This is a simple, full of flavour dish that will satisfy both vegans and meat-eaters. The stir-fries are a great way to use up any veg that might be going off; they provide a variety of textures as well as bulking up your plate in a colourful and healthy way! Don’t worry too much about the veg we’ve used, use what you have and in the quantities you want. The same goes for spices, we use Japanese curry cubes and chilli bean paste, but if you don’t have them just add whatever you fancy, they shouldn’t be too hard to find though.

You will need (serves two):

  • 125 grams of dried Ho fun (flat rice noodles)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 spring onion (chopped)
  • 1 chilli (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • A chunk of red cabbage, grated
  • A very large handful of peas, or a small glass full
  • Soy sauce
  • Chilli bean paste
  • About an inch squares of Japanese curry cubes
  • Fresh coriander (roughly chopped)
  • Lime

For the tofu:

  • 250g tofu
  • 2 tsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 1 tsp Tomato Ketchup
  • Chilli – to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced

Method

Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees celcius, then the first thing to do is to get your noodles soaking in water, this will make them less starchy and cook faster. Simply cover them in water until it’s time to cook, but for at least 20 minutes.
Next pat your tofu dry, just with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel, but until it’s all dry. Then mix all the ingredients for the marinade and taste it. Adjust it to your preference, add more of whatever you fancy and then pour it over the tofu, rubbing it all over before placing it in the fridge.
Now prepare all your veg. Chinese food is so aesthetically pleasing but also incredibly versatile in how it looks – you may want long strips of spring onion or you may want them in small rings, simply chop up whatever vegetables you’ve chosen, however you like them to look.

Place the tofu in the oven for 30 minutes. After about 15 minutes however, turn the tofu over and leave, whilst you heat up your wok on the hob. Once it is heated, gently fry off your chilli, garlic and onion, stirring over a medium heat so that they don’t burn. Stir-fries are so versatile, I like most of my veg to go in right at the last minute for texture and that extra crunch, but if you like them softer add them before the noodles.
We added the noodles next, followed by the chilli bean paste, curry and a splash of water; the water helps make a sauce as well as stopping your ingredients sticking without using too much oil, it also cooks the noodles nicely. Add the noodles and continue to stir over a medium low heat. If you need to add more water, add a little at a time, we’re not making broth so we don’t want it too wet!

You need to taste constantly, you might want to add more spices – ginger is great, but add whatever you like, really. After the tofu has been in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, turn it to grill setting and grill for a further couple of minutes, or so, on either side so that it goes nice and crispy. Once you are satisfied with its crispiness, cut it in half, put your noodles into a couple of hot bowls, and place a piece of tofu on top of each (alternatively you can mix it in with the stir fry). Then add a squeeze of lime juice and a nice handful of coriander over both bowls and you’re ready to go.

You can also add toasted nuts, cashews or peanuts are recommended. Chopsticks, knife and fork, spoon, slurp and suck, however you eat it, this is a really satisfying meal. It’s also almost always difficult to replicate exactly, all we’ve tried to give you here is a blue print for your own stir-fry. Experiment, test and most importantly – taste. This can be a great meal to impress someone with, or it can become your new favourite fast, comforting meal in the cold winter months. It’s brilliant all year round!

Spring green wraps

Our spring-green wraps had it all; freshness, warmth, juiciness, spice and crunch. There was so much flavour going on that it satisfied pretty much every craving we had that evening. We wanted something super comforting but delicious, so we were struggling to think of what we could do that used up what we had, whilst being something more exciting than tex-mex tortilla wraps.
These definitely exceeded our expectations and ticked off all of the above. We rarely buy spring greens so it’s been refreshing to make a few interesting dishes out of them and they’re so, so cheap too. They’re way cheaper than kale and I’m starting to think of them as a little more versatile too…wrap ‘em, stuff ‘em, or chop them finely and add them to a stew, or steamed on top of a stir fry as a replacement to pak choi – give it a go!

For this dish however, we enjoyed them with sweet potato fries (grab the recipe here) and guacamole (grab recipe HERE).

For these wraps, you will need… (serves two):

  • 6 leaves of spring greens
  • 1 radish, finely sliced
  • 1 inch of cucumber, finely sliced
  • A large hand of rocket
  • A handful of mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 slices of aubergine, each roughly 1.5cm thick
  • Half a red pepper, then cut in half again
  • Half a green pepper, then cut in half again
  • Half a red onion, finely sliced in strips
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Mustard
  • Zaa’tar powder
  • Chilli powder
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

For the red cabbage ‘slaw:

  • Half a carrot, grated
  • A chunk of red cabbage, grated or very finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, sliced into strips – lengthways
  • 1 red chilli

For the dressing:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons of miso paste
  • 3 tablespoons of tahini
  • A splash of water
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Before you do anything, you want to preheat your oven to around 200 degrees celcius and follow the sweet potato fries recipe and get those in the oven.
Once they are in, start chopping your mushrooms and your two slices of aubergine and make a basic marinade. To do this, mix together a splash of sweet chilli, a drop of mustard and a sprinkle of zaa’tar, nutmeg and chilli powder. Then crush and finely chop two garlic cloves and add these in. – (If you don’t have zaa’tar then don’t worry, as you can definitely make these just as tasty with whatever you have lying around in the cupboard! We recommend cumin, paprika and nutmeg). Stir the bowl to ensure all mushrooms and aubergine are evenly covered, then set this aside whilst you make your coleslaw!

Grate and finely slice all the vegetables listed for the red cabbage ‘slaw. Place into a mixing bowl and set aside whilst you make your dressing. In a glass, mug, bowl, whatever you have, mix the miso with tahini, then drizzle in some water until it is at a slightly runny consistency. Squeeze in some lemon juice, sprinkle in some salt and pepper and give it a taste! Some garlic never goes a miss, neither does some extra chilli powder, but we’ll leave that part to you.
Drizzle over your ‘slaw and mix in well! (There should be about half left, which you can then use as a sauce for the chips and wraps.)

Next your mushrooms and aubergine mix can go into the oven, along with the remaining four garlic cloves and the large slices of pepper. Of course, if you are cooking the sweet potato fries you will want to time all this accordingly – if your fries are about eight minutes from being done, put your mushroom mix and peppers in, but if not, wait for a few minutes so nothing goes cold or burns!
Place your mushroom mix and peppers onto some foil and place into the oven.

Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to the boil on the hob. Once it is boiling, place a colander so that it balances on top and spread your spring green leaves flat around the inside of the colander. Keep them here for around three minutes, until they are a much more vibrant green and are looser. Turn the heat off and check your veg and fries.
If these are done, take the fries out and place in a bowl, and also take your mushroom, aubergine and garlic cloves out. Take the leaves out of the colander and place three on each plate.

Now you are ready to start plating up your wraps! We tended to go for a bed of ‘slaw followed by some of the mushroom mix, then some fresh rocket and cucumber for extra crunch, topped with some grilled pepper and a drizzle of miso-tahini, thick layer of guac, then fold in the sides, roll and wrap.

Springreenwraps

Sweet potato fries

Sweet potato fries are a healthy and delicious alternative to normal fries and add a little sweetness to accompany whatever main you decide to go for.
For this meal we enjoyed ours Mediterranean style, coated in zaa’tar, paprika, garlic, chilli, salt and pepper and served with spring green wraps.

You will need (serves two):

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • Oil (we like the spray one for chips as it distributes much more evenly)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chilli powder
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Garlic powder, paprika, zaa’tar and any other spices if you so wish!

This is the simplest method, so start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees celcius.
Now roughly slice your sweet potatoes, however thick or thin you like them. We went for a bit of a mixture, some were more wedge-like, others were more like small fries that went extra crispy.
Once all are chopped, place them in a baking tray and sprinkle on your chosen spices, salt and pepper. Spritz on some oil and then with you hands, toss the fries to ensure that all are as evenly coated as possible.
Place into the oven and bake for around thirty-five minutes, checking on them every ten minutes or so and flipping them. For the last five minutes, switch your oven onto the grill setting, as this will help them go even crispier just before you take them out the oven.

If they are as crispy as you like, take them out, serve and enjoy!