Category Archives: Recipes

Wheat Free Soda Bread


Most of you know by now that I’m wheat intolerant, it’s not really a personal choice but due to necessity. I have Crohns disease and eating wheat makes it sooooo much worse and can trigger a flare up. So I’ve learnt to steer well away from anything that has wheat in. Years ago I used to sit and mope whilst my husband ate baguettes, cake or pasta, bless him he actually used to tell me it tasted horrid and would pull faces to try to convince me! Now the joy of being older seems to mean I’m a tiny bit wiser and I’m not so bothering about missing out, preferring instead to find good alternatives.

Yes eating out is more difficult and lunch especially can be more of a challenge in a sandwich loving world but seeing as I like to cook and eating in is cheaper plus healthier it really doesn’t matter.

Bread, now that’s one thing I do miss at least once a week. There are plenty of wheat free breads in the shops now and some are actually quite edible 😉 the fresh ones can be very good, but they are so expensive and I’d not super rich….yet. So instead I’m slowly on a mission to perfect my wheat free bread. I’d welcome your tips.

This weekend I revisited wheat free soda bread. Last time I made it Little Miss Tew helped me a bit too much and I think it was overworked, it was doughy. This time I used all rice flour (at the time I queried this and I should remember to listen to my head at times) so it turned out quite crumbly…. but apart from that was pretty good. I managed go convince my helped to knead her homemade playdough instead of bread dough…. worked well but I think some play dough may have ended up in the bread, good jobs it’s also wheat free.

My next attempt at soda bread will be using a blend of rice flour, buckwheat and cornmeal I think with some Xanthum gum. What I love about soda bread is it is so quick to make. Literally weigh it all out, mix it, a quick knead and bung in the oven. I made my loaf in 15 mins prep plus 30 mins cooking, that’s with a 1 year old to amuse so you may be quicker!

P.S – Yes there is a bit missing off the loaf, I had to taste it as soon as it came out the oven, I’m that impatient!

 

Falafels: great family food.

I’ve recently got really into beans and pulses. We’ve always eaten a lot of hummus in our house and added beans to casseroles, but  since choosing to cut down on our meat consumption bean mania has hit us. So with some friends popping by with their little ones for lunch I needed a quick, easy to make, healthy and tasty lunchtime nibble. A flick around Pinterest inspired me to try falafels.

I find dried beans are 1. Cheaper   2. Tastier   3. Make me feel like I’m healthier 😉  so I often have something soaking ready for use the next day. Although you do have to soak a lot of the dried versions on beans if you are planning your meals in advance anyway then it just helps you get yourself organised. The main key to healthy eating is planning.

I tipped a pile of soaked and cooked chick peas in the food processor with 1 small onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp paprika. After a quick whizz I added some fresh herbs and it was ready to shape into balls and cook. I used 1tbsp rapeseed oil in a non stick pan to lightly brown them. They were REALLY good. Loved by my 1 year old and her friend, plus enjoyed by the mummies. Even my husband enjoyed them later than evening.

Wheat Free Falafel
Wheat Free Falafel

 

Wheat Free, Healthy, Happy Pizza

Being wheat free one of the things I miss is pizza. Not the cheesy, pepperoni deep pan bought version (that’s so not me) but the artichoke, sun dried tomato, mozzarella cheese home made type. Our bread maker has a dough setting that makes a fantastic wheat filled pizza dough, you can literally spin it around on your finger….truly elastic and tasty. So I’ve been slowly working on my wheat free version, here it is for you:

Wheat Free Pizza
Wheat Free Pizza

Recipe:

3/4 cup rice flour

3/4 cup Doves farm plain flour

1/2 cup corn meal

1 cup water

1/2 tsp yeast

1/2 tsp xanthum gum

Drizzle of olive oil (about 1/2 tbsp)

1 tsp sugar

I put all this in my bread make and whack it on the dough setting. It will turn out quite wet and not look like dough but don’t worry. All you need to do is  knead it on the worktop with more rice flour until it comes together and then roll it out. Place onto a floured baking tray and top with your choice of yummy toppings. We often empty our fridge onto pizza’s, using up all the leftover (ratatouille went on this one). I particularly like putting a bit of pesto on the base too.

Tips to make your pizza healthier:

  • Pile on the veggies – sweetcorn, peppers, mushrooms, tinned artichokes, tomatoes, top with spinach or rocket afterwards.
  • Make your own tomato sauce for the base – simmer a tin of chopped tomatoes with pepper and herbs and allow it to reduce, add 1 tsp of sugar and 1 tbsp tomato puree or if you are super lazy like I sometime am just use some tomato puree and pesto 😉
  • Use lean meats or fish – mackerel, pilchards and sardines are heart healthy and taste great.
  • Less is more – cut back on the cheese using more mature cheddar so your get that cheese fix or switch to mozzarella which is lower in fat.
  • Serve with a salad.

Bake at Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes and enjoy 🙂

 

Roast Dinner Soup.

Roast Dinners, they are delicious…we like to have a free range chicken and plenty of yummy roasted veggies. But what about those leftovers? Personally I don’t like to waste them, so quite often we make a roast dinner soup. I must be honest, to me this is just as good as the roast dinner itself! Here it is:

Roast Dinner Soup

Recipe:

Remove the meat from the chicken carcass and place the bones in a large pan, add a couple of bay leaves.

Cover with half milk and half water, simmer for 10 minutes, then strain the milk into a pan and keep the bones for stock.

Chop up any left over veggies or add more veggies in and simmer to thicken slightly. I sometimes add a little cornflour mixed with cold water if it needs thickening more, however roast potatoes help with this too!

Season and add grated nutmeg if you have any (it’s yummy!).

Enjoy x

 

 

Buckwheat Pancakes – Wheat and gluten free.

With pancake day fast approaching I’ve been playing around with pancake recipes that are wheat free, gluten free and tasty. If like me you forget about pancakes the rest of the year, maybe this recipe will inspire you to make them a bit more often.

Recipe:

50g/2 oz Buckwheat Flour

50g/2 oz Rice or Tapioca Flour

200ml milk

2 eggs

Mix the flour, make a well and add the eggs, add the milk a little at a time, whisking until you get the right consistency (double cream).

I use a spray oil (rapeseed oil) and kitchen roll when cooking pancakes to ensure the pan stays lightly oiled but also that I’m not using too much oil.

These pancakes came out with a lovely light texture and cooked really easily, in fact I found them better than the wheat filled variety! Give them a go people, but be careful not to overindulge in those toppings.

Buckwheat Pancake

Healthy Topping Ideas:

  • Chopped banana and 1 square of melted chocolate
  • Blueberries and 0% Greek yoghurt
  • Stewed apple, cinnamon and raisins (cook apples with a little sweetener, cloves, cinnamon and raisins)
  • Frozen berries cooked with a little water to make a sauce
  • Nutella
  • Nut Butter warmed slightly with a sprinkle of flax seeds
  • Lemon and a drizzle of honey
  • Tinned peaches and quark or 0% Greek yoghurt
  • Low fat cream cheese with mushrooms/spinach/grapes

What do you like on your pancakes?

 

Lentil and Bolognaise Love

It’s wheat free, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan and baby friendly too, but is it tasty? OH YES. This is one of those meals that I hadn’t made for ages, I tend to get into a cycle of making certain meals and forget about all the others that are out there. Suddenly seeing the bag of red lentils in my cupboard and the random veggies lying around my brain pinged into recipe action and I remembered this gem…so here it is for you to also try.

We all love this recipe in my house and find it a great substitute for a meat bolognaise. Plus it’s easy to make.

If you have a food processor (I can’t live without mine) chop 1 onion and 3 cloves of garlic in it. Now add in a pile of veggies, most will work. I always use carrots and some form of peppers, this time we had 4 carrots, 1 courgette, 1 green pepper and a handful of mushrooms. I’ve used celery, leek, kale and cabbage in the past too. A great recipe for using up leftover bits and past their best veggies. Chop all the veggies finely in the food processor (or by hand) and heat a tiny drizzle of oil in a pan. Simply add the veggies to the pan along with some lentils, I’d say about 2 cups of lentils for 4 people. It should look a little like this:

Lentils and veggies all chopped up.

Throw in a tin of chopped tomatoes and then half till the can with water and add that too. Now the fun part – customise this as you want to. I add in seasoning, mixed herbs, bay leaves, balsamic vinegar, tomato puree and whatever else I have to hand. Here it is in the pan.

Simmering with tomatoes

Let it simmer for 30-40 mins gently or until the lentils are cooked and serve with pasta. It was quite literally yummy. Give it a go and please let me know how you get on.

Lentil Bolognaise

Courgette Lasagne with Fresh Buckwheat pasta.

Today was a cold day and when I say cold I mean COLD – not wanting to go outside, a prefer to stay under the duvet and drink tea type of day. Having a one year old generally means duvet days are not allowed, but it has been a day when I’ve not been quite running at top speed. A day when you want warm, tasty food.

So 4pm comes and little one is napping….but on me… so I took the time to plan dinner.  Knowing we had 3 courgettes I took those as the theme and settled on Courgette Lasagne. Lasagne is something we all love but being wheat free I don’t make it often. However after my recent fresh buckwheat pasta experiments I decided to take it a step further and try a lasagne.

The final result was DELICIOUS! If you have the time and inclination then do try this, it was well worth the effort.

I started off getting the husband to grate 3 courgettes (which he was most bemused by and kept asking if I was sure). I cooked these with 3 cloves of garlic and 1 onion. The courgettes will release a lot of water so you don’t need much oil. To make it a nice creamy mix we added Quark as it was what I had in the fridge but you could add Ricotto. Then whilst a homemade tomato sauce reduced down on the hob I made the buckwheat pasta. Literally all I used was 200g buckwheat flour, 2 eggs and a dash of olive oil.

Making the lasagne sheets was easy, just roll and slice. I like this type of easy cooking 🙂 I have a pasta machine but a rolling pin would do it too, I ended up using both.

Layer it up – courgette mix, tomato sauce, pasta, courgette mix, pasta tomato sauce and parmesan cheese.

Bake at Gas Mark 5 for 30 minutes, the pasta should be al dente (check with a knife) and the parmesan golden and bubbling. Our house smelt divine.

Big Up The Butterbean Hummous

Hummous…. it’s a wonderful thing. In our household it’s truly loved…on toast, on rice cakes, on rye bread, with raw veggies and sometimes with a few crisps (yes I did just say that!).  My personal favourite is with raw carrots. Nomalicious.

So as group of hummous loving people, why do so many of us buy it? I know, you’ll all say it’s easier to buy than to make, but seeing as today’s effort took me 5 minutes and popping to the shop would take 10, I actually saved time! Plus my version is much lower in fat than the bought version so I get healthy eating point too 🙂

The only chickpeas in our house were either in the food store that is the garage, far too cold to venture out there, or dried and requiring soaking. However I did have a tin of butterbeans, some garlic, tahini and natural yoghurt – a winning combination.

Here’s the finished result:

 

Recipe:

1 tin butterbeans/cannelini beans/chickpeas

1-2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp tahini

50-75ml natural yoghurt

lemon juice and pepper to taste

Whizz the beans and garlic in a food processor (or hand held blender), add the tahini and a dollop of yoghurt, mix again. Keep adding the yoghurt until you get the consistency you want. Add lemon juice and pepper to taste. You can also add some chilli if you fancy it!

So next time you fancy some hummous why not try making your own? It’s great for when people drop round for nibbles and is also a winner for little ones. We went through lots in the early days of weaning.

Don’t forget to leave me a comment and tell me your favourite hummous combo, I’d love to hear your ideas.

Superhealthy oaty bars.

Flapjacks go down a storm in our house, I’m wheat free so they fill a much needed gap in my mouth. Now it seem little Kezia is a bit of a flapjack lover. In fact, as soon as she spies the tin I keep them in I get a pointy finger and a sign for “Food Now Mummy”. Cheeky monkey she certainly is.

My usual banana flapjacks use only a small amount of marg, sugar and honey, however with a hungry 1 year old and feeling inspired by a certain brand of raw food bars I decided to try something different. The results are not quite your usual flapjack (due to the distinct lack of sugar, syrup and butter!) but they make a great healthy snack for big and little people and are set to become a regular in our house already. In fact the little one even enjoyed helping me make it.

Well when I say she helped, I mean she ate half of the raisins out of the bowl, stuck her fingers in the banana, stirred the oats around and made holes in the mixture once it had been smoothed into the tray. So much fun!

These are wheat free and if you use gluten free oats they will be gluten free too. Here’s the finished product:

And here is the mess I found later on…

Superhealthy Oaty Bars
Yields 24
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
85 calories
16 g
0 g
1 g
3 g
0 g
36 g
1 g
4 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
36g
Yields
24
Amount Per Serving
Calories 85
Calories from Fat 10
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 1mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 16g
5%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 4g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
1%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 400g oats
  2. 2 handfuls dates chopped very finely in a food processor with enough water to make into a paste
  3. 2 large or 3 medium mashed bananas
  4. 1 cup sultanas
  5. Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Mix it all together, put into a greased and lined tray and bake at Gas Mark 5 for about 35-40 mins.
  2. Slice it up whilst it is warm and leave to cool (if it lasts that long!).
beta
calories
85
fat
1g
protein
3g
carbs
16g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

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One chicken, 4 meals, no waste.

We’re not the most traditional family and I must admit I like that. So no roast over Christmas for us, and usually no Sunday roast either. However today, being my husbands weekend off we made the most of it and had a roast. Everytime we do this I remember how tasty it is, how much we all like it (cats included) and how it provides so many meals with just a little effort. Plus we have NO WASTE, nothing is thrown out except the packaging. I LOVE this.

We only buy free range chicken, the chicken has a nice life, the meat tastes like actual chicken and it’s value for money when you use the whole bird. We roasted one chicken with potatoes, carrots, swede, parsnip and steamed broccoli as well. Yes lots of veggies, I am a dietitian after all. I always make sure we have too much, not so we can eat seconds, but so we have leftovers to make soup. It’s amazingly simple and so good.

Once we’ve eaten I remove all the meat off the bird and have several bowl – one for some breast meat for Little Miss Tew, one for the rest of the meat for us for stir fries, soup and risotto’s, one for skin and greasy meat for the cats, one for the bones. My top tip is lock any cats out of the kitchen and put on some beautiful gloves 😉

Once I’ve made the soup I reuse the bones to make stock, probably a complete cheat but I still find I get a tasty stock. This all goes into tubs in my freezer ready for risotto’s and soups. It generally makes me feel like a good person 😉

Finally the cats get the leftover bones, which they go mad for.

Chicken Soup:

  1. Place the chicken bones in a large saucepan and cover with milk (I use a mix of semi skimmed and skimmed), add a bayleaf and simmer for 10 mins.
  2. Strain the milk into a new pan and keep the bones for stock.
  3. Add chopped left over veggies (roasted or steamed any will do) plus potatoes, seasoning and grated nutmeg. I love nutmeg but it is of course optional.
  4. Add some chopped chicken, heat and serve. You can thicken with cornflour however the potatoes do this for you too.

Chicken Stock:

  1. Cover bones with water, add bay leaf, peppercorns, 1/2 onion, 1 carrot chopped and 2 sticks celery if you have them.
  2. Simmer 10 mins.
  3. Done!

What I LOVE about this is we buy 1 chicken, get lots of meals and have absolutely NO WASTE. Bones and skin and all are eaten. Give it a go 🙂