5 Summer Perks: Eating a Rainbow

My next summer perk is ‘eating a rainbow’. This post is dedicated to vegetables!

I am of course aware that summer doesn’t have the monopoly on lovely vegetables, but we get a weekly box of seasonal produce delivered, and from the first British asparagus onwards, I start to get excited about how naturally sweet and delicious the plethora of colourful veg we get in the sunny months is.

Rainbow fried rice

Rainbow fried rice

Whether you’re vegetarian, ‘meat reducing’, concerned about getting enough fibre, or worried about the environmental impact of meat; you can celebrate the fact that a sorry looking lasagne is no longer is the only veggie dish on the menu as even top chefs are making vegetables the star of the show.

We take part in ‘Meat Free Monday‘, so here are some of my favourite naturally gluten free vegetarian and vegetable-based meals:

Vegetable curries and daals are regular features in our household – especially now Baby A has developed a taste for anything mildly spiced and coconutty! Our favourites involve sweet root vegetables, carrots, and a little flash of green from cheeky peas or secret spinach. Delicious mopped up with a gluten free flatbread. Here’s a simple recipe for a baby-friendly vegetable curry. Of course you can up the spice if you like!

Rainbow Fried Rice is an incredibly hearty and more-ish way to use up odds and ends of vegetables – the more variety the better! Adding eggs and a handful of toasted nuts makes sure you get your protein in too. Here’s an adaptable recipe I wrote for The Happy Coeliac.

5 types of veg in my lentil & coconut curry

5 types of veg in my lentil & coconut curry

Speaking of ‘bung in the leftovers’ kind of dishes, Frittata is another great way to save some pennies. This version created for Caleigh’s gluten free challenge costs less than £1 per portion!

Grated salads are also a favourite way to create a colourful main meal, and much more satisfying than your bog standard lettuce & tomato affairs. Add texture and flavour with fruit, nuts & seeds. Check out Abel & Cole’s earthy twist on coleslaw for some inspiration, or for more salads than you can shake a cucumber at, follow Salad Pride. My recent combinations include:

  • Beetroot, carrots & apple with toasted walnuts in a red wine vinegar & olive oil dressing
  • Carrot, red peppers & white cabbage with coriander leaves, toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, lime, honey & soy sauce dressing

I know what you’re thinking now: Balls! Well, yes, or you could call them veggie burgers, falafels or roasts. Whatever size and shape you make them, grated vegetables + can of beans + spices = surprisingly delicious! Keep reading for a recipe.

Ah, stuff it! And by ‘it’ I mean a gourd of some kind. Reach for a sizeable squash or a mighty marrow, fill with your favourite gluten free topping, and roast away for a giant, melty mountain of a main. I particularly like this recipe from Gluten Free By the Sea for refried beans on top of a butternut squash or sweet potato.

‘Carrot Cake’ Koftas

These slightly sweet & spiced little thingummys won’t win over any falafel purists, but they hold their moisture well and are delicious in a flatbread with salad and a drizzle of yogurt. I take a little of the mix before adding sultanas and nuts for a baby-friendly finger food.

Makes 24

Photo 25-08-2014 18 56 41

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 large apple
  • 1 400g can of chickpeas, drained
  • 3 small boiled/mashed potatoes (approx. 200g)
  • A large handful of walnuts
  • A large handful of sultanas
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp gluten free mango chutney (I used Geeta’s)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Gluten free breadcrumbs/uncooked polenta/crushed gluten free cornflakes to coat (optional)
  1. Finely grate the carrots and apple.
  2. Put the chickpeas, potatoes (if not already mashed) and walnuts into a food processor, and whizz until they are a coarse breadcrumb-like texture.
  3. Mix together all of the remaining ingredients, except the breadcrumbs, until well combined. You might want to get your hands in! Adjust the seasoning if you like.
  4. Break off and roll golf ball sized pieces of the mix, and roll them in the breadcrumbs.
  5. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
  6. To cook, shallow fry until golden, and finish in the oven for 25 minutes at 180ºc.

What are your favourite gluten free and vegetarian dishes? Are you a Secret Sausage fan, or do you prefer your veggies on top of a gluten free pizza? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your ideas!

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