Welcome all, fill your tum with my num num nums.

Gluten, Dairy & Legume free recipes; some by design, others are just nice recipes that happen to be! There are recipes and also shopping 'finds', all of which are good for free from people and all yummy whether you are following a particular diet or not! Just because something is 'free from' doesn't mean everyone can't enjoy it - and you may be surpised at how much happier your body is.

'Special' is how my friends describe my food and me, I don't think it's entirely complimentary!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Shopping: Sainsburys Free From Korma Sauce

I did take a picture but I think I deleted it! It's ok, inoffensive but very bland. It reminds me of the non specific 'curry sauce' my mum used to use, a bit sweet and no discernable  spices. OK for an easy store cupboard emergency option but don't rush out to get it!

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Thursday, 16 September 2010

Chicken Samosas

These are made using banh trang - vietnamese rice paper sheets they use to make spring rolls, they are brittle sheets of rice that when soaked become soft. You can get them online or in chinese supermarkets etc. I have used them for spring rolls and samosas and intend to try baklava too - so many recipes, so little time! You can use them 'raw' soaked for wraps I believe.

500g minced chicken or turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1 chilli, diced
1 tbsp fresh mint or coriander, chopped
1/2 tsp ginger, grated
juice of half a lemon
Banh Trang sheets - the number depends on the shape and size, but less than a pack

Preheat the oven to 200c if you are going to bake them!
  • Fry the onion, adding the garlic, ginger and spices when it has softened.
  • Add the chicken and fry until cooked, stirring
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and herbs. Let it get to a temperature you can handle it at!
  • Set up a dish full of water and a damp towel. Put the first sheet in the water until softened (it is very quick!)
  • Carefully lay out the sheet on the damp towel, putting the next sheet into the water.
  • Put a spoonful of mixture onto the sheet and fold up into a triangle, sticking edges to gether with a bit of oil.
  • Brush with oil (and sprinkle sesame seeds over if you like - here I have used black ones) and bake in the oven until crispy. Alternatively you can deep fry them. The filling is already cooked so they don't take long either way.
Served here with a bit of mango chutney.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Slow Cooked Lamb (or Venison) with Cherries and Spring Onions

A badly lit photo - sorry! This is very nice, not very slow but a scrumptious Autumn dish with  Eastern Mediterranean flavours.

To serve 2:
400g lamb shoulder or venison, cubed
12 spring onions, sliced
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
150ml stock
2 tbsp dried cherries
Small bunch of flatleaf parsley, chopped
Tbsp toasted pinenuts to serve
  • Fry the lamb or venison for 3-5 minutes until browned in olive oil in a large non stick saucepan
  • Add the spring onions and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add the lemon zest and juice, and the stock then simmer over a low heat for 1&1/2 hours until the meat is tender
  • Stir in the cherries and parsley towards the end of cooking
  • Serve with the pine nuts sprinkled over

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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Honeycombe Ice Nohm

An easy twist on vanilla icecream, served here with baked plums. I got the honeycombe pieces from Sainsurys - they do a little bag of them in the baking section - but anything similar would be fine! If you click on the title it should take you to the Sainsburys ones.

1 tin of coconut milk
1/4 cup of golden or brown sugar
Pinch of salt
Tsp vanilla
Squirt of agave or golden syrup
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
100g of mini honeycombe pieces
  • Mix everything bar the honeycombe pieces and put into your icecream machine.
  • When the ice cream is done but still soft stir through the honeycombe pices.
  • Serve & eat!

Chicken, Apple and Almond Salad

I can't find what I have done with this recipe - watch this space!

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Monday, 6 September 2010

Scallops with Chorizo Stew

I love scallops and with this chorizo stew they make a tasty meal with crusty bread. I haven't made a very beautiful job of serving here but you get the idea!

Serves 2

100g chorizo, chopped
50ml sherry
1/2 a red onion, sliced
Small garlic clove, crushed
6 tomatoes, chopped
Handful of baby spinach
50ml chicken stock
1 tsp turmeric
6 scallops
  • Fry the chorizo in olive oil for 3-4 minutes until crisp
  • Add the sherry and reduce then add the onion and garlic then cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes, spinach, chicken stock and turmeric and cook for 8-10 minutes
  • Meanwhile, heat a frying pan and cook the scallops for 1 minutes each side - pay attention, scallops are easy to overcook.

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Sunday, 5 September 2010

Sicilian Stew

I have done this with both chicken and rabbit and they were both yummy! It is a good casserole to do when it is not really autumnal enough for casseroles as there are a lot of summery flavours. I tend to pop it all in my slow cooker and leave it bubbling away, and quite often miss out the frying bit too! Serves 3-4.

1 rabbit or small chicken cut inti joints
1 large baking potato cut into joints
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 each red, yellow & green peppers cut into chunks
3 celery sticks, sliced
1/2 aubergine, cut into chunks
1 carrot, sliced
tbsp capers
10-12 green olives
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
50ml dry white wine
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped

mint and or parsley to serve
crusty bread (sainsburys free from part baked baguette in the pic!)

Two options:
  • Fry the chicken/rabbit and then the vegetables, before adding the rest of the ingredients and simmer until all cooked.
  • Bung it all in the slow cooker and watch the rugby.
  • Sprinkle over the herbs and serve with crusty bread.


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Maple & Pecan Cupcakes

I seem to be having a bit of trouble formatting my posts so excuse the layout!

These were very nice, and I put this down to (apart from my baking skills ;-)) the maple extract I got. The link to it is in the title, I have tried to make them with maple syrup before but they just don't have the concentrated maple flavour. I think this would make an excellent cake too, a tea time treat.

1/4 cup melted coconut butter/oil
1/4 cup coconut milk
6 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp maple flavouring
1/2 cup sifted coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
almost a 1/2 cup of pecans, chopped (more for decoration if you are showing off like me!)

Preheat oven to 175c

  • mix together the butter, milk, eggs, sugar, salt and maple flavouring

  • combine the coconut flour with the baking powder then whisk into the batter until there are no lumps

  • fold the nuts into the batter

  • pour into cup cake cases

  • bake at 175 for 10-15 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
I frosted these with a maple and marshmallow frosting with my trusty star nozzle, though they could happily be naked or drizzled with a glaze:

Maple Marshmallow Frosting
1/2 cup vegetable shortning
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 cup Marshmallow Fluff (you can get it from the same place as the Maple Flavouring)
3/4 tsp Maple Flavouring

Whisk everything togetherthen pipe or spoon onto your cupcakes.

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Blatantly not a recipe but as my last post talked about him!

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Strawberry & Banana Smoothie

I have been neglecting my blog lately I know.  I have been away visiting my bessie mate and her new baby (very, very cute and I am smitten) and also my family way down south!

I cooked some of the tried & tested recipes for the new family and they all got the thumbs up! Have a few to post now but am starting with an easy one! I have a smoothie most mornings now, and have a kid's drinking flask (have failed to find a grown up flask with a straw rather than a sports cap, feel free to comment if you know where to get one!) so I can drink it on my way to work. Makes enough for one big glassful. You can't taste the fish oil and it lessens the amount of tablets I have to take!

1/4 cup strawberries
1/4 cup orange juice
Small Banana or half a banana and 1/4 cup of sorbet
Squirt of agave syrup (adjust to the sweetness of your fruit)
2 tbsp ground flax seed
Tsp fruit flavoured fish oil (I use lemon)

Basically bung it it all in a blender and whizz! If it is a bit thick add a bit more juice.

I make a few different flavours depending on what looks nice in the market when I go on saturday, and generally keep some frozen berries in the freezer on standby as well as some sorbet (a brilliant elderflower one I got from waitrose at the moment).  The following proportions will make a large glassful (or fill my kiddy flask perfectly!).

1/4 cup fruit (berries, peaches, frozen mixed berries)
1/4 cup juice (I usually use orange or orange & something)
1/2 cup 'thickener' (banana or sorbet or a mix of both, the sorbet does mean you get a nice chilled drink!)
Squirt of agave - the size of the squirt depends on the sweetness of your fruit

Blueberry & Banana was my favourite this week, and peach & raspberry was a winner too.

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