The best gluten-free vegan pad Thai

The day I perfected my recipe for pad Thai was the day I stopped ordering it from Thai restaurants. So, my favourite guilty pleasure is actually pad kee mao although I’ve not managed to replicate that one at home yet. I’ll get there eventually.

It can be really frustrating ordering a pad Thai without egg at Thai restaurants. It’s usually quite oily because the chef doesn’t factor in that less oil is required when egg is omitted.

Another way I describe this recipe is ‘better-than-Thai-restaurant pad Thai’ and when something has a name like that, why would you order in? OK, I know why, because you have nothing in the fridge or pantry, and/or you’ve had a rough day and just can’t. I get it, I’ve been there.

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The best gluten-free vegan pad Thai
Serves 4

1/2 cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 brown onion, cut into slices
1/2 head broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cup baby spinach
2 carrots, cut on an angle
200g rice noodles (I like brown rice noodles), cooked
250g organic non-GMO tofu, cut into pieces and baked
Coriander, to serve
Peanuts, to serve
Spring onion, to serve
Chives, to serve
Lime wedges, to serve

Add coconut sugar, gluten-free soy sauce, tomato paste, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil and garlic to a bowl and whisk until combined.

Heat some coconut oil in a wok and add the brown onion. Cook until soft then add the vegetables, noodles, tofu and sauce ingredients.

Keep the burner on a high heat and gently stir the ingredients to ensure the sauce is coating everything. When the sauce starts bubbling around the sides of the pan, mix ingredients through. Let sit a minute or two longer, until the noodles start to catch on the bottom of the pan.

Remove from the heat and add coriander, peanuts, spring onion and chives. Plate with lime wedges.

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Gluten-free vegan pizza

If you’re gluten-free, you’ll know the struggle of finding gluten-free pizza that tastes as good as non-gluten-free pizza. And, how about the struggle of trying to make it yourself? I’ve tried hundreds of recipes and the end result has never been worth the struggle … until now.

OK, so it might not taste exactly the same as non-gluten-free pizza, but it’s the best (and easiest!) version I’ve reached, and I’m excited to share it with you at last. Especially when you can make it in the time it would take your local pizza joint to deliver a gluten-free vegan pizza that leaves you feeling unsatisfied (we’ve all been there).

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Gluten-free vegan pizza
Serves 2-3

For the base:
1 3/4 cup gluten-free plain flour
1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
Pinch of salt

For the toppings:
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
3-4 basil leaves, finely sliced
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Pinch fennel seeds
1 tsp salt
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 tomato, sliced
50g Notzarella, or other vegan cheese

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.

Mix flours, almond meal and garlic powder in a bowl to remove any lumps then add the wet ingredients and pinch of salt. Mix until combined.

Lay a sheet of baking paper on a round baking tray and wet your hands to scoop the dough out of your mixing bowl and shape on the tray. If the dough starts to stick to your hands halfway through, just wet your hands again. Once you have the dough to a good thickness (about half a centimetre), pop it in the oven for 5-8 minutes.

While the base is cooking, mix together tomato paste, oregano, basil and water in a small bowl until a runny paste, set aside. Then place nutritional yeast, fennel seeds and salt in a mortar and pestle and roughly grind, and set aside.

Take your base out of the oven and generously spread tomato paste mix over it with the back of a dessert spoon. You can go as close to the crust as you prefer. Then, sprinkle over the nutritional yeast mix, and add the red onion, tomato and Notzarella.

Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until toppings have browned and crust starts to get golden.

Let sit 2 minutes before slicing and serving. Best served warm.

Gluten-free vegan dumplings | Lemon ‘paneer’ parcels

If you know me, you’ll know that I love dumplings. I’ve been known to throw in the towel from time to time just for a tasty reminder of what dumplings are like (not recommended if you are GF). My partner’s sister fondly remembers the time she asked me where to get dumplings in Sydney and my response was a long and detailed paragraph with a variety of options depending on the type of dumplings she was in the mood for.

I’ve tried making gluten-free vegan dumplings many times before but they never really did it for me, especially after the long prep. One day I realised my mistake, I had been over-complicating the entire process, there was no need to make dumpling dough from scratch. The solution was right under my nose in the form of rice paper wrappers.

I spent about three months working on this recipe mentally – I wanted to keep it simple so each ingredient would shine. When it came down to trialling this one IRL, it worked first go, I didn’t want to change a thing.

This dish might be a little daring and unusual but promise me you’ll give it a go. It’s crazy addictive. The strong lemon flavour is balanced out by the nutritional yeast and accompanying slaw. You’ll definitely be wanting more.

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Lemon ‘paneer’ parcels
Serves 4

1 packet of organic, non-GMO tofu, cut into rectangles
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp garlic powder
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water, room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
Small rice paper rounds, as many as you have tofu slices
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp vegan fish sauce
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 head green cabbage, finely chopped
1/4 head red cabbage, finely chopped

Mix nutritional yeast, garlic powder, lemon juice, water and salt in a shallow bowl. Add tofu and ensure it is smothered in the ingredients. Put in the fridge to marinate until you’re ready for it (the longer, the better).

Pop the marinated tofu pieces on a lined baking dish and bake at 180 degrees C for 10-15 minutes.

While the tofu is marinating, add the rice wine vinegar, vegan fish sauce, coconut sugar, sesame oil and juice of half a lemon to a bowl and whisk until combined. Then add green and red cabbage and toss until evenly coated in the dressing.

Let your tofu cool slightly and set up your wrapping station, pop a damp tea towel on your bench and fill a shallow dish with room temperature water. Put the rice paper round in this dish for a 5 seconds then lay it out on the damp tea towel. Lay a piece of the baked tofu in the middle of the round and fold the rice paper around it. Repeat with remaining pieces of tofu and rounds.

Steam the parcels for 5 minutes. Delicately remove them and serve atop the dressed cabbage.