Plant Pioneers Ramen Style

I love Ramen as it’s super filling, can be made gluten free depending on the noodles and broth and there are so many vegan options available to protein it up.

Plant Pioneers Ramen

As a coeliac I use gluten-free rice noodles in all the recipes I follow and meals I cook. I’ve used ribbon rice noodles in the meal. In this dish I’ve used the Meat Free Chicken style pieces from the new Plant Pioneers range at Sainsbury’s.

Before you begin the main cooking pop the chicken style pieces into the oven to cook for 16 -18 minutes. I’ve found this soya based meat alternative is light and tasty as well as really good for you.

Start by heating sesame oil in a wok or large pan. Then add chopped garlic, a little ginger and sliced courgette to start cooking. The choice of vegetables are up to you entirely but I’ve added to the courgette and pan fried Pak choi, mange tout and tender stem broccoli.

Once the vegetables are lightly pan fried add stock (I use Kallo Vegetable stock cubes for easy, gluten-free, vegan stock) and gluten-free soya sauce. Continue to cook on a very low heat whilst you prepare the noodles. As I’m using ribbon rice noodles I just soak them in boiled water for a little while to soften.

When all components are cooked I set up for serving. Initially I add the noodles at the bottom of the ramen bowl and then top with the vegetables, our over the stock and top with the chunky Plant Pioneers pieces. I’ve sprinkled a few toasted sesame seeds over to complement the oils.

If you try a similar Ramen, or the plant Pioneers range I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

The Skinny Kitchen, Canterbury

Being coeliac and vegan and allergic to mushrooms can definitely limit my options to eat out. When we looked online at The Skinny Kitchen on a day out in Canterbury it was great to find some healthy options I could eat outside a big city and the recommendations looked great.

Poke Bowl

I had the Poke Bowl, a combination of rice, tofu, raw veggies and smashed avocado. Although fairly tasty and matching my dietary requirements it did feel like presentation was more important than the food as I recognised the tofu as Tofoo brand Smoked and the veggies didn’t have any herbs or supporting seasoning.

It was a busy time and the menu was limited due to coronavirus measures so it may well be that the food didn’t live up to it’s online image and hype for this reason.

Menu
Drinks Menu

Whilst the food was good, but a little underwhelming, the drinks really have a wow factor. I would strongly recommend the Sherbet Lemonade and the Strawbazzle both of which are lovely. I did try a little of my husband’s Black Lemonade which was very exciting too.

Black Lemonade and Sherbet Lemonade

I’d love to head back at a time when they are less busy and have the full menu so I can check out more vegan and gluten-free options and hopefully see more of the excitement I had before I went realised in the meal.

Tomato and Smoky Tofu Soup

It is definitely feeling autumnal and that means it’s time for me to get my big pan out for some soups!

Tomato and Smoky Tofu Soup

This is a tasty soup and a great way for me to celebrate my home grown tomato crop.

Start by adding a little oil, chopped spring onions, chopped garlic and a stock cube to your soup pan. Sauté a little and then add plenty of fresh chopped tomatoes.

The tomatoes I’ve been growing this year are cherry tomatoes so I’ve added about 2 cups full and just chopped them roughly as I will be blending later. Turn the heat down to medium and allow the soup mix to simmer as the tomatoes soften.

Adding tofu to soup is a great way to increase protein (perfect for vegans) and to add flavour and texture. I love the Tofoo brand smoked tofu and think it’s a perfect fit with this dish. As Tofoo does not need pressing you can roughly chop and add to the soup once the tomatoes are starting to break apart.

Once it’s simmered a little more add stock until the vegetables and tofu are well covered and cook on a medium – low heat for about 20 minutes.

The soup will start to smell lovely once the smoky flavour and the tomatoes infuse. Just before serving I use a hand blender to whizz it all up and then serve with gluten free vegan pitta.

This warming and flavourful soup is perfect for Autumn weekends or a midweek pick-me-up.

Redcurrant Flapjack Slice

Redcurrants are an under-rated berry. Often left on the side of a plate at a Christmas party pudding or turned into a jelly that’s only used infrequently. Personally I find the sharp taste of redcurrants is a brilliant contrast to a sweet pudding or bake and this is a perfect flapjack recipe to make use of wild or homegrown redcurrants.

Foraged Redcurrants

I’ve foraged these redcurrants locally during a nice walk and intend to make good use of them in this flapjack recipe.

Redcurrant Flapjack Slice

Start by preparing a jam from your redcurrants. Place them into a pan and squish with a potato masher before stirring through sugar. Cook on a high heat and bring to the boil before you switch down to a simmer and cook slowly for 30 minutes or so.

Then move onto the flapjack. I love flapjack as it is a simple bake which is easily veganised or made gluten free!

Melt dairy free butter in a pan and add either golden syrup or vegan honey (made from dandelions this is another lovely foraging recipe). Keep stirring until the butter is melting and warm and then add Demerara sugar.

Add gluten free oats and mix through thoroughly to combine into a thick mixture. Layer a baking dish with greaseproof paper and pack in a firm bottom layer of the flapjack mix.

Allow the bottom layer to set a little before topping withe redcurrant jam and adding another thick layer of flapjack mix.

Sprinkle a small amount of Demerara sugar over the top and bake for approximately 20 minutes. When cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing to create individual servings.

The Flying Childers, Stanton-in-Peak, Derbyshire

As UK lockdown measures are reduced it’s been nice to start venturing out. One of the first places I’ve headed to is The Flying Childer’s in Stanton-in-Peak where you can sit safely outside or inside to enjoy a lunch menu with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options.

The Childer’s Vegan Burger – Chickpeas and Sweetcorn with Sweet Chilli Sauce – Served Gluten-free

The Flying Childer’s offers a lunch menu 12pm – 2pm weekdays and 12pm – 3pm on weekends and also runs meal nights and pizza nights.

I love the fact that vegan and gluten free options are always available. When I popped in for lunch this week I was able to choose from 3 vegan burgers (all gluten free and available on gluten free bread), jacket potatoes with vegan and gluten-free fillings and sandwiches including vegan fillings and available on gluten free bread. The Flying Childer’s offer 3 soups on their specials and ensures that one option is both gluten free and vegan. They have a selection of cakes including gluten-free and vegan options to eat in or take away!

If you decide to check out the amazing food options on offer at The Flying Childer’s speak to Ric and Sophie the friendly publicans who can point you to a gluten free beer and chat to you about vegan wines and spirits.

The lovely beer garden and authentic Peak District character makes this one of the most enjoyable places to spend time and the inclusive lunch menus make this the perfect find for vegetarians, vegans, coeliacs and those with any allergy concerns.

You can find out more about The Flying Childer’s on their website at https://www.flyingchilders.com/ or ok Facebook https://www.facebook.com/flyingchildersinn/ or Instagram @flyingchildersinn

Rose Harissa Chickpeas and Spinach

Chickpeas are a theme in my blog posts. Partly because they are tasty, healthy and packed full of protein to support my coeliac and vegan diet. This dish cooks chickpeas with a beautiful rose harissa paste and some lovely vegetables. It’s a meal I first had at my friend’s house and I love to recreate it at home.

Rose Harissa Chickpeas and Vegetables

Start by preparing your chickpeas. I use dried chickpeas so I soak and precook them until they are ready. Alternatively you can use ready to eat canned chickpeas.

Finely chop an onion (red or white) and add the onion to a large pan with a little olive oil. Saute until the onion is softened. Add finely chopped red pepper and continue to cook.

Once the pepper is starting to soften also add the chickpeas, cherry tomatoes (halved or quartered) and a tablespoon of rose harissa paste.

The rose harissa paste I’ve used is by Belazu and is suitable for vegans and coeliacs.

I also add a tablespoon of tomato puree. Keep the heat high for 10 minutes of cooking before turning down the heat and simmering for a 30 – 45 minutes so the vegetables cook slowly and take on the flavours.

When the chickpea stew is looking well cooked and there is little liquid left add chopped spinach and stir through to wilt.

I like to serve this with a dollop of coconut based yoghurt or humous and a gluten free pitta.

Vegan Elderflower Turkish Delight

I love this time of year when everything is in bloom. Even better is the fact that I can forage elderflower during a walk and use it in baking and cordials. This year I’ve looked for new ideas online and come across a recipe Elderflower Delight on River Cottage which I’ve altered to make vegan.

So Tasty

Using the recipe I found online o started by adding 700g caster sugar to a very large pan with 300ml of water and plenty of fresh lemon juice. Switch on the heat to a medium point and heat whilst stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.

Mix together 100g corn flour and 100ml of water into a smooth paste and pour into the liquid, stir through then add a tablespoon of pectin. Stir using a whisk and bring the mixture to the boil. When boiling the mixture will start to thicken. Turn the heat down to a simmer.

At this point it’s time to add the elderflower. Remove the flowers from the elderflower sprigs (approx 20 sprigs) and wrap into a tied up muslin bag or cloth. Place it into the mixture so it is underneath and continue to simmer for 20 minutes before removing the elderflower.

Once simmered you should have a very thick and gooey Turkish Y mixture. Whilst you allow it to cool a little bit line a large tray with baking paper and dust with a 50:50 mix of icing sugar and corn flour. Pour the mixture into the dish, cover with paper and leave to set in a cool, dry place. I left mine overnight in the pantry.

Once fully set and fairly rubbery dust with more icing sugar and cornflour mix. Cut into pieces and roll the sides in more sugar (in for a penny in for a pound) and then enjoy as a delicious summer sweet.

This gluten free and vegan sweets are lovely. I hope you enjoy them too.

Almond Milk Rice Pudding and Homemade Cherry Jam

An old classic, rice pudding is great for coeliacs as rice is naturally gluten free. I’ve updated this recipe using almond milk and it pairs beautifully with my homemade cherry jam.

Start by adding pudding rice to a large pan and covering with almond milk and an additional 200ml water. I’ve used unsweetened almond milk but added carob syrup for a natural sweetness with a gentler sugarey feel.

Stir through thoroughly and then turn the hob on but keep the heat low. I used setting 3 / 9. The rice pudding takes nearly an hour to cook and will need occasional stirring and monitoring to see if additional liquid is required.

When the rice is fully cooked it will be soft and fluffy without much liquid. Taste to check the rice is fully cooked.

I’ve stirred through a little Alpro single cream and then topped with my homemade cherry jam as I always find almond and cherries a strong mix.