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.

Pesto Stuffed Butternut Squash

A seasonal favourite of mine is roasted butternut squash. This stuffed squash with pesto and vegetables is a perfect festive main course for vegans and is gluten free so perfect for me as a coeliac too.

Start by preparing the squash. Split it evenly down the middle and clean out the seeds and pulp.

Cross the butternut squash with a deep knife which will allow the squash to roast consistently. Drizzle with a little cooking oil and basil and pop into the oven for approximately 45 minutes on a high heat.

Whilst the squash is roasting I cook the vegetable stuffing and pesto mix. Chop courgette and peppers into fine squares and cook in a frying pan with pesto. I use the Sacla free from red pesto as it’s free from gluten and dairy. Cook for about 20 minutes and then add the vegetables to the squash, packing out the seeds area and topping the whole squash. I then add vegan cheese (Sheese is my favourite brand) and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

I’m really looking forward to tucking into this over the Christmas period and hope you enjoy it too.

Lemon and Rocket Risotto

Risotto is a Sunday night go to in my house. It’s tasty, filling and flexible so you can use whatever veggies you have in the house.

This risotto uses some kitchen staples and is delightful. Start by chopping red onion and garlic then heat on a medical high with a little olive oil. Once the onion has softened add arborio rice and cook in the oil and onion until translucent.

Pour over a cup of white wine and allow to bubble off rapidly keeping the heat high. Then add warm stock. Kallo have a great low salt, vegan and gluten free stock cube which I use as a flavour base for many meals.

At this point squeeze the juice of a lemon and add the zest to the risotto. Turn down the heat and continue to simmer adding more stock as needed. Time for the vegetables. I add super simple veggies with peas and rocket. Cook for a further 15 – 20 minutes and serve warm.

Sunday night perfection.

IKEA Veggie Balls – gluten free & vegan

Plant based choices are really taking off and I’m delighted to be finding vegan and coeliac friendly foods in places I wouldn’t usually look for them.

Following a lead from a vegan friend I recently got myself to IKEA to sample their veggie take on the iconic Swedish meatballs.

I have not been dissaoppointed. In the food section before the exit (several packs of candles and mini cacti after I arrived) I found the frozen veggie balls called Allemansr√§tten. You can buy a quite frankly huge bag for only ¬£3.95 so it’s very affordable.

Also very easy, they cook from frozen and take less than 20 minutes. I’ve cooked these tasty gluten free goodies with kale, spinach garlic and green beans and served with hearty brown rice for a summery and delicious evening meal.

Happy IKEA-ing to all!

Roasted Vegetable Vegan Bowl

A good roast dinner is a staple in the UK so I’ve taken all the best (and all the cruelty free) bits of a Sunday roast and used it to make up a delicious bowl of gluten free veggies perfect for a vegan lunch!

Start by preparing the vegetables. Chop sweet potatoes and carrots into approximately 1cm wide slices. I leave the skin on as it adds extra flavour and nutrition. 

Then place into a baking tray and add a little oil. I use Fry Light Olive spray rather than oil as I think it produces as good a result with far fewer calories and fat. 

Seasoning is key. I use chopped sage, salt and pepper on the sweet potatoes and rosemary on the carrots. Place into a hot oven and roast for about an hour turning the vegetables half way through. 

Whilst the vegetables are roasting now is a great time to get some toasted chickpeas sorted. Again I use Fry Light Olive spray and add chopped garlic to a small frying pan. Add the chickpeas and sizzle for about 5 minutes. Then squeeze fresh lemon over the pan and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. 

When all the vegetables are cooked start layering into a bowl. I start with a healthy base of spinach. High in vitamins and minerals spinach is a great super food. 

Add the roasted vegetables and enjoy a delicious Sunday lunch ideal for vegans and vegetarians alike.