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.

Vegan Coconut and Pineapple Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is making a big comeback in my life as a naturally gluten free dessert which can be made vegan so easily and with so many options. Today I’ve made rice pudding with Alpro Coconut Milk, pudding rice, carob syrup and dried pineapple and papaya pieces.

Many coconut rice puddings will used canned coconut milk which is very dense and high in fat. I’m using the Alpro milk alternative made from coconut as it’s much healthier coming in at only 20 calories and less than 1g fat per 100ml. Start by adding 500ml of coconut milk to a pan and gradually bring to heat.

When the coconut milk starts gently boiling add in carob syrup. I’ve used 3 tablespoons to sweeten the pudding whilst still avoiding refined sugars. Thoroughly stir through the syrup until blended well with the coconut milk

Once the coconut milk and carob base is ready add half a cup of pudding rice and turn the heat down low to simmer for 45 minutes whilst occasionally checking in to stir.

Shortly before serving I’ve mixed through dried pineapple and papaya pieces to complement the coconut flavour.

Rice pudding is a classic which so much reminds me of Sunday dinner in Yorkshire with my gran (and a thick skin on top) but the tropical flavours and the hob cooking give it an adult twist making it fresh and tasty in the here and now.

Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Good morning! I’m not sure where February has got to but it’s definitely time for a healthy, vegetable Sunday. I’m off out on a nice walk so I’m using my slow cooker to make a healthy, lentiley, chunky soup that will be ready for lunch by the time I get back.

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Start by chopping the veggies. Peel and chop a large sweet potato and large carrot. I chop them into small squares approx 5ml x 5ml as this is a no blend soup and the vegetables give a great tasty crunch. Add these into the slow cooker. Chop one large white onion finely and add this in too.

I then add a couple of tablespoons of red lentils and brown lentils into the mix. Lentils are fantastic foods and absolutely packed full of fibre. They are really great not only for coeliac and vegan diets but for everyone. High fibre diets help to manage blood sugar levels as they burn energy slowly and steadily. They are high in protein reducing the need for meat or meat substitutes and help promote heart health with a strong combination of minerals.

All in all lentils are full on super heroes.

I then pour on a pint and a half of stock. As a coeliac I use Kallo vegetable stock as it is fully gluten free, tasty and vegan!

I’m going to pop on high and then get out in the fresh winter sunshine, knowing that my lunch will be waiting for me when I get back.

Hearty Split Pea Stew

Today I’m facing a real culinary challenge; cooking lunch for myself and my friend. Between my lactose intolerance, coeliacs disease, vegetarianism and allergies and my friend’s type 1 diabetes it could be interesting finding a meal we can both eat.

My solution for today lies in one of the world’s simplest foods – split peas.

I’m going to make a really hearty, tasty and simple stew. I’m going to use my slow cooker so I can spend as much of the day chatting as possible and just look forward to a tasty treat. Split peas are a really brilliant food. Split peas contain really high levels of dietary fibre which are great for anyone suffering with digestive intolerance’s and condition as it helps to keep the digestive system working effectively. The fibre in split peas helps to reduce cholesterol in binding it and processing it out of the body which is great for cardiac health as well. Containing very little fat and 65% fibre with a good protein kick too split peas are great for coeliacs.

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I start by chopping a large white onion really finely, then I chop 4 cloves of garlic finely too. Pop into the slow cooker with 200g of yellow and 200g green split peas. Pour over 2 pints of boiling stock and pop the slow cooker on to do all the cooking for you.

I can’t wait to tuck in to my delicious lunch today, knowing all the time those super peas will be looking after me and my friend and working hard to keep us healthy all day.