So much of my time is taken up by just making food for my family to eat that I’ve decided to start a weekly blog post featuring links to the recipes that have inspired my cooking each week, even if the originals aren’t gluten free and I succumb to my usual habit of changing things around to suit what I have to hand. That way if you see something I’ve made on my Instagram feed, you’ll stand a chance of being to figure out how to make it. And if you havent yet found my feed on Instagram it’s here.
Going freestyle – with the feel of a recipe rather than using a recipe to the letter seems to be a major worry for a lot of people. I do remember the early days of learning to cook – rushing out to buy a bunch of spring onions because I’d forgotten to add them to the list. These days I’d thing rather along the lines of replacing them in a recipe – a bit of leek, red onion or shallot. No rice crumbs? – then how about breadcrumbs or quinoa flakes. It might turn out differently, but just suppose it turned out even better AND you didn’t have to hare round to the market just for one item? It’s just a question of confidence and actually becomes pretty exciting. What CAN you make with only an onion, a stick of celery and a carrot??!
I hope this helps you to see how recipes evolve and helps you to use up what you already have at home, reducing waste and time to boot. It will also help me to keep an uptodate record of the recipes I try. How frustrating is it when you make a recipe that is unanimously declared delicious only to lose the recipe forever (do NOT mention my hot cross bun recipe at this point, my heart is still bleeding).
For the observant among you, yes, this was a particularly meat/fish light week, but we aren’t exclusively vegetarian.
- The quinoa and sweet potato burgers were based on this recipe by One Ingredient Chef. Instead of the parsley/sunflower seed/garlic combo I used some radish top, roasted garlic and pistachio pesto I had leftover. I also didn’t bother hydrating the ground flax and reduced that down to 2 tablespoons from 3. They were really delicious.
- The courgette besan cheela recipe is one I have taught before in my classes in Singapore. A chick pea flour ‘pancake’ with added cumin, spring onion and courgette – such a quick idea for lunch. I have submitted the recipe for publication to the summer edition of Niépi magazine, so I’m hoping that will reach a wider audience. This one I served with a cucumber and mint raita made using milk kefir kindly given to me by a dear friend. Thanks Marie-Odile!
- The banana bread recipe was made using this BBC Food recipe for inspiration. I used my usual four flour blend instead of the plain/wholemeal flours in the recipe and reduced the sweetener from 4 tbsp of agave (which I never use) to 3 tbsp of maple syrup. I also added 1/2 tsp xanthan gum as a binder. The recipe contains a yogurt but no other fat, which made the texture bizarrely light for a banana bread. It made a nice light breakfast served with unsweetened creamy fromage blanc and another splash of maple syrup.
- The gado gado recipe is one given to me by a young Malaysian woman I met while doing an internship in America back in the 1980s and have guarded preciously ever since! I have included it below, along with a marinade for satay skewers.
- 100g roasted, unsalted peanuts, ground (OR use good quality peanut butter)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped,
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder (or to taste)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 250ml coconut milk
- 2 tbsp gula melaka (coconut sugar) or dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp GF tamari (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp lime juice (or to taste)
- courgette, carrot, green beans etc
- bean sprouts, red pepper, cucumber etc
- boiled eggs, halved
- Place the peanuts (or peanut butter), onion, garlic, cayenne, coriander and cumin into a medium frying pan and cook together for 5 mins.
- Add the coconut milk, sugar and tamari, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 mins.
- Add the lime juice to taste and add more tamari if needed.
- Serve warm with a selection of steamed and raw vegetables and halved hard boiled eggs.
- 3 tbsp neutral oil
- 3 tbsp GF tamari
- 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
- 1.5 tsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Mix all together in a bowl - add cubed chicken or tofu and cover. Allow to marinade for a minimum of 3 hours, preferably 6, then thread onto soaked wooden skewers and cook on a grill pan until golden and cooked through.
There are some things I would never dream of ordering in France. One of them is a salade chèvre chaud – usually an oozy slice of goat cheese on a piece of sourdough toast served on dressed salad leaves. I’m not sure which friend passed this idea on to me first – Steph in the Alps or Sarah on the Ile de Ré. Yes I’m lucky enough to have friends living in amazing parts of France. And even luckier that they invite us to stay with them. And just occasionally lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a great idea for a gluten free recipe from one of these gluten eaters!
I used a mixture of olive oil and walnut oil for the dressing and ideally I would have added toasted chopped walnuts rather than pine nuts. However, seeing as how my pine nuts had been hanging around the kitchen cupboard for a while and considering that a small packet costs way more than my monthly salary right now (haha!) I used them up. Next time I would definitely go the walnut route.
The salad dressing makes enough for 4 people or more, but some folk like more dressing than others and I usually have some dressing leftover in my fridge to rustle up a quick lunch or side salad. I like to leave the skins on the apples for a bit of colour and texture. Peel the apples if yours are less than pretty.
This would make a great starter or light lunch. Enjoy!
- 1 apple, washed
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 handfuls washed salad leaves
- 2 cabecou (individual cheeses) or slices of a log of goat cheese
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- fine sea salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp walnut oil
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat until toasted.
- Core the apple and cut two 1com thick slices. Place on a baking sheet.
- Preheat the grill (medium).
- Make the dressing by stirring together the mustard, salt, pepper and vinegar then whisking in the oils.
- Drizzle half a tsp of the dressing over the top surface of each apple ring.
- Grill for 3-5 mins.
- Dress the salad leaves with as much of the dressing as you like (store the remainder for another day in the fridge).
- Place goat cheese on top of each apple slice, return to grill and grill for 5 mins until cheese is starting to bubble and apples starting to brown at edges.
- Place the apple and cheese on the salad and serve immediately.