It was delicious! A flavour party.
My love affair with bean pasta is now firmly established. Those of you who follow regularly will know how I have been evangelising about bean pasta Love Pasta But Hate Feeling Bloated? The Low Carb, Gluten Free, Egg Free Pasta Revolution Is Here Click the link to read why I’m going crazy for this stuff.
Well my loves, I have found another company who make bean pasta and they make a soya fettuccine. It has the same great taste and texture of the mung bean fettuccine, but it’s not green. It is pasta coloured, traditional as we know it. It is made by A La Eco from Sweden. They are online and sell lots of green products from cosmetics to food. You can purchase online in the UK at Goodness Direct It is a bit more expensive. £4.25 a pack.
If they are sold out, it’s probably me. I’m cooking up the flavours of Italy like a storm!
If you want the recipe for the meatless pasta balls. It’s here Get Low Fat, Gluten Free recipe
It’s National Vegetarian Week in the UK!
I’m kicking it off with Sage & Apple ‘pulled pork’ Jackfruit. Great BBQ food for our ‘great’ British Summer. Did I say great? I meant grey. I should have said grey. It’s just..grey (So far anyway). BUT, I’m ever the optimist. Anyway, this dish doesn’t need sun. It does beg to be shared.
I’ve never tasted scallops. I’ve tasted prawns. I wasn’t that into them. But when I saw this new ‘seafood’ product being demonstrated in my local organic store, in San Francisco, in my efforts to review foods for your transition or already plant based diet, I wandered over to where all these delicious smells were emanating and grabbed some samples to taste. Calamari. Scallops. Crab Cakes and Fish Cakes. Frying on a griddle and partnered with Vegenaise Tartar Sauce. I tried. I tasted. I was hooked. I had to tell you about them and not just because of their flavour. Here’s why…
According to a shocking study by the American Academy of Paediatrics 1 in 12 children have a food allergy. It was a severe allergy to seafood sparked one young girl’s father, Eugene Wang to create an alternative. Wang had a 20 year history in the food industry. He also had an increasing awareness to the reported dwindling numbers of sea creatures from over dredging of our oceans, not to mention increasing levels of pollutants. At the same time, he also was noticing the trend towards the vegan lifestyle. So he took his Taiwanese knowledge of ingredients and concocted an alternative using Konjac (pronounced ‘kon-jack’) , a mineral rich seaweed, widely used in Asia. His company, based in Sebastopol and founded in 2011 and Sophie’s Kitchen (named after his daughter), now produces 7 faux seafood products.
100% vegan & plant based
No cholesterol, trans fat or preservatives
Located the frozen section. Sophie’s Kitchen products include – Prawn, fish fillet, calamari, shrimp, fish sticks, coconut shrimp, smoked salmon. All vegan & gluten free! It is hard to see a processed product as a health food, we have been so used to the stuff in packets being high in salt, fat and cholesterol, but if you need food in a hurry then you just may love these. Eating them feels/tastes like a decadent treat.
The secret to the texture of the ‘seafood’ is Konjac.
Konjac root is used as vegan substitute for gelatine and is the main ingredient in Sophie’s Kitchen’s range. The starchy corms of the plant are made into a flour and jelly. In its basic form konjac is a tasteless food which easily absorbs accompanying flavours. It has zero calories. Yep, calorie free. It is used in every dieters dream food – shirataki noodles . It is also zero carbs! Packed with soluble fibre, clinically proven to actually lower cholesterol. It has a really high fiber (fibre) content that slows digestion, therefore controlling blood sugar and increasing the feeling of fullness or satiety. I know, I know, I am excited about this too! But that is in it’s pure state. Sophie’s Kitchen add breading to some products (gluten free, made with potato starch and brown rice powder) and so this adds to the calorie value, but their values are still really low. I sampled the scallops and found them to have the slightly rubbery texture akin to seafood and a subtle, savoury, but not really ‘fishy’ flavour. I loved them. And the bonus is, if you grill/broil them or dry fry in a little stock they are only 50 calories, 1g fat and 11g carbs per 100g serving. Awesome!! The crab cakes (120 kcal, 13g carb, 3g protein) had an interesting texture. They are a patty of shredded konjac gel which has a flaking consistency. The flavours are all of their own, hard for me to describe, but really good. Delicately seasoned with white pepper. As a long term vegan I appreciated the new flavours and textures. My housemate, presently a carnivore, is always honest about the little ‘trials’ I put before her as she sits at her desk working. She enthusiastically pronounced that they were both ‘really delicious’.
The products have an ingredient, beta glucan, I’d not come across before so I researched it to make sure it was not a ‘nasty’ and was ok for you. According to the information I found online, beta glucan is a soluble fibre that may lower blood sugar. It has also been proven to be an immune stimulator. I’ve since seen it sold in veggie caps online at a health food store.
There are recipes on the website but really I think they are meant as a quick and easy convenience food. I spoke with a member of the Sophie’s Kitchen team and she said their customers regularly use them in Asian style soups and lettuce wraps. Veg TV has a couple of recipes if you need some inspiration.
I asked the people at Sophie’s Kitchen they’d let me offer one person a chance to try them for free. They happily agreed. Simply just use the Rafflecopter below and like my Facebook page. Good luck. Oh..sorry, entrants only in the USA please. T&C’s in the Rafflecopter widget below.
- It’s a fraction of the price of traditional caviar.
- It is cholesterol-free. Packed with health enhancing micro-nutrients. Seaweed has been used for centuries by the Japanese to increase health and longevity.
- It has a very low fat and salt content.
- It has a LONG shelf-life. Keeps in the fridge after opening for 3 months. But you’ll eat it all up before then anyhow.
- Environmentally friendly. Sustainable.
- Fish kind. The extraction of caviar (eggs taken from the body of a fish) is a horrible and cruel process. Google it!
- It looks beautiful, and effortlessly adds a touch of theatre and glamour to your plate. The texture adds a new dimension to ordinary meals so easily. Fabulous as a garnish. Just open the pot and spoon it over your dish, or mix with vegan sauces. Great for dinner parties. Impressive AND a conversation starter.
- Perfect for chefs AND home cooks.
- Nutritional info per 100g: 13 kcal, 1-2g protein, 1-2g carbs, 0-1g fat.
- Artichoke leaf with crispy oyster mushroom topped with shallot puree, bernaise sauce and black Cavi-art.
- Simple Cavi-Art stuffed nori rolls and avocado cups.
- Cavi-art cream.
- Steamed asparagus with vegan wasabi creme fraiche.
I whipped up a quick entree using Salmon Cavi-Art. A seaweed party! The pasta (noodles) are made from kelp. They are a wonderful low carb and low fat substitute for flour pasta. One serving: 6 calories. 1g carbs. 0g fat! Wow! I made a plant-based Alfredo Sauce. Click for recipe. Used scissors to snip over some fresh dill and fennel. Then spooned over the salmony pink beads. It was delicious, and so fun. We eat with our eyes too, right?!
This recipe is simple to prepare. You do need to soak the cashews for the creamy ‘coronation’ sauce prior to making the dish, but that is hardly a chore! I thought the combination of rich sauce combined with the lightness of the vegetable would create a lovely combo.
The idea came from Coronation Chicken, a recipe of cold chicken and creamy curry sauce. According to Wikipedia it was invented in 1953 by English food writer, Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume, a chef, whist creating the menu for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Cauliflower is low in fat, low carb and packed with lots of fibre. High in phytochemicals with Indole-3-carbinol, that actually enhances DNA repair (phyto=plant in Greek). Keeping it raw retains all of these fabulous nutrients that would diminish during cooking.
Serves 2 for a light lunch
squeeze of lime (1 Tbs if you are measuring)
1 tsp lime zest
1/2 tsp coriander powder
India Leigh x
I threw a potluck at my place yesterday. One of my efforts was a pungent, fresh and tasty bruschetta.
Back in my ‘gluten’ days I used to make this simple dish A LOT. The flavours are so vivid when the tomatoes are fresh from the vine. Room temperature, to bring out their sweet, acid fruitiness. When freshly minced garlic, peppery extra virgin olive oil and basil combine with the tomatoes, and a good pinch of rock salt is rubbed between thumb and fingers to freckle over the top..something magical happens. Inhale deeply whilst gently tumbling the ingredients in a bowl with a spoon or fork. It is a sensual, aromatic feast as the acid ‘cooks’ the garlic and the essential oils from the basil are released into the juices from the tomatoes. The ingredients act like a great boy band…individual, unique but together they ROCK!
I decided to try a recipe for Raw Garlic Bread – Russell James. The recipe is complete genius with surprising ingredients like psyllium husk and almond pulp. The bread is raw, living (‘cooked’ via a dehydrator to keep its enzymes intact..an oven on it’s lowest setting could possibly work) spongy and light. It even has a chewy crust, much like a french baguette. I made two changes to the recipe. Omitting the dates and using one clove of garlic, as the cloves I had were ginormous and the tomatoes were laden with garlic too. It turned out quite perfect! Gluten free, low carb. All praise to Russell for a fabulous recipes. It is one I will used again and again.
The topping is simple. Ripe, succulent tomatoes roughly chopped. Fresh, minced garlic and torn organic basil leaves. Salt to taste. The bread acts like a sponge to the salad and it transforms it. It’s chewy, garlicky, fresh, aromatic and perfectly pert.
The raw bread takes 14 hours to dehydrate but it made 4 small loaves and it freezes. The tomato bruschetta takes mere moments.
Nutritional info according to Science Daily
‘researchers found that tomatoes are the biggest source of dietary lycopene; a powerful antioxidant. Tomatoes also contain other protective mechanisms, such as antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory functions. Research has additionally found a relationship between eating tomatoes and a lower risk of certain cancers as well as other conditions, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, ultraviolet light-induced skin damage, and cognitive dysfunction’.