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Wishlist: Spiralizer!

I need a spiralizer in my life right now!

Does anyone have one? And if so, is it worth it, and do you use it?

Getting Organised…

That’s our meal plan & shopping done for the week!

  • Tuesday – veg lasagne
  • Wednesday – chilli con carne
  • Thursday – Roasted beetroot with quinoa salad
  • Friday – Polenta pizza (& chips probably!)
  • Saturday – Pasta with spicy tomato sauce
  • Sunday – roast with onion gravy!
  • Monday – whatever’s left over, prob throw it into a risotto

That feeds me & hubby cheaply for a week! I find if I don’t plan out meals for the week before I buy the food, it’s easier to stay on the GF wagon, not get urges for things I can’t have and bored of what’s in the cupboard. Taking the time to plan what to eat saves me misery for the rest of the week, and saves a fridge full of food going to waste (I never planned anything before GF life and would quite often waste a lot because I didn’t buy it with a vision to create anything from it)… So, it’s going to be a good week!

MealForOne: Tasty Thai Style Rice (gluten & dairy free)

This is pretty much effortless to rustle up when you’re just cooking for yourself – but would make an awesome side dish too. It’s a one-pot-wonder that’s healthy and tasty. Quantities below are for one person, scale up if you’re feeding more mouths.

Ingredients:

75g Jasmine Rice (dry weight)

1 red pepper (chopped)

1 stick of celery (finely chopped)

1/2 tsp chopped fresh ginger

2tbsp green peas (I used frozen)

1 lemon grass stalk

225ml (approx) hot vegetable stock

1/2 tbsp GF tamari sauce

To Make:

  •  In a small saucepan, heat the pepper, celery, ginger, peas and lemongrass in a little oil for a few minutes until everything begins to soften
  • Add the stock, followed by the rice
  • Stir, then cover and allow to simmer gently for 10-12 minutes, until all stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender
  • Stir in the tamari sauce, and serve

I used Jasmine rice because it tastes amazing, and cooks really quickly.  You could make this with another type of rice, but remember to allow longer for it to cook.

Recipe: Sweet Potato Thai Style Curry! (gluten & dairy free!)

The first time I’ve made Thai curry without a ready made paste, and possibly the freshest tasting, lovliest thing I’ve ever made. Honestly.  And no fish sauce!

I was inspired to make this after watching TV chef Dean Edwards make something similar with butternut squash – the first time I’ve seen anyone say it’s OK not to use fish sauce! Many people struggle with the hidden ingredients in ready made curry pastes – and really after trying this the pastes don’t compare to it anyway!


Ingredients:

2 sweet potatoes (peeled and cut to chunks of your choice)

1 green pepper (deseeded and chopped)

2 sticks of celery (finely chopped)

1 thumb sized piece of ginger (finely chopped)

1 stalk of lemon grass (whole, but bruised with the back of a knife)

1 red chilli (finely chopped – deseed for less heat)

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

400ml tin of coconut milk

200ml vegetable stock

juice of 1 lime

1/2tbsp tamari sauce

1/2tbsp honey (use sugar for vegan)

Method

  • Heat the lemon grass, green pepper, celery and ginger in a little oil in a large pan, for about 5 minutes – until it smells amazing.
  • Add the garlic and chillies, and stir through.
  • Mix in the sweet potato, and with the lid on, allow to heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk and stock, bring to the boil and heat gently for 20-30 minutes until the sweet potato is tender.
  • Mix in the lime juice, tamari sauce and honey, and allow to heat for another 5 minutes.
  • Take out the lemon grass, and serve! (or hide the lemon grass on the plate of a guest you dislike in the hope that they will try to eat it – the choice is yours…)

This makes enough for 2 people, and some for leftovers / seconds.  It’s not a thick curry, it’s really light and tangy, and the consistency would work well with noodles, or as I’ve pictured above, with jasmine rice and a naan bread to mop up the sauce.

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.

Crunchy and Delicious Lettuce Wraps!

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

Recipe here: Lettuce Wraps

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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