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.
Now that the nights are becoming longer and summer is around the corner I’m getting the taste for fresh flavours over the hearty winter meals I’ve had so many of. So here is the first of many, my pan fried salmon & mediterranean veg. The veg is roasted and served with quinoa/salad.
My favourite veggie combo – Salmon & mediterannean veg
I absolutely love mediterranean vegetables after they have been cooked to perfection in the oven. There is a fair amount of chopping to do but aside from that you can chuck it all in a roasting dish, splash with olive oil and just leave it in the oven until it’s done. I always make med veg when we have summer barbeques, as you can prep ahead of time then just decant into a big bowl for everyone to help themselves to. It beats the lonely bowl of cherry tomatoes you often see..
But alas, we are not quite in barbeque season yet. To be frank, most of the time it doesn’t even feel very spring like with the grey skies and rain, but we’ll get there eventually. So the accompanying salmon was cooked in a pan. I like salmon to be crispy and favour the grill or pan over the oven. I use a non-stick pan so you can put the salmon straight in without the need for any extra greasing. The fish is naturally oily and will be fine on it’s own.
A great source of protein
This is a great mid-week meal, healthy, filling and often there’s leftover veggies you can add to your lunch for the next day. Plus the salmon and quinoa are high in protein, so perfect after a work out also. Although do be aware there is some prep work with the chopping so it isn’t the quickest meal. Worth the effort though! You could always use ready cooked salmon and microwave quinoa to save time, although my recipe includes the steps to make these. Keep it simple, do what suits you and enjoy!
Mediterranean Veg & Salmon
A healthy, protein rich dinner of pan fried salmon with delicious roast mediterannean vegetables. Served with pumkpin seed quinoa and salad.
For the pan fried salmon
- 2 Fillets Salmon
- Salt & pepper
For the Mediterreanean Veg
- 1 Courgette
- 1 Red onion
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Sweet potato
- 10 Cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Mixed herbs
- 1 tsp Garlic salt
- Salt & pepper
For the quinoa
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 1 cube Vegetable stock
- 2 cups Water
- 2 tsbp Pumpkin seeds
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1 handful Mixed salad leaves
- Salad veg of choice (cucumber, artichoke, etc)
Roasted Mediterreanean Veg
We'll start with the mediterreanen vegetables. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees / 180 fan and set aside a large roasting tray.
Wash all your vegetables and chop into chunks, aside from the red onion which can be cut into wedges and the cherry tomatoes which can be left whole.
Chuck all the prepared vegetables into the roasting tray and drizzle over 1tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle on the mixed herbs and garlic salt. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Put the tray onto the middle shelf of a pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and becoming crispy. Turn half way through cooking.
Once you have put the vegetables in the oven it is time to start the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa under a running tap of cold water for a few minutes and set aside.
Put the two cups of water into a pan and bring to a boil, crumbling in the vegetable stock cube. Once bubbling away add the quinoa.
Leave the pot of quinoa to bubble away on high for a few minutes, stir and then turn the heat down to medium-low. Put the lid on the pot and leave alone for 15 minutes.
Once cooked the quinoa should have absorbed all the liquid. Leave the pot to stand with the lid on for 5 minutes or until ready to serve as this will keep it piping hot. Before serving mix in the pumpkin seeds. Crush the garlic and stir this in also.
Pan Fried Salmon
This is the easy part. Use a non-stick pan and you won't require any additional oil. Heat the pan on a medium-high setting. Whilst the pan reaches the desired temperature season both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
When the pan is hot add the two fillets of salmon, skin side down. Once the salmon begins to cook it will release it's own oils. Cook on one side until the skin starts becoming crisp (4-5 minutes) then flip onto the other side. Continue to cook until the salmon is done in the middle. You can cut it in half to check.
Prepare two plates with a leafy side salad. Add any extras you desire (I used cucumber, artichoke and a dash of salsa). Arrange a generous portion of the mediterreanean veg, a fist sized portion of the quinoa, spinkle some pumpkin seeds on top and finally the salmon fillet. Now you're ready to dig in!
For heat lovers, you can change up the seasoning for the mediterreanean veg by adding chilli powder. I also added chilli flakes to my salmon for a little extra kick.
This dish is made extra lovely with a fresh salad dressing or salsa.
I needed a bit of lunch inspiration in my life, so whipped up a delicious, veggie friendly, mexican chick pea salad. Step aside pre-packaged sandwiches, this is a lunch with some flavour sensations! Inspired by my favourite Mexican restaraunt (I’m sorry guys it is a chain!) Chimichangas, their tasty insta posts are too much! I’ve been craving their naughty fried goodness for ages, so here’s my healthy alternative.
My favourite thing about this salad is that it is both filling and flavourome. The chick peas provide a good amount of protein to keep you fuller for longer. Plus, all the lime, onion & seasoning bring that zingy mexican flavour.
Great to make in a big batch, as you can do so much with it. Pair with rice, have it in a wrap, muddle it with some salad leaves or simply just have it as it comes in a big bowl. Cos c’mon, who doesn’t love mexican food?
I love to scoop this into a tupperware and bring it to the office with me, it’s so easy to prepare the night before as it just requires a bit of time to chop and mix everthing. No actual cooking. Plus there was loads left so managed to make the boyf a lunch too, result. Even though he’s not so big on chick peas..these are mexican chick peas, so even he was sold on them!
Oh and did I forget to mention, it’s really diet friendly. There’s no oil in this, theres no calorific salad dressing, just good ingredients paired well. This is what I am all about, creating food that is exciting to eat whilst still healthy. This certainly won’t feel like diet food.
Although as is always the temptation with mexican food, a little margarita to help it go down? Hmm, maybe not at lunch time!
Mexican Chick Pea Salad
A fresh tasting, veggie friendly, mexican inspired salad.
- 1 tin Chick peas
- 1 Lime
- 1 Avocado
- 1 small Red Onion
- 1 tin Sweetcorn
- Handful Cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Fresh coriander
- Salt & Pepper
- Chili powder Optional
First, open up the tinned chick peas and rinse under water. Set aside in a large bowl.
Take the avocado & cherry tomatoes. Chop them into small chunks and add in with the chick peas.
Cut the red onion finely and add this to the mix.
Open up the tin of sweetcorn, tip away the water then add the kernels to the bowl. I only used a small tin of sweetcorn, so just add as much as you like if yours is a large one.
Wash and cut the coriander, then add two tsbp to the bowl of ingredients.
Cut and squeeze the lime, add the juice into the bowl.
Season the mix with salt and pepper, if you like yours spicy then time to add 1/4 tsp of the chili powder. Mix everything together and enjoy! Can be served on its own, with rice, or even in a wrap.
Carb lovers unite, we all love a bit of bread, but the big question is: what is the best bread for weight loss?
If you have tried and failed miserably at a ‘low carb’ diet then don’t fear, you are not alone. I tried too and all it did was make me lethargic and low on energy. Plus I seriously missed bread. Now I know there are still diets knocking around that claim reducing carbs can be beneficial, but it’s not for everyone. It’s important that the way we treat food is realistic, so let’s face it, we can’t just go cutting out bread for good.
This considered, we should still make good choices with the bread we choose to eat. But what is the best variety to keep off the pounds? Here are my top three.
My Number 1 – Rye Bread
In case you didn’t know, Rye, or ‘Pumpernickel’, is a German bread made using ground rye and a sourdough starter. That is the big difference, as the loaf you and I know well is made with wheat and yeast. The benefits of substituting your normal slice with some rye is that it will keep you fuller for longer as it’s got far more fibre. Not only this, when compared to an average slice of white bread, rye fairs better in terms of calorie count. It’s got a different taste and texture, but I really like it. I toast it on high so it is really crunchy, then you can add what you like. As a topping, peanut butter with bananas is one of my favourites.
In Second Best Place – Wholewheat Bread
Wholewheat, you can pick it up in all supermarkets big and small, and unlike rye, it’s pretty similar to the nations favourite white loaf. It looks and feels pretty similar, it’s just brown instead. Wholewheat bread is made, you guessed it, by using the whole of the wheat. The benefits of this are that the bran and wheatgerm give an extra hit of fibre. Great for digestion and for keeping you full up! I initially grew up eating white bread but made the swap to wholemeal years ago. I’m so used to it now that I can really tell the difference if I’ve eaten white instead (which is basically that I get the munchies pretty quickly, boo!). So if you know you aren’t going to have time for lunch, maybe pop some wholemeal in the toaster for breakfast to keep you going for longer.
3rd Place – Granary
Granary bread is packed full of added whole grains. Usually the bread itself will be made with wholewheat flour too, so the fibre content will be high which is super good for your digestive system. Wholegrains are complex carbohydrates, which your body relies on as a primary source of energy. Focussing on foods that are nutritionally superior will make you less likely to need a snack in between meals. So if you are a bread lover it is definitely worth picking up some yummy granary bread to make your sarnies with. It’s got far more going for it than your doorstop white loaf.
So there you have it, three options that you don’t have to feel guilty about. Superior taste, more nutrients and keeps hunger in check, what’s not to like? For those of you watching your waistlines it is a no brainer.
If you are sighing at the thought of leaving behind those white rolls and doorstop wedges then check out my recipes section for a few ideas that might enthuse you. I have toast for breakfast every weekend and crunchy rye is simply devine. Have I mentioned peanut butter on rye is like my favourite thing ever? …*Trails off into peanut butter day dream*.Yum