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!)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

New to GF DF?

When you are new to a GF DF diet, it is easy to get into the habit of trying to simulate the diet you had before you were ill. This can be very expensive because GF baked goods are always more expensive than their glutened counterparts (whether homemade or bought) and disappointing because you will never achieve quite the same textures in cooking (pure gluten very closely resembles the elasticity of chewing gum....ew!). Also, you were ill, so you need super healthy foods to help heal you.  If you are coeliac (rather than gluten intolerant) it will take time (sometimes up to 2 years) before you will be able to absorb normal amounts of nutrients from your foods, so even more reason to eat healthy nutrient-packed foods.

Let bread, cakes, pastries and biscuits be your sometimes but not everyday foods. Embrace all the natural healthy foods that you can eat.  Rethink breakfast.  This will make your new GF DF life easier. Consider what people in other countries eat who aren't so dependent on gluten for every meal. In Japan, for example, they eat fish and rice with miso soup for breakfast. Rethink lunch. Invest in a food thermos instead of always relying on sandwiches for lunch (you will get fed up of even the nicest GF breads in time anyway).

Here's a list of dinners you can cook with little or no adaptations to make them gf.
Altho make sure to use throughly "decontaminated" kitchen worktop and utensils if you share your kitchen with gluten eaters! Steer clear of bread boards as they harbour gluten and wooden ones are hard to clean properly.

  • Fish pie (make white sauce with gf flour.  I use gf stock and a little soya milk)
  • Cottage/Shepherds pie (use gf stock cubes. thicken sauce with corn/potato flour if necessary)
  • Tacos, guacamole, gf nachos
  • bacon-wrapped chicken
  • gf Pasta+vegan pesto
  • gf lasagne (use GF stock cubes, gf pasta sheets)
  • gf macaroni "cheese" (see my recipe)
  • spicy pork meatballs (see traclements recipe) with rice
  • smoked salmon salad
  • chicken wings - bake, rubbed in oil, paprika, coriander, salt and pepper.
  • potato wedges - cut each potato into 6 lengthwise wedges. Rub in oil and season. Bake, standing on skins so they dont stick, in a hot oven for 30 mins.
  • kedgeree
  • risotto (gf stock)
  • stir fry+ gf rice noodles (or gf spaghetti)
  • casserole with potatoes/quinoa/rice
  • jambalaya
  • gf spaghetti carbonara
  • gf sausages + mash (freeze leftover gravy from a roast to use with this)
  • sweet and sour pork/chicken with rice or rice noodles (see my sauce recipe)
  • crispy duck and home-made gf hoisin with rice pancakes
  • Sushi (use GF soy sauce and buy pure wasabi powder)
  • fish baked in foil with olives, tomatoes and lemon slices+new potatoes
  • gf pizza
  • Steak and chips (lots of the mccains ones are gf)
  • Crustless Quiche aka Fritata
  • gf spag bolognese
  • homemade burgers + rice
  • lamb kofkas and rice salad
  • curry (any can be GF if you make spice blends yourself.  replace ghee with DF marg) + onion bhajis (make these with gf chickpea flour) + gf poppadoms
  • Morrocan Tagine + rice
  • Chicken Caesar salad (with bacon and avocado - make a garlic sauce by watering down some mayo and add garlic and herbs. Make Crutons using up any old GF bread)
  • Smoked haddock Chowder (chicken/fish stock, sweetcorn, herbs, potatoes)
  • Sticky Chicken thighs/drumsticks - baste with honey, gf soy and tommyk!
  • Pea soup (gf stock)
  • Bacon wrapped white fish with salad and new potatoes
  • Stuffed peppers/marrows (with quinoa or rice + veg or mince)
  • Gingery pork stir fry
  • Roast dinner.  Use GF stock cubes and the meat juices to make gravy.  thicken with corn flour or potato flour mixed with a little water.  Some supermarkets sell GF stuffing mixes.
  • Bbq ribs (see my sauce recipe)
  • English breakfast (gf sausages, mccains hashbrowns or birdseye waffles)

Millionaire Shortbread

Almond Shortbread
1 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 tsp xanthum powder

2 drops vanilla extract
1/2 to a 1/3 cup margarine 

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then add the vanilla and 1/2 cup of margarine.  

Combine using your hands for 5 mins until it forms a soft dough.  If too crumbly add a little more marg (approx a tbsp).
Press into the base of a silicone cake mold. I use the base of a cup for this to avoid lots of finger indents.
Bake for 20-30 mins until browned.
Caramel layer*
300g caster sugar 
60g vegan margarine 
approx. 125ml soya cream with 3 tbsp potato starch mixed in
few drops vanilla
Safety note: Sugar boils at a much higher temperature than water so be very careful not to touch it when it's hot or splash it on yourself.

Heat just the sugar a large steel pan on a medium heat, stirring continuously (especially the edges to make sure they don't burn). After around 5 mins the sugar will start to melt and turn a caramel colour. 

Keep stirring until all the sugar lumps have melted and then stir in the remaining ingredients.
Test the consistency is thick enough by dropping some in cold water or onto chopping board and letting it cool. It needs to hold it's shape but not be hard and brittle. If it's too soft, keep heating and stirring, if it's too brittle add more cream.
When you have the desired consistency, pour over your shortbread and leave to set.
Chocolate Layer
200g GF DF chocolate
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (in a heat proof bowl over boiling water).
Pour over the caramel layer and leave to set.
* The caramel layer is time consuming. If you can't be bothered, you can make a much easier peanut buttery layer instead (see below).
Peanutty layer
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
6 tbsp margarine
11/2 cups icing sugar
Melt the butter and stir in the peanut butter until combined. Add the sugar and mix well.  Spread over the shortbread base.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Water Roux Bread Rolls/Soft Pretzels

This recipe makes a soft dough that can be rolled into balls/pretzel shapes. Take care to make sure the water roux has cooled before adding it to the mix so that you don't kill your yeast by overheating it. Otherwise they will turn out a little dense like my first batch.
before cooking (more pics to come...)
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup potato starch
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp psyllium husks
1/4 tsp xanthum (could possibly omit this)
1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vinegar (cider or wine)
2 large eggs 
1/2 cup water/milk
4 tbsp oil
2 tsp fast action yeast (always mix this with wet ingredients until it dissolves)
1/2 cup water roux (heat 1 cup water with 1/3 cup rice flour and stir constantly with a whisk until it thickens) N.B. leave this to cool before adding to your other ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl.  In a jug whisk all the wet ingredients together with a fork until combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well with a spoon. It should make a soft dough.  If sticky add a little more flour. Leave to stand for 5 mins.

For Rolls
Break off pieces of the dough and roll into balls, dusting with cornflour.  Place on a silicone sheet and flatten slightly.  Loosely cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise.

For Pretzels
Break off pieces of the dough and roll into sausage shapes the length of your baking sheet, dusting with cornflour. Fold the sausages into pretzel shapes (see pic) and arrange on a silicone baking sheet. Loosely cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise.

Oil the tops of your pretzels/bread and sprinkle with salt.

Bake in a hot oven for 30-40 mins.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

GF and grain free doughnut recipe

Thanks for sharing this amazing looking recipe for Grain free Donuts.  I don't have a donut pan (yet!) but will definitely make these as cupcakes.

There definitely seems to be a trend in the USA for going grain free as well as GF.  Sometimes this is called the Paleo way of eating. The theory is that we haven't evolved to cope with digesting grains well and also that the very high starch content of them (and the proportion of our modern diet they make up) could be contributing to the rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes.