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.
I’m going to roll with the gluten free, vegan stereotype and blog about a spiralised courgette recipe! I’m going to do this because it’s so very tasty.
I got my spiralised a few years ago and since then have loved using it to make vegetable alternatives for pasta and noodles as well as using it for salads.
Start this recipe by using 2 large courgettes and spiralising on a medium width.
Then heat up a wok or a large frying pan. For this recipe I use coconut oil to cook with. Add the courgetti and cook on a high heat for about 5 minutes.
The courgette will start to soften and this is the best time to add the herbs. I’m using minced garlic, chopped coriander and lemongrass. I actually keep the lemon grass fairly bitty so I can enjoy the taste and it gives a little crunch too.
I also add beansprouts and continue to cook but on a lower, medium heat.
Whilst the stir fry continue to cook chop the tofu and squeeze any excess moisture out. I do this placing kitchen roll above and below the tofu and adding pressure using a chopping board on top.
Then heat a griddle pan with coconut oil in a high setting. Add the chopped tofu and fry on a high heat for 5 minutes turning the tofu once during cooking to ensure an even cook. Just before the cooking time is up splash the tofu with gluten free tamari.
Serve up the vegetables with tofu topping.
Delicious and easy midweek staple.
I’m also whipping up a colourful, tasty and Thai inspired salad ready to put on a smile on my face come Monday lunchtime. As a lactose intolerant coeliac nipping out of the office at lunch to find food can be pretty difficult so I always take a healthy meal with me.
This dish is full of gorgeous flavours and simple as anything. Being full of antioxidant properties as well as Vitamins A & K and lots of fibre carrots make a brilliant salad base. Carrots also bring a crunchy focal point to a salad and really make this meal. I’m using my spiraliser just to make it more attractive and exciting to eat. If you have a spiraliser peel 2 medium carrots and spiralise, if not peeling and the grating or chopping carrots into batons will have a similar effect.
Although obviously not suitable for soya allergy sufferers I absolutely love edamame beans and they are a great source of protein and fibre and I add a liberal handful of shelled edamame beans to the salad.
Top your salad bowl up with sweetcorn and add a couple of sliced spring onions. I serve this salad with sesame seeds and a gluten free tamari. I love the Clearspring gluten free tamari as it is organic and great for my body as well as the earth. I can’t wait for Monday lunch time now!
Having invested in a spiraliser this week it seems likely that I will be eating (and you will be reading about) plenty of curly fruit and vegetables over the next few weeks.
It has already had a big impact and meant I can cook an amazing, coeliac friendly, vegan dinner in 10 minutes flat – heaven for mid week meals. I’ve started off simple with courgette spaghetti and popped together a quick chilli, tomato and avocado dressing.
Start by spiralising 2 medium courgettes, courgette are a really healthy green food, they are high in vitamin C and antioxidants but really low in calories and fat. I always find they have a mellow and almost creamy taste which is why I’ve chosen them as my gluten free spaghetti replacement. I found that chopping the courgettes in half made it easier to spiralise but the whole process took a couple of minutes even though it was my first time.
Steaming vegetables is a much healthier way to cook vegetables and maintain their nutritional value. I have a great microwave steamer and popped the courgette straight in and on for 4 minutes on 800 watts. Some steamers and some vegetables require water to cook but courgette has such a high water content there is no need to use any additional water.
Whilst the courgette spaghetti steams I whipped up a really quick and rustic tomato suace which takes about 5 minutes to cook. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a small pan on a high heat and a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes, a small amount of chopped chilli and a clove of chopped garlic. I also used a tiny bit of ground rock salt and black pepper to add some more flavour, keep cooking on a high heat. At the same time as that cooks I whizz into action chopping an avocado.
Once the courgette spaghetti and the sauce has cooked serve straight away with the tomato sauce and avocado; a really delicious spirally vegetable dish – certainly the first of many!