Crispy Lemongrass Salad

During hot weather I find myself eating a lot a salad. Many folks find salad quite full but I love different vegetables and flavour combinations. This warm salad is a perfect evening meal on a warm summer evening.

Ingredients

Baby cabbage

Pak choi

Orange and yellow peppers

Sugar snap peas

Broccoli

Lemongrass

Lemon

Garlic

Ginger

Coriander

Gluten free tamari sauce

Coconut oil

Start by preparing the flavours, I use a garlic mincer to prepare garlic and lemongrass and I grate ginger and chop the coriander finely.

Nextheat a little coconut oil in a wok and add the sliced peppers and broccoli once warmed to temperature. Once the vegetables are in I add the herbs and spices so they can absorb into the vegetables during cooking. Stir fry for 5 minutes before adding the sugar snap peas and continuing to stir fry for a further 5 minutes. You can increase the cooking time but I like my veg pretty crunchy.

Whilst the veggies are cooking I lightly steam the cabbage and Pak choi to make a leafy base.

Serve with a slice of lemon and a drizzle of gluten free tamari for a zingy finish. This is a wonderful salad full of flavour and far from boring. Ideal for vegans, veggies, coeliacs and everyone else besides!

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Gluten free, vegan Vietnamese rolls

Although I have a very restricted diet due to coeliac disease, allergies and veganism I always wonder why people think I can’t get variety in my food. I love trying new things and thanks to travel, the internet and of course immigration we have so many different cuisines available in the UK.

Today I have used Vietnamese roll rice papers to create beautiful gluten free, vegan rolls using crunchy fruit and vegetables. I found the rice paper rolls in the world food section, the ones I am using are produced and exported from Vietnam but looking online I see the Blue Dragon brand are gluten free and widely available.

They may look like a fancy or time consuming meal but really this is so simple. Start by prepping the vegetables and chopping into baton shapes. I used 2 large carrots, a large avocado, half a mango and half a cucumber in mine and this made 10 super filling rolls.

Then fill a large mixing bowl with warm water. Take one of the dried rice paper sheets and soak it in the warm water for 15 – 20 seconds. It’s important the sheet is submerged or only one side will start to dissolve. The rice paper should become really pliable and flexible once it’s been held in the water.

Spread it out on a dry surface and the. Stack your choice of raw vegetables into the middle of the roll in a rectangular shape. Now comes the folding! I’ve found that it’s best if you fold in the edges that would be the short sides of the rectangle first and really press them down tightly to the vegetables. Then fold in over the paper left on the longer sides and wrap them around.

Repeat these steps as many times as you need to for the perfect number of rolls.

Served with a little sweet chilli sauce or gluten free tamari for dipping these are a healthy, easy treat to help you increase your raw veg intake. So tasty!

Oh My Cod! Finding gluten free vegan eating in Mahone Bay, Canada

I’m on holiday in Nova Scotia, an area known for its seafood, so I was fairly worried about finding food that suited my dietary needs as a lactose intolerant, coeliac vegetarian.

I actually didn’t need to worry as I’ve found many places to be accomodating and helpful.

Today that place was Oh My Cod! in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Whilst my husband tucked into a local delicacy I was delighted to discover their gluten free menu including gluten free chips, gluten free sandwich bread and gluten free batter should you want to try the seafood. I had The Herbivore sandwich which contains humous, grilled slices of pepper, onion, rocket and avocado.

Served with rustic chips (with bits of skin left on hurrah) and a guarantee of gluten free due to the separate fryers.

I’ve really enjoyed meal at Oh My Cod! It’s definitely a reminder to check out options for vegans and coeliacs where you would least expect it!

Heartwood by the Sea, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

I’m enjoying a holiday in Nova Scotia. I’m travelling to a few different places in the province and have already found quite a few nice gluten free and vegan foods and meals. One of my favourite meals was lunch at Heartwood by the Sea in downtown Halifax.

There are two Heartwood restaurants in Halifax which serve a selection of vegan and vegetarian foods including a number of gluten free options. I’m going to check out the restaurants on Quinpool road and Göttingen whilst I am here but today I enjoyed lunch at the pop up on the waterfront.

The menu is fairly extensive and includes vegan bowls as well as baked goods like cookies and energy bars.

I discovered veganism after diagnosis I was lactose intolerant. I found it easy to embrace as a vegetarian and having a coeliac disease too but sometimes it can feel frustrating looking for places I can eat safely.

I explained my dietary requirements including my nut allergy and was recommended to try the rainbow bowl. The rainbow bowl has brown rice, steamed green vegetables, roasted sweet potato and beetroots and tofu. All served up with a choice of sauce. As I’m allergic to nuts I went for the spicy tomato sauce. The food was delicious and suited my allergies and requirements perfectly.

Also impressive was the commitment to environmental responsibility. With biodegradable straws, bowls and cutlery as well as organic ingredients Heartwood by the Sea definitely won me over. And the little birds enjoyed the leftover rice too.

IKEA Veggie Balls – gluten free & vegan

Plant based choices are really taking off and I’m delighted to be finding vegan and coeliac friendly foods in places I wouldn’t usually look for them.

Following a lead from a vegan friend I recently got myself to IKEA to sample their veggie take on the iconic Swedish meatballs.

I have not been dissaoppointed. In the food section before the exit (several packs of candles and mini cacti after I arrived) I found the frozen veggie balls called Allemansrätten. You can buy a quite frankly huge bag for only £3.95 so it’s very affordable.

Also very easy, they cook from frozen and take less than 20 minutes. I’ve cooked these tasty gluten free goodies with kale, spinach garlic and green beans and served with hearty brown rice for a summery and delicious evening meal.

Happy IKEA-ing to all!

Spinach and Courgette Balsamic Tart

I love a pastry based meal. Having just discovered the gluten free, vegan Jus Rol puff pastry I think it’s fair to expect and few simple pies and tarts coming your way from me!

This is one of my favourites. It’s incredibly easy to cook too.

Start by allowing the pastry to warm for 10 minutes when you take it out of the fridge. I’m not sure if this is specific to gluten free or dairy free pastry but is certainly the case on the instructions for this brand.

Whilst the pastry is coming to room temperature wilt down some spinach brining it to a low heat in a large pan. This is also a great time to slice the courgette finely. The thinner the better as they may need to overlap in places.

Roll out the pastry and spread a small amount of garlic paste across the top.

It’s really important to pat dry the wilted spinach. If you don’t get the excess moisture out the tart will be really claggy. Place the dry spinach across the pastry to form a base.

Once covered in spinach layer slices of courgette across the base and top with dairy free cheese. I’m living Daiya dairy free mozzarella for this recipe.

Pop into the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes. At the 15 minute mark I take out the tart and top with balsamic glaze before popping back into the oven for a final 10 minutes.

This is a great summer evening meal suitable for everyone.

The White Rabbit Pizza Co – Smokin Vegan GF

As a coeliac, vegan it’s not been often I’ve found ready made meals in the supermarket. Whilst I love cooking from scratch sometimes it is lovely to enjoy a dinner without any preparation.

Fortunately though as many more people are enjoying the benefits of a plant based lifestyle there are more vegan and gluten free brands emerging. One of those is The White Rabbit Pizza Co. I really enjoyed this pizza and wanted to share that enjoyment and recommendation with you all.