Sweet Potato and Aduki Bean Thai Burger – Vegan and Gluten Free

It’s Veganuary and I’m loving all the new food and drinks available at the moment! I’m actually going back to an old classic tonight and making vegan burgers with sweet potato and Aduki beans.

As I’m trying to shop with less packaging and from zero waste stores where possible I’m purchasing more dried beans and pulses and then soaking or cooking them before use. These Aduki beans are one example of products I’m getting dried. It’s really simple to bring them to a usable state and I’ve done this with approx 250g Aduki beans by popping them in the slow cooker for about 6 hours on a low heat.

The next job is to prepare the sweet potato. To make 6 burgers I chop the sweet potato into pieces about an inch or so wide and bring to the boil. Personally I am a fan of the extra nutrients and the added texture so I leave the skin on but if you prefer a smoother texture peel them too. Boil for 15 – 20 minutes and then drain off and allow to cool for a little while until you can easily handle the potatoes.

Once cool add a tablespoon of soya butter to the sweet potatoes, this will assist with the mashing. Also add your flavours. I used minced garlic, lemongrass paste and chopped spring onion to give it a Thai feel as well as a little salt and pepper. Using a potato masher crush the sweet potatoes, seasoning and onion until well mashed.

Then add the cooked or tinned beans. Stir through the mash so the beans are evenly distributed. After this form the mix into patties. I find the thinner patties cook a little better. Place into a cooking pan lined with a little oil. I’ve used coconut oil as I think it goes perfectly and then cook for 40 minutes at 200.

I’ve served these delicious homemade burgers with salad. A yummy vegan and gluten-free option ideal for keeping us healthy and well fed in January.

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Pesto Stuffed Butternut Squash

A seasonal favourite of mine is roasted butternut squash. This stuffed squash with pesto and vegetables is a perfect festive main course for vegans and is gluten free so perfect for me as a coeliac too.

Start by preparing the squash. Split it evenly down the middle and clean out the seeds and pulp.

Cross the butternut squash with a deep knife which will allow the squash to roast consistently. Drizzle with a little cooking oil and basil and pop into the oven for approximately 45 minutes on a high heat.

Whilst the squash is roasting I cook the vegetable stuffing and pesto mix. Chop courgette and peppers into fine squares and cook in a frying pan with pesto. I use the Sacla free from red pesto as it’s free from gluten and dairy. Cook for about 20 minutes and then add the vegetables to the squash, packing out the seeds area and topping the whole squash. I then add vegan cheese (Sheese is my favourite brand) and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

I’m really looking forward to tucking into this over the Christmas period and hope you enjoy it too.

Herby Roasted Vegetables and Tofu

This delicious combination of vegetables and tofu make a great lunch or dinner and is incredibly easy to prepare and cook.

I warm a little oil in a roasting tray and add chopped red onion, courgette and fennel. Scatter over plenty of herbs for an extra punch of flavour. I expect used rosemary, thyme and basil, then roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes add tofu to the roast. I’m using the Cauldron marinated tofu pieces and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes.

I actually don’t think you need to serve this with anything carby or heavy and dish it straight up with a little balsamic drizzle. Another tasty new way to enjoy a gluten free, vegan diet.

Sweet potato and coconut stew

I’m going to make no apologies for enjoying cooking nice food, especially if it can be easy to prepare as well as delicious!

My slow cooker comes in very handy making easy and delicious happen at once. This stew is incredibly simple to make and really healthy and filling.

Add chopped sweet potato, carrot, green beans and spring onions to the slow cooker.

Flavour with chopped chilli and garlic as well as ground turmeric. Cover the vegetables with coconut milk. As I like a lighter stew I use Alpro Coconut Milk with Rice rather than coconut cream or milk in a can.

This is a great all day slow cook on a low heat, perfect for when you get home after a busy day. Coeliac and vegan friendly this kind of easy meal fits my life and diet so well.

Red wine and red onion risotto

Risotto is one of my go-to dishes and is perfect for a cold evening. This risotto with warming red wine and tasty flavours is ideal for when winter really sets in.

Start by sautéing a chopped red onion in a little oil or frying spray, once the onion has softened add arborio rice and continue to cook on a high heat until the rice takes on a translucent appearance. Then it’s time for my favourite bit; where you add the wine! I’ve given my risotto a generous helping of Rioja and allowed it to sizzle off quickly.

Once the wine has evaporated turn down the heat and add hot stock. I always use the low salt Kallo stock cubes to make up my stock. It’s a real staple in my coeliac, vegan pantry!

Cook for a further 20 – 30 minutes adding chopped baby tomatoes mid way through cooking and when the liquid has evaporated and the rice is nicely cooked serve with a little basil to flavour. Serving with a big glass of wine also recommended.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna (gluten free and vegan)

I’ve really missed lasagna since discovering I was a coeliac and until today had never attempted homemade lasagna.

I’ve used Waitrose gluten free lasagna sheets. Blanch the sheets in boiling water for 3 – 5 minutes before structuring the lasagna as it does cook differently to gluten pasta.

I’ve layered spinach, roasted butternut squash (which I roasted with olive oil and sage) then top with the lasagna sheets. I use a ready made free from bechamel sauce by Le Conserve Della Nonna which is free from dairy and gluten and then too with Sheese grated mozzarella shreds. I then repeat these layers again. Then bake for approximately 40 minutes.

I think the filling has really contributed to the success of this lasagna, I’m going to try different free from bechamel sauces with this recipe but overall I’m pleased.

Wood Fired Pizza Co. At Sheffield Botanic Gardens

Bonfire night is one of my favourite times of the year. As well as being delighted by the seasonal treats at Sheffield Botanic Gardens Illuminations I was also thrilled to find one of the food vans offered gluten free and vegan pizza options.

I had a Veggie Full House on a gluten free base but without mushrooms. The base was delicious and I really enjoyed the combination of vegan cheese, spinach, olives and onions. I’m so glad I found their van!