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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Less than 90 mins

29Jul 12

Basmati Tabbouleh

Basmati TabboulehTabbouleh used to be one of my favourite salads back before I switched to gluten-free, and I always figured I’d never be able to have it again due to the fact that it’s always prepared with either bulgur or couscous, both of which are, of course, off-limits to anyone on a gluten-free diet.

Luckily, I stumbled across a recipe for making couscous from basmati rice recently and quickly jumped on the opportunity to create this basmati tabbouleh recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! (You might also want to have a look at this lamb with couscous and apricot salad, but using basmati rice instead of couscous.)

 

Basmati Tabbouleh
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 150g long grain basmati rice
  • 500ml gluten-free chicken broth
  • 200g fresh flat-leaf parsley, very finely chopped
  • 100g fresh mint, very finely chopped
  • 500g ripe tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 2 medium-sized lemons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ teaspoon ground cumin
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Put about half the rice in a blender or food processor and pulse until the rice kernels break into smaller pieces similar to the size of couscous.
  3. Repeat with remaining rice.
  4. Spread out the rice in a thin layer along the bottom of a not non-stick baking sheet.
  5. Place on the middle rack of the preheated oven and toast until lightly browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure even browning.
  6. In a medium-sized, heavy pan, add the rice, broth, and salt and bring to the boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until all the the water is absorbed.
  8. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
  9. Mix the diced tomato with the diced onion, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cumin.
  10. Mix in the parsley and mint leaves.
  11. Add the oil and mix well.
  12. Mix in the prepared basmati and blend well.
  13. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Serve immediately.

 

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23Jul 12

Winter Vegetable Pie

Winter Vegetable PieSomething like a fancier, vegetarian version of traditional shepherds pie, this winter vegetable pie recipe makes for a great Sunday lunch and is a good way to trick younger kids into eating their turnips and parsnips without them even realising it!  I usually prepare this in one large oven-safe dish, but an interesting presentation alternative is to bake individual portions in small, round dishes and give everyone their own.  If you find your kids still make faces and don’t want to eat it, try doubling the amount of cheese; in my experience, this seems to work just as well as the proverbial spoonful of sugar!

Although it’s only vegetables, this dish can be quite heavy. For a lighter cheesy recipe to “fool” kids into eating their veggies, try this baked fennel with tomato gratin. For dessert, I recommend this carrot halwa.

Serve this dish with cheesy bread for dipping. I also like to set aside a little ramekin with the tomato sauce to pour over the mashed potatoes right before serving. But that’s because I really love tomatoes. Most people tell me that the tomatoes inside the pie are plenty, but I just never can get enough!

 

Winter Vegetable Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 450g potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 400g turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 50g Puy lentils
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 200g leeks, washed and sliced in rings
  • 200g parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 75g chopped walnuts
  • ½tsp dried thyme
  • ½tsp dried oregano
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Boil the potatoes and turnips in a large pot of salted water for 20-30 minutes, or until very tender.
  3. Drain off the excess water and mash the turnips and potatoes together with half of the butter.
  4. Cook the lentils in a pot with abundant water for 30 minutes, or until nice and tender.
  5. Drain and set aside.
  6. Heat the rest of the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onions, leeks and parsnips over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the walnuts, thyme, oregano, the cooked lentils and the tomato.
  7. Mix well and season to taste with the salt and pepper.
  8. Place the vegetable mixture in a deep oven-proof dish and cover with a layer of mashed potato and turnip.
  9. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over the top and cook in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the mash turns golden brown and a bit crispy.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 

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24May 12

Creamy Cheese Blintzes

Creamy Cheese BlintzesThese creamy cheese blintzes are great for dessert or brunch.  The sweet cherry topping is both colourful and tasty. For a saltier flavour, you could also try these crepes stuffed with ricotta and courgette.

You Need:

For the crepes:

  • 190ml milk
  • 30g sorghum flour
  • 30g cornflour
  • 25g tapioca flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Additional butter for frying

 

For the filling and topping:

  • 230g ricotta cheese or firm silken tofu
  • 90g cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar + 125g for dusting
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 can (about 500ml) cherry pie filling

 

Steps:

 

  1. Make the crepes: In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the additional butter, and process until smooth. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 205°C.
  3. Coat a glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Just before frying the crepes, blend again to reincorporate ingredients.
  5. Heat a 20cm frying pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water dances on the surface.
  6. Brush the surface of the pan with butter.
  7. Pour 60ml of batter into the pan and immediately tilt and swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly with the batter.
  8. Cook until the underside of the crepe is crispy brown, then flip with a thin spatula and cook the other side for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the batter sets.
  9. Repeat steps 4 to 6 with the remaining batter.
  10. In a medium bowl, beat the ricotta cheese/tofu and cream cheese together on medium speed until smooth.
  11. Gradually beat in the 3 tablespoons icing sugar, lemon zest, and egg until smooth.
  12. Spoon 60ml of the cheese mixture in a line along the lower third of each crepe.
  13. Fold the bottom to just cover the cheese filling and keep rolling, ending with the seam side down.
  14. Place the blintzes in the baking dish and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the egg is cooked and the cheese sets.
  15. Dust with icing sugar, spoon cherry pie filling on top, and serve warm.

 

Ready In:  90 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   4 out of 5

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24Apr 12

Turkey and Sun-Dried Tomato Loaf

Turkey and Sun-dred Tomato LoafThis turkey and sun-dried tomato loaf with onion gravy makes for a great Sunday afternoon roast replacement, like this lamb roast with garlic and rosemary.  I like to use turkey mince, but it should work fine with whatever mince you prefer, or even textured vegetable protein if you want to make it vegetarian-friendly.

You Need:

For the loaf:

  • 250g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 500ml boiling water
  • 65g cornflakes, crushed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½  medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2tbsps mushroom or vegetable broth
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125g creamy Havarti cheese, shredded
  • 2tsps dried basil
  • 1tsp dried parsley
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • ½tsp dried thyme
  • ½tsp freshly ground pepper
  • ½tsp salt
  • 700g  turkey mince
  • Vegetable oil spray

For the gravy:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 stock cube (vegetable or chicken)
  • 2tsps thyme
  • 500ml water
  • 4tbsp cornflour + 2tbsp water, mixed together to form a thick paste 

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Submerge the sun-dried tomatoes in the boiling water for a few minutes to soften and then drain. Chop into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add the crushed cereal and mix to coat. Set aside.
  4. Over medium heat, sauté the onion and green pepper in the olive oil until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  6. Add to the sun-dried tomato and cereal mixture.
  7. Next pour in the broth and mix well.
  8. Beat the eggs and then add them to the mixture,  jumbling it all together.
  9. Add the cheese, herbs, seasonings and meat and stir until well-blended.
  10. Lightly coat a 23cm x 13cm loaf pan with the vegetable oil spray and then press the mixture firmly down into the pan.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until the temperature of the loaf, when measured with a roasting thermometer, reaches 80ºC.
  12. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 to10 minutes before removing from the loaf pan.
  13. While the loaf is baking, prepare the gravy:
  • Sauté the onions in the vegetable oil until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the stock cube, thyme and 500ml of water and bring to the boil.
  • Add the cornflour paste a little at a time until desired thickness is reached.

14. Cut into slices, cover with gravy and serve.

Ready In:  90 minutes

Serves:  8

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

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19Apr 12

Baked Aubergine Parmesan with Tofu Pesto

Baked aubergine parmesan with tofu pestoThis baked aubergine parmesan with tofu pesto has got to be one of my all-time favourite comfort foods.  Filled with lots of cheese and literally dripping with sauce, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  If you’re not a fan of aubergine (like my son) you could substitute it for courgette, wild mushrooms or even a mix of vegetables.

You Need:

For the baked aubergine:

  • 1kg aubergines
  • 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 750ml tomato sauce
  • 300g mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 250g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

For the tofu pesto:

  • 125g firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 500g fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 125g fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Peel the aubergine and slice into 1cm thick pieces.
  3. Sprinkle salt on each side and drain on kitchen towels for about 20 minutes.
  4. Turn the pieces over and drain on the other side for 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
  5. Drizzle the oil on the aubergine and then grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.
  6. Combine the oregano and tomato sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour a small amount on the bottom of a 23cm x 30cm pan.
  7. Arrange a layer of aubergine along the bottom of the pan, cover with some sauce and the shredded mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Continue layering until you have used all the aubergine, sauce and cheese, ending with the cheese.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven, or until the cheese is bubbly.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  10. While the aubergine is baking, prepare the pesto topping.  Combine all the ingredients in a blender, starting with the liquid ingredients at the bottom to facilitate blending.  Process on medium speed until the pesto is very smooth. (Click here for another pesto sauce recipe.)
  11. Pour the pesto sauce over the baked aubergine and serve immediately.

Note: Some people like pesto more than others, and so I often put the pest in a bowl on the side so that my guests can serve themselves according to personal preference.

Ready In:  75 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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17Apr 12

Hot and Spicy Chicken with Almonds

Hot and spicy chicken with almondsThe Chinese takeaway just down the road from me serves a great spicy almond chicken which I can never seem to get enough of, so this week I decided to try and make my own.  This hot and spicy chicken with almonds recipe is the result, and while I have to admit it’s almost nothing like the original, it is definitely very tasty!

Make sure you buy the best chicken breasts and almonds you can (preferably organic), as this really does make all the difference. (Feeling nutty this week? I also recommend this chicken stir-fry with ginger and cashews.)

You Need:

For the chicken:

  • 650g skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 2tbsps olive oil
  • 250g water chestnuts
  • 125g  unsalted almonds

For the marinade:

  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 1tsp arrowroot
  • 2tbsps wheat-free tamari sauce
  • 2tbsps sherry or red wine

For the vegetables:

  • 4–5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1tbsp peeled and  grated fresh ginger
  • 3 green onions, chopped

For the sauce:

  • 125ml chicken broth
  • 1tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 2tbsps wheat-free tamari sauce
  • 2tbsps Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5tsps arrowroot

Steps:

  1. Begin by making the marinade. Combine the sesame oil, arrowroot, wheat-free tamari and sherry/red wine and place in a re-sealable plastic bag or a large bowl with a lid.
  2. Submerge the chicken in the liquid and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  3. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the veggies. Mix together the garlic, ginger and green onions. Set aside.
  4. Combine all the ingredients for the chicken sauce in a separate bowl and mix very well. Set aside.
  5. Take the chicken out of the marinade and place it in a medium-size frying pan that has been heated over medium-high heat.
  6. Sauté, turning often, for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside.
  7. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil, add the vegetables, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Keep stirring to avoid burning.
  8. Add the cooked chicken and toss to cover well.
  9. Add the water chestnuts and the almonds.
  10. Heat through and serve over rice or rice noodles.

 

Ready In:  90 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

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