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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy with a green salad and maybe a cheeky glass of wine!
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.
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 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.
1/2 cup sultanas
1 tbsp honey
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.
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).
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 😉
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
100ml juice (I used some homemade elderflower cordial we had as there was no juice)
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.
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.
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:
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!
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…
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!
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 😉
40g muscovado sugar
50g rice flour
50g cornmeal/ fine polenta
2 tsp ground ginger
1tsp xanthum gum
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.
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.
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).
75g ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder (gluten free if needed)
75g polenta or cornmeal
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.
Nutritional Analysis per portion (assuming 10 slices): 290kcals, 18.3 g fat, 29.2g carbs, 23.3g sugars.
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:
100g plain flour
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:
My little helper then advised on which cutters to use and helped me cut it all out:
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.
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 😉
200g Rice flour
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
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
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:
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.
Freelance Dietitian specialising in helping those with Eating Disorders and a Media Spokesperson for the profession.