Tag Archives: plant based

Plant Based Recipe of the Week – Week 3 – Sweet Potato Chilli

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Welcome to plant based recipes, tried and tested by Wendy Woo!

Today’s recipe is Sweet Potato Chilli, adapted from Holly Wakeham’s chilli on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ffeXbFIZBs

It’s versatile and delicious with jacket potatoes, rice or pitta bread.

Sweet Potato Chilli

 Ingredients

1 tablespoon of oil

1 pepper – chopped (I used red but you can use green or orange)

1 large onion – chopped

4 cloves of garlic – crushed

1 large red chilli – split and deseeded to remove – can use chilli flakes/dried chillis to taste

1 teaspoon mild chilli powder

1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon

1 heaped teaspoon cumin

4 sweet potatoes – peeled and cubed

500ml stock – I used vegetable bouillon but cubes are good

Mixed herbs – I used 1 heaped teaspoon of oregano and basil and ½ teaspoon of rosemary

2 tins of tomatoes

2 tins of kidney beans – washed

2 tablespoons of tomato purée

300g mushrooms – halved (more or less is fine)

Black pepper

Salt

Sweetener – I used agave nectar, can use coconut sugar or other

 

Instructions

Use a large pan with a lid.

 

You can sweat onions, pepper and garlic on a medium heat with no oil and a little water if you wish, but I don’t mind a little oil so I added split chilli and chilli powder, cinnamon and cumin at this point, preferring to cook my spices.

 

Add rest of the ingredients, stirring them in, except salt, pepper and sweetener.

 

Simmer for ten minutes with lid on. Second time I made this, potatoes weren’t quite soft so I left with lid on for five more minutes.

 

Simmer for ten more minutes with lid off to thicken. If using fresh chillis, remove at this point.

 

Add salt (I used ½ teaspoon), black pepper and sweetener (I used one tablespoon of agave nectar) to taste.

 

I hope you enjoy this winter warmer and will visit again for more Wendy Woo recipes from my little house in Wales. Do check out other features on my site including pages on my books, pixie coats, dance and magic.

 

 

 

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Plant Based Recipe of the Week – Week 2 – Happy Birthday to me!

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Since becoming plant based, I’ve not tried many cake recipes (though I’m aiming to try my son’s recipe for brownies very soon!) so, instead of a birthday cake to celebrate my birthday, I went for my favourite dessert.

A few months ago, I was gifted the Ms Cupcake book ‘The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town’ and went straight to the lemon curd slice recipe. I love a lemon dessert! Usually when cooking or baking something new, I stick to the exact recipe for the first time but this one said 550g sugar and I just couldn’t do it. I’m listing her recipe here with my changes in brackets so you can taste for yourself as to how sharp or sweet you want your lemon curd slice to be.

Lemon curd slice

For base:

200g plain flour (can be gluten free blend)

80g icing sugar

100g margarine/butter (can be dairy free)

80g shortening (I used 80g of dairy free spread, 180g dairy free spread in total)

Half teaspoon salt

Zest of one lemon

For topping:

500ml lemon juice (I used lemon from base + 3 lemons=50ml and topped up with water)

250ml water (I added this water too)

550g caster sugar (I used 150g and it was sharp but delicious)

130g cornflour

Zest of three lemons (juice as above) (adding another lemon will make it more tart but works- when our greengrocer has 10p lemons, I use 5)

130ml soya cream (approx. half the carton)

40g margarine/butter

 

Bake: oven: Gas 4/180ºC/350ºF

Grease or line with baking parchment a 13’ X 9’ tin

 

Makes 16-24 slices

 

Instructions

Preheat oven and line or grease tin.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, icing sugar, fat and lemon zest. (Like making pastry crumbs) Press into prepared tin and bake for about 10 minutes until lightly brown. (If using dairy free marg, it won’t go very brown but 10 mins should do the job) Remove and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make the lemon curd. (Recipe says use a food processor or blender to blend lemon juice, water and caster sugar but I just stirred it in my large pan and it was fine) Put the cornflour into a separate, small bowl and add the lemon mixture to the cornflour a few tablespoons at a time, mixing together until you have a smooth thick paste with no lumps. Pour this paste back into the pan and stir to combine. Add salt and lemon zest.

On a medium heat, bring the lemon and cornflour mixture to the boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, takes about 5 minutes. As the mixture begins to boil, you’ll see it tuning a darker shade of yellow and become thick and glossy. Allow the curd to boil for about a minute, remove from heat. Add the soya cream and marg and mix together. Let the mixture sit for 3-4 minutes and then pour over the curd evenly on top of the cake in the tin.

Allow to sit at room temperatue for at least 30 minutes before placing in the fridge in its tin for at least 2 hours or until the curd has firmed up to a cut-able consistency.

Cut into squares and serve sprinkled with icing sugar if you wish. Store  covered in fridge for up to a week.

I’m sharing more of the birthday love so you can download my first Witchlit novel ‘The Naked Witch’, until 5th December for just 99p/99c and if you enjoy it, you can pay back the birthday love with a few lines of review to help others find my books.

and for my friends across the pond

Thank you for sharing my birthday with me and I hope you come again for more recipes, dance, magic and books. Bright blessings xx

 

Plant Based Recipe of the Week – Week 1

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Changing your diet to a plant based one isn’t about the foods you have to take out – it’s about the new flavours, fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices you add in.

I’ve been a vegetarian since I was twenty one years old and from a vegetarian start, my twenty six year old son was the first of my children to explore a plant based diet to help with his arthritis symptoms. He shares recipes, as does my eldest son and my daughter has been exploring gluten free baking, following my diagnosis of IBS, since her teens. I’m lucky to have had my children to guide me on the first steps to my partner and I enjoying a plant based diet.

Each week I’ll be sharing a plant based recipe, easily made gluten free, that I’ve tried and adapted to suit our palate. Where possible, I’ll share a link to the original source recipe.

Today’s recipe is ‘5 minute vegan burgers’, adapted from a recipe by Cheap Lazy Vegan, featuring The Happy Pear, on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLh_golyZm0&t=391s

Making them in five minutes isn’t compulsory!

Five minute vegan burgers

Burger

Oil – rapeseed or sunflower – 1½ tablespoons

½ red onion – I use a whole one – roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic – crushed or finely chopped (you can use garlic granules)

Mushrooms – any kind you like and lots of them! About 300g – roughly chop button, tear other

2½ tablespoons tamari – if you’re fine with wheat, you can use soya sauce

 

100 gms breadcrumbs

2½ tablespoons nutritional yeast*

1 tin kidney beans, rinsed well – a friend used mixed beans and said they worked just as well

 

*Nutritional yeast or Nooch adds a cheesy nutty flavour to many plant based recipes and is one source of complete protein and vitamins, in particular B-complex vitamins. It contains folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and zinc.

To serve

Great in buns or pitta breads with sun dried tomato paste, hummus, mixed salad leaves, avocado, tomato….my partner enjoys his with mustard on bottom bun and hummus on the top. My favourite so far is with ketchup on the bottom and sweet pickle in the top with shredded romaine and grated beetroot. Also delicious with salad and sweet potato wedges.

 

 

Instructions

Heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium heat. Cook red onion until soft. Turn up heat. Add garlic.  Add mushrooms, coat well with onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes on high heat. Add tamari and stir.

 

Add above wet ingredients to breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast and mashed up kidney beans in a bowl. Combine all ingredients. (If using home made gluten free breadcrumbs, you may need another 20g if mixture is very wet) Make into burgers and coat with rice flour.

 

Fry in remaining oil.

 

You could probably brush them in oil and bake in the oven if you wanted to, as they’re so tasty.

 

Five minutes is a bit of a push, as you’ll see from the video but I can get these on the table in 15!

 

Enjoy your mushroom burgers, share this post and help spread the word about plant based eating for a healthier planet and a happier, healthier you

 

 

Magic Matters

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People say to me ‘Magic isn’t real though, is it?’ My last blog post https://wendysteele.com/2017/06/06/a-magical-life/  was about being ‘present’ to experience the magic. ‘Magic Matters’ takes this idea one step further.

One of the definitions of magic, according to my trusty, yet rather battered Oxford Concise, is ‘an inexplicable or remarkable influence producing surprising results’. In order to experience this, however, we need to be connected to ourselves, the planet and the living beings upon it. Why? Because so much of our lives take us away from this state. We live in a dream supported by those who want to control us and who want to sell to us.

In so many ways, we don’t live our own lives. We perform the stories dictated to us by others. Taking back control is the magic. Here are a few ways to rewrite your own story and live a life full of magic and love.

1 Connect with the planet and the universe

We live on an amazing planet within an awesome universe. I’ve recently been inspired by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, helping me to understand the cosmos from both a scientific, as well as personal perspective. Human knowledge at this time gives us a tiny hint at the enormity of the universe, a glimpse of where we came from and the planet on which we reside.

We can play our own part to stop global warming and the rape and destruction of the world’s resources. Recycling and being choosy who and where we buy from keeps us connected with a world community who love their planet too.

The media wants us to buy more of everything, even if we don’t need it.

I’m lucky to be able to stand barefoot on grass or in the river circling my home. I can light a fire on my pebbly beach and feel the breeze chilling my skin while red kites perform their circle dance above me. I used to live in a town but on day’s off, I sought woodland walks or trips to the sea and spent holidays camping beneath the stars. Those moments of connectivity helped sustain me and I invested regular time revisting those happy moments in the natural world and thanking the planet for its sustenance.

2 Family and friends

One good quality of social media is the ease in which it enables us to keep in touch. The huge downside is how it drags us in, wasting our time looking at a screen. Communication has changed but, speaking to our loved ones or preferably hugging them, is far more rewarding. During the second year of our move to Wales, we spent months trying to get a new roof, rebuilding, knocking concrete off walls and remortaring with lime, clearing rubbish and brambles as well as working at our ‘day jobs’. Everything seemed to go wrong, take forever or land us with costs we hadn’t expected. Short of time and funds, we hardly saw our family. It wasn’t a healthy time for myself or my partner. I was a functioning but empty shell. I recognised what was lacking, started a ‘weekend away’ fund and have booked time to see family and friends on a regular basis ever since.

3 Animals, birds and other wildlife

Caring for the planet means caring for all living creatures. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was twenty two and moved onto a plant based diet last year. When my children started school, talk between parents often moved to ‘what are you having for dinner?’ By sharing tasty, nutritional but meat free recipes, friends started adding one or two meat free meals to their repertoire each week. The production of meat, especially beef, is unsustainable. Vast areas of land and millions of gallons of water are used, resources that if sustainable crops were planted, could feed the world.

Other friends only buy their meat from local, organic farms and have switched to free range eggs. It’s definitely a step in the right direction but if you fancy trying some new recipes, have a browse on YouTube for inspiration. Cheap Lazy Vegan is funny and her recipes are easy to follow and delicious. Veganlovlie is adorable and her recipes are scrummy.

4 Caring for the world family

I love leading Tribal Unity Wales out to dance for our local community but in the past year I’ve arranged impromptu haflas (belly dance parties) to raise money for people who need help around the world. We’ve helped Wales Air Ambulance, Smalls for All and Hafla for Humanity and are supporting SHARP, Swansea Humanitarian Aid Response Project at the moment, raising money with a hafla and collecting donations of clothes from friends and family and adding one item of toiletries to our weekly shop to put together a box to be delivered to SHARP at the end of this month.

It isn’t about the amount you donate. When I shop, I add one item for the local food bank and one for SHARP and I think of those mother’s desperately trying to feed their children and keep them clean and well.

I’ve been criticized for my views on helping others but I refuse to judge or exclude. We are one family, the family of humanity. ‘Do as you would be done by’ is a good creed to live by in my humble opinion.

 

So where’s the magic?

Living in tune with the planet, loving friends and family, caring for all animals and wildlife and supporting the human family is the first step to magic and these lifestyle choices will change you. Why not give them a try? How bad can it be living the life you choose?

The next step is all about you so I hope you’ll join me and discover more about magical influence the surprising, exciting results???.

Keep sharing the love.

Bright blessings xx