Vegan Easter Buns

I’m a little late sharing this post but due to lockdown I’m reviewing some of my previous baking and realised I hadn’t shared these tasty little treats.

These are so simple to make and I’ve made chocolate and marshmallow Easter nest buns.

For the chocolate Easter nests start by melting dark cooking chocolate and Golden syrup in a large bowl in the microwave or above a pan of boiling water. I’ve used Green and Black’s dark cooking chocolate as not only is it vegan but it is also Fairtrade. Once fully melted stir through to mix and then add cereal. I’m using gluten free own brand rice crispies. Spoon into paper cake cases and pop into the fridge to set. Once fully set I’ve decorated with Freedom Confectionery mini marshmallows as they are gluten free and vegan and added rainbow chicks and hand coloured paper eggs (as I couldn’t get vegan mini eggs).

The marshmallow nests are just as easy to make. This time mix golden syrup and marshmallows in a large bowl and melt either in the microwave or above a pan of boiling water again. Stir through thoroughly before mixing in the rice crispies or cornflakes and setting again. I’ve topped these with Mark’s and Spencer Easter sweets – Percy Pig spin off rabbits which are also vegan and gluten free. I’m sure to make these at other times of the year too and hope you can enjoy them as well.

Minty Chickpea and Edamame Bean Tart

This minty tart is ideal for an Easter weekend meal in the garden (as it’s the only place we can get out to under lockdown this weekend) it is vegan and gluten free which is perfect for a sunny lunchtime.

I’ve started much of my weekend cooking with chickpeas and have soaked dried chickpeas and cooked them until ready to eat.

Chop a white onion and add it to a warm frying pan with oil and chopped garlic. Allow the onion to cook a little so the onion becomes translucent before adding chickpeas and edamame beans.

At this point add stock. I’m using stock ubes from Kallo as they have great vegan and gluten-free stock cubes. I only use a small amount of water so the mix is quite sticky.

Turn the heat down and allow the chickpeas and beans to simmer for 20 minutes adding some chopped mint before the end so it wilts down and continue to cook until there is no liquid left in the pie filling.

One of the greatest coeliac cheats I have found is the the JusRol Gluten Free Puff Pastry as it is also vegan and dairy free. I’m using this for the base of the tart. Roll it out to the size of the tart tin and prick the base with a fork. Add the pie filling to the tart and bake for approximately 45 minutes to ensure an even bake.

I hope you love this fresh spring recipe which is packed with protein from the chickpeas and beans.

Chickpea and Olive Ratatouille

I’ve soaked lots of chickpeas recently so it’s fair to anticipate chickpea recipes coming up. This dish is a super easy and tasty.

I’m using dried chickpeas so I’ve started by preparing them in advance. I’ve soaked them in water for 8 hours, drained the water off and rinsed and then boiled them in water for 10 minutes to soften fully.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan, add some chopped or minced garlic and then add the cooked chickpeas. Chop black olives, cherry tomatoes and spinach and add to the pan in that order, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes stirring frequently and ensuring the juice from the tomatoes speedy through.

This is a really simple and exciting meal and once you have the chickpeas ready it’s great to make as many meals as you can. This is a wonderful coeliac and vegan friendly recipe.

Redemption, Neal’s Yard

During a recent weekend I’m London I headed to Redemption in Neal’s Yard for lunch and was certainly glad I did. Redemption is a vegan, sugar-free and wheat free cafe with an alcohol-free cafe and bar. For vegan coeliacs like myself it is a perfect spot!

Often when I eat out I either have to adapt an existing menu or have one option to eat so I was totally overwhelmed with the choice available at Redemption. Because I’m also allergic to some nuts and all mushrooms as well as having coeliac disease and lactose intolerance even some vegan and gluten free places can be tough to eat at. It was had to decide on one dish so in the end I went for the Buddha bowl with a selection of suitable tasty treats from the deli. The beetroot humous, the turmeric cauliflower and the vegan mint yogurt dressing made this salad bowl a real treat.

On the side I had some hand cut chunky chips with a mustard seasoning and some spicy mayonnaise.

To follow up I shared a gluten free banana loaf slice served with banana, vegan cream and fresh banana.

I would highly recommend eating at Redemption, either at their Neal’s Yard bar or at the other locations around London. The food is made more enjoyable by the chilled out, light and unpretentious surroundings. It’s a great choice for so many free from diets and tasty for all who visit.

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.

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.

Roasted Sweetheart Cabbage with Lemon Tofu

I’ve been really enjoying exploring new recipes using different varieties of cabbage. My favourite recipe so far using sweetheart cabbage is this simple oven roasted dish.

Preheat the oven and place halved sweetheart cabbage heads into a baking tray. Drizzle a little olive oil over the cabbage head and season with a little salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until the leaves are soft and tender inside and crispy around the edges.

Whilst the cabbage is cooking cook the tofu. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large pan and add chopped tofu. I use Tofoo Naked tofu as I find the texture is beautiful and it cooks consistently. Turn to ensure its cooked evenly on both sides and drizzle with a little lemon juice and black pepper.

Serve the cabbage and tofu with salad and a little lemon dressing.

This meal is very simple, super tasty and incredibly healthy. I would highly recommend this as a perfect summer meal which fit my gluten free, vegan diet down ideally.

Beet burger, vegan coleslaw and sweet swede mash

Packing my plate full of tasty vegetables is my favourite way to eat coeliac, vegan friendly food. This dish uses so many under rated vegetables to make a fantastic meal.

These beet burgers are gorgeous. I bought them from Aldi at St James’ Park in Sheffield and they are healthy and make a vegan coeliac a happy bunny.

I’ve served them with homemade swede mash and homemade coleslaw.

To make the coleslaw use a white cabbage and peeled carrots. Slice the vegetables thinly, I actually use the slicer on my grater for the carrot to make the task easier. Mix the carrots and cabbage with vegan mayonnaise, stirring through until evenly covered.

Swede mash is a really simple accompaniment to so many meals and much healthier than mashed potato. Peel and chop the swede then place in a pan with water and bring to the boil. Cook until the swede is soft and then drain thoroughly. Add a tablespoon of dairy free spread, a little salt and then mash to the desired consistency. I prefer a slightly chunky, rustic mash so leave a few bits in.

Served with avocado on the side this is one of my favourite meals of recent days, I hope you enjoy it too, either all together or as individual recipes.

Carob Syrup Crumble

Spring time is here so I’m starting to think about delicious light spring puddings. This carob syrup crumble with peach is super easy to bake and a very tasty vegan and gluten-free dessert.

Start by layering sliced peaches along the base of a baking dish. I’m using tinned peaches to save time and to make sure I don’t leave my tins too long.

Melt dairy free spread in a pan on a medium heat. I use Pure Soya as it is my favourite vegan alternative. Add a few tablespoons of carob syrup to the melted spread and stir through to mix. Carob syrup is an excellent alternative to honey and will both sweeten desserts and act as a binding agent.

Add gluten free oats to the syrup and melted spread mix and use this to top the peaches. Bake on 200° for approximately 20 minutes before serving warm and enjoying a tasty, peachy pudding.

Sesame and Cashew Stir Fry with Heck Sweet Fusion Sausages

Heck have brought out quite a range of new gluten-free, vegan sausages and I have so much time (and tummy space) for this.

So far I have tried the Super Greens, Beetroot and the Sweet Fusion flavours. The sweet Fusion sausages contain a mix of gentle Thai flavours, rice and vegetables.

Today I’ve made a simple and yummy sesame stir fry to accompany the tasty sausages. With crunchy carrot, mange tout and cashew nuts fried in sesame oil this stir fry is lovely with some toasted sesame seeds.

I hope you try and enjoy the Heck sausages as well as the stir fry.