Chickpea and Olive Ratatouille

I’ve soaked lots of chickpeas recently so it’s fair to anticipate chickpea recipes coming up. This dish is a super easy and tasty.

I’m using dried chickpeas so I’ve started by preparing them in advance. I’ve soaked them in water for 8 hours, drained the water off and rinsed and then boiled them in water for 10 minutes to soften fully.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan, add some chopped or minced garlic and then add the cooked chickpeas. Chop black olives, cherry tomatoes and spinach and add to the pan in that order, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes stirring frequently and ensuring the juice from the tomatoes speedy through.

This is a really simple and exciting meal and once you have the chickpeas ready it’s great to make as many meals as you can. This is a wonderful coeliac and vegan friendly recipe.

Coconut Curry Tofu with Sushi Rice and Salad

I love tofu. Cooking it with coconut oil and curry powder gives it a great flavour and makes it a centre point of this meal.

Make sure you use a firm tofu, I’m using Tofoo naked as it’s an extra firm and versatile tofu. Chop into small squares and add to a pan with coconut oil, a spoonful of curry powder and a pinch of salt. Fry for approximately 25 minutes turning and stirring regularly.

Whilst doing this prepare the other foods to go alongside. I’m using pre-cooked sushi rice (as it can take a little while to cook and I like it cold too) and sprinkling the rice with sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds.

I’m also using suitable salad vegetables and preparing chopped spinach, chopped lettuce, avocado, cucumber and cashew nuts.

I hope you enjoy the tofu and other vegetables as much as I have.

Antipasti salad

Simple food is often the most enjoyable. As the evenings are getting lighter I’m having more salads. The lighter evenings and lighter meals are helping me to keep my mood bright during this tough time of lockdown.

This salad is delicious as well as simple. Featuring sliced and boiled salad potatoes, chopped spinach, chopped lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and artichoke antipasti.

I’ve topped it off with a lemon dressing which is super with these salad veggies.

Redemption, Neal’s Yard

During a recent weekend I’m London I headed to Redemption in Neal’s Yard for lunch and was certainly glad I did. Redemption is a vegan, sugar-free and wheat free cafe with an alcohol-free cafe and bar. For vegan coeliacs like myself it is a perfect spot!

Often when I eat out I either have to adapt an existing menu or have one option to eat so I was totally overwhelmed with the choice available at Redemption. Because I’m also allergic to some nuts and all mushrooms as well as having coeliac disease and lactose intolerance even some vegan and gluten free places can be tough to eat at. It was had to decide on one dish so in the end I went for the Buddha bowl with a selection of suitable tasty treats from the deli. The beetroot humous, the turmeric cauliflower and the vegan mint yogurt dressing made this salad bowl a real treat.

On the side I had some hand cut chunky chips with a mustard seasoning and some spicy mayonnaise.

To follow up I shared a gluten free banana loaf slice served with banana, vegan cream and fresh banana.

I would highly recommend eating at Redemption, either at their Neal’s Yard bar or at the other locations around London. The food is made more enjoyable by the chilled out, light and unpretentious surroundings. It’s a great choice for so many free from diets and tasty for all who visit.

Woodbridge Inn, Coalport

I enjoyed spending new year’s eve in Ironbridge Gorge with friends. It was a great opportunity to start 2020 discovering a new place to eat with coeliac and vegan friendly options – both for me and for friends undertaking Veganuary.

Woodbridge Inn in Coalport has a wide range of dishes available and a specific gluten free menu making it easy to narrow down options and eat safely.

I had the Malaysian curry. The curry contained aubergine, red pepper and sweet potato in a coconut sauce and is served with brown rice and pak choi.

The service and support for allergies is fantastic. I was able to explain my allergies to mushrooms and nuts and feel supported and understood.

Highly recommend the Woodbridge Inn for gluten free and vegan foods as well as a cosy, warm environment and open fires.

Scrambled Tofu and Rosmarinknäcke

Scrambled Tofu is a protein rich, healthy alternative to eggs for vegans and vegetarians.

Start by warming some olive oil in a large pan whilst breaking down the tofu into small pieces.

Add it to the pan and cook for 10 minutes stirring throughout to ensure an even cook. Season with salt and pepper and some rosemary.

As a coeliac I love the Semper gluten-free flatbreads. The RosmarinKnäcke rosemary flatbreads go fantastically with scrambled tofu and I’ve also served with free-from red tomato pesto.

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.

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.

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.

Roasted Sweetheart Cabbage with Lemon Tofu

I’ve been really enjoying exploring new recipes using different varieties of cabbage. My favourite recipe so far using sweetheart cabbage is this simple oven roasted dish.

Preheat the oven and place halved sweetheart cabbage heads into a baking tray. Drizzle a little olive oil over the cabbage head and season with a little salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until the leaves are soft and tender inside and crispy around the edges.

Whilst the cabbage is cooking cook the tofu. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large pan and add chopped tofu. I use Tofoo Naked tofu as I find the texture is beautiful and it cooks consistently. Turn to ensure its cooked evenly on both sides and drizzle with a little lemon juice and black pepper.

Serve the cabbage and tofu with salad and a little lemon dressing.

This meal is very simple, super tasty and incredibly healthy. I would highly recommend this as a perfect summer meal which fit my gluten free, vegan diet down ideally.