If you know me you’re probably aware that cooking is not a strength of mine. I have the attention span of a small goldfish and so anything I put near an oven seems to instantly turn to charcoal. However, since going vegan and generally trying to improve the quality of the food I’m putting in my body, I have slowly started to introduce a few easy recipes to my day-to-day menu. I’m always on the hunt to find new foods that are not only really tasty but also really good for me and being easy and quick to make is also a must.
A few months ago I discovered that there is a 100% vegan health food shop (Natural Healthy Foods) on my walk from home to drama school, I mean what are the chances! So of course I checked it out and it’s great, it has everything from meat alternatives, to vegan cheese and biscuits to raw vegan chocolate and snacks. I’m hooked.
The first food I want to mention is millet grain, it’s like a mixture of rice and couscous and the list of health benefits are endless, a few of these include its ability to protect your heart health, optimize your immune system, increase your energy levels, improve your muscle and nerve health, decrease your chance of diabetes, improve your digestive system, detoxify the body, and boost respiratory health. Many of the antioxidants found in millet, neutralize free radicals, they can also clean up other toxins from your body, such as those in your kidney and liver. In summary, it’s bloody good stuff and as an added bonus it’s delicious! I threw together this super simple and healthy vegan recipe which is perfect for a lovely filling meal as well as being jam-packed full of goodness.
Millet Grain with Vegetables
Toast 1/2 cup of millet over medium heat until the seeds just start to brown
Remove from heat and set toasted millet aside
Fry chopped onion in vegetable oil for 2 minutes
Add some curry powder and cumin and fry for another minute
Add veg (sliced carrot, edamame beans, chopped red pepper) and fry for 2 minutes
Add the toasted millet with 1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock and bring to a boil
Reduce heat, cover the pan and cook until all the water has been absorbed (25-30 minutes)
Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes
The second recipe I whipped up was again super simple and full of goodness as I used wheat and gluten-free organic buckwheat noodles with quinoa. Quinoa is one of the world’s most popular health foods and rightly so. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. So as someone on a plant-based diet it’s a great way of getting in a high amount of protein. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various other beneficial antioxidants. This easy Japanese inspired recipe is one of my favourite ways to eat them, and also includes Miso Soup which is one of my favourite dishes and so it’s so great to be able to get hold of a fully vegan one.
Soba Noodles in Mushroom Miso
Make up miso with 400ml of water
Add to pan, bring to a boil, add some dried shiitake mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes
Strain the stock, and chop the mushrooms finely
Return both to the pan and add 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp vinegar, 1 tbsp mirin and some fresh mushrooms
Simmer for 5 minutes
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet
Put noodles in bowl, ladle over stock and garnish with some chopped spring onions and diced pepper or chilli
All the foods mentioned in this post can be found at Natural Healthy Food Birmingham, whether you are vegan or not it’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area as they have such a large range of foods. The staff really know their stuff when it comes to nutrition, and are always more than happy to help you find what you are looking for.