Greenie Vegan Stir Fry

After a Sunday morning yoga session on one of the hottest days of the year I’m ready to recharge with a lunch that would make anyone smile. 

This is incredibly simple and quick to cook. I’m using vermicilli rice noodles as they are gluten free and tasty. Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. This will cook them enough to stir fry. 

Whilst the noodles are soaking in boiling water warm a teaspoon of sesame oil in a wok. Chop asparagus and broccoli and add to the wok. Cook for approximately 8 – 10 minutes and then drain off the noodles and add to the stir fry. 

Continue to cook and ensure you keep stirring to evenly distribute the vegetables and the noodles. 

Add gluten free soy sauce. I’m using the Kikkoman tamari and continue to cook. Finally turn down the heat and add spinach. Allow it stand on top of the noodles to start wilting before stirring through the noodles. 

Perfect for reenergising on a summer afternoon. 

Superfood Summer Salad

Summer is a time when you cannot beat a healthy, tasty salad for dinner. It can get a bit boring using the same ingredients so frequently so I’ve put together super-tasty super-food ingredients in this salad. 

Start by cooking quinoa, place in a pan with water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer on a mid heat for approximately 20 minutes. Quinoa is an excellent salad component, it is high in protein and low in fat. It’s actually the only plant based protein with the same amino structure as meat based proteins and I personally enjoy discussing that with people who question my veganism. 

Whilst the quinoa is cooking I prep the vegetables. Chop mange tout and steam for a couple of minutes. Mange tout adds a fresh taste and a crunch to this meal. 

Spinach is full of folic acid and an ideal addition. Chop baby leaf spinach roughly. As a cheat I’m actually using tinned canellini beans rather than dried and I use these to add even more protein and super veggies. 

Finally have ready a handful of dried cranberries to add sweetness and antioxidants. 

When the quinoa is cooked drain the water off and then mix the salad thoroughly. Serve with your choice of salad dressing and tuck in. 

Carrot, coriander and coconut soup

Carrot and coriander soup is a classic but during the summer months I personally think it can be improved. 

Thai flavours really complement the carrot and coriander soup so I make a simple, healthy meal by adding chilli, garlic and coconut. 

Start by chopping carrots, coriander, garlic and red chilli. I then add vegetable stock until the veg is just covered and bring to boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the carrots are soft. 

A lot of the liquid will reduce as you cook the soup but it’s important not to add too much more, just enough to keep the carrots cooking not burning. 

When the carrots are soft add coconut milk. I’m using light coconut milk as it provides the same flavour but a more healthy option. 

Blend the soup using a handheld blender. I actually don’t blend to vigorously as a rustic soup makes it feel like a treat. 

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.