It’s Veganuary – a chance to try something new

January is Veganuary, a chance to shine the spotlight on vegan and vegetarian food. The campaign, supported by the vegan movement, has been running since 2014 and aims to persuade us to give up meat and eat vegan or vegetarian food for the 31 days of January. More than 1 million people in 192 countries take part and the residents  at The Chiswick Nursing Centre also have the chance to join them.

At The Chiswick, we cater for all culinary needs and vegetarian options are available at each and every mealtime. We recognise that mealtimes are really important to those who live in Nursing homes, both as a highlight in the day to look forward to and for us to ensure that those in our care eat good nutritious food.

Because we get to know and understand our residents’ likes and dislikes so well, we know what, when and how they like to eat. As we get older, our palates change and our appetite often diminishes. Those who are living with dementia or other health conditions may find it difficult to eat so our professional care staff are always on hand to support and encourage residents at mealtimes.

John Wealleans, our Catering Manager has been hard at work, as always, designing our menu, with some special vegetarian dishes on offer and of course, meat and fish eaters are also still catered for throughout the month.

Vegetarian options include: Mushroom Korma Curry, Leek & Potato Soup, Vegetable & Mushroom Risotto, Macaroni Cheese, Lentil & Spinach Bake and Egg Fried Noodles with Bean Shoots.

John shares his recipe for Tofu Stir Fry below, guaranteed to warm the winter evenings, in case readers want to try it at home.

Tofu stir fry

 1 block extra-firm tofu

2-3 tbsp cornflour

4 tbsp sunflower oil

For the sauce

3 tbsp rice vinegar

3 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce

1 tbsp vegan hoisin sauce 

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • Cut the tofu into 2cm cubes and dry well on kitchen paper. Put the cornflour in a bowl and add the tofu cubes. Toss to coat, then add the remaining cornflour and toss again.
  • Rest for 5 minutes to become slightly tacky.
  • Mix together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and brown sugar in a bowl. 
  • Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over a high heat and cook the tofu for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown. drain on kitchen paper. 
  • add the sesame oil, ginger, garlic and chilli in a clean pan, then gently fry for about 1 minute before adding the sauce mixture with 150ml water. Bubble until you have a thick, glossy sauce.
  • Return the tofu to the pan and toss to coat all over. Serve on a bed of rice.
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