MoFo ’14 – Lazy Meals Inspiration

Happy Tuesday!

I couldn’t decide on a theme on for my Tuesday MoFo posts so I may keep it random, or I may decide on a theme by next week.  For today’s MoFo post I’m going to share some of my lazy vegan meals.  Being pregnant and looking after a toddler means that I’m really good at lazy meals.  Let the picture show commence…

Salads loaded with leftovers

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I have these salads about 5 days a week.  They almost always contain a grain leftover from the previous night’s dinner, salad veg (obvo) and anything else I can find lurking in the fridge like tofu, olives, hummus, seeds.  If my fridge is looking a bit empty I just chuck some sort of veggie burger into the oven to have with it.  Salad dressing is usually an olive oil-balsamic mix (unless I haven’t been lazy/pushed for time and have made a dressing in advance).

Fajitas

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These really are lazy.  I buy a fajita pack, saute a chopped red onion and a pepper, add the fajita spice mix and a tin of baked beans and heat through.  Then we have it with our fave fix-ins (mine are salad leaves, salsa and avo).

Stir-fries

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We love stir-fries in our house  Quick, easy, adaptable; what’s not to love???

Jacket Potatoes

 

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Another classic, no-fuss meal.  I think this one has to be the easiest since all you need to do is put the potato in the microwave or oven then fill it with your fave topping once it’s cooked.  In fact, I’m having one with baked beans this evening.

What are your go-to lazy meals?

Vegan MoFo 2014 – Mediterranean Meals Monday

It’s this year’s Vegan Month of Food and I decided to take the plunge and commit.  Crazy, right, considering I can barely keep up with my own self-imposed blogging schedule let alone “someone” else’s.  Yet, here I am commiting to publishing at least 20 posts in the month of September, all in the name of Vegan Food.  Why not.  I like a challenge.  So one of Vegan MoFo’s themes is often Mac and Cheese Monday.  Now, I’m not a big fan of overly cheesy dishes.  So I’ve decided to hijack the theme and write about my favourite vegan pasta dishes.  I will try to include one mac and cheese dish at some point, just to honour the original theme.  Since pasta originated in Italy and everyone loves a bit of aliteration, I decided that my Mondays should be Mediterranean Meals Monday for the duration of September.

Here’s the first instalment, an accidentally vegan meal from BBC Good Food for Roasted Ratatouille Pasta.

It just has two main parts.

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Roasting.

Then adding pasta, that you’ve cooked up whilst the veg are roasting, to make this bowl of simplicity.

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What I will say is that the success of this meal depends largely on the quality of your ingredients.  If the veg are watery and lacking flavour the dish will too.  I topped mine with some grated vegan cheese.  I’m trying desperately to find one that will fulfil my cheese cravings.  So far, no joy.  Any help, please???

Fave Things Thursday #5 – Protein Bars

Good afternoon!

For this week’s Fave Things Thurs I’d like to showcase one of my favourite snacks; Nakd bars.

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Honestly, I try not to do too may reviews on here because it’s not what I want the focus of my posts to be.  However, every now and again I get an offer that I just can’t pass up.  In this instance, it was from Natural Balance Foods for their Nakd bars.  A few years ago I tried the US equivalent, Larabars, and loved them.  But I wasn’t able to source them in the UK. Luckily Nakd bars have since filled the void.

The ingredients are clean and simple, 100% vegan and 100% gluten-free.

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And I love them.  They are the perfect little snack or dessert.  These ones are my favourities:

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My only problem with them is that the majority of the bars contain cashew nuts, which Theo is allergic to.  Our house is ordinarily nut-free but since being pregnant and vegan (and thus hyper aware of nutrients and protein intake) I’ve relaxed a little.  However, this means that I only ever eat them out of the house or if I’m at home I eat them over the sink and wash my hands and sink afterwards.  I know it sounds extreme, but that’s life with a nut allergy in the family.

Anyway, you probably didn’t need to know all that.  What you do need to know is that all varieties taste great, and they are the perfect little snack that will leave you feeling virtuous about your snacking habits. :)

***Apologies for the dreadful lighting in the photos; darn evening light and lack of skills***

 

Knits and Pieces

Good evening, friends!  Well, that was a rather long and unscheduled blogging hiatus.  It defo wasn’t planned but just felt right.  I never want to blog just for the sake of it.

The last couple of weeks have flown by!  Theo seems to have upped his game in terms of how much daily entertaining he needs, so most of my energy has been devoted to him.  He’s at a super cute age (although I always seems to think this), and I just want to make the most of the time we have together before the baby comes along.

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Food has taken on a more functional form, which in part has to do with the acid reflux I’ve been suffering the last few weeks.  I’ve had it through most of this pregnancy but it took a turn for the worst last week (I won’t go into detail) so I’ve been trying to eat accordingly.

My diet has still included lots of salads, and lots of cake (just to balance it all out, right?).  Meal planning is going well too.

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My foodie hobby time has been replaced with… knitting!

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I’ve become addicted.  When I last blogged I hadn’t started knitting but was planning to.  Now that I have I can’t get enough of it.  It’s so relaxing!  So far I’ve made a scarf, a pair of booties for the baby, and I’m in the middle of making a matching hat to go with the booties.

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In other news, I have one week left of the second trimester.  Eek!  I need to be more deliberate about getting enough protein in my diet; particularly as  I enter the third trimester.  I’ve defo dropped the ball with that one recently.  Maybe I’ll blog about that soon.

Until next time <3

Fave Things Thursday #4

It’s a Thursday and I seem to have developed (unintentionally) a habit of blogging on a Monday and a Thursday.  So here I am.  I wonder if I’ll be able to keep this schedule up???  Let’s hope so.

It’s been a busy week filled with toddler-entertaining.  Today, is the first day for a while where I’ve felt like I haven’t needed a nap when Theo naps.  Bonus.

Other than trying to keep up with my almost-18-month-old not much has been happening.  Recently all I seem to be doing is either entertaining Theo or cooking and cleaning.  I guess that’s the deal of a SAHM.  I know this sounds a bit delayed and perhaps ungrateful, but I think I’m finally getting into the swing of being a SAHM and can say that I actually love it.  It’s taken me 5 months to get there but I’m here.  I love that I get to take care of my family, watch Theo develop and can be flexible in order to take care of my family’s needs.  There are days where I  feel like I have nothing left to give and Theo has challenged me to my limit but that’s life.  So I guess that’s my first Favourite Thing today:

Being a SAHM…

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… and the chaos it brings.  This image is nothing compared to the mess that ensued as the morning progressed!

Curry!

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We have eaten a lot of curry, or so it seems, recently.  This one is Down-Home Curry with kidney beans instead of tofu, from Isa Does It.

Knitting.

Ok, so I haven’t started knitting yet.  But I’m seriously considering it.  It would be the perfect thing to do in the evenings since I don’t have the concentration to read a book.  And it would be far more productive than just watching TV or surfing the net.  If anyone has any tips or pointers in the right direction that would be great!

Melon…

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And fruit in general, and in any form.  Seasonal fruit is the best.  I want some melon after just looking at this image.

My favourite blog of the week,

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I’m probs a bit slow to catch on to this blog; Cake Maker to the Stars is a fun, crafty, vegan blog with lots of inspiring recipes.

What are your favourite things this Thursday?

Hope you’re having a great week <3

Snack Bars for Theo

Another Monday, another recipe.

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Hope you guys had a great weekend and that your week is starting off well?  The end of last week through til Saturday afternoon felt especially long here; the husband was away from Thursday so I was flying solo with the toddler.  How do single parents do it?  Or parents where one of them is away a lot?  Goodness, I was so wiped out by the time Tom came home on Saturday afternoon.  In fact, I think I’m still recovering.

Luckily, I have some snack bars on hand to keep my energy levels up.  Today’s recipe is for everything-free, toddler-friendly Snack Bars…for Theo.  Inventive name, right? I figured I can keep the “… for Theo” titles going for a few more recipes until it gets reaaallly old, yes?  Btw, I thought I may as well make Mondays recipe days here on the blog.  So keep your eyes open for this unusual (for me) regular occurrence.

I mentioned a couple of weeks back that I’ve been trying to get the right recipe for snack bars that are sugar-free and nut-free and super easy for Theo. I’ve finally adapted one that both Theo and I are happy with. The wonderful Sayward from Bonzai Aphrodite provided the basic recipe and I just tweeked it ever so slightly.  They’re not the prettiest looking things, but who am I to judge?  I love how raw they look (and are).

Snack Bars for Theo (makes 15)

Vegan, raw, nut-free, sugar-free, gluten-free

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried apricots
1 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

There are 2 methods you can use, both of which are as easy as they come.  The one you use all depends on how young your toddler is, and how confident you are with their chewing skills.

EITHER Place sunflower seeds in food processor and process until finely ground.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the mixture holds together and becomes ball-like.

OR Place all ingredients into the food processor and keep it running until everything is ground together and the mixture becomes ball-like.

Then continue as follows.

Press out the mixture into a baking tray, using the back of a damp dessertspoon, until evenly spread.

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Refridgerate for a few hours until firm.  Once ready remove from the tray by lifting the lining out.  Cut into 15 (give or take) slices and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

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In case you’re wondering, the snack bars in the image at the top of the post are made using pumpkin seeds, dates, and raisins hence their darker appearance.

Happy Monday! x

Fave Things Thursday – Food edition

I thought it was about time I shared some of my favourite things of the moment.  I love reading these type of posts on other people’s blogs (their love lists, what i’m loving wednesday, etc.).

This week Tom and I have decided to move our healthy eating up a notch so we’ve been starting our day with water and green smoothies instead of caffeine.  I’m feeling so much better for it, and I love that my day starts off in the right way.  Leaves more wiggle room for treats, of course.

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I haven’t quite found a smoothie that keeps us full until lunch but it’s a work in progress.  This one is banana, mixed berries, spinach, hemp protein and h2o.  I think I probably just need to make a bigger batch (and buy some bigger glasses to drink them from).

I’ve also started making green juices in the afternoon; just for me.  Tom’s not quite ready to up his game that much (ha!).

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I haven’t been brave enough to juice leafy greens yet; partly because of the expense but mostly because I’m being a wimp.

Just to balance out all the healthiness I’ve defo found my baking groove this week.  I’ve baked 4 batches of muffins since Saturday.

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Theo’s loving them too (I make sure I give him my sugar-free ones, minus the dark chocolate).

Finally I’m loving Nakd bars!

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Eating them has proven a little tricky since Theo is allergic to nuts and I’m paranoid about traces.  I usually end up eating them after he’s gone to bed and over the sink.  Anyway, review coming soon.

I’d love to hear what your favourite things are this week.  Please share <3