Saturday, 6 June 2015

Rice Noodle Stir-Fry with Peri-Peri Coconut Cream Sauce

Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Peri-Peri Coconut Cream Sauce. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.

Well, with all the recipe testing with the last post (Hawaiian Grilled Tofu with Macadamia Nut Coconut Rice) I've found myself with many open tins of coconut milk to experiment with! We do love Nando's Peri-Peri Sauce so I though I would try them together here with rice noodles and veggies. There is a bit of global inspiration going on here, haha - but aren't those the best dishes? 


Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Peri-Peri Coconut Cream Sauce. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.


The star of the show here is obviously the sauce. Tomatoes, onions and garlic are roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil then the whole lot is blended until smooth with some medium heat Nando's Peri-Peri sauce and full fat coconut milk. It has a perfect amount of heat, not too much, is super creamy and has great flavour - perfect in a noodle dish such as this one with lots of crisp veggies and crunchy roasted peanuts. I further added some tamari to the stir fry as the flavour of the sauce gets toned down quite a bit here but the tamari lifts it right back up. 

Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Peri-Peri Coconut Cream Sauce. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.


Obviously you can use whatever veg you like in this, I just used whatever I had in the house at the time that I thought would go well. Baby corn and beansprouts would be awesome here and you can swap with any type of noodles you like. The sauce recipe makes a lot, about 4-6 servings depending on how big a serving you like or how creamy you want it. Stir- fry recipe serves between 2-4, again depending on your choice of portion size :-)

Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Peri-Peri Coconut Cream Sauce. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.

Peri-Peri Coconut Cream Sauce:

1 Tbsp olive oil
60g shallots, peeled and halved (about 3-4)
2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
250-300g tomatoes, quartered if large, halved if small (about 3 medium-large)
¼ tsp salt 
Freshly milled black pepper, 6 grinds
200ml full fat coconut milk 
2 Tbsp medium Nando's Peri-Peri sauce

Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F. In a roasting tin add the tomatoes, shallots and garlic, drizzle over the olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well. Roast for 20 minutes shaking the pan now and again for even roasting. Tip into a blender with the peri peri, and the coconut milk and blend until really smooth and creamy. Makes 2 cups which should give you 4-6 servings.


And for the record, I am still absolutely in love with my Froothie Optimum 9400. This was silky smooth in absolute seconds! It's made my life so much easier :-)

Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Peri-Peri Coconut Cream Sauce. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.

Rice Noodle Stir-Fry with Peri-Peri Coconut Cream Sauce:

150g Thai rice noodles
½ Tbsp coconut oil
100g broccoli, cut into florets and par boil
60g mangetout, halved on the bias
60g carrot, julienned
60g red pepper, sliced thin
50g spinach, sliced
2 spring onions, finely chopped
20g roasted peanuts, chopped
1 - 2 Tbsp tamari, to taste (or soy sauce for not gluten-free)
1/2 of the Peri Peri Coconut Cream Sauce

Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the rice noodles, push down into the water, give it a stir then turn off the heat and put the lid on. Let it sit for 10 minutes off the heat then drain and rinse under cold water. 

Par boil the broccoli for a couple of minutes until just fork tender and bright green and drain, run some cold water over them. 

In a large wok heat the coconut oil and add the carrots, peppers and mangetout. Stir fry until tender crisp. Add the broccoli and heat through. Add the noodles, sauce and 1 Tbp of tamari/soy sauce and heat through. Taste and add more tamari/soy sauce if need be. (I added 1 Tbsp and served the dish with some tamari on the table where I did drizzle a *little* more on mine). Stir in most of the spring onions and peanuts. Serve with the remaining spring onions and peanuts sprinkled over top.

Serves 2-4 depending on your appetite!

Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Peri-Peri Coconut Cream Sauce. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.




Disclaimer: this post contains affiliated links to Froothie. Any blender purchased through the link sends a little commission my way which helps to support the blog here, so, thank you! All views expressed are my own however :-)

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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice


Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.


Well, I figured it was about time I took a break from the cookies and finally posted a savoury dish - and a whole meal this time! I've been absolutely loving this lately, in fact it's been my lunch most of the past week :-) The tofu is marinated in a gorgeous mixture of tamari, pineapple juice, coconut milk and seasoning then grilled until nicely singed. The rice is short grain brown rice baked in a mixture of water and coconut milk with spring onions and toasted macadamia nuts stirred in at the end....and for the record I'm always going to make my rice this way from now on....it just turns out effortlessly perfect. Lastly I also threw some pineapple on the grill as a side dish and served it all with some of the leftover marinade as a sauce. I also served mine with a virgin pina colada (as it was lunch and I'm not that bad!) A real one would be perfect with this for dinner :-)


Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.


First, the tofu: I was inspired here by the "Hawaiian Grilled Chicken" recipe by The Girl Who Ate Everything. Most of the time when I am looking for a new tofu marinade I search meat marinades as they work wonderfully and this one is gorgeous! I did make a few changes however, I swapped the water with pineapple juice for more Hawaiian flavour, reduced the brown sugar to make up for that, added some smoked paprika, increased the sesame oil a tad (as I love it) and left the spring onions for the rice. 


Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.


This is seriously amazing tofu!! I left it to marinade about an hour, grilled with some coconut oil and brushed more marinade on while grilling and served with more marinade to drizzle (or spoon) over while eating because it is that good. (I even drizzled it over my rice and yes....dipped the pineapple into it. No shame!



Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.


Second, the rice: here I also took advice from Christy at The Girl Who Ate Everything as she recommended serving the chicken with coconut rice and she suggested just swapping half the water you cook the rice in with coconut milk. However, I got to thinking this would be nice baked as it would accentuate the creaminess of the coconut milk in there AND it means while you are busy grilling the tofu the rice can just get on with baking in the oven - so much easier! So, I've based this recipe on Alton Brown's recipe for Baked Brown Rice but swapped the butter with coconut oil, replaced some of the water with coconut milk and used short grain brown rice.




It turns out perfect every time and tastes absolutely amazing! I further added some sliced spring onions and chopped toasted macadamia nuts to keep the Hawaiian theme going. The crunch and flavour of the nuts in there is wonderful :-) 

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu:

Yields 2 servings

200g tofu, medium firm 
¼ cup / 60ml tamari for gluten-free or soy sauce
¼ cup / 60ml pineapple juice
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp toasted sesame oil 
100ml full fat coconut milk (6 Tbsp + 2 tsp)
2 tsp coconut oil to fry

Slice the tofu into 4 thin rectangles, about 1cm then press between paper towels to remove as much water as possible. Repeat with more paper towels if necessary. When they are fairly dry, pierce all over with a fork to help them absorb the marinade and place them in a dish and pour over the marinade. 

Please note that all the following photos are from me making just 1 serving of the tofu and rice...


Leave this to marinade for at least 1 hour, flipping them once or twice. I didn't refrigerate mine as the coconut milk thickens up too much in the fridge.

Preheat a grill pan until very hot and add the coconut oil, brush it all over as it melts then remove the tofu from the marinade and place on the grill pan. While the tofu is cooking also slice a pineapple into wedges (leave the skin on) and pop them on the grill as well. Don't try to flip the tofu until it is well grilled as they will stick if they are not ready to flip. 


Once flipped, brush with a little more marinade and if you want criss cross marks like I did flip again the other way on both sides. Turn over the pineapple when ready as well. Transfer any remaining marinade into 2 little serving bowls to serve with the dish. 


Baked Macadamia Nut Coconut Rice:

¾ cup / 150g short grain brown rice, rinsed
1¼ cup / 300ml water
½ cup / 125ml full fat coconut milk
2 tsp coconut oil or macadamia nut oil, I used coconut
½ tsp salt
2 spring onions, finely chopped
30g macadamia nuts, chopped and toasted (about 3 Tbsp)
Chive flowers, optional but recommended

Preparing the macadamia nuts: (you can do this while the rice is baking)....

Chop some unsalted macadamia nuts, not too fine - it's nice to have the crunch in there!
Place in a dry frying pan and toast until lightly golden brown. Inevitably the smaller bits will get golden before the big pieces. That's fine - just don't let them burn. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.


For the rice: preheat oven to 190C/375ºF. Rinse the rice well and place in a suitably sized baking dish. Bring the water, coconut milk, oil and salt to the boil in a small saucepan. Pour this over the rice, give it a stir and cover tightly with foil.


Pop this into the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Now, mine is always spot on 1 hour but for your first time making this, as all ovens are a bit different, I suggest giving it a look at 50 minutes just to make sure it hasn't baked dry. If it has simply add a splash more hot water and give it a stir, recover with foil and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed.


Add the sliced spring onions and toasted macadamia nuts and give it a stir. I also highly recommend adding some chive flowers if you have them here - they are just so pretty and taste great in the rice :-)


To plate up: divide the rice, tofu and pineapple among 2 plates with the serving bowl of sauce and scatter over some more chive flowers. Enjoy!

Grilled Hawaiian Tofu with Baked Macadamia Nut & Coconut Brown Rice. Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe.




Nutritional Information: for 1 serving of rice, tofu and grilled pineapple. 

Calories: 442
Protein: 13.4g
Fat: 16.4g
Sat Fat: 5.5g
Carbs: 46.6g
Sugar: 12.2g
Fibre: 5.2g
Calcium: 362mg
Sodium: 1221mg

Note: these figures include all of the marinade which you are unlikely to use (no, even I didn't!). 920mg of the sodium figures there are coming from the tamari/soy sauce so don't worry about the high number as you will actually be using much less :-)

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Monday, 18 May 2015

Vegan & Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan and Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now you'll have to forgive me for posting almost the same recipe as my last post but I've developed a gluten-free version of the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and these are SO good I had to get this recipe up right away :-) Recently my husband has been suspecting gluten, or at least wheat, is possibly causing him some problems. I've been having fun adapting recipes and making gluten-free meals at dinner but I also knew I had to make those cookies gluten-free for him. I mean they JUST came into our lives!!

Vegan and Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


I am so happy with how these turned out, I suspect no one would guess these are vegan let alone gluten-free. Now I don't have a lot, or any, experience with gluten-free baking but hey - these worked! I've simply swapped the flour with a mixture of gluten-free oat flour and cornstarch here and that's all they needed. The oats give a great oatmeal cookie kind of flavour which goes wonderfully with the peanut butter and chocolate. As you can see, I've also crammed these cookies with the highest possible amount of chocolate chips that could fit in there! Of course, you can always reduce them but I'm not sure why you would want to do that - ha! ;-)

~ Recipe Notes ~

• It's essential you use certified gluten-free oats or oat flour here, regular oats are not gluten-free. 
• For the oat flour I simply made my own by blending gluten-free oats in my fab Optimum 9400 Blender. It took seconds. You can buy gluten-free oat flour but I would assume my way is a lot cheaper.
• I used regular smooth peanut butter - the type with added sugar and salt here.
• As mentioned above - there are a LOT of chocolate chips in these, if you prefer less simply halve the amount. They'll still taste great :-)
• My vegan butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips were all naturally gluten-free but of course, do check your labels.


Vegan and Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Yields 12 cookies

3 Tbsp vegan butter (45g)
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter (80g)
1½ Tbsp light brown sugar
1½ Tbsp white sugar
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup gluten-free oat flour (60g)
2 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour in UK/IRE)
1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 Tbsp water
½ cup vegan dark chocolate chips (100g)

Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

In a small bowl whisk together the oat flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder.

In a larger bowl beat the butter and peanut butter together until really smooth. Add the sugars and beat until light and well mixed, beat in the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture with the water and mix until it all comes together. Add the chocolate chips and mix well.

Take about a heaped tablespoon of the dough and using your hands squeeze and roll into a smooth ball then place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used, you should get  12 cookies. 

Using your hand, gently press down on each ball just to flatten slightly then use a potato masher to gently press down again so you get a design on top and they go a little more flat but don't over press!

Pop them into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are just turning lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the tray for 10 minutes to firm up. Now transfer them to a wire rack to cool (or eat them while nice and warm!)


Vegan and Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies



Nutritional Information: per cookie (with the full amount of chocolate chips)

Calories: 139
Protein: 2.5g
Fat: 8.3g
Sat Fat: 1.3g
Fibre: 1.2g
Carbs: 8.9g
Sugar: 8.9g
Sodium: 67.7mg


Thursday, 30 April 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This was one of those recipes that came out of utter desperation - a sudden crazy craving for peanut butter cookies! I've always loved a good peanut butter cookie, it was always one of my go-to cookie recipes when I was a child - yes, baking at a young age I was :-) 


Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


Here I decided to throw in some chocolate chips for obvious yum reasons and I am so happy with the outcome; seriously one of the best PB cookies I've had, vegan or not! Perfect texture and flavour, dead simple and ready in no time....yay! Hope you like them :-)

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Yields 12 cookies

¼ cup vegan butter, softened
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
¼ cup caster or granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup + 2 Tbsp plain flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ heaping cup vegan chocolate chips (50g)

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and peanut butter until well mixed. Add the sugars and vanilla and beat until well mixed and slightly fluffy. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon until no more flour shows then stir in the chocolate chips. The mixture should look slightly crumbly by hold together if you give it a squeeze.

Take about tablespoons full of the mixture and squeeze and roll into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough, you should get about 12 cookies here. Now take a potato masher and give each one a gentle stamp just to flatten slightly - don't take your frustrations out on them here and pound them into oblivion :-) Just a little stamp down!

Pop them in the oven and bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown, especially around the edges. Remove from the oven, they will be soft so leave them on the tray for 5 minutes to firm up then transfer to a wire rack to fully cool. 


Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Note: the 2 missing cookies here were NOT from me being an impatient greedy so and so. Sadly 2 slid off the tray and straight on the floor when I was moving the tray - oh the humanity!
Now, I just slide the baking paper with the cookies onto my wire rack. Let cool slightly and either enjoy warm with melty chocolate loveliness or wait until they are fully cool. Lovely with a glass of ice cold almond milk :-)


Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies



Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutritional Information: based on 1 cookie out of 12

Calories: 132
Fat: 6.5g
Sat Fat: 1.2g
Protein: 2.0g
Fibre: 0.8g
Carbs: 14.5g
Sugar: 10.7g
Sodium: 134mg

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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Carrot & Thyme Tart

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

This was lovely - light and flaky puff pastry spread with almond feta and topped with caramelized red onion and soft and tender thyme glazed carrots. I was inspired here by this Carrot Tart Tatin dish on BBC Good Food. Like most people I am drawn to anything in pastry but I loved the idea of carrots taking the centre stage here as they are usually confined to a side dish or are just another component  like in a stew. And why shouldn't they take centre stage? Carrots are awesome! 


Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.


Now, I made a few changes to the tart tatin recipe - both with the ingredients and cooking method. I've replaced the reblochon cheese with the awesome almond feta, I omitted the sun-dried tomatoes as I just didn't see them going in this and instead of making a tart tatin which is an upside down tart, I made a regular, right side up tart :-) 

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

I also kept thinking of other flavours that go really well with carrots and considered adding them to the tart. Things like walnuts, orange and parsley for example. I was thinking some chopped roasted walnuts in the tart would work well or even some orange zest stirred into the almond feta would be nice. In the end I decided to add all those flavours to the side salad instead which worked really well. It's a wonderful accompaniment to this tart with mixed baby leaf, roasted walnuts, fresh parsley, orange segments and my go-to balsamic dressing. A wonderful meal!

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

~ Recipe Notes ~

• The size of this tart is really up to you, I unintentionally made mine smaller than I wanted. What you see in the photos here only served 4 people and they were pretty small slices at that. You might prefer to make this rectangular as that is how ready rolled puff pastry comes. It would be a better size and that way there would be no leftover pastry to waste. In my head however this was a round tart so I went that way but it's totally up to you. The amount of carrots given here will be enough either way....and if you have leftover carrots they reheat just fine or throw them in a stew. If you have too many onions they go great in the side salad!
• The first time I made this I used the almond feta after it has been drained but before it's baked. This way it is much easier to spread onto the pastry and it still gets baked in the oven. The second time I made the tart I did use already baked feta. This was harder to spread onto the pastry but I do think it had slightly better flavour. So basically, you can use it either way! :-)
• Most store bought puff pastry is vegan but of course, check your labels as all brands are different.
• Apologies for not providing the nutritional information on this one but it will entirely depend on what size you make the tart - particularly with how much pastry and almond feta you use. FYI -my small tart worked out at 298 calories for 1 slice out of 4.

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

Carrot and Thyme Tart:

375g peeled carrots
1 tsp light brown sugar
4 sprigs thyme leaves 
2 Tbsp vegan butter
1 red onion, sliced (can use white as well)
Freshly ground black pepper
Almond feta, drained but not baked (see recipe notes above)
Ready rolled puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F with a baking sheet inside.

Melt 1 Tbsp of vegan butter in a frying pan and add the sliced red onion. Add about 9 grinds of freshly ground black pepper and fry on low heat until very soft. Pop a lid on now and again and if it starts to look dry add about 1 Tbsp of hot water and allow that to cook off. When the onions are very soft and lightly caramelized transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Put the carrots, other tablespoon of butter, sugar and thyme leaves in a wide shallow frying pan with a lid. Note: ignore my photo here and add the thyme leaves not the whole sprig as I discovered they are hard to remove after cooking!




Add enough water till it just comes up to the carrots.



Cover, bring to a simmer then cover and cook until the carrots are almost tender. Remove the lid, turn up the heat and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are soft and lightly glazed looking. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. 



Unroll the puff pastry and either leave it as a rectangle or cut out a circle (mine was 23cm). Place on a sheet of baking paper. Score another smaller circle inside, leaving a 1½” border (or do the same with the rectangle). Make sure you don't cut all the way through here, you just want to score it. Pierce the inner circle with a fork to stop it rising while baking. 




Spread the ‘forked’ area evenly with some of the almond feta, a thin spread will do as it's so flavourful.




...then scatter over the onions. Note to self: cooked red onions can look like worms....don't use in photos! lol...


Lay the carrots over top in a nice design - make sure you overlap them well as they will shrink up in the oven a bit.



Lastly, carefully brush the top of all the carrots with some melted butter, this will help stop them drying out in the oven. (I just melted some in the same pan I just cooked the carrots in.)


Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

Remove the preheated baking sheet from the oven and carefully slide the baking paper with the tart onto the baking sheet. Pop it all into the oven and bake for 25 mins or until the pastry is golden, puffed around the edges and cooked through.


Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.

Remove from the oven and leave to stand for a few mins. Transfer to a cake stand or serving plate. Serve warm with the Baby Leaf, Roasted Walnut and Orange Salad with Balsamic Dressing.


Baby Leaf, Roasted Walnut and Orange Salad with Balsamic Dressing


Baby Leaf, Roasted Walnut and Orange Salad with Balsamic Dressing:

80g mixed baby leaf: spinach, lambs lettuce, red chard etc...
handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, torn
1 - 2 navel oranges, segmented
50g walnuts
1/4 tsp olive oil
pinch of sea salt

Dressing:
1 ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ Tbsp balsamic dressing
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Using your hands toss the 1/4 tsp of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt with the walnuts until fully coated. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes, giving the pan a shake halfway through. Remove and let cool.

Mix together the lettuce, parsley, orange segments and cooled walnuts. Whisk together the dressing until smooth then pour over and toss it all together. Serve immediately.

Vegan Carrot and Thyme Puff Pastry Tart with Almond Feta and Caramelized Red Onions.




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