“Let’s Pretend It’s Summer” Tomato & Kimchi Soup

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I am still using my soup maker daily (Tefal BL841140 Easy Soup and Smoothie Maker, Stainless Steel, White). Recently, I felt like a blast of summer and spice to break the January gloom. This recipe really hit the spot, and it includes kimchi for its probiotics, and spicy and sour flavour.
Ingredients
2 shallots
1 can of tomatoes in tomato juice
250g of summery vegetables (I used courgette, aubergine and pepper)
1 Knorr Vegetable stock pot or stock of your choice
3 small potatoes, washed but with skin on
1 tbsp kimchi (Biona Organic Kimchi 350g (Pack of 6))

1. Chop all the vegetables to roughly the same size.

2. Put all the ingredients in your soup maker.

3. Add water up to the minimum liquid level

4. Choose the blended soup option.

5. Get on with something else.

6. Come back to a soup that has a winter-beating thick texture with a bright taste of summer!

7. Garnish with a little extra kimchi, if you are a fan.

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This one gadget changed my gluten free, vegan lunches for the better!

Please note that this post contains Amazon Affiliate links to help me pay for the costs of running this blog.  Thank you

If your New Year’s resolution is to eat better then this post is for you!  It’s really hard to eat healthy, gluten free lunches in the winter.  Salad doesn’t seem right on a cold, sleeting day, gluten free bread doesn’t make great sandwiches, and gluten free pasta doesn’t work in pasta salads.  This is why I am so glad that a friend introduced me to a soup maker.  I do not use lots of gadgets in the kitchen, but I love my soup maker.  All you do is put the chopped up ingredients in the soup maker, and press a button.  Then you can go away and carry on with something else while it cooks and blends your soup.  My soup maker (Tefal BL841140 Easy Soup and Smoothie Maker, Stainless Steel, White) even has a keep warm function so I can have my lunch when I am ready for it.

This is my favourite recipe to cook in my soup maker.  You need to make sure all the vegetables are chopped to approximately the same size.

Ingredients

2 shallots, peeled and chopped

400g leeks, trimmed and chopped

300g potatoes, peeled if necessary and cubed

1 Knorr vegetable stock pot

1 carton of Alpro soya single cream

You just put all the ingredients in the soup maker.  I find it works best if you put the stock pot half way up the soup maker so it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom or wrapped around the blender at the top.  My soup maker has a minimum liquid level so I add a bit of water to take it to that level.  Choose the creamed soup option and off you go!

Obviously, if you work from home, like Allergy Dad does, then this works really well, but equally you could set this going in the morning and take your fresh soup in a flask with you.  This soup maker (Morphy Richards 501018 Soup and Smoothie Maker, 1.6 Litre, 1160 Watt, Red) looks like an absolute bargain.

New Year Carrot Cake

If you have made a New Year’s resolution to eat more healthily then this is the recipe for you.

Ingredients

550g Free From Fairy self raising flour

225g maple syrup

275ml water

350g carrots, grated

175g sultanas

1 tbsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4.
  2. Sift the flour.  Combine the liquids, then stir into the flour mixture.
  3. Fold in the remaining ingredients, then pour into a lightly-oiled/lined cake tin.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes.
  5. Leave to cool.20171201_132300

I removed a portion of the cake for Allergy Dad to eat without topping.  I used Betty Crocker Cream Cheese style frosting on the top with a sprinkling of cinnamon, which completely ruined the point of a healthy cake.  It’s the thought that counts, though…

 

14 Vegan, Gluten Free Treats to make before New Year

 

All these recipes are gluten free and vegan.  Perfect for treating yourself before the New Year’s Resolutions start!

  1. Gingerbread
  2. Jam Buns
  3. Chocolate Bark
  4. Banana Bread
  5. Chestnut and Cocoa Teabread
  6. Treasure Biscuits
  7. Chocolate Cake
  8. Rhubarb, Apple and Ginger Crumble
  9. Pineapple Upside Down Cake
  10. Jujube Energy Treats
  11. Fossil Biscuits
  12. Free Nut Butter Cookies
  13. Ombre Cheesecake
  14. Chestnut Shortbread

Christmas Tree Tear-and-Share Bread

This is a really simple, but effective idea.  You need to start with bread dough made from approximately 400g of flour.  I used Orgran Pizza and Pastry Multimix.  The Free From Fairy’s bread dough recipe would work too.  Of course, you lucky gluten eaters could just use wheat flour dough!

Take your bread dough and split it into two.  Take one half and split it into two pieces.  Then split each of those pieces into three smaller balls.  You should now have one big ball of dough and six little balls of dough.

Take two of the little balls.  They are going to be the trunk of the Christmas tree.  I used the bread dough as it was.  If you can eat cheese then topping those two rolls with cheese would give a nice, brown trunk.  Put these dough balls on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

Now, you need to make the “baubles”.  Take three of the small balls and colour them by mixing in a red ingredient.  I used Pepperami to decorate these rolls.  If you can eat tomato then adding sun-dried tomato paste to the balls will give them a much stronger colour.  Put these three “baubles” to one side.

You should have the big ball of dough and one small ball of dough left.  Squish these together and colour these green by kneading in spinach.  I used 80g of frozen chopped spinach.  I defrosted this and squeezed the moisture out of the spinach before adding it to the dough.  You now need to split the big ball of green dough into seven small balls.  I did this by roughly separating the dough into two.  I split the “bigger half” into four small balls, and the “smaller half” into three small balls.

Now, you have seven green dough balls and three red dough balls.  Lay these out on top of the trunk in a 4 ball, 3 ball, 2 ball, 1 ball triangle shape.

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Finally, bake the Christmas tree as per your dough recipe.  I baked my tear-and-share bread at 200°C/400°F for 15 minutes.

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Salted Chocolate Bubbly Caramels

Ingredients

Cooking oil or spray

125g liquid glucose*

360g caster sugar

3tbsp honey

15g bicarbonate of soda

250g dark chocolate

Salt

  1. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.  Lightly oil the baking parchment.
  2. Place the glucose, sugar, honey and 75ml water in a saucepan over a medium heat.  Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved then allow the mixture to boil until it is a dark caramel colour.20171212_124350
  3. Take the saucepan off the heat and leave it to stand for 2 mins.  Quickly whisk in the bicarbonate of soda.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tray.  Cool down the mixture; I used some convenient snow!20171212_124449
  5. When it has set, break the caramel into pieces.
  6. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.  Cover one side of the caramels with the chocolate .
  7. Sprinkle the chocolate with salt, and then allow that to set.20171211_100720
  8. Store the salted chocolate bubbly caramels in the freezer, and eat whenever you need a burst of energy to get you through the holiday season!20171211_133023

*Why is there liquid glucose in this recipe?  Liquid glucose controls the formation of sugar crystals so you get nice, smooth caramels.