Category Archives: Other

Wheat free, gluten free, dairy free Pitta Bread!

I suddenly got a hankering for pitta bread. I like my gently toasted, dunked in hummous with olives, tomatoes and cheese on the side. You know the type of meal I mean? Comforting, tasty and easy to prepare – easy that is if you have the pitta bread to hand.

Now I’ll admit, I’m not a seasoned baker, especially when it comes to bread products. But that statement alone should inspire you to think….”you know what, maybe I can do this too”.

All in all this was an easy recipe, you need a little time as it needs to rise, but you could prepare the dough in 10 minutes, leave it to rise for 1 hour or a few hours, then roll and bake in 20 minutes. I took 30 minutes to roll and bake all mine but I had to photograph them and had a handy toddler assistant, undoing my rolling for me 😉

Recipe (makes 8-10 pitta):

450g Gluten free flour (I used Bezgluten Homemde Gluten Free Mix)

2 tsp xanthum gum if your mix has not got xanthum or guar gum in it.

1 tsp salt (optional)

4 tsp yeast

1 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp oil

250ml oat milk (can be normal milk)

 

  • If you have one, use a food processor and mix 300g flour and the salt and xanthum gum if using. The salt is purely for preserving it, so if you are using these straight away you won’t need it.
  • Add the yeast, sugar and oil one at a time and mix well.
  • Warm the milk – I did this in the microwave for 1 minute 40 seconds. Add this whilst the food processor is on a slow setting and the dough should start to come together.
  • Now it is the time to use your judgement. You want a dough that is “tacky”, not wet and very sticky, or perfectly smooth and soft, but a little sticky to the touch. So continue adding flour a little at a time. If you overdo the flour, add a splash more milk and start again.
Dietitian UK: Pitta Bread Dough Ready for Rising.
Dietitian UK: Gluten Free Pitta Bread Dough Ready for Rising.
  • Place into a lightly oiled bowl and roll around so it is gently coated in the oil. Cover with clingfilm and leave it to rise in a warm place until it is doubled in size. Hopefully you can see the difference in mine. Hubby said the risen dough looks like a brain!
Dietitian UK: Pitta Bread Dough - it's alive, it's risen!
Dietitian UK: Gluten Free Pitta Bread Dough – it’s alive, it’s risen!
  • Preheat the over to Gas Mark 7/475 F. If you have a pizza plate with holes in place this in. I used a piece of baking parchment on the wire rack. You want the air to be able to circulate under the pitta.
  • Place the dough on a well floured surface and divide into 8-10 pieces. Roll each piece in some flour.
  • Now is the fun bit. Flatten out each piece with the heel of your hand, aim to squeeze air out of it but keep it fairly thick. Think medium sliced bread for thickness. Add flour if sticky, now rotate it with the side of one hand and use your fingertips to push from the middle to the edges to form your pitta. Remember to rotate and flip it a couple of times.
Dietitian UK: Pitta shaped and ready for baking.
Dietitian UK: Gluten Free Pitta shaped and ready for baking.
  • Place in the oven for 5-8 minutes, try and keep the oven door closed so they puff up. I cooked mine in 2 batches.
Dietitian UK: Gluten Free Pitta's bake in the oven.
Dietitian UK: Gluten Free Pitta’s bake in the oven.
  • Delicious served warm – you can toast them the next day too. Enjoy. You may have to slice some of them in half (take care!) but hey, who cares, these puffed up in the oven and were delicious. I impressed myself 🙂

 

Dietitian UK: Guten Free, Wheat Free Pitta!
Dietitian UK: Guten Free, Wheat Free Pitta.
Dietitian UK: It really has worked!
Dietitian UK: It really has worked!

 

 This post was part of a recipe written for Bezgluten and is part of the paid work I do for them.

Top Tips for Jamming

It’s Jam and Chutney season…..so here are some great tips from Wares of Knutsford on jamming. Enjoy 🙂

I recently made my own Plum jam and my is it good!

“Making your own jam is immensely satisfying. Nothing tastes better on toast or scones. For those of us who made jam or watched jam-making as children it also brings back some lovely memories of fruit picking, boiling sugar and full jars with fabric covers.

Choosing and tasting your fruit is a huge part of the fun. Many people fondly recall picking blackberries, plums, apples or strawberries as a child and having a little taste just to make sure it’s good enough. You can use under-ripe fruit – it has more pectin – but it won’t have the richer scent and flavour of a fruit that’s ripened a little longer. Harvesting is a magical part of the process, but don’t double the recipe because you have a lot of fruit. Jam-making is quite a science and messing around with quantities could mean it won’t set.

The secret of jam-making is speed and efficiency. Warming the sugar before adding it can speed up the process considerably and not removing the foam on top until the very end cuts down on your time and on wastage. The best jam is that made in small batches from really fresh fruit. Making it this way is faster and allows for more control over the process. It lets you experiment with the amount of pectin or lemon juice you need and your sugar quantities and should the worst happen and the bottom of the pan burn, you won’t have wasted a huge quantity of fruit. Small batches are also easier than large ones to make with a young helper if you have one, which is great for passing along the memories and love of fresh jam to the next generation.”

Meal Planning: make life simpler, smarter and sustainable.

Every now and again I get myself into a bit of a stressful state, life feels like it’s overtaking me, I have lists of things to do, nothing feels like it’s getting done and suddenly I realise I’ve no idea what we’re eating for dinner and am running low on food. DISASTER. You know that feeling?

Hilariously as a dietitian I am often found writing meal plans for others, but then I forget to write my own. OOOPS. I love recipes, food, cooking, meal ideas and all that jazz, so actually for me sitting down and planning out the meals for the week is a relaxing and fun thing to do, it means I have time to think through the week, flick through some recipe books, bring those food ideas to the front of my brain and at the end of it I have at least one part of life under control.

Here’s mine for the next 2 weeks, I’d love to see yours!

Dietitian UK: Meal Planner
Dietitian UK: Meal Planner

5 Reasons to Meal Plan:

  1. SAVE TIME in the long run. Half an hour planning means you won’t be stood in the kitchen later racking your brains for a meal idea.
  2. Use it as a chance to check the BALANCE of your weeks meals, see the tips below.
  3. SAVE MONEY by then planning your shopping list so you don’t end up with random ingredients that you don’t need.
  4. SAVE WASTE by using all the ingredients in your fridge and planning it so you can take leftovers for lunches or fill the freezer.
  5. SAVE STRESS. Having a plan helps my stress levels, I can plan the quicker meals for busy days and know what I’m doing from day to day.

5 Top Tips for Balance over the week:

  1. Meat free Monday: Plan in some meat free days, we usually have 3-4 a week.
  2. Fishy Friday: Aim for fish a couple of times a week, oily fish contains those heart healthy omega 3’s.
  3. Reduce the Red Meat: to just 1-2 times a week.
  4. Veggie Vitality: Eat a range of colourful veggies over the week.
  5. Treats  Ahoy: Keep that takeaway or those chips to planned times, so they don’t appear on the menu too often.

Get planning those meals and please share – I’d love to hear how you do things and what meals you include.

Sri-Lanka Cookery: Mallum a form of greens

I’m half Sri-Lankan so loving Sri-Lankan food is a given…and the greens that my grandmother (Archchi) cooks are an all round favourite of mine. So I was very excited to be able to learn how to make this variation which uses a leaf called Mallum. I’d not heard of it before but it’s known in Sri-Lanka to be very nutritious. I also tried a Mallum salad and Mallum style porridge (very green but tasty).

I’m going to try making this dish at home with Swiss chard because that’s what I have growing in my garden. Here’s my great aunt showing us how to do it, in her kitchen in Sri-Lanka.

What are your favourite curry recipes? Have you been to Sri-Lanka, I’d love to know.

Sri-Lanka Breakfast

Dietitian UK: Sri-Lanka rice and curry breakfast
Dietitian UK: Sri-Lanka rice and curry breakfast

Breakfast….it’s one of my favourite meals of the day, and even more so when I’m in Sri-Lanka.

I’m half Sri-Lankan and so I have a special love for this teardop shaped island in the sun. We visit regularly as we have lots of family and also work with Young Hope – a charity that supports children orphaned post tsunami and the civil war.

One of the best bits about visiting Sri-Lanka for me has to be the food. I am a true food-a-holic. Good food makes me happy. Tasty, healthy food is even better. Sri-Lankan cuisine can be great for hitting that food spot for me.

In the UK breakfast can be a bit of a dull affair, lots of toast and cereal. Over in Sri-Lanka it’s a whole different story…. think tropical fruit, Hoppers – special pancakes that are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, string hoopers – rice noodles shaped in a round design, omelettes, kiri-bath – coconut rice and many varieties of rice and curry. Yup that’s right, rice and curry for breakfast. I love to embrace all of this and actually rice and curry for brekkie is pretty good. My personal preference is for lentils with a fish curry served with a spoon of chilli hot sambol…..and it’s all wheat free, yay!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve had for breakfast?

Dietitian UK: Tropical Fruit Platter
Dietitian UK: Tropical Fruit Platter 

Dietitian UK: Sri-Lankan Kiri-bath, Spinach and Sambal (coconut rice)
Dietitian UK: Sri-Lankan Kiri-bath, Spinach and Sambal (coconut rice)