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.

Tofu, cashew and sweetheart cabbage stir fry

Tofu, the key ingredient to so many vegan diets, is much loved for its versatility as well as it’s nutritional value.

In this stir fry I combine tofu with cashew nuts, sweetheart cabbage and sesame for a nutty and rich flavour.

Start to prepare by cutting the tofu into blocks and the cabbage into shreds whilst sesame oil warms in a large wok. Add the tofu and stir frequently to prevent burning. High in protein tofu is a healthy and environmental alternative to meat which has been used for centuries.

As the tofu starts to brown add the cashew nuts and the cabbage to the stir fry and continue to cook for a further five minutes. The addition of cashew nuts increases the protein content.

When cooked add toasted sesame seeds and serve warm. Perfect for coeliacs and vegans this is a tasty and healthy stir fry which is super easy to cook.

Hula Edinburgh – Gluten free, vegan deliciousness

Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities for so many reasons. One of those is the range of vegan and coeliac options for eating out.

Hula is a juice bar and cafe just off popular Grassmarket and has a wide choice of vegetarian, vegan and coeliac foods. Almost all of which come with or can come with smashed avocado – it’s the dream.

I ate the Vegan Poké Bowl with smoked tofu, rice and quinoa, red cabbage, edamame beans and salad.

I also enjoyed the Ass-Aye-Eee smoothie, it’s the purple drink pictured and includes coconut milk, acai berries and more delicious ingredients. At first I was a little confused about the number of plastic cups and straws being used – until I discovered they are entirely recycled and biodegradable – constructed from plants not carbon!

Beautifully decorated, relaxing and welcoming I’d definitely head to Hula again.

Edo Sushi, Cutlery Works Sheffield

Recently I’ve enjoyed a few meals at Cutlery Works in Sheffield. So it’s possible you will notice a theme in some of my blogs. This time I’m going to tell you about super tasty, vegan and gluten-free sushi I enjoyed from Edo Sushi.

Although some of the Asian tapas items contain gluten all the vegan sushi options are gluten-free. You can add dietary notes when you order on the Milestone App and you can speak in person to the team working.

I always feel so happy eating sushi and it’s reassuring to know there are plenty of vegan and coeliac friendly options available here.

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.

Smoked Tofu Salad

I really enjoy tofu and having recently discovered Tofoo Smoked I’m coming up with as many ways I can serve this as possible.

On a warm and sunny Sunday my favourite way to tuck into smoked Tofoo is with a classic salad.

I’ve cooked the tofu with avocado fry-light and grilled for 20 minutes. Served with layered cucumber, tomato and avocado and topped with balsamic this is a beautiful and tasty salad. The tofoo provides essential proteins which are ideal for vegan diets.

New York (free from options)

I’ve been off to New York recently to celebrate the wedding of a lovely friend, although it’s taken me away from my kitchen and blog I’ve had a lovely time and found some really tasty treats whilst I was away. 

Having quite a lot of dietary issues (coeliac, lactose intolerant, allergies to nuts and mushrooms and no meat or fish) I always get a feeling of deep dread whenever I go away and have to hand over control of my diet. Knowing how badly things can go wrong makes it hard to relax and enjoy my time away. 

I actually found somee brilliant places to eat whilst away. From takeaway lunches to high class meals I found that a lot of places were able and happy to go out of their way to cook me something delicious. 

One of my staples for the time I was in New York was Pret A Manger. I love Pret in the UK anyway but in the US I found I could have 2 of their hearty salads. One was a falafel, hummous and pomegranate mezze salad featuring amazing gluten free falafels and the other was a quinoa and avocado salad. These were perfect as I was trying to pack in sightseeing and activities and I could easily eat on the go. 

My favourite meal during my time in New York was at the restaurant at The Museum of Modern Art. I had had some good recommendations to go and I enjoyed a market greens salad and a cauliflower and raddichio side, both super tasty and pictured below.

I’d also been concerned about food at the wedding events but was nicely surprised. The day before the wedding my friend’s held a brunch at the renowned Waldorf Astoria. My non allergy and meat eating husband lived tucking into many, many pastries. The fruit platters were beyond anything I had imagined and I still want to know what some of the fruit I ate was. I was also impressed with the food at the wedding reception. After attending the ceremony in central park we then went to The Park, a venue incorporating an old speakeasy in the lower west side. It was fabulous and as well as enjoying a big apple and kale starter and a sweet potato red curry I also enjoyed a number of gluten free cocktails – heaven. 

I really enjoyed the food during my trip and hope you find lots of deliciousness if you ever visit too.