Monday, December 24, 2012

Cheese Straws

It's party season, which means cheese straws!

1 oz corn flour
4 oz brown rice flour
4 oz margarine
4 oz grated soya cheese

These are also great with sheep cheese if you can tolerate it.  Most supermarkets sell Spanish Manchego or French Ossu iraty which are lovely hard cheeses made from ewe's milk.

Choc/Lime Tart Recipes

Choc “cheesecake” topping
150g GF DF choc
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp vegan margarine
1 pot alpro cream
1 tbsp potato flour

Lemon-lime “cheesecake” topping
½ pack lime jelly
1 lime zest
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp vegan margarine
100ml lemon juice
1 pot alpro cream
1 tbsp potato flour

Semi-sweet Tart Pastry
200g Brown rice flour
50g corn flour
50g icing sugar
125g vegan margarine
1 egg

Friday, December 7, 2012

Xmas treats 2012

The makers of Fabulous fudge factory dairy free fudge are now doing some great choc covered raisins, now stocked in Sainsburys. They are seriously good:

Also, celtic chocs are doing little santa choc selections (containing  GF DFchoc bars, buttons and caramels) and a not particularly inspiring but delicious choc advent calendar (but then I do really prefer a traditional non-choc picture calendar where you have to hunt for the doors!...).

I also got to try Moofree chocs this Christmas which are soo nice, thanks to my sister in law. They sell them in Bristol Guild and Waitrose stock them, but apparently you can also get them online at amazon!

dairy free mini moos

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

GF DF Cheesecake Heaven!

Food Heaven dairy free cheese cake in association with Swedish Glace (yes, the amazing dairy-free ice-cream makers).

Yes it is gluten free and dairy free and it's delicious - just like a regular cheesecake. Good enough to share with your non-GF family, although you wont want  to share it...  Wow!
Find it in the frozen section of Tesco.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Yes Pizza Hut! Well done!

Just had the most amazing yummy pizza hut pizzas.  The base is soft and tasty - just like regular one. We ordered GF ones for the whole family even though my hubby is not coeliac and he was really impressed too.

It's such a brilliant idea to make them square so you know it's your order - otherwise I would've had to get them to check and double check as it was so like a normal pizza! It's reassuring to be able to identify it as the freefrom one straight away.

I love that you can order any of the toppings as they are all GF. And of course if you are milk intolerant and not just lactose intolerant you can order without cheese.  

My only gripe is that you can only order these from the restaurant branches and not the takeaway shops, but who knows they may do them in the future if they are as popular as they have been so far.  Our local chain has had trouble keeping up with demand already so ring ahead to check they have stock!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pizza Autumn Fever...

Well, this Autumn lots of big Pizza chains have announced they will be serving GF pizza which is prepared and cooked separately to the gluten-containing ones: Pizza hut, Dominos, Zizzis, Prezzo and Ask Italian.



I've yet to try them, but all the reviews on the coeliac forums I've read for the Pizza hut GF pizzas are overwhelmingly positive.  What great news! Pizza hut have even been working with leading charity CoeliacUK in order to get the preparation right.  I read a while back that Dominos were going to start offering GF Pizzas in the US, but they had such a long disclaimer paragraph that I think it would be pretty likely there'd be issues of contamination with toppings and how they are cooked - which completely defeats the object!!

Pizza hut GF pizzas are square, which a great idea so you can feel confident you've been served the right one, can come with any topping and are served uncut (with their own pizza knife) in order to further avoid contamination issues. Brilliant.

"white" Pasta

For those who don't like chickpea flour or simply can't be bothered to stock it in their kitchen.  Here is a pasta dough that is pliable although a bit more delicate to handle than the chickpea version.

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup corn flour
1/2 cup potato flour
2 tsp psyllium husks
1/2 tsp xanthum
1 tsp salt

2 eggs
3 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp water (approx)

The easiest way to mix the ingredients is to pulse in a blender, but you can also beat with a fork a little and then knead by hand.  The amount of water needed will vary slightly depending on the humidity of your kitchen so add 5 tbsp and only add more if your dough is too dry to hold together well.

Once your dough has formed a ball, leave to rest for 10 mins before rolling out.  I roll mine out (half a batch at a time) on a silicone mat with either a sheet of clingfilm or baking parchment on top.  Cut with a blunt knife and place on a (Corn) floured plate until you're ready to cook it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My first worthy dinner rolls!

And when I say worthy I mean worthy of being shared with non gluten-free people.  The secret is getting the dough to rise. Check out glutenfreeonashoestring's post on rising the dough in the microwave before baking. The result is light fluffy rolls!


Here's my version of a soft fluffy roll recipe:

Soya soft bread
2 cups GF plain flour
1 ½ cups soya flour
2 tsp xanthum (less if your flour mix contains it)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
2tbsp sugar


2/3 cup melted marg, cooled
1 egg
1 cup water
2 tsp dried yeast

Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately and then combine.  Beat well with a fork and then a metal spoon until a very soft, floppy dough is formed.
Very carefully, roll spoonfuls of the soft dough in GF flour and arrange on a silcone baking sheet. Leave to rise covered with a hot, wet kitchen towel for 30-60 mins (you may need to reheat towel). Bake for 30-40 mins in a moderately hot oven.

serve warm.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bread Proofer - updated

You can now get hold of Brod and Taylor's electric bread proofer in the UK from Lakeland stores.  Unfortunately it will set you back £150 but it does get rave reviews and doesn't take up as much space as a bread maker (and it folds away).

There seems to be 2 key factors in getting GF bread to rise a) not kneading it, b) getting it to rise in a warm steamy environment in the first hour - unlike gluteny bread, which benefits from a long, slow overnight rise.  You can use glutenfreeonashoestring's microwave + hot tea towel method, but it does mean remembering to go back and reheat the towel every 20 mins which my nappy brain just can't seem to remember to do... Or you could buy a reasonable breadmaker for £60 but you need to make a batter style GF bread and use the longest setting (not the quick gluten free setting that some machines have!). See my post about machine GF bread. And I havent figured out how to make rolls yet as GF dough doesn't like being disturbed once it's risen!

Monday, October 1, 2012

GF Shoestring book review

I have often pored over the delicious-looking photos on the glutenfreeonashoestring blog looking for baking inspiration. At first I was a little put off by the references to branded flour mixes (all American brands) and the advertising, but there's also info on how to approximate these mixes yourself and actually the book just suggests you use a generic plain GF flour and xanthum gum.

I have the Kindle version of the book so no mouth watering photos, but the staple recipes are sound.  I love the beginning chapters about how to get organised and prepare doughs ahead to freeze/refrigerate so that you can make a quick pizza, pasta or cookie batch mid week.  Essential tips when you have impatient little mouths to feed mid-week and not much time to devote to mid-week dinners.

There's also lots of advice on how to save money whilst cooking gluten-free,as the title suggests, and most of it is  also relevant for a UK audience.

I think the most impressive things I've made so far are crispy pizza bases which can be picked up and eaten like a regular pizza and light fluffy dinner rolls.  The tips on making GF bread rise are especially good and handy if you don't have a bread maker (most GF cookbooks only cater for breadmaker owners!).  Finally I have managed to make bread rolls I would happily share with my dinner guests and it's nice to have the house filled with the smell of freshly baked bread again...

My only criticism is that the recipes are a bit waffly/verbose and the ingredients aren't necessarily listed in the order you use them in the recipe.  That said, it is useful in some recipes to have extra info.about the texture you're aiming for, but most recipes could be more succinct.

So check out the blog, try some free recipes and if you like them, I recommend the book.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Lime tofu"cheese"cake

170g firm tofu (about half a box)
100ml soya milk
70g sugar
a little lime zest
100ml lemon juice (plus the juice of the lime)
1 pack Hartleys Lime Jelly

**one GF shortbread base (see recipe) made in the bottom of an 8" cake tin/mold.

Blend together tofu, milk, sugar and zest until smooth. 

Break the Jelly into pieces and put in a heat-proof jug with the juices. Melt the Jelly for 1 min in the microwave. 

Stir the jelly into the tofu mixture. Pour over the biscuity base and leave to set.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Soya Cheese Sandwhich

OK, so hard soya cheese can't just be sliced and stuck in a sandwhich - it just doesn't have quite the right texture and flavour.  However, if you grate it and mix with mayo and onion....Mmmm cheese and onion sarnie!  I'm loving Morrisons own mayo at the moment, but Hellmans full fat is also good. and also milk free.

Tesco soya cheese! In new chilled range. Not available in all stores - but worth asking if they'll stock it.

And my opinions on the bread to use...

  • Best "fresh" breads I would recommend (in order of preference): Yes bread (tesco), DS fresher fibre loaf, Genius, Warburtons. 
  • Best "non-fresh" breads that need "refreshing" in the microwave for 30 secs: Sainsbury's rosemary focaccia (pricey though), DS chiabata rolls, tesco free from English muffins, tesco multigrain loaf.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Alternative Breakfasts

Fed up of horrid over-priced GF cereal, stale bread or tasteless crackers for a quick breakfast?

The following recipes are all things you can make in advance and freeze/refrigerate. The bread/crackers/Farls can be reheated quickly in a toaster if you have a dedicated gluten-free toaster in your kitchen, or grilled. Muffins and bars I either defrost the day before in the fridge or microwave for 30 seconds on high.
  • Banana Pancakes 
  • Banana/Pineapple/Honey Muffins 
  • Banana bread 
  • Fruit 'n' nut energy bars 
  • Savoury crackers 
  • Potato Farls

Banana pancakes
1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup corn starch
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
1/4 cup  oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups soya milk

Breakfast Muffins - HoneyPineappleBanana
1 small banana
1 3/4 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup corn flour
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1-2 tsps cinnamon

1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 big tbsps (1/4 cup) runny honey
3 tbsps maple syrup 

6 tbsps sugar
2 eggs, beaten
half tin of crushed pineapple

Mash the banana with a fork. Add all dry, then wet ingredients and mix well.  Spoon the batter into 12 silicone cupcake moulds (or 8 muffin moulds) and bake for 20-25 mins in a hot oven.  The tops should rise lots and be nicely browned.

Serve warm drizzled with honey (or if you want to eat them cold, sweeten before baking by adding 1/2 cup sugar to the batter mix).

Banana Bread

4 oz vegan margarine
5 oz sugar
3 bananas
1 egg
4 oz Brown rice flour
2 oz corn flour
2 tsp GF baking soda
1-2tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins

Cream the margarine and sugar together then add the egg and banana and mix well with a fork.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to form a thick batter.  Spoon the batter into a loaf tin and bake in a hot oven for 1-1/2 hours (until a skewer comes out clean).

Fruit 'n' Nut Energy Bars
Ideally, I'd find a substitute for the GF breakfast cereal in this recipe as they are so expensive, but as even a tasteless cereal will do in this recipe just buy whatever is cheapest.  I will try and adapt this recipe
4 big tbsps nut butter
4 big tsbsp honey
2 cups chopped fruit and nuts (e.g. apricots and almonds)
2 cups GF cereal (whatever is cheapest - and tasteless is fine for this recipe!)

Melt the honey and butter gently in a big pan. Take off the heat and stir in the fruit, nuts and cereal.  Press into a lipped baking sheet lined with baking parchment and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hrs to set.  Cut into bars and store in a tuperware in the fridge.

Potato Farls *updated recipe*
2 cups mashed potato
2 cups GF plain flour

Dry mash the potatoes, adding in  a little salt. Mix in the flour quickly and lightly knead. Roll into balls a little smaller than a tennis ball and flatten using a tortilla press. In a non-stick pan, dry fry each round patty for about 2 mins each side until browned and then cut into triangles.

Serve hot, buttered with margarine and your favourite topping (e.g. smoked salmon, ham, parma ham, scrambled egg etc).

Monday, August 20, 2012

Black bean sauce

So here's a rough recipe for a Chinese black bean sauce. I've really missed this kind of earthy-salty-miso type flavour since being GF, as all the ready-made jars of black bean sauce are not gluten-free.  But it is worth hunting in your local Asian supermarket for the dried/tinned black beans themselves:

The only ingredients should be the beans, water, salt and possibly sugar. You will need to soak them in hot water for a few minutes and drain before cooking with them as they are very salty..

1 tbsp oil
2 tsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp fermented black beans (pre-soaked and drained)
salt and pepper

1 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp GF soy sauce
1/2 cup water with 1tsp potato starch dissolved in it

Fry the first list of ingredients for a minute, add any meat/veg and cook to brown.  Add the remaining sauce ingredients and heat through.  Serve with rice, rice noodles or GF spaghetti.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Instant noodles GF style

I really miss the cheap instant egg noodles of my student days. They are pretty unhealthy as they are fried and most of the sauces contain MSG so it is probably a good thing that they are wheat-based and off-limits!  Although there are some Thai and Vietnamese brands that do rice noodle versions (see last pic below), I have no idea how likely they are to be GF so will definitely be waiting til I'm not pregnant to test them out.

So,.... here's my alternative reliably GF version:

Granovita pate tube. holland and barratt and most healthfood shops sell tTamari Soy Sauce glutenfree

Rice vermicelli or Mung bean noodles
2 tbsp grated carrot
1 tbsp grated onion or finely chopped spring onion
tiny bit of a GF chicken stock cube

1 tbsp Granovita Yeast Pate (mushroom)
1 tbsp soy sauce

For instant noodles, you need to buy the thinnest noodles (vermecelli) which are thinner than spaghetti (Asian supermarkets stock loads of brands). Put the first list of ingredients in a bowl, pour over hot water (covering the noodles completely) and cover the bowl with  a lid or plate. Leave for 3 mins.  Open and drain, then add the remaining sauce ingredients.


If only I knew whether these were GF - ingredients look ok but no idea about manufacturing methods/contamination.

Microwave hot chocolate

So easy and GF - forget powdered hot choc mixes full of gluten and milky rubbish...

1 tsp cocoa
1 cup soya milk
3-5 tsps icing sugar (according to taste)

Put the cocoa and about 2 tbsp of the milk in a mug and mix well to make a chocolatey paste.  Now add the rest of the milk and the sugar. Heat in the microwave for 1 1/2 mins on full power and mix again. Ready!

Tip: Once you know your preferred amount of sugar, why not make up a mix in a small tuperware to take to work/on hol?  And you can always keep a carton of UHT soya milk handy as it doesn't need refrigerating.

If you want it even sweeter, Dr oetker mini marshmallows are GF. Find them with the cake decos in supermarket. Lovely floated on top. Happy, happy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pan de bono (Cheesy Corn rolls)

This is a mexican recipe which is easy to find elsewhere on the internet and is always GF but usually contains cows cheese (e.g. see mycolumbianrecipes or gfonashoestring).  They are a bit like cheesy scones.

Because of the soya cheese (which is harder and drier than normal cheese) I altered the traditional recipe by adding marg and baking powder.  The orange rolls in pic above contain Tesco soya medium cheese and the yellow ones Manchego sheep cheese. One batch will make 5 rolls in a normal sized food processor.

1/3 cup masa harina (mexican tortilla flour)
2/3 cup tapioca or cassava starch
1 tsp GF baking soda
1/2 block of soya cheese (approx 150g/6oz)
2 eggs
2 tbsp vegan margarine

corn flour for dusting

Blend the cheese, add the flours and a little salt and blend again until fine.  Add the eggs and marg and blend for 2 mins.  The dough should start to ball up but keep blending and then it will become a smooth paste (see youtube video). Roll into balls, dusting with corn flour and place on a tray.

Bake for 20 mins in a hot oven until golden, turning once. Serve warm with a little melted margarine.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chinese orange chicken recipe

A variation on the classic Lemon chicken:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sausage rolls/Cheese straws

Pastry Squares
5 oz rice flour (I used 1 brown and 4 white)
1/2 tsp xanthum gum
salt and pepper
4oz vegan margarine
4 oz soya cheese (or parmesan/cheddar) grated

Rub the marg and flour together with your hands and then mix in the cheese.
Roll out the dough on a silicone baking sheet (or parchment) and cut into shapes. Cook in the oven for 10-20 mins until crisp.

For Sausage Rolls
I used Black Farmer's Daughter sausages cut into thirds because they are nice and thin, but you could use any GF sausage and squeeze it out of the skin to shape into smaller peices.  I used a yellow soya cheese in the pastry to help hold it together but still look like normal puff pastry.

Take a small amount of dough and squidge it around a small piece of sausage. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and press carefully with a fork. Bake until the sausage is cooked.  Leave to cool for 10 mins before removing from the tray.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rice paper or popadom parcels

My boy is not keen on GF bread at the mo (who can blame him!) so am trying to find alternative finger foods for him.  Today I thought I'd try spring rolls that are baked not fried (mostly because I don't want to stand there frying them in summer).  I've used rice paper and uncooked popadoms as wrappers.  The popadoms are a little more tricky to use without breaking so make sure you only soak them until just soft enough to roll. The popadom ones crisp up better than the rice ones so are definitely worth the effort.

Rice paper (see my pinterest board for the brands I use)
uncooked popadoms

3 skinned sausages
1/2 carrot, grated
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 stick celery, finely chopped
some grated ginger (optional)
1 tbsp rice miso paste (optional)

Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Mix all the filling ingredients together with your hands and form little sausage shapes (about a 1/3 the size of a normal sausage).

Fill a large flat bowl with boiling water and allow to cool a bit (so it's fairly warm but not too hot to put your fingers in).

Soak your spring roll wrappers one by one and fill by placing sausage in the centre and rolling, tucking in the ends.  Rice wrappers need soaking for just 5 seconds and lentil/pea ones for 10-15 seconds.

Place your spring roll parcels on the lined tray, rub with some vegetable oil and bake in the oven for 20-30 mins or until golden.  Carefully turn half way through cooking to make them crisp both sides and avoid them getting a soggy bottom (the rice ones are more prone to this and then the filling can fall out!).

before baking

after baking - popadom ones at top.

Why not try Cornish Pasty or Samosa style fillings instead of something oriental.  For a samosa filling recipe, check out

Friday, July 13, 2012


I'm a bit behind on the whole thing, but glutenfreeguerillas have a great pinboard page with Friday night dinner recipes. Check it out:

Also, have a look at my pinboard for GF DF brand foods: 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Toddler Pesto

I'm having to sneak veggies into my boy at the mo otherwise he's basically be a carnivore who drinks milk...

Blend the following in a food processor and lightly fry, then mix with your favourite GF pasta:

2 Spring onions
1/2  bag of green beans
1 big clove of garlic
handful of spinach
1/2 cup of nuts (almonds or cashews)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup grated cheese (soya or otherwise)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Monday, July 9, 2012

Almond milk + left-over almond meal

1 cup almonds (pre-soak overnight and throw away the water)
3-4 cups water
2-4 dates, stones removed
vanilla (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a liquidiser and blend for a few minutes, then strain through a sieve (jostling with a spoon to make it quicker).  That's it!  Keep in a bottle in the fridge and shake before using.  I find it keeps well for nearly a week.  The almond meal that you collected with the sieve can be used to make choc brownies or biscuits, but it will be very wet so you'll have to experiment with how much flour to add to your recipes...

Left-over almond meal biscuits
Weigh the almond meal you have left over from making milk and add to it the same weight of icing sugar, double the flour (I used brown rice flour) and about 3 tbsp margarine. Mix it well with your hands to make a sticky, sloppy dough.  Spoon onto a lined baking sheet and bake in a medium oven for 40mins or until slightly browned and dry in the middle.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Kid's Lunchbox Snacks

It's worth getting a load of small tuperware boxes of varying sizes/shapes to fill with snack-sized portions of food.  Make sure they are air-tight as some cheapies are not!

Fresh fruit: Grapes, chopped peach (skin removed), apple with a little lemon juice to stop it browning.
Dried Fruit: Raisins, chopped apricots, dates, dried apple chopped.
Nuts:  Peanuts are banned from schools, but cashews and almonds are more nutritious anyway.
GF Cereal: GF coco pops or cherio-style cereal.  I put these in with some dried fruit for variety.
Toddler Crisps: Goodies brand or mini rice cakes. Find in the baby aisle.  These are also low salt.
Dried Fruit Treats: e.g. school bars, Frootz buttons, Humdinger fruit stars - very processed so I expect there are no vitamins left, but these make a nice alternative to sweets nonetheless.
Yoghurt: I put half a soya yoghurt in a baby tuperware (or make my own soya yoghurt for a less sugary option and add vanilla and honey).
Indian snack bars: Cofresh brand coconut or peanut bars. Not very healthy but good for a change.
Popcorn: Homemade. Cook for 1 min in microwave in a bowl with pierced cling film on (no oil).
Poppadoms: Buy plain uncooked. cook for 1 min in microwave on a plate (no extra oil).
Houmous+ dippy things: Buy mini pots of houmous or fill a small tuperware. Box/bag up things to dip separately like crisps, poppadoms, carrot,celery,cucumber or crackers.  If houmous is too garlicy, try guacamole or home-made pate made from white beans like haricot or butter beans.
Home-made biscuits. Try my almond shortbread, or these recommended recipes for gingernuts or digestives.

Cheese:  Soya cheese is not very palatable uncooked, but if your child is only lactose intolerant but not milk intolerant (i.e. it doesn't give them exzema or spots) you could pack mini portions of hard cheese. Manchego is a good alternative to cow's milk cheese as it is like a creamy cheddar but made from sheep's milk.  I find it doesn't give me a bad skin reaction whereas cow's milk does.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Individually-wrapped kids treats

If your child is going to Nursery/Pre-school/Primary you may want to take in a box of individually-wrapped treats with a long shelf life so that they can have something when other children bring in birthday cakes etc.

Most supermarket ownbrand cakes only have a shelf life of 1 or two months, but here are some alternatives...

Here are some ideas mums/dads shared on the Coeliac Message Board:

GF and DF

  • Mrs Crimbles giant choc macaroon (most supermarkets)
  • Humdinger choc buttons (most supermarkets)
  • Sesame bars (most supermarkets)
  • Haribo - most fun-sized packs  (most supermarkets)
  • Tesco dollymix (check Cuk directory)
  • Swizzels lolly bags (most supermarkets)
  • Orgran mini outback animal choc cookies (sainsburys)
  • Alpro mini choc milkshakes UHT triple pack (most supermarkets)
  • Pink panther Wafers (not individually wrapped but will keep for ages in a tuperware)
  • Fabulous fudge factory dairy free fudge  (not individually wrapped but will keep for ages in a tuperware)
  • Lazy days Cakes (sainsb. or online)- not individually wrapped, but have 6 month shelf life, so they'll probably keep for a term wrapped individually in clingfilm. The choc caramel shortbread + choc orange tiffin are great.

Just GF (not Dairy-free):
  • De Celine individual cakes (Waitrose)
  • Nature's Path Crispy Rice Bites bars (Waitrose)
  • Choc/caramel wafers (Asda)
  • Byron Bay Individual cookies (Sainsburys)
  • NoWheat Choc Orange bars (tesco)
  • True Free custard creams/bourbons (all supermarkets)
  • Cadburys Fudge fingers  (most supermarkets)
  • Cadburys mini eggs small boxes  (most supermarkets)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jamie's sausage and fennel pasta sauce

Watched Jamie's 30 minute meals yesterday and was inspired to make his sausagey pasta sauce for my veg-avoiding toddler.  What a result!  He promptly wolfed down 2 helpings.  All GF sausages should be suitable -  fairly high in meat content (as cereal is usually ommitted altogether).  I used Morrisons GF sausages, but anything not too herby would work well like Jimmy's GF Pork sausages or the Debbie and Harry GF ones.

Will also try the frangipan tarts as they should be easy to convert to GF.  They look a little like bakewell tarts. Mmmmm....

Saturday, June 16, 2012


tennis-ball sized lump of GF flan pastry (see recipe below)
3 eggs
100ml soya/almond milk
3 spring onions
5 green beans
a little diced ham
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper
grated soya cheese (optional)

Press the pastry into a flan dish with your fingers and then flatten to get a nice even base by pressing with the base of a ramekin.  Blind bake in a hot oven until the pastry looks just cooked.

Beat the eggs and milk together with a fork and add in a most of the cheese (if using), and seasoning.  Sprinkle the onions, beans and ham over the part-cooked pastry base and pour over the eggy mixture.  Bake again until the middle of the egg bit is mostly firm, sprinkle again with remaining cheese. Bake until there is no wobble left in the eggy part.  Cut and serve.

Pie/Flan Pastry
I usually make up a load of this and freeze it in usable sized lumps. It doesn't take long to defrost and then makes a home-made quiche quite a quick dinner/lunch.
2 cups GF plain flour/rice flour
1/2 cup chick pea flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthum

1 cup marg.
1 egg, beaten with approx. 1/4 cup water

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and rub in the marg. Add the egg and water and knead until well combined. If it is crumbly add a little more water - if it then gets sticky add a little more flour.

You should have a soft dough that can be rolled. I find it falls apart more easily than wheat dough, so I roll it out on a silicone baking sheet with a silicone rolling pin, dusted with corn flour.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Costa gluten free cakes (and DF)

Costa coffee shops now do a lovely wrapped fruitcake and two mini bakewell tarts (in the stand by the till).  So glad to see these, and they were delicious.  Also great they are all wrapped up so there aren;t any issues with staff contaminating them with other food items.   Very sensible. Only wish they were bigger!

Apparently they also do choc brownies but they contain codex wheat starch and dairy so will steer clear of these..

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Catering for a DF Coeliac

If you're catering for a dairy-intolerant coeliac the lists of foods they can't eat can be daunting, but some of your usual home-cooked meals may already be suitable or with the simple substitution of one or two ingredients could be made dairy and gluten free.  Here are some ideas of things to cook, which don't involve expensive, specialist free-from ingredients (most of which you'd have to check anyway as some are wheat-free but not gluten-free, not oat-free's a bit of a minefield!).

Remember to make sure you are preparing food in a clean, crumb-free and flour-free kitchen and use separate utensils and pans to any gluten-containing ingredients if you are preparing gluteny foods as well.  (check out my pages on food prep and Yes/No foods for more info.)

  • Risotto - use oil instead of butter and buy GF DF stock cubes (e.g. Kallo). Porcini are GF.
  • Soup - use oil instead of butter and buy GF DF stock cubes (e.g. Kallo)
  • Casserole - dust any meat in cornflour (or omit this stage) and use GF DF stock cubes.
  • Roast dinner - avoid stuffing and make gravy from the meat juices, adding GF stock and corn or potato flour to thicken it.
  • Thai curry - check the paste ingredients for gluten and milk products (most are authentic and suitable). Rice and rice noodles are gluten free or cook the curry with potatoes in it.
  • Rice/Quinoa Salad - make your own dressing with oil and vinegar/lemon juice. If using mustard, check the ingredients don't include wheat flour and use a new jar (as bread knives may have been dipped in it previously). If using mayo - check it doesn't contain milk/whey/lactose. egg is fine. Serve with new potatoes.  Cous cous and Bulgar are both wheat so a big no no!
  • Potato Salad -  If using mayo - check it doesn't contain milk/whey/lactose. egg is fine.   If using mustard, check the ingredients don't include wheat flour and use a new jar (as bread knives may have been dipped in it previously).
  • Antipasti - these should all be GF but some jars contain feta cheese (which will be obvious). Most salami are okay but some have gluten in the peppered coating or contain lactose, so check the ingredients.
  • Jacket potatoes - bake them in foil or on a clean baking tray (as many people will have warmed bread/pizza straight on the oven shelves which will leave traces of gluten). Virtually all baked bean brands are GF, check the ingredients - maize starch is fine. Serve olive oil as an alternative to butter.
  • Fried breakfast - make sure you fry only gluten-free ingredients in the pan (use a separate pan for gluteny food, or use the pan after cooking the GF options.  Tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, eggs all are GF.  Most baked beans are GF. McCains hash browns and Birds eye mini-waffles are GF, or you could sautee some thinly sliced potato.
  • Indian curry and popadoms - Fry spices in oil not butter (beware that some ready made spice mixes contain wheat flour). Choose a dish that doesn't include yoghurt or replace with soya yoghurt. Check with your coeliac friend which brands of popadoms they can eat - usually there are some mainstream brands in the supermarket which are fine (but manufacturing practices change and your friend can look them up in the coeliacUK food directory which is regularly updated).
  • Morrocan Tangines - authentic recipes don't use stock cubes at all.  Check any ready made spice mixes don't contain wheat flour. Serve with rice.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
500g lamb mince
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp all spice
2 bay leaves
2-3 aubergines, 1cm thick slices
2 potatoes, 1cm thick slices
salt and pepper
onion/beef GF stock cube
tin of chopped tomatoes
approx. pint of bechamel sauce*

In a little oil, fry the aubergines in a frying pan, making sure the pieces don’t overlap.  Turn to brown each side. Take off the heat.

Fry the onion, garlic, spices and mince until browned in a little oil. Add the tomatoes and stock cube and heat through. Take of the heat.

In an oven proof dish layer, potatoes, mince, aubergines, mince, aubergines, bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with soya cheese. Bake for 40 mins in a hot oven.

* This from the mac'n'cheese recipe in my recipe collection - it's basically a white sauce made with chicken stock instead of milk:

Bechamel Sauce
Fry approx. 3 tbsp GF flour (any) in 3 tbsp oil or margarine and then add a pint of stock but by bit, stirring all the time with a balloon whisk to avoid lumps. Add a tsp of smooth dijon mustard. You could also add some soya milk/cheese or a beaten egg to make it extra creamy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Home-made bath treats!

What do you do when you've been glutened? I take a hot bath, take ibruprofen and drink peppermint tea to help relieve gut spasms (you can also take IBS medication from your GP but I find most of them pretty ineffective).  Sometimes sleeping, taking a walk and/or eating GF food can help too (to help move digestion along). Even so, it usually takes me about 3 days to get over a minor gluten incident!....

Why not get creative in the kitchen and make these easy home-made bath bombs. Okay, so they aren't food, but they do make great presents or just a treat for yourself when you need some TLC.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Oh my goodness - I found this jar of Marshmallow fluff in the supermarket (Morrisons) and it is gluten free!

Product Details

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Recipes for Kindle

Okay, my Recipe Collection is now also ready to download and use on your kindle in a large text PDF format.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's that time of year again...

It's Coeliac Awareness Week this week and CoeliacUK are encouraging people to try the Gluten-free for a week challenge to help raise awareness, raise money or simply to support your loved ones who have no choice about being GF!

Why not get your loved ones to try it too - it will help them to understand the practical and emotional side of living on a restricted diet and help them to learn how to cook for you.  Get them to check out my Yes/No foods (lactose products in pink for those who are also lactose intolerant) and Food preparation pages to get them started.  Remember it's really important they understand the issues of cross contamination as well as checking labels and ingredients.  If you are not sure they totally get it, why not cook with them so you can can an eye on what's going on in the kitchen or offer to wash and tidy as they cook.

Masala Roast chicken

Mmmm will be trying this delicious looking recipe from The Intolerant Gourmet tonight.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What is Bento?

So what is bento all about?  It is the Japanese word for packed lunch.  A bento style lunch is a great idea for people eating gluten free as Japanese lunches usually consist of rice, meat and veg rather than sandwhiches.  
I found this lovely bento lunch box in Paperchase this week.  Love the separate cutlery section and the movable food divider.  Of course a normal tupperware box with a decent silicone seal will do (must be leak-proof) but ones with dividers do help you arrange the food to make it look extra appealing!

Adorable cookie cutters


These adorable cutters are on sale in Paperchase at the moment £3.50. They are spring-loaded so work even with my easy almond shortbread dough which is very soft (too soft to be rolled and cut like conventional biscuits).

N.B.  Bake these for 10-15 mins - they will cook a lot quicker than a big shortbread. 

So glad to finally find some cute cutters I can use with GF dough to make funky cookies for my little boy! I wonder if there are any other sprung cutters out there on the market....!  I bet you could use them to make cute creatures out of toast too...!
shortbread before cooking

(shortbread after cooking...although slightly over-cooked! oops!)