Parsnip and Coconut Curry

The festive period is an excellent time to tuck into a winter veg favourite. Rather than roasting, mashing or souping this recipe uses the warmth and versatility of the parsnip to set off some excellent flavours. 

Start by warming a little coconut oil in a large pan. I use a Le Creuset casserole dish as it gives me the consistent heat and even cook I’m looking for. 

Add chopped red chilli, chopped garlic, minced ginger and a little chopped coriander the coconut oil and start to stir through. Then add parsnips diced to approx 1cm cubes. 

Saute off the parnsip a little to give it a softer texture then add drained, cooked chickpeas and sliced spring onions. 

Stir so the vegetables saute evenly in the coconut oil and spices. Then add fresh plum tomatoes, tomato puree and coconut milk. Turn the heat down to a medium setting and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

When cooked this dish is ideal served with rice to keep it gluten free!

Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

A thick sweet soup with flavour and depth. Sweet potato and coconut is a perfect combination full of comfort, as well as vitamins. 

Sweet potato is a really healthy alternative to potato. Technically sweet potato is not a potato, rather a root vegetable. As such ot is lower in carbohydrate and healthier. Sweet potato is also rich in vitamins A, B and C so it is excellent for an immune boost. 

Start by chopping sweet potato. I actually leave the skin on as it gives texture to the soup when blended. To make enough soup for four people I use two large sweet potatoes. Chop white onion and cover in boiling stock – which I make up from Kallo Reduced Salt Vegetable stock cubes. Bring the pan up to heat and cook on high for approximately 20 minutes. 

By the 20 minute mark the sweet potatoes will be soft and beginning to break apart. Turn the temperature down to a low heat and add a can of coconut milk, or light coconut milk if prefered and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes. 

The next stage is blending. I use a hand blender and it is important to be careful with the sweet potato skin when you blend as it will put up more resistance. I hold the blender directly above the sweet potato skin to blend. 

Once the soup is smooth and blended dish up and enjoy. I’m certainly going to. 

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. 

Gluten free, vegan Christmas pasta

I am one of those people who LOVES Christmas. As soon as the leaves turn and the nights stat drawing in I start humming festive jingles and yearning for mulled wine and cosy fluffy socks.

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I’m getting in seasonal spirits today and cooking a delicious Christmassey pasta full of tasty flavours and using some new exciting ingredients.

As a coeliac with lactose intolerance, plenty of allergies and a vegetarian outlook Christmas can be a time when I watch other people eat and feel left out. To be honest I think everyone will want to join me when they see this dish. It’s also incorporating one of the new coconut-milk based cheese alternatives Sainsbury’s has introduced recently.

Start by finely chopping a butternut squash, placing into a roasting pan with a little olive oil and some chopped sage and roasting for approximately 1 hour. Butternut squash is a great Christmas flavour as it is sweet and rich. I always feel butternut squash to be quite luxurious, no matter how frequently I eat it! Once roasted place to one side and allow to cool.

I’m cooking this dish using a maize based gluten free penne but it will work equally well with gluten free gnocchi, spaghetti, or in fact in a risotto –one for me to try another time! Cook the pasta and drain. Stir the cooked pasta in with the roasted squash over a low heat and season with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and fresh sage. Once evenly distributed I am then adding my super exciting ingredient. Chopped vegan Wensleydale with cranberries. Continue to stir as this melts through forming a very light sauce.

Once melted through serve immediately. The combination of squash, sage and cranberries is an incredible Christmas taste, in fact it’s getting me in the mood already… I can hear Home Alone films and Monopoly calling me….