Quick quick! Courgette salad

quick quick! courgette salad

This is one of those recipes that really doesn’t seem all that appealing until you’ve made it, devoured it and felt surprised that you not only enjoyed eating a raw courgette salad with not a lot else… but it actually filled you up, too.

Taken from gluten-free goddesses Hemsley & Hemsley’s The Art of Eating Well – this super fast combination of about four ingredients would be lovely as a side but in my opinion works great for lunch on it’s lonesome too.

Make up a big batch, dress it and take it to work the next day. It’s one of those little numbers that only gets better with time.

Quick quick! courgette salad
You will need:
1 x courgette
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
toasted seeds (the original recipe states just pumpkin but I like to use my trusty mixture of sunflower, lindseed, pumpkin and sesame)

 

 

 

 

In a dry pan on a low heat, toast up your seeds. While you’re waiting, grate your courgette into a medium sized bowl. Measure out the oil and vinegar straight into the bowl and season well. Give it a good stir. When your seeds are starting to pop around in the pan, you can add them to the salad. Enjoy!

 

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Nutty nearly-raw wholefood salad

Nutty nearly-raw wholefood salad

I love M&S food. They are nailing the gluten-free thing, offering creative alternatives to grains that don’t just assume the uninspiring fallback positions we see in other supermarkets. They also have gluten free sandwiches, which I’m yet to try, but I’m impressed to see them on the shelves. One of my favourite grain-free treats from M&S is their nutty wholefood salad. It’s basically cooked quinoa and spelt, with a bunch of raw carrot, green beans, broccoli stalks and peas, jam-packed with nuts. Sadly those nuts include cashews and pistachios. The soy and ginger dressing, though delicious, is loaded with glucose syrup and honey. This meal is not a low FODMAP option.

I have endeavoured to recreate this beauty so that the fodmappers of the world too can enjoy it. If I do say so myself, it’s a convincing imposter. It kept beautifully for three days and was great at work as it’s super filling.

Makes 3 big helpings.
You will need:
200g quinoa
a good handful green beans, chopped into smallish chunks
1 x cup garden peas (defrosted if frozen)
1 x carrot, thinly sliced, spiralised or julienned
1 x cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts

For the dressing:
1/3 cup x tbsp soy sauce
1 x tbsp walnut oil
1/2 x tbsp lime juice
1 x thumb ginger, minced
1 x tsp brown sugar

Nutty nearly-raw quinoa wholefood salad

Pop the quinoa on to cook, meanwhile you can prep your veggies and dressing. I would advise keeping your veggies quite small in this, and you also might want to chop up the almonds and walnuts roughly, into halves / thirds. Mix the dressing and taste it to see if you need more acid or more oil. I’m not as precise in the kitchen as I should be and tend to make my dressings to taste. This doesn’t use the 3 parts oil: 1 part acid ratio though as walnut oil has a very strong flavour. This dressing is zingy and marries really well with the nutty flavours in the quinoa.

Next time you have a moment of frustration when checking the label of something you really want to eat to find it’s not low FODMAP, don’t despair. Instead, make a mental note of what it contains, so that next time you’re in the kitchen you can have a go at making something delicious that works for you. This dressing didn’t need glucose syrup and it’s better for us without. The M&S version doesn’t have walnuts in but personally I think they add more than the cashews and pistachios did. Use what’s on the shelves or in recipe books as a springboard to inspire your own low FODMAP dishes – you’ll be surprised at how quickly you become a creative cook… if you aren’t one already!

Your new stir fry obsession: peanut sauce

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This peanut sauce is not satay. It’s better.

For me, stir fry is a go-to meal. It’s quick, easy, healthy and it uses up the lonely carrot hiding in the back of the vegetable drawer. The only problem is, ALL of the off-the-shelf stir fry sauces that I can get my mitts on are loaded with illegal ingredients such as glucose syrup, garlic, onion … etc.

Because of this I’ve resorted to just splashing a bit of soy over my stir fry these days… until now. This is my new obsession, and makes otherwise dull rice noodles totally irresistible. A welcome change from the soy/chilli stir-fry combo.

Your new stir fry obsession: peanut sauce

You will need:
For the stir-fry:
2 x handfuls of your choice of veg
2 x handfuls of chicken/Quorn chicken-style pieces (optional)
sesame oil (for frying)
1 x nest of rice noodles

For the peanut sauce (makes enough for about 3 servings: this is also a great lunchbox meal – you might find yourself making it a few times in the week if you’re anything like me):
1 x tbsp soy sauce
3 x tbsp lime juice
1 x thumb of ginger, chopped into small chunks
2 x tbsp chunky peanut butter
1 x tsp sesame oil
good pinch of cayenne pepper

Prep your veggies so they’re ready to fry. To make the sauce, add all the sauce ingredients to a food processor (I use my mini chopper) and whizz up. Give it a taste and alter the ingredients if necessary. If the sauce is too thin or salty, add some more peanut butter. I find it does taste salty on its own, however for me it’s totally perfect once added to the stir fry.

Once you’re happy with your sauce, fry up the veggies in some sesame oil and cook up your rice noodles. 1 minute before the veg is ready to serve, stir in a third of your peanut sauce (or half if you’re feeling indulgent). Add to the rice noodles and enjoy!

 

Sweet and sticky balsamic tuna steak with traffic light tomatoes

 

Sweet and sticky balsamic tuna steak with traffic light tomatoes

For those rare occasions where you just don’t fancy a plateful of carbs (they do happen once you’ve been on the low FODMAP diet a while, I promise).

This is a sticky, sweet and healthy low FODMAP dinner that you can have on the table in half an hour. Don’t worry if you don’t have tomatoes in varying colours – these are our little babies from the greenhouse and we’re (almost) down to the last bowl. On the vine cherry tomatoes would work beautifully too.

Serves: 1
Total time: 30 mins

You will need:
2 x small tuna steaks
a good handful of ripe tomatoes
handful chopped basil
garlic oil (for frying)

For the marinade:
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 x chopped chilli

Sweet and sticky balsamic tuna steak with traffic light tomatoes

Mix the marinade in a medium sized bowl and place your tuna steaks in it. Leave for 20 mins, turning and spooning the marinade over every five minutes.

Chop your basil. If you’re not using on the vine tomatoes, make little crosses in the tops of the tomatoes. This just helps them to cook down and release some of their juices, which melds with the garlic oil in the pan – yum.

Once the tuna has almost soaked up enough goodness, heat a griddle pan on a very high heat.

Start by griddling your tomatoes in the garlic oil. Season with some salt and pepper. Once they look like they’re starting to smush down a bit, remove the tuna from the marinade place in the hot pan alongside the tomatoes. Watch them super carefully if you’re like me and like your tuna quite rare – they cook up quickly. A nice sticky glaze will start to form and after about a minute (depends on the size and shape of your fillets and your taste of course), you can turn ’em over.

Have your plate ready, and load the contents of the pan on once the fish is ready. Sprinkle some basil over the tomatoes and you’re good to go!

Sweet and sticky balsamic tuna steak with traffic light tomatoes

Dairy free buckwheat loaf

Dairy free buckwheat loaf

This dairy free buckwheat loaf has saved my bacon many, many times now.

I just can’t get on with the gluten free breads in shops. To me they taste oddly sweet, artificial and the texture is all wrong. Instead of being springy like the wheatful loaves I once loved, off-the-shelf gluten free bread almost melts in my mouth (and not in a good way).

Because of these disappointing and expensive varieties, I’ve made it my quest to find an alternative to grain based bread that actually matches up. Something you could serve your wheat loving friends without them making a strange face afterwards.

I think the answer lies here, in this Hemsley & Hemsley recipe. While I find many of their recipes a little hard to tackle, mainly because they sometimes call for obscure ingredients (kelp noodles anyone?) this one is superb, and you can get everything you need in Tescos.

This recipe makes one small loaf, but don’t be fooled by the size – this stuff is seedy, it’s dense, flavourful and filling…delicious by itself – you can also add some raisins into the mix to make a sweeter version. Did I mention it’s completely dairy and yeast free too? The anti bread that tastes like bread.

Dairy free buckwheat loaf

You will need:
1 x large sweet potato / 1/2 a butternut squash
110g buckwheat flour (you can make this quickly by chucking buckwheat groats into a food processor and whizzing until fine)
4 tbsp arrowroot (or buckwheat flour – which is what I use)
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tbsp lemon juice
180g mixed seeds (I use a mix of sesame, sunflower, pumpkin & linseed)

Preheat the oven to fan 180 C.
Peel and weigh out 200g of squash / sweet potato. Microwave for 5 minutes until fully cooked and then mush it up with a fork (or stick it in a food processor).
Leaving the seeds until last, mix all the dough ingredients.
With floured hands, shape into a loaf, making shallow slits in the top of the loaf.
Pop him in the oven for 40 mins until golden.

And that’s it! I really recommend picking up a copy of The Art of Eating Well, the book this recipe is from. There are some total gems amongst it’s pages and it’s especially inspiring as all Hemsley & Hemsley’s recipes are inventive whilst being  totally gluten free. Rejoice!

Dairy free buckwheat loaf