Mini Wraps

Mini Wraps
Mini Wraps

I’m always looking for quick & easy meals for the kids, especially ones which can be prepped ahead.  I spotted these spicy bean wraps while having a nose around on the Vegetarian Society’s Website & thought the kids would love them.  For a bit of variety I also made some carrot & hummus, and cream cheese & tomato ones too.

Strangely, neither DC1(5) or DC2 (3) were that keen on the bean ones, but luckily loved the other ones.  I’ll definately be making them again though as DH & I really liked them all!

Mini Wraps

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Make-ahead wraps from the Vegetarian Society

These should all be made at least 4 hours before you need them, wrapped in cling-film & left in the fridge.

Credit: The Vegetarian Society

Ingredients

For the Spicy Bean Wraps

  • 75g vegetarian cream cheese
  • 3 tsp dried chives
  • 400g tin of kidney beans, drained
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 x 25cm tortilla wraps

For the Hummus & Carrot Wraps

  • hummus
  • 1 carrot, peeled & grated
  • 2 x 25cm tortilla wraps

For the Cheese & Tomato wraps

  • 75g vegetarian cream cheese
  • 4 tomatoes, pips removed & diced
  • 2 x 25cm tortilla wraps

Instructions

For the Spicy Bean Wraps

  1. rinse & drain the beans
  2. mix the cream cheese & chives together
  3. divide the mix between the two tortilla wraps & spread evenly
  4. put the beans into a bowl & slightly mash using a fork. Mix in the remaining ingredients
  5. divide the mix between the two tortilla wraps & spread over the top of the cream cheese, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of each wrap
  6. roll the tortilla into a sausage shape from the bottom towards the 2cm gap you left at the top
  7. wrap the tortillas in cling film & put in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  8. when ready to serve, remove from the fridge & slice

For the Hummus & Carrot Wraps

  1. spread the hummus evenly over two tortilla wraps
  2. sprinkle the grated carrot over the top of the hummus, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of each wrap
  3. roll the tortilla into a sausage shape from the bottom towards the 2cm gap you left at the top
  4. wrap the tortillas in cling film & put in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  5. when ready to serve, remove from the fridge & slice

For the Cheese & Tomato Wraps

  1. spread the cream cheese evenly over two tortilla wraps
  2. scatter the diced tomato over the top of the cheese, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of each wrap
  3. roll the tortilla into a sausage shape from the bottom towards the 2cm gap you left at the top
  4. wrap the tortillas in cling film & put in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  5. when ready to serve, remove from the fridge & slice

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Japanese Tofu Bowl

Japanese Tofu Bowl
Japanese Tofu Bowl

Do you sometimes get in a food rut?

I try really hard to have a variety of things on the menu, but one meal which has stayed the same for what feels like the last million years is wednesday night pizza.  We have good reason for it,  we have a maximum of 30 mins between getting the kids to bed & DH going out, and chucking a frozen pizza in the oven and opening a bag of salad is a very easy (and relatively healthy) option.

Needless to say, we have now both got incredibly bored of it.  DH has suggested we have omelette every week instead, but I want to find a few different options for us to have to avoid the rut sinking  in again.

I started by looking through the the Quick Veggie section of BBC Good Food and saw this recipe for a Japanese Tofu Bowl which I thought was right up our street. The original recipe was for 4 people, so I’ve adapted for the 2 of us (i.e. reduced the liquid, but kept the rest the same)  It suggested covering the tofu in cornflour before frying to get that lovely crispy coating, but I really didn’t see the point as surely it would just get soggy in the soup?  We didn’t have any chilli oil or coriander to garnish, but survived without them.

Although this claims to be quick to make, you do have to first drain the tofu (I do this by wrapping in a clean tea-towel & putting it under the heavy chopping board for 30 mins or so) & then marinade it (ideally for at least 30 mins), which means it might not be much good if you’re rushing in from work to make it.   Despite a few complications (I failed to pre-marinade the tofu, the edaname beans the supermarket sent me were still in their pods, and my noodles weren’t ready cooked) this was still easy to make & very tasty. It’s lightness made it feel like it was very ‘clean’ to eat IYKWIM, but beacuse of the tofu, edaname & noodles it was still substantial enough for our evening meal.  I hope to make it againvery soon as I plan to use some of the broad beans from the garden in place of the edaname.

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 200g firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into 8 cubes
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 1 bunch asparagus, base of stalks snapped off, cut diagonally into about 4 pieces
  • 50g fresh or frozen edamame beans
  • 50g frozen peas
  • small piece ginger, grated
  • 400g pack straight-to-wok udon noodles
  • coriander leaves, to garnish
  • chilli oil, to serve

Instructions

  1. Drain the tofu.
  2. Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar and mirin in a shallow bowl. Place the tofu in the marinade and turn to coat. Leave for about 30 mins or more. (If  marinading for several hours, pop it in the fridge.)
  3. Boil the kettle
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the tofu (keep the left over marinade). When cooked, drain on kitchen roll, then wrap in clean kitchen roll to keep warm.
  5. While the tofu is cooking, put 500ml of boiled water in a medium saucepan with the reserved marinade and bring to the boil. Add asparagus, edamame beans, peas, ginger and noodles and return to the boil. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 3-4 mins.
  6. Divide between 2 bowls and put the tofu on top.
  7. Garnish with some coriander leaves and serve drizzled with a little chilli oil.

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Mexican Quinoa Salad

Mexican Quinoa Salad
Mexican Quinoa Salad

Since DC3’s arrival I’ve been trying to make my life easier when it comes to meal prep, so I’ve been looking for some interesting salads that are easy to make, I can eat at home, DH can take to work & the kids can have for their tea – this Mexican Quinoa Salad recipe seemed to fit the bill.

The first time I made it I over-cooked the quinoa & there was far too much of it, so the next time I reduced the quanity & the cooking time and it was much better.  I also omitted the spring onions, and garlic as neither I or the kids are keen on the in salads (sorry DH!)   I also added some avocado, just because we love it

Mexican Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients Ingredients

  • 0.5 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 400g tin black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 325g tin sweetcorn, drained
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 0.5 cup chopped fresh corriander(or more to taste)

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lime

to serve

  • ciabatta or other nice bread
  • 1 avocado, diced

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain quinoa.
  2. Add to a pan of boiling water & cook for 10 minutes (this was perfect for me, YMMV)
  3. Rinse and drain black beans
  4. In a small bowl, add dressing ingredients and whisk together to thoroughly combine.
  5. In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa with all other salad ingredients.
  6. Pour dressing over the top and toss to combine or serve with the dressing on the side.
  7. Can either serve immediately or chill before serving.

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Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

I’ve been on the lookout for salads the whole family will enjoy & this recipe from the Oh She Glows Cookbook (on my amazon wish list!) is a noodly variation on our favourite raw pad thai & everyone loved it.

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

for the sauce

  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp. peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice, plus more as needed
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp low-salt soy sauce or tamari

for the salad

  • 4 portions of soba noodles
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for the noodles
  • 1 (16 oz) bag frozen shelled edammame, thawed
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 0.5 cucumber, diced
  • 1 carrrot, julienned
  • 4 spring onions, chopped, plus more for serving (we omitted this as the kids don’t like them)
  • 0.25 cup fresh corriander leaves, chopped
  • sesame seeds, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make the Sauce: Combine the garlic, sesame oil, peanut butter, ginger, and 2-3 Tbl water in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Make the noodles: Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl and toss them with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (to prevent them from sticking).
  3. Make the salad: Add the edamame, bell peper, cucumber, carrot, spring onions, and coriander to the bowl with the noodles and toss until well combined.
  4. Serve!

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Raw Pad Thai

Raw Pad Thai
Raw Pad Thai

When I saw this recipe on Oh She Glows I just knew I had to make it!  Or rather eat it, anything involving this much chopping I hand over to DH, as although I am perfectly capable, it will take me forever!

After reading the original post, I haven’t been able to justify getting a spiralizer (yet), but I did immediately order a Julienne Peeler, which DH tells me is fab.

Despite some initial suspicion from DD1(5) about the ‘sauce’, the kids both love this & the amount below serves the four of us perfectly.

Blank

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 medium courgette, julienned or spiraled
  • 2 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup edamame
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

for the dresssing

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 0.25 cup no added salt or sugar peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2.5 teaspoons pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 0.5 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Instructions

  1. prep the courgette, carrots, pepper and cabbage & put into a large bowl to mix
  2. make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients with a whisk or in a mini food processor
  3. serve the salad topped with the edamame, spring onions, seeds & dressing

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Creamy White Bean Soup

Creamy White Bean Soup
Creamy White Bean Soup

I was intrigued by how this creamy bean soup could be vegan & was surprised to learn that the creamyness actually comes from ground up cashews!    Note: these need soaking for several hours before cooking – don’t forget!

The original recipe used coconut oil, but as I don’t have any I just used olive oil.

Both DH & I liked it, but the kids didn’t – they just ate the butterbeans & demanded more bread!

Creamy White Bean Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp chopped basil
  • 1½ tsp dried sage
  • 3½ cups low salt vegetable stock
  • 3 cups white beans (cooked or canned)
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 cups shredded kale
  • Salt & Pepper

to serve

  • warm crusty bread

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews in water for 6-8 hours. Drain, rinse and set aside until ready to make the soup.
  2. Heat some oil in a large saucepan & Sauté onions and garlic
  3. Add the basil, sage, salt, stock, beans, and tomatoes.
  4. Simmer, covered, for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the soaked cashews and water in a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Add the cashew cream and kale to the soup and mix to combine.
  7. Cover and turn the heat off. Let it sit for about five minutes.
  8. Serve

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White Bean and Avocado Sandwich

White Bean & Avocado Sandwich
White Bean & Avocado Sandwich

A few weeks ago the unthinkable happened….. I got bored of hummus! <gasp!>  I couldn’t quite believe it myself, but even with a variety of additions (salad, harissa, avocado) I had eaten it so much I was bored of it!

So, an alternative was needed, and after a quick google I found this Smashed White Bean & avocado sandwich which saved the day 🙂  It’s one of those things that is so simple to make you feel a bit silly writing it down… but these days I need to write things down so I remember them!

To be perfectly honest, I’m not a huge fan of sandwiches – I tend to see them as a last resort, but they are just SO easy to make & convienient to eat at work, I usually have them a couple of times a week.  My current bread of choice is Warburtons Brown Thins – just enough bread to hold the filling in, but not so much that they become too heavy & stodgy (I don’t want to fall asleep at my desk!)

White Bean and Avocado Sandwich

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 tin of white beans e.g. Canellini
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground salt & pepper
  • your favourite sandwich bread
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • half a cucumber, sliced
  • sprouts e.g. Alfalfa (optional)

Instructions

  1. drain & rinse the beans & put into a bowl
  2. roughly mash with a potato masher or fork
  3. add oil, salt & pepper to taste
  4. make a sandwich with it & then avocado/cucumber/sprouts

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Red Lentil Pate

Red Lentil Pate
Red Lentil Pate

The kids will eat bucketfuls of hummus, and love lentils, so thought I would try them with this Red Lentil Pate….

It was easy enough to make, but didn’t go well with the kids.  DD1(5) refused to even try it & even DD2(2.5) – a.k.a. “The human dustbin” announced she didn’t like it after one mouthful!  DH & I thought it was nice, but I don’t think I will be rushing to make it again in the near future!

Red Lentil Pate

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Finely grated zest and juice
  • of 1 large lemon
  • 200g red lentils, cooked
  • 100g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped, plus extra for garnish

to serve

  • your favourite bread, we had pitta

Instructions

  1. Have you cooked the lentils?  If not, do it now!
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until soft.
  4. Add the nuts and bay leaf, cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the purée and spices and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, discard the bay leaf and tip into a blender.
  6. Add the cooked lentils and chickpeas and whizz to a chunky pâté.
  7. Season, stir in the chopped coriander, then cover and chill.

Like this?  How about:

Bean & Rice Burritos

Bean & Rice Burritos
Bean & Rice Burritos

I found this burrito recipe on Vegetarian Dad’s blog & thought I’d give it a go to see if it would be a suitable take-to-work lunch.

DH ended up making them while I played with the kids.  We both enjoyed them, but I did think they were a bit dry & will add some kind of yogurty/sour cream/sauce the next time we make them.    Unfortunately the kids weren’t so keen which surprised me as they both love beans, rice & carrots! – DD1(5) is being ultra-fussy about anything ‘spicy’ at the moment, and as soon as she says she doesn’t like something, DD2 (2.5) just says the same <sigh>

Ingredients

  • 6 large tortilla wraps
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 spring onions, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 large courgette, coarsely grated
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 75g white long grain rice, boiled and drained
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 400g tin of pre-cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)
  • 3 tbs sunflower oil, for roasting

to serve

  •  green salad, guacamole or salsa

Instructions

  1. Have you cooked the rice yet?  If not, do it now!
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  3. Combine all of the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  4. Place a good measure of the mixture into the tortillas and roll to form wraps folded at both ends.
  5. When all of the mixture is used up, place the wraps on a roasting or baking tray and brush all over with the oil.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown, turning once.
  7. When cool, halve the wraps and serve with a green salad, guacamole or salsa of your choice.

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Butternut Squash Chilli (slow cooker)

Butternut Squash Chilli (slow cooker)
Butternut Squash Chilli (slow cooker)

I think I saw this on Pinterest & thought it would be a change from our usual chilli & being able to do it in the slow cooker is always appealing!

It was easy enough to make (I am a huge fan of chucking everything into the slow cooker & walking away!), and everyone liked it, but I think I need to make some changes the next time I make it….. as I was feeding it to the kids, I think I played it too safe by omitting the chipotle peppers & using mild chilli powder – it definately needed more spice.  It was also a bit wet for my liking, so will either use a bit less stock next time I make it or try to thicken it up a bit.

Instructions

  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 1 red pepper – seeded and diced
  • 14 oz chopped tomatoes
  • 14 oz kidney beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 large butternut squash – peeled and diced
  • 2 cups low salt vegetable stock
  • 1 cup sweetcorn
  • 3 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo – minced (remove seeds to lower heat) – optional
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

to serve:

  • rice
  • spring onions, chopped
  • greek yogurt or sour cream
  • corriander, chopped
  • tortilla chips, crushed
  • avocado, chopped

Instructions

  1. Put everything into the slow cooker and heat on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.
  2. Serve with rice & what ever garnish you fancy

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