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.

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.

Wilson’s Arms – Torver, Lake District – a hidden coeliac gem

Enjoying a weekend away can be affected as a coeliac when you have to plan every meal in advance. 

Whilst away on a walking weekend with friends I was delighted to find a lovely pub with gluten free options. 

Wilson’s Arm’s at Torver near Coniston actually has a number of gluten free, veggie and vegan options including platters, sandwiches and salads on the lunch menu. 

I actually opted for a classic and after a hard morning walking I had a jacket potato and beans. It’s comforting to eat safely and happily and this pub and it’s adjoining deli is a treat.