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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Favourite vegan and health apps

There are some great apps to help you on your healthy journey. Here’s a pick of some of my favourites divided into Exercise, Health and Veganism.

Exercise 

Walk Jog Run

WalkJogRun

I use this app for finding running routes near me and if really did help me to increase the distances that I run. Shows hill climb gradients so you can avoid those particularly hilly routes or tackle them head on! Easy to follow, just don’t get caught out in the middle of the woods with no signal!

http://www.walkjogrun.net

Map by Run

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Loads of features here but I mostly use this to record all of my runs and examine my pace per mile and other stats. I love the weekly round up email detailing your week’s activities and total distance ran.

Nike Training

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A library of workouts from athletes and trainers which focus on the type of training you would like to do. You can keep track of your activities and even share them with friends if you’re feeling competitive.

Health

Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen

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Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen (the brain behind Nutritionfacts.org) allows you to record the essential foods he recommends you try to incorporate into your daily diet. Based on his book ‘How Not to Die’.

Sleep Cycle

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If you have trouble getting up in the morning, this app may be for you. It measures your sleep cycle and wakes you sometime during a 30-minute window before your alarm when you’re in the lightest sleep state ensuring you feel naturally rested.

 

Headspace

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Billed as the ‘gym membership for the mind’ , Headspace is a meditation app that suggests just 10 minutes a day can help improve concentration, happiness and relieve stress. It’s extremely accessible for the beginner and easy to follow. I can highly recommend.

Veganism

Cruelty Free beauty

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This handy guide allows you to check which cosmetic, personal care and household product companies are cruelty-free. These companies have all been given the Leaping Bunny certification so you can be assured that no new animal testing is used.

Barnivore 

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Barnivore is an online directory of vegan and vegetarian beer, wine, and liquor. You may not know but when filtering the drinks prior to bottling, companies can use things like isinglass (from fish bladder), gelatine and egg whites. This app is great to discover which brands are cruelty free when out and about.

Do you have any favourite apps?

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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How to be a healthy vegan…part 2

Here’s Part 2 of my how to be a healthy vegan post. You can check out Part 1 here.

Focus on whole foods

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Make these the staple of your meals leaving processed foods such as faux meats, cakes etc as secondary. Not only better for your body but better for the environment too as they generally involve less packaging.

Utilitse apps

headspaceThere are some great apps to help you on your healthy journey. Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen was created by the people behind Nutritionfacts.org and lets you keep track of the foods that are recommended in his book ‘Not to Die’. Headpace is a meditation app that suggests just 10 minutes a day can help improve concentration and happiness. Also, I have several Running apps that have really helped improve my time and distance. My favourites include Map by Run and Walk Jog Run. Stay tuned for a post on my favourite health and vegan apps.

Seeds 

flax-seed-1274944_960_720Nutritionally, seeds are great for providing you with healthy fats, protein and micronutrients. I always add a tablespoon of Flaxseed to my morning smoothie or sprinkle onto porridge. I also love to add pumpkin seeds and seasame seeds to salads and stir frys. And, in case you missed it, here’s my recipe for Chocolate Chia Seed pudding. https://londonveganbird.com/2016/08/22/vegan-bird-food-chocolate-chia-pudding/

Treat yourself

IMG_1806It’s true, for me, at least that if I put a ban on something (cake, for example), I will then seek it out and go eat all the cake so incorporate some less healthy choices if you fancy, just perhaps not every day. A little of what you fancy…

B12

muesli-698575_960_720As all vegans know, B12 is the one nutrient that vegans should supplement. It’s needed for your brain and nervous system to function. You can get it from fortified foods such as plant based milks, cereals, nutritional yeast flakes to name a few or by taking a supplement. For more details on B12, check out this article

Thanks for reading.
London Vegan Bird

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Vegan Bird food: 3 easy salads

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I have been eating pretty much nothing but salads for lunch for a lot of 2016 so thought I would share with you 3 of my favourites.

Mexican Fiesta Salad

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Ingredients

Lettuce, Brown Rice, Sweetcorn, Roasted red onion, Roasted red peppers, Black beans, Cherry tomatoes, Coriander, Lime. Add salsa and guacamole if desired.

Couscous Roasted veg salad 

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Ingredients

Couscous, Roasted peppers, Roasted Aubergine, Roasted Red Onion, Sliced Raw Courgette, Cherry tomatoes, Mint.

All the Greens Salad

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Ingredients

Spinach, Lettuce, Baby Broad Beans, Peas, Raw sliced Carrot, Raw Courgette, New potatoes, Avocado. Serve with Humous.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Vegan Bird Food: Oatmeal and Raisin cookies recipe

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Ingredients

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

1/3 cup Agave Syrup

1/3 cup Soy Milk

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

2 1/3 cup Plain Flour

3/4 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

2 Tsp Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp Nutmeg

1/2 Tsp Salt

2 cups Oats

1 1/2 cups raisins

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Method

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease 2 baking sheets.

In a large bowl, mix oil, agave syrup, soy milk, sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and combine  until a dough begins to form. Add in the oats and raisins.

Roll dough into walnut sized ball and place about 2 inches part on baking sheets. Press cookies down lightly with fingers.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies have spread and are lightly browned.

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Recipe adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Consider It: Luxury Vegan Chocolate

Who says vegans can’t enjoy delicious chocolate?

When I turned vegan, I thought I would miss the mass produced chocolate bars that you find in every supermarket and corner shop but actually I have just discovered a higher class of cocoa goodness.

Consider It is my latest smug discovery.  They produce handmade chocolates and truffles and all 100% dairy and gluten free as well as vegan friendly. I’m also a sucker for some pretty packaging and Consider It does not disappoint.  Check out this box of luxury, mixed truffles I received for my birthday recently.

 

Consider It truffles

 

Truffles

Every last one of these truffles was absolutely delicious and far superior to any of your run of the mill non vegan offerings. I highly recommend this box for a present or a decadent treat to yourself.

Sea Salt Bar

And the winner of my current favourite chocolate bar is the ganache filled Sea Salt Caramel Bar. Oh my, this is good. I’ve been loving the combo of chocolate and sea salt of late and this has just the perfect proportions.

Just a little tip, if it’s a sunny day and you want to go out for a run, don’t leave your chocolate under the light of the blazing sun. Here is my Consider It Easter Egg before and after it’s sunbathing session.  It still tasted divine though.

Consider It Easter

Let me know if you have checked out this brand before and what you think of it.  I, personally can not wait to try more of their range and hope that they expand their collection very soon.

http://www.consideritchocolate.com/

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Pancake Day Vegan style

In honour of pancake day tomorrow in the UK, I wanted to share some of my favourite vegan pancake recipes. I have to say, I do favour the big fluffy American style but this pancake day, I am going for a more traditional sweet crepe variety.  Nevertheless, here are a few recipe suggestions for both, whatever the mood fancies.

The British One – The Everyday Veggie has veganised the traditional British pancake recipe and it could not be simpler. For the true English style pancake, stick with sugar and lemon and prepare to replace dinner with dessert.

http://theeverydayveggie.com/super-simple-vegan-crepes/

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The Classic American One – After searching for a vegan version of Tone It Up’s protein pancakes, I came across these gluten free Banana Protein Pancakes from myvega.com and made them at the weekend. I was really impressed, especially as there is no sugar in them so makes this a particularly healthy choice. I used Pulsin Pea Protein powder and added some agave nectar and berries for a bit of sweetness. Anyone have any recommendations for vegan protein powders? I would love to try a vanilla or chocolate one.

http://myvega.com/vega-life/recipe-center/vegan-banana-protein-pancakes/

Protein pancakes

Protein pancakes

The Quick One – For a quick option, my boyfriend usually uses this recipe when he cooks my Sunday morning pancakes. This does include sugar, so is  a slightly naughtier option.  He usually adds blueberries to the batter or sometimes dark chocolate chips for an extra treat. http://www.food.com/recipe/5-minute-vegan-pancakes-132263

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The Peanut Butter One – This is the recipe I will be trying out on Tuesday as, well, any excuse to eat peanut butter and I  love the idea of the PB/banana combo.  However, I may substitute the gabanzo bean (chickpea flour) with plain or wholemeal flour depending what I have around. Sounds delish!

http://unprocessedpeople.com/?p=1324

Peanut butter banana crepe

The Chocolate One – For something a little special, these Chocolate Brownie pancakes are both gluten and sugar free making these virtually a health food. This recipe seems super easy to make and they look rather wonderful too. You should be able to get millet flour from Amazon, Whole Foods, Planet Organic or other health food stores.

http://foodsforthesoul.net/blog/2013/10/01/chocolate-brownie-pancakes-gluten-free-and-sugar-free/

Choc pancakes

For more inspiration, if you’re on Pinterest, check out this vegan pancake page full of inspiring and delicious looking pancakes..  Prepare to feel very hungry. http://www.pinterest.com/zeediblewoman/vegan-crepes-pancakes/

Happy Pancake day everyone.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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