Vegan Take-Out Meals to Make at Home

If you love Pizza, why not try… Pissaladière
(Vegetarian Times)
I can’t believe how difficult it is to find a vegan pizza recipe online with a pretty picture to match! Thankfully, I finally found this French, lattice-looking pizza made with sweet onions, roasted red peppers and kalamata olives. Even if you want to create a different vegan pizza topping, you’ll be pleased to find a quick dough recipe included that ‘takes under two minutes to mix and knead’.
View recipe at Vegetarian Times

vegetable-spiced-riceIf you love Fried Rice, why not try…
Vegetable Spiced Rice
(Nadia French, photo by Andrew Young)
Take-away fried rice is often greasy and laden with all the things you don’t want, but if you try to keep a supply of this healthy rice in your freezer, you’ll always have a tasty meal on hand. It would also be wonderful for a work lunch. There isn’t an egg in sight and you can choose to omit the plain yogurt at the end also if you wish.
View recipe at Taste Australia.

spicy-thai-tofu-with-red-bell-peppers-and-peanuts-featuredIf you love Thai take-out, why not try…
Spicy Thai Tofu with Red Bell Peppers and Peanuts

(Bon Appetit, Rozanne Gold and photo by Con Poulos)
Spice up your tofu repertoire with this Thai recipe which includes fresh ginger, garlic, lime juice, basil and dried crushed red pepper. Enjoy with jasmine rice or noodles.
View recipe at Epicurious

curried-red-lentil-stew-with-vegetablesIf you love Indian take-out, why not try…
Curried Red-Lentil Stew with Vegetables

(Gourmet, photo: Romulo Yanes)
Make your own nutritious Indian curry at home with this wonderful recipe. Red lentils and vegetables such as carrots, spinach and peas make this a scrumptious and satisfying main meal served with basmati rice.
View recipe at Epicurious.

portobello-and-pineapple-teriyaki-veggie-burgersIf you love a Burger, why not try…
Portobello and Pineapple Teriyaki Veggie Burgers
(Whole Foods Market)
Imagine if you could get fabulously healthy and delicious meat-free burgers such as this at the drive-through! I’m sure you would see more than one Prius in the queue! The combination of portobello mushrooms and pineapples make these burgers super juicy and flavoursome.
View recipe at Whole Foods Market

If you love a burger with fries, why not try…
Garlicky Oven Fries

(Vegetarian Times)
What’s a burger without fries? One bite of these garlic, parsley-coated potato wedges and you’ll be hooked!
View recipe at Vegetarian Times

Vegetarian Thai Recipes

1. Spicy Coconut Noodles

(Real Simple – image: Beatriz da Costa)
Scrumptious noodles and copious amounts of coconut. This is my idea of comfort food. It’s simple and light but incredibly satisfying!

thai-squash-and-pineapple-curry2. Thai Squash and Pineapple Curry
(Good Food)
Sweeten up your curry repertoire with some juicy pineapple. Combined with squash, green beans and spicy Thai red curry paste, this will undoubtedly become a favourite in your house.

vegetable-summer-rolls3. Vegetable Summer Rolls
(Gourmet, Epicurious – image: Romulo Yanes)
Wrap a delicious selection of vegetables and noodles in rice-paper and dunk into a divine peanut sauce made with hot red pepper flakes, garlic and onion.

spicy-sesame-noodles-with-chopped-peanuts-and-thai-basil4. Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chopped Peanuts and Thai Basil
(Bon Appetit, Epicurious – image: Pornchai Mittongtare)
Vegans can substitute the egg noodles for angel hair pasta and then carry on cooking with vegan-friendly ingredients. This dish calls for drizzles and dashes of wonderful oils and sauces such as hot chili oil, sesame oil and balsamic vinegar which creates a delectable coating for the noodles.

iceberg-lettuce-with-carrot-ginger-soy-dressing-with-cilantro-and-red-thai-chiles5. Iceberg Lettuce with Carrot Ginger Soy Dressing with Cilantro and Red Thai Chiles
(Food Network, Dave Lieberman)
Sometimes a wedge of iceberg lettuce needs a little ‘wake-up call’ and this recipe will certainly do that courtesy of a red Thai chile, ginger, rice wine vinegar and cilantro garnish.

spicy-sweet-potato-and-coconut-soup6. Spicy Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup
(Real Simple, Susie Theodorou – image: Beatriz Da Costa)
When only a bowl of warming soup will do, this spicy recipe is sure to impress. It captures the flavours of Thailand perfectly with red curry paste, coconut milk and fresh ginger.

yellow-coconut-rice7. Yellow Coconut Rice
(The Australian Women’s Weekly – image: Ian Wallace)
If you are all riced out and crave a little twist on the usual steamed rice, you could try this recipe made with coconut cream, turmeric and saffron.

pumpkin-curry-with-chickpeas8. Pumpkin Curry with Chickpeas
(Good Food)
Rather than order in a takeaway curry (which often comes with too much salt, oil and packaging) try making a big batch of this healthy and hearty Thai curry yourself. You can make extra and store in your freezer for a nutritious curry in a hurry.

buckwheat-soba-pad-thai9. Buckwheat Soba Pad Thai
(Natural Health Magazine)
Trying to find a Pad Thai dish sans eggs and fish sauce can be tricky but here is one delicious and healthy vegan option. It’s made with julienne vegetables and a sauce made from creamy peanut butter, honey, ginger and red pepper flakes.

thai-tofu-with-zucchini-red-bell-pepper-and-lime10. Thai Tofu with Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper, and Lime
(Bon Appetit, Epicurious – image: Scott Peterson)
All the well-loved Thai ingredients are in this sublime tofu dish such as coconut milk, red curry paste and ginger. You can enjoy this for lunch served with rice noodles or for dinner, simply serve with hot, fluffy rice.

crispy-tofu-sandwich-with-peanut-ginger-sauce11. Crisp Tofu Sandwich with Peanut-Ginger Sauce
(Body + Soul – Martha Stewart)
For a unique and flavour packed sandwich, try this one served on a baguette and bursting with Thai-flavoured baked tofu and sauce. Heavenly!

Seven Vegetarian Stir Fry Recipes

Stir-fries are quick, easy and often bursting with healthy goodness but if you’re tired of tossing together the same old sad stir-fry, here are seven new recipe ideas for a little inspiration. Get those woks ready!

Oriental Mushroom and Pak Choi Stir Fry (above)
– Angela Boggiano
View recipe at Delicious Magazine

Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables

– Kate Merker, image by Christopher Baker
View recipe at Real Simple


Brown Rice Stir-Fry with Flavored Tofu and Vegetables

– Body + Soul
View recipe at Whole Living

Soba, Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry

– Body + Soul
View recipe at Whole Living 

Crispy Szechuan Tofu Stir Fry

– Angela Boggiano
View recipe at Delicious Magazine

Ginger Pineapple Fried Rice
– Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez, image by Martyn Thompson
View recipe at Epicurious

stir-fried-tofu-and-shiitake-mushroomsStir-Fried Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms in Spicy Black Bean Sauce
– Bon Appetit, image by P Mittongtare
View recipe at Epicurious

Vegetarian Soup Recipes, Perfect for Winter

Miso Soup with Sweet Potato Dumplings
– Shawn McClain (photo by Ann Stratton)
This recipe is from the Green Zebra restaurant in Chicago and it is sure to liven up your standard miso soup thanks to the delicious dumplings. This recipe calls for wonton wrappers but if you can’t find these in the shops, here is a link to a recipe for vegan wonton wrappers.
View recipe at Epicurious.

curried-carrot-almond-soupCurried Carrot Almond Soup
– Andrea Albin (photo by Stephanie Foley)
Who knew almond milk could be used in soups? Well, it can and it is sure to create a creamy, light and delicious taste. Perfect for a winter warming lunch!

hot-and-sour-broth-with-noodlesHot and Sour Broth with Noodles
– Olive Magazine
Nothing beats a good noodle soup and vegetarians and vegans (or anyone) will adore this simple yet flavourful recipe.
View recipe at BBC Good Food.

mulligatawny-with-chickpeasMulligatawny with Chickpeas
– Body + Soul
Mulligatawny is an Anglo-Indian soup but this recipe can also be served with rice as it is quite similar to dhal.
View recipe at Whole Living.

mixed-mushroom-soupMixed Mushroom Soup – Body + Soul
Mushroom mania in a bowl! Porcini, oyster, shiitake and the whole gang can all be found in this highly nutritious soup.
View recipe at Whole Living.

spicy-roasted-vegetable-soupSpicy Roasted Vegetable Soup with Toasted Tortillas
– Bon Appetit (photo by Brian Leatart)
You will be instantly transported to Mexico after one spoonful of this wonderful soup thanks to ingredients such as jalapeno and chipotle chilies, garbanzo beans, corn, cilantro and of course, lime!
View recipe at Epicurious.

spicy-coconut-noodle-soupSpicy Coconut Noodle Soup
– Good Food Magazine
Enjoy a luscious and creamy soup the healthy way with coconut milk and other ingredients such as mixed mushrooms, bean sprouts and red curry paste.
View recipe at BBC Good Food.

the-river-cafes-winter-minestroneThe River Cafe’s Winter Minestrone
– Good Food
We all need a great minestrone recipe to turn to, especially during this colder weather. If you can’t stop by the revered River Cafe in London to enjoy their minestrone soup, why not whip up a batch yourself at home?
View recipe at BBC Good Food.

Vegan Ice Cream – Booja Booja’s ‘Stuff in a Tub’

You had me at Booja Booja. Yes, I’ve fallen in love with a tub of ice cream. The slight caveman-esque name, ‘Booja Booja’ was part of the appeal but it was the amazing taste and pure ingredients that really did it for me. The gourmet cupid got me good!

For a dessert to contain a mere 4 ingredients and to be free from so much (dairy, soya, gluten, cholesterol, emulsifiers and stabilisers) you may start thinking this poor tub must be lacking in confidence and flavour. Not so. Amazingly, it tastes exactly like ice cream! I tried the Coconut Hullabaloo which is lusciously creamy and heavenly but with a much cleaner and lighter taste than any ice cream I’ve tried.

coconut-hullabalooOne spoonful of the Coconut Hullabaloo and I knew this was the ice cream brand for me. I may have even blackled what other flavours were available whilst eating the Coconut tub in front of me! I really should Tolle up, stayed more in the present moment and savoured the tub I had but it tasted so good that I had to find out what other exciting flavours I could try next!

Other Stuff in a Tub flavours include the quirkily named Keep Smiling Vanilla M’Gorilla, Hunky Punky Chocolate, Feisty Winjin Ginger and Pompompous Maple Pecan. With this great selection of flavours it is little surprise that ‘Stuff in a Tub’ won Best New Organic Food Product in 2007.

Purchase online at Goodness Direct for £5.99 or find Booja Booja’s Stuff in a Tub at health food stores (Booja Booja do not stock in supermarkets as they prefer to support the independent retail sector – now I love them even more!).

By the way the 4 ingredients in the Coconut Hullabaloo are water, agave, cashews and coconuts. So simple yet so scrumptious!

Five Vegetarian Lunch Recipes for the Week Ahead

Make life easy on yourself this week by checking out these 5 great, easy to make recipes that will give you a new lunch every day this working week. Plus, you can save money, reduce packaging and become healthier by avoiding store bought lunches. I’ve flitted around the web to find some tasty lunch time treats and here’s my pick of the best for this week. Smakelijk eten! (no, I’m not swearing at you. That’s actually ‘bon appetit’ in Dutch – at least I hope it is. Bon appetit is so 2008).

MONDAY- Nearly Raw Tahini Noodles

One look at the pictures of this noodle salad (the only cooked part is the noodles, so it’s pretty easy work) and I was immediately writing a grocery list and heading to the shops! It’s also meant to keep well, so lunch is covered for yourself or your family for several days. The peanut sauce is also made without peanuts!
See recipe at Vegan Yum Yum

roasted-tomatoesTUESDAY – Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes
I love couscous and this recipe sounds simple yet scrumptious. Vegetarians just need to substitute the stock to vegetable and voila, you have yourself a delectable salad!
See recipe at Smitten Kitchen

WEDNESDAY – Vegetarian Club
Stay seasonal by using lovely watercress, carrots and tomatoes in this perfect club sandwich which also includes hummus (see image above). See recipe at BBC Good Food

THURSDAY – Black Bean Burrito
This is a great healthy lunchtime option that only takes 5 minutes to whip together.
See recipe at Simple Vegetarian Recipes

FRIDAY – Pesto Pasta Salad with String Beans and Potatoes
This is a pasta I have been making for years. You can enjoy the pasta hot for dinner and then keep the leftovers for a very tasty and filling lunch.

  • Organic pasta
  • Jar of green pesto (I love Zest’s Vegan Pesto but their Vegetarian version is great too)
  • Baby New Potatoes
  • String Beans

To Make: Cook pasta in one pot and the potatoes and beans together in another pot until tender (boil whole potatoes and then cut in half). Drain each pot, then combine pasta, potato and beans, stir in the pesto. The measurements for this recipe are totally up to you and will work whichever way you prefer!

Delicious Dairy-free Smoothie Recipes

There is something about a well made, delicious, dance on your taste buds kind of smoothie that appeals to so many people, especially during summer. When the weather is too hot outside, just step inside, say hello to your blender and then create one of the following icy cold, non-dairy wonders. These are so good and you will not be able to avoid making those slurpy straw noises at the end as you try to capture the last sips of sheer loveliness.

Smoothie Cubes
(Sara Buenfeld from Good Food Magazine)
Before I get to the recipes, I thought these incredible looking fruit smoothie cubes deserved a mention as they will come in handy for any smoothie occasion. Such a great idea for busy people on the go that still want ultra healthy drinks. You just need to puree your favourite fruits or the best organic fruits in season and then freeze them in an ice tray. This recipe suggests adding them to your smoothie with a banana and some dairy devils, but you could just switch them for your favourite almond, soy or oat milk and yogurt.
See recipe at BBC Good Food

cherry-berry-tea-smoothieCherry-Berry Tea Smoothie (from Martha Stewart Living)
The picture and ingredients in this smoothie look and sound divine! Frozen sweet cherries, grapes, blueberries, silken tofu and rooibos tea (available at most supermarkets or health food stores). This drink is so good for you that you will be positively glowing after one glass!
See recipe at Whole Living

Banana Mocha Non Milk Shake (by Eat Healthy)
Coffee lovers or just anyone after a shake with attitude will lap this one up! There’s espresso, cacao nibs, ground cinnamon and frozen bananas. Creamy, thick and bursting with flavour.
See recipe at The Healthy Eating Site

Strawberry-Banana Tofu Shake – Body + Soul
Another tremendously healthy shake that can be stored up to three days in the fridge. You can also mix and match the fruit ingredients depending on what is in season or what you have in the house.
See recipe at Whole Living

Jamie Fruit Smoothie
(Jamie Oliver)
I was pleasantly surprised to see Jamie Oliver had this exciting and unusual dairy free smoothie. Along with the fruit there is coconut milk, lime and cardamom. Sounds a little Thai and definitely worth a try!
See recipe at Jamie Oliver

Low Fat Green Tea, Honey and Nutmeg Smoothies
(David Lieberman)
You just need to substitute the vanilla frozen yogurt here for your favourite non-dairy brand and then all you need is two more things: green tea and honey!
See recipe at the Food Network

Strawberry Almond Smoothie
(by Adina Niemerow, photograph – Ellie Miller)
A pretty pink smoothie containing figs, frozen strawberries, almonds and coconut water.
See recipe at Food and Wine

avocado-smoothiesAvocado Pear Smoothie – from Martha Stewart Living
I know some people are surprised to think of using an avocado in their drinks but try it out before you diss it. After all, avocado is technically a fruit and it will make your smoothie ever so creamy and exotic. The pear juice, honey and vanilla really compliment the other ingredients.

Two of my Tried and Tested Favorites
Firstly, if you haven’t tried smoothies with frozen bananas then ‘oh, my goodness’ you need to stock up on some organic, fair trade ‘nanas now because your smoothies are about to get creamy and turn it upside down kinda thick! Just peel the banana, break into small pieces and freeze in whatever container you have. Always try and keep a stash in your freezer (with frozen berries).

Banana Berry Heaven
I have been sipping on this for years and years. You can use either orange juice or apple juice (about 250ml) and then just toss into a blender as many frozen berries and frozen banana pieces as you desire. It is pure health and happiness in a glass.

Banana Thick Shake
This one is so simple but so satisfying. Just use 250ml of your favourite dairy free milk (or homemade almond milk) and add lots of frozen banana pieces and a dollop of honey (or agave syrup) to sweeten. Next, decide whether to enjoy with a straw or spoon!

raw-chocolate-smoothieCafe Gratitude – I Am Luscious – Raw Chocolate Smoothie
I stumbled across this smoothie from Cafe Gratitude’s menu and it sounded so delicious that I had to mention it here! Unfortunately, I can’t make it to their cafe today in San Francisco but I will try and replicate a similar glass of heaven here at home. Their drink has: hazelnut milk, figs, dates, raw cacao & vanilla.
Visit Cafe Gratitude

Need a Glass Straw with your Smoothie?
I just got my glass straws last week from GlassDharma and they are magnificent. The coloured ones are so pretty and you can tell they have been made with such great care. Protect your health and teeth by avoiding icky and disposable plastic straws and try using these glass straws if you can. Here is some more info on the straws if you are interested.