Roasted Chickpeas and Vegetables with Quinoa

I’m working on increasing my protein as I’m stepping up some exercise. As a vegan I am constantly asked how I get any protein at all. One of the answers to this is quinoa which is a complete protein with all the amino acids you need.

This quinoa based dish is easy to make and perfect for packed lunches.

Start with a large roasting pan and preheat the oven. I’m using chopped courgette, red pepper, yellow pepper and carrots.

Add to the roasting dish. Instead of drizzling with oil I’m using Fry Light sunflower and squirt the vegetables with a few sprays. Roast for 45 minutes. It’s time to add the chickpeas! Drained chickpeas and cherry tomatoes will bring different textures and more protein to the roasted vegetables. Sprinkle the vegetables with a generous dash of cayenne pepper for a spicy flavour and then continue to roast for another hour. At the same time cook quinoa.

When both are cooked drain the quinoa and stir through the vegetables evenly. Tasty hot or cold it makes and ideal lunch or evening meal.

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Tofu and Tamari Greens

Tamari is a great flavour for coeliacs, unlike soya sauce which contains wheat there is no gluten and Tamari will make food taste excellent without the illness.

With protein from the tofu this dish is also excellent for vegan coeliacs like myself.

Start by cubing the tofu and adding to a heated wok. I’m using sesame oil to cook as although I’m allergic to nuts I can (and do) enjoy sesame.

Cook the tofu evenly until starting to go lightly golden. Then add garlic and coriander. Continue to cook for a few minutes stirring frequently.

Add prepared vegetables. I’m adding tenderstem broccoli, Pak choi, spring greens, mange tout and red onion.

Continue to stir fry for 10 minutes then add a few splashes of Tamari. I use the Clearspring Tamari as it is organic as well as veggie and gluten free.

I love this tofu packed stir fry and hope you will too.

Mexican inspired fried rice

As a coeliac I eat a lot of quinoa and rice as a way to bulk up meals and enjoy some carbs. This recipe takes the crisp texture of a fried rice dish and combines it with tasty veg and a little heat.

Start by popping the rice onto cook. I’m using brown rice as the process applied to white rice reduces the nutritional value in white rice. Add rice to a pan of boiling water and leave to cook for 20 minutes stirring regularly.

The time the rice takes to cook is ideal veg preparation time. I’m using a red pepper, a courgette, half a cucumbers large avocado and a number of sweet, small tomatoes. Chop all the veg into small chunks approximately 1cm square.

Once the veg is chopped heat a small amount of oil in a large pan. I’m using Fry Light Avocado as it is lower in calorie and a complementary flavour. Add the chopped pepper and courgette to the pan and cook until slightly softened.

When the brown rice has cooked and been thoroughly drained add it to the pan and continue to fry.

After 10 minutes of cooking the rice should be crisp and tasty. Sprinkle over a dash of cayenne pepper and stir through chopped coriander.

Add the chopped avocado, cucumber and tomato to make a crisp, tasty and warm fried rice salad.

Tucking into this beauty for dinner has me thinking about the spring and summer ahead already.

Steamed Vegetable Quinoa

Healthy January is here. I’m loving seeing so many fresh vegetables when I’m shopping. This is a really tasty combination of vegetables and quinoa with a simple lemon twist. Perfect lunch. 

Start by cooking quinoa. Ensure there is plenty of water in the pan, bring to the boil, add the quinoa and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Quinoa is a great staple for me as a coeliac vegan. Quinoa contains high volumes of protein is a complete protein containing many more amino structures and amino acids. It’s also one of few grains free from gluten. 

Whilst the quinoa is cooking it’s a great time to prep and steam the veg. Chop courgette into slices and then halves, chop broccoli into florets and prepare broad beans. I’ve bought prepared and podded broad beans so all I need to do is steam. Steam the vegetables. I like them all denote with a little crunch and I’m sure you will too. 

When the quinoa is cooked and the vegetables are steamed stir through so they are evenly mixed. Add a small drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some black pepper. 

This dish is lovely warm but also makes a delicious lunch cold as a packed lunch. I hope you love it as much as I do and the bright, fresh flavour helps you chase away the January blues! 

Rocket and Lemon Risotto

I’m so ready for some healthy January eating. I’m kick starting that with a warm and hearty risotto. Perfect for coeliac, vegans and in fact anyone who enjoys a nice meal. 

Start with a little oil in a large pan. I’m using a few squirts of olive Fry Light as a lower calorie and fat option. 

Add half a chopped onion and a couple of chopped garlic cloves to the pan and fry. Once the onion has softened add arborio risotto rice to the pan and splash over with white wine. Keep the heat high so the wine bubbles off quickly and then cover the rice with hot stock. I use Kallo low salt vegetable stock as it is one of the few gluten free stock cubes. 

Continue cooking and top up the stock as the rice cooks and expands. After cooking for approximately 20 minutes add rocket, peas and squeeze some lemon juice and basil into the risotto and stir fry. 

Cook for a further 10 minutes stirring continuously to ensure even cooking. 

This is a delicious gluten free, veggie meal and I hope you really enjoy it. 

Scrambled Tofu Stir Fry

Silken tofu is an ideal vegan substitute for egg and partners perfectly with stir fry dishes. 

Start by warming a little oil in a large pan or wok. I’m using sesame oil. Once the pan and oil is hot add the tofu first. I start by chopping the silken tofu into squares and adding to the pan. 

As you stir the tofu it will take on a scrambled consistency and will break into smaller pieces. After 10 minutes cooking the tofu add your stir fry veg. I’m using a lot of mixed vegetables but for this dish I’m adding quite a lot of asparagus as it adds crunch and texture. 

Continue to cook with the added vegetables for a further 10 minutes. Add tamarind sauce for the last few minutes. As I’m coeliac I use Clearspring Tamari as unlike other soya sauces it doesn’t contain any wheat or gluten. 

Once cooked serve and enjoy. I’ve added a little sweet chilli sauce too. 

Sweet potato chilli

I’m enjoying back weekend away for new year and although it’s not a familiar kitchen it’s lovely to spend some time cooking healthy, happy food. 

After a day walking a hearty and warming chilli is fab. Start by peeling a large sweet potato. Then chop into slices and quarter leaving you with large chunks of sweet potato. Start by warming some olive oil in a large pan and then saute the sweet potato. Add chopped garlic and red chilli. 

After approximately 10 – 15 minutes. Add kidney beans, borlotti beans and canned chopped tomatoes. Stir through thoroughly, switch the heat down and simmer for a further 20 – 30 minutes. 

Whilst the chilli cooks it’s time to get the rice on. I’m cooking with long grain and wild rice as I love adding extra textures and different amino structures. Wild rice isn’t a rice at all, it’s a grass and surprisingly high in protein. 

The chilli and rice should finish cooking at about the same time so drain off, dish up and enjoy tucking into a well earned, post walk meal. Vegan and gluten free just being one added bonus!