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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Recipe: Sexed up Lentils! (gluten & dairy free of course)

Puy Lentils are so sexy. If you disagree, it’s probably because you’ve never cooked them like this. With very little effort, puy lentils can be your go-to ingredient for comforting PJ food – and what’s sexier than that? ;)

OK, they’re not much to look at, but they are so tasty (pictured below in an oven-baked potato, and some red cabbage & red pepper on the side)

Ingredients:

225g puy lentils (dry weight)

2 cloves garlic – peeled and minced / grated

1 red chilli – finely chopped

2 sticks of celery, finely diced

2 tbsp red cooking wine

600ml veg stock

Method:

  • Heat the celery in a little oil on a low heat for around 10 minutes, until it is soft and smells fantastic
  • Add the garlic & chilli to the pan and mix through – leave for a matter of seconds, before throwing the lentils in
  • Add the wine to the pan, and turn up the heat, keeping the lentils moving for about a minute while the alcohol evaporates
  • Add the stock (preferably hot) to the pan, give it a stir, then cover and let it simmer gently for about 30 mins, until the stock has been absorbed and the lentils are soft (you want them soft but not mushy)
  • That’s it – serve, in a baked potato, on a salad, with a piece of meat or fish… or just in a bowl all by themselves!

As a rule of thumb I allow 75g (dry weight) of lentils per person. The above was enough to fill 3 potatoes generously.  Be warned though, once you’ve cleared your plate, you will probably wish that you made more. And you will want to make it again. Because it’s so easy, so healthy, and so damn sexy.

Recipe: Easy Peppercorn Sauce (gluten and lactose free)

I made this Friday night with steak & chips (and the mandatory mushrooms of course) but was too busy stuffing it in my face to take a picture. This recipe isn’t dairy free because I make it with lactofree (treated) cows milk, but give it a try with whatever substitute you would normally use and see how it turns out (if you can tolerate goat’s milk I’m sure that would work, or soy milk… if using rice or oat milk then you may need to use a bit more flour to thicken).  

It’s stupidly easy to make, in 10 minutes or less.  It’s not heavy or too creamy like other recipes, and it tastes gorgeous.

Ingredients:

2 or 3 cloves of garlic (peeled and minced/grated)

1tbsp dairy free margarine

175ml skimmed milk (lactofree or any alternative)

drizzle of olive oil

1/2tbsp gluten free flour (I use Dove’s Farm all purpose)

1/4tsp mustard powder

1tsp ground mixed peppercorns (add more or less to your taste)

Method:

  • Heat the oil in the pan with the garlic (gently! – burn the garlic and it’ll be bitter)
  • Add the butter to the pan and allow it to melt (still on low heat)
  • In a measuring jug, add a drop of milk to the flour and whisk until there are no lumps, then add the rest of the milk
  • Add the flour/milk and mustard powder to the pan, and heat very gently until it boils, stirring with a whisk or a fork to stop a skin forming
  • The sauce will thicken at boiling point, so keep stirring, and now add the peppercorns, and allow to cook for about a minute
  • That’s it – serve it ASAP!

See, I said it was easy. Done in less than 10 minutes. The above makes enough for 2 generous servings.

Recipe: Sticky Peanut Noodle Stir Fry (gluten and dairy free)

I found some gluten free brown rice noodles at the supermarket (finally) so I had to make this! The great thing about stir-frying is that you can chuck in whatever veg you have lying around (or meat, if you’re that way inclined), make it as big or as small as you need, and it takes 15 minutes to make. What makes this one special is the peanut sauce!

Ingredients:

250g gluten free brown rice noodles (dry weight)

1 head brocolli, broken into small florets

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 stick celery, chopped

1 red chilli, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp lazy ginger (or a 2cm piece of fresh ginger)

For the Peanut Sauce:

125g Whole Earth Smooth Peanut Butter

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp gluten free tamari sauce

1 tbsp honey (or agave nectar to make it vegan)

1 tbsp water

juice of 1 lime

50g sesame seeds

Method:

  • Put a large pan of water on to boil for the noodles, and meanwhile chop the veg for the stir fry
  • Pop your noodles into the boiling water, and add your veg to a hot pan with some oil (leave the chilli & garlic out for now)
  • Mix together the ingredients for the sauce
  • The noodles and the stir fry should both only take around 5 minutes, so at the last minute, add the garlic and chilli to the stir fry
  • Mix the peanut sauce in with the stir fry, then drain your noodles.
  • Add your noodles to the stir fry pan, and mix well (the rice noodles can be a bit sticky and stubborn, but persevere for a minute) then take off the heat and serve immediately!

This was supposed to make enough for me and OH tonight, with one dish left over for lunch tomorrow, but OH liked it so much he polished it all off tonight. So it must have been good :)

I made cake! And it tasted like cake!

Baking has never been my strong point. Before GF & DF I never even bothered because I could just go and buy cake. But the gluten free cakes out there, in my experience, are pretty bad. Anyway, I finally got hold of some gluten free baking powder (that stuff is like gold dust!), and had the urge to make a cake. I had the urge to make a chocolate cake, but there’s no DF chocolate, or cocoa powder in the house. So I used hot chocolate powder. And it was good! Recipe below.

Gluten & Dairy free chocolate & brazil nut cake (with ‘artistic’ drizzle of soy cream courtesy of OH)

Ingredients:

125g rice flour

150g demarara sugar

25g hot chocolate powder (I used Green & Blacks)

150g dairy free margarine

3 eggs

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1 handful brazil nuts, chopped

Method:

mix everything together in a bowl

spread evenly into a greased baking tin

bake at 180 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes

Voila, the easiest chocolate cake ever. It’s not the prettiest cake, but it was my best cake yet!

Crunchy and Delicious Lettuce Wraps!

Lettuce wraps – made these tonight cos I can’t get enough of them! Epic!

Recipe here: Lettuce Wraps

Lazy days! Made up a Hale & Hearty quick pizza base. Smothered it in Tiger Tiger gluten free BBQ sauce.  Grated a load of lactofree cheese over it. Threw on some sliced mushrooms & red pepper. And shoved it in the oven with some chips. Score!

Recipe: Chilli Sin Carne – gluten, dairy, & meat free

This chilli is so easy to make – I don’t use any substitute for the mince, just veggies and beans so you can throw in whatever you’ve got lying around in the fridge and the cupboard!

This makes enough to feed 4 greedy hungry people.

Ingredients:

1 red onion

1 stick of celery

1 red pepper

1 good sized courgette

6 (ish) small mushrooms

1 400g can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

2 x 400ml cartons tomato passata (or chopped tomatoes)

1 large green chilli (finely chopped – I leave the seeds in)

1 or 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced / grated / finely chopped)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (hot)

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp mustard powder

Good sprinkling of crushed black pepper, and salt if you need to.

(for the rice and chips on the side: about 4 good sized potatoes, 300-400g rice, and a handful of frozen garden peas)

Method

  • Chop your veg into small pieces.
  • Get a drizzle of oil in a pan on medium heat, and add your onion, celery, mushrooms, pepper and courgette
  • Once they are softened, add the kidney beans, and let them heat up for a few minutes
  • Add the garlic and chilli, mix them through for no more than 30 seconds (it doesn’t take long to burn the garlic and burnt garlic is horrible)
  • Add the tomatoes (using passata just makes for a thicker sauce, but chopped tomatoes are fine) and mix well
  • Add the spices – cayenne, paprikas, mustard, black pepper – and the honey.
  • Give it a good stir and let it simmer, lid on, for at least 30 mins (use this time to make some rice & chips to serve it with!)

Rice & Chips (fries…)

  • Get your oven nice and hot around 200 degrees
  • Use about 1 potato per person, I don’t bother peeling them, just wash and chop into chunks of your choice, then place them on kitchen paper to drain excess water (this will make them crispier)
  • Toss them in a little oil, then place on a baking tray and pop them in the oven (depending on the size of the chips, they will take 30-45 mins, so keep an eye on them and turn them now and again)
  • Bring a large pan of water to boil, and add 75-100g rice per person.  I like to use a mix of long grain & wild rice which takes about 20 mins, but you can use any rice you fancy – just allow longer cooking time for brown and wholegrain rice. (it’s nice to throw in a handful of frozen peas while the rice is cooking – the peas add to the sweetness of the rice, and make it look pretty too…)
  • Take the chilli off the heat to rest for 5-10 mins before the rice & chips are ready, then when it’s all done, drain the water from the rice, take the chips from the oven, and serve!

Cooking isn’t an exact science.  Use what you like and omit what you don’t like.  If you want it mild, don’t use chilli and cayenne (you could chuck a bay leaf in for extra flavour).  If your sauce is too watery, adding a can of adzuki beans or about 30g dry lentils is a good way to thicken it up, just allow a little longer time for the lentils to cook and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t become too dry. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask :)

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