Tofu and Mushroom Stroganoff

Aah pasta…if only I could justify having it every night but sadly not.  However, as a keen runner, I like to make it part of my weekly run fuel nutrition regime the night before a long run. Here’s, without doubt, my favourite carbtastic pasta recipe ever.  It’s creamy and indulgent and most importantly easy to make.

Ingredients

225g pasta

¾ cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours

225g mushrooms, thinly sliced

396g extra–firm tofu, sliced into squares or strips

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt + pinch

2 cups vegetable stock

1 medium yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp mixed herbs

Method

Soak cashews for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Drain and add them to a blender along with the 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth. Blend until very smooth.

For the tofu, make sure that it is dry and slice into squares or strips.  Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add the oil. Sauté the tofu along with pinch of salt for 5 minutes or so, until it’s just slightly browned. Set the tofu on a plate whilst you make the sauce.

In the same pan in which you cooked the tofu, still on a medium heat, add the oil and sauté the onion in the oil along with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or so.

Now add the mushrooms and thyme and cook until the mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 more minutes. Add the rest of the stock (1.2 cup), tomato paste, remaining ½ tsp salt, and pepper, stir, and turn the heat up to high. Turn back down to medium, once sauce starts to thicken.

Pour in the cashew mixture. Stir until well combined and let it thicken for about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add the tofu carefully. Serve over your favourite pasta (this is also great with rice or quinoa) and with your favourite greens (broccoli, of course for me).

I would love to know if you try this and your favourite greens to serve it with.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Ping Pong vegan menu

Anyone for Dim Sum? I love that more and more chain restaurants are now offering a vegan menu and this was a new discovery for me this week. Ping Pong specialises in Dim Sum and sharing platters all with an asian flavour, of course.

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Vegetable Spring rolls and Mushroom and Spinach Dumplings

If you’re hungry, don’t be fooled by thinking these are small portions, you will be more than satisfied. We started off with  sharing the spring rolls, trying both the tofu and truffle and mixed vegetable varieties. Both equally as delicious.

The spinach and mushroom dumplings were also out of this world. Complete melt in your mouth goodness.

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Braised Chilli Aubergine Rice Pot

We shared the braised chilli aubergine rice pot and the enormous cashew nut rice bowl with bean curd. Both were outstanding.

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Cashew Nut Rice Bowl with Bean Curd

Don’t forget to also try the iced lychee tea. A total triumph.  Unlike Joey from Friends (outdated 90s/00s’ reference here) , if you actually like to share food, this is the perfect place for you. All tied up in a great atmosphere with friendly, helpful staff to boot.

Find out more here:

https://www.pingpongdimsum.com

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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2017: In Review

I’m aware I’ve been very quiet on here of late but hopefully that’s about to change as I really want to get back into the LVB blog life again.

To ease myself in and remind me of what a pretty good year I’ve had, here are some of my highlights from 2017.

Moving back to Shire

2017 saw me moving into my own place in the town where I grew up. Something I never thought I would do but I now know in my heart it was right thing. Being back in the countryside, near my friends and family is where I’m meant to be right now.

London marathon

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My second marathon and it was a toughy. In hindsight, I definitely over trained for this one, rocking up to the line with 3 20 milers, a 21 and a 22 under my belt. By the time April had swung round I had most definitely lost my running mojo. Still, the atmosphere pulled me round and the celebratory Wagamama with my friends was nearly worth it.

Lake District and Lakeland Trails

One of my favourite races last year, the Coniston Half Marathon made me fall back in love with running. It was a challenging and hilly course but so beautiful and spending the weekend with friends made it all the more wonderful.

Northampton Half Marathon

Sometimes, not often for me, you get those races where everything falls in to place. Having been ill the night before, my hopes of a sub 2 hour were left by the wayside but my friends who also happened to be Northampton Half pacers had other ideas. Running with my Run Club was so special and I enjoyed every moment. I finally got that elusive sub 2 finish to top off the day. Oh and that’s me in the middle of my gorgeous friends who also smashed it that day!

Florida

One of my favourite places in the world, I was lucky to tag on to a family holiday and visit Indian Shores in Florida again this year. Running on the beach everyday was a definite highlight and it was great to see how many more vegan options/places.

So many events, races and activities planned for 2018 so stayed tuned.

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LVB’s Favourite Vegan Runners

Looking for some running inspiration? Here’s 5 incredible vegan athletes with amazing achievements who are wonderful advocates for the plant based lifestyle.

Scott Jurek

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Named one of the greatest runners of all time, Scott Jurek is a famed ultra runner completing 100 mile races like they’re going out of fashion. Scott’s excellent book, Eat and Run is a wonderful account of his running journey with some fantastic vegan recipes thrown in there to be sure to silence the meat loving critics.

Rich Roll

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Ah the man, the legend.  If you haven’t heard of Rich Roll prepare to be educated and inspired. A former lawyer turned author, ultra runner and public speaker. Rich’s not to be missed podcast includes inspiring guests taking on topics such as wellness, health and general life advice.  You can check out Rich’s podcast here.

Morgan Mitchell

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Morgan Mitchell is a sprinter who specialises in the 400 metres. She’s represented Australia on numerous occasions including at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Morgan thanks her vegan lifestyle for improving her fitness and performance.

Fiona Oakes

Fiona-OakesVegan since the age of 6, Fiona runs Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary which provides a home for life to around 400 rescued animals, both domestic and ex-farm.  Fiona holds 5 marathon course records and has finished over 50 marathons whilst proudly wearing the Vegan Runners shirt. Furthermore, Fiona is a patron of the Captive Animal Protection Society.

Carl Lewis 

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Carl Lewis is an Olympic gold medal winner and applauded advocate for the vegan lifestyle and has said “My best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet.” He believes that switching to a vegan diet can lead to improved athletic performance.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

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LVB’s Marathon Training Diary – week 15

Distance clocked this week: 37 miles.  4 runs. A pretty good week for me starting with my long run, a few speedier shorts ones even on tired legs and a good fast run with my friends at run club.

Long run: 22 miles. My last long run before the big day. Again the first 10 miles were pretty good and then the route started to get tougher with lots of hills which I struggled with this week. Still, it was a beautiful day and some wonderful views to keep me going.

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Nutrition: Keeping it simple now I’m winding down to the marathon with soups, salads, stirfrys and pasta. Also it’s the return of the overnight oats for breakfast.

What am I listening to? No new podcasts for me this week, still loving the Happiness Project and Desert Island Discs.

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Cross Training: Very little this week as it’s been a busy one but trying to fit in some toning exercises and weights at home where I’ve had time.

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Lessons Learnt: My trainers have started hurting my feet as I’ve exceeded more than 400 miles since December so my lesson would be to buy new trainers before permanent damage occurs.

LVB’s Favourite Vegan Energy Gels and Fuel

As  you may know, I’m currently training for my 2nd marathon and I’ve therefore been experimenting with nutrition and fuelling whilst on my long runs for extra energy and that much needed boost when the going starts getting tough.  Here are some of my favourite ways to fuel up.

Clif Bloks

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From the genius that brought us the amazing and vegan friendly Clif Bars, these energy chews are easy to consume on the go as they basically melt in your mouth and they taste just like sweets. I love the Strawberry flavour.

SIS Science in Sport

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Probably my favourite gel as the slightly watery consistency makes them super palatable and easy on the stomach. They come in tons of flavours but my favourites are the Blackcurrant and Coffee.

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I tend to go for the Salted Caramel flavour towards the end of a really long run as a final sugary boost.  Not for everyone as the consistency is rather thick but definitely for those of you with a sweet tooth (like me),

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High5 energy gels are no trouble to open (very important whilst running along), also light on your stomach and surprisingly tasty. Try the Raspberry variety.

Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake

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A late discovery for me but a great one.  This mint cake tastes just like the inside fondant of an After Eight. It’s perfect for when you are tired of gels and want something a little more substantial.

So those are some of my favourite products to fuel me for my longer runs but it really is a question of trying what’s right for you.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

 

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

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LVB Marathon Training Diary – week 14

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Distance clocked this week: 33 miles. 4 runs. Had some great runs with the club, getting out into the fields and off road for some beautiful views. My shorter runs on my own were tougher this week due to general tiredness.

Long run: 19 miles. A long run with my club and it was an absolutely glorious day. We took it easy and had a thoroughly lovely time. Even though I had 21 miles planned, I was happy with the 19 as the majority of it was on trails which meant that some of the terrain was quite tough. Muddy puddles included.

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Nutrition: A good week for nutrition by reducing my sugar intake.

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What am I listening to? Book podcasts. Back in reading mode, I’ve been listening to The Readers and the Penguin podcast. Also, excitedly working on my London Marathon playlist.

Cross Training: I added in an extra gym session this week focusing on strength exercises and really enjoyed it. Would like to add in more classes especially as tapering is imminent.

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Lessons Learnt: It’s ok to be a bit more relaxed with my training schedule and not worry too much about ticking off the exact mileage as long as I’m progressing. I skipped a run the day after my long run as I listened to my body which was telling me to rest.

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5 Vegan Easter gifts

Easter is around the corner and every year the vegan offering of Easter eggs and gifts gets more extensive. Here’s my pick of some of my favourites:

 KamAlive Chocolates £3.99

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The first of our veganised creme egg alternates. This egg has a thick and rich 80% raw chocolate shell filled with a smooth cashew cream.

CocoCaravan 4 Boxes £21

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These hand made vegan easter eggs are made with smooth dark chocolate and filled caramel. Each box contains 8 caramel filled easter eggs. Perfect to share with the family…or not.

Moo Free Bunnycomb Egg £4.99 (approx) 

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It’s great to see this brand becoming more widely available as it’s now being stocked in major supermarkets. Bunnycomb is definitely my favourite variety. This dairy free chocolate egg has been infused with pieces of vegan friendly honeycomb toffee. Delish!

Consider It Giant Dream Egg £20

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The second of our vegan friendly creme eggs comes from one of my all time favourite chocolate brands, Consider It. A smaller version is available but really why bother?

Montezuma Dark Chocolate Cheeky Bunnies £4.99 and Dark Chocolate Button Egg £9.99

Montezuema continues to impress with it’s delicious vegan offering. I’m loving their chocolate button filled egg and cheeky dark chocolate bunnies.

Have I missed out your favourite? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am running the London Marathon for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

Follow me on Instagram: London Vegan Bird

 

LVB Marathon Training Diary – week 13

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Distance clocked this week: 24 miles. 2 runs. A bit of a fail of a week as I had a cold so after my long run, I only managed one more short one which was a big struggle for me.

Long run: 21 miles. What a tough run. It was a mental struggle for me this week as physically I actually felt fine. The first 10 miles were pretty enjoyable taking in a waterside view but after yet another route confusion,  the wind seemed to arrive with vengeance and I just wanted to get home. Still, I always feel so accomplished afterwards and it’s great preparation for the sure to be metal aspects of the marathon.

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Nutrition: I definitely noticed a lack of appetite this week due to illness (very unusual for me) so I just tried to drinks lots of smoothies and eat loads of veg to ward away my cold.

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What am I listening to? More Desert Island discs – if you haven’t  checked out the Bruce Springsteen episode, it’s definitely worth a listen. What a legend.

Cross Training: No cross training for me due to my cold unless you count sleeping.

Lessons Learnt: If you’re not well, don’t feel guilty about not being able to follow your plan. Take the time to recover properly first and come back stronger.

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Vegan Mockumentary – Carnage by Simon Amstell

 

Set 50 years into the future, this film by Simon Amstell is a great new concept movie which takes a look at the absurdity of the cognitive dissonance experienced by the world at large. Featuring some great acting  talent and cameos, it focuses on a fictional 2067 in which meat, dairy and eggs have been outlawed.

Vegans are often accused of being preachy and self-righteous, but this film is none of those things. It takes a comedic look at the activities of the modern world’s appetite.

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Footage showing the realities of the meat, dairy and egg industry, is interspersed with lighter clips taking a tongue in cheek look at the advertising industry, celebrity chefs and TV programmes perpetuating the normality of the animal eating world.

Ok, so not perfect but if it goes any way into making people stop and think, it serves a purpose to communicate with the mainstream audience.

Watch it now on the BBC iplayer

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

Follow me on Instagram: London Vegan Bird

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