Vegan Chinese Vegetable Soup

Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快乐!

As it’s so cold here in Switzerland, I decided to celebrate the new Chinese Lunar Year by preparing a comforting bowl of warm soup using Chinese ingredients.

Where I live, it’s really hard to find international ingredients. So, for the mushrooms I had to use button mushrooms, but if you can find Shiitake, I would definitely recommend them as they would provide a more pungent, meatier taste. Likewise, I had to use green cabbage and a yellow onion, but if you can get a hold of some Chinese cabbage and spring onions, even better! It will really take your soup that much further. I also LOVE spicy food, so I made this soup pretty hot. If you don’t like yours as hot, or would prefer it even hotter, feel free to change the amount of chili used.

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Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1 handful of mushrooms
  • 1/2 a head of cabbage
  • 1 handful of mung bean sprouts
  • 100g of bamboo shoots
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1/2 a bird’s eye chile (optional, or to taste)
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • A couple of chives for garnish (optional)

Method

  1. First, add the oil to a pan and put to a medium heat. As the pan begins to warm up, finely dice the garlic and chili, then thinly slice the onion. Add the chili and onion to the pan, and then once the onion begins to soften up, add the garlic.
  2. Slice the mushrooms, and then add them straight to the pan.
  3. As the mushrooms are cooking, slice up the cabbage. Once the mushrooms are beginning to brown, add the mung bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and cabbage to the pan. Stir the mixture before adding the soy sauce.
  4. After a couple of minutes, or when the vegetables begin to soften up slightly, add the vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Put a lid on the pan, and leave it to cook for around 10 minutes, or when the cabbage has been fully cooked through (you can test this by pricking a piece with a fork. If the fork goes smoothly through, the cabbage will be cooked).
  5. Ladle the soup into to bowls, then garnish with chives and enjoy! Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Leek & Sweetcorn Wild Rice

Have you ever had those days when you’ve forgotten to go to the supermarket, or you just want to use scraps in the fridge? I certainly have.

I came up with this recipe after a long day at work in which I felt too tired to go shopping but at the same time, also wanted to use up the week’s leftovers. As I didn’t have any meat, I decided to come up with a vegan recipe. Using wild rice as my base, I rummaged around in my fridge and soon found a leftover leek. However, I figured that just some rice and leeks wouldn’t make a particularly substantial meal, so I decided to use a tinned can of sweetcorn as well. In order to boost the flavour of the dish, I chopped up the remaining coriander from the guacamole I’d made the night before. I was so happy with the result, that I’d thought I’d share it with all of you.

wild-rice

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 75g (1/2 cup) of basmati with wild rice
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 375ml of vegetable stock
  • 1/2 of a leek
  • 80g (3 tbsp) of sweetcorn
  • 1 tsp of thyme (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp of chopped coriander (Optional)
  • Salt & pepper for seasoning

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Chop the leek into slices and then sauté it in the pan. Once the leeks have softened, mince the garlic, then add it to the pan along with the thyme.
  2. Once the leeks have begun to brown slightly, add the rice and fry it with the leeks and garlic for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once it has reaching a rolling boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook for around 20 minutes (check the cooking times on your rice packet, as it may differ with each brand).
  4. Once the stock has reduced after around 20-25 minutes, stir in the sweetcorn. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Finish off by garnishing the dish with chopped coriander, and enjoy!

Banana & Mixed Seed Oatmeal

I came up with this new oatmeal recipe after speaking with my dad. As part of his new year’s resolution, he’s decided to eat healthier and start eating some vegan meals. So, I began to think of some healthy foods that my dad enjoys and thought about their delicious combinations. Bananas are one of his favourite fruits, so I paired it with mixed seeds for some protein. I also thought agave syrup would make a great addition as it is a healthy unrefined sweetener that I find really compliments the creamy taste of bananas, without being too overpowering. If you’re looking for a fantastic balanced breakfast that will provide you with all the nutrients you need to start the day well and feel full for longer, then this is for you!

seededoats

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 50g of oats
  • 200ml of almond milk (or another dairy free milk of your choice)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp’s of mixed seeds (I used sunflower, pumpkin and poppy seeds)
  • 1 tbsp of agave syrup (or another sweetener of your choice, such as honey or maple syrup)

Method

  1. Place the oats and almond milk into a pan and simmer over a medium heat. The mix should be regularly stirred so that the oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture has thickened to your preferred consistency (which can take between 5 to 10 minutes depending on your preferences), take the mixture off the heat.
  2. Put your oatmeal into a serving bowl.
  3. Slice the banana into slices.
  4. Top your oatmeal with the banana slices, mixed seeds and then drizzle with agave syrup and enjoy!