Sesame Spring Greens

It’s a rainy Saturday in May and whilst it would be lovely if the sun was shining I’m actually enjoying seeing my plants and garden get a good feed. 

As well as making sure the plants get a good feed I’m aslo cooking some really tasty and nutritional food for me too. And it’s another really easy meal to make. 

Although I’m allergic to nuts as well as being a coeliac, vegan I am lucky to say I can eat sesame. It’s a good job as sesame is so tasty. 

Warm half a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil in a wok on high heat. Prep the veg by washing and chopping broccoli, courgette, spring onion and pak choi. 

Add the broccoli and courgette to the pan first and stir fry for about 3 – 4 minutes. Then add the pak choi on top. I actually layer the pak choi over the top so that it retains a real crunch and cooks from the heat rather than the oil. I also think crunchy veg has more nutritional value too. 

Once the pak choi is layered over the top season using soy sauce. I’m using a gluten free tamari soy sauce by Kikkoman, although the Clearspring gluten free tamari is also pretty ace. Once the soy sauce has sizzled a little turn thw heat down to a medium setting and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. 


Spend the final couple of minutes cooking stirring the veg through thoroughly to ensure it is all stir fried to perfection. 

Once cooked sprinkle with chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds to serve. A perfect spring vegetable meal to brighten up your day whatever the weather. 

Henderson’s Vegan, Thistle Street, Edinburgh

I have found my new favourite place in the world. Please prepare yourself for a lot of excitement in this post… 

I’m visiting Edinburgh this weekend and looking for coeliac, vegan food requires planning and research in advance. Henderson’s staff were really helpful when we phoned and booked a table in the restaurant area. Henderson’s Vegan have two eating areas, one which is a self service cafe and another with waitress service and… live jazz. Seriously. I’m moving in. 

I explained I was allergic to nuts anx mushrooms in addition to coeliac and vegan and was impressed to find I actually had a choice of meals. To start I had falafel and coconut sauce, although I encouraged my sister to have the Thai wraps. Both were excellent. 

Tucking in to such amazing vegan food in a relaxed, friendly and jazz filled environment was really exciting and it was nice to feel normal despite my allergies.

Main course – risotto. This was a really well cooked vegan risotto and the vegetables were crisp and fresh and it was nice to find surprise fennel as well as butternut squash, rocket and garden peas. 

I don’t even know where to start telling you about dessert. So our waitress came over really excited and told us not to look at a menu. She said I have 3 desserts for you. All nut free, vegan and coeliac. A chocolate mousse, a raspberry cheesecake and a chocolate cheesecake pot. She said we had to have the last one so we went for that and the raspberry. 

Let’s just be clear. These puddings were amazing. I’m genuinely still trying to get my head around the chocolate pot as I’m not sure how they made it that good, it was really creamy and my non vegan, non coeliac sister thinkd it is better than dairy and gluten based puddings. 

Henderson’s Vegan is a safe, happy and tasty place. 

‘All in one’ coconut, lime and green vegetable curry

Curry is a Saturday night staple in our house and I love that I can cook a super healthy meal that feels like a real treat. Perfect for coeliacs and vegans like me to boot! 

This meal is delicious and uses some of my favourite ingredients.


Start with a big pan, as the ‘all in one’ may have suggested I actually include the rice in the curry even though I cook it separately initially. That’s why you will need lots of space. 

I use a little Fry light in the bottom of the pot and start to warm on a med high setting. Add chopped red chilli and garlic to start a base and once the chilli and garlic start going add half a chopped white onion. 

The versatility of ingredients you can use in a curry is one of the reasons I love it so much. Today I’m using chopped courgette, mange tout, chickpeas, broad beans and broccoli. Following the ‘all in one’ approach I add all the vegetables into the pot and continue to cook with the garlic and onion in the oil for approximately 5 minutes.

Whilst the vegetables are cooking put some brown rice on to cook. 

Squeeze the juice out of 2 limes into the vegetable pot and then add coconut milk. Turn the heat down to a low medium and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes. In this time the brown rice will have cooked. Drain the rice thoroughly and add to the curry pot. 

Stir the rice through the curry and continue cooking for a few minutes. Now the best bit. Dish up and tuck in. I hope you enjoy my super healthy Saturday treat as much as I do.  

Chilli Bean Shakshuka

With a fresh cafetiere of coffee I’m enjoying an amazing brunch of Shakshuka with a Mexican twist. As I’m medically able to eat eggs I do this as a protein assistance, unlike most of my posts this recipe is vegetarian but not vegan as it includes eggs.

Start by preparing the base. The longer this can cook for the better. Chop onion, green pepper, red chilli, garlic, corainder and fresh tomatoes. Add to a large frying pan with a little oil and turn to a medium heat. As thee vegetavles start to cook add red kidney beans.

Continue to cook for 10 minutes before adding a tin of chopped tomatoes, turn the heat down a notch and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables form a chunky chilli consistency. 

Turn the heat back to a medium setting. Form a small dent in the vegetable mix and crack an egg into the dent. Repeat this for each portion you are serving. 

Cook for 20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked. I like a well cooked yolk so I flip the egg at the end very briefly. Serve with a few tortilla chips. 

I hope you enjoy this dish. It’s a great breakfast / brunch for a busy day as it’s full of healthy, tasty veggies and protein. 

Vegan, gluten free pancakes with scrambled tofu

It’s a bank holiday Monday and there is nothing better to start the day than a hearty brunch. Whether you have a big day ahead, a big relaxation planned or indeed a big hangover brunch is the way forward and I’ve made a super tasty breakfast today. 


Pancakes

I’m using a little cheat this morning in the form of a gluten free, dairy free batter mix. I picked this up from Sainsburys and it can be used for pancakes, Yorkshire puddings or other batter recipes. 
Start by mixing an egg alternative (equivalent of 2 eggs), 175ml dairy free milk and a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a jug. Beat well until completely mixed. Then pour steadily into a large mixing bowl containing the batter mix. Mix until completely smootg and light. 

Warm a little vegetable oil in a large frying pan and when warm pour over a small amount of batter mix. Turn the pan gently from side to side so the batter mix fills the pan and creates a nice pancake shape. Cook on a high heat for approximately 2 minutes and then flip the pancake to cook the other side as thoroughly and ensure an evenly cooked pancake. Remove the pancake and continue on with the mix. Using these measurements I’ve made a total of 6 pancakes. 

Scrambled Tofu

Whilst cooking the pancakes I’ve made a protein rich vegan brunch staple of scrambled tofu. It’s incredibly easy and very tasty. Warm a teaspoon of oil in a separate frying pan and when warm break a block of tofu into the pan. 

I use Cauldron tofu for this as it breaks simply and you can just pull the block apart with your hands. Flavour with a little salt and pepper and cook until the tofu starts to brown. Eat warm. 

I’ve combined my pancakes and scrambled tofu and served with tomato, basil and a little balsamic glaze. A perfect hearty breakfast suitable for all diets. 

Vegan, gluten-free courgette carbonara

Rich and creamy pasta dishes definitely shouldn’t be off the cards for vegans or coeliacs – or indeed both – this dish provides a very real solution for those like me who want a comforting and tasty meal.

 

Start by boiling water in a large pan. When cooking gluten free pasta it is key to bring the water to the boil before adding the pasta. I’m using a gluten free spaghetti which will taste exceptional when cooked. Whilst the spaghetti is cooking start preparing the sauce. 

Finely chop half a white onion and fry in a small pan. I use fry light olive oil as it is a little healthier than olive oil and much easier to use less! Add 2 minced garlic cloves and a half a teaspoon of chopped red chilli and seeds. 

Once the onion has softened and taken on a translucent appearance add 2 chopped courgettes, chopped basil and few turns of black pepper. Continue to cook for approximately 8 – 10 minutes. 

Once the spaghetti has cooked drain off the water and pop the drained pasta back into the large pan. Stir through approximately 100ml of cream alternative. I like the Alpro soya cream. Add the cooked vegetables and stir very thoroughly. When evenly mixed serve warm and enjoy. 

Vegan, Coeliac Friendly Fried Noodles

I love crispy fried noodles and before I was diagnosed with coeliac disease (and a few other dietary requirements to boot) I used to love fried noodle dishes at Thai or Chinese restaurants. This is my own version and is still super tasty. 

The veg I’m using in this is a first for me and inspired by the miniature aubergines I found in my local supermarket. I chopped the miniature aubergines (so tiny and cute), a courgette and some green veggies. I used broccoli, green beans and asparagus as I love crunchy seasonal veg and like to get as many into one meal as possible. 

Warm a teaspoon of sesame oil in a wok or frying pan and when warm add the veg directly. Whilst the veg is stir frying I soak rice noodle nests in boiling water. This gives the noodles a more al dente crunch which is perfect for this dish. 

Once the veg is looking well stir fried drain the noodles and add the wok. Make sure the heat is high and then drizzle a little more sesame oil in. The noodles will start to brown and crisp. I use simple flavouring in this dish with a sprinkle of tamari. The Clearspring or Kikkoman gluten free brands are great and easy to get hold of. 

After a few minutes the lovely stir fried noodles and veggies will be all ready. I’ve toppes with some chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds just before serving. It’s made an amazing Friday night dinner. Mmmm.