Helen and Bosh Day 17 – Sweet & Sour Crispy Tofu

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Book picture

My tip for a better flavour if you have a juicer – use a fresh pineapple. For much of my life I thought I didn’t like pineapple but that was because I had only ever had tinned. Don’t do what I did though and forget to put the bit aside you were going to chop up to put in the dish! I used the pulp from the juicer though and it still tasted fine. It was rather sweet and I didn’t use tomato ketchup – an authentic Chinese ingredient? Why on earth? I used passata instead and if I made this again I wouldn’t add sugar either. I would also put in more chilli flakes to up the ‘sour’ flavour. It’s quick to make though – not sure why this isn’t in Quick Eats and Pad Thai is. Another tip of mine, there is no need to coat the tofu in cornflour – the flour goes crispy but not the tofu. Simply fry the tofu cubes in some sunflower or coconut oil, saves on washing up too. Serve with some steamed greens. Total preparation and cooking time about 35 minutes.

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Finished dish.

Skill level required: 6/10
Washing up generated: 4/10 bowl, grater, 2 frying pans, saucepan, chopping board and utensils
Portion size: 10/10
Tastiness: 7/10
Will I make it again? Yes with my variations above.

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Helen and Bosh Day 16 – Mushroom & Guinness Pie

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Book picture

Of course Guinness isn’t gluten free so I used St Peter’s dark gluten free beer which is available in Sainsbury’s. Again it’s mushrooms so bound to be a hit! I would have preferred a bit more gravy so next time I will add a bit of stock to the filling. That is just my personal choice though – the flavour was great. The phone rang while it was in the oven so my crust is slightly browner than I intended! Although compared to the picture in the book it does look far more appetising than their pale crust. My time saving tip – start cooking the onions first before putting the mushrooms in the oven. The wonderful thing about Jus-Rol gluten free pastry is you don’t have to roll it out! I used soya milk as a glaze. Total preparation and cooking time about 1 and a half hours.

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What it looks like

Skill level required: 5/10
Washing up generated: 7/10 baking tray, oven dish, frying pan, chopping board and utensils
Portion size: 10/10
Tastiness: 8/10
Will I make it again? Again pasta and sauce is a regular staple so I will be making my usual variations depending what veg I have in!

 

Helen and Bosh – Quick Eats Overview

So that’s the first chapter finished! To quote the title page of the chapter ‘get it done quickly.’ Many of the recipes in this section, although delicious, were not quick to make at all! Some were very fiddly which is not what you want when you are hungry. If you are an inexperienced cook don’t let this put you off.

There are some strange instructions like peel ginger with a spoon – use a knife or peeler it’s much easier or squeezing a lime into your hand – a citrus squeezer is a standard piece of kitchen equipment and you get much more juice from it! Also be aware in several recipes the instructions are not in a logical order, for the most part it makes sense to chop everything before you start cooking.

Onto the next chapter now which is Big Eats!

Helen and Bosh day 15 – Creamy Mac & Greens

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Book picture

Can’t really go wrong with macaroni cheese! Their recipe for the ‘cheese’ sauce is very similar to one I use. The first time I tried it I couldn’t believe it was vegan! I didn’t bother with breadcrumbs – I’m not sure what is special about ‘panko’ breadcrumbs but they aren’t gluten free. If I want a crispy topping I use crushed ready salted crisps. There is no need to heat up the milk in the microwave. I have managed without one for years now and they really aren’t good for you. A very substantial meal. Total preparation and cooking time 40 minutes.

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What it actually looks like

Skill level required: 5/10
Washing up generated: 5/10 2 baking trays, bowl, oven dish, 2 saucepans, jug, chopping board and utensils
Portion size: 10/10
Tastiness: 10/10
Will I make it again? In some sort of variation most probably.

Helen and Bosh Day 14 – Jackfruit Tacos

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Book picture

Jackfruit is a weird one. It is not something I would choose to eat because there are plenty of better alternatives. I’ve seen people rave about it but I don’t really see what the fuss is about. The tinned version (I have not tried fresh but I imagine that is completely different) is pinkish and similar in texture to artichoke hearts. It doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour. I would prefer to fill tacos with chilli but they are not something I would normally eat. You can’t go wrong with guacamole though! Fairly quick to make for a lunch or snack but they aren’t very substantial.

 

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What they actually look like

Skill level required: 4/10
Washing up generated: 9/10 2 bowls for guacamole & salsa if making from scratch, frying pan, baking tray, chopping board and utensils
Portion size: 4/10
Tastiness: 410
Will I make it again? No.

Helen and Bosh Day 13 – Crispy Chilli Tofu

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Book picture

Can’t believe I am 2 weeks in! If you are a fan of tofu this was far better than the Pad Thai. I used freshly squeezed orange juice – you will need 5 or 6 oranges for 250ml. It gives the dish a far better flavour than stuff from a carton. It was nice cold for lunch the following day too. Total cooking and preparation time about 40 minutes.

 

 

 

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What it actually looks like.

Skill level required: 6/10
Washing up generated: 10/10 plate, frying pan, chopping board and utensils
Portion size: 10/10
Tastiness: 10/10
Will I make it again? Probably, the more tofu dishes in my arsenal the better!

Helen and Bosh day 12 – Portobello Burgers

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Book picture

I love anything with mushrooms so these were bound to be a hit. Use a garlic crusher to mince the garlic. I learned something today – I had never heard of balsamic glaze before. It’s easy to make just heat up some balsamic vinegar and sugar in a saucepan until it has reduced by half. I personally don’t like ketchup – why spoil the delicate taste of the garlic mushrooms? Mayonnaise on its own is fine or add a little bit of chilli sauce for a bit of a kick. I served with sweet potato wedges.  Unfortunately I was unable to locate gluten free burger buns that were vegan so I used Schar ciabatta rolls. Cooking and preparation time about 30 minutes.

 

What they actually look like
What they actually look like

Skill level required: 1/10
Washing up generated: 10/10 baking sheet, chopping board and utensils
Portion size: 10/10
Tastiness: 8/10
Will I make it again? Probably

Helen and Bosh Day 11 – Pad Thai

Book PictureMy this was fiddly! If you do make this my advice is to chop everything you start cooking. One thing I have noticed about these recipes the instructions aren’t always in a logical order which is fine if you are experienced but not so good for people who aren’t so confident. Depending what noodles you use you may need to cook them fully before adding them to the stir fry. I love tofu but this is not a quick meal! The chopped peanuts are a nice touch as it adds a bit of crunch and texture. Total preparation and cooking time about 1 hour.

 

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What it actually looks like.

 

Skill level required: 10/10
Washing up generated: 9/10 2 bowls, wok, plate, chopping board and utensils
Portion size: 10/10
Tastiness: 8/10
Will I make it again? Very fiddly so probably not

Helen and Bosh day 10 – Easy Peasy Pasta

Not sure about the name – it doesn’t have peas in it! Cooking and preparation time was about an hour so not that quick. If I made this again I wouldn’t put passata in with the veg in the oven to get a better roasted flavour. The Bosh boys seem to have their favourite ingredients! I would probably put some aubergine in next time as well. I used proper tomatoes cut into 8 pieces each rather than the cherry ones for a heartier flavour. Don’t bother to chop the spinach it’s not necessary! It was very filling, no need for bread!

 

Skill level required: 4/10
Washing up generated: 10/10 oven dish, saucepan, chopping board and utensils
Portion size: 10/10
Tastiness: 8/10
Will I make it again? Again pasta and sauce is a regular staple so I will be making my usual variations depending what veg I have in!

Helen and Bosh day 9 – Nice Spice Rice

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Book picture

This is basically the same as my own stir fry recipe apart from the peanut butter which is a nice touch. I needed to add extra water though to stop it from sticking to the wok. Non-stick woks are a no no if you want to do it properly. I didn’t bother with the maple syrup but I put a spoonful of molasses in instead. Being coeliac I have to use tamari sauce which is far tastier than regular soy sauce because it is just fermented soy beans, water and salt. I didn’t need to add any sriracha sauce because it was spicy enough already. I had the leftovers for lunch and it’s just as delicious cold. Total preparation and cooking time about 40 minutes. Lots of chopping!

 

 

 

 

Skill level required: 6/10
Washing up generated: 9/10 wok, saucepan for rice, 2 chopping boards and utensils
Portion size: 10/10
Tastiness: 10/10
Will I make it again? Stir fry is a regular staple of mine anyway. Next time I will probably either dry fry some cashews or fry some tofu cubes in coconut oil to add some protein.