Plant. Power. Two words that I’m making a 2018 regular in my vocabulary. Most of you will have heard of the ‘plant-based diet’ concept and trend that took hold in 2017, and continues to sky-rocket in 2018. I even wrote a blog post about it this year with my friend, dietitian and all around twinnie Catherine Downey, called The Plant-Based Trend – Advice We Already Knew About? If you didn’t get a chance to read it, the link is there! But in it, I spoke about how I think this movement is both powerful and valuable, as it enocurages the general public to adopt plant-based dietary changes. What does that mean? Well, I want to stress that in my book, it doesn’t equal ‘become vegan or vegetarian.’ I have no issue with anyone doing that, by the way – but what I think is more achievable for many is simple plant-based swaps and alternatives as PART of their existing diet. For example, snacking on hummus and carrot sticks instead of cereal bars. Making a chicken korma with half the chicken, and substituting chickpeas instead. Trying out a homemade black bean burger recipe, instead of beef. Easy, tasty, accessible alternatives, that’s what I’m about, and that’s what promotes sustainable change.
Phew! Okay, I’ll hold up there. Passion keeps me talking! This brings me to THIS recipe. Recently, I was absolutely delighted to attend the Alpro Dublin Plant Power Pop-Up Launch – a week long pop-up cafe serving complimentary plant-based breakfasts, lunch and dinners to everyone and anyone who came to try it out! It was fantastic, and I visited more than once, trust me! I also got to catch up with Hazel Wallace (essential selfie above!), a.k.a The Food Medic, who many of you will know – such a lovely person, with a similar ethos and message about preventive medicine to me.
Inspired by Alpro, I decided to try my hand at a vegetarian stroganoff, packed with plant power goodness! I devoured it for work lunches during the week of the pop-up in Dublin, and I already can’t wait to make it again! I’ve used smoked tofu in my recipe for extra plant protein and flavour gains too!
Recipe (Serves 3 decent portions – Or 4 as a lunch)
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- A pinch of ground ginger
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced into lengths and then 1 inch chunks
- 1 block (250-300g) of tofu, either fresh or smoker (I use smoked!)
- 1 pack (250g) button mushrooms
- 2 handfuls of fresh washed spinach leaves
- 1 500g pot of Alpro Simply Plain Yoghurt
- Set a pot on medium heat on the hob, and add the olive oil.
- Add the red onion, garlic and ginger, and sweat the onions for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the green pepper and mushrooms, and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Add the apple cider vinegar and tofu, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the Alpro yoghurt, Dijon mustard and dried herbs, and mix everything up until well combined. Add a splash of water if you feel the stroganoff needs it.
- Bring to a gentle boil, and add the spinach leaves. Allow these to wilt, then cover and turn the heat down to a simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- You’re good to go! Serve with a side of whole-grains like brown rice, or my personal unusual favourite – a roasted sweet potato!
Enjoy guys! I really hope you love this recipe as much as I did. The mustard adds a really unique flavour I couldn’t get enough of – delicious! Tag me if you try it out – @theirishbalance on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook!
Ciara 🙂 x