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.

Mountain Cafe, Aviemore, Gluten-free, Vegan options in the Highlands

As a coeliac and a vegan I still default to the assumption that I won’t be able to eat out in smaller towns or in places without chain restaurants where I know the options. It makes me so happy when I’m completely incorrect about that and come across somewhere as wonderful as the Mountain Cafe in Aviemore.

We weren’t expecting I would find somewhere to eat in the small mountain town of Aviemore whilst we were tripping through for the weekend but seeing the signs outside which highlighted that gluten free and vegan options were available we went to check.

I actually had a choice of 3 different dishes and felt really reassured by them double checking with the chef and explaining the alternatives. The fact that the menus all had clear indicators of which allergens and dietary requirements were available on every dish was ideal.

I opted for the veggie burger. Made from quinoa and red pepper this is probably in my top 3 GF, vegan burgers. The flavours and textures worked really well and went perfectly with spiralised vegetables, dressing and a banana chutney.

I would definitely recommend the Mountain Cafe for all veggies, vegans, coeliacs or anyone with an allergy as they are understanding and professional as well as serving up some tasty food.

Now to make my way back to the Cairngorms again soon to try the other dishes on the menu.

Warwick Castle, Maida Vale

I was in London yesterday and looking for my go to chain restaurants for lunch. I’m really pleased I didn’t as I stumbled across this gem with loads of vegan and coeliac suitable options.

Cosy and inviting my friends and I enjoyed a few drinks in the sunshine outside before looking at the menu.

I have a lot of allergies, I’m a lactose intolerant, coeliac, I’m allergic to nuts and mushrooms and I don’t eat meat or fish so finding food which won’t make me unwell is often problematic.

I was encouraged by the presence of 4 vegan options on the menu and when I discussed with the staff and the chef they were able to come up with great substitutions for me. I had the veggie chilli with quinoa and sweet potato and a gluten free bread bun toasted with garlic. It was really tasty.

To make lunchtime even better they had some samples of Skollie cider brought in which were gluten free and vegan so they asked me to try them out.

Thanks to Warwick Castle, Maida Vale for a lovely lunch, tasty drinks and a scrabble game!

You can find more details about this lovely pub at http://www.warwickcastlemaidavale.com

I hope you like it as much as I did!

Roasted Chickpeas and Vegetables with Quinoa

I’m working on increasing my protein as I’m stepping up some exercise. As a vegan I am constantly asked how I get any protein at all. One of the answers to this is quinoa which is a complete protein with all the amino acids you need.

This quinoa based dish is easy to make and perfect for packed lunches.

Start with a large roasting pan and preheat the oven. I’m using chopped courgette, red pepper, yellow pepper and carrots.

Add to the roasting dish. Instead of drizzling with oil I’m using Fry Light sunflower and squirt the vegetables with a few sprays. Roast for 45 minutes. It’s time to add the chickpeas! Drained chickpeas and cherry tomatoes will bring different textures and more protein to the roasted vegetables. Sprinkle the vegetables with a generous dash of cayenne pepper for a spicy flavour and then continue to roast for another hour. At the same time cook quinoa.

When both are cooked drain the quinoa and stir through the vegetables evenly. Tasty hot or cold it makes and ideal lunch or evening meal.