Sunday, 24 November 2019

INTRODUCTION



When I finally found out I had Coeliac disease in 2012 my health was at rock bottom. I had ME, was allergic to too many foods to list & eating felt like a nightmare.
I started this blog shortly afterwards, to force myself back into the kitchen to try and come up with some recipes for things I could safely eat. Also to rediscover a joy for cooking, food & life itself.
Thankfully those dark days are behind me now, but it's been a journey, definitely not a straight line, and I know I'm not alone.
I wanted to come up with recipes that were simple to make & did not require a huge list of ingredients - which is one of my pet hates for most cookbooks. So if a recipe requires, say Tamari soy sauce, then you'll notice you can use it in quite a few other recipes.
My kitchen cupboards are not full to bursting with various spices & condiments - I'm fairly minimalistic & hate waste - but also hate compromising on taste just because I have to follow a gluten free diet.
In the blog I have mentioned a few various brands that I love. I'm not sponsored in any way! - these are just products that I love and come back to all the time.
Last but not least if you are struggling with coeliac disease, food allergies or sensitivities & would like to chat, please feel free to email me at ella.easton8@gmail.com.
Ella x

Thursday, 7 November 2019

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP


I love soup & Butternut squash is probably my favourite! I use mild curry powder here, so if you only have a strong one, you might want to use just one teaspoon.

400g pumpkin flesh
2 dessertspoons light olive oil or other cooking oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
300ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons coconut yogurt
salt, pepper & chilli flakes to taste.

1. Preheat the oven to 180c

2. Chop the pumpkin/butternut squash flesh into chunks.

3. Mix the oil & curry powder together, then pour over the pumpkin. Toss the pumpkin pieces in the oil so that they are all evenly coated.

4. Bake in the oven for about 35 mins or until the pumpkin is soft & cooked.

5. Leave to cool. Then transfer to a blender, add the stock and coconut yogurt & blitz. Add in salt, pepper & chilli flakes to taste.

6. Decorated n the picture above with extra coconut yogurt & roasted pumpkin seeds. (Optional.)

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

OAT FREE GRANOLA


Lots of Coeliacs can't tolerate even gluten free oats - luckily I'm not one of them, but I wanted to come up with an alternative for those of you who are oat free as well.

2 cups of puffed rice
1/4 cup of flaked almonds
1 handful mixed pumpkin & sunflower seeds
2 dessert spoons dark honey
2 dessert spoons light olive oil
cinnamon to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 160c
2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
3. Lay a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray.
4. In a separate bowl mix together the oil, honey & cinnamon.
5. Mix the honey/oil into the dry ingredients. Use your hands to get the best result - making sure it's all evenly coated.
6. Spread the mixture out onto the baking tray.
7. Bake in the oven for between 20 - 25 mins until it's golden brown. 22 mins is usually perfect! After 10 mins take it out and stir in around a bit. The outside bits often start to brown first, so you want to break it all up a bit so that you get an even bake.
8. Remove from oven, leave to cool, then transfer to an airtight container.
9. That's it!

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

MINCE PIES


For those of you thinking I'm completely mad if I think you have time to make your own mincemeat at the busiest time of the year, you can use shop bought ...…..although I do think this one is good & much lower in sugar than most shop bought! And for those of you thinking I'm completely mad if I think you have time to make your own mince pies at the busiest time of the year, they freeze well for up to 3 months. :)


MINCEMEAT

75g raisins
75g sultanas
50g chopped apricots
Juice & rind of 1 organic orange
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

PASTRY

225g doves farm gluten free plain flour or alternative plain flour mix
100g unsalted butter or dairy free alternative (I use Naturli vegan block)
2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 egg yolks, 1 egg white

1. For the mincemeat. Place the lemon juice, orange juice & rind in a saucepan. Add the maple syrup, brandy, sugar & mixed spice. Turn the heat to medium high & stir well.
2.  Add the dried fruit & mix in well.
3.  Leave to simmer for about 10 mins until the fruit has absorbed most of the liquid & is plump & juicy. Take the pan off the heat, cover with a lid & leave to cool whilst you make the pastry.
4.  Combine the flour & icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
5. Beat the egg & egg white together in a bowl. Add the egg to the pastry to bind. You may need a spoonful of water as well if the mixture is too dry to come together in a ball of dough.
6.  Squish the pastry into a ball, cover with clingfilm/ beeswax wrap & leave in the fridge for at least  30 minutes. Meanwhile pre heat the oven to 180c.
7.  Lightly grease a cup cake tin.
8.  Roll out the pastry to the desired consistency. Cut into circles - slightly bigger than the holes in the tin.
9.  Press the pastry rounds into the tin. If the pastry cracks, just fill in any gaps using your fingers.
10.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven & place a spoonful of mincemeat into each mince pie.
11. Return to the oven for about 13 mins until the pastry starts to turn golden brown.
12. Leave to cool a bit, as they'll be easier to get out. I use a blunt knife round the edge to pop them out.


                        Serve with brandy butter, cream or ice cream (as shown).

Friday, 4 October 2019

FLOUR MIX


For most of the baking recipes I use Dove's farm gluten free self raising flour or the GF plain flour by the same brand.
I honestly think their mixes are as good as baking with regular wheat flour. If you have a different gluten free flour blend you like to use, then Just use that. (Bob's red mill gluten free 1 to 1 is amazing too, but I find it harder to get hold of.)
If you don't want to use either of them & want to make your own blend - here you go! It does involve buying a few different flours and mixing them yourself, but once you've bought them, they're easy to blend together, they last for ages and they are easy to get hold of ingredients.
On occasion, I have made this flour mix omitting a) the tapioca
                                                                                b) the coconut flour
and honestly it didn't work. Without the tapioca it had the wrong consistency and without the coconut flour the taste wasn't so good.

Here's what you'll need.

 2 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup potato flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup coconut flour

Place all the flours in a big mixing bowl and mix well. Transfer to an airtight container.


VEGAN RICE PUDDING


This is my current favourite breakfast.  As a coeliac, breakfast choices can be limited - especially if you are avoiding oats as well.  This is very simple - literally two ingredients -but not so quick to make. However it works really well to cook it ahead of time, store it in the fridge and then just warm it up when you're ready to eat :)

makes one serving - dessert size. If you're making it for a breakfast I'd use 1 1/2 oz rice and 450ml milk. (double the ingredients for two servings etc)

1 oz pudding rice
300ml plant based milk (My favourite one to use in this recipe is Valsoia walnut milk - available on Ocado. But almond, hazelnut or soy milk will work well too.)

1.  Place the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir well so that the rice doesn't stick to the bottom.
2.  Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. (My hob goes from 1-9 and I cook this on a 3 to give you an idea. )
3.  Leave to cook for around 1 hour . Give it a stir every now and again to prevent a skin from forming - although I don't tend to find that such a problem with non dairy milk.
4.  It's done when the rice is cooked and the consistency resembles the picture shown!
TIP if it gets near to the end of cooking time and it's still a very liquid consistency, just turn the heat up a notch or two so it's gently bubbling away. give it a good stir and leave on the higher heat until it's thickened up.
5.  Eat straight away or store in the fridge in a covered container & warm through when you're ready to eat it.

Shown here with some frozen strawberries, strawberry jam & nutmeg.
some other topping ideas are:
1  Apple and cinnamon
2  Banana and peanut butter
3  Berries & maple syrup
4  Maple syrup
5  Dried fruit and nuts
6  Nutella

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

ENERGY BALLS TWO WAYS


I have to admit I'm not the biggest fan of energy balls - but they are an easy carry around snack
when you're on a restricted diet and can't just grab whatever you feel like when you're out and about.
I much prefer the chocolate version - but thought I'd add the strawberry ones to give you another option.

Makes 6 balls

100 g ground almonds
100 g pitted Medjool dates
1 level dessertspoon cashew butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon freeze dried strawberry powder
desiccated coconut to decorate (optional)

1  Place the ground almonds, pitted dates and cashew butter into a blender and blitz.
2. Divide the mixture in half.
3. Add the cocoa powder to one half. Add the strawberry powder to the other half.
4. Roll into balls. Decorate with desiccated coconut. Job done!