You saw that last post I did about all the cake I ate in Sweden right? So it shouldn't come as a surprise to hear that now I'm back home I am on a serious health kick! I've been very strict and serious since I got back - absolutely no desserts or sugary things and severely reduced carbohydrates in general. I'm living on a diet of vegetables, fruits, beans, pulses, tofu and healthy fats (such as coconut oil and olive oil).
Just before I left for my trip overseas I received an exciting package in the mail. Bertolli sent me some bottles of their different types of olive oil so that I could experiment with using different types for different uses. I'll confess, I have never in the past given thought to which type of olive oil was better for different styles of cooking. So, although I went overseas immediately afterwards and didn't actually get a chance to use any of it, I was really looking forward to trying it out when I got back.
In a healthy eating plan such as the one I've put myself on over the past couple of weeks it is really important to make sure you're getting some good fats and some proteins into your diet to help you feel full. If you just live on little salads and veggies you're going to find it hard to feel satisfied and you're more likely to fall off the wagon because you're feeling so hungry! Coconut oil, olive oil and avocado are real winners to help you feel satistied after your healthy meal. Olive oil is also a really important element in a vegan diet - because vegans don't get any fats from animal sources (meat, butter, cheese, yoghourt etc.) sometimes vegans actually find themselves in the position that they need to consciously add more fats into their diet. I can tell you though that eating more cake and sugar isn't the healthy way to do it! Try to pick naturally occurring and unprocessed fats!
Bertolli sent me three different types of their olive oil - Extra Virgin, Classic and Light. I had a hankering for a tofu and salad wrap for lunch yesterday but I didn't want to eat the actual bread of a wrap so I went for a lettuce wrap. They fall apart a little bit sometimes but they do the job pretty well and I felt much better after this lunch than after eating the wheat and starchy carbs of a traditional wrap. To add some protein and healthy fats to my lunch I wanted to fry up a bit of chilli tofu.
I fried my chilli tofu in the Light Olive Oil, because it's ideal for frying. It has a light flavour which doesn't detract from the flavour of the chilli tofu and the tofu came out crispy and not oily at all. Even though I used plenty of olive oil in my pan, the light olive oil cooked the tofu without actually coating it all in oil. So most of the oil remained in the pan (and I used this chilli oil to cook something else in later than night), which meant my lunch tasted fresh, healthy and not doused in oil!
Chilli Tofu Lettuce Wraps
300g hard tofu, drained and squeezed (just squeeze as much of the liquid out of it as you can)
2-3 tbsp Bertolli light olive oil (I used 2 tbsp in a non stick saucepan, if your pan isn't non stick you may need more)
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 small zucchini, sliced into ribbons (use a potato peeler)
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1 medium carrot, grated
2 tbsp pepitas
6-8 big iceberg lettuce leaves (you'll need the big softer outer leaves of the lettuce - if you use the crunchy inner leaves your rolls will split apart the moment you roll them)
1. Slice the tofu into 1 cm thick slices and pat away any moisture with a paper towel.
2. Heat the light olive oil in a frypan and when it's hot sprinkle the chilli flakes over the oil. Let fry for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the tofu slices and fry until crispy, turning once or twice during the cooking to ensure they're cooked on both sides. Once crispy and golden set aside on a plate (I didn't need to drain mine on paper towel as they were not oily at all - but if your seem a little oily then you can place them on paper towel after frying).
4. In a small saucepan dry fry the pepitas over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes so that they pop and become round. Remove and set aside to cool down.
5. Assemble your wraps: take a big lettuce leaf and add zucchini, carrot, alfalfa, avocado, tofu and pepitas to the middle of it. Roll up as best you can (you may need to employ some toothpicks if they don't hold together well enough).
Makes about 6-8 rolls (this will depend on how much you stuff them).
Making the lettuce wraps is mildly fiddly - so if you can't be bothered doing that then you can always just toss all this together in a salad instead, it's also pretty delicious (although without the added fun/mess of eating the lettuce wraps!). You can make yourself a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce and lemon juice to go with it.
A quick note on this post: I received free olive oil from Bertolli to use on my blog, however, I am not being paid for this post nor am I an ambassador for this brand.