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Tag: healthy living

Chinese style Seitan or tofu strips

I haven’t eat meat for a really long time and I never crave meat. The only thing I usually crave are the sauces that some of the meat came in! I miss so many sauces! you just can’t get vegan alternatives off of a shelf and now being on a low fodmap diet (for IBS) even if they did I probably couldn’t have it because it would contain Garlic and onion (They’re in absolutely everything!)

The other day I was sat there and suddenly had a hankering for those chicken pieces you can get in supermarkets in a Chinese style sauce! I looked online for a recipe but if you type in Chinese sauce recipe…let me tell you there’s a whole bunch and none of them looked like the ones the sauce I had in mind. So I checked out the ingredients that they use on the original chicken and got to formulating the recipe myself.

You can use this recipe for anything, I used Seitan this time but it works on tofu too. Below i’m going to show you my recipe for the seitan however to adapt this to tofu you will need firm tofu and then press it for a couple of hours until all of the liquid is drained (if you don’t have a tofu press you can easily use kitchen roll and put it between two chopping boards with something heavy on top). Then marinade the tofu for a couple of hours (or over night) with the same flavourings that I use in the seitan to let them soak in. Then smother in the sauce and bake like the seitan (though please bare in mind tofu won’t take as long to bake)

The seitan recipe is one that I’ve adapted from a few different places and this is my most used recipe when using it!

** Also Seitan for those that do not know is another term for Vital wheat gluten. If you’re on low fodmap you may not be okay with this so just a disclaimer! I’m lucky that I am. However I’m not so lucky that I have a severe physical reaction to other gluten products such as spelt, pasta and noodles. So for those of you that aren’t okay with it you can follow the information above for tofu. **

Keep your eyes peeled as over the next few months I will have a whole host of tofu inspired recipes for you, to keep in line with healthy meal inspo!

Seitan recipe: 

  • 1 and a quarter cups seitan powder,
  • quarter of a cup of nutritional yeast,
  • 1 cup vegetable stock,
  • 1 table spoon tomato puree,
  • 2 tbsp olive oil,
  • half a tbsp soy sauce,
  • half a teaspoon 5 spice,
  • half a teaspoon mustard powder,
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika,
  • quarter of a teaspoon of coriander powder,
  • half a teaspoon of salt,
  • pepper to taste

(if you aren’t on a low fodmap diet you can add garlic and onion powder to taste)

Sauce recipe:

  • 1.5 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice,
  • 1 teaspoons smoked paprika,
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut sugar (or you can use brown sugar)
  • 4.5 teaspoons of nutritional yeast,
  • 4 tablespoons of beetroot juice (I juiced my own cooked beetroot, but you can also buy this in health food shops)
  • half a table spoon of tomato puree,
  • salt and pepper to taste.

(again if you are not on the Fodmap diet you can add garlic and onion to taste, I made a separate sauce for my partner and I used ground onion granules and I used 1 teaspoon, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder)

 

Recipe.

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 Degrees and put some baking foil on a couple of baking trays. Grab a large mixing bowl and put in your seitan powder, nutritional yeast, spices and salt and pepper. Mix together well. In a separate bowl or Jug mix together your soy sauce, olive oil and vegetable stock.
  2. Make a well in the middle of seitan powder mix and add in your liquids. Using a wooden spoon start mixing the two together. It’ll start becoming sticky and eventually you won’t be able to mix with a spoon. Instead you will have to put your hands in and start kneading the mixture with the palm of your hands like you would a bread dough. Knead the mixture for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Now time to create the sauce! In a different bowl add all of your spices and seasoning, nutritional yeast, coconut sugar, tomato puree and the beetroot juice. mix well together until it forms a paste.
  4. On a chopping board cut off pieces of seitan to what looks like small fillets or chunks (you could even create burger patties if you wanted) spoon a tiny bit of your sauce onto each of the pieces and spread the mix over each of your fillets, make sure to coat both sides!
  5. Once you have coated all of the pieces put a layer of kitchen foil over the top of them, then place your second baking tray on top. This is going to help your pieces crispen nicely on both sides. If you have pieces on both baking trays and you have a third baking tray (or even a cake pan that’s the same length) then put it on top and pop it in the oven like this. if you do not have more than two baking trays then pop them in stacked on top of one another with the top layer just covered in kitchen foil. You can always pop the top layer in for an other 4-5 minutes if you need to with the bottom layer on top once you’ve taken the pieces off it. I know this sounds complicated, but you’re just stacking them on top of the other to make them crispen and bake better. Put in the oven for 30-35 minutes and then enjoy!

If you are using tofu you do not need to stack the trays on top of one another and you do not need to add kitchen foil to the top. However bake for the same amount of time.

I hope you enjoy my Chinese style sauce you could of course add this to many things such as soy strips or anything you like.

 

Hello Autumn

Hello lovelies, ahhh the autumn is here and it’s officially October. I have pumpkin spiced everything on my brain and I’ve been making tonnes of seasonal recipes.

I love this time of the year and I always feel so inspired. The warm crisp colours, the smells and of course the seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Due to my food allergies and sensitivities I’m not able to buy my favourite seasonal foods whilst out and about which is always so disappointing, of course I’m always determined to not miss out! So I’ve taken to creating my own recipes and I want to share some of my favourites with you so i’ll be posting a lot of recipes over the next month to hopefully inspire you all to go and create! I’m also actively working on my Youtube channel  too and will be posting cute autumn fashion blogs and maybe some inspirational make up videos for you guys <3 I can’t wait to show you all what I have planned.

So when I was thinking about my first recipe I wanted to make I thought about all the things I missed out on and decided I wanted something pumpkin spiced flavoured. So I created my recipe for a Pumpkin spiced shake. It took a few times to get it to a recipe which I felt really worked but I’m really happy with how this recipe worked out, the shake itself is creamy, thick whilst being subtly spiced making it perfect for those autumnal rainy days.

 

Tips And Extras: 

I’m allergic to ginger so I haven’t added it to my recipe, but you could always experiment with putting ginger powder in this too for a little kick.

This recipe calls for a frozen banana. I always have frozen bananas in the freezer and I use them in loads of different recipes. Don’t worry if you don’t, pop a banana in the freezer over night or first thing in the morning (if you want it for the evening) and it should be perfect for when you need it.

 

Calories:

As I wrote on my bourbon twist recipe I’ve started adding my recipes to fitness pal, this one is under miss bunny’s Pumpkin shake. it contains 292 calories and these stats are based off of using the brands that I state below. The calorie content may differ slightly either being slightly more or less depending on your ingredients. I always try and write which brands I use so that you can find the same. The calories are also not worked out using cream and chocolate on the top but I have included the calories for maca powder and ground flax seeds.

I have done my best to keep it as accurate as possible but like with anything it may slightly vary if you’re concerned about it not being 100% accurate or you don’t add flax or maca then pop the ingredients in independently.

 

Vanilla and pumpkin spiced shake.

 

Ingredients: 

  • 100 grams of frozen banana,
  • half a can of Pumpkin puree,
  • 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup,
  • 30 grams of Plain Yogurt, (I used koko dairy free)
  • 250-300 ml of almond mylk or non dairy mylk of your choice (I used Almond breeze unsweetened mylk)
  • quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon,
  • quarter of a teaspoon of all spice,
  • quarter of a teaspoon of nutmeg,
  • quarter of a teaspoon of Almond extract (or Vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut or almond butter, (I used roughly 10 grams of pip and nuts peanut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground flax seeds, (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of maca powder, (optional)
  • a couple of pieces of dark chocolate (optional)
  • vegan spray cream.(optional)

 

Method: 

  1. In a blender pop all of your ingredients except the chocolate and blend until well mixed and creamy.
  2. pour into a cup or glass, spray on the cream and then using the fine side of a grater grate the chocolate over the top of the cream.

 

I hope you enjoy drinking your pumpkin spiced shake as much as I did. Leave me a comment below if you’ve tried it and let me know what you think <3

I’d also love to hear what your favourite thing about autumn is <3

 

 

 

Chocolate bourbon twists

 

There’s something really nostalgic for me about biscuits. They remind me of happy childhood memories and rainy autumn and winter days.
I’ve not eaten biscuits for years and as it’s the first day of autumn today it seemed like the perfect time to whip some up. Chocolate bourbons were some of my absolute favourites growing up and so I wanted to make some that were free from refined sugars and gluten free.

SUBSTITUTIONS:

Of course I always talk about substitutes before giving you my recipes as not all of you want or need to bake without regular sugar or gluten.So the sweeteners I’ve used are a mixture of stevia and maple syrup in my biscuits. The stevia makes the biscuits a little dryer in it’s dough form than a normal biscuit mix so don’t worry if it seems a little more crumbly than other biscuits that you’ve made. Alternatively you can use regular sugar however you’ll need to use double the amount of sugar as stevia is a lot sweeter than regular sugar. I like to pick up my stevia by a brand called Sukrin this can be found either online or some Holland and Barrett stores stock it,  however you can easily use this Whole earth stevia from Sainsbury’s.

For the ganache center I use the powdered stevia icing from Sukrin, again you can buy this in some Holland and Barrett stores or you can purchase this online. It’s always worth shopping around for as you can normally find it on a deal from sites such as dolphin fitness other wise you can use regular icing sugar. Do not use double the icing for the center. The rations need to be split evenly for the perfect ganache center.

I use gluten free plain flour (Sainsbury’s) however you can also substitute this for a normal plain white flour if you don’t need to eat gluten free.

Other info: 

I have now started adding my recipes onto fitness pal as foods. To search for them look for brand “miss bunny’s *insert recipe name* so for instance these are miss bunny’s chocolate bourbons. I have a lot of people asking me about calorie information so I have worked my biscuits out as an average. If you recreate these using the ingredients I have (and not substituting for regular sugar and flour) and using a large cookie cutter (like I did) rather than making small biscuits you’ll roughly have 34 single biscuits or 17 full biscuits with ganache center. The 17 biscuits with center is what I have worked out on fitness pal. I will slowly be adding more of my recipes to fitness pal over the next few months so if you are calorie counting and want to try out my recipes then you can add them easily.
For those of you not on fitness pal the large 17 complete biscuits equals 171 calories; 12 grams of carbs, 11 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and only 1 gram of sugar.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 340 grams gluten free plain white flour,
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder,
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup,
  • 90 grams of stevia,
  • 3 heaped teaspoons of raw cacao (or alternatively 4 heaped teaspoons of cocoa powder)
  • pinch of salt,
  • 220 grams of room temperature vegan butter (I used soy pure)

For the Ganache center:

  • 40 grams of dark chocolate of your choice (My preference is always 72% dark ombar)
  • 40 grams of room temperature vegan butter (I used the soy pure brand)
  • 40 grams of powdered stevia or alternatively normal icing sugar.

*I iced some of my biscuits but you really don’t need to as they’re bourbons however they’re super fun to decorate with royal icing or flood icing* 

 

RECIPE:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Grab a couple of baking trays and line them with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl put in your butter and stevia and mix with a spoon until blended. Next add in your maple syrup and stir. Add in your dry ingredients one by one and start mixing with a spoon, It will get to a point that you’ll need to start working the biscuit dough with your hands. The dough should be moist enough that you can roll it into a ball. Like I said in my notes earlier the mix may seem dryer and more crumbly than other biscuit doughs you’re used to as we’re using stevia instead of regular sugar. Don’t worry it doesn’t affect them when baked.
  3. Flour a clean surface and a rolling pin then grab half your mixture and put in in the middle of your flour surface. Roll the dough to roughly a few mm thick, then use your cookie cutter to cut out the shapes that you want. Alternatively you can roll your dough into the shape of a rectangle or square and cut lines vertically and horizontally to form normal bourbon shapes just make sure you have an even amount of shapes.
  4. Very carefully move your shapes onto your baking tray. I found the best way to do this was to slide a butter knife underneath the dough and then slide under a spatula and use the spatula to carefully pop them onto your baking tray. Pop your biscuits into the oven for 10-15 minutes. (usually less time for a gas oven. My oven is an electric fan assisted oven and they took 12 minutes)
  5. Take your biscuits out to cool and then grab a clean heat proof bowl. Next Melt your chocolate in the bowl. To do this I normally take a pan of hot water (just enough so the bottom of your bowl is in it) and pop on the stove top on a very low heat (to keep the water hot whilst melting the chocolate but not hot enough to boil.) Put your heat proof bowl into the pan (alternatively if your bowl is too big you can use the hot water as steam to keep it warm) and melt your chocolate. Next sieve in your powdered icing stevia and mix together, then add in your creamed butter and make sure the ingredients are completely mixed together.
  6. Using the ganache ice half of your biscuits and then add the other half on top.
  7. Enjoy your biscuits with a nice cup of tea or cup of hot chocolate.

 

 

Vegananuary: cupboard essentials.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful festive period full of delicious food, friends and family! And now, as January has arrived, I wanted to take some time to talk about Vegananuary!

Vegananuary is where for the month of January you cut out all meat, eggs, dairy and any animal byproduct, and eat vegan for the month! It’s a great way to try something new and kick start your health for the year (75% of people trying vegananuary last year saw vast improvements to their health) and it also helps save billions of animals lives! and not to mention you can also do it for charity too!

I know it may sound tough but i’m here to show you that it isn’t! you don’t need to miss out on anything at all, it’s incredibly easy in this day and age to be vegan. More and more products are being sold in supermarkets, 2017 was a particularly good year for vegan food in supermarkets with Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s and Aldi all following suit and improving all their vegan ranges…not to mention Pizza Hut, Pizza Express and other fast food chains all released vegan food to their menu’s!

I will be posting recipes over the month as well as blog posts with helpful tips to help you on your vegananuary journey so keep your eyes peeled.

I thought i’d kick start my vegananuary blogs by my cupboard essentials! Of course fruit and vegetables are essentials for a vegan diet, but this goes without saying, but what else might you want to add to your cupboards?

First of all lets talk about milk substitutes. There’s loads of alternative “milk” drinks out there and in my opinion they all taste great in different things. For instance rice milk is sweet, creamy and tastes delicious with cereal, smoothies, hot chocolate or in baking. Soy and almond milk is great in tea (almond milk makes your tea taste like biscuits), oat milk tastes lovely in porridge and smoothies, and coconut milk tastes great with cereal, smoothies and baking! it’s all about trying to find your favourites so don’t be put off if you don’t like one or another, the flavour can also change dramatically depending on brand. There are tonnes of brands out there and you can buy both sweetened “milks” and unsweetened. It’s always worth noting to look out for fortified drinks, this means they’ve added calcium, B12 and/or vitamin D! perfect for being a healthy vegan!

 

SIDE NOTE: Cereals can also be a pain! A lot of cereals in supermarkets specifically cheaper cereals have either milk added in or milk protein! So just keep an eye out! There are tonnes of great vegan cereals, check out the free from section in supermarkets if you’re really stuck.

Of course if you don’t eat cereal you’ll want something to go on your toast in the morning! you can get vegan margarine from most supermarkets now! some such as Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s even have their own branded version other wise there are a lot of others. Brands to look out for are Pure and vitalite, although following suit you also have flora that have started doing their own version and some supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco do a coconut “spread” and avocado too. My personal favourite has to be Pure: olive oil spread though!

 

Nut butters are definitely one of my cupboard essentials! high protein and full of good fats! 🙂 I love adding them to my smoothies or porridge in the morning! (peanut butter porridge is delicious, just add a spoon of peanut butter in and slice some banana’s on top! adding seeds adds another protein boost and they’re packed with tonnes of nutrients!)
My favourite brand is Pip And Nuts, you can buy it in tubs this size or in 1kg tubs. They also sell almond butters (which are delicious, i’m going to do some brownies this month using almond butter! keep your eyes peeled!) and various different types of peanut butter for instance, peanut butter with maple syrup, coconut or agave! it’s available in Most supermarkets, Holland and Barrett’s or online.

 

Whilst we’re talking about proteins one of my favourite cupboard staples is Buckwheat! despite the name it’s gluten free and isn’t made from wheat at all. It’s actually a flowering plant and is related to rhubarb! it contains both protein and a healthy carbs making it great for a vegan diet. You can now buy buckwheat pasta in Sainsbury’s, It’s usually mixed in with the regular pasta’s in the supermarket and looks a dark purple/brown colour or you can find it health food shops. Buckwheat pasta is great with all your normal pasta dishes, it has a great texture and generally it’s just delicious! You can also buy buckwheat flour and crackers!

link to the sainsbury’s buckwheat pasta: buckwheat pasta

SIDE NOTE: also available in Sainsbury’s they sell Lentil and pea pasta! worth checking out, though the textures for me particularly pea pasta, takes some getting used to! I do however absolutely love Sweet potato noodles, butternut squash noodles and zucchini noodles all of which are great substitutes for pasta and you can find them in the fresh section in supermarkets!

 

Okay so I’m going to band these three together, unfortunately I do not have any photos of these as I’m currently away but they’re pretty straight forward.  These are definite staples in any vegans cupboards: Tofu, Lentils and chickpeas! all three are high in protein and perfect for vegan diets, they add essential nutrients, protein and help keep you fuller for longer.

TOFU: tofu is such a versatile tool! it’s a great egg and meat replacement in recipes. You can scramble it, fry it, bake it pretty much anything! I’ve used it as a scrambled egg replacement, I’ve used it to make frittata’s, quiche and flan! also suitable in sauces or you can also just added to a stir fry. There are two main different types of tofu found in supermarkets although there are quite a few different types. Soft/silken tofu is better as an egg replacement in  baking, where as firm tofu is best for frying and a meat substitute.

Lentils: Lentils are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, they’re also a great source of fiber and low in calories! Perfect in soups, chilli and casserole. You can also make lentil hummus! recipe coming soon!

Chickpeas: if you’re a fan of hummus then i’m sure you’re already fully aware of chickpeas and how delicious and wonderful they can be! they’re an essential in the cupboard too, add them to curries, soups or make your own hummus and be sure to save the liquid in the can because this makes a perfect egg replacement in baking.

 

Okay, now if you’re wondering how you’re going to get through without cheese and feeling a bit intimidated with the vegan “cheese” aka “gary” in the supermarkets, then take a deep breath and get experimental! what I will say is vegan “cheeses” do not taste like normal cheese and once you can push past this you’ll be able to accept the delicious nut, soy, rice and coconut blocks in their full glory. Like with the “milks” each of the different blocks are better for different things. Some brands will have their own versions of things you may or may not like, some brands you may not like at all. Some are better in sauces, melted, or just to eat with crackers. Honestly I could write an entire blog entry on my most favourite and least favourite vegan “cheese” blocks so all I can do is recommend that you experiment, both Sainsbury’s and Tesco have their own branded versions so make a great place to start as they’re both affordable and easily accessible, or the most commonly found brand is Violife. I love Violife! it’s a coconut based “cheese” and they do various types including melty, Parmesan, mild and strong. They even did a vegan “cheese” board this past Christmas. I buy violife slices on frequent basis as they’re perfect just to keep in the fridge for either crackers, sauces or just to chuck on top of a salad!

 

 

Lastly on my essentials list is this wonderful product called nutritional yeast. It’s essentially deactivated yeast which you add to food, it has an almost cheesy taste to it which makes it perfect to add to sauces, it’s also delicious in soups, or just sprinkled on top of salads or pasta. I’ve even used it as a sprinkling on top of baked mac and “cheese” to add a delicious crust top. I always make sure to buy the pot with added B12 in so that it adds a real nutrition boost to my food. You can buy it from Holland and Barrett’s, some supermarkets and health food stores.

 

So that’s all for my essential cupboard range, I will be adding lots more to these blogs including recipes, treat favourites and much, much more!

For now good luck on your adventure through vegananuary, whatever you’re reason behind starting. Let me know how you get on below in the comment sections.

Don’t forget to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on updates!

 

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