Tag Archives: dietitian hampshire

Gluten Free Lasagne, homemade including the pasta.

One thing I know a lot of gluten free people miss is great tasting lasagne. Real comfort food that tastes so good, you don’t have to miss out any longer!

Today I decided to set about making a gluten free/wheat free lasagne completely from scratch, feel free to adapt this recipe and use bought lasagne sheets if you want.

I was inspired by a packet of BezGluten flour, having never used this flour and with it being new to the UK I was keen to give it a go and it looked good for pasta making to me. Here is the flour:

Bezgluten Dumpling/Pancake/Pasta Flour

Pasta Recipe:

200g gluten free flour (I used Bezgluten dumpling/pancake/pasta mix)

2 eggs

Drizzle of olive oil (about 1tbsp) and a drizzle of water (about 1tbsp)

Weigh out the flour, make a well in the centre and break in the eggs. Beat the eggs  and then start to combine into a dough. Use a little of the oil and water to help combine the mixture if it is a little dry. Once it is mixed cover with a damp tea towel and set aside.

You can use this pasta recipe for all kinds of things, I decided to try a lasagne today and it was delicious. The mix made enough for a lasagne for 4 people with a little dough left over which I have in the fridge for tomorrow.

Break the eggs into a well in the flour
Break the eggs into a well in the flour
Pasta Dough
Pasta Dough
Dietitian UK: Homemade Gluten Free Lasagne

Roll the pasta out either using a rolling pin or a pasta machine. Call me greedy but I like to use both, so I start with the rolling pin and then pass the dough through the pasta machine. Break off about 1/4 of the dough and keep the rest covered with the damp tea towel. Roll out to a couple of millimetres thick. To get a nice silky pasta you’ll need to do this several times. Sprinkle the dough with a little gluten free flour each time to prevent it from sticking, once you have rolled it thinly, fold it in half, then in half again and roll it out again.

Dietitian UK: Rolling out the pasta dough
Dietitian UK: Rolling out the pasta dough

Then slice the pasta into sheets that will fit your lasagne dish. Layer the pasta over your mince mixture and top with the white sauce (recipes below).

Dietitian UK: Layering up the lasagne sheets
Dietitian UK: Layering up the lasagne sheets
Dietitian UK: Lasagne layering in progress
Dietitian UK: Lasagne layering in progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mince Recipe:

There are so many great bolognaise recipes out there and any of these will do, here’s how I made mine.

Dry cook 500g lean mince in  a pan, it will release it’s own fat to cook in. Strain some of the excess fat off and then add an onion and 2 cloves of garlic, cook gently. Add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes and 2 tbsp tomato puree and 200ml stock (I used homemade chicken stock you could use a gluten-free stock cube plus water), let it simmer whilst you chop up 3 large carrots, a large handful of mushrooms and 1 pepper. Chop these fairly small and then add to the pan. Season with pepper and mixed herbs. I also add balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp sugar and a glug of red wine.

White Sauce:

Pour 2 tbsp rapeseed oil into a pan and heat, add 2 tbsp gluten free flour. Mix well and quickly add a little milk. Remove from the heat and stir to make a runny paste. Add some more milk and place back on a moderate heat, stirring continuously. I make my white sauce from half milk and half water, adding the liquid as it is needed. Keep stirring or whisking to prevent lumps and check the heat is not too high or it can burn. You want a consistency like double cream, so fairly thick but still pourable.

To make this dairy free use rice milk or soya milk instead.

Dietitian UK:  White Sauce
Dietitian UK: White Sauce

Layer up your lasagne with the gluten free pasta sheets and sprinkle a little cheese on the top (omit the cheese for a dairy free version) and cook at Gas Mark 4/200 C for 40 minutes.

Dietitian UK: the cooked lasagne
Dietitian UK: the cooked lasagne

Enjoy with a green salad and maybe a cheeky glass of wine!

Dietitian UK: Homemade Gluten Free Lasagne
Dietitian UK: Homemade Gluten Free Lasagne

 

 

 

Eating Well in Pregnancy

Eating Well in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an important time to be focusing on your health and on eating well so both mum and baby get all they need to grow.

However pre-pregnancy is as important, you want your body to be in tip top form and able to provide the baby with all it needs, then continue eating well into pregnancy and throughout breastfeeding.

Top tips:

  • Reduce or cut out alcohol pre-pregnancy.
  • Super sizing your fruit and veggies, aim for more than 5 portions a day.
  • Take 400 µg of folic acid every day pre-pregnancy and for the first 12 week of pregnancy.
  • Wash all fruit, veggies and salads to remove any traces of soil which could contain toxoplasma.
  • Go wholegrain as often as possible with bread, pasta, rice and other starchy foods.
  • Up your iron stores by eating red meat, green leafy veggies, fortified breakfast cereals, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, tofu, pulses and beans regularly.
  • Eat regular meals and keep snacks healthy.

The big pregnancy myth is that you need to eat enough for 2. Unfortunately this isn’t true! The body becomes more efficient at using the food you give it. So you don’t need to eat any extra until the second and third trimester when you may need 2-300 kcals extra a day.

There are several foods that you need to stay away from when pregnant:

  • Mould ripened cheese (brie, camembert, goats cheese that has a hard rind).
  • Soft blue cheese (Danish blue, gorgonzola, roquefort).

Cheese made with mould can contain listeria, listeriosis can cause miscarriage and increase the risk of still birth.

  • Eggs should be well cooked, raw and undercooked eggs can cause salmonella poisoning. Avoid home made mayonnaise as well.
  • Pate can also contain listeria.
  • Raw and undercooked meat.
  • Liver, liver pate, liver sausage and other liver products, these contain high levels of vitamin A which can cause birth defects.
  • Alcohol should be avoided due to fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Caffeine should be limited to no more than 200mg per day (2 mugs of tea or instant coffee, 1 mug filter coffee). Watch out for caffeine in energy drinks, chocolate, hot chocolate and cola drinks.
  • Sword Fish, shark and marlin should be avoided due to the levels of mercury they can contain, oily fish should be limited to 2 portions a week due to the levels of PCB’s and dioxins (pollutants) in them.
  • Shellfish should only be eaten when properly cooked as these can also cause food poisoning.

 

This post was written for Slimsticks.

Banana and Sultana Flapjack

This recipe is one of our family favs and I love the fact that although it’s a flapjack it’s not full of syrup. My toddler girl loves cooking with me and this is a recipe that she can really get involved with, here’s some photo’s of her doing so from an earlier post.

Recipe:

200g oats

1/2 cup sultanas

1 tbsp honey

75g marg

2 mashed bananas

  • Weigh out oats and sultanas
  • In a separate bowl weigh out honey and marg, then melt, if you prefer a sweeter option you could add a little brown sugar too, I don’t (I heat in the microwave for 40 seconds).
  • Mash the bananas (my little one does this)
  • Mix all the ingredients together. I tend to find that a lot of the sultanas end up in small persons mouth whilst the mixing process occurs!
  • Place into a greased tin and bake at Gas Mark 5 for 30 mins. You may want to cover the top for half the cooking so the sultanas don’t burn.
  • Slice whilst it is warm and leave to cool before removing from the tin.
  • YUM!
Dietitian UK: Banana Flapjack
Dietitian UK: Banana Flapjack

 

Carob and Prune Brownies.

Carob. I used to eat it. Then somehow I forgot about it….until I had a recent gap in my clinic and went for a wander around the nearby health food shop. A dangerous place to leave someone like me as I will always buy something, I came out with Carob powder…and no idea what to do with it.

Carob is made from the roasted and ground pods from a Carob tree, found in the Middle East and Mediterranean. Some people think John the Baptist lived off it on his diet of locusts and honey as it is also known as the “locust bean”. Carob is low in fat, caffeine free, high in calcium and free from tyramine (high in chocolate which can be linked to migraines).

Dietitian UK: Carob powder
Dietitian UK: Carob powder

So armed with the nutritional knowledge I took the plunge and decided to have a play, so here is my first foray into Carob cooking. Even if I do say so myself, I was pretty impressed 😉

Recipe:

1 1/3 cups gluten free flour (I used a mix of rice flour, corn meal and tapioca starch), you could use wheat flour too.

1 tsp xanthum gum

4 tbsp carob

300g dates

100ml juice (I used some homemade elderflower cordial we had as there was no juice)

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped pecans.

Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside. Using a blender or food processor blend the prunes with the juice to make a thick puree. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Now mix the dried ingredients in and finally stir in the nuts.

Place into a lined and greased baking tin and bake at Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes.

Leave to cool then slice and remove from the tin.

 

Dietitian UK: Carob Brownies
Dietitian UK: Carob Brownies

 

They are delicious warm out of the oven and pretty good when cooled too. Don’t expect them to taste like chocolate as they don’t….but they are slightly sweet and smell divine. With no added sugar or fat they are a pretty healthy option to have as a snack and if they stop a chocolate craving then that is even better!

My husband rated them 7/10, which I was pleased with. Next time I think I’d add either a few carob drops or some dark chocolate drops.

 

Green Smoothie: Spinach, Banana and Kiwi fruit.

Having been brought a lovely large bag of spinach by my grandmother and being inspired by some of the smoothie recipes I’ve been looking at recently…I decided to give it a go. Now I’ve made smoothies in the past but they’ve always been fruit ones. I’d never tried the vegetables option…until now.

Smoothies can be great for helping you get more fruit and vegetables in your diet and also good to help introduce different fruits and veggies into your day.  The one I made is a good source of iron, folate, zinc, magnesium and potassium.

I don’t have a proper smoothie maker, and to be honest I’m not a fan of having multiple kitchen gadgets that clutter up the worktops (my hubby may beg to differ on that), so I just have a food processor, and it did a great job.

So first thing in the morning I felt inspired, here’s the recipe I tried out:

Recipe:

1 large handful of baby spinach

1 medium banana

1 kiwi fruit

Blend up with a splash of water. Here’s how mine looked….I know it looks very green but it was surprisingly tasty. Be inspired, get creative and let me know how your smoothies turn out!

Spinach, Banana and Kiwi Smoothie
Spinach, Banana and Kiwi Smoothie

Banana Bread and Butter Pudding.

Do you ever end up with slightly hard bits of bread? Wonder what to do with them? Well feeding them to the ducks and the chickens is often my response, however now I’m making most of my own bread it makes me really want to get the most out of a loaf. So yesterday I saw a couple of slightly stale slices of bread, some ripe bananas and my mind leapt to banana bread and butter pudding!

I actually made this for my toddler (lucky girl), here’s what I did…

Recipe:

  • Lightly butter the bread then tear the bread into small pieces.
  • Slice 1 banana and line the bottom of 3 ramekins with it, cover with a layer of torn up bread, 1 more layer of banana and finish with 1 layer of bread.
  • Heat the oven to Gas Mark 3 and place a deep baking tray in that can act as a bane-marie.
  • Heat about 100mls milk in a pan, when it is warm (but not boiling) remove from the heat and add 1 egg and whisk. I chose not to add sugar but you could at this point.
  • Leave the egg mix to thicken slightly, then pour over the bread and banana ramekins. Leave it to all soak together for 10 minutes and then you may be able to add a little more. Meanwhile boil the kettle
  • Sprinkle the top with a little sugar and place the ramekins in the baking tray in the oven. Add the boiled water from the kettle to the baking tray so it comes about halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
  • It should feel set and not liquidy when ready to come out of the oven.

I served half of one of these ramekins with yoghurt as a dessert for my toddler, it went down VERY well!

 

Dietitian UK Banana Bread and Butter Pudding
Dietitian UK Banana Bread and Butter Pudding

Ginger Biscuits: gluten free, toddler friendly or great with a cuppa.

I’ve had a yearning to make ginger biscuits for a while and today I finally kicked myself into action and did it. My little toddler helper was very pleased to be cooking as we’ve been reading all about Maisy making Gingerbread the past few days, so making Ginger biscuits was the same in her eyes 😉

Recipe:

40g muscovado  sugar

50g rice flour

50g cornmeal/ fine polenta

2 tsp ground ginger

1tsp xanthum gum

50g margarine

2 tbsp milk

Mix all the dried ingredients together, then rub in the margarine until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk a little at a time and mix to a dough (you may not need it all).

Roll out and cut into whatever shapes you like……ours had to be teddy bears and were cut by my helper.

Cook at Gas Mark 3/160C for 15 minutes. Leave to cool on a rack and enjoy.

Dietitian UK: Gluten free, toddler friendly Ginger Biscuits
Dietitian UK: Gluten free, toddler friendly Ginger Biscuits

Gluten Free Orange and Redcurrant Polenta Cake.

I’ve been meaning to try a polenta cake for AGES, finally today I got my chance. We were asked to take a dessert to our home group meeting, typically although I was given a weeks notice it was at lunchtime that I realised with a slight panic I had to knock something tasty up. Having been inspired by seeing this lemon polenta cake  last night and on a high after completing the filming for my Pilates DVD, I stepped up to the challenge, here it is fresh from the oven.

Dietitian UK: Gluten and Wheat free Orange Polenta Cake.
Dietitian UK: Gluten and Wheat free Orange Polenta Cake.

You know what, it was easy, peasy, orange squeezy 😉

I’m well known for NEVER following a recipe, so here’s my adaptation, partially because I had no lemons and partially because I’m just like that. I found the red currants added a really nice zing, but you could use any berries, I just happened to have these growing in my garden (though these were last years harvest from the freezer).

Recipe:

150g margarine

150g sugar

3 eggs

75g ground almonds

1/2 tsp  baking powder (gluten free if needed)

4 oranges

75g polenta or cornmeal

150g redcurrants

1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark3/150C, grease and line a cake tin (I’m no good with sizes so I’ll just say I used a round one!).

2. Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time.

3. Add the ground almonds, baking powder and mix well.

4. Zest all 4 orange  and juice 2 oranges, add to the mixture, add the polenta.

5. Spoon half the mix into the cake tin, then sprinkle on the red currants and top with the rest of the mixture.

6. Bake for 45 minutes until golden on the top and the house smells yummy 🙂

7. Add the juice of the final 2 oranges to a pan with the 50g sugar, boil gently for 5 minutes to make a syrup.

8. Use a skewer to make holes in the cake and pour the syrup on, it will soak in.

9. Allow to cook before removing the cake from the tin.

It’s had a good reception from my taste testers. Really moist and tangy and the redcurrants looked lovely. Though certainly a treat and not low fat, I’ll certainly be making this again.

Dietitian UK: Orange and Redcurrant Polenta Cake
Dietitian UK: Orange and Redcurrant Polenta Cake

Nutritional Analysis per portion (assuming 10 slices): 290kcals, 18.3 g fat, 29.2g carbs, 23.3g sugars.

Cheesy Courgette Biscuits for Little and Big People.

So this recipe started off as a decision to try out this lovely looking recipe from MamaCook. I weighed out the flour and then opened the margarine tub to realise it was pretty much empty. Boo.

Skip forward a few hours and margarine is back in the house. By now I’m in creative mode and the biscuits took on a life of their own! I’m a bit of a stickler for encouraging my small one to eat her veggies, so finding a courgette to hand, I decided to grate it in and then add some cheese for added yum factor. I’ll be honest I wasn’t expecting great things, but you know what, these have been a huge success, not only with the toddler girl but also with her Daddy!

Here’s how we did it:

Recipe:

100g plain flour

15g oats

70g margarine

1/2 grated courgette

15 g grated cheese

Measure it all out and then add a dash of milk to mix to a dough. My little one likes baking with me, so she rolled out the dough:

Dietitian UK, Rolling the dough for Cheesy Courgette Biscuits
Dietitian UK, Rolling the dough for Cheesy Courgette Biscuits

My little helper then advised on which cutters to use and helped me cut it all out:

Dietitian UK: Cutting out Cheesy Courgette Biscuits
Dietitian UK: Cutting out Cheesy Courgette Biscuits

We baked them at Gas Mark 5 for 15 minutes, you may need less depending on how thin your dough has been rolled (or not rolled in our case!). Here is the final result.

Dietitian UK: Cheesy Courgette Biscuits.
Dietitian UK: Cheesy Courgette Biscuits.

 

 

Wheat Free, Hot Cross Buns.

I’m certainly not an experienced baker at all….yet I love giving things a go. Plus when you are wheat intolerant it can be cheaper to make things yourself rather than buy them. So in the back of my mind I had planned to try making some hot cross buns in the run up to Easter. Typically life ran away with itself, time fly by and on Easter Sunday there were still no hot cross buns.

However on Easter Monday I was tweeted a recipe to try….it being a rainy Bank Holiday I decided to take the plunge. These aren’t something to bake in a hurry but if you are around the house and have time to let them rise then give them a go! I had to adapt the recipe which I admit did make me quite nervous, however I was delighted with the results and a teeny bit proud of myself 😉

The final result, Hot Cross Buns.
The final result, Hot Cross Buns.

The Recipe:

200g Rice flour

100g cornmeal

100g rye flour

50g tapioca starch

50g potato flour

(Alternatively 500g of a good GF flour mix)

1 tsp xanthum gum

2 tsp yeast

300ml warm milk

75g caster sugar

50g marg

1 egg

Mix all the above together to make a dough, but don’t knead it. Then place into an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place. This took about 1 1/2 hours for mine. It should almost double in size and it feels risen to the touch, springy and doughy.

Whilst it rises have a sit down, a cuppa, sweep the kitchen, do some catching up on twitter (you get the idea) and also mix together:

1 tsp olive oil

zest 1 orange

100g sultanas

1tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 grated nutmeg

Mix this fruity bunch into the dough and leave it to rise once more. I left mine most of the afternoon. Leaving it longer than needed won’t harm it. Then shape into rounds, about 12, and get ready for the creative bit. Mix a couple of tbsp of gluten free flour with a drizzle of water and mix to a thick paste. Pop into a piping back and pipe on your crosses. Here’s mine before cooking:

Hot Cross Buns ready to bake
Hot Cross Buns ready to bake

Pop in the oven at Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes. I checked mine and swapped the upper and middle trays over half way through. Leave to cool on a wire rack and enjoy. Yum.

Wheat Free, Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns
Wheat Free Hot Cross Buns