vegetarian, lactose free, cealic,spicy curry

Spicy, Vegan, Celiac and Lactose Free Curry

This is a fab spicy curry based on a Deliciously Ella recipe. Vegan, celiac and lactose free, there shouldn’t be many people that can’t eat this!! It does take a little longer than the other recipes I have done, however this can be made in advance or even in a slow cooker which is great if you have a busy day.  If you make extra you can freeze for a later date.

2 x sweet potato
4 x tbsp. tomato purée
4 x tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 x tsp turmeric
2 x tsp cumin seeds
1 x tsp cayenne pepper
1 x tbsp. oil
Salt & Pepper
2 x tins of chopped Tomatoes
1 can of coconut milk ( I try and use the light version, mainly for the fat content and also we don’t like things too creamy)
2 x courgettes, chopped in small cubes
1 x 200g bag of spinach
1 x 150g bag of mangetout, chopped in half
1 x can of chickpeas
Handful of Coriander and some to garnish
250g of brown rice

1 - Peel the sweet potato, chop into cubes and steam for approx. 15 mins.
2 – Heat the oil in a large pan, add the puree, vinegar, spices, salt & pepper and cook for about 1-2 mins.
3 – Add tin of toms, coconut milk, potatoes, mangetout and courgette, bring to the boil and simmer for about 40 mins.
4 – Rinse the rice in cold water until clear and simmer for approx. 20-25 mins.
5 – Add the chickpeas and spinach, cook for a further 15 mins. Before serving stir in and handful of chopped coriander

And serve!!!

If you like hot food you can double up on the spices to give it a little more kick.

You can also add any other green vegetables like kale or peppers to add more nutrients to the dish.

Low Fat Lemon Drizzle Cake

I have had this recipe for Low Fat Lemon Drizzle cake for ages, but have only just recently changed the topping after being inspired by a friend’s lemon cake. This cake is so easy, you don’t even need to weigh the ingredients, a yogurt pot is all you need!!! Children love making this because it is so quick and easy to prepare.

For a gluten free option, replace normal flour with gluten free. For a lactose free version, replace the yogurt for dairy free versions you can now get in most supermarkets.

I normally double up on the ingredients and make more as they are great to freeze.

If you want to add another twist to this one, you can use chopped pineapple for a very moist cake, or add a handful of dates and walnuts.


1 x 125g Natural yogurt pot (use this pot to measure the rest of the ingredients)

1 x carton vegetable oil

2 x cartons of caster sugar

3 x cartons of self-raising flour

3 eggs

A few drops of almond essence

3 lemons

To make the drizzle topping – Use the juice of 2 and ½ lemons and 100g of icing sugar (mixed)



1 – Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

2 – Add the zest of 2 of the lemons and the juice of half a lemon.

3 – Line 2 1lb loaf tin with baking paper, pour in the sponge mixture, and bake for about 1 hr at 160C

4 – As soon as you remove from the over, use a skewer to poke holes in the cake and saturate the cake with the drizzle.    It will look far too much but it will be absorbed.

Would love to hear and see how your versions of this work out.

Gluten Free Vegetable Hot Pot

A Healthy One Pot, Gluten Free Vegetable Hot Pot

This is one of our old favourites which comes out as the weather gets colder. It is perfect for those damp and cold winter nights and has a real homely kind of feel to it. There are a couple of naughty ingredients included like the cheese and nuts, this is because they have a higher fat content than all the other ingredients.  The basic recipe is not lactose free as I add cheese on the top. However, you can follow the notes below to change the topping to create a lactose free version. If you are a real meat eater and can’t bear the thought of another veggie meal, add strips of either chicken or turkey to the lower part of the dish where the stock is and it will cook thoroughly in the hour.

You will see in the photos below how  I layer the dish up as it looks really attractive if you arrange the vegetables in a fan like shape (anyone with a bit of OCD, I hope will appreciate the look).  This dish can be prepared ahead and just left to cook on those busy nights when there are 20 other things to do!!!


¼ Swede, sliced thinly

¼ Butternut Squash, sliced thinly

1 Red Onion, chopped small

3 Carrots, sliced

½ Celeriac, sliced thinly

1 Parsnip, sliced

1 courgette sliced

1tsp of mixed herbs

1 Knorr veg stock cube, (knorr stock cubes are gluten free) 400 ml of boiling water.

4 x sweet potatoes, sliced thinly (for gluten free version)

4 x potatoes, sliced thinly

80 grams Cashew Nuts, chopped

50 g grated cheese

Normal Version


1 – Pre heat oven to 180C

2 – Start to layer up the sliced vegetables, starting with the denser ones first like swede and celeriac, then butternut squash.

3 - Add a layer of the nuts and onion, then the sliced carrots and parsnips, then another layer of nuts and onion. Then use a layer of courgette, and finish with a layer of potatoes.

4 – Pour over the stock and cover with grated cheese, bake in the over for a 1 hour or until the potatoes are baked and cheese gives a crunchy topping.




Lactose Intolerant Version

1 – As above 1-3, however finish with sliced sweet potatoes, add stock and cover the dish  with either a lid or foil, to ensure the potatoes don’t dry out.

Katie’s healthy vegetarian, gluten free bolognese

A delicious gluten free, coeliac friendly dish to feed your family

This dish is one of mine and my daughter’s favourites. We tend to have this when my husband is on a late shift as he isn’t a fan of pasta dishes.

It’s coeliac friendly and uses gluten free Quorn, soy sauce and either gluten free pasta or rice.  For anyone who is lactose intolerant please don't include the cheese.

The dish is low in fat and high in protein from the Quorn and beans. Plus, depending on how many vegetables you can hide in there, it can count to around 3 of your ‘5 A Day’. I put grated cheese on the top for my daughter, although please note, this will increase the fat content of the dish.

Making this dish is really quick and easy and costs approx. £1.56 per portion so it won’t break the bank. To save time, double up the ingredients and make an extra batch. Once cold, bag it up and pop it in the freezer. Then on one of those busy days, when you just haven't had time to think about what's for dinner... hey presto a quick, healthy meal.


1tbsp Olive Oil

350g Minced Quorn (can now get Gluten free Quorn)

2 Carrots  - Grated

½ Courgette - Grated

1 Red Pepper

1 Green Pepper

1 Yellow Pepper

1 x Tin of Kidney Beans

2x Tins of Chopped Tomatoes

1 tsp Mixed Herbs

1 tbsp Tomato Puree

1 tsp Soy Sauce (use gluten free Soy Sauce)

400g of Whole Wheat Spaghetti (can either use gluten free spaghetti or rice)

You can add all sorts of vegetables to this dish like spinach, broccoli and Kale, chop it small and the kids will never know!  It will all go towards your '5 A Day'.  If you like things a little spicy, you can add a couple of chillies.



  1. Heat oil in a large pan and add onion, simmer until onions are soft. Add the tins of tomatoes, Quorn and herbs and heat on full until bubbling.
  2. Turn down to a simmer and add peppers, courgette, carrots and tomato puree. Cook for approx. 10 mins until the vegetables are soft.
  3. While this is cooking add the spaghetti to a pan of boiling water, and boil as advised on the packet (break spaghetti sticks into 3 so it is easier to eat).
  4. Just before the sauce is ready add soy sauce and stir well.
  5. Drain the pasta and spoon over sauce and sprinkle with a little cheese.

I hope you enjoy this simple dish and would love to hear how many veg you have managed to hide in there!

Calorie controlled diet, crash diet, why diets don't work

Why crash diets don’t work

A calorie deficit is what you needed to lose weight, but by cutting out too much at the outset, you are not leaving yourself any wiggle room.

Ever wondered why you have dieted like mad, done well for some time and then it all grinds to a halt.  At which point you either don’t move past a certain size and weight or you get fed up, give up and go back to bad habits. Then maybe start the whole thing again  – sounds familiar?

This is because most people when dieting make the common mistake of drastically reducing the number of calories they consume too quickly.  Whilst a calorie controlled crash diet might provide the results you are looking for initially, at some point you will reach the dreaded plateau.

Yes a calorie deficit is what you needed to lose weight, but by cutting out too much at the outset, you are not leaving yourself any wiggle room, for when your body gets used to surviving on the amount of calories you are now feeding it.

To create a calorie deficit you have two options:

  • Reduce your calories - i.e. eat less food
  • Increase your calorie usage - ie. move more = exercise

You can of course do a combination of the both, but quite often the first option is what most people go for.

If you normally eat 2,200 calories (for example)  and reduce it to 1,200 you will definitely lose weight because you have created a calorie deficit. Your body is used to consuming 2,200 and now needs to use stored sources of energy as fuel, triggering weight loss.

What people don’t always realise is that at some point your body will hit a plateau.

You will hit a point where you just can’t seem to shift any more weight.  This is because your body is efficient and has learnt to survive on 1,200 calories per day reaching homeostasis.

Homeostasis in this instance, is the place where your body is now comfortable with its reduced calorie intake, reducing the need to trigger the response in your body to use its stored energy sources.

In other words, you can’t get past this point, as your body can now run on what you are eating.  In order to lose more weight, you need to stress your body by kick starting the process all over again so:

  • Reduce your calories - i.e. eat less food
  • Increase your calorie usage - ie. more = exercise

But hang on– maybe you have now started an exercise routine and really couldn’t fit in any more and perhaps you dropped way too many calories in the beginning, you really couldn’t eat any less or maintain such a restrictive diet.

So what can you do? Start off the calorie deficit in the right way, baby steps, coaxing your body bit by bit to give up the fat.  To start with don’t go mad with either a restrictive diet or crazy exercise plan, try and eat healthier, smaller portions, cut back on sugar and move more, making small changes a bit at a time will be easier to achieve and maintain in the long run.

When we diet we can be losing lean muscle tissue rather than the fat we were hoping to shift

Unfortunately we don’t always lose fat when we diet. By approaching weight loss in the wrong way, we can actually end up making it harder for ourselves to lose and maintain weight.  Dramatic changes in diet cause our bodies to believe it is a time of famine and send it into preservation mode.

But if you think your body will now turn to its fat stores that you want to get rid of, you would be wrong. The body actually releases a stress hormone, cortisol, to access an energy source. Cortisol enables gluconeogenesis, turning proteins into glucose. This protein can come from your diet, but another source is the lean muscle tissue in your body.  Your body likes to use this as an energy source first and would rather hang onto the fat you want to lose – using these as a last resort.

Aim for inch loss rather than weight loss

When you make a change to your lifestyle don’t go crazy, jumping on and off the scales every five minutes.  The digits on the scales have the power to literally ruin a whole day or week.  Weight is not necessarily a true reflection of what shape your body is in.  The scales can’t measure how fit or strong you are.  They don’t tell you how many inches you have lost.  They can’t tell you what your body actually looks like – and yes lean muscle looks way better than fat - even if the scales have not moved much.  So step off the scales and grab the tape measure, this is a much more efficient way to monitor the triumphs of your new healthy lifestyle.

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plate of two bean chilli

Two bean chilli recipe


This is a simple, quick, one pot recipe that we all love. It is suitable for Vegan’s, Celiac and lactose intolerant and can be made in bulk if you have a few extra to feed. The dish is inspired by the Deliciously Ella cook book, but I have tweaked it a bit to add few more veggies to help towards your '5 A Day'.

The dish costs approx. £1.20 portion. It is high in protein and low in fat and packed with goodness. As with most of these one pot dishes you can add as many veggies as you can hide, so fussy eaters are catered for.


1 x Red Onion Chopped Finely

2 x Carrots - Grated

½ Courgette – Grated

1 Tin of Tomatoes

500g Passata

1 x Green Pepper

1 x Red Pepper

1 x Yellow Pepper

1 x Tin of Black Beans

1 x Tin of Kidney Beans

2 tbsp. Tomato Puree

1 tbsp. of Olive Oil

2 Chillies

½ tsp Cayenne Pepper


1 – Heat the oil and add the onions and chilli, cook on a low heat for about 2 mins until the onion is soft.

2 – Add the Passata, tin of tomatoes, carrots, courgette and peppers and bring to the boil.

3 – Once the pot is bubbling add the tomato puree, beans and cayenne pepper and simmer for 15 mins.

4 – While the chilli is cooking rinse the rice until the water drains clear, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-12 mins.