Christmas Wellington – Vegan and Gluten Free

It’s a little while since Christmas day but I’m still remembering the wonderful vegan and gluten free Wellington that we enjoyed on the day.

The filling is made from sweet potato, tofu, spinach, shallot and a light gravy stock.

I have cheated with the pastry and used Jus Rol Gluten Free pastry which is also vegan. This cheat is far from ideal but as I had other Christmas dinner duties I didn’t feel too guilty.

Steamed Summer Rolls

Tasty summer rolls are a great way to get more fresh vegetables into your diet. In these steamed rolls I’ve used plenty of vegetables and tofu for a vitamin packed treat.

For this dish you will need rice paper rolls, vegetables, tofu, sesame oil, tamari, toasted sesame seeds and a bowl of very warm water.

Start by preparing the filling. I’ve chopped Tofoo brand tofu (it does not need pressing), broccoli, orange pepper, mange tout and spring onion. Lightly fry in a large wok with sesame oil and tamari.

Allow the filling to cool before preparing the rolls. Fill a large bowl with very warm water. I used boiling water and cool it down with tap water until it is warm but comfortable to have your fingers under the water. Dip the rice papers under the water and keep under until entirely soft and pliable.

Remove from the warm water and carefully lay out, removing excess water. Scatter over a few toasted sesame seeds and place two spoonfuls of the filling into the centre of the rice paper. Fold in the shorter ends and then the sides.

Once you have repeated this and created as many rolls as you intend, place them in a steamer lined with brown paper and place over a pan of boiling water for just a few minutes.

Once cooked serve warm with dipping sauces. I’ve used sweet chilli and tamari.

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.

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.