An absolute staple of my diet as a vegan, coeliac are tofu and noodles which I add to a number of stir fry dishes.
The meal above was a recipe from a friend whose family run Chinese restaurants as he thought I would love it. I do. The tofu steaks are coated in cornflour before frying in sesame oil. The veggies are stir fried in a sauce made from sesame oil, ginger, garlic, tamari, vegan honey (I used carob syrup), cornflour and water. I added toasted sesame seeds to serve.
A simple stir fry with smoked Tofoo tofu, beansprouts and mange tout. Served with smoke humous and tonnes of veggies.
Sweetheart cabbage is fantastic in a stir fry. Served with vermicelli noodles and toasted sesame seeds.
Pad Thai rice noodles served with Cashew nuts, courgette and mange tout.
This is my first attempt at fudge and I’m really pleased with the results (but will be buying a sugar thermometer for next time!)
I’ve used a recipe I found online but adapted to suit my tastes (and the ingredients in my pantry).
Start with a large saucepan with a thick base and add the ingredients. I’ve used 450g Demerara sugar, 250ml Alpro cream, 150g Alpro coconut milk, 50g Pure Olive spread and 1 tbsp of golden syrup. (For the rum and raisin flavour – pictured above – I also added 100ml Bacardi at this point.
Bring to heat on a medium high and stir whilst cooking until the sugar has all dissolved and you have a consistent syrup which will be light brown and will smell amazing! (Reminded me of a very sugarey Bailey’s)
When all the sugar has dissolved and you have a consistent syrup bring the pan to the boil. It needs to reach a really high temperature of 112° – 116° and needs to be stirred regularly to prevent the sugars in syrup from burning to the base of the pan. The syrup will foam but keep boiling and keep stirring until it reaches this temperature.
As I didn’t have a thermometer when I made this fudge I used an alternative to measuring the temperature by “soft ball” ing the fudge. To do this have a pot of cool water close by and as the mixture boils take a small spoonful out of the pan and drop into into the water. If the syrup forms a soft ball you can mould and lift then it has reached the right temperature and is ready to remove from the heat. If it is still a liquid when poured into the cold water then it will need to boil for longer to reach temperature. An important learning curve here is to make sure the syrup has long enough to cool in the water before you try to mould it! Hot fudge syrup burns – safety first!
Once you have ensured the syrup has reached that temperature remove it from the heat entirely. At this point you can add extra flavouring – I’ve used dessicated coconut in the coconut fudge and added raisins for the rum and raisin. Then stir rigourously as the mixture cools down. You will notice the mixture become thicker and less glossy as you stir it. Keep stirring until the mixture of fairly cool and no longer too hot to touch and is pretty thick and creamy then pour into a line baking tray or dish to set.
I’ve learnt from the two batches I made that it is best to leave the fudge to set fully at room temperature. The coconut I made I popped into the fridge to cool and it created a split in the top and bottom with the bottom of the fudge being more like a toffee.
When fully set remove from the dish, peel off the baking paper and chop into bite sized pieces ready for a tasty treat!
I’ve soaked lots of chickpeas recently so it’s fair to anticipate chickpea recipes coming up. This dish is a super easy and tasty.
I’m using dried chickpeas so I’ve started by preparing them in advance. I’ve soaked them in water for 8 hours, drained the water off and rinsed and then boiled them in water for 10 minutes to soften fully.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan, add some chopped or minced garlic and then add the cooked chickpeas. Chop black olives, cherry tomatoes and spinach and add to the pan in that order, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes stirring frequently and ensuring the juice from the tomatoes speedy through.
This is a really simple and exciting meal and once you have the chickpeas ready it’s great to make as many meals as you can. This is a wonderful coeliac and vegan friendly recipe.
During a recent weekend I’m London I headed to Redemption in Neal’s Yard for lunch and was certainly glad I did. Redemption is a vegan, sugar-free and wheat free cafe with an alcohol-free cafe and bar. For vegan coeliacs like myself it is a perfect spot!
Often when I eat out I either have to adapt an existing menu or have one option to eat so I was totally overwhelmed with the choice available at Redemption. Because I’m also allergic to some nuts and all mushrooms as well as having coeliac disease and lactose intolerance even some vegan and gluten free places can be tough to eat at. It was had to decide on one dish so in the end I went for the Buddha bowl with a selection of suitable tasty treats from the deli. The beetroot humous, the turmeric cauliflower and the vegan mint yogurt dressing made this salad bowl a real treat.
On the side I had some hand cut chunky chips with a mustard seasoning and some spicy mayonnaise.
To follow up I shared a gluten free banana loaf slice served with banana, vegan cream and fresh banana.
I would highly recommend eating at Redemption, either at their Neal’s Yard bar or at the other locations around London. The food is made more enjoyable by the chilled out, light and unpretentious surroundings. It’s a great choice for so many free from diets and tasty for all who visit.
When it’s cold outside and there are cold bugs flying around I find that nothing is more welcome than a gently warming curry. This dish combines turmeric, coconut, coriander and light spices to make a bright and tasty meal.
Start by chopping garlic, ginger and chilli and adding to a pan with some warmed coconut oil. Simmer gently so the spices cook and then add chunks of tofu and continue to stir swiftly to cook quickly and evenly.
As the tofu starts to brown slightly add vegetables. For this curry I’m using carrots, yellow peppers and tenderstem broccoli which I’ve chopped down into small pieces. Saute the vegetables with the tofu for a few minutes before adding the liquid.
Add coconut milk to the pan and cover the tofu and veggies. I use Alpro Light Coconut milk which comes in a litre serving as I can use it as a milk alternative as well as in cooking and baking.
Add turmeric and chopped coriander and allow the coconut milk curry to heat up and cook at a medium temperature for approximately 30 minutes.
I’ve served with jasmine rice as to my taste it’s a perfect combination and is light and fragrant. I hope you enjoy this curry as much as I did. It’s a perfect warm up in the winter for my coeliac, vegan diet.
Rice noodles are a fantastic way to enjoy noodles as a coeliac.
My favourite rice noodles are the ribbon rice noodles so perfect for pad Thai dishes and stir frys. Rice noodles are easy to cook. For the dish I started by soaking dried noodles in boiling water.
Whilst the noodles soak I warm sesame oil in a large pan and add chopped tofu and vegetables and stir fry for 10 minutes although you can continue to cook until the vegetables reach the point you enjoy them at. I like quite crunchy al dente vegetables.
Once the stir fry has cooked drain the ribbon noodles to ensure they are light and flexible and fully cooked. Then add sesame oil to the noodles and stir through.
Serve the tofu, vegetables and noodles and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. This easy to make meal is perfect for vegan and coeliac diets and you can pick the vegetables you prefer most to include.
Eating gluten free and vegan it’s really important to try new combinations frequently and keep dinner ideas exciting. This gluten-free tagliatelle served with roasted red peppers and chickpeas is delicious and a completely new meal for me.
Start by finely slicing red peppers and adding to a roasting tin with precooked chickpeas. For an easy weekday meal I’ve used tinned chickpeas rather than soaking dried ones.
Drizzle with a little olive oil and some salt and black pepper and roast for approximately 30 minutes until the peppers are softened.
Whilst the vegetables are roasting cook your tagliatelle. For coeliac vegans I find the Sainsbury’s Free From Tagliatelle is great. It’s gluten free and milk and egg free without being super expensive. Follow the instructions on the packet, especially the instruction to bring the water to the boil before adding the pasta.
Once the pasta is cooked drain the water and stir through a small amount of free from red pesto, this will stop the pasta from sticking and give a little extra flavour.
Then add the roasted red peppers and chickpeas before serving.
This easy pasta dish has vitamins and lots of protein from the chickpeas. It is a filling and hearty dish that’s perfect for a winter evening after work and is ideal for Veganuary.
I enjoyed spending new year’s eve in Ironbridge Gorge with friends. It was a great opportunity to start 2020 discovering a new place to eat with coeliac and vegan friendly options – both for me and for friends undertaking Veganuary.
Woodbridge Inn in Coalport has a wide range of dishes available and a specific gluten free menu making it easy to narrow down options and eat safely.
I had the Malaysian curry. The curry contained aubergine, red pepper and sweet potato in a coconut sauce and is served with brown rice and pak choi.
The service and support for allergies is fantastic. I was able to explain my allergies to mushrooms and nuts and feel supported and understood.
Highly recommend the Woodbridge Inn for gluten free and vegan foods as well as a cosy, warm environment and open fires.
I’ve been to the Cutlery Works a few times and always been excited at the amount of choice available for coeliacs and vegans. Every time I go I try a new dish from a different vendor and I was really pleased with this choice of meal from Five Rivers Vietnamese.
This is the Bún Noodle Salad featuring twice fried tofu, vermicelli noodles, carrot salad, mint, coriander, spring onion, cucumber and red cabbage.
It was so filling and delicious. I almost didn’t have space for the summer rolls filled with noodles, veggies and curry tofu.
All gluten free and vegan dishes are marked on the menu so you can plan in advance what you are having. Although you order through an app you can add notes about dietary requirements and allergy needs.
I will definitely be eating at Five Rivers again as I loved this meal.