Pritchard’s Sticky Tofu Bao Buns

This recipe is taken from Matt Pritchard’s- Dirty Vegan Another Bite Cookbook (I have adapted it slightly). The bao buns are soooo tasty!! I felt so accomplished that I had made the buns from scratch, I highly recommend giving this recipe a go.

Ingredients

For the tofu:

  • 2cm piece of fresh root ginger (finely grated)
  • 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 300g firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil.

For the buns:

  • 80ml warm water
  • 40ml oat milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fast action dried yeast
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt.

Pickled veg:

  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and cut into thin matchsticks)
  • 4 radishes (thinly chopped)
  • 1/4 cucumber (cut into thin matchsticks)
  • 1/4 tsp salt.

Method

1) Pickle the veg, preferably the night before, or if you are pinch, prepare 30 minutes beforehand. Mix the sugar, vinegar and salt together in a mixing bowl and add the finely chopped veggies. Cover and leave overnight to pickle.

2) Mix all the tofu mix ingredients (except the tofu) together on a shallow bowl or large plate.

3) Chop the tofu into 6 even slabs.

4) Add the tofu to the marinade, coat and leave.

5) Mix water, milk, oil, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl and leave for 15 minutes, so that the yeast activates and looks ‘foamy.’

6) Then add the flour, salt and baking powder to the mixture and knead for 10 minutes. Pop back into a bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warm place for a few hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

7) Knock all the air out of the dough and separate into 6 balls, roll the balls into 6 ovals. Coat the the outside with sunflower oil and place a chopstick/stainless steel straw widthways and fold over. Transfer the buns to baking parchment and cover loosely with cling film- leave for about 30 minutes until the buns have doubled in size.

8) Steam the buns for 12-15 minutes on the baking parchments in batches of 2-3 (depending on how big your steamer is.

9) Scrape as much of the marinade as possible off the tofu and then fry for a few minutes until golden. Then add the remaining marinade to the pan and cook until it goes rich and sticky.

10) Open the buns, place a slice of tofu, some pickled veg, coriander leaves and sesame seeds. You can also add some sriracha for heat.

11) Enjoy!

Green smoothie

Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get a huge nutrient hit and tick off some fruit and veggie portions for the day. I tend to freeze all my fruit and veggies for my smoothies, because they taste so much better when they are ice cold. Give this recipe a whirl to replace your usual breakfast. I love having this smoothie after a morning work out. Summer and Corey are fans of this recipe too- parenting win!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup kale (frozen)
  • 1/2 cup mango/pineapple/papaya (frozen)
  • 1-2 bananas (frozen)
  • 2 tbsp milled linseed
  • 2-3 cups almond milk.

Method

  • Whack everything in a high speed blender and whizz until smooth!
  • Add more almond milk if the smoothie is too thick.

Food for thought: why is it called a smoothie and not a smoothy?

VEGAN SAUSAGE CASSEROLE

This recipe is perfect for a hearty, warming, comfort food sort of meal. You can add whatever veggies you having lying around in the bottom of your fridge that need using up. I find that mushrooms work really well in this recipe- mix it up and have fun.

Ingredients

🌍6-8 vegan sausages (I used Heck ones)

🌍Coconut oil

🌍1 large onion (diced)

🌍4 cloves garlic (chopped)

🌍4 carrots (peeped and diced)

🌍Can of beans (I used haricot, but any will do)

🌍1 can chopped tomatoes

🌍1 tbsp tomato purée

🌍300ml veggie stock

🌍1/2 tsp paprika or smoked paprika

🌍1/2 tsp thyme

🌍Vegan mayo (see my recipe!)

Method

⭐️ Cook vegan sausages as per instructions.

⭐️ Fry onion in a large saucepan for 5 mins until soft.

⭐️ Add garlic, carrots, stock, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, paprika and thyme- cook for 15 mins (low to medium heat, lid on).

⭐️ Add beans and vegan sausages and cook for a further 15 mins.

⭐️Serve with sweet potato wedges and salad YUM!

TOFU SCRAMBLE

This is the perfect weekend breakfast, packed full of plant protein. The tofu scramble really does have the consistency of scrambled eggs. The turmeric has great anti-inflammatory properties and also gives the tofu a lovely yellow colour. The broccoli works really well in the recipe, as it adds an extra crunch along with much needed vitamin c. I love this recipe as it’s quick to make and super filling. It tastes great on toast with baked beans. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients

🌍 300g pack of firm tofu

🌍 1/2 red onion (chopped)

🌍 10-15 tenderstem broccoli pieces (finely chopped)

🌍 1/2 tsp turmeric

🌍 1/2 tsp garlic powder

🌍 1/2 tsp salt

🌍 Pinch of chilli flakes

🌍 Bread

🌍 Baked beans.

Method

⭐️ In a bowl, crumble all the tofu with a fork or fingertips and add the turmeric, garlic powder, salt and chilli flakes. Stir to combine.

⭐️ Fry onion and broccoli in some veggie oil (don’t over fry, as you still want the broccoli a bit crunchy).

⭐️ Add the tofu mixture to the frying pan and fry for 2-3 minutes.

⭐️ Serve on some toasted bread topped with baked beans and then the tofu scramble.

DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning

When our family decided to go zero waste, one of the first things I looked into was DIY cleaning products. I researched the products that I was using like bleach, window cleaners, fabric softeners and surface sprays and was shocked by the dangerously toxic ingredients that I was spraying around my home everyday. The hidden toxins in the products I was using were linked to cancer, asthma, respiratory problems, hormone disruption, reproductive issues along with other health issues.

I quickly decided that I wanted a non-toxic, greener cleaning routine for my home, as I didn’t want to subject my family to the potentially harmful effects of nasty chemicals. The thought of my children taking a bath in the residue of toxic chemical cleaners completely freaks me out, so I decided to detox my cleaning products.

Do you find that you have a cupboard full of cleaning products for all different purposes?

I use four main homemade non-toxic cleaning products, that work great and also smell awesome! I’m a mama of two and I know that many people may not think they have the time to make their own cleaning products. However, the recipes below are super quick and easy and, as they are non-toxic, children could help to make them with you!

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

  • †††††††2 cups water (boiled and then cooled)
  • 2 tbsp of castille soap/eco dish soap
  • 5 drops each of tea tree and lemon essential oils
  • Pour into a glass spray bottle or reuse an empty cleaning spray bottle
  • Give it a shake to mix.

This multi-purpose cleaner is non-toxic and can be used all around your house. I find that a 500ml spray bottle is the perfect size bottle.

Disinfectant Cleaner

  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water (boiled and then cooled)
  • 5 drops each of tea tree and lemon essential oils.

This disinfectant cleaner can be used with just vinegar, but I like to add water and essential oils to reduce the smell of vinegar.

I use this on harder to clean areas like sinks, drains and around the bathroom. I do tend to use the multi-purpose cleaner first for sinks, showers and baths.

Avoid use on: granite, marble, stone, iron or wooden surfaces.

Floor Cleaner

  • 9 litres hot water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tbsp castille soap/eco dish soap
  • 5 drops each of tea tree and peppermint essential oils.

Mix all of the above ingredients into your mop bucket. I find that this floor cleaner has a streak free finish on my floors and it also smells amazing.

Glass & Mirror Cleaner

  • Equal parts of water (boiled then cooled)
  • Equal parts of vinegar.

Spray on glass and mirrors and wipe with a dry glass cloth (not microfibre) and keep wiping until there are no more streaks.

Zero Waste Cleaning Tips:

  • Cut up old clothes (that are in too bad condition to sell/donate) to use as rags
  • By cleaning frequently, you will reduce the need for heavy cleaners
  • Avoid plastic scrubbing brushes. I use biodegradable dish brushes , which I find are more durable than the previous plastic dish brush (the ones where you just change the heads, but still have lots of plastic waste).
  • Avoid ‘wipe’ products, you do not need them! Use rags/cloths etc. that can be washed, they are better for the environment and your pocket.
  • Opt for compostable cloths/‘sponges’, that you can cut into small pieces and add to your compost bin.
  • Bulk buy your white vinegar- it will save you money in the long run.
  • Don’t underestimate fresh air – open your windows rather than using toxic air fresheners.

NO BAKE ENERGY BALLS

These date energy balls are a super quick and easy snack to make. Perfect for on-the-go children and adults alike- my little girl absolutely loves them. It’s also something fun to do with children, as they can help measure the ingredients into the food processor- I always find that children are more likely to eat something, if they are involved in the making. The chia seeds are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, which make them great for vegan and vegetarian diets.

Ingredients

🌍 1 cup pitted dates

🌍 Handful unsulphered dried apricots

🌍 2/3 cup rolled oats

🌍 3 tbsp 100% peanut butter (I use Meridian Organic 100% Peanut Butter)

🌍 1/4 cup vegan chocolate

🌍 1 tbsp chai seeds.

Method

⭐️ Whizz dates in a food processor until they break up into small pieces.

⭐️ Add the oats, apricots, peanut butter, chocolate and chia seeds and whizz up until combined. You might need to add 1-2 tbsp water, if the dates are quite dry.

⭐️ Mould into small balls using the warmth of your hands.

⭐️ Pop in fridge for 15 minutes to set and then add them to a sterile air-tight glass jar.

⭐️ They should stay fresh for one week, or longer if you choose to freeze them.

VEGAN MAC N CHEEZE

Enjoy the classic mac n cheese without the moo! I looooove this recipe, it’s super simple and has hidden veggies in, which is handy for getting veggies into your children if they resist them!

The recipe has a protein hit, in the form of cashew nuts, as well as these curly nuts packing a good protein hit, they are also full of vitamins (including E, K and B6), minerals (including zinc, copper, iron and magnesium and not to mention ‘good fats.’ If you are not using a high speed blender (like a NutriBullet), I recommend soaking the cashews for at least half and hour before making the recipe.

A lot of vegan mac n cheeze recipes call for high amounts of vegan margarine, but I’ve come up with this recipe without the margarine because I just couldn’t justify putting 1-2 full cups of the stuff in the sauce…nope, just too far!

I hope you enjoy making this recipe, let me know what you think if you give it a go.

Ingredients

🌍 2 3/4 cups macaroni pasta

🌍 1 carrot (peeled and diced)

🌍 1 white potato (peeled and diced)

🌍 1 red onion (diced)

🌍 3/4 cup veggie stock (use liquid from pan of veggies)

🌍 1/2 cup cashew nuts (raw)

🌍 1/4 cup coconut milk

🌍 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

🌍 1/2 lemon juice (squeezed)

🌍 1 tsp salt

🌍 1/4 tsp garlic powder

🌍 Pinch of turmeric powder

🌍 2 spring onions.

Method

⭐️ Cook macaroni as per instructions.

⭐️ Bring a small pan of water to the boil, then add chopped onion, potato and carrot. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until veggies are soft enough to blend.

⭐️ Add all other ingredients to a blender, whilst you wait for the veggies to cook (don’t blend yet).

⭐️ When veggies are soft, transfer to the blender along with 3/4 cup of the veggie liquid.

⭐️ Blend until sauce is smooth.

⭐️ Once macaroni is cooked, drain, and then add the sauce and stir.

⭐️ Transfer to an ovenproof dish and top with breadcrumbs, cook on gas mark 4 for 15 minutes until golden brown.

⭐️ Garnish with spring onion and enjoy with a side salad.

33 Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a super versatile product, so I’ve come up with a list of all the different ways that I have used it…

Cooking

  • †One of most obvious use for coconut oil is for cooking and baking. It is said to be better to cook with than other oils, as it can withstand higher temperatures without oxidation.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp to your morning coffee for a creamy taste to replace dairy-based lattes. (It is best to blend it in, but if this isn’t an option you can add it to your mug first, then add hot black coffee).
  • Whizz into your smoothies for a natural boost of medium chain triglycerides (MCT). MCT are easily absorbed by the body, compared to other fats and are believed to suppress hunger, increase energy levels and increase metabolism.
  • Use instead of butter in your mashed potatoes.
  • Melt coconut oil and dark chocolate together and then use as a topping to ice cream (my fave is Swedish Glace). The mixture will instantly solidify and taste awesome, as well as looking cool!

Skincare

  • †Use as a complete body moisturiser. It is 100% natural and usually comes in a glass jar (which can be reused or recycled). In cooler environments it will have a solid consistency, but as soon as it is worked into skin it will melt away and create a lovely sheen.
  • Add to your reusable/washable makeup pads to easily and gently remove makeup. It is probably one of the safest makeup removers, as it contains NO nasty chemicals.
  • Replace your shaving foams with coconut oil. (Tip: best used with a safety razor, as the blades won’t clog up as easily as crappy disposable razors. Safety razors are awesome as they contain no plastic and the metal blades can be recycled).
  • Use to soothe dry lips. Decant into a small container for on the go.
  • Mix with arrowroot powder and your favourite essential oil, for a natural deodorant.
  • Add to your used coffee grounds to create a body scrub. I like adding a few drops of peppermint oil to my homemade body scrub.
  • Add a dollop of coconut oil to use as a bath soak.
  • Work coconut oil into your hair before shampooing, for a deep hair conditioning treatment.

Baby

  • Create a bum spray to compliment reusable baby wipes. Simply combine 6oz water, 2 tbsp coconut oil and 1/2 cup witch hazel and voila: a natural, zero waste, cheap bum spray for baby’s sensitive skin.
  • Use to soothe nappy rash. Not only will it relieve the pain, it will fight infection and promote healing, as coconut oil has antibacterial qualities.
  • Apply coconut oil to cradle cap and leave for 20 minutes before washing off, by gently rubbing with a warm, wet flannel.
  • Use coconut oil for baby massage. Baby massage has numerous benefits, from alleviating colic, promoting better sleep and bonding with your baby. Using coconut oil will provide a natural massage lubricant and also moisturise baby’s skin.
  • There is evidence that coconut oil is 30% more effective at reducing the severity of eczema in children compared to other mineral oils.
  • I used coconut oil on my stomach during and after pregnancy to reduce the likelihood of stretch marks– it worked for me, I wouldn’t use anything else and many other mothers swear by it too!
  • Coconut oil is said to stimulate milk supply during breastfeeding, as it contains lauric acid.
  • It works great to soothe sore or cracked nipples, due to the early weeks of your newborn breastfeeding like a demon.
  • A little coconut oil can relieve heartburn, as it said that it cleans the bacteria out of your oesophagus to relieve acid reflux.

Health

  • Apply a little coconut oil to nostrils to help relieve hay-fever/allergic rhinitis/pet and dust allergy symptoms. This is much cheaper than buying the shop-bought barrier balms.
  • Add coconut oil and baking soda together to create a natural teeth whitener.
  • Coconut oil has antimicrobial qualities, which make it great for mild ear infections. Just melt a blob of oil and decant into a dropper bottle and leave to cool to room temperature, before adding a few drops to the affected ear.
  • As coconut oil is a natural analgesic (pain-reliever), it can be used on chicken pox, insect bites and poison ivy stings to help with the pain.
  • Coconut oil can be used for the ancient practice of ‘oil-pulling,’ which is ever-increasing in popularity. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil into your mouth and swish it round for at least 10 minutes (ideally 20 minutes)! I know this may seem like ages, but it is scientifically proven to effectively combat bad breath and plaque by drawing out impurities and moisturising oral tissue. Best done when you don’t have a toddler asking you a million questions!

Household

  • Combine 3/4 cup coconut oil with 1/4 cup lemon juice, as a natural furniture polish.
  • Create a non-toxic insect repellent by mixing 1/4 cup melted coconut oil with 20-30 drops citronella essential oil. Pour into a jar and then leave to set in the fridge. Rub into the skin to keep pesky bugs at bay.
  • Condition your chopping boards and wooden/bamboo dinnerware by rubbing coconut oil onto the surface to restore the wood, as well as removing bacteria.
  • Make non-toxic play dough! Over a low heat, melt 1 tbsp coconut oil and then add 1 cup water, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tsp cream of tartar and gel food colouring of your choice.
  • Mix coconut oil and baking soda to form a paste, which works great to scrub away soap scum and mildew from the bath.
  • Remove sticky residue from jars by wiping coconut oil to the sticky part and leave for at least 5 minutes, then wipe away with a cloth.

Tip: Keep one jar of coconut oil for the kitchen and one for the bathroom, to avoid any cross contamination.