Monday, April 27, 2015

Curried Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup

It’s amazing how comforting and nourishing a hot bowl of soup can be. This is a perfect soup to warm you up on a rainy day and it takes no time to make at all. Even better it is a delicious, filling soup that is completely gluten and dairy free!

I made this recently because I’d received some vegetables from my Mother-in-law as they were moving and she was emptying her fridge. I used what I had but don’t worry too much about exact quantities – if you have 1 sweet potato use it all, you just might need to add a little extra stock. I like this particular soup to have texture which is why I grate the veggies but if you prefer you could easily blend it for a smooth, thick soup.

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
4 carrots, peeled and grated
½ good sized sweet potato, peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or grated on a microplane
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp curry powder
200ml coconut milk
1000ml vegetable or chicken stock
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan then add the leeks. Cook for a few minutes until softened but not browned, then add the grated carrots, sweet potato, garlic, ginger and curry powder. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring to make sure nothing catches and then add the coconut milk and stock. Season with some salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer. Leave to cook for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary then ladle into bowls while piping hot! 

*For extra spice add some fresh chilli, finely chopped and if you find the soup too sweet you could add a spritz of lime juice.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Change of Diet ~ Entering the World of Wheat Free and Limited Dairy....

*Image courtesy of

Yes you read the title right!! For various personal reasons our Dr. has suggested that we try a Wheat Free Diet with limited dairy. Now if you know me (or have looked at the amount of recipes I  have under the pasta section!) you'll know that giving up wheat (albeit temporarily) is a b-i-g thing for me. Without doubt one of my favourite things in the world is a big bowl of Spicy Tomato Pasta and as for French Bread.... don't even get me started! However I am more than willing to give this a go so I thought if I'm going to do it I would share my experiences with you.

Now I know going Wheat Free isn't exactly a new thing and for many different reasons millions of people have jumped on the Gluten Free Band Wagon, I just didn't think I would ever be one but here I am! I'm not going to lie, when I initially started doing some research and looked for delicious wheat free recipes that were also limited in dairy it was overwhelming. My moods have been up and down over the past 5 days but I finally think I am getting there.... well to grips with it anyway. I still have a long road ahead and know I will have my cravings but today I am definitely feeling positive about things.

So what have I done? Well for starters, I haven't thrown out every item that has wheat in it. For now it's just been put to one side and instead today I replaced it with some gluten free alternatives. After doing some research I decided to try Corn Pasta rather than the Rice Pasta (which I have had in the past and really didn't like). I have also stocked up in Gluten Free Crackers (which I have yet to try) and lots of super crunchy Rice Crackers which I absolutely love anyway so no issues there. Since toast features heavily in my breakfast routine I've had to come up with some new ideas so today I made a giant batch of Granola* for us as well as some Granola Energy Bars courtesy of Dorie Greenspan's wonderful book Baking Chez Moi. I also have plenty of eggs in the fridge and this morning I had a delicious breakfast of Scrambled Eggs with Spring(Green) Onion, Tomatoes, Chilli and Coriander (Cilantro) with some Avocado on the side. It was delicious and I certainly didn't feel like I was missing out! A lot of Smoothies and Juices are going to be appearing so today I also stocked up with plenty of fruit (including frozen fruit for things that aren't quite in season yet), spinach and kale as well as Pomegranate Juice, Coconut Water and Almond Milk. I also bought some Coconut Yogurt which is another new item for me and yet to be tried (I'll let you know how I find all the new things!).

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