My gluten and nut free version of granola

This recipe was inspired by holly’s toasted granola  http://hollyandflora.com/2014/07/02/toasty-whole-grain-granola-with-dried-cherries-dark-chocolate/

I have a wheat intolerance and a nut allergy so decided to adapt the recipe to suit me, this is my version.

RECIPE

1 cup of oats

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon quinoa

2 tablespoons of  treacle (cane sugar)

sea salt and cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon of mixed spice

1/4 cup of coconut oil

a packet of  mixed dried fruit, cranberries,blueberries and cherries

METHOD

1.  mix all ingredients except dried fruit

2. spread onto baking tray lined with greaseproof paper

3. bake for about 25 mins at 150 c

4. when cool add dried fruit

5. put into airtight containers

 

This recipe worked really well for me, I like the taste the mixed spice gives it and treacle is easier to work with than honey.

I have had some on it’s own and with yogurt both delicious.

The good thing is I can carry some in a small tub as a snack, to fight the hunger pangs.

Next venture to try a take on apple crumble using it as the topping.

Now that I have the basic recipe there is no end to the variations I could make. Different fruit , different spices.

nut-free-granola

 

 

 

 

 

Courgette lasagna

As I do not eat wheat I am always looking for other ways of cooking my favourite food.  I had never tried using courgettes instead of pasta it works very well, I sliced it thinly with a mandolin , you don’t need to cook it first just place in alternate layers with the meat and cheese sauce,, and there you have it, delicious !

corgette-lasagna

Chinese Cabbage ( Pak Choy)

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This vegetable which is the same family as cabbage and broccoli is so versatile and has a fresher flavour than cabbage.

Pak Choy is low in calories and has zero fat, it contains high levels of vitamin A ,C and K.

The young small ones are the best, when you buy them put in plastic bag and refrigerate it will keep up to 3 days.

There are many uses for pak choy, I only started eating it recently, it is great instead of lettuce ( I am not a fan of lettuce )in a salad the stalks are crunchy and the leaves are good also, I use rocket sometimes but there is no crunch.

Lately as well as using pak choy in salad, I have made noodle soup, by grating carrot,turnip then adding finely chopped pak choy and spring onions with a vegetable stock cube, this does not take long to cook, then add fine noodles 5 mins before end of cooking, this makes a lovely light and refreshing soup.

Grilled pak choy is good too, just cut in half coat with garlic butter or olive oil and grill until it has some colour, the green part goes really crispy and tastes delicious .

Healthy Wheatfree Breakfast Bar

This is so easy and very filling, no sugar or wheat either. Here is the recipe.

175g rolled oats

40g dessicated coconut

70g marg / butter

2 desertspoonful runny honey

1 desertspoonful treacle

40g chopped seeds, I use pumpkin,sesame and sunflower

1 desertspoonful lemon juice

40g chopped dried fruit, I use figs, but any dried fruit is ok.

Method

1. Melt honey,treacle and marg / butter.

2. Add all other ingredients, mix well.

3. Press firm into a square tin, usually makes 8

4. Bake at 150c for 15 to 20 mins.

5. cool for 5 mins slice, leave till cold before lifting.

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Tip of the Week

KOHLRABI

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This vegetable is native to Europe, it comes in white or purple, and is part of the same family as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Kohlrabi tastes like cabbage or broccoli stems.

When I lived in Scotland I successfully grew kohlrabi from seed in my greenhouse. I have been unable to find seeds here, but it is readily available in the fruit and veg shop.

Facts about Kohlrabi

  1. Only 27 calories per 100g.
  2. zero cholesterol.
  3. rich in vit C
  4. contains vit B complex.
  5. negligible fat.
  6. contains minerals, potassium, copper, manganese, iron and phosphorus.

There are many ways to eat Kohlrabi, some I have tried are pickled, steamed , rosti, raw in salads.

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You can grate the Kohlrabi, you have to dry it out in kitchen paper first as it is very wet, when fried it tastes a bit like bubble and squeak, but still has a bit crunch.

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Pickled Kohlrabi

chop into squares, add some olive oil, vinegar, I used white wine vinegar, sweet soya sauce. Put into container with lid shake and leave for 2 to 3 hours to marinate, then ready to eat. Great snack.

My favourite way to cook kohlrabi is to steam it, and have it as a vegetable , I like the way it stays whole and is still firm.

You can also eat the leaves or tops, use chopped up in a salad. The leaves contain carotenes, vit A, C and B complex.

My version of moussaka

I like inventing my own recipes with the foods I like, Lasagne and moussaka are two of my favourites so I  decided to make a combination of the two.

Here is the recipe, you do not have to be too particular about the amounts, make enough to fill the dish you are going to cook it in.

MinceOnion
1 Clove of garlic grated
Courgette
Tomato
1 Carrot grated
1 Egg
Balsamic vinegar
nutmeg
oregano
cornflour
feta cheese
tomato sauce
worcester  sauce
Method

  • Fry off mince and onion until brown, add garlic and grated carrot.
  • add enough water to cover
  • add a pinch of nutmeg, a tsp of oregano, a dsp of tomato sauce, worcester sauce and  a few splashes of balsamic vinegar, bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 mins
  • mix a spoonful of cornflour in a little water then add to thicken mince, once thickened take off heat and let cool
  • slice about half a courgette and lightly fry in pan, set aside to cool
  • beat an egg then add to a tub of natural yogurt, greek yogurt is good for this
  • now assemble the dish in a deep container
  • place a layer of courgettes on the bottom, then some mince, crumbled feta cheese,then sliced tomatoes repeat until all ingredients are used
  • pour yogurt and egg mixture on top
  • top with grated Parmesan
  • bake in oven 180 degrees for about 40 minutes till top is brownDSC00726

Tip of the week

Why not try to pickle your own beetroot, it is easy and so much better for you than bought ones.

Beetroot has many health benefits, contains dietary fibre which helps promote stable blood sugar levels.

High in vitamin A, good source of Magnesium and Potassium.

Here is how I pickle mine, not difficult at all.

It is better if you can buy organic beetroot. I usually make enough for to fill 2 kilner jars.

Recipe

7 or 8 beetroot ( about tennis ball size)

1 cup cider or apple vinegar

1 desert spoonful of honey

2 star anise

1/2 tsp mixed spice.

Method

  • place whole beetroot into pot cover with cold water, bring to the boil and then turn heat down to a simmer , let simmer for about 1 hour. ( do not take skin or stalk off beetroot at this stage )

 

 

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  • Put vinegar, water, honey, star anise and mixed spice into a small pot and bring to the boil then stir and take off heat.

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  • When beetroot is cooked and cooled, take stalk and skin off.

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  • Cut into bite sized pieces and put into kilner jar, then cover with vinegar, and close jar.

 

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  • When cool I store in cupboard in the dark
  • Once opened I store in the fridge

These jars unopened will keep for months.If you prefer you can eat cold cooked beetroot in a salad, the only thing is it does not keep long.

I usually cook my beetroot at night , let it cool overnight in pot then drain and pickle the next day.

 

Wheat- free steam pudding

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This is the best one I have made so far, and it is so easy, try it, you can make it any flavour you like, I might try orange or lemon next time, I would have put dried fruit in it if I had any, but it was fine without. This is my own recipe, I have tried it with rice flour but seems to work better with maize flour.

Recipe

3/4 cup of maize flour
2 des sp of gram flour
1/2 cup of demerara sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp honey
1 egg
milk

Method

1. Put sugar, honey and spice into pan over a low heat until sugar melts, stir now and then watch it does not burn
2. take off heat, add dry ingredients
3.Add egg and enough milk so that the mixture is quite soft
4. Put into a greased bowl cover with foil
5. put in steamer and cook for 30 to 35 mins.
Steaming makes the sponge a lot lighter than baking in the oven.

Tip of the week

Bananas

Bananas are very good for you, they contain potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, C and B 6.

I really love bananas they are probably my favourite fruit. We have lots of bananas in Tenerife, If you put them in the fridge they will keep longer. If you have got more than you can eat, you can take the skin off cover in foil and put in freezer, they make good healthy ice lollies, they have a really creamy taste similar to milk lollies.

You can use banana skin for warts and verrucas, cut a piece of skin to cover the wart or verruca the cover with tape and leave overnight, repeat every night till gone, I do not know how it works but it does.

Last of all you can cook with bananas, I found this great pancake recipe on the internet it is sugar free, gluten free and dairy free.( http://www.huffingtonpost.com), I have altered the recipe a bit because I am allergic to nuts and the recipe had used almond flour which I substitued for maize flour. I really like banana loaf but find it hard to get a good wheat free recipe, but these pancakes are a very good substitute.

RecipeDSC00412 DSC00415

2 ripe mashed banana

1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 eggs

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup maize flour

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

pinch of salt

1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

2 tsp. ground seeds (pumpkin,sesame, sunflower)

coconut oil for frying

Method:

1. Combine all wet ingredients ( banana,coconut milk,eggs,vanilla) with a whisk.

2. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients ,oat flour, baking powder ,salt, cinnamon,  nutmeg, mixed seeds, maize flour.

3. Add dry ingredients to wet, mix till smooth, it should be quite wet a dropping consistency

4. Leave to stand for about a min, it will thicken, if you feel it is too thick add a little more coconut milk or water.

5. Put a little coconut oil  onto griddle or frying pan.

6. Drop a dsp. of mixture onto griddle, the pancakes are ready when brown on both sides and cooked through.

I found these pancakes easy to make and delicious. You can have them for breakfast as I did with toasted coconut and sweet soya sauce ,or maple syrup, the options are endless.

What did you have for breakfast ?

Look what I had for breakfast. I never used to eat breakfast,and still find it difficult to eat when I first get up, so I usually have a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon and some honey, and then make breakfast. Breakfast is a really important meal it sets you up for the day ahead, if I don`t have a good breakfast I struggle, not to snack on unhealthy food because I’m hungry.

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This is what I had this morning.

Boiled egg, white anchovies, Cheddar cheese just a few squares, cherry tomatoes, spring onions, sweet corn, rocket, rye and sesame cracker, drizzled with natural yogurt and chopped herbs ( Rosemary, Thyme, and Parsley, form my garden ) No need for salt, you get enough from the anchovies and cheese.

This breakfast was inspired by Andre`s blog “Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork”. Looking at her blog I realised that you can have what you want for breakfast, you don’t have to stick to what is traditional, you can use up what is in your fridge as I did this morning, give it try you will be surprised, how good it is and how fulfilling, and of course it is healthy.

What do you have for breakfast? Would love to know what sets YOU up for the day.