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.

IceDelight, Scottish, vegan ice cream

During a relaxing November break in the Scottish borders I came across a real vegan treat.

Being lactose intolerant and coeliac it can be difficult to find desserts so it’s not hard to imagine how excited I was to find this delicious vegan alternative to ice cream. I came across this at a deli called The Store just outside Dunbar and was pleased to learn the fruit was grown and the dessert was produced locally too.

I enjoyed the gooseberry and elderflower flavoured pudding but looking on the website there are additional flavours to tuck into.

Despite the chilly November weather this dessert has been an excellent addition to my holiday. Tasty.

I love olive risotto

I really do. Olives are one of my favourite foods. I’m actually away staying in a beautiful coastal cottage in Scotland so this meal has been selected for it’s ease of transport as well as it’s indulgent and tasty nature. Also perfectly filling after a busy day of walking.

For this recipe you will need an onion, black olives, green olives, sundried tomatoes, arborio risotto rice, stock cubes and a little oil (tip. I’m using the olive oil from the jar of tomatoes)

Start by heating a little of the oil in a large pan. Chop the onion finely and add to the heated oil. Once the onion has a slightly translucent look about it add two handfuls of arborio rice and continue to cook. Stir continuously and keep looking for it too to translucent. 

This is the point at which you would often add wine. I’m on holiday so today I’m drinking the wine and the risotto can have the stock instead. I made up just over a pint of vegetable stock using Kallo vegetable stock cubes. They complement the taste being lower in salt and they maintain the gluten and dairy free nature of the dish. 

Add stock and allow to bubble away and simmer quickly. Add stock each time the liquid has simmered off for approximately 20 mins. Whilst the risotto cooks slice the olives and sundried tomatoes. After the rice has started to soften add the slices and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes. 

Once cooked this dish is perfect to tuck into straight away. Mmm. Lovely olives.