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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

I've got my personal Chef at home: Low-fat Stir-fried Vegetable Spaghetti recipe ♥

Stir Fried Vegetable Spaghetti, vegan/vegetarian recipe

Have I ever mentioned that Boyfriendlovlie is quite a great cook? After blogging for so long, I am quite surprised that I have never blogged about and praised Boyfriendlovlie's culinary skills. Mind you though, when we first met, more than a decade ago, he could barely even cut vegetables, let alone cooking. I remember his first attempt, which was way back during our pre-vegan days, at trying to cook me something. He made a big fry-up with meat burgers, sausages and potato chips. At that time he really thought he was going to impress me. Bless him. I did appreciate the gesture but it was just not my type of food even before going vegan. So, gradually he made the effort of learning how to cook real food and he can now master vegan curries, bechamels, pasta dishes, noodle dishes, rice dishes, soups and not forgetting delicious low-fat stir fries.

Quite candidly, I must admit that a spaghetti stir-fry is one dish that he masters better than I do. He makes it fried-noodle-style; I guess it may be because chow mein is one of his favourite food. We use spaghetti instead of noodles because we can never find a good quality Chinese-style noodle brand (that is also healthy). I am always concerned of the wax coating and the unwaxed noodles just turn to mush in a stir-fry. Homemade noodles is probably the way to go but I can never get to it; sadly, the pasta machine just sits in the cupboard.

For now, let's just sit back and enjoy this cooking demo of a low-fat Stir-fried Vegetable Spaghetti from my personal Chef at home (aka Boyfriendlovlie).

Stir-fried Vegetable Spaghetti
Ingredients (serves 2)

250 g dry spaghetti

1 inch ginger, finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon minced ginger)
2 carrots
1 cup (or a handful) snow peas (mange-tout)
1/2 broccoli head
1 cup bean sprouts
6 - 7 fresh mushrooms
5 stems kale
1-2 stems scallions

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons jerk/bbq sauce
1 - 2 tablespoons shoyu soy sauce
1 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Black pepper and salt to taste

  • Bring a large pan of water to boil. Break spaghetti in half and boil until al dente. When spaghetti is cooked, drain water. Run cold water in the spaghetti, then drain again. (Running cold water in the spaghetti prevents it from sticking to one another until we are ready to use it). Set spaghetti aside.
  • Meanwhile, prepare vegetables: cut the broccoli into florets, cut the carrots into julienne (or thin strips), remove the strings from the snow peas, wash mushroom thoroughly then slice them.
  • Remove the middle stem from the kale, then cut the leaves into thin ribbons. Chop the scallions. Wash the bean sprouts and keep aside.
  • Once all vegetables are prepare, begin sauteing them by starting with the carrots.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil, in a deep large non-stick fry pan or wok. Add in the carrots. Saute for a couple of minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Next add in the broccoli pieces. No need to add any more oil. You can add a little water. Saute for 4 - 5 minutes then add the snow peas and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Next add the mushrooms. You may add a little teriyaki and bbq sauce. Stir and cook for 5 - 6 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Next add in the kale with a little water. Let cook until slightly wilted. Remove and set aside.
  • Now add all the pre-cooked veggies (carrots, broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms and kale) back into the frying pan. (You may turn off the heat at this point so that the vegetables do not overcook). Add the bean sprouts. Stir and mix all the veggies. Then remove and set aside.
  • Now heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan, add in the chopped ginger. Let cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the cook spaghetti.
  • Add the sauces: teriyaki, bbq, soy sauce and maple syrup. Stir and mix well. Add the lemon juice.
  • Next add all the pre-cooked vegetables back in and give everything a good stir. Taste and adjust salt & pepper. Cook for about a minute or so. Then, turn off heat.
  • It is best to serve straight-away as reheating may overcook the vegetables.
  • Garnish with the scallions and enjoy with your favourite hot sauce!
If you are cooking this in advance then I suggest you under cook the vegetables then when reheating the vegetables will be just right.

So, I do hope you've enjoy this recipe. Leave a dodo love (comment) for Boyfriendlovlie if you've enjoyed his recipe and cooking demo! A la prochaine!

Stir Fried Vegetable Spaghetti, vegan/vegetarian recipe

Friday, 17 October 2014

As Fit As Popcorn Can Get!

Popcorn Indiana Review

When it comes to vegan snacks, it can become quite a challenge in my case with my nuts-and-seeds allergy. While I do often make my own tasty homemade snacks, sometimes I just want the convenience of a store-bought one. So, when Popcorn Indiana offered to send on a sample of their popcorn for my review, I just couldn't refuse. Now, not all of their popcorn range is vegan but they do have a few varieties that are. But what really caught my attention is that Popcorn Indiana uses only non-GMO corn. I rarely ever buy even fresh corn, let alone popcorn, on this part of the planet namely because I cannot be sure they are non-GMO.
So, when I received a bag of Popcorn Indiana in the Fit range that was non-GMO, I was pretty excited.

Popcorn Indiana Review

As the name suggests, the Fit range has lower fat content with only 37 calories per cup.

Popcorn Indiana Review

This won my heart! Not only was this popcorn tastier and lighter than a few other brands I've tried before but it was also low in fat calories. And that's a big plus for me.

Popcorn Indiana Review

Well, I was happy to find out that this brand was available at my local grocery store. Quite a few packs have landed in my shopping cart. However, I guess I've been munching on these tasty fluffs a little too much; popcorn can be quite damaging to teeth if the bits of shell get stuck in between. I have learnt my lesson (or maybe not quite): too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Well, not too bad though. Happy munching if you find some Popcorn Indiana on your way. I am hoping they will introduce some more vegan options in other flavours.

Popcorn Indiana Review

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received the above mentioned product for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received from Popcorn Indiana for the review.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Gooey Chocolate Crème Dessert sans the Fat! (can be made sugar-free too)

Fat-free Chocolate Sauce, Vegan Dessert Recipe

Fall is quite the time to be lured into rich chocolatey finger-licking indulgence. And believe me I've got one recipe that is just right for this time of the year plus (and that's a big plus) it comes sans the fat! But that is not the only plus, it can also be made sugar-free if you use stevia or date syrup (for a lower glycemic index). We all know that being vegan is not automatically synonymous with "skinny" and when it comes to that, I am one of those who have always carried a few extra pounds. Going vegan has actually made the extra pounds to accumulate a little more -- vegan food is so delicious! So, while I don't try to eat a low-carb diet, I do however considerably cut down on fat. I do believe that the fat that we get through natural foods like bananas, avocados, seeds is by far superior to processed oils and margarine. Oils are however not completely eradicated from my recipes; I try to use the healthier ones like coconut oil as far as possible. However, when I can avoid them, by all means, I do.

So, this fat-free chocolate dessert sauce has quite literally become my favorite dessert while I am binge-watching Doctor Who after dinner! Are you a Doctor Who fan by the way?

Back to our chocolate sauce, I make it at least twice a week when I want a warm creamy dessert.

Fat-free Chocolate Sauce, Vegan Dessert Recipe

Basil Seeds aka Tukmaria
One other ingredient that I have blogged about before - basil seeds (which are actually the holy basil variety) or tukmaria - is one common addition to a lot of my recipes: drinks, desserts, breakfast and sometimes as an egg replacer/binder. They look like Chia seeds and swell when soaked. Apparently, they are very good for digestion and regulate the blood sugar level. Some people actually consume them as part of a weight loss program by taking a tablespoon in a glass of water just before each meal. Apparently it stops excess fat from being absorbed in the body. I couldn't testify whether this works or not because I haven't tried them for that purpose.

Where can you buy tukmaria?
I buy my basil seeds at the Indian store close to my place but you can find them in Asian/Indian stores in general. If not, they can be found online (although a little more expensive) here.

So, are you ready for guilt-free indulgence? I won't keep you on your toes any longer, here is the recipe video. Ooey-gooey chocolatey goodness -- quick, easy, simple ingredients and low calorie! What more could I ask for. Really, I don't have much to say about this except that you should definitely give this a try and let me know of the results.

For the chocolate sauce:
300 ml homemade oat milk
1 - 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
Pinch cinnamon
2 - 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or to taste)

  • Heat the oat milk in a saucepan on low-medium heat.
  • Add the cocoa powder, coffee, cinnamon and maple syrup.
  • Stir and mix well.
  • Increase the heat to medium and keep stirring.
  • The mixture will thicken gradually. Turn off heat when it reaches the consistency that you like.
  • A thinner consistency is great for ice-cream but thick creamy texture is perfect for fruits.

For the dessert:
Any fruits that you like, chopped up into small pieces (I used bananas)
1 tablespoons basil seeds + water to soak
Toasted coconut flakes or nuts/seeds for toppings

  • Place the basil seeds in half cup of water and allow to soak until swollen.
  • To serve the dessert, place some fruits in a bowl, top with the soaked basil seeds.
  • Next pour in the warm chocolate sauce and top with the coconut flakes or nuts.

Et voilà! Eat while still warm.

Fat-free Chocolate Sauce, Vegan Dessert Recipe

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