Veganuary Recipe from Top Chef Theo Michaels

TV Chef Theo Michaels has launched a delicious Veganuary recipe for people who are looking to lower their blood sugar – a key risk factor for type-2 diabetes.

The TV star has teamed up with SmarterNaturally, an exciting UK company that has created a unique super-strain of broccoli with claimed health-boosting properties.

Earlier this year Theo and SmarterNaturally launched a very popular series of cooking videos creating delicious food for people tackling type 2 diabetes.

Theo, who is an award-winning author and former MasterChef contestant, created the free online videos which show how to prepare a range of delicious, easy-to-make and diabetic friendly meals using the super soup.

And to celebrate Veganuary Theo has created a vegan pasta dish which is healthy and has a SmaterNaturally twist!

The new dish called Sun Blushed Tomato and Walnut Pesto Rigatoni incorporates health-boosting SmarterNaturally soup mixed with a dose of very smart science.

Packed with flavour and goodness, this is a great vegan recipe to have in your repertoire, using vegan parmesan alternative which doesn’t compromise on flavour while also being packed with goodness. Theo’s recipe makes enough for two servings and it keeps in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a month.

The dish uses courgettes, sunblushed tomatoes, walnuts, garlic, fresh coriander, vegan Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and the SmarterNaturally broccoli soup.

Theo Michaels said: “After being introduced to Smarter Naturally soup and reading the research behind the health benefits, I was sold on how beneficial their soup is for maintaining a healthy metabolism and supporting your body. I set about creating recipes that are full of flavour that complement the broccoli soup as well as being type 2 diabetes friendly. I’m now excited to launch a special Veganuary dish which is delicious and healthy and I’m pleased to be working with such a talented team at SmarterNaturally who are dedicated to increasing the quality of life of so many people!”

SmarterNaturally’s super-strength broccoli (called ‘GRextra’) has created a ‘SuperSoup’ designed to support people suffering from diabetes (as well as high cholesterol and other health conditions). 


The collaboration with Theo was designed to use both science and nutrition to help people with diabetes eat better and gain control of their blood sugar levels. The recipes are free to watch on SmarterNaturally’s website ( and show how the special broccoli soup can be used to create different flavoursome dishes -all of which contain a week’s worth of glucoraphanin (the health-boosting molecule which makes SmarterNaturally Soup so special).

Most people eat SmarterNaturally’s SuperSoup once a week by simply adding boiling water. But for those who prefer the culinary over convenience, Theo Michaels has given the soup a makeover to show just how easy it is to use as an ingredient in more exciting dishes instead.

Recipes in the series include Smoked Haddock with Cheddar Broccoli Sauce, Thai Green Curry and an Indonesian Laksa – all of which have been certified by nutritionists as diabetic friendly and can be made either vegetarian or vegan with just a few tweaks. In the coming weeks and months, Theo is planning to add more delicious meals to the list – all inspired by and incorporating the SuperSoup.

SmarterNaturally brand is owned by The Smarter Food Company, a spin-off of food and health research organisation the Quadram Institute.

Laura Knight, CEO, SmarterNaturally said “Our SuperSoup is a science-backed functional food designed to support people with high blood sugar, and it’s really convenient.  Our long-term customers started to use the soup as an ingredient in all kinds of ways to keep things interesting.  That’s way we’re excited about our partnership with Theo; he’s using his creativity and skills in the kitchen to turn our SuperSoup into culinary delights that people can easily make and enjoy at home, safe in the knowledge that the recipe protects the bioactivity of the soup and analysed by a dietician as being suitable diabetics. It’s an important step forward for us in our goal of supporting prediabetics and diabetics on their journey towards a healthier future.”

For more information


Sun Blushed Tomato and Walnut Pesto Rigatoni

Serves 1

(with pesto for 2 dinners)

Delicious and easy diabetic friendly recipe with homemade sunblushed tomato and walnut pesto woven through a Smarter Naturally soup for a hearty and healthy vegan meal.


  • 1 x40g sachet Smarter Naturally Soup
  • 35g wholemeal rigatoni pasta
  • 100g courgette, halved lengthways and sliced


  • 90g sunblushed tomatoes in olive oil
  • 30g walnuts 
  • 2 cloves garlic, medium size
  • Few sprigs fresh coriander + extra for garnish
  • 20g vegan parmesan cheese + extra for garnish 
  • Drizzle olive oil for garnish (optional)
  • ½ tsp sea salt


  • Place pasta in boiling water and cook to packet instructions; about 8 minutes for al dente. Two minutes before the pasta finishes cooking; drop in the courgette to blanche.
  • While the pasta is cooking, add the sun blushed tomatoes (including any oil), walnuts, coriander (including the stalks), garlic, vegan parmesan to a food processor and pulse, adding a little water if it’s too thick, until you have a smooth thick paste. Decant into a sterialised jar and keep in the fridge for up to a week. 
  • Add one sachet of SmarterNaturally soup to a bowl and pour in about 250ml of the pasta cooking water and mix together. Then add two heaped tablespoons (about 40ml) of the homemade pesto to the soup. 
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain, return the pasta and courgette back to the saucepan and pour in the prepared soup mixture and fold together, do not reheat. Serve in a bowl, garnishing with a pinch of additional vegan parmesan, drizzle of olive oil and some chopped coriander. 

Theo’s top tips:

  • A pinch of chilli flakes go well as garnish just before serving. 
  • Go gluten free by changing the pasta to GF. 
  • Be warned, traditional parmesan is not vegetarian!

See also: Why You Shouldn’t Start a Fad Diet in January

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