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Showing posts from August, 2009

RECIPE Sri Lankan Cuisine

SriLankan Cuisine is one of those foods that include lots of fresh, simple, colourful, healthy (but very frackin hot!) ingredients meaning there is very little use for thickeners, gravies or pastries. Perfect for those who are wheat intolerant, celiac or just really love their spices!

I tried these 2 recipes out the other day and both turned out amazingly well. They've gone straight into the 'keep and repeat' cooking file!

SriLankan Style Lentils

Ingredients

2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 Medium onions, finely sliced
2 Small red chilies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cups Red lentils
4 curry leaves (or use a tablespoon of curry powder if you can’t get any)
2 cups coconut milk1 cup vegetable stock
1 cinnamon stick
Half a stick of lemon grass (the white bit) crushed with something heavy to release the juice
Salt and pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a medium pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the onion is deep golden brown.
Add the c…

Cocktails

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On a completely unrelated note, I found this list of 'must-try' cocktails on one of my favourite blogs http://looka.gumbopages.com/ courtesy of http://www.anvilhouston.com/
Here it is -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8113718@N08/3857165398/sizes/l/
It's all making me very thirsty and feeling a little unadventurous! I haven't tried 90% of these, must try harder!
I'm going to claim this list has relevance on this blog because most recipes are of course, wheat free ;D

RECIPE Gluten Free Carrot Cake Muffins

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I found this recipe on www.chow.com - my new favourite place for Gluten free recipes.
Just search 'Gluten Free' under recipes and you get loads of hits.

Some of the ingredients and instructions in this recipe where aimed towards Americans so I have made a couple of amendments.

INGREDIENTS

3 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
1/4 cup coconut flour (sifted)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 shredded carrots
1/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream cheese for the topping!

METHOD

Using a mixer, combine eggs, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, vanilla.
Slowly add sifted coconut flour and baking soda.
Pulse raisins and walnuts in food process or until coarsely ground.
Fold in carrots, raisins, and walnuts into mixture.
Pour into muffin tin.
Bake at 200 for 25 minutes.

Makes 6 muffins.
Note: Use muffin liners since these are notorious for sticking to the bottom no matter how much you oil and flour them.


I haven't m…

Gluten Free - On the Go

I just discovered this website for finding gluten free friendly venues in your area.
It looks pretty good.
Apparently you can search for places in the UK, USA, France, Italy, Spain and Mallorca.
Also, you can recommend places to be added to the site.
What a great idea for helping out fellow 'special people'!

http://www.gluten-free-onthego.com/default.aspx

RECIPE Gluten Free Fish & Chips

When I was at the beach last weekend, I realised that Fish and Chips is a real British summer tradition. Odd really, when you'd think a chilled fruit salad would be all you'd fancy on a hot beach!

Thing is, once the chip fumes started wafting over the beach, that's all I wanted but without a battered fish and a bit of gravy, what's the point?

So, I thought I'd try to find a recipe for gluten free fish and chips to satisfy my craving.

This recipe is courtesy of 'Glutenfreeboy' at http://www.ehow.com/how_4573431_gluten-free-fish-chips.html

It uses gluten free beer - see my previous post for my suggestion of how to get hold of some.

Ingredients

4-6 boneless, skinless pieces of white fish. Haddock, Cod or Tilapia
1 pkg Gluten Free Pancake Mix (try - http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-local/frameset/detail/301208_Barkat_Gluten_Free_Pancake___Batter_Mix_250g.html)
1 egg
1 Gluten Free Beer
6-8 potatoes
2 pans
Cooking oil, (canola, corn, vegetable or olive will wor…

Gluten Free Lager/Ale

On a hot summer's day, I always get a major craving for a glass of lager.
I've only tried gluten free lager once and keep meaning to stock up.
The one I tried was made by Hambleton Ales and I found it in Asda.
Check out their website for more details -
http://www.hambletonales.co.uk/gfa.htm

Here's what they say about the taste -
"A tawny beer with aromas of Cascade, Liberty and Challenger hops and specially prepared dark sugars provide full bodied initial sweetness giving way to pronounced fruit and hop character with a strong citrus finish. Thanks to its formulation and a unique filtration method Hambleton Ales' GFA delivers the full flavour and satisfaction expected from a British beer in a gluten and wheat-free formulation."

I found the taste to be quite unique but not unpleasant! I'd definitely try it again.

You can actually mail order this but I'm not sure I'd fork out the £37.60 for 16 bottles...
I think I'll just stick to my new preferred summer…

Noodles in London

As I’ve mentioned before I’m a huge fan of rice noodle dishes. I could eat lovely, greasy, spicy noodles for lunch and dinner everyday. I actually think it’s starting to be a problem!

I can fully recommend the following restaurants in London for great wheat free dishes;

Wok Wok (nearest station, Clapham Junction mainline station)
http://trustedplaces.com/review/uk/london/restaurant/1543h78/wok-wok

I ordered a chicken Phad Thai here and it was excellent. Proper chicken bits off the bone, lots of fried egg and crushed nuts and a really generous serving. Good prices and they bring you free prawn crackers as soon as you sit down and give you jelly beans with your bill!

The Vietnam (nearest station CuttySark on the DLR or Greenwich mainline station)
http://trustedplaces.com/review/uk/london/restaurant/174197z/the-vietnam

I ordered a starter of Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Rice Noodles with Beef here. The spring rolls had been deep fried and were very crispy. Vietnamese spring rolls are made with r…

RECIPE Flourless Chocolate Cake

Also known as “That Lush Cake You Brought Into Work” and “The Recipe Most Borrowed By Colleagues For Feeding Their Celiac Dinner Party Guests”

A fail-proof recipe for flourless, quick and easy choccy cake.

Ingredients
225g/8oz good-quality dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
100g/3½oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
4 large free-range eggs, separated
175g/6½oz icing sugar, sifted

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a large baking mould.
2. In a small bowl resting over a saucepan of hot water, melt the chocolate and butter together (the bowl should not be touching the water).
3. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks with the icing sugar until pale and creamy.
4. Fold the melted chocolate into the egg mixture.
5. Using a clean whisk, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then fold gradually into the chocolate mixture.
6. Using a spatula pour the mixture into the greased mould, then bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, until slightly crack…

Gluten Free Lasagne

I fully cheated on dinner last night. It was mostly from a jar or packet. Shame on me! But it was lush, so, don't care :D

Me and my husband had a real craving for lasagne but the gluten free lasagne sheets are usually hard to get hold of. Luckily my husband remembered that he'd bought some before from Waitrose so made a detour on the way home. Meanwhile I went to Tesco and bought a jar of bolognese and white sauce!

This is the lasagne we used - http://www.dietaryspecials.co.uk/GlutenFreeProducts.php?Id=33&Product=Lasagne

I reckon Dietary Specials products are among the best on the market. It's a real shame that the supermarkets don't stock their whole range. I really want to try to frozen pizza and the sausage rolls but have never seen them for sale :(

(As for them mentioning that you can get stuff on the NHS - pah! My doctor would look at me like i've just walked in and asked for a back rub.)

Anyhoo.

The lasagne needed 4-5 minutes to boil in salted water before usin…

RECIPE Gluten Free Soda Bread

I was just going through my internet favourites and found a recipe I'd seen and stores ages ago. I haven't tried it out yet but thought I'd post it here in the hope that someone might give it a go and let me know how it went. I really must get around to making it myself and will update with my results when I do. The recipe is copied directly from the BBC website, who have taken it directly from the book by Darina Allen and Rosemary Kearney, 'Healthy Gluten-free Eating'.
I don't own this book but if the recipe turns out OK, I may have to make an investment!

White soda bread

Makes 1 x 750g/1lb 10oz loaf
Preparation time less than 30 mins
Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour

Ingredients

275g/10oz rice flour
110g/4oz tapioca flour
50g/2oz dried milk
1 scant tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 heaped tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 heaped tsp xanthan gum
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg, preferably free-range, lightly beaten
300-350ml/10-12fl oz buttermilk

Method

1. Preheat the o…

Tesco Free From Range of Gluten Free Products

I shouldn't complain really. Supermarkets have really caught on to the money making opportunities in supplying products for 'special' people like me.

My local supermarket is Tesco so most of my experience with gluten free products is with their goods. Here's a small review of the products they supply.

Tesco Free From Pasta http://www.britishfooddirect.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=6301&currency=GBP
Has a tendency to turn to mulch very easily! You must watch this like a hawk and stir constantly waiting for that split second moment between tough and mush!

Tesco Free From FarmHouse Fruit Cake http://www.britishfooddirect.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=451_459&products_id=5784
Pretty good! And tastes amazing with strawberry yoghurt, believe me and try it!

Tesco Free From Crumpets http://www.britishfooddirect.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=451_455&products_id=5768
Avoid! Worst Gluten Free food I’ve ever tasted. The…

Gluten Free Bread

It's frackin awful isn't it?
Too expensive, too small, too hard, only tastes OK if you toast it, falls apart at the mere sight of a knife and only available in the huge supermarkets.
And, you can't ever spread butter on it, it just crumbles to a million pieces, argh!

My local Tesco has a big-ish range of gluten free products. I have tried most of the breads there, so here’s a small summary that I will try to update as I try more of them (which could save you a lot of money!);

Genius brown and white loaf http://www.geniusglutenfree.com/gluten-free-products/
Very tasty, the brown version has lots of lovely seeds and things, easy to slice, freezes very well, doesn't take to butter spreading well and pretty expensive.

Dietary Specials Rustic Rolls http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-local/frameset/detail/422633_Dietary_Specials_Rustic_Rolls__4___300g.html
Nice taste and texture when toasted or grilled, otherwise pretty stodgy, one of the easiest to slice, reasonable price.

Dietary…

RECIPE Stuffed Peppers

When I’ve cooked stuffed peppers in the past, the mixture has been too runny and ends up making all kinds of mess when they are cooking and being handled.
The other day I discovered a great trick to make the filling really healthy, thick and tasty – re-fried beans.
Me and my husband did a spot of drunk shopping in Tesco on Friday night after the pub and ended up buying a lot of the things we already had at home. The next day, I awoke to find 8 peppers in my fridge, so I decided on stuffed peppers for dinner to use them up.
This is another good ‘use up the stuff in your cupboard/fridge’ recipe and works as a starter or a main course. Me and my husband ate 3 each and were stuffed.

Ingredients

Peppers – any colour
1 small onion
3-4 spring onions
3 cloves garlic
Handful of mushrooms
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Tin of re-fried beans
6 rashers of bacon
2 stalks of celery
1 chili pepper
4-5 handfuls of brown rice (I always measure rice and pasta by the handful. I find that 3-3 ½ of either is enou…

RECIPE Gluten Free Gravy

I do like my roast dinner on a Sunday and would never, ever consider buying or using ‘fake’ gravy. Real gravy is so easy to make and tastes amazing!
My Mum and Nan both use wheat flour to make gravy and taught me how. So when I cut out wheat, I despaired! No gravy argh!
But I experimented with cornflour and after a few disasters have found the perfect method for wheat and lump free gravy.
Here’s what I do –

Remove the cooked meat from the roasting tin and set aside.
Skim the top layer of fat from the juice in the tin.
Pour the remaining juice into a frying pan, ensuring you include all the lovely meaty bits from the bottom.
Heat up the juice on a low heat until it starts to simmer.
In a cup, mix 3 teaspoons of corn flour with 2 inches of cold water. Add an ice cube to the mixture once cornflour has dissolved.
In another cup pour a couple of inches of hot water from the kettle over a stock cube (chicken, beef etc depending on the meat you’ve cooked) and a teaspoon of Marmite and stir u…