Delicious vegan leek and potato soup

You can’t beat a good bowl of hot soup on a cold winters day. We all love soup. Steve perhaps loves it a bit too much as he has been known to order a bowl of soup for dessert in a restaurant! Many leek and potato soups have milk/cream in them so it was another thing we needed to find a free from alternative for. This recipe is always a winner and is another convenient meal I can prep the day before and leave in the slow cooker ready for when we return from work. I go big and make a large batch of this for freezing but if you want a smaller amount you can easily halve the quantities.

Ingredients

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 1kg leeks
  • 2 tsp dill
  • 2tsp thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 4 pints of vegetable stock made with 2 cubes (I use knorr as they are gluten free)

Method

  1. Dice the potatoes (with or without skins) and slice the leeks. Put into the slow cooker.
  2. Add the vegetable stock and herbs.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Cook on “auto” setting for 5-6 hours.
  5. Blend with a hand blender and serve.

To add a little extra garnish I like to sprinkle a little bit of finely chopped spring onion and grated cheese onto the top. Steve likes little strips of fried bacon and spring onion on his. The girls like to have all three sprinkled on their soup!

Candy Kittens vegan and gluten free sweets – yummy!

We love jelly sweets in our house but being vegetarian I find they often contain gelatine so are no good for me. Others contain wheat so are no good for the hubby. These jelly sweets are yummy! The scent of sweet deliciousness when you open the bag is lush and the flavours are fabulous! The only downside is that I always want to eat more than one little bag!!

Free from cupcakes

My little girl had to take cakes in to school to sell for charity week. She said she has a few friends who are dairy free or vegan and wanted to make cakes they could buy as they were getting left out! We made a batch of these vegan and gluten free cupcakes to take in and they were a huge hit!

Ingredients

  • 300ml dairy free milk (we used Koko milk)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 325g gluten free self raising flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 150g dairy free margarine (we used vitalite)
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Mix the milk and lemon juice together and leave to stand for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in the flour, sugar, baking powder and margarine.
  4. Mix well until smooth.
  5. Spoon the mixture into cake cases and bake for approx 20 mins until golden on the top, we added a little sprinkle of caster sugar on the top and then popped them back in the oven for a couple of minutes to give a little crunchy, sweet top.

Easy Free from Yorkshire puddings

It’s always been a frustration that the shops sell gluten free Yorkshire pudding but not dairy free. I’ll readily admit that my “normal” Yorkshire puddings can be a bit hit and miss but this recipe makes easy and perfect free from Yorkshire puddings every time! This recipe makes around 12 small Yorkshire puddings.

Ingredients

  • 100g cornflower
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml coconut milk (I use Koko milk)
  • Vegetable oil

Method

  1. Put the cornflower and eggs into a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add 50ml of the milk and whisk into the mixture.
  3. Add another 50ml of the milk and whisk.
  4. Add the final 50ml of the milk and whisk.
  5. Heat the oil in the Yorkshire pudding tray (ensure it is sizzling hot).
  6. Pour the mixture into the hot oil and cook for approx. 20 minutes until the Yorkshire puddings have risen and turned golden brown.

Yummy dairy free puddings!

Alpro have a lovely range of dairy free desserts. Creamy caramel, velvet vanilla, dark chocolate and milk chocolate. We love them all! As an added bonus they have a long shelf life compared to the dairy versions (usually a good 6 months or so) and they are all only around 86 kCals each so fairly guilt free! Convenient, delicious and free from. Perfect for us!

Plant based loaded potato skins are a go!

Cheese is one of those things that we just can’t find a decent dairy free alternative to, so when it came to these dairy and gluten free loaded potato skins by ASDA we were a little apprehensive. We decided to be brave and go for it (in the name of research). We are so pleasantly surprised! The first test was the sniff test! Many dairy free cheeses smell like sweaty footie socks (working in a boys school I unfortunately know that smell well). I tentatively had a whiff and they had a very appetising scent similar to “real cheese”. Then came the biggie – the taste test. They are “lovely” to quote Steve who hasn’t had anything tasty which contains a cheese alternative in over three years. In summary these are a convenient, tasty and quick to cook side dish which is a welcome addition to the Free From options on the market. We would buy them again!

Chicken Curry (or Quorn for a vegan alternative)

This curry is packed with flavour and quick and easy to make. You’ve got yourself a delicious fresh curry in around 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 chicken breasts (or substitute with quorn for a tasty vegan curry)
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 0.5 tsp ginger
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Cut the chicken breasts into cubes and add to the pan. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through.
  2. Remove the chicken from the saucepan and set aside.
  3. Into the pan add the cumin seeds and cook until browned and sizzling.
  4. Grate the onion and add to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently.
  5. Add the chillies, garlic, turmeric, ginger, ground coriander and curry powder. Cook for 1 minute.
  6. Return the chicken to the pan and add the coconut milk and chopped tomatoes.
  7. Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  8. Serve with rice.

Schar gluten free pretzels are THE best!

My eldest daughter is a slight pretzel addict. They’re one of her favourite evening snacks. She’s the one person in our family that has a “normal diet” and these are her pretzels of choice! Gluten free, dairy free, crunchy and tasty they tick all of the boxes for all of us. They are nicely salted and slightly more chunky than regular pretzels. Delicious!

Pasta with lentil and tomato sauce

This is a recipe I like to use on work days. I can prep the sauce the night before and leave it standing ready for a quick 30 minute cook when I get in. I use shop bought gluten free pasta. The sauce is dairy free and vegan. Delicious for everyone!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of green lentils
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes or a carton of passata depending on how smooth you want the sauce to be.
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock made with one stock cube (I use knorr vegetable cubes)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper (choose your colour or mix a few)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 350g pasta
  • Half a cup of broccoli florets (optional)

Method

  1. Finely chop the onion and pepper and add to a large saucepan.
  2. Stir in the lentils, chopped tomatoes/passata, vegetable stock and herbs before leaving to stand for several hours.
  3. Rapidly heat the mixture until boiling then simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (if adding broccoli add this for the final 5 mins of cooking).
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta, drain and return to the pan.
  5. Add the lentil sauce to the pasta and stir well ensuring all of the pasta is coated with the sauce.

Lovely lattes

Nescafé have brought out a range of Dairy free latte sachets. I find these sachets very convenient for work. I can usually find time to boil a kettle and fill a cup! They are also great to have in your bag so that if you’re out and about and fancy a coffee you don’t have to have a black coffee from somewhere that has no milk alternatives. Most places are happy to give you a cup of hot water. I was a little apprehensive about these as I do like my coffee! I was pleasantly surprised. The almond one smells a bit like an amaretto coffee – winner! The coconut one does have a coconut smell but not a strong coconut flavour. My personal preference is the almond latte – I actually really enjoy it! If you need a convenient and tasty coffee without the faff of taking cartons of Free From milk everywhere you go these are great!