Tag Archives: Dietitian UK

Afternoon Tea with gluten free brownies, lemon cakes and chocolate dipped strawberries.

Today my lovely friend Steph (@imcountingufoz) and I got our bake on. It is our lovely friend Dee’s (@TheDeeRussell) birthday very soon and she threw an epic birthday party the other weekend, so today was her turn. Unfortunately at the last moment we found out that Dee was not feeling very well at all and so couldn’t make it,  and I must say it really wasn’t the same without her 🙁  We missed you Dee.

Steph had done an epic job baking cheese straws, gingerbread stars and cupcakes with crystallised rose petals on – literally amazing. This lady is a genius and a I agree with her biog on her blog, she is a pretty excellent cook.

Rose petal Cupcakes
Steph's Rose petal Cupcakes


Here was my contribution – chocolate brownies, lemon squares and chocolate dipped strawberries. All gluten free, all very naughty but a lovely treat.

Dietitian UK: Afternoon Tea Treats
Dietitian UK: Gluten Free Afternoon Tea Treats

I was really pleased with the chocolate dipped strawberries which are likely to become a regular feature when I’m asked to make something sweet….. they took about 10 minutes to prepare and then just had to set in the fridge.

The lemon squares were a new recipe inspired by this one by “Gluten free on a shoe string” thanks Nicola! I wasn’t convinced I’d got the custard mixture right when making these but they came out of the oven nicely set (phew). These are one of those recipes that actually don’t taste their best straight from the oven….instead chilling them really improves the custard.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries:

  • Melt 50g dark chocolate either over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave – check it after 30 seconds and heat again.
  • Make sure the chocolate just melt and doesn’t burn.
  • Hold strawberries by their stalk and dip in the chocolate.
  • Place on greaseproof paper on a plate or baking tray and pop in the fridge.


Dietitian UK: Chocolate Diped Strawberries
Dietitian UK: Chocolate Diped Strawberries

Lemon Squares:

  • 100g rice flour
  • 50g tapioca starch
  • 50g cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 50g  sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Custard
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons corn flour
  1. Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4/350F. Grease and line an 8- or 9-inch baking tray or  ovenproof dish.
  2. Mix the flour and xanthan gum. Measure out 65g of the flour mix and set it aside. To the remaining flour add the sugar and mix. Add the melted, cooled butter and mix with a fork until crumbly but moist.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, in the centre of the oven until uniformly pale golden.
  4. Meanwhile make the custard, whisk the eggs,  sugar, baking powder and lemon juice together, then add the remaining flour and conrflour. Whisk for a few minutes.
  5. Allow the crust to cool for a few minutes after baking. Then, pour the custard into the baked crust. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the custard is set.
  6. Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then dust with icing sugar.
  7.  Cool in the fridge – I cooled for about 1 hour.
  8. Carefully remove from the dish and cut into 9-12 squares.
  9. Serve chilled.
Dietitian UK: Lemon Squares
Dietitian UK: Lemon Squares
 Have a go, tell me how you get on….but keep these as treats, this speaks the dietitian!!!


Chutney Bliss

A little while ago the lovely Hampshire Chutney Company sent my 2 of their chutneys to try. Excitedly I opened the well wrapped parcel to find…

1. Atul Kochars Pumpkin Festival Chutney

2. Caramelised Carrot Chutney

Dietitian UK: Hampshire Chutney Company chutneys.
Dietitian UK: Hampshire Chutney Company chutneys.

Now I love a good chutney, they can really add that extra something to a dish. Plus I love local produce – so this was already a winning combo. I’ve spent the past few weeks trying these babies out with a whole range of foods. My favourite chutney has to the the pumpkin one. Why? Well I love a bit of spice and this has just the right kick for me, it’s great with almost everything! I’ve had it with cheese, curry, sandwiches, with sliced apple and it’s been super tasty with all of these. I love the pumpkin seeds that are in it and the chunky texture.

The carrot chutney is quite a sweet one, I’m not known for my sweet tooth but I did enjoy this with cheese or in a sandwich. My toddler really enjoyed it and the husband sampled it with a cheese board. If you have a sweet tooth this is a great way to get some extra flavour in and I love the fact that it is literally jam packed full of carrots!

So if you like a bit of chutney why not pop over and say hello to the Hampshire Chutney Company and tell them I sent you 😉

Disclaimer: this is not a paid review, all views are my own.


Tomato, Mozzerella and Pesto Puffed Tart

Today was my lovely friend Steph’s birthday garden party. Think drinking Pimms out of a teaset, how amazing is that (!), a cream tea, finger sandwiches, cupcakes, and bubbly. I was asked to bring the healthy option to the table, which initially I found quite a tough one.

Parties, buffets and BBQ’s all demand party food and generally that means a table laden with high calorie, high fat snacks with just the teeniest sprinkling of fruit and vegetables. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Here’s what I came up with – a quick, easy tomato and mozzerella tart. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and also contain the antioxidant Lycopene. They have been linked to improving bone health, heart health and lowering cholesterol. What’s not to love?

I also took a bowl of homemade gucamole and hummous with carrot, celery and cucumber sticks. It all went down a storm. I’m assuming therefore it was tasty however I couldn’t try it myself due to the wheat content – silly me 😉

Dietitian UK: Tomato, Pesto, Mozzerella Tart
Dietitian UK: Tomato, Pesto, Mozzerella Tart


Recipe (serves 8-10 at a buffet):

1 roll of defrosted puff pastry (you get 2 rolls in a pack, so keep one for another time)

2 tomatoes, get the tastiest ones you can, mine were vine ripened and I was lucky to get them on the pastry as toddler girl kept eating them.

1/2 ball of mozzerella cheese

tomato puree


  • Spread the puff pastry sheet on a greased non stick baking tray and preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7. When putting on the toppings you want to keep about a 1 inch edge border free from topping.
  • Spread a thin layer of tomato puree on it and then follow with a thin layer of pesto.
  • Cover with thinly sliced tomatoes and dot with mozzerella.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Slice into bite sized pieces.

Nutritional Info: Per portion for 10 people 130kcals, 8g fat, 10g carbohydrate, 4g protein.


Sunflower, pecan and cardamon muffins, heart healthy, gluten free and yummy.

This is an adapted recipe from Green Kitchen Stories, it looked so yummy I had to try it. Plus they are Gluten Free and Wheat Free.

Sunflower seeds are a good source of Vitamin E, Magnesium and Selenium as well as having phytosterols that can help lower cholesterol. Vitamin E is an antioxidant so it stops the effects of free radicals and can protect against disease like cancer; it is also an anti-inflammatory, helping in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Magnesium is an all round important nutrient being used in a number of body systems, it keeps the nerves relaxed so they can send signals properly, aids in energy production and can help lower blood pressure. Selenium is also an antioxidant that plays a role in repairing damaged DNA and preventing cancer cell growth.

Dietitian UK:  Sunflower seeds
Dietitian UK: Sunflower seeds

Pecans are also a great source of Vitamin E and have been linked to protecting against Alzheimers, cancer and heart disease. The plant sterols in the nuts can help lower cholesterol and they contain the heart healthy mono-unsaturated fat.

So basically these are a good source of Vitamin E, they contain heart healthy mono-unsaturated fat and contain cholesterol lowering products. Wow! Health in a muffin 😉


90g sunflower seeds toasted in the oven for 8 minutes.

60g pecans

1 tsp baking powder

50g margarine

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground cardamon

4 egg whites

  • Grind the nuts and seeds in a pestle and mortar, I did mine in 3 batches.
  • Add the baking powder.
  • Melt the margarine and honey (I used the microwave) and then add the vanilla extract and cardamon, leave to cool.
  • Whisk the egg whites for about a minute until foamy (not stiff).
  • Mix the dried ingredients and wet mix together. Gently fold in the egg whites.
  • Dollop into 12 muffin cases (fill until near the top) and bake at Gas Mark 3 for 15-20 minutes, they will firm up a little more when cool.
Dietitian UK: Sunflower, Pecan and Cardamon muffins
Dietitian UK: Sunflower, Pecan and Cardamon muffins

Nutritional Info: Per muffin 119 kcals, 8.8g fat (1.1g saturates 3.8 monounsaturates, 3.4 polyunsaturates), 7.0g carbohydrate, 3.3g protein.

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.


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 😉


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:


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…


  • 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