Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

A thick sweet soup with flavour and depth. Sweet potato and coconut is a perfect combination full of comfort, as well as vitamins. 

Sweet potato is a really healthy alternative to potato. Technically sweet potato is not a potato, rather a root vegetable. As such ot is lower in carbohydrate and healthier. Sweet potato is also rich in vitamins A, B and C so it is excellent for an immune boost. 

Start by chopping sweet potato. I actually leave the skin on as it gives texture to the soup when blended. To make enough soup for four people I use two large sweet potatoes. Chop white onion and cover in boiling stock – which I make up from Kallo Reduced Salt Vegetable stock cubes. Bring the pan up to heat and cook on high for approximately 20 minutes. 

By the 20 minute mark the sweet potatoes will be soft and beginning to break apart. Turn the temperature down to a low heat and add a can of coconut milk, or light coconut milk if prefered and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes. 

The next stage is blending. I use a hand blender and it is important to be careful with the sweet potato skin when you blend as it will put up more resistance. I hold the blender directly above the sweet potato skin to blend. 

Once the soup is smooth and blended dish up and enjoy. I’m certainly going to. 

Coriander and Lime Rice with Coconut Vegetable Curry

Happy Saturday. To celebrate I’m also going to enjoy a healthy Saturday with this delicious meal for my dinner. 

Start by preparing a simple curry base in a large sauce pan. I saute chopped onion, garlic and chilli in a small amount of vegetable oil at a medium-high heat. 

Whilst the onion and spices sizzle a little you can use the time to chop vegetables. I’m using celery and courgette. I really like celery but feel like it isn’t embraced in as many dishes as it could be. I love it in this as it soaks up all the flavours and adds a crisp and crunchy texture. 
Add the courgette and celery and reduce the heat to a low setting. Pop on the saucepan lid and continue to cook for 20 minutes. 

When the courgette and celery have softened as though they have been steamed add light coconut milk, coriander, fresh lime juice and spinach and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes or until the coconut milk has formed a light curry sauce. 

Preparing the rice to go along with this curry could actually not be simpler. I just add lime juice, chopped coriander and the squeezed out lime slices to the pan of rice whilst cooking (don’t forget to take thee slices out after!) The rice will become infused with the delicious flavours and  is the perfect accompaniment. 

Hope you enjoy my healthy, happy Saturday meal as much as I have. 

Roasted Vegetable Vegan Bowl

A good roast dinner is a staple in the UK so I’ve taken all the best (and all the cruelty free) bits of a Sunday roast and used it to make up a delicious bowl of gluten free veggies perfect for a vegan lunch!

Start by preparing the vegetables. Chop sweet potatoes and carrots into approximately 1cm wide slices. I leave the skin on as it adds extra flavour and nutrition. 

Then place into a baking tray and add a little oil. I use Fry Light Olive spray rather than oil as I think it produces as good a result with far fewer calories and fat. 

Seasoning is key. I use chopped sage, salt and pepper on the sweet potatoes and rosemary on the carrots. Place into a hot oven and roast for about an hour turning the vegetables half way through. 

Whilst the vegetables are roasting now is a great time to get some toasted chickpeas sorted. Again I use Fry Light Olive spray and add chopped garlic to a small frying pan. Add the chickpeas and sizzle for about 5 minutes. Then squeeze fresh lemon over the pan and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. 

When all the vegetables are cooked start layering into a bowl. I start with a healthy base of spinach. High in vitamins and minerals spinach is a great super food. 

Add the roasted vegetables and enjoy a delicious Sunday lunch ideal for vegans and vegetarians alike. 

Nectarine and Peach Sunflower Seed Crumble

A delicious dessert with summer fruits this is one of my favourite puddings to make (and to eat).

Start by chopping fresh fruit for the base. I’m using nectarines and peaches as they are in season and very summery. Lots of recipes suggest adding sugar to the fruit you use. I am not going to do that at all as I really enjoy the natural flavours. 

As a lactose intolerant, coeliac vegetarian I’ve had to develop a different crumble to the usual wheaty and buttery crumble you find on many puddings. I’m using gluten free oats, soya spread, local honey and sunflower seeds. 

Melt approx 100g of the soya spread in a small pan. I use the Pure brand Soya spread. As the spread melts add 2 tablespoons of honey. I’m using a local honey made in Sheffield as it helps fight hayfever and supports local community farming. 

When the honey and spread is fully melted and mixed stir in approximately 200g gluten free oats and a tablespoon of sunflower seeds and mix thoroughly until the oats are evenly covered with the honey mix. Spread over the fruit and place into the oven to bake for 20 minutes at 200°. 

When cooked serve and enjoy. The use of honey and swet fruits gives a really natural flavour and the sunflowers seeds make the crumble super crunchy as well as adding extra protein to the dessert. 

I love this pudding and I hope you will too. 

Lentil Pasta with Spinach and Tomato

Gluten free pasta is a great alternative for coeliacs but the amount of sugar in GF pasta can be concerning. I’ve found a great solution in a gluten free pasta made from red lentil flour. It’s lower in added sugar and tastes great. 

When I was first diagnosed as a coeliac the pasta was one of the first alternatives I tried. I quickly learnt to follow the instructions and ensure the water has been brought to the boil before adding the pasta to the pan. 

Whilst the pasta cooks slice fresh cherry tomatoes, garlic and red chilli and saute with a small amount of olive oil. When the tomato has cooked a little turn the heat right down and when the pasta has been cooked and drained add to the pan with the tomato. Stir through thoroughly and add handfuls of spinach to the pasta and stir through so the spinach wilts. 

Serve with a sprinkle of black pepper and salt and balsamic. A tasty gluten free pasta dish. 

Under Kastenjen, Stockholm

I’ve always really enjoyed trips to Scandinavia as due to high levels of diagnosed coeliac disease, lactose and gluten intolerance there is an abundance of gluten, lactose free and vegan foods. 

Whilst in holiday in Stockholm today I’ve enjoyed some real treats, including the sneaky ice cream below. Strawberry and elderflower sorbet. Mmmmm. 

After a busy day sightseeing (and tucking into ice cream) we were ready for a nice evening meal. Which is perfect because we found Under Kastenjen in Old Town, Stockholm. 

Under Kastenjen means under the chestnut tree, named for a beautiful tree in a narrow medieval courtyard. 

Under Kastanjen is open during the day as a cafe and bakery. They actually have two bakeries on site, one entirely gluten and lactose free. They sell a range of pastries and coffees. 

In the evening they are a restaurant and bar. Serving food in the formal restaurant downstairs, the informal cafe area and at their courtyard tables. All the starters, mains and desserts are either gluten and lactose free or they can be adjusted to make them gluten and lactose free. If like me you are also a veggie they have several veggie options. 

Whilst you wait for your food they also dish up homecooked gluten free bread and I had apricot and raisin loaf. My main was the veggie bean burger which came with a delicious mango salsa and chips. 

In addition to super coeliac-friendly food the service was also excellent and the team were really friendly and helpful. Definitely a spot I would recommend for all.

Sesame crusted tofu

As a nut allergy sufferer I feel incredibly lucky I can eat and enjoy sesame. Sesame allows me to add flavour and depth to many dishes. Also to many snacks! I’m going to tell you about one of my favourite homemade, coeliac and vegan snacks. 

Sesame crusted tofu. Really yummy and full of protein. 

I’m using Cauldron tofu and I start by slicing the tofu into approximately 5mm widths. Marinate in sesame oil and place under a warm grill for about 5 minutes. 

After 5 minutes turn the tofu and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place back under the grill and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. 

When cooked served warm and if you are a coeliac like me dish up with a serving of gluten free tamari. This is a great alternative to crisps and other fatty snacks.