Extracts taken from Vegetarian, Hassle Free, Gluten Free by Jane Devonshire (£22, Bloomsbury Absolute), Photography © Mike Cooper

Vegetarian Hassle Free Gluten Free

Vegetarian Hassle Free Gluten Free

Veganuary is the world's largest vegan movement, inspiring thousands of people to start a plant based diet in the New Year. But is it possible to go vegan if you’re already gluten free? Coeliac UK, the charity for people who need to live without gluten, share their top 7 tips.

1. Learn to cook

Many dishes are naturally vegan and gluten free, and aren’t difficult to make yourself, once you know how. Fruit, vegetables, rice, gluten free pasta, beans, pulses, grains and nuts can all be used to make versatile, budget friendly, vegan and gluten free recipes. Head to the kitchen and start experimenting!

2. Be swap savvy

With more vegan, gluten free products on offer than ever before, swapping everyday items like butter or milk for a vegan, gluten free option can be relatively straight forward. As you become more familiar with vegan, gluten free recipes, you’ll see that other items can also be swapped to make something vegan – tofu* can be used to make scrambled eggs, nutritional yeast* can be used as a substitute for parmesan, and red lentils make a delicious bolognaise.

3. Strike a balance

A plant based diet might sound like an easy way to stay healthy, but extra care needs to be taken to make sure you’re meeting all of your nutritional requirements and following a balanced diet. This is especially true if you are on a gluten free diet because adults with coeliac disease are recommended to have a higher calcium recommendations compared to the general adult population. Iron, vitamin B12 and folate deficiency can be seen in people with undiagnosed coeliac disease, but once you have been following a gluten free diet for some time this should improve as the gut heals.

4. Know your nutrition

Vegans should pay special attention to getting enough:

Protein – Pulses (such as peas, beans and lentils), nuts and seeds are a great source of protein, naturally gluten free and budget friendly too. You could also try processed meat alternatives made from textured soya protein or mycoprotein, but these aren’t always gluten free – so don’t forget to check the label. Plain tofu is another good source, but marinated products may contain gluten, so again, double check.

Calcium – If you have coeliac disease, it’s really important to get enough calcium to maintain good bone health and prevent osteoporosis. Milk alternatives like soy, rice and almond milk* are often fortified with calcium. Tofu*, dark green vegetables like kale and broccoli, seeds, kidney beans, baked beans* and dried fruit, like apricots and figs, are all great sources too.

Vitamin D – Crucial for absorbing calcium, look out for products fortified with Vitamin D, such as breakfast cereals*.

Iron - Not getting enough iron can lead to iron deficiency anaemia, leaving you fatigued, dizzy and weak. Include food like pulses, dark green vegetables, dried fruit and nuts and seeds in your daily diet, and boost iron absorption by taking food and drink rich in vitamin C at mealtimes – like a glass of orange juice or a side dish of potatoes.

Vitamin B12 – It can be hard to find vegan products naturally rich in B12, so try including fermented soya products, seaweeds and fortified products like margarines and yeast extracts* in your diet.

Iodine - A major source of iodine is dairy and fish, which are unsuitable for vegans. It is found in certain plants but how much depends on the iodine content of the soil they’re grown in. Foods grown close to the ocean tend to be higher in iodine. Certain types of seaweed and iodised salt are a concentrated source which can be added sparingly to your meals.

Zinc - Phytic acid, which is found in wholegrains and beans, can reduce the amount of zinc absorbed by the body, so don’t forget to have foods that contain zinc, such as fermented soya. You can soak dried beans and rinse before cooking to increase zinc absorption. Some breakfast cereals* are also fortified with zinc.

5. Download Gluten Free Food Checker

If you’re worried about checking labels for gluten on unfamiliar vegan products, don’t despair! Join Coeliac UK (www.coeliac.org.uk/join) from just £1.25 a month to use their award winning Gluten Free Food Checker app. It enables you to scan and search food products to check if they’re gluten free whilst you’re on the go.

6. Prep, prep, prep

You’ll find it easier to stick to your new vegan diet if you’re prepared, because when we’re in a rush, it can be difficult to stick to something new. Prep breakfast and lunch the night before, or cook in bulk and freeze your meals to save time (and money!). Check our Coeliac UK’s Home of Gluten Free Recipes once you’ve joined for delicious gluten free inspiration and our vegan section.

7. Talk to the experts If you’ve got questions about meeting your nutritional requirements whilst on a vegan and gluten free diet, or are looking for vegan, gluten free recipe inspiration, Coeliac UK is here for you. Join from as little as £1.25 a month to access award winning apps to help you shop and eat out, thousands of inspiring recipes and exclusive offers and discounts. For more information and to sign up go to https://www.coeliac.org.uk/join

*These aren’t always gluten free, always check the label or use Coeliac UK’s Food and Drink Information to find suitable products.

Coeliac UK’s Ambassador, MasterChef Champion Jane Devonshire latest cook book Vegetarian Hassle Free Gluten Free was launched at the end of December 2020. See below for a couple of tasty recipes. The book is produced in association with Coeliac UK and can be purchased from the charity here: https://www.coeliac.org.uk/shop/products/219437/

Two recipes from MasterChef Champion and Coeliac UK’s Ambassador Jane Devonshire

Roasted Broccoli with Romesco Sauce and Roast Garlic Tahini

I am very lucky as Ben will eat broccoli and carrots raw as a snack as soon as he enters the house. This is also a favourite of Sam’s, so much so he asked for the recipe to make it for his girlfriend! The colours are really beautiful on the plate and it tastes delicious.

Serves 4

For the broccoli

1 large broccoli

sunflower oil

1 small bulb of garlic

sea salt and black pepper

For the romesco sauce

125g blanched almonds

225g roasted red peppers from a jar, plus 2 tablespoons brine from the jar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

50ml extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

For the tahini dressing

1½ tablespoons tahini

2–3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½–1 tablespoon lemon juice

pinch sea salt

To serve (optional)

toasted flaked almonds

drizzle of chilli oil

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4.

Cut the broccoli into steaks about 1.5cm thick; don’t waste any florets that fall off, place them on an oiled baking tray with the broccoli steaks. Lightly coat the broccoli with a little oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Cut the garlic bulb in half horizontally and place cut-side down on the baking tray. Transfer to the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. You want the broccoli to be tender and golden brown on the outside.

While the broccoli is roasting, make the romesco sauce. Place all the ingredients into a blender and pulse. I like to keep this with some texture in it, so you want a mixture slightly coarser than hummus; chunks of almond are fine.

My tip

If you don’t have a food processor, use ground almonds and very finely chop the red pepper, and combine with the rest of the ingredients.

To make the tahini dressing, squeeze half of the garlic from the roasted garlic into a pestle and mortar and add the tahini. Combine well until it forms a smooth paste and add the olive oil, lemon juice and salt to make a smooth sauce. If you like lots of garlic add more from the roasted bulb.

To serve, place the romesco sauce on the bottom of a plate, arrange the broccoli, including any little crispy bits, over the top and drizzle with the tahini dressing. I like to dress this with lightly toasted flaked almonds and a drizzle of the chilli oil.

My Tips

Don’t be put off by the different processes, they are very straightforward. The sauce and tahini dressing can be made the day before and kept in the fridge. Any leftover roasted garlic will keep in the fridge and is great to add to dressings or sauces.

Asian-style Mushroom and Vegetable Broth

I love spicy Asian-style soups and this broth base is a real favourite. You can make it a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge or freeze it in portions so that you can put something together quickly when you are really pushed for time. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients; it’s very simple to make and you can serve it with whatever veg you wish. I’ve included some of my favourites to give you a pointer.

Serves 2 as a main or 4 for lunch

For the broth

40g dried mixed mushrooms

1 litre boiling water

splash of sunflower oil

1 onion, diced

1 red chilli, finely sliced

1 stalk of lemongrass, well bruised

½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 sheet nori (optional)

60ml gluten-free soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

To make the soup

200g mixed or button mushrooms, chopped

110g asparagus, chopped

1 bok choi, green leaves chopped off, base chopped into 4 or 8 depending on size

1 red pepper, finely sliced

75g beansprouts

To serve

75g cooked rice per person

2–3 spring onions, finely sliced, green parts included

5g coriander, chopped

5g basil, chopped

a little red chilli, finely chopped

10g (approx.) unsalted peanuts,

roughly chopped (optional)

Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl with the boiling water and leave for at least 20 minutes until stewed, or overnight.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry off the onion and chilli until cooked through and softened, about 3 minutes. Add in the lemongrass, ginger and garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.

My Tip

I always cook the onions, then add in the garlic for just a minute or two before adding more ingredients. Onions take longer to cook than garlic and burnt garlic is very bitter and can really spoil your dish before you start.

Put the soaked dried mushrooms and stock into the pan with the nori (if using; this adds a fishy flavour to the broth in much the same way fish sauce would, so leave out if you prefer), soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, strain and reserve the stock, discarding the vegetables. Use immediately; or cool and keep in the fridge for 48 hours in a covered dish or freeze.

To make the soup, bring the stock to the boil and add all the ingredients except the beansprouts. Leave to boil for up to 1 minute, turn off the heat and add in the beansprouts. Stir through and serve immediately.

To serve, divide the rice among your serving bowls, spoon over the broth with the vegetables, and sprinkle on the spring onions, herbs, chilli and peanuts, if using.

My Tip

Rice noodles work really well in this dish as well; just cook according to the packet instructions and add them to the broth instead of the rice.


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