Crispy Lemongrass Salad

During hot weather I find myself eating a lot a salad. Many folks find salad quite full but I love different vegetables and flavour combinations. This warm salad is a perfect evening meal on a warm summer evening.

Ingredients

Baby cabbage

Pak choi

Orange and yellow peppers

Sugar snap peas

Broccoli

Lemongrass

Lemon

Garlic

Ginger

Coriander

Gluten free tamari sauce

Coconut oil

Start by preparing the flavours, I use a garlic mincer to prepare garlic and lemongrass and I grate ginger and chop the coriander finely.

Nextheat a little coconut oil in a wok and add the sliced peppers and broccoli once warmed to temperature. Once the vegetables are in I add the herbs and spices so they can absorb into the vegetables during cooking. Stir fry for 5 minutes before adding the sugar snap peas and continuing to stir fry for a further 5 minutes. You can increase the cooking time but I like my veg pretty crunchy.

Whilst the veggies are cooking I lightly steam the cabbage and Pak choi to make a leafy base.

Serve with a slice of lemon and a drizzle of gluten free tamari for a zingy finish. This is a wonderful salad full of flavour and far from boring. Ideal for vegans, veggies, coeliacs and everyone else besides!

Spiced Kalette Soup

I love kale and was delighted to discover kalettes whilst shopping. Kalettes are a hybrid of kale and sprouts. They are high in vitamins C and K. In addition like all cruciferous vegetables they have high levels of folic acid and fibre. Perfect for a healthy diet.

Start this recipe with a roasting pan and a warm oven. Add 2 chopped red peppers and a chopped courgette to the roasting dish and spray with cooking oil. I’ve used Fry light sunflower as it reduces the fat content in the dish. Stir through paprika and cayenne pepper and pop into the oven to roast for about 45 minutes.

Whilst the vegetables roast chop white onion, and garlic and prepare stock. I’m a coeliac so I find Kallo reduced salt vegetable stock cubes are an ideal stock cheat as they are gluten free and vegan. At only 6 calories as well they are perfect for a healthy meal.

When the vegetables have roasted combine in a saucepan with the garlic, onion and kalettes. Cover with stock and bring to the boil.

Once the soup mix is boiling turn the heat down and simmer for about 30 mins. It is so hard to wait for this soup to cook because it smells beautiful. Use a hand blender to whizz the soup up and stir. My husband has topped his with a little parmesan but I don’t need it so I’m happy as it it. The paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic are so light it makes for a perfect lunch.

Superfood Summer Salad

Summer is a time when you cannot beat a healthy, tasty salad for dinner. It can get a bit boring using the same ingredients so frequently so I’ve put together super-tasty super-food ingredients in this salad. 

Start by cooking quinoa, place in a pan with water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer on a mid heat for approximately 20 minutes. Quinoa is an excellent salad component, it is high in protein and low in fat. It’s actually the only plant based protein with the same amino structure as meat based proteins and I personally enjoy discussing that with people who question my veganism. 

Whilst the quinoa is cooking I prep the vegetables. Chop mange tout and steam for a couple of minutes. Mange tout adds a fresh taste and a crunch to this meal. 

Spinach is full of folic acid and an ideal addition. Chop baby leaf spinach roughly. As a cheat I’m actually using tinned canellini beans rather than dried and I use these to add even more protein and super veggies. 

Finally have ready a handful of dried cranberries to add sweetness and antioxidants. 

When the quinoa is cooked drain the water off and then mix the salad thoroughly. Serve with your choice of salad dressing and tuck in. 

Chard and Asparagus Summer Perfection

Summer vegetables are a real delight. I love when they are fresh and you can taste the summer sunshine in every little leaf. This salad contains quite a few bright and seasonal greens and was inspired by my lovely friend Jo who brought me a bag full of homegrown yesterday. Thanks Jo!

Post 50 - chard and asparagus salad

I’m having this salad as my evening meal so I’ve started by steaming chopped new potatoes for a carby base. Potatoes offer a good gluten free carb for coeliacs and although it’s important not to over indulge carbohydrate is still a key part of a balanced diet.

I’m also steaming fresh asparagus and florets of broccoli. Broccoli contains an incredibly high amount of calcium which is key for coeliacs in preventing or reducing the chances of osteoporosis .  I also think broccoli is also really under used. It’s got a real stigma of “meat and 2 veg” that just feel boring and unhealthy. I love using broccoli as a key ingredient and this dish certainly does that.

When the potatoes, asparagus and broccoli have cooked place into a large salad bowl and mix through fresh chard which will wilt amongst the warm vegetables. I also add a handful of chopped black olives.

I have seasoned this dish but only really gently as the peppery chard has a beautiful flavour enough as it is. Drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper and serve warm for the taste of summer on a plate.

As I write I’m tucking into this salad with a glass of dry white wine and although summer in Sheffield may be more thundery than sunny this dish can outshine all the rain outside.

Quinoa and Green Bean Salad

Quinoa is a great grain. It’s naturally gluten free, packed with protein and full of dietary fibre. These tiny little power balls also have lots of calcium and vitamins. They are a real superfood. Not only are they so good for you but they are really tasty too. I’m making a quinoa and green bean salad to take into the office for a mid day pick up.

Post 49 Quinoa and Green bean

Quinoa is really easy to cook, pop the grain directly into a pan full of boiling water, turn down the heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes. When cooked drain and leave to stand to cool down.

I could eat green beans all day and I think that steamed, crunchy green beans go down a treat in this quinoa salad. Before steaming I chop the green beans and then steam for just 30 seconds in a microwave steamer.

Chopped black olives and cucumber add more crunch and texture to this salad and I like to serve with a drizzle of balsamic glaze (and yes I’ve drizzled in a heart shape). When I tuck into this salad at lunch time in the office I always get jealous looks from colleagues with crusty sandwiches. Being much healthier makes you much happier.

Sesame and tamari tofu and spring greens

This is one of my all time favourite packed lunches. It’s packed full of protein and flavour to perk up any weekday lunch time and give me the energy to take on the afternoon.

Post 46 photo

Most of the time I cook using plain tofu so I can add my own flavours but in this dish I’m actually using the Cauldron marinated tofu pieces, perfect and easy and the subtle marinade flavouring goes well with the spring greens. For 2 lunches I use a whole pack of the marinated tofu and pop into a roasting pan with a little sesame oil. Then chop mange tout; mange tout are a great source of protein and are low in cholesterol and fat making them a delicious addition to this salad. I also chop broccoli and add to the roasting pan with the mange tout and tofu. Broccoli is high in calcium so with the calcium and protein you really won’t be missing out on any goodness for this vegan dish.

Add a few dashes of gluten free tamari, I use the clear spring tamari to add taste and give me reassurance there is no gluten at all. Sprinkle over some toasted sesame seeds and pop into the oven on a low heat for 30 minutes, stir the roasting tofu and veg a couple of times whilst roasting.

Once cooked add chopped cucumber and portion into 2 tupperware dishes, perfect tasty lunches for the next few days all set.

Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Good morning! I’m not sure where February has got to but it’s definitely time for a healthy, vegetable Sunday. I’m off out on a nice walk so I’m using my slow cooker to make a healthy, lentiley, chunky soup that will be ready for lunch by the time I get back.

POst 34 photo

Start by chopping the veggies. Peel and chop a large sweet potato and large carrot. I chop them into small squares approx 5ml x 5ml as this is a no blend soup and the vegetables give a great tasty crunch. Add these into the slow cooker. Chop one large white onion finely and add this in too.

I then add a couple of tablespoons of red lentils and brown lentils into the mix. Lentils are fantastic foods and absolutely packed full of fibre. They are really great not only for coeliac and vegan diets but for everyone. High fibre diets help to manage blood sugar levels as they burn energy slowly and steadily. They are high in protein reducing the need for meat or meat substitutes and help promote heart health with a strong combination of minerals.

All in all lentils are full on super heroes.

I then pour on a pint and a half of stock. As a coeliac I use Kallo vegetable stock as it is fully gluten free, tasty and vegan!

I’m going to pop on high and then get out in the fresh winter sunshine, knowing that my lunch will be waiting for me when I get back.

Hearty Split Pea Stew

Today I’m facing a real culinary challenge; cooking lunch for myself and my friend. Between my lactose intolerance, coeliacs disease, vegetarianism and allergies and my friend’s type 1 diabetes it could be interesting finding a meal we can both eat.

My solution for today lies in one of the world’s simplest foods – split peas.

I’m going to make a really hearty, tasty and simple stew. I’m going to use my slow cooker so I can spend as much of the day chatting as possible and just look forward to a tasty treat. Split peas are a really brilliant food. Split peas contain really high levels of dietary fibre which are great for anyone suffering with digestive intolerance’s and condition as it helps to keep the digestive system working effectively. The fibre in split peas helps to reduce cholesterol in binding it and processing it out of the body which is great for cardiac health as well. Containing very little fat and 65% fibre with a good protein kick too split peas are great for coeliacs.

Post 30 photo

I start by chopping a large white onion really finely, then I chop 4 cloves of garlic finely too. Pop into the slow cooker with 200g of yellow and 200g green split peas. Pour over 2 pints of boiling stock and pop the slow cooker on to do all the cooking for you.

I can’t wait to tuck in to my delicious lunch today, knowing all the time those super peas will be looking after me and my friend and working hard to keep us healthy all day.

Sweet Potato and Vegetable Soup

This is a great sweet potato soup full of goodness to warm your body and soul. Sweet potatoes are a brilliant, filling and yummy vegetable. They contain a lot less carbohydrate than standard potatoes, meaning that less is converted to sugar during digestion. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and antioxidants and minerals. Sweet potatoes are a really good base for soups as they are starchy enough to really thicken the soup up but still really tasty and full of goodness.

sweet!
sweet!

Start by chopping 4 medium sized sweet potatoes, I actually leave the skin on for this recipe as it is full of extra nutrients and as I’m going to whizz the soup up with a blender it will all blend up too. Add to a large pan and then roughly chop 2 large vine tomatoes, 1 orange pepper and 1 red pepper and add to the pan. The main flavour in this soup is the sweet potato which is yummy and creamy but the added vegetables add a great amount of depth to the flavour.

I am a little bit in love with rosemary, it is one of my favourite herbs and I think it makes everything taste better but it does go really well with this soup and make an aromatic autumnal flavour. I grow rosemary in my garden and add a sprig straight in at this point. Cover with approximately 2 pints of boiling stock, either homemade or to make sure it is suitable for coeliacs and veggies double check all the ingredients on ready made stock cubes; Kallo do a great range.

Cook on a medium heat for about an hour or until the sweet potatoes are breaking apart and then blend with a handheld blender and serve hot. It’s delicious.

Carrot and Coriander Soup with Hearty Lentils and Rice

In the Autumn I love to eat nice, warming soups full of flavour and veggies. I know it’s not technically Autumn yet but with a slight chill in the wind I’m going to tuck in and enjoy a nice September-ey soup.

Essentially this recipe is for an amazing and tasty carrot and coriander soup but packed full of protein with some tasty lentils.

Finely chop 2 sticks of celery and 4 medium carrots and place in a pan with a handful of chopped coriander and about a pint and a half of boiling water. Bring to the boil on a high heat and when boiling switch down to a medium heat and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. Although it is easy to cook the carrot and celery much quicker on a high heat the length of time simmering allows the coriander to break down and the flavour to really take hold.

Once soft and well cooked add lentils to the soup. The great thing with this recipe is you can use any lentils of your choice, I’m using red lentils as I really love the way the break down whilst cooking and make the texture of the soup really thick and creamy. Continue to cook, I use a medium heat and cook for approximately 45 minutes. Another great way to bulk this up for winter and autumn evening meals is to add rice, add rice at the same time as the lentils and cook on a higher heat to ensure the rice is cooked through, you may need to add more boiling water as it cooks on a higher heat.

One more perfect, tasty, vegan and coeliac soup.IMG_2591