I’m going one better on Meat Free Mondays, by following up with Tofu Tuesdays. Tofu Tuesdays is to encourage at least one vegan meal a week. As tofu is so versatile each week is gives rise to a totally different flavour. You can make a huge array of tasty dinners with this one staple item. The brand I use is available in most supermarkets, it’s vegan, organic and supplied by Cauldron.
For this week’s Tofu Tuesday I was craving something hearty. That’s how my peri-peri coated tofu recipe came to be. Crispy wedges of tofu, marinated in a rich peri-peri inspired sauce, breaded & grilled to crispy perfection. Served with wholemeal rice and stir-fried garlic broccoli. A healthy week day meal that packs a load of flavour. I had some left over salsa which made a welcome addition also.
One thing to remember though is that tofu tastes better if you give it time to marinate. Ideally, you want to be preparing your tofu the night before to really let the flavours sink in. Not only this but I squeeze the tofu dry before I even think about the marinade. This is a highly techical process that involved finding heavy kitchen objects!
If you are a tofu sceptic then this is the dish for you. It’s taken me a few attempts to make tofu flavoursome enough. If you’re willing to do the prep work and wait overnight, it’s so worth it.
My willing partner who, as my taste tester, has had a number of tofu dinners, has even crowned this the best yet. What made it even better was that the evening sun was blasting. Eating al-fresco is one of my favourite things about the summer. Lovely! If only every Tofu Tuesday had such nice weather.
PS: A slightly naughtier alternative to grilling is shallow frying the tofu.
Crispy Peri-Peri Marinated Tofu
A vegan dinner, loaded with peri-peri goodness.
- 400g Firm Tofu
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp BBQ Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Passatta or Tomato Puree
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Tsp Onion powder
- 1/2 Tsp Mustard (optional)
- 1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- Pinch Hot Chili Powder
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 Cup Breadcrumbs
Prepare the tofu. Wrap it in kitchen roll and press for at least 10 minutes to remove some of the water. Once this is complete, cut the tofu into rectangular wedges and repeat the pressing process.
Prepare the marinade. In a bowl combine the olive oil, bbq sauce, worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, lemon juice, minced garlic, onion powder, mustard, smoked paprika, chili, salt & pepper. Mix the ingredients well until fully combined. If the mixture is too thick you can add more puree.
In a flat dish lay out the tofu. Cover in the marinade, ensuring you turn each piece of tofu so it is covered on both sides. Cover the dish with clingfilm and put into the refrigerator. Ideally, ths tofu should marinate overnight for full flavour.
Retrieve the tofu from the fridge and uncover. Using a spoon, sprinkle over breadcrumbs on each slice of the tofu. Turn and repeat on the other side so that each wedge is full coated.
To cook, arrange the tofu on a grill and heat for 8-10 minutes either side. I like the tofu to be crispy as possible, so for the final minute or two I move the grill rack higher to finish it off.
Serve the wedges with wholemeal rice and a side of salsa. For a bit of greenery, add stir fried broccoli with garlic.
Running is a lonely sport, or so I always though…
When I started off running outdoors I wasn’t that confident, so going it alone was fine for me. Yet now I have been doing it for years I craved something slightly different.
I recently decided to venture out on some new routes and realized they are a hell of a lot longer than I thought I was capable of. Result! So with this new found confidence I thought it’s about time I try to get out there and join some of my fellow running enthusiasts. I’ve been so surprised and excited by what is on offer locally for runners. So here’s a round-up of my first three ventures:
3 Local Running Events in Watford
Cassiobury Park, Watford
My first ever group run. On a cold, dreary Saturday morning I headed to Watford with a friend and was introduced to this great little community. Despite the fact is was seriously chilly and raining there was around 200 people there and ready to kick start their day with a jog. These events are weekly, free, and run completely by volunteers (who were all really friendly and encouraging).The course is 5k and had a range of abilities. Oh and at the end they record your time with a barcode, you get an email through telling you all your stats. Throughly impressed. In case you’re wondering, the picture below is from my second, sunnier, park run!
(photo credit Glyn Jagger)
Beer and running? You bet. Over the weekend I happened to be enjoying a beer at the Watling Street Brewery (a great bar in Watford with the brewery attached). It was there that I was made aware of a weekly run that starts and ends at the bar, with a free pint for all runners. What a great concept. Held every Wednesday, there are three routes so great for all abilities, set on a pretty trail through parks and woods.
I turned up that very Wednesday on my own. As I walked through the door I was greeted by owner, Rudi, who remembered my name and introduced me to the group, so no ice to break either. After the run everyone sets themselves along a big table to enjoy the runners high and a refreshing beer. Plates of freshly cooked steak slices are put out to nibble on, and to my relief the staff remembered I’m veggie, offering up a hearty, home made, veggie burger as an alternative. Can’t ask for much more than that!
Cassiobury Park, Watford
My first race. This 10k race is hosted annually by storage company Kelly’s at Cassiobury Park, Watford. Kelly’s put on the whole event so 100% of all donations go to charity. You can enter the race for free, although most make a donation to worthy cause Watford Mencap. It’s strange how the minute you turn up to a race rather than a social event it changes your outlook. On the day, I collected my number and was pysching myself up to keep a good pace. The course was very pretty and takes you through woodlands as well as the park. A great atmosphere with everyone cheering each other on, plus a medal at the end. I’ll be along next year for sure.
What Are You Waiting For?
I can’t quite believe it’s taken me so long to get out there and do some events. If you, like me, have been going it alone, I would definitely recommend joining a local club or park run. It is surprising just how many are out there. It’s sociable, motivation for when you can’t be bothered and other runners let you in on new events too. There’s also the fact that there is always someone faster to keep up with. It’s bound to do wonders for your PB times. Have I reeled off enough yet?
Bring on the Regents Park 10k next!Yum
The best thing about having an allotment is that you can really begin seasonal eating. The rhubarb is in full swing at the moment, which is as good a reason as any to make a pie.
Rhubarb Pie – A British Classic
Rhubarb is actually one of my least favourite fruits. I like fruit that you can pick and eat. Whereas with rhubarb you have all the inconvenience of preparing it and cooking it. However, when I started my allotment there was already some growing (and growing in abundance). Each year that goes by, despite my lack of care to the patch where it grows, the rhubarb comes up as if out of nowhere. Each year I look at it and think how I can’t possibly let it go to waste..
First Pick at the Allotment – Hello Seasonal Eating
Whilst I was whittling away time at the plot over the weekend I waded through the grass to pull up some of the biggest stalks of rhubarb. Oh, and yes that is me in my full ski jacket despite the fact it is the end of April. It’s still freezing!
Despite my advice to fellow allotmenteers to cover over all unused beds (it saves masses of weeding) I’m pretty glad I didn’t cover over the area where these bad boys grow. It’s unkempt and full of nettles but would have been a shame to miss out on the glorious rhubarby goodness.
I’ve finally gotten around to turning them into something delicious today. First thing in the morning I was in the kitchen making pastry and by noon had two golden brown lattice pies staring back at me. Who doesn’t love a good mid-week bake up?
Rhubarb Pie Recipe – Thanks to That Skinny Chick Can Bake
This recipe did kill my plan of eating healthy during the week as I couldn’t help but get stuck into a little slice. Rhubarb is best when it’s caked in sugar and cinnamon and hugged by some nice buttery pastry. I got the recipe from Pinterest from a great food blogger called Liz. This rhubarb pie is home baking at it’s best. The filling bakes to perfection to make a sticky, sweet and enticing centre. Definitely getting saved into my recipe box. Mine looks a little more rustic than the one advertised, but hey, as long as the flavour is there it’s no big deal right?
Easy as Pie
Honestly, pie is such a simple thing to make. If you are thinking of doing some baking then definitely add this to your list. The pastry is just two ingredients and a bit of water. Roll it out, line your tin and then all that’s left to do is add your fruit straight in. I know some people swear by blind baking the pie first but it isn’t always necessary. The top is your choice, so if you don’t fancy making a lattice you can always do a crumble topping for minimal fuss. There are hundreds of great pie recipes out there, I must make my own sometime soon!
This was actually my first attempt at a lattice pie and must say I quite enjoyed the process, it makes baking feel artistic. One rhubarb pie is going into the office with me tomorrow (I am seriously going to be in the good books with my colleagues). The other will be divided between myself, my beau and our parents. It always feels nicer when you can share these delights with those around you.
Eco Friendly Seasonal Eating
On another note, how exciting to be using home grown fruit! This is just the first of so many seasonal eating recipes I am going to make with my own allotment produce. Seaonsal eating is a great way to help the planet. There are no air miles on my pie, as I walked the 30 seconds from my allotment back to my house there are actually no miles at all. I just hate picking up fresh fruit at the supermarket and seeing the origin is Spain when it grows perfectly well over here. See, we can all do our little bit for the world.
I’m off for a run in the rain now, that way I won’t feel too guilty about heating up another slice for pudding later and that extra addition of hot creamy custard. I’m drooling at the thought..