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.

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.

Summer Stirfry Recipes (Gluten-free and Vegan)

An absolute staple of my diet as a vegan, coeliac are tofu and noodles which I add to a number of stir fry dishes.

Tofu Steaks with Chinese style Vegetables

The meal above was a recipe from a friend whose family run Chinese restaurants as he thought I would love it. I do. The tofu steaks are coated in cornflour before frying in sesame oil. The veggies are stir fried in a sauce made from sesame oil, ginger, garlic, tamari, vegan honey (I used carob syrup), cornflour and water. I added toasted sesame seeds to serve.

Smoked Tofu Vegan Salad Bowl

A simple stir fry with smoked Tofoo tofu, beansprouts and mange tout. Served with smoke humous and tonnes of veggies.

Sweetheart Cabbage and Tofu Stir Fry

Sweetheart cabbage is fantastic in a stir fry. Served with vermicelli noodles and toasted sesame seeds.

Cashew and Rice Noodle Stir Fry

Pad Thai rice noodles served with Cashew nuts, courgette and mange tout.

Vegan noodles and beansprouts

I used to love Chow Mein noodles when I was child and pre coeliac diagnosis and vegan diet. I’d love to find somewhere I could eat them or takeaway knowing the allergens and diet were safe but for now I’ve taken some of the bits from an online recipe and attempted my own.

I’ve started with finely chopped strips of onion and added it to a wok with a tablespoon of sesame oil, chopped ginger and garlic. Stir fry until a little soft and at this point I’ve added finely chopped strips of courgette and yellow pepper (although these wouldn’t always feature in traditional chow mein – I like veggies though. Add beansprouts and continue to cook.

Cook noodles separately. I’m using vermicelli rice noodles (as hey are gluten free and lovely) so I just soak them in booked water to soften.

Add the noodles to the cooked vegetables and add soya sauce. I’m using Meridian gluten free soya sauce. Be really generous with the soya sauce as it’s the main flavour. Usually a chow mein would add oyster sauce but we will avoid the fish for obvious reasons. Continue to study fry until the beansprouts are fully soft and cooked and the noodles are a little crispy.

I’ve served these noodles with curry tofu (recipe in a previous blog post) and steamed sweetheart cabbage with soya sauce and toasted sesame seeds.

Hope you love this as much as I do!

Lemon, pea and mint risotto

Risotto is a staple in my coeliac and vegan diet. This flavour combination is a lovely fresh and tasty spring meal.

As with the other risotto recipes I’ve posted (and there are many) start by chopping and frying white onion in a pan with olive oil. Once the onion is soft add risotto rice and cook in the oil and onion until the rice becomes translucent.

In this recipe I’m actually not using wine so I pour over a little hot stock. Sometimes I make stock if I have left over vegetable stalks but often I use Kallo Vegetable stock cubes as they are coeliac and vegan. Allow the first stock addition to sizzle off really swiftly before turning the heat down to medium, adding extra stock and adding shelled peas. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan and add chopped fresh mint for flavour.

Continue to cook stirring frequently for approximately 20 minutes adding stock when necessary and when the liquid has bubbled off. Keep cooking and adding the stock until the rice is fluffy and juicy.

I’ve served this risotto with steamed tenderstem broccoli. It’s a perfect mix of spring flavours like mint, but without the meat you often see around Easter!

Chickpea curry

This is a super simple, slow cook curry which is perfect for a tasty tea.

Start with a large pan and add chopped onion and carrot, chopped garlic, red chilli, ginger, cumin, garam masala, chickpeas and tomato puree, fry in a little oil of your choosing (I’ve used coconut oil) and when sauted and softened it’s time to add liquid and cook for longer. If using the same pot then continue as usual but if you are using a slow cooker transfer into the pot.

Pour over almond milk and add a spoonful of turmeric powder then cover and leave to cook on a low heat for a couple of hours. About 30 minutes before serving lift the lid and stir through chopped fresh spinach.

I’ve tucked into this curry with a side of poppadoms. Yum!

Turmeric Vegan Ramen

Noodles are one of my favourite ingredients and I love the number of different meals I can make with rice noodles which suit my coeliac dietary needs.

In the current lockdown situation I’m having lots of time to plan my meals and today is no exception when I made this ramen for lunch.

Start by preparing the different ingredients, chop vegetables you will use and tofu. Cook the vegetables in accordance with your taste and the vegetables you have chosen. I’m using red pepper, pak choi and mange tout. I’ve shallow fried the red pepper in a little coconut oil and I’ve steamed the pak choi and mange tout.

You may have your favourite tofu brand and recipe. Mine is Tofoo and I like to shallow fry with some flavour. I’ve used the same pan as the pepper (washing up saver) and stirred through paprika as the tofu has cooked. I’ve cooked until crispy and firm.

You can choose your noodles for this dish. I’ve used vermicelli rice noodles and soaked in boiling water to prepare.

The most vital element of this meal is the ramen soup. I’ve used a little coconut oil and fried up chopped garlic, red chilli, minced ginger, paprika, turmeric powder and coriander leaf. Top up with coconut milk and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

When all your ingredients are cooked fill the base of the bowl with noodles, layer on tofu and vegetables before topping with the ramen soup.

I love this dish and will be experimenting with different vegetables, tofu recipes and ramen ingredients this summer.

Minty Chickpea and Edamame Bean Tart

This minty tart is ideal for an Easter weekend meal in the garden (as it’s the only place we can get out to under lockdown this weekend) it is vegan and gluten free which is perfect for a sunny lunchtime.

I’ve started much of my weekend cooking with chickpeas and have soaked dried chickpeas and cooked them until ready to eat.

Chop a white onion and add it to a warm frying pan with oil and chopped garlic. Allow the onion to cook a little so the onion becomes translucent before adding chickpeas and edamame beans.

At this point add stock. I’m using stock ubes from Kallo as they have great vegan and gluten-free stock cubes. I only use a small amount of water so the mix is quite sticky.

Turn the heat down and allow the chickpeas and beans to simmer for 20 minutes adding some chopped mint before the end so it wilts down and continue to cook until there is no liquid left in the pie filling.

One of the greatest coeliac cheats I have found is the the JusRol Gluten Free Puff Pastry as it is also vegan and dairy free. I’m using this for the base of the tart. Roll it out to the size of the tart tin and prick the base with a fork. Add the pie filling to the tart and bake for approximately 45 minutes to ensure an even bake.

I hope you love this fresh spring recipe which is packed with protein from the chickpeas and beans.