauce over the noodles, toss with the walnuts, goats cheese and rocket

Keep Thriving! ♥ Anya