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!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Paffles - Paleo Waffles

Waffles are my current obsession - sweet for breakfast, savoury for dinner - easy peasy. This amount neatly makes one 'round' of waffles in my waffle maker - which I can eat all of when I'm hungry but they are nice cooled down too! Cooled savoury ones are good for sandwiches!

1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon  melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoons pureed apple, pumpkin, banana, pear, or other mix in. If I'm baking savoury I might put herbs in or sweet potato.
1 tablespoon coconut nectar or chosen sweetener if they're sweet ones
Pinch of salt
Pinch of bicarb of soda

Quite simply chuck everything in the blender then cook as per your waffle makers instructions! The ones in the picture have apple sauce in and are served with a cheeky bit of maple syrup.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

More Cauliflower Rice

I am having a bit of a love affair with cauliflower rice at the moment though I still think it should be called cauliflower cous cous - the consistency is much more like that.

It's surprisingly filling, goes with everything and is so versatile! From simply garlicky, to Elanas Pantry dirty rice version to today's fridge raider version ...

For my one person portion I fried some chopped garlic with a handful of fine diced butternut squash and 2 slices of snipped up turkey bacon until they were just about cooked then added a handful of pinenuts then fried for a few more minutes. I had food processed half a very small cauliflower (I usually figure about a quarter cauliflower per person) until it looked like cous cous (it just doesn't look like rice!) I added it to the pan with a splash of water and some herbs. In retrospect those herbs should have been sage & parsley so let's just pretend those are the ones I used.

I ate this with tuna steaks marinated with lemon & herb nandos spices. Yum. 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Paleo Beef & Onion Tart

I used the same pastry as for the sweet potato tarts and I really need to get some individual pie tins coz its way to delicate to transfer to a big tin! Most of the top looked like a crazy paving of repairs!

I made a simple filling with beef mince and onions (half a tin of those easy ready fried onions I must admit) flavoured with some bacon lardons (everything is better with pork) thyme, a bay leaf & some Coleman's onion gravy paste. I thickened it with some corn flour & let it simmer with some water added till it was thick & yummy. Next time I think I'll let the filling cook in the slow cooker the night before.

Once I'd put it in the pastry I cooked it at 200c for twenty minutes, with greaseproof over for the first ten minutes.

My dad gave it a big thumbs up!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Paleo Spanish Sweet Potato Tarts

This isn't a Spanish recipe; it came out of my head, but it has peppers & chorizo in it so surely that makes it Spanish?

I admittedly nicked the pastry recipe from Bruce Fifes 'cooking with coconut flour' which is an awesome book. I'm not scientific enough to invent pastry recipes!

This made ten muffin tin sized tarts well it would if I hadn't wrecked one when I burnt my hand & then dropped one when I was getting them out.

You wanna make the fillings a bit in advance to let them cool a bit.

PEPPER FILLING (goes in the bottom of the tart)
1 small red onion
1 red pepper
1 small chorizo*
Tsp chopped garlic
Over a low heat sweat the onions with a pinch of salt, adding the chorizo then the peppers & garlic. Cook them long & slow til they are soft & sticky.
*a spoonful of smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne in the mix will make it veggie! I'm always thinking of how you'll make it @MsCurlysue!

3 smallish sweet potatoes
Tbsp coconut  cream
2 eggs
Tbsp chopped parsley
Tsp smoked paprika
Microwave the sweet potatoes in their skins until soft, then cut them in half & let them cool for a bit. Once they're coolish scoop out the sweet potato and put it in a food processor with the other ingredients. Blitz until its a smooth thick liquid.

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted coconut butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
Mix all the ingredients except the coconut flour together well & then sift in the coconut flour & mix again. Once the dough comes together knead for a minute then put between two pieces of greaseproof paper and roll out.

Cut out discs of pastry a bit bigger than than the muffin holes & gently push them down. Divide the pepper mix between the tarts & then spoon the sweet potato mix on top. It was a tbsp & a tsp on each for me. Don't worry about getting it smooth & fully covered - it will even out during cooking. Bake at 200c for fifteen  minutes.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Paleo Meatloaf (& cauliflower rice)


Good to have something tasty, filling & paleo to do with cheap bits of meat and this is all three. Would serve six of me or three of dad (I realise this doesn't help you much!).

1/2 cup coconut flour
3 eggs
1.5 cups waitrose soffrito veg mix*
Tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Pinch thyme
Pinch marjoram

500g mince (I used half & half beef & pork)
500g carton of tomato passata

Preheat the oven to 175c and grease a loaf tin.
Mix the first section of ingredients together well in a bowl then add the mince and a cup of passata. You might need to get your hands dirty at this point, it needs to be mixed well. Tip the rest of the passata over the top & sprinkle with a bit more salt/pepper/thyme/marjoram and bake in the oven for 1 & 1/4 hours.

*it's a mixture of diced onion, carrot & celery.


There are many recipes for this on the net & I'd suggest you google it - this "recipe" was more about what was in the fridge! It at least shows how easy it is to do though I always think the texture is more like cous cous than rice! I would normally add herbs & spices but I wanted a fairly neutral accompaniment to the meatloaf.

What was left of the soffrito mix (about 1/3 cup I reckon)
Half a cauliflower
Knob of dairy free butter

Fry the soffrito mix in some oil (I used garlic oil) until soft while blitzing the cauliflower in the food processor. From the amount I have left I'd say a 1/4 cauliflower = a portion. Once the soffrito mix is soft add the cauliflower, mix well & add the knob of "butter". Put the lid on & turn the heat down low. Cook to your taste, stir and add salt. Surprisingly filling!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Gingerbread (almost Paleo)

This is really yummy, proper old fashioned spicy treacly gingerbread. I got the recipe from Cooking with Coconut Flour which I like too much to steal from - you can get it here:
The only thing I changed was to swap the sugar for agave (2/3 as much agave as sugar and cut the milk by 2/3). I'll be having some for breakfast with some baked figs tommorrow.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Hake with Tomatoes, Fennel & Olives

Cooking fish in an individual foil parcel is ideal for me coz I get to have the flavours I like without having to do two dinners coz dad doesn't like anything much. I got frozen hake fillets from waitrose (via ocado) and cooked them in tinfoil parcels (from frozen!).

Ingredients per portion:
Hake fillet.
1/4 fennel bulb, finely sliced.
5 or 6 cherry tomatoes.
Few marinated olives (depending on size, mine were fat ones stuffed with almonds)
Slice of lemon
Lovage leaves
Garlic oil

Preheat the oven to 200c & tear off a sheet of tinfoil that will be big enough to scrunch closed around the fish and lay flat. Drizzle some garlic oil on the foil then place the fish fillet on top. Scatter the lovage leaves over the top then lay the lemon slice on the fish. Get the foil lifted up around the fish a bit then pop the tomatoes, sliced fennel & olives on top. Scrunch the foil so it's sealed then put in the oven on s baking tray for 25 minutes (or a bit longer if you forget it; not saying you will or I did ;-) - there's so much liquid in the parcel it won't dry out).  

Five Things Away From Paleo

Deep frying
I want to be paleo, I'd like to be paleo, I really would - and some of my meals are, despite having to do potatoes for my dad everyday - but I just can't kick these last five things.

Sugar is an addiction, I won't pretend I am in control of it. Giving up booze would be easier I think! And giving up booze would not be easy. Hendricks & tonic anyone?
I do manage to swap sugar for honey or agave in some things but when I bake the sugar usually comes out! I am also so easily tempted by sweets & treats. I know I feel better without it but like a crackwhore I keep going back.

I have eaten so much rice since giving up gluten that I really can't imagine life without it. And I really love sushi! Sashimi only satisfies the craving so much, even if it includes beef tataki which I love.

Chips are self explanatory surely? I don't eat a lot of potatoes but chips & their chunkier sister, roast potatoes are very hard to give up. And fresh jersey royal potatoes - they just taste so good.

Genius is really the only gluten free bread worth eating and although I eat bread rarely their bloomer is just yummy. Bacon sandwich? Why thankyou!

Deep Fried. It's not so much the method of cooking, more that I turn a blind eye to the gluten in the batter. Soft shell crab tempura night be one of my favourite things. Whitebait? Pass the pail (pubs always serve them in those witty buckets don't they?). I think it's the only thing I cheat on gluten in. 

As I write this post I know I'm not going to be able to give these things up easily. I will try to cut them down with a view to phasing them out but giving up smoking pales into significance next to giving up sugar.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Paleo Dirty Rice

I pretty much did this off the recipe on Elanas Pantry, http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-dirty-rice/, except I pretty much guesstimated the quantities & used some waitrose ready made soffrito mix to replace the onions/scallions/celery and garlic oil instead of cloves. I'm lazy, what can I say!

It's more like cous cous than rice but made a good accompaniment to the slightly smoked salmon I have here. I'll def be doing it again.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Rosemary & Fig Crackers

I followed the recipe faithfully here, it's from Elanas Pantry and you can find it here;  http://www.elanaspantry.com/rosemary-fig-crackers/.

They're yummy - mine aren't quite as thin or square but they taste good. Am already thinking of variations.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Swedish Wedding Soup

This is a made up thing, using an American - Italian recipe & Swedish meatballs. No chopping just a bit of snipping!

Pack of Swedish meatballs (350g)
1 pack waitrose soffrito mix (about 3 cups chopped onion, carrot & celery)
Vegetable bouquet garni
10 cups chicken stock (the better the stock, the better the soup but I must admit I use cubes - Kallo Organic)
1 cup small pasta (doves farm do gf ditalini)
Small bunch fresh dill
12 ounces baby spinach (about a small pack)

1. Cook the meatballs as per instructions
2. Saute the carrots, onion & celery with a pinch of salt until softened.
3. Add the chicken stock & bouquet garni and bring to the boil
4. Add the pasta and cook as per the packet
5. Snip in the dill and add the meat balls and simmer for 1 minute
6. Taste for salt & pepper then stir in the fresh spinach and simmer for 1 minute -just until the spinach has wilted
7. Serve! (here with a couple of slices of Genius bloomer)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Coconut Fried Chicken

This recipe is mainly from Cooking with Coconut Flour but as I changed it a bit I don't feel bad blogging it.

Raw Chicken Pieces (I used 2 thighs & 2 legs (4 thighs in the pic) but the dusting mix would have done more)

Dusting Mix:
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
Good pinch of cayenne
1/4 tsp pepper
1 heaped tsp salt

Coconut oil

Heat 1/4 inch of coconut oil in a pan that's got a lid.
Mix together the dusting mix then coat the chicken thoroughly in a bag or bowl.
Brown the chicken on both sides (about 10 mins).
Put the lid on & turn down the heat.
Cook for 30-40 mins (until cooked through) with the lid off for the last 10 mins (turning at least once during this last 10).
Pop on a bit of kitchen towel before you plate up.
Not overwhelmingly coconutty - the spices & the chicken come through more. Very tasty!

This has become a regular menu fixture and I've taken a better pic.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Sesame & Coconut Cookies

These are yum but coz I like the cookbook I'm not gonna nick it & post it - go get the book, it's not very much & it's on Amazon.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Choices Chocolate Buttons

Nom nom nom I love these big time! They're very nice though a bit pricey like all dairy free chocolates. Is rice flour & coconut oil really that much more expensive than milk?

It's def nice to have some quality tasting "milk" chocolate rather than just the really dark stuff. The choc orange ones are subtley flavoured an are reminiscent of a chocolate orange - though it's been quite a while since I've had one.

I've mentioned choices before I think - they do some brilliant "milk" chocolate caramel cups.

The buttons I got from Ocado, the caramels I've had from Waitrose, Ocado, Sainsburys & Tesco.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Banana Nut Bread

I followed the recipe on this one so I'm just gonna link to it here: http://www.tiana-coconut.com/coconut_flour_recipes.htm. I went for the walnuts. I did change one thing - I didn't have any almond extract so I used maple. I don't think a hint of maple is ever a bad thing so don't think it was a bad substitution! The maple certainly worked with the banana & walnut flavours.

It is intended for my breakfasts but you may see it over on bambi's bento's!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Chocolate & Cupboard Stuff Ice Nohm

Sometimes you've shopped & planned, sometimes you just want something and make do! I've got some gluten free cones from ocado and wanted some ice cream to go in them. Chocolate I had the ingredients for but I like my ice cream Ben & Jerry style with bits so I raided the cupboard. I made double quantities as I wanted a scoopable amount; this made a small ice cream tub full.

2 Tins of coconut milk
Carton of coconut cream
1/2 cup sugar (I prefer golden caster sugar) 
1/2 cup good cocoa powder
Big pinch of salt
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Tsp xanthan gum

Handful of chocolate chunks (more would have been better)
Glace Cherries (half a tub)
Couple of big tablespoons of fluff

I mixed the icecream then put it in the machine til it got to soft set stage. I stirred through the bits & swirled in the fluff before slopping it into a tub & putting it into the freezer to firm up (not for long enough - it was still a bit sloppy to scoop). Sometimes winging it really works. 

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Smoked Duck, Apple, Sesame & Ginger Salad

Today's lunch is a small lesson in matching things. I wasn't impressed with the ginger & sesame salad dressing when I tried it on a side salad with chicken & chips - ginger & sesame salad with chicken & chips? Of course it didn't work! However on this salad (mixed leaves, cucumber, red pepper & apple) topped with smoked duck slices it totally rocked. It's one of those combos you know will work before you taste it! I made a bit of potato salad on the side; a girl's gotta have some carbs!

The ginger & sesame dressing and smoked duck were from ocado - the smoked duck you will no doubt see on bambis bentos - I'm thinking maybe smoked duck nigiri tomorrow.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Birds Eye Baked to Perfection

I post saying I'm gonna make space for more recipes then do a post about opening a box! These are very user friendly - fish & sauce in 1 portion bags that you put straight in the oven from the freezer - but difficult to serve in one piece as you can see from my pic!
There are a few in the range but only the cod in olive oil, tomato & rosemary sauce (yummy with a very subtle rosemary flavour) and the king prawns in chilli sauce (why would you want to bake that?) are BBD / paleo friendly.
Tasty & handy to have in the freezer for a quick dinner. Served here with new potatoes & cherry tomatoes roasted with garlic oil & rosemary.

For the non paleo my dad says the haddock in butter sauce one is nice!

Bambis Bentos

To make room for recipes I now have a seperate blog for the bento's so they will be there from now on. I'd better step up my game with them if they're gonna have their own blog - but I do have a trip planned to a near by oriental mini market tomorrow so hopefully I'll get some new ingredients!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Got up late bento

But I put rice in the rice cooker before my shower & had teriyaki chicken left.

L-R I have watermelon slices, chocolate pudding, the last bit of fennel salad, rice & dill pickles, Hawaiian chicken teriyaki with salad.

I have a new bento box & some accessories coming so bentos next week should have a new home!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Thank god the jubilee is over Bento

Yet again I forgot to post until I had eaten some of it! The pot with the closed lid had red pepper & cucumber crudites in. The tall thermos pots got (still warm) Hawaiian teriyaki (from a jar-ocado) chicken & sushi rice in. There is a pot of fennel salad next to it (recipe from just bento here; http://justbento.com/handbook/recipes-sides-and-fillers/bento-filler-fennel-salad-fennel-shiomomi) the chicken flavours are quite rich so the fresh crunch of the fennel alongside is nice.  I've also got some watermelon slices & a dairy free vanilla pudding. I've also got some dark chocolate with wasabi somewhere - I'm not completely sure I like it! A healthy bento today!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Passion Fruit Ice Nohm

We won't go into the minor mishap that saw me wearing half the mix - but I still got a decent amount!

It has a subtle flavour and is a good accompaniment to other fruit - strawberries in my pic. Pretty much my usual Ice Nohm mix but I doubled up - the standard mix doesn't make much (this would have made a lot more if a good third hadn't ended up on me and the floor).

2 tins of coconut milk
1/2 cup of golden caster sugar
Good pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 or 3 passion fruits (seeds & pulp scooped out)

Quite simply mix everything together then pop it in your ice cream maker.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Meetings & Bento

Today is a day of meetings with a brief lunch sandwiched inbetween - and I actually have a tasty bento, mostly prepared in advance though I cooked the rice this morning in my rice cooker.
I made some spicy chicken & red pepper kebabs yesterday (but had to take them off the sticks to get them in the box!), Thai spiced (frozen mix from waitrose) griddled aubergine slices, sushi rice, pickles & a chocolate dessert pot (more later). I've also got an apple but I haven't eaten that yet!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Belly Pork, Apple & Fennel Salad

Ok, this was a bit thrown together but the flavours were nice and I've not been blogging much lately so it gets one!

I did a mini bbq for me & dad yesterday on a disposable bbq that may well have been hotter than the sun. I precooked things in the oven first which was a good idea coz anything cooked from raw on it would've been cinders! As it was there was admittedly some charring.

Anyway - ad I always over cater there were a couple of bits of belly pork left over so I made a salad for lunch. Big nom. I had a tomato Pitta and some garlic mayo on the side. Quantity to serve one.

Handful of mixed salad leaves.
Chunk of cucumber, sliced in half moons.
Half an apple, sliced fairly thinly.
A baby fennel, sliced thinly.
Half a lemon.
Cooked belly pork.

Chuck everything except the belly pork in a bowl & squeeze the lemon over.
Add the pork.

I didn't make a dressing for this coz the pork had been marinated well. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Busy bambi

<p>The blog has been neglected since I've been caring for my dad coz he likes such plain boring food the stuff I've been cooking isn't worth blogging about! Going to try and get back into doing my bentos at least - might start a 'bambi's bento's' blog to give them their own home!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Return of the bento

I actually made a bento but forgot to take a pic until I had eaten half of it! The empty pink dish had apple slices in, I've got figs & some marble cake in the other pink one. The tall pot was hard boiled egg quarters and watercress/spinach/rocket leaves and there's royal jersey potato salad in the small round one. An easy one to ease me back in!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Co-op Pate

Just a quickie & a rare sight indeed! Pate that's not full of dairy! It's not dinner party good but for lunch? Nom!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Warburtons gf bread

Warburtons do gf bread ... and its good!

So far I've tried:
*white rolls
*white bread
*tea cakes
The rolls are submarine style & very nice & soft not needing rehearing although they are very fragile.
The bread is soft & tasty - the slices are very small so make plenty!they do brown versions!
The tea cakes are yum - a nice tea time or breakfast treat.

All in all well played warburtons, well played. It's good too see a well known brand name entering the gluten free arena.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Smoked Mackeral Baked Hash

I haven't blogged much; caring for my dad means cooking stuff he likes which means mainly meat & potatoes. Lots of mashed potatoes, he does love mashed potatoes.

Anyway, heather at work told me a recipe for a mash based baked corned beef hash - super easy & tasty and dad LOVES it (next time I make it I'll take a pic). Last time I made it I was thinking about other versions and this is the result. Kind of like an incredibly lazy fish pie!

-  Maris piper potatoes (i forgot to count but enough mash for 2-3)
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 4 smoked mackeral fillets
- butter substitute
- horseradish sauce

Chop the potatoes, don't bother with peeling them - really, you can't tell - then boil. While they're cooking saute the leeks until they are soft and remove the skin from the mackeral breaking it into chunks. When the potatoes are done mash them with plenty of butter sub & pepper and a tsp of horseradish sauce before mixing in the leeks & mackeral. Tip it all in a shallow dish & rough up the top a bit like you would with a cottage pie. Put in the oven for 20ish minutes at about 220c - until the top is crunchy. I had this with sweetcorn (pic) dad had his with broadbeans - I'm not an accompaniment nazi, have what you like!