Vegan & Gluten-Free Oat Crumble Scones

In my previous recipe for Vegan Gluten-Free Mango & Raisin Crumble, I used leftover crumble topping to make scones, and they turned out well, far exceeding expectations. All I did was add almond milk (or was it tiger nut milk?!) to the mix until it made a sticky dough. Any plant milk will work – tiger nut is sweeter and creamier – even coconut milk. (See below for posts on how to make dairy-free and some nut-free plant milks). There was only enough left to make two, but I’ll certainly be making them again.  You can see them to the right of my husband’s bread rolls on the cooling grid:

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They’re not the prettiest, but if you like wholefoods, and texture, and a high nutritional content, then why waste the leftovers?

I’m short on time as my mum is coming to stay, so I won’t write out the whole crumble recipe again, you can click the link above if you’d like to try them, and enjoy the relief of a short post from me for a change 😉

0D9D9516-E038-4A4C-AB3D-0D226EF4EF3AI had them with some vegan spread (I rarely use it, but when I do I use Pure), and St Dalfour Strawberry Spread, which has no sweeteners at all.

They were delicious, crumbly on the outside but moist on the inside. Full of texture and flavour.

Next time I might try adding some dried fruit. I wonder what my mum would make of them. Not exactly the Cornish cream tea she’s more used to when scones are involved! I’ve always preferred wholemeal scones to the traditional bland and textureless white kind, like you get in supermarkets. Many people have problems making scones, but for me they are the easiest and quickest of things to bake. The trick is for the dough to be sticky and to cut them very thickly, at least an inch. If they come out a bit dry and over-baked, cover them in fruit spread and thick yogurt for a healthier cream tea.

Here are some links to other scone recipes and how to make plant milks:

Vegan Gluten-Free Almond & Apricot Scones – oh yes!

Savoury Vegan Glutenfree ‘Cheese’ & Herb Scones

Vegan Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Scone Recipes: 1 Sweet, 1 Savoury

How to Make Cashew Nut Milk & Why You Should!

How To Make Almond Milk

Horchata (aka Tiger Nut Milk)

Smooth and Creamy Hemp Milk

 Copyright: Chris McGowan

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Dairy-Free Frozen Chocolate-Flavoured Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

16D342DD-5171-499D-A90A-59CCFB55A00DI keep rescheduling this post because the weather insists on returning to winter temperatures!  Plus, I think the colour and the fact that it has spinach in it may put you off. If I hadn’t written ‘smoothie’ in the title, you would probably have thought it was soup!

However, I’m relegating porridge bowls for now, I need a change, and I have to hope that things will warm up sooner rather than later.

Admittedly, this smoothie doesn’t look very appealing, but appearances can be deceiving and it is chock full of the good stuff.  Using frozen instead of fresh banana makes the smoothie thicker and creamier. Slice over-ripe bananas and freeze them in the amounts you’ll want to use them. Bananas that start to have black spots on them are much easier to digest, fresh or frozen.

Use less milk than you would for a normal smoothie in a glass.

Vegan, Gluten-free and can be Nut-free.

All quantities approximate.

Ingredients

1 Banana (frozen)
½ cup of Blueberries, washed
1 small handful of Spinach, washed
2 Tbsp Peanut (or any nut or seed) Butter
1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder*
½ cup of Tiger Nut Milk (or any plant milk, click link for how to make)
Optional: 1 Medjool Date, but as I’d put one in the milk, I didn’t add another
Optional: 1 Tbsp Moringa**, or a scoop of Vivolife ‘Thrive for Her’ Green Superfood, Wild Berry flavour*** or any other flavoured Protein Powder
Toppings: I went for a crunchy mix to offset the creamy texture of the smoothie. Chopped nuts (I used Walnuts here), Mixed Seeds, (I used Sunflower, Pumpkin & Chia*), Cacao Nibs*, Blueberries or other berries, Buckwheat

Blend until smooth, but don’t overdo it or it will become too thin.

Sprinkle with chosen toppings.

Nutrients include: antoxidants, b vitamins, iron, magnesium, prebiotics, probiotics, protein, calcium, zinc, potassium, healthy fats, dietary fibre. Great for breakfast, dessert or a healthy pick-me-up.

Here are some links to other smoothie recipes:

Frozen Mango, Banana & Passionfruit Protein Smoothie

Monday Meditation: Two Year Old Frank’s Berry Good Smoothie – Made With Love & Smiles

Almond, Chia & Spinach Super Smoothie

Heart-Healthy Carob, Walnut & Lucuma Smoothie

Monday Meditation: Indulgent No-Banana Cherry & Chocolate Smoothie

The Mood Booster: Raw Chocolate Mulberry, Banana & Walnut Smoothie

Kumquat & Cacao Protein Smoothie

*I buy from The Raw Chocolate Company, their products are Vegan, Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher, Gluten-free, high quality, ethically-sourced and made in the UK.

**Also Vegan, Organic, Gluten-free & Kosher Aduna support African small businesses, often run by women.

*** From Vivolife also Vegan, Organic, made in the UK and Carbon Neutral.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Colourful Mixed Veg, Mushrooms & Puy Lentils with Spicy Caulifower Rice

547C7F73-757B-4E26-960F-CC4935551645Having spent all Sunday afternoon composing Monday Meditation: Relax with these Raw Tiger Nut, Cacao & Coconut Treats , I realised I hadn’t given a thought as to what I was going to have for dinner and my husband had pre-empted me by getting some of his frozen curry from the freezer. I stood in the kitchen gazing at the contents of the fridge, opening and closing cupboard doors. It was growing late, I was hungry and thought I’d end up making a salad. However, I knew that when I smelled my husband’s curry, I’d wish I had done something similar. I didn’t really want brown rice and there was a lovely caulifower calling out to me, so I decided on spicy cauliflower rice.

I put some puy lentils to soak while I got everything ready – you don’t have to soak them, but it makes them easier to digest.

I decided on cumin, which I love, to flavour the cauliflower ‘rice’, and turmeric, both for it’s anti-inflammatory properties and the lovely colour it would produce. Digestion begins with the eyes and I like to make food as colourful and appetising to the eyes as the mouth. The beetroot makes the carrot hold its colour and adding the frozen veg at the end makes this a bright, colourful dish.

This takes about an hour from start to finish – it sounds complicated written out, but if you pre-cook the lentils and process the cauli before you begin cooking, you don’t have to balance so many items at once. It really is easy.

It made enough for 2, with a little mixed veg and lentils left over for next day (see later).

  Vegan, Gluten-free and Dairy-free.

Ingredients

All quantities are very approximate

1/4 Cup Puy Lentils + reserved cooking water

Half a Cauliflower

Coconut Oil

Cumin

Turmeric

Optional: Dried Apricots

Mixed Veg – I used:

Small Beetroot

Large Carrot

Onion

2  Chestnut Mushrooms

Frozen Peas & Sweetcorn

Vegetable Bouillon Powder

Black Pepper

Optional:

Pine Nuts

Vegan ‘parmesan’: Almonds ground with Nutritional Yeast & a pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Method

Rinse and soak the lentils, then drain and cover with water, cook beforehand or while preparing the veg. Don’t overcook as they will be reheated in the veg mix. You want them to keep their shape and not become mushy.

Reserve the cooking water.

Process the cauliflower florets for a few seconds until it looks like rice and set aside.

Chop onion, beetroot, carrot, mushrooms.

Melt a little coconut oil in a frying pan, stirfry first the onions, then the other veg for a little while with some black pepper, add a few spoons of the lentil cooking water, cover and cook on a low heat. Make sure it doesn’t dry out.

3CBB91DD-1176-4FFD-AE9C-9148DFF29F59When almost done, sprinkle on a heaped teaspoon of  vegetable bouillon powder and mix in, adding the peas and sweetcorn and a little more lentil water. Cover.

Meanwhile, heat a little coconut oil in another frying pan, add the cumin and turmeric, stir round and add the cauliflower rice. Mix well, stirring and turning it over all the time. Add some black pepper and a couple of spoons of lentil water to keep moist.

On this occasion I didn’t add dried apricots to the rice as my husband doesn’t like apricots, but when he tried some ‘rice’, he surprised me with ‘it would be nice with apricots!’ 

When the ‘rice’ is ready, with as much or as little bite as you prefer, add several spoons of lentils to the veg and gently mix well, making sure they are heated through without overcooking everything. Spoon the ‘rice’ onto a plate with the mixed veg on top.

I forgot to add the pine nuts and ground almonds with nutritional yeast and cayenne before I took the photo of the cauliflower rice dish, but I added them when I had the leftovers next day accompanied with sweet potato mashed with almond butter, and some steamed broccoli.

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The cauliflower rice dish was really good and tasty, even my sceptical husband had a small helping in addition to his own curry!

These meals have so many vitamins and minerals, different complementary proteins and healthy fats, and are very satisfying.

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

Savoury Vegan Glutenfree ‘Cheese’ & Herb Scones

30202576_UnknownMy husband and I (no, not that one) were having our usual late afternoon dilemma about what to have for dinner. It was freezing cold, we had the woodburner going and neither of us wanted to move to the kitchen, which is much colder as it’s in the flat-roofed extension. I began musing about dumplings. I haven’t had them for years. On the whole, I don’t go much for starchy foods and I’d rather fill up on fresh veg, salad, fruit or hummus than on bread, pancakes, pizza base etc. But today, I was besotted with the idea of casserole and dumplings.

However, as the beady-eyed ones among you will have noticed, this recipe is for scones not dumplings: I chickened out from putting them in the casserole as it was the first time I’d tried making them since becoming vegan and gluten-free, and I didn’t want to risk ruining the casserole if they didn’t turn out well. So I made the mixture into scones and cooked them separately, but I’m confident – well, sort of – that they will work as dumplings, too. Just make the recipe with a little less liquid to make them firmer and roll into balls or cut into thinner scones and layer over the top of the casserole (I haven’t tried that yet).

30202624_UnknownYou will also notice that I titled the recipe Cheese and Herb scones, when I specify cumin in the ingredients list,  but you can use whatever herb or spice you want. I chose cumin as that was what I put in the black bean casserole they would be accompanying.

I used a mixture of flours, I’m sure any combination would work providing the majority of it is Self-Raising. I like to add different organic glutenfree flours to the commercial SR flour to provide more nutrients. I discovered chestnut flour a year or so ago when I bought it just to try it, and I added it to bread recipes and Carrot, Apple & Spice Cakes with Cashew Frosting.

It works well and has a sweet taste. I use it sparingly to make it last. I also added some Tiger Nut Powder*, which is very fine tiger nut flour, it’s also a little sweet and gives some texture too. But as I said, you can make up your own mix.

The recipe suggests rice milk because it’s thin and doesn’t have a strong flavour, I wanted them to be as light as possible.

816CB803-7C05-4B80-85DD-5C74061BE2C3These scones have protein, healthy fats, calcium, b vitamins and minerals, no refined sugar or jam in sight! I also had them as a snack with Bute Island Foods’  vegan mature cheddar ‘cheese’, (made from coconut oil and soya protein), they were delicious and very filling. They also freeze well.

***

Ingredients

(vegan, gluten-free, organic where possible, quantities are approximate)

5oz G/F SR Flour

2oz Chestnut Flour

1oz Tiger Nut Powder

1 Heaped Tsp G/F Baking Powder

2oz Solid Coconut Oil, soft enough to rub into the flour

2 Tbsps Nutritional Yeast Flakes

1 Tsp Dried Cumin

1 Tbsp Ground Golden Linseeds

Pink Himalayan Salt & Black Pepper to taste

1 Chia Egg (1 Tbsp Chia Seeds mixed with 3 Tbsps Water and left to stand for 10-15 minutes)**

Enough rice milk to make the mixture bind together and still be a bit sticky.

Method

Sieve the flours and baking powder into a bowl

Add nutritional yeast flakes, golden linseeds, salt and pepper and mix in

Add coconut oil and mix in well with finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs, it takes a while but it’s worth taking the time

In a well in the middle, add chia egg and a little rice milk

Stir it together with a round-bladed knife to begin with and then get in there with your fingers and work all the mixture together, adding a little rice milk at a time until it all comes together in a ball

Knead a little until it is smooth and will roll, but it needs to be a little sticky too

Spread a fine layer of flour on a board and a rolling pin

Gently press and turn until your dough is a nice round, about an inch high or a little more – too thin and they will be dry and crunchy

Use either a cutter or a cup to cut out approx. 6 round scones or a knife to make triangle wedges

Lightly grease a baking tray, brush a little milk on the tops, and cook at approx. 200C for about 10-12 minutes, until risen and splitting, golden on top but a little soft in the middle

Cool them a little on a wire grid

9B787D6E-788B-48AE-BFE3-FA3D9EF55B6DEat warm as they are, or with a savoury spread or vegan cheese. We’ve had them with a black bean, cumin and winter veg casserole and Ginger-Spiced Squash & Apple Soup 

They were tasty, moist and very filling.

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*From The Tiger Nut Company

**Three Cheers for Chias! What Are Chia Seeds & How Do I Use Them? Recipes included

Copyright: Chris McGowan

 

Ginger-Spiced Squash & Apple Soup

30200640_UnknownWe had a small squash in our veg box last week and this afternoon I was cold to the bone after venturing outside for a short walk – I think it was 5C – so I decided to use the squash in some soup. The squash had been sitting chopped up in the fridge for a couple of days and needed to be used. My husband does it for me and leaves it in the fridge so it’s available when I want to use it.

I didn’t exactly know what I was going to put in with it, but automatically reached for some carrots and saw the baking apples on the shelf. We still have a few left from the tree, but they are starting to go a bit soft and the freezer is already overflowing with stewed apple and crumbles, I thought I’d try one in the soup.

While I was chopping, I mused over what herbs or spices would go with it and decided on ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. I was feeling cold, tired and achy, a friend had been coughing over me while recovering from a nasty flu-like virus and I felt the need to protect myself: these three spices are not only warming but also anti-inflammatory. The squash, carrots and celery are rich in anti-oxidants, while the humble onion has long been used in Ayervedic medicine to relieve coughs, fevers and flu as well as to reduce pain and inflammation in joints. I was leaving nothing to chance! I had a big bowl of it for dinner that night, I thought the combination worked really well and I would certainly make it again.

Here’s the full recipe – you might need to adjust the spices, I just guessed and I loved it. I could feel the ginger warming my insides and the one apple was enough to give it a fruity flavour, almost sweet and sour.

Made enough for 3-4 servings

Ingredients

(Organic where possible, vegan and gluten-free)

1 Tsp Coconut Oil

1 Small Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped

1 Small Onion, chopped

2 Carrots, scrubbed and chopped (peel left on)

1 Thin Stick Celery, from the inner part of the bunch, not too strongly flavoured, with leaves, chopped

1 Medium Baking Apple, peeled and chopped

Approx. 750 mls Vegetable Stock (I used a Kallo stock cube) – enough to cover the vegetables

Ground Ginger, Turmeric and Cinnamon

Black Pepper

Sprig of Watercress or Spinach or Rocket to serve (optional)

Method

Melt the oil and sweat the vegetables with half a tsp of ground ginger, a couple of shakes each of turmeric and cinnamon and some black pepper for a few minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally.

Add the apple, mix well.

Add stock and slowly bring to a simmer.

30200544_UnknownCook on the lowest heat for about 25-30 minutes, until everything is cooked but not mushy.

Blend to the thickness you like – I like to leave a little texture.

Serve with a twist of black pepper, a sprig of watercress and some warm seeded bread.

(When I had a second bowl the next day, I added a small handful of mixed watercress/spinach/rocket when I served it and I really liked it).

Please note: there is no added salt in the recipe because the stock cube had salt in it.

We had it with Savoury Vegan Glutenfree ‘Cheese’ & Herb Scones

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

Fruity Vegetable Curry with Lemony Almond Cauliflower ‘Rice’ or ‘Couscous’

29400128_UnknownOver the last couple of years, since I first became aware of the arsenic content of rice,* I have gradually cut down the amount I eat and swapped rice milk for homemade nut and seed milks**. I often use quinoa and buckwheat as gluten-free alternatives to rice. However, one option has taken some psyching up to try: cauliflower ‘rice’ or ‘couscous’. Recently, I decided to go for it and here’s how it turned out, plus the recipe (the hardest part was persuading my husband it was a good idea!).

We’ve been trying to have similar meals recently: my husband is vegetarian, I am vegan and gluten-free and we keep very different hours: he’s an early bird, I am a night owl, so our meals and mealtimes are often out of synch. But in an effort to cut down on bills and be more environmentally friendly, we are at least trying to make our evening meals at the same time either all in the oven or in the same pan on the stove. This time, my husband was going to have curry and rice but I presuaded him to have cauliflower couscous with me – I’m still not sure how that happened, because he’s not as adventurous as I am and has his rules about what goes with what – he was less than amused the other day when he defrosted what he thought was pasta sauce which turned out to be curry and he didn’t realise until the pasta was already on the boil!

Anyway, the cauli couscous turned out well and we both enjoyed it, my husband said he would have it again – success indeed! It was surprisingly filling, more so than rice, I think.

This recipe has all the essentials for a nutritious vegan meal: protein, b vitamins, healthy fats, antioxidants, fibre, minerals. It is vegan and gluten-free and can be made nut-free.

Makes enough for two large portions.

Here’s how we made it:

(All ingredients organic where possible, all amounts very approximate).

Ingredients

For the Cauliflower Rice/Couscous:

1 Heaped Tsp Coconut Oil, melted but not smoking

Half a Cauliflower, lightly processed until resembles breadcrumbs, add to oil

Half a Cup of Almonds, preferably pre-soaked but not esential, ground and added to cauliflower rice

Add Heaped Tsp Curry Powder

Stirfry, cover, stir frequently for a few minutes, may need to add 1 Tbsp Water

Check seasoning, add a light squeeze of lemon juice or lime and serve.

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For the Curried Vegetables:

1 Heaped Tsp Coconut Oil, melted but not smoking

Add:

1 Large Spring Onion, with greens, chopped; Half Courgette (zucchini), sliced; A few Green Beans, chopped; 2 Large Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced; Half a Carrot, chopped very small; some Sweetcorn

Together with:

Generous Tsp each of Curry Powder, Cumin, Ginger

Mix together, stirfry for a couple of minutes

Add:

Handful of Raisins or Sultanas, 1 Cox’s or Bramley Apple, chopped; 1 Tbsp Strawberry or Raspberry Fruit Spread (no sugar or artificial sweetener)

Squeeze of lemon juice

black pepper

Approx. 300mls Vegetable Stock, (mix 1 Heaped Tsp Cornflour with a little cold water to make a paste, add a little of the hot stock, then mix in with the rest of the stock), add a good Squeeze of Tomato Purée

Cover and cook for about 40 mins. until the veggies are cooked and flavours well-blended.

Adjust seasoning and serve with Cauliflower Rice.

Top with some toasted Sunflower Seeds or Pine Kernels and Desiccated Coconut, serve with some yogurt and chutney, if liked, and a small green salad.

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* See Dr Michael Greger’s excellent articles on this topic

Also:

**How to make Almond Milk

How to Make Cashew Nut Milk & Why You Should!

How to make Horchata (aka Tiger Nut Milk)

How to make Smooth and Creamy Hemp Milk

Copyright: Chris McGowan

 

Cumin-Spiced Sweet Potato Crisps with Lemon Tahini Dip

29398480_UnknownOne afternoon, I was craving crisps, as I do every once in a while. Yes, I know, I’m supposed to be a juice nut and a health nut, but I’m human!  About twice a year I indulge, and then remember why I don’t eat them: they give me indigestion and I always want more!

Normally, though, I toast some sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds with some buckwheat and add tamari to make them salty*. That usually does the trick. It’s the salt and the crunch I’m craving not the actual potato bit.

This particular afternoon, I decided to make some sweet potato crisps. I’ve had sweet potato chips and wedges often, but never crisps. And in all the decades I’ve had a food processor, I’ve never used the slicing attachment – no, really – so I thought I’d give it a go. I couldn’t believe how quick it was and how thin they were. Honestly, all these years, we’ve sliced by hand and it took a split second to do one sweet potato, which produced more than enough crisps for one person.

The surprising thing is that they are so filling and satisfying, unlike commercial potato crisps which always leave me craving more. I actually didn’t require any dinner afterwards, but then, I probably ate a few too many!

Sweet potatoes contain tons of Vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene, essential for good eye health, are good sources of Vitamin C, B vitamins, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Potassium and dietary fibre.

Sweet Potato Crisps:

I melted a little coconut oil, rubbed it into the sweet potato slices, spread them on a baking tray, and sprinkled cumin, black pepper and pink Himalayan salt over them.

They went in the oven at about 190C (fan oven) for about 20 mins (turning a couple of times) until crisp – some were a bit charred, but my husband ate them, that’s how he has his toast! You have to keep your eye on them, I got distracted by the cycling on tv!

Lemon Tahni Dip:

This is very approximate because it’s a question of adding, tasting, adding a bit more!

So, about 3 heaped tbsps Tahini (sesame paste)

Juice of half a small Lemon

A little Water

Black Pepper

Pink Himalayan Salt to taste

Blend until it’s the required consistency, adding a little more of anything you think it needs. I use a small chopper/grinder for this rather than the big blender, it’s only a small amount and you waste a lot in the blender.

Serve in a pretty Chinese rice dish (optional!).

Enjoy!

*See Quick, Plain & Simple, Savoury Vegan Snacks (Gluten-Free Too!)

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Vegan Dairy-Free Curried Cauliflower Soup with Sweetcorn

29398608_UnknownCauliflower is my favourite vegetable, but for some reason it doesn’t appear regularly on the family food order, so I find myself making a special request when I realise we haven’t had it for some time. Our local Waitrose isn’t too hot on organic foods and there’s no farmers’ market, so if we forget to include cauliflower in our weekly Ocado order, we have to wait another week.

Cauliflower is high in Vitamin C and a good source of protein, B Vitamins, Omega Oils, Vitamin K (for good bone health), Magnesium, Iron and many other minerals.

I am always thinking of new ways to eat this versatile veg and recently tried a curried cauliflower soup which turned out really well.

This recipe made enough for a large bowl for one as a main meal or two small bowls as a starter. It was ready in next to no time and is simple to make.

Not too spicy.

And the secret ingredient? Peanut butter! I love peanut butter and will use any excuse to include it.

Ingredients

(Organic where possible).

1 Heaped Tsp Coconut Oil

1 Small Onion, chopped

Approx. One third of a medium organic Cauliflower, washed and chopped, including any stalk

One and a Half Cups Sweetcorn, fresh or frozen – reserve the half cup until the end

1 Heaped Tsp Curry Powder

1/2 Vegetable Stock Cube

A Good Squeeze of Tomato Purée

Approx. 500mls Boiling Water

Heaped Tsp of Smooth Peanut Butter

Black Pepper & Pink Himalayan Salt

*

Melt the coconut oil until it is hot but not smoking.

Add the onion, stirfry for a few seconds, add the cauliflower and sweat for a few minutes with the lid on over a low heat.

Add the curry powder and stir well.

Add 1 Cup of the sweetcorn, dissolve the stock cube and tomato purée in the water and add to the pan.

Add a few twists of black pepper.

Replace the lid and simmer gently on a low heat until the veg is cooked.

When it is nearly cooked, lightly steam the remaining sweetcorn or cook gently in a little simmering water for a couple of minutes and strain. Set aside.

Blend the soup with a stick blender until most of it is quite smooth but leaving some unblended bits for bite, if liked.

Stir the peanut butter in well, adjust the seasoning, add the remaining cooked sweetcorn and serve.

29398640_Unknown

You might also like to try Fruity Vegetable Curry with Lemony Almond Cauliflower ‘Rice’ or ‘Couscous’

See also: Warming Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup

Zesty Orange Squash Soup – Yes, Really!

Cumin and Have Some Soup!

Vegan, Gluten-Free Carrot, Beetroot & Basil Soup

Sweet & Sour Vegetable Soup

Thick and Chunky Winter Soup with Green Lentils

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Vegan Gluten-Free Nut-Free Bread Mk IV – the best yet!

28866432_UnknownI know I keep saying this, but each one keeps getting better in terms of how much it rises and slices. The taste and texture also vary a little, too, because of the different combinations of flour used in each new version.*

The amount of tiger nut flour is greatly reduced here compared with previous ones – it can be a bit gritty for some – and we substituted it with the finer-milled tiger nut powder, which seemed to work well. We may increase the proportion next time.

Mk IV turned out very smooth and close-textured, very easy to slice. I was delighted with how much it had risen – always a problem with gluten-free bread, but can’t really put my finger on why it did so well! The amount of golden linseeds was almost doubled from previous recipes – when they are pre-heated in the oven, they become sticky and help form a gel when mixed with the yeast and water – and the coconut yogurt – which is a bit too thick – was replaced with live soya yogurt.

This loaf has plenty of healthy nutrients without the additives etc. of commercial gluten-free bread which often resembles a chemical experiment and tastes like cardboard! Tiger nuts are tubers (not nuts) and contain vitamins, minerals, protein and both pre- and probiotics for a healthy gut. Chickpea or gram/besan flour, is a good source of iron, magnesium, protein, B6 and fibre. The loaf has healthy fats from the olive oil and the seeds, while the seeds also give it a little nutty bite.

Here’s the latest list of ingredientsorganic where possible, all vegan and gluten-free, measurements very approximate!

45g golden linseeds (pre-grinding a little helps)
Approx. 475mls warm water
1 sachet fast-action yeast (about 2½ tsp)
100ml live plain soya yoghurt

450g g/f flour made up of:
100g cornflour, 100g maize flour, 100g self-raising g/f flour, 100g chickpea (gram) flour, 50g fine tiger nut powder**

1 tsp salt
11/2 tsps coconut palm sugar*** (ordinary sugar will work of course, but reduce to 1 tsp)
50g psyllium husk powder
50ml olive oil
extra olive oil and cornflour, to sprinkle on top

Method

Heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

Pre-heat the linseeds on a baking tray for about 10 minutes to make them split slightly and become sticky – ours are ground up slightly beforehand to enhance the process. Try not to burn them!

Turn off the oven.

Mix together the water and yeast, then stir in the yogurt and seeds. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl sift together the flours, then add the salt, sugar and psyllium husk powder.

Add yeast mixture and olive oil and mix well.

The mixture will quickly turn into a sticky dough. When it’s ready, knead it for a few seconds, then place in a bowl, cover and leave for 30 minutes. We covered it with a damp tea towel and put it in the still-warm oven.

When it’s risen, either make the dough into a fat sausage shape and place on a lined baking tray or shape to fit in a lightly-oiled loaf tin – we found the first time we put it on a tray it spread too much and produced very narrow slices, so we use a loaf tin now.

Lightly brush with olive oil, cover and leave for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 240C/465F/Gas 9, make shallow diagonal cuts across the top of the dough, sprinkle with a little cornflour and bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden-brown and crusty on the outside. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

When completely cold, slice and enjoy! We had some while it was fresh, left some for next day and sliced the rest up to go in the freezer.

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The sandwich in the top photo comprises of Natex low salt yeast extract on two slices, sliced avocado with a little lemon juice and black pepper, peppery baby lettuce leaves, spring onion and thinly sliced cucumber, topped with homegrown alfalfa seeds.**** It was lush!

*(For my other recipes and the original Dan Lepard recipe on which they are based, see Vegan Gluten-Free Tiger Nut Bread Mark ll

Vegan Gluten-Free Tiger Nut Loaf/Bread Mk III

Dan Lepard

** Tiger nut flour and powder available from The Tiger Nut Company

***Coconut Palm Sugar available from The Raw Chocolate Company

****See Sprouting for Health, Energy and the Environment! for how to grow your own beansprouts.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Typical Holiday Weekend: Planting Flowers Between the Showers

We had beautiful scorching weather recently, into the high 20s Celsius. After hb had forced his creaking knees to comply with a tidy up of the garden, revealing lots of spaces where the forgetmenots and bulbs had died off, we bought some plants. This is typical Bank Holiday behaviour in the UK, oh and decorating and DIY, all of which we planned for the weekend. Then -also typically – the weather forecast was weekend storms. The plants took refuge under the garden table. We waited for the downpour and the winds. All we got, however, was a freshening breeze, drop in temperature and a few light showers!

Not complaining, we needed some rain and it certainly made it more comfortable at night.

So here are some photos of the gardens after hb’s hard work and also of the irises in the front garden which are in full bloom now, they make me smile every year – oh and some avian visitors and the feline neighbour who not only scares them off but also usurps my place!

We had our first dinner of the year outside, too. For those of you of a curious nature, I had spiralised carrot, cucumber and courgette tossed in a lemon, avocado and pine nut dressing on a bed of watercress, rocket and babyleaf spinach with baby plum tomatoes. All vegan and organic. The photo looks sharper on Instagram, in fact all of them do, not sure why.

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The green smoothie in the photo of the irises I’m afraid I didn’t record, but from memory I think it was banana, blueberries, moringa powder, coconut water, chia seeds, live plain soya yogurt. There might have been some romaine in there too.

Now, a question for all you green-fingers out there: we foolishly allowed one wild aqualegia to take root at the back of the garden under the acer 2 years ago and now they are everywhere! They are growing in amongst the rocks, all over the patch to the left of the acer, in the cracks between the crazy paving up there at the back of the garden and under the forsythia near the house. They have made a lovely display at the top of the drive where nothing else will grow because the it’s choked by ground elder coming from our neighbour’s garden, but we don’t want our entire garden full of it. The roots are too hard to pull up from the stone once established and we don’t like using chemicals. Any ideas?

Here’s a better photo of the robin, this time paying an evening visit. I took it through the window with my iPhone after I’d written this post, but it’s sharper than the earlier one:

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Copyright: Chris McGowan