This is a very special gluten and dairy free fish recipe as dumplings are traditionally made with flour and therefore out of bounds for people with gluten intolerance. In this dish, rice noodles are cooked in fish stock along with dumplings filled with shrimp that are like little flavourful taste-nuggets in this warming Chinese soup. The dumplings can be made with rice flour for people with gluten sensitivity as in the photo. Obviously if you like dumplings and don’t have a gluten intolerance you can use regular flour too. For a vegetarian version of this soup, substitute the shrimp with another vegetable such as sweetcorn or finely chopped, steamed carrots.
As a vegan you might have been searching for a healthy vegan alternative to parmesan cheese. Parmasio does the trick if you are looking to add a cheese like flavour to your meals. It is plant based and uses Gomasio made from sesame seeds as a base. We sprinkle pamasio over soups, pasta dishes and add it to dips and sauces to give them a cheese like twist. The sesame seeds give it texture and a lovely nutty flavour. Nutritional yeast is rich in minerals and B vitamins and therefore an extra bonus for to this healthy vegan alternative to parmesan cheese.
The best healthy low sodium seasoning is the one you make yourself! Gomasio is used as a condiment and alternative to table salt. It has a nutty taste and adds extra nutrition to meals when sprinkled over foods like salads, soups and main meals. It adds flavour and a lighter, salty taste. When you switch to cooking your own meals you have a lot more control over how much salt you add to what you eat. Like most prepared, ready made meals, ready made seasonings, condiments and sauces come with fats that have been heavily refined and therefore lost most of their healthy qualities. They also tend to have a much higher salt and sugar content then necessary.
Traditionally pesto is made with parmesan cheese, so it’s off the menu for anyone avoiding saturated fats. It’s surprisingly easy to make yourself though. In this low in saturated fats vegan pesto I like using flaxseed oil which is rich in omega 3. You can also opt for cold pressed olive oil instead. I like adding nutritional yeast because it adds nutrients like vitamin B12 and it gives this pesto a slight cheese flavour as well.
It takes a bit of confidence to make a really good pesto because if you taste it when it’s freshly made it can be quite hot form the garlic and overall quite intense. It’s best left in the fridge overnight before you start using it. There is also nothing stopping you from fine tuning the flavour the next day.
Many years ago a friend of mine said, being vegetarian isn’t just about what you don’t eat but also what you eat. And at the time I was high fiving him simply because he had put into words something I had found to be a massive challenge. It was hard to be eating healthy vegetarian food. Being vegetarian in Ireland then basic meant you were fed pizza or something made with chicken or fish. These two weren’t considered meat then. At least not by the chef of the canteen of the place I was working in. And if you were vegetarian that meant you ended up eating the ‘two veg’ of the standard ‘meat, two veg dinners’. Thankfully lots of things have changed. Nowadays you still might struggle if you are a vegan but most places know how to cater for vegetarians anyway. It is often referred to as the ‘healthy option’. As gluten intolerance seems to be quite common now you can even get vegetarian and gluten free as a combination.