Orange & Honey Syrup Cake with Greek yoghurt and Pistachios

orange-honey-syrup-cake -greek yoghurt-pistachios

Orange & Honey Syrup Cake with Greek yoghurt and Pistachios

Ingredients:
For the cake:
Juice of 2 Oranges
Zest of 2 Oranges
125g Ground almonds
175g Softened butter and a little extra for greasing
175g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
250g semolina
4½ teaspoons baking powder

For the syrup:
200ml Boyne Valley Honey
5 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon of good quality marmalade (no bits)
Juice of one orange
Juice of one lemon

For the topping:
200g Glenisk Natural Greek yoghurt
40g unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts
A drizzle of Boyne valley honey

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C
You will also need an 9 inch round loose-based cake tin, greased, with a non-stick base liner.

Method:
First, remove the zest from the outside of the oranges and cut the oranges into halves for juicing. Put all the other cake ingredients into a large bowl and use an electric hand whisk to whisk everything together until smooth. Add the Orange juice and zest and mix for a further minute. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top with and smooth the top with a spatuala.

Bake for an initial 10 minutes at 200°C and then turn the temperature down to 180°C for a further 30 minutes until the cake is golden brown and springy in the centre. You may find that your cake has shrunk slightly from the sides of the tin, this is perfect. If you find the cake is browning too quickly reduce the heat to 150°C and cover the top with tin foil for the last 10 minutes.

To make the syrup:
Combine the honey and 5 tablespoons water with the marmalade, place it over a gentle heat, whisking continuously. Bring it up to simmering point and let it simmer gently for about 5 minutes. After that, take the pan off the heat, and stir in the orange and lemon juices.

Cool the cake on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove it from the tin (leaving it to cool will ensure the cake doesn’t break apart) with a large plate underneath. Make a few holes all over it with a skewer before pouring the syrup over the cake slowly allowing it to absorb all the syrup, this will make the cake lovely and moist. When the cake is completely cooled, place it carefully on a serving plate and spread with the Greek yougert, sprinkle the pistachios on top and drizzle over the honey and it is ready to serve.

This cake should provide 8-10 slices and should be covered and kept in the fridge. It was a perfect treat for me and a break away from the books.

orange-honey-syrup- cake-greek yoghurt-pistachios

Orange & Honey Syrup Cake with Greek yoghurt and Pistachios

Baked Salmon with sundried tomato, Blackened Sweet Potato, Carrot & Cauliflower

roasted-salmon-blackened-sweet potato-carrot-cauliflower

Roasted Salmon with Blackened Sweet Potato, Carrot &
Cauliflower

Ingredients:
for the salmon:
2 Salmon fillets
Pinch salt & black pepper
1 drizzle of rapeseed oil
Tablespoon of sundried tomato paste

for the veg:
2 Large sweet potato sliced lengthways into wedges (with skin on)
1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
2 Carrots sliced diagonally and halved again
Pinch of salt & black pepper
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
Pinch of curry powder
2 Tablespoons of olive or rapeseed oil

preparation-for-baking

Preparation for Baking

To Cook:
Put the salmon into an oven proof dish and drizzle a small amount of rapeseed oil, sprinkle a pinch of salt and black pepper over them. Prepare vegetables in a bowl and rub with all ingredients, place on a wire grill tray and cook in an oven grill for about 20-25 minutes until blackened and cooked through or alternatively you can pop them on a hot BBQ grill plate which should only take about 10 minutes. By cooking the vegetables in this way, it brings out their sweet flavour. When the veg has been cooking for about 15 minutes, put the salmon into the oven, depending on the size it should only require 8-15 minutes cooking time. You may need to turn the veg once at this point. 3 minutes before serving take the salmon out, smear with the sundried tomato paste and put back into the oven to cook through.

Serve with home-made coleslaw, a wedge of lemon and a side salad of your choice.

BBQ Steak with Mushroom & Potato Salad

bbq-steak-blackened-sweet-potato-carrot-cauliflower-mushroom

BBQ Steak with Blackened Sweet Potato, Carrot & Cauliflower

Summer time is nearly here, the sun is shining in Ireland and all the white legs are out! What better way to enjoy a steak in the evening or at the weekends than to cook it on the BBQ. I always enjoy the smell of a BBQ wafting through the air with the smell of freshly cut grass and sea air while lazing in the garden after a long walk on the beach.

Ingredients:
for the steak:
4 Sirloin steaks
Bunch fresh thyme
Pinch Salt & black pepper
2 Tablespoons of olive or rapeseed oil
4 Large Flat cap mushrooms

for potato salad:
4 New Potatoes
Pinch of salt & black pepper
2 Tablespoons of light mayonnaise
3 scallions sliced
Finely chopped fresh parsley

for the coleslaw:
1/4 Coleslaw cabbage sliced thin and fine
2 Carrots grated
1 small white onion finely chopped
2 Tablespoons of light mayonnaise
1 squeeze of lemon
Finely chopped fresh parsley

Steak

Preparation of Steak

To Cook:
Marinade the steak for a few hours in all the ingredients. Coat the Mushrooms with a little rapeseed oil, salt and pepper. Prepare your potato salad by boiling the potatoes until just cooked, wait for them to cool, chop into quarters, or if the potatoes are large into bitesize pieces. Mix the scallions and mayo through and sprinkle with fresh parsley. To make your coleslaw, slice the coleslaw cabbage finely and add the grated carrots (Press down with some kitchen paper to take out the moisture). Add the finely chopped onion and a little fresh parsley and mix through the mayo and a squeeze of lemon. Prepare your salad, I used baby gem lettuce and cherry tomatoes cut in half and dressed it with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and grated parmesan. Then you are ready to cook your steak and mushrooms.

For the steak and mushrooms you can either use a hot BBQ or griddle pan (insure you coat the griddle with oil to stop the food sticking). Cook the steak for a couple of minutes on each side until the fat has rendered out and they are nice and charred on the outside, and slightly pink in the middle (medium rare). If you like it (well done) just cook for a couple of minutes longer. Put the mushrooms on the grill at the same time and turn once. As soon as the mushrooms are golden and cooked through they are ready, this should only take about 4 minutes.

Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Creamy Chicken & Wild Mushroom Carbonara

creamy-chicken-Wild-Mushroom-carbonara

Creamy Chicken & Wild Mushroom Carbonara

Ingredients:
200g Free from pasta
1 large chicken fillet
2 thick streaky bacon
1 large wild mushroom sliced
1 large red onion
1/2 cayenne chilli (orange ones)
1 hand full of fresh parsley chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon of parmesan

For the sauce:
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 squeeze fresh lemon

To Cook:
Boil the pasta in water for 12 minutes. While the pasta is cooking. Whisk the egg, olive oil and lemon in a jug. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pan. Put in the bacon and chicken and cook until slightly golden, add the onions, mushrooms and garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the parsley. Drain the pasta, put the cooked ingredients into the pasta and stir, then stir in the egg mixture. The residual heat from the pasta will cook the egg, keep stiring and it will become creamy white. Add the parmesan cheese and stir through. Top with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Enjoy!

Banoffee Pancakes

banoffee-pancakes

Banoffee Pancakes

Ingredients:
100g Doves Farm Gluten-free white self-raising flour
2 medium eggs (beaten)
250ml (1/2 pint) milk
A Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon brown castor sugar

Topping:
1 tin of carnation ready made caramel
1 Banana sliced tossed in a squeeze of fresh lemon
Lactose free cream whisked

To Cook:
Place the Gluten-free flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Beat the eggs, add the milk in a jug. Beating them well ensures a smoother batter. Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry and mix beat until there is a smooth consistency, if more milk is required you can add at this point, if you feel the mixture is too wet you can add more flour.
Heat a small knob of butter in a hot frying pan, pour in two dollops of mixture. Cook for a minute until golden then flip and cook for another minute on the other side.

pancakes

Pancakes

Serve hot, spread a spoonful of carnation ready made caramel, top with sliced banana (coated in a squeeze of lemon to prevent from going brown) and a dollop of whipped cream. To make it extra special you could finely grate some gluten-free chocolate over it.

If you want to keep it more traditional:

Serve with Fresh lemon halves to squeeze over, then a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of sugar.

For non gluten-free pancakes replace the Gluten Free Flour with 125g self raising flour. For Blueberry pancakes just add an additional handful of blueberry’s to the mix.

New to Gluten-Free

As a newbie going gluten-free was daunting for me, firstly I had to find out what Gluten was.

So what is Gluten?
Gluten is the elastic protein in wheat, rye, and barley that gives bread and cakes its wonderfully doughy texture and helps it to rise. Or to use the accurate terminology Gluten is gliadin and glutenin, the gluten that damages the small intestines of people who have coeliac disease. It makes life uncomfortable with gluten sensitivity. It makes up the genetic structure of semolina, couscous, orzo, spelt, kamut, durum, faro, einkorn and triticale. Although some of these may be familiar, some won’t be it is good practice to ensure when reading the back of packaging to make sure. Spelt and kamut are wheat in its natural form before it has been processed, although it still contains gluten which means that people who are allergic to wheat can eat it, however it is bad news for people who are gluten intolerant or coeliac. Visit the Coeliac Society of Ireland. Barley is tricky, because it hides in places you might not think about, like beer. Or cornflakes. Or malt vinegar.

It is important to be aware that lots of products on the market claim that they are Wheat Free, however this does not mean that they are necessarily gluten free. Gluten is in most baked goods and pastas. At first, you might focus on the foods that you think you can’t eat anymore, like pasta or pizza or bread. But nowadays Its easy to buy great versions of each of those, while most of the larger stores offer free from products and gluten-free alternatives including chocolate, sour cream, Jaffa cakes, caramel shortbread, pancakes, cookies, muffins and Italian bread sticks, they are all yummy, trust me I have tried them all with great enthusiasm. The temptation is to go a bit mad and try eat everything, however these products may be gluten-free but they are not calorie free and in some cases have a greater calorie content than the regular alternative, something to keep in mind when choosing what to eat. Take your time trying out store bought first to get your palate used to the new taste of gluten free products before you venture into baking gluten-free, I have. I am hoping that my future gluten-free baking will make it easier and healthier to eat gluten-free and save some money too as gluten-free products can be a little pricier than the regular alternative.

The first few weeks were the hardest, delving into the unknown. I knew I had to focus on whole naturally gluten-free foods but I had no idea where to start. I began my journey by researching on the internet and reading some really good blogs dedicated to gluten-free living I felt well informed to take a trip to the supermarket not knowing what I would find. I spent a good 3 hours wandering around and read the back of every packet I wished to purchase discovering what I could eat. I also found out that a lot of the things that I ate on a regular basis were naturally gluten-free already. Which gave me some comfort. Fresh seasonal fruit and veggies are naturally gluten-free, which is great for me as I would live on veggies. Fresh Organic grass fed beef is rich in Omega 3. Chicken, eggs and fish are all naturally gluten-free. Be careful when it comes to added broths, seasoning’s and marinades. For starches Potatoes, sweet potatoes and Grains – plain whole grain rice and Italian Arborio rice are all gluten-free. Be careful when buying anything processed, always read the label as sometimes par-cooked, instant or flavoured rice can contain wheat in some form, usually in the seasoning. Quinoa cooks quickly and is a complete protein. Rolls of cooked polenta are a convenient base for family style Italian cooking.

Why not try my Seafood Paella

Forbidden foods containing Gluten to keep in mind are breads, Rolls, Wraps, Stuffing, Pasta, muffins, cakes, biscuits, bagels, doughnuts, croissants, processed cereal, pizza dough, pastries, fried food, beer, crackers, chocolate bars. Any food that has been processed is considered junk food as it is usually laced with added flavours and seasonings which are not gluten free. Always check the label for soups and salad dressings. Knorr Stock cubes and most herbs and spices are a good alternative to put flavour into food, corn flour is also a great alternative to flour when it comes to thickening sauces. Limit the amount of refined sugars and starches, soda, unhealthy saturated trans fats and low nutrient junk food will go a long way toward healing a stressed digestive system and help if you suffer from fatigue. Cutting out the bad stuff may even help you loose a few inches off your tum, it did for me. When in doubt choose whole natural food.

Try to avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup as much as possible. It is a new refined, super sweet corn starch based sweetener which can often be hidden in many products and can cause digestive problems for people with a high propensity to sensitivity, it also raises your set point for “sweet” taste, and it is suspected to be a contributing factor in insulin resistance, higher triglyceride levels and type 2 Diabetes. Sugar alcohol based sweeteners such as sorbitol and mannitol are also problematic as they can cause digestive symptoms remarkably like gluten intolerance, including pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea.

What is Lactose Intolerance?
When it comes to Dairy, some physicians suspect that over fifty percent of coeliacs are also intolerant of or allergic to the proteins in milk, casein and whey, and many others find it difficult to digest the sugar in milk, called lactose. However, there are now Lactose Free alternatives which will not disappoint including milk, cream and cheeses. Some of the dairy free alternatives are crafted from rice, almonds, cashews, pea protein or soy. Always check labels for hidden ingredients as some ‘lactose-free’ cheeses actually contain the milk protein casein. Luckily, many non-dairy milks now say ‘Gluten-Free’ on the package. Call the company when in doubt. Try the new chilled coconut milks in a carton, or almond milk, organic non-GMO soy milk, and hemp milk. If dairy is fine for you, cultured plain organic yoghurt is gluten-free; try it with a dab of honey, all natural 100% fruit jam or pure maple syrup. Flavoured yoghurts could be trouble- especially those with added granola or flavours made with barley. Plain, aged block cheeses are generally safe, you could start with a wedge of good Parmesan and aged cheddar; both are high in calcium and have zero lactose. When you are ready to branch out, fresh goat cheese is delicious; and tangy, and there are many varieties of real cheese that are safe you just need to check the labels for additives, fillers or flavourings. Blue cheese is also gluten-free, if you are a fan. Low Fat versions of dairy products often contain added starches or fillers that may not be gluten-free, as a rule I tend to avoid these products as a lot of them contain artificial sweeteners which I can’t abide, I consider these ‘poison’ for the body, that rules out carbonated diet drinks also.

water-lemon-mint

Water with a slice of lemon & mint

Lunch time
Lunch time can often cause difficulty when out and about. It is important to prepare in advance. Some idea’s could include sandwiches and rolls made with gluten free bread, wraps made with corn or brown rice tortillas (please check on these, as some brands have tested high in gluten), lettuce wraps, rice paper wraps, and even toasted gluten-free bread make fabulous grilled ham & cheese or tuna, sweetcorn and light mayo.

Why don’t you try my gluten-free turkey burger or have a summer salad

summer-salad

Summer Salad

There is an array of gluten-free breads available from Tesco, Supervalu and Spar and other independent stores and bakeries with a wide variety of quality and taste. Some are like cardboard, however, I have found some that I actually quite like, my favourites include Tesco Free from brown bread that I toast, Kelkin have a full gluten free range, and Supervalu gluten-free Brown Seeded Buns (which I use in my Turkey burger recipe). Toasting makes almost any gluten-free bread bearable. Baking from home can often be time consuming, however it is something that should be considered and when you’re ready you can try out some of my gluten-free bread recipes when I pluck up the courage.

Breakfast
Breakfast is important for everyone but especially for us gluten-intolerant individuals. It sets us up for the day and helps with the cravings and reaching for those limited options on the go. Natural Oats would be something that I would suggest, cooked in water and some lactose free milk and topped with a sliced banana. At the beginning of your journey however you should note that although Oats don’t contain wheat, it is recommended that they are avoided completely until your gut inflammation has healed, and introduce them back slowly into your diet, once or twice weekly as they are a good source of fibre. Oats have been a controversial topic in the celiac community because some of them have been found to contain gluten due to cross contamination in the harvesting, storing and milling process. A few dedicated farms have begun producing certified gluten free oats. I have found a gluten-free strawberry & vanilla granola which I love made by the lawless family bakery in Athenry, it’s a real treat in the morning when you are in a rush or handy to bring with you to work and have at your desk. Remember also that Cornflakes contain barley and must be avoided as well as most other processed cereals. Why not try my recepie for Poached eggs & pulled pork a delicious alternative to the hangover breakfast but still hits the spot, or a g/f sausage sambo.

sausage-sambo

G/F Sausage Sambo

I also love to make variations of Spanish frittata for brunch, and my recipe for Vegetable Frittata is a 6 egg version, when cooked I often split in half and keep the other half in the fridge for the next day, saving me from cooking when I’m on the go and keeps me in good stead for the day ahead in DCU where I am doing my Post Grad in Management Digital Marketing. I often find if I don’t have something substantial, my low blood pressure makes me feel faint, so it is important to prepare in advance if you have a long day ahead. Now, I always have a banana in my bag and a bar of Eat Natural for those times when you just want something to keep you going and it tastes yummy too!

coffee

Coffee

As a coffee lover and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) sufferer I was heartbroken to know that I had to cut down on my beloved coffee. Many coeliac’s need to avoid coffee, especially if heartburn is a symptom, it’s a gastric irritant and a known IBS trigger. You could try organic green or black tea, however I am not a tea lover so I often find hot water with a slice of lemon is an excellent alternative. Drinking hot water and lemon first thing in the morning and last thing at night can help eliminate toxins for the body, it is high in anti-oxidants, vitamin C and a good kick-start your gluten-free lifestyle, not only does it help with providing your body with essential hydration, it can give you clear skin. Natural sodas have a lot less sugar and can be a refreshing alternative when on the go.
Snacking, was actually fun for me, before I used to have to avoid anything that looked yummy, now when I’m at home I snack on organic dark chocolate rice cakes or carrot sticks dipped in organic peanut, almond, cashew butter or home-made hummus. I have also found that Italian bread sticks dipped in a mixture of natural yoghurt, pea and mint or natural yoghurt, split pea, chilli & smoked paprika takes my craving for crisps away.

keoghs-crisps-salt-and-vinegar

Keoghs crisps

I would like to thank Keogh’s for making the most wonderful Irish hand crafted crisps, salt & vinegar flavour would be my weak spot, but we all need to be bold once in a while, don’t we? I am not a fan of dried fruit or almonds however these are good choices to curb the hunger pangs. I do like a mixture of nuts and fruit from time to time, however the bag doesn’t last long as once I pop sometimes I can’t stop, so I try and limit the amount I buy as nuts can be high in calories, however it is also high in protein so go for it if you can stick to a handful of unsalted, natural nuts and dried fruits. I often go nosing in the fridge just cos I just fancy something so I have a slice of lactose free cheese, which tastes remarkably like swiss cheese with its nutty flavour. I also always have a container of fruit in the fridge, just in case, pineapples, grapes, strawberry’s, mango and grapes. Yoplait Yogurts are on my list of Gluten free heaven foods. Popcorn is also Gluten free, handy for those movie nights in.

Fats
When it comes to Fats, I tend to stick to Rapeseed oil for cooking, olive oil for salads, which are low in polyunsaturated fats. A real treat me is gluten-free organic dark chocolate 70%. It is full of antioxidants and tastes soo good, there is always a bar in the fridge. Non-GMO organic corn tortilla chips are also handy for when you have a few people over to visit, they won’t even know the difference. I use them to dip into my Homemade Guacamole.

There is a wide array of safe gluten-free snacks available nowadays from crackers to muffins and everything in between, but it is important to always read labels so that you know what you are putting into your body, the last thing you want to do is ruin all your good work by eating pro-inflammatory processed junk food and takeaways this only messes with your healing process, your body will thank you in the end!

Alcohol
Yes, that’s what your worried about, me too. I love my glass of Merlot, so initially I cut it out completely as I found it only aggravated my symptoms. Bottled red and white wines are often safe however can be high in fermented fruit and yeast, which IBS sufferers may wish to avoid. When in doubt it is best to call the winery and check to see what method they use as a lot of older wineries use antique oak barrels sealed with food grade paste (wheat). You should avoid malted wine coolers. For those allergic to casein, egg proteins, or fish, be aware that modern methods of winemaking often include a fining process that utilises one of these top allergens. Potato vodkas and unflavoured rums, distilled whiskey and tequilas are naturally gluten-free. Cognac is safe; however you should always check for added flavours that may not be gluten-free. There are also gluten-free lagers and bottled hard ciders on the market now as beer contains barley and should be avoided.

If you suspect you might be Gluten Intolerant or a coeliac and before you decide to go Gluten-free, you should visit your physician and request a blood test which can confirm if you are in fact allergic to both dairy proteins (casein and whey). Also look into FODMAPs- hard-to-digest sugars that include lactose, and fructose. Tests can often come back negative, therefore it is important to get a biopsy to confirm coeliac disease.

There will be times when, in spite of all your best efforts, you will be tempted by the odd chocolate croissant like me or you unwillingly get some cross-contamination you will feel the wrath, depending on the person it can take 5 minutes but for me it can take about 20 minutes depending on what I eat, you may have a splitting headache like a bullet through the head, stomach pains a few moments later that make you feel doubled over in pain, then expect to spend the rest of the evening cramping, having to lie down for relief and of course the repeated visits to the bathroom, where you are faced with a struggle or a surprise. Knowing that the next day will probably be filled with fatigue, you might also feel depressed and anxious as a 30 something year old woman who only recently discovered that I am gluten intolerant, it may have been helpful to have been diagnosed earlier.

‘Did you know that 90% of the serotonin produced in our bodies is made in our intestines? If something is wrong in your gut, something is wrong in your mind.’

I vaguely recall when my symptoms first started but it was somewhere in my young teenage years. I do recall quite vividly at the age of 19 being brought to A&E where my belly was so swollen I looked about six months pregnant. I was given morphine and asked where the pain was and then I was sent home. I went to my GP the next day in severe pain, where he diagnosed me with IBS. He gave me two sets of antibiotics for the infection which had spread to other parts of my body. He also gave me anti-spasmodic medication, fibo-gel, peppermint oil tablets and laxatives (containing lactose) which I would not recommend. I thought I was going to die with the pain and it just persisted.

After many years going to consultants and specialists and several bad bouts, resulting in a prolapsed bowel and wonderful rectocele to boot it surprises me that no physician told me that it might even be a consideration, even though I was becoming acutely aware of the foods that were the culprits, i.e. bread and pasta and fatty foods, but all I tried to do was avoid these, however I still had the symptoms. So it is a blessing and a relief to finally know but worrying at the same time that there is not much information out there, hence why I started writing this blog to encourage more people to become aware of the symptoms.

Being gluten-free may be messy and raw and annoying as hell. There might be months, eventually, that you go without thinking about gluten, or you revel in your new baking skills, or you realise what a gift this all is because you feel well for the first time in your life. And then there will be bad days, perhaps because someone has made you feel like you are on a fad diet or someone questions why you are gluten-free, but doesn’t quite get it and is ill informed. There may also be days where all you have left is a carrot some peanut butter and a packet of popcorn left in the house to have for your dinner and you decide to go out for dinner instead but the restaurant uses MSG and doesn’t cater for the gluten intolerance or they arrive to the table with gravy smothering your food that you specifically asked not to be there and you feel like exploding!!

Take a deep breath and don’t despair – go home and eat that carrot, cut it into fingers and dip it in peanut butter it’s yummy and have that popcorn with a movie and chill out, tomorrow is another day!

One day when you wake up in the morning and realise you haven’t had a headache in months and your joints don’t hurt, you stomach isn’t swollen and sore, you are not doubled over with cramps and you go to the bathroom like a normal person you suddenly realise that you have just changed your life for the better. It takes time you just have to stick with it, it will be worth it in the end!

If you need to know more: DR Tom O’Bryan Gluten Expert – Host of The Gluten Summit and faulty member of the Institute of Functional Medicine talks about the The Gluten-Autoimmune Connection here:

and further discussion on the Gluten-Thyroid Connection

I’ve never heard a better explanation of why our bodies are unable to have Gluten!

Lentil & Smoked Bacon Soup

Lentil-smoked-bacon-soup

Lentil & smoked bacon soup

Ingredients:
1 thick slice of bacon cubed with fat
1/2 cup red split lentils (soaked for 15 minutes)
1/2 cup green lentils (soaked for 30 minutes)
1 tin gluten-free chopped plum tomatoes
1 onion finely chopped
3 small parsnips cubed
3 small carrots cubed
1 stick of celery finely sliced
A large handful of baby spinach leaves
2 pints water
2 gluten-free chicken stock cubes
1/2 fresh lemon squeezed
bunch of fresh parsley chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
pinch of salt
pinch of thyme
crushed black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of paprika
2 fresh bay leaves
1 fresh red chilli finely chopped
Drizzle of rapeseed oil
Pinch of salt & cracked black pepper

Serves 5 (freezes well)

To Cook:
Place the cubed carrots and parsnips in a oven proof dish and drizzle with a small amount of rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper and place in the oven at 220c until slightly golden, depending on the size it should take anything between 20 -30 minutes, make sure not to overcook. Boil the green lentils for about 25 minutes until just cooked through. Fry the bacon in a large deep dish on a high to medium heat until all the fat is rendered and it is golden colour, add the onion and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, herbs and drained red lentils, and cooked green lentils. Add the stock and tomatoes and cook for a further 8-10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, remembering to add the roasted vegetables and spinach and parsley last. Cook for a further 2 minutes, and then you are ready to serve.

A hearty meal for winter, but equally delicious for the Ireland’s spring weather.

Seafood Paella

seafood-monkfish-king prawn- mussles-paella

Monkfish Paella

Ingredients:
2 whole monkfish chopped into large cubes
1kg mussles washed
300g of fresh or fresh frozen King prawns (make sure to defrost fully)
250g Arborio rice
1 tin gluten-free chopped tomatoes
1 onion finely chopped
1 sweet red pepper diced
1 small red chilli
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 cloves of fresh garlic finely chopped
I bunch of fresh parsley
1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
2 gluten-free vegetable stock cubes
1 3/4 pints of boiling water
1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil

Serves 4 people

To cook:
Heat the oil in a large deep dish pan, sweat the onions for 2 minutes, add the garlic and peppers, red chilli, paprika, smoked paprika and turmeric and stir for 1 minute, then add the rice and stir through. Pour in the stock bring to the boil, after 6 minutes, turn down the heat to a high simmer for a further 3 minutes and then add the fish. Cook for a further 5 minutes and cover. Add the fresh parsley and serve.

Perfect for that extra special dinner party!

Gluten-free turkey burger

gluten-free-turkey-burger

Gluten-free turkey burger

Ingredients:
300g of Turkey breast mince
5 drops of Tabasco
2 drops of Worcestershire sauce (optional as this is not gluten free)
A pinch of salt
A pinch of white pepper
A dash of garlic salt
1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil

Inside the gluten-free Bun:
4 thin slices of cucumber
2 cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon of ballymaloe jalapeno pepper relish
1 teaspoon of light mayo or dairy free mayo (optional)
1 slice of port salut or lactose free cheese (optional)

To Cook:
Mix all of the ingredients with the turkey mince and split in two parts, pat each part into the shape of a reasonably sized burger. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until fully cooked through and the outside has a nice golden colour. Cut the bun in two, spreading the jalapeno relish on one side and mayo on the other, put the burger on top, then the cheese and salad.

Not only is this low fat, it tastes so good that you think it’s bad.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Frittata

Vegetable-Fritata

Vegetable Frittata

Ingredients:
6 Free Range Eggs whisked
1/2 Courgette Sliced
1 leek sliced
4 Cherry Tomatoes halved
6 Button mushrooms scliced
4 Broccoli florets, quartered
1 tablespoon of Rapeseed Oil

2 people

Frittata-Step-by-step

To: Cook
Heat the Rapeseed Oil in a deep dish pan. Add leeks and sweat for 2 minutes until soft, then add Sliced Courgette, mushrooms and brocolli floretts, stir fry on a medium to high heat for a further 2 minutes, then add tomatoes on top and pour in whisked eggs. Cook on a medium heat for about one minute making sure to slightly agitate the bottom so that the egg starts to cook halfway through. Then put under a grill oven at 200c and cook until egg is cooked through and its just starting to puff up. Turn out onto a plate and scatter grated parmesan.