New Year Kindness with Recipes

So many of us have New Year resolutions. Some of you might want to be more active, others want to live a healthier life.This is all well and good. We should focus on self-improvement. Yet we also need to look around and notice where we can improve things around us.

Small acts of kindness go a long way. This could just be a nice word to your neighbor or doing grocery shopping for an elderly family member.

By volunteering at your local dog shelter for a couple of hours every month you will make a difference. Jobs that work with animals are rewarding activities. Try Veganuary this new year. You can not only avoid animal cruelty but do good to the environment and your own health.

You have probably heard of the extensive health benefits that veganism has. Don’t forget, following a plant-based diet lowers the risk of heart disease and helps tackle obesity.

Lowering your meat consumption reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Plant-based diets use fewer resources in terms of water and land.

As we are deep in the climate crisis, we have to do as much as we can to protect our environment. Thinking of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, we can’t afford to be selfish now. Eco-friendly jobs are a great opportunity to do your bit for the environment.

Veganuary

Veganuary is a popular non-profit organization from the UK. They launched in the United States in 2020, and by 2021 the USA came second in the number of sign-ups.

During Veganuary, supermarkets and food outlets offer a wider range of vegan products.

Expectations this coming Veganuary are defiantly not low. 2021 was an exciting year for vegans, meat alternatives, vegan sweets, and plant-based butcher shops are on the rise.

Nonetheless, our eyes are on 2022 for more revolutionary foods. In the meantime, here are three tasty vegan recipes to give you a teaser of the vegan lifestyle.

Easy Rice Noodles

This is a go-to dish when you get home late and you don’t have much time to cook.

You can be flexible with the vegetables depending on what you have at home.

Ingredients for two servings:

100g rice noodles

2 tbsp oil

Half an onion diced

50g tofu cubed

Handful of beansprouts

80g broccoli chopped

1/3 cup water

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp miso paste

1 tsp Siracha sauce

2 tbsp soya sauce

Small bunch of coriander chopped

2 tbsp peanuts

Take a pot and boil water for the rice noodles. Once the water is boiling, put the noodles in the pot and cook it for 10 minutes (or follow the cooking instruction on the packaging).

To prepare the sauce, take a small bowl, add the sesame oil, miso paste, Siracha sauce, and soy sauce. Boil the water in a kettle, and once boiled add it to the mixture and stir it well. Put it on the side.

Heat olive oil in a pan on medium-high. Add the diced onions, fry them for 3 minutes, then add the broccoli and tofu cubes and fry until golden brown.

Add the beansprouts and the sauce mix, stir it, then turn off the heat but leave it on the hob. (If you have a gas stove, turn it down to minimum heat.)

Once the noodles are done, strain the water and stir them into the vegetable mix.

Serve the noodles in bowls and garnish them with chopped coriander and peanuts.

Keep any leftover in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Stuffed Mushrooms

This is a heartwarming dish for cold evenings or a great addition to the Sunday lunch.

The sweet potato’s slightly sweet flavor meets the garlicy mushroom, and this equals a delicious combo.

You can have it as a side dish, or a main dish if you serve it with rice. It is complete with a dollop of vegan mayo.

Ingredients:

4 portobello mushrooms

1 small onion diced

1 large sweet potato chopped into small cubes

2 tsp mixed herbs

4 cloves of garlic crushed

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

50g vegan cheese or some vegan parmesan

Wash the mushrooms then put them on the side. In the meantime, prepare the coating. In a medium bowl mix the olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper, then leave it on the side.

On a splash of olive oil start frying the diced onions on medium heat for a few minutes. Add the sweet potato cubes, and season them with salt, and pepper.

Cover the pot with a lid and leave it cooking for 10 minutes. Check if the potatoes are sticking to the pan too much, add a couple of tablespoons of water.

Immerse the mushrooms in the olive oil mix and make sure that enough oil and garlic coat them.

Preheat the oven to 375o F (190o C).

Once the sweet potatoes are soft, add the mixed herbs and turn off the heat. Crush the potatoes with a masher or a fork.

Spoon the sweet potato mash into the mushrooms and sprinkle them with vegan cheese.

Place the mushrooms on a tray lined with baking paper. Put the tray in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the mushrooms become a bit saggy and the cheese melts.

They are best served fresh, but they keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Apple Galette

Once you make this seasonal and budget-friendly dessert, you won’t believe that this is vegan.

Treat yourself and serve it with a dollop of vegan vanilla ice cream and it will make your day.

Ingredients:

Pastry:

1 ½ cup AP flour

¾ cup (170g) unsalted cold vegan butter or margarine, cut into 2×2 cm cubes

¼ tsp salt

1/3 cup cold water

1 tbsp apricot jam (or any jam available)

Filling:

1 ½ lb (680g) sliced apples cored and sliced

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp unsalted vegan butter or margarine

1 tbsp AP flour

In a bowl mix the AP flour, salt, cold butter, and water. Don’t over mix it, you want chunks of butter in the dough.

Form a ball and roll it into a ½ cm thick disc on baking paper. Put it in the fridge and leave it to chill for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the apple filling. Heat a large pan over medium heat and combine the sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and vegan butter. Cook the mix for about 10 minutes and stir it occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the flour and let filling cool down.

Preheat the oven to 392o F (200o C).

Take the rolled dough from the fridge with the baking sheet. Brush the dough with the apricot jam, then pour the apple mix into the middle of the dough.

Fold the edges on the filling, and you can brush edges too with more jam if you like or just sprinkle extra sugar on it.

Bake it until golden brown for about 50-60 minutes.

Eat it warm or cold, with or without ice cream. Keep any leftover in the fridge for up to 3 days (but this recipe is always a success, it won’t last that long for sure).