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!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Berry Risotto

This is my 1 person cheats dairy free version - you can check out the original by clicking on the title which will take you to Mr Breakfast. A great site with some great recipes for an important , and too often skipped, meal!  

I didn't take a pic last time I made this but you can probably imagine!

•A cup of water
•1/4 cup uncooked arborio or medium grain rice

•1/4 cup coconut milk
•2 tbsp agave or sugar sugar

•1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

•1 cup fresh berries (I did raspberries last time but have done strawberries and a mix of the two before. I imagine it would work with any berries or any soft fruit. I might try apricot.)

To do this the cheats way bung everything bar the berries in a small saucepan and simmer until the rice has done (in my case everytime I run past the hob pulling clothes on or smearing lipstick on my face, usually late). Once the rice is done add half the fruit, stirring it through then serve and tip the rest of the fruit on top.

Super yummy and filling!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Okonomiyaki v1

Ok this isn't ready for proper posting yet but I'm pretty excited about it - its gonna need a bit of practice, a new pan & a delivery of some sauce but I think okonomiyaki will be a regular thing! So versatile - stick what you like in - and dead easy! I will have another go soon & blog!

Shopping & Cooking Hale & Hearty Veggie Fritters

I got this mix a while ago and have been meaning to make them, and I'm sure I would have got round to it eventually but one of my favourite people on twitter - @MsCurlysue - has been nagging me to do some veggie recipes so I thought now was the right time! I'm doing a properly from scratch veggie recipe tonight so I'll be in her good books!

However back to cheaty mix recipe - these were very easy, you basically just mix the contents of the packet with some water, leave for a bit then add an egg, some parsley* & the grated veg of your choice - I did carrot & coriander (in the processor) this time. Very tasty and cant be more than 40 minutes from opening the box to opening your mouth! Something different for lunch or supper. I'm not sure how they are cold the next day coz I only did a 3rd of the box and ate them all which was very short sighted of me as if they are nice cold they'd be a great addition to my bento!

*There are lots of herbs and spices in the mix so I doubt it would matter if you missed that out. I usually have a little freezer bag of chopped parsley from Waitrose in the freezer.

Def worrth a buy amd I shall be keeping a box in the store cupboard for a quick lunch!

I did point these but I can't remember - I wrote it on the box so I will add it! I did take a picture of the finished article as well but google is being sucky and won't let me up load it - they kinda looked like fishcakes or something.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Shopping: Walters Chocolate Honey Nougat (4 points)

These are beyond good, beyond good and into special private moment territory. Light fluffy nougat, almost milky way fluffy, with a thin coating of dark chocolate.  I love them and after circa 50 of them that love has not waned!

The joy I felt when I discovered they were only 4 points on weight watchers cannot be expressed in words!

So far I have only got them online from ocado (where I first made the discovery & immediately regretted only ordering one) and amazon where you can get a box of 20 (nearly finished the second box!) I check everywhere though!

Picture is of an empty wrapper coz I couldn't wait!

Maple & Bacon Cookies (the special version!)

When I saw the link to these on twitter (If you're on there Foodista is a good follow!) I had to make them. This is my 'converted' version. If you like sweet and salty flavours and bacon with your pancakes & maple syrup you will love these!

They were v easy to make and if you did the bacon the night before (or buy some ready cooked) they would be a quick sunday brunch treat! These were my last naughty bakings before I jumped back into Weight Watchers - but I have been have them for breakfast all week anyway! If you don't try these you are mad!

1/2 cup df spread (I used Pure Olive)
1/4 & 1/8 (as in a quarter cup and a half) brown sugar
1/4 & 1/8 (as in a quarter cup and a half) sugaracked brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp maple syrup
Drop of maple syrup flavouring (optional - I like a distinct flavour!)
1 & 1/4 gf flour
1/3 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt
220g pack of streaky bacon

  • Cook bacon, drain on a paper towel, and crumble. Not too small - you want bacony chunks!
  • Preheat oven to 190c
  • Beat together spread, brown sugar and sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy.
  • Add the egg and maple syrup (and maple syrup flavouring if using). Beat for 1 more minute.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl.
  • Stir dry ingredients in 2 lots into the wet mixture until incorporated. Do not over mix or your batter with be tough.
  • Stir in the bacon pieces. Eat a couple just to check they're nice.
  • Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheets. (I recommen silicon liners or the like here!)
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
  • They will be very soft when they come out so dont try to stick them on the cooling rack straight away!
  • Make sure you have one while they are still warm - this is a treat you should not deny yourselves!
Hopefully there is a widget to link to the original below - whether my IT skills are that good is debatable.

Bacon Maple Cookies

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Catch up time

Terribly behind with my posting of recipes but I will catch up ... someday! Gonna try to at least try & not add to the backlog!

In the meantime here's a wee catch-up on what's been going on in my kitchen!
1. I started doing weight watchers (again! Lost loads last time & the new pro points system let's you eat lots) - this shouldn't affect the recipes too much apart from the cakes & ice cream - the joy of weight watchers is that you can eat anything within your points! Expect to see points values on the new recipes.
2. I am Bento mad at lunch times, have a wee miffy Bento Bag and a growing number of tubs & boxes! The whole separating your food out & madness with the accessories totally appeals to me too, what can I say - I have issues! Lots of little tasty treats & lots of inventive uses for leftovers - it totally brightens up my lunchtime & suits the working desk top lunch! Bento is the way forward! It's fusion Bento really but more oriental than not.
3. Japanese food is rocking my world at the moment - well I have always loved it - and with the help of some moulds am even venturing into sushi (no raw fish as yet - not sure I could get sushi grade fish in Derby market)! Some rather hit & miss results so far but once I've got easy peasy cheaty sushi (chusi?) down pat I'll do a post!

The next post will be the last bit of baking I did before starting weight watchers - maple bacon cookies, think American pancakes in cookie form!

The pic is from my recent trip back down south to see my folks which reminded me that I am & always be a southern girl. And southern guys are hotter - there I said it!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Belly Pork

Am beyond behind with my posting but I figure there is no point getting more behind by not posting the new stuff!

I love belly pork, I know it isn't the healthy choice but the combination of succulent meat & super crunchy ... oh hang on I'm gonna have to nick another bit of crackling off the cooling bit.

Belly pork can stand up to any strength of favours, so be bold! I served this with noodles & veg, and am planning to do sushi with the left over meat. Watch this space for how that turns out! It is such an adaptable recipe, go a bit porchetta or go a bit oriental. Belly pork is obviously fatty so clean & sharp flavours that will cut through it are good.

This was a 600g bit of pork but check the meat & adjust accordingly. Spice measurements are approx and obviously need to be adjusted if your piece of porks bigger!
1 tsp each of;
   Fennel Seeds
   Coriander Seeds
   Sea Salt
   Chilli Flakes
A star anise
Garlic Oil
2 sticks of celery
1 carrot
1/2 red onion
1 stick of rhubarb

Heat the oven to 250c. Score the skin of the pork. Make a rack with the veg - you're not gonna eat it, it'll just flavour the meat & keep it off the pan (well maybe the rhubarb, put that on top) chuck the star anise on & lay the pork on top, skin side up.

In a pestle & mortar crush all the spices, then mix them with the garlic oil & rub into the skin making sure it gets into all the scored bits.

Cook at 240c for half an hour then turn down to 175c tip in half a cup of water & cook for another 1-2 hours.

The pork will be tender & the skin crispy ...