I have a diploma in vegan and vegetarian nutrition and enjoy experimenting with new recipes and ingredients.
Breakfast: Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Smoothie Bowl
When I was a child, I would have breakfast everyday—normally jam on toast or cereal. But somewhere over the years as an adult, I stopped, and breakfast became a rarity. Most days, I would end up not eating until around 11 am because I didn’t feel like eating first thing. I think that part of the problem is that I am not a great fan of a lot of breakfast foods, and being gluten-free cuts down my options even more.
Gluten-free vegan bread products are a rarity, and I’ve found that they're often not that nice at all. Sometimes, I batch-cook waffles or pancakes, but not as often as I wish I did. I am not a huge cereal fan, and the ones I do like are the unhealthy, overly sugary types; and although I love the smell of porridge, I cannot bear the texture.
Smoothie Bowls Are a Perfect Breakfast
Recently, I have been making a conscious effort to eat breakfast and often have smoothies or fruit and strained yoghurt. Then I discovered smoothie bowls on Pinterest and love them even more. I often find that smoothies are too thick for my tastes, but this doesn’t matter when eating them from a bowl with a spoon.
About the Ingredients
Peanut butter has become a new favourite of mine (having disliked it since being small), and I love it combined with chocolate and/or banana. I find spinach is easily hidden in smoothies but gives a nice nutritional boost, so it seemed a natural addition. I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit over a couple of tries to come up with this final version.
The peanut butter, banana and chocolate smoothie is lovely eaten straight away, but I like it best when left to thicken up some more. If left in the fridge overnight, it becomes really thick and almost mousse-like. I keep a bag of spinach in the freezer and use it straight from there.
- 180 grams (6.3 ounces) banana, sliced
- 1/2 cup soya milk
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- 10 grams (0.3 ounces) spinach
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 25 grams (0.9 ounces) granola
- 1 teaspoon chopped mixed nuts
- 1 banana, sliced (for the topping)
- Blend the bananas, soya milk, peanut butter, cocoa, ground flaxseed and chia until completely smooth. The finished smoothie will be quite thick but do not worry; this helps to stop the toppings sinking and makes the smoothie easily to spoon.
- Pour the smoothie into bowls and arrange the toppings as desired. For a thicker smoothie leave to stand for at least 30 minutes but this can also be left overnight.
Lunch: Potato, Pea and Spinach Curry Pasty With Fruit, Nuts and Breadsticks
Any potato curry recipe can be used to create these pasties, and then you can add in peas and some spinach. Sometimes I use a store-bought variety for ease as I often see them reduced in our local supermarket. I haven’t had much luck making gluten-free vegan pastry, so I use store-bought pastry that is ready rolled and only needs to be cut and folded.
Lunch Side Dishes
To go with the pasties, we had cooked beetroot, which is one of my son’s favourites, breadsticks, cherries and a mix of dried cranberries, dark chocolate chips and almonds. I also made a milkshake using soya milk and a few strawberries.
Dinner: Pasta With Vegetables
I make this dinner often, and it can be adapted to fit in with whatever vegetables you have available. It is a great way to use up odds and ends left from other meals, and fresh or frozen vegetables can be used. A supermarket near us sells gluten-free pasta that is made using lentils, and I sometimes use that for a change and extra goodness.
Cook’s paste is made using sun-dried tomatoes and can be used just like tomato paste. It is quite expensive, but a little goes a long way as the paste is very concentrated. It is really nice on pizzas, too.
- 175 grams (6 ounces) gluten-free pasta
- 150 grams (5.2 ounces) vegetables, chopped small or grated—I used broccoli, spinach, sweetcorn, chestnut mushrooms and peas.
- 2 tablespoons of cook’s paste
- Nutritional yeast
- Spirulina powder
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the pasta and vegetables and cook until tender.
- Drain the pasta and vegetables and then rinse with hot water.
- Return the pasta and vegetables to the pan and stir in the cook’s paste. Sprinkle over nutritional yeast and spirulina powder as desired and stir to combine.
We mostly drink water, and my son breastfeeds as he wishes—normally 3–4 times a day now. We sometimes have fruit or herbal teas, milkshakes, fruit juices and smoothies, and I like green tea.
© 2017 Claire