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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Meal for 4 people

29Sep 12

Beer and Cheddar Soup

Beer and Cheddar SoupI’ve always been a huge fan of beer, and it was probably one of the hardest things to give up when I first embarked on my gluten-free diet.  Luckily, these days it’s fairly easy to find gluten-free beer, and I’ve finally been able to add it back in to my diet (although I have to admit it wasn’t so lucky for my belly!).

Another of my all-time favourite foods is cheddar cheese, so I just knew that this beer and cheddar soup was going to turn into a new favourite even before I tried it.  It’s creamy and sweet, very satisfying, and frankly one of the most delicious soups I’ve ever tasted, if I do say so myself!  You can use strong cheddar if you prefer, but the mild cheddar seems to melt much better. Besides, the beer gives it plenty of kick anyway.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

For more creamy soups, have a go at this cream of asparagus soup, without the cream.

 

Beer and Cheddar Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 75g finely diced onion
  • 50g finely diced celery
  • 75g finely diced carrot
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash ground cloves
  • Dash white pepper
  • 500ml gluten-free chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
  • 250g grated mild Cheddar cheese
  • 1 bottle (330ml) gluten-free beer
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Dash paprika, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter in a heavy soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, celery, and carrot and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, around 5 minutes.
  4. Add the salt, nutmeg, cloves, pepper and 425ml of the broth.
  5. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  6. In a bowl, whisk the sweet rice flour with the remaining 75ml of broth until smooth. Then add it to the pot, stirring constantly until the soup thickens slightly.
  7. Remove soup from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until it is completely melted.
  8. Just before serving, open the beer, add it to the soup and bring it up to serving temperature over low heat.
  9. Garnish the soup with the parsley and paprika and serve immediately.

 

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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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19Jul 12

Baked Asparagus with Feta and Parmesan

Baked Asparagus with Feta and ParmesanI remember one time  as a kid being given some lukewarm, mushy canned asparagus for lunch and thinking it was the absolute worst thing in the world and vowing never to eat asparagus again!  Fortunately, I eventually grew up and tried some grilled asparagus at a restaurant. Imagine my surprise when I realised it was nothing at all like that mushy stuff I remembered!

Since then I’ve become quite a connoisseur of this wild green vegetable, although I have to admit I’m still not much of a fan of the canned variety.  In any case, this baked asparagus with feta and parmesan recipe is made from sweet and crunchy fresh asparagus, and the tangy cheese highlights the juicy baked goodness of the vegetable astoundingly well. (I also recommend this asparagus and cheese pudding.)

 

Baked Asparagus with Feta and Parmesan
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 300g fresh asparagus, washed
  • 150g feta cheese, finely crumbled
  • 25g Parmesan cheese
  • 25g butter
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Cut the hard, thick ends off the asparagus.
  3. Steam the asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are just tender.
  4. Grease an oven safe dish with the butter and lay the asparagus lengthwise along the bottom of the dish, with the tips all pointing in the same direction.
  5. Sprinkle the feta cheese over top of the asparagus, then the Parmesan and the oregano.
  6. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  7. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted and brown spots form on top.
  8. Serve hot.

 

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17Jul 12

Aubergine and Roasted Bell Pepper Salad

Aubergine and Roasted Bell Pepper SaladThis Moroccan style aubergine and baked bell pepper salad is a veritable explosion of flavours and really shows just how versatile the humble aubergine can be!  When you mix the steamed aubergine with the rest of the ingredients, it tends to get a bit mashed and fall apart just a touch, which helps to spread the flavour of the spices throughout the whole dish.  The roasted peppers add a strong and pungent flavour to the salad, while the cumin seeds and chilli pepper flakes give it that authentic Middle-Eastern aroma.

Green peppers tend to take a bit longer than yellow and red ones to bake as their skin is a bit tougher, so you may need to leave them in the oven a bit longer in order to facilitate the removal of the skin.  The only bad thing about this salad is you really need to let it cool before serving, so you have to leave enough time in advance. (Also try this spinach and bell pepper potato salad.)

 

Baked Aubergine and Bell Pepper Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large aubergine, cut in 2 cm chunks
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼tsp dried chilli pepper flakes
  • 2tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  2. Steam the aubergine chunks for 5-10 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Roast the peppers in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the skin starts to blacken.
  4. Let them cool enough to handle, then remove the skin and seeds and cut into 2 cm pieces.
  5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over low heat until it's very hot but not smoking.
  6. Sauté the garlic for a minute or 2, making sure it doesn't turn brown and therefore get bitter.
  7. Add the cumin seeds and chilli pepper flakes and continue sautéing for 3 or 4 more minutes.
  8. Add the aubergine and bell pepper chunks to the garlic and spices and stir well to blend all the flavours together.
  9. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Let cool completely and serve with the fresh coriander sprinkled over the top.

 

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13Jul 12

Red Cabbage and Apple

Red Cabbage and AppleAnother typical Mediterranean delight, this red cabbage and apple recipe is sure to knock your socks off if you’ve never had it or anything similar before!  You can find a lot of different variations of the dish if you travel around the Mediterranean countries, but the basic idea is always the same: very tender red cabbage mixed with a sweet fruit (I’ve used apples, but some people make it with raisins, oranges or apricots) and seasoned with some kind of aromatic spice, usually cloves, cinnamon or nutmeg.

The dish works well either as a salad to go along with your main meal, or as an appetiser.  I also find it makes a great topping for sausages or hot-dogs, something like a less vinegary coleslaw. Just be careful not to drop any of it on your clothes, especially white, as it does stain quite easily.  Speaking of the colour, if you find that the red cabbage starts to turn blue when you’re cooking it, it means you haven’t used enough vinegar, as this is necessary to keep the colour from leaking out.  If you think it’s already got enough vinegar, a little bit of lemon juice will also do the trick quite nicely. (Also try this cabbage and barley soup.)

 

Red Cabbage and Apple
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 450g red cabbage, shredded or very finely sliced into strips
  • 1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium-sized apples, peeled and grated.
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the sunflower oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the onion until soft, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the red cabbage and apple and mix well.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  5. Cover the pot and let it cook for 35-40 minutes, or until the red cabbage is very tender.
  6. Alternatively, you can place the mixture in an oven-proof dish and bake for 50-60 minutes at 190ºc, or until the cabbage is very tender.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Can be served either hot or cold.

 

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10Jul 12

Spicy Corn Pasta

Spicy Corn PastaOne of the worst things about my gluten-free diet has got to be not being able to eat semolina pasta!  I used to eat it by the bucketful (maybe that was part of the problem!), and to be honest, I don’t really find any of the gluten-free alternatives to be nearly as satisfying.

However, I have found that if you take the time to make sure you’ve got a superbly delicious sauce to serve it with, it does help to make up for it.  This spicy corn pasta recipe is similar to a tagliatelle dish I used to enjoy eating when visiting southern Italy and is definitely one of my favourite, non-gluten pasta dishes. (Also try this prawn and courgette tagliatelli recipe.)

 

Spicy Corn Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½tsp chilli pepper flakes
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 4tbsp red wine
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500g gluten-free corn pasta
  • 250g broccoli, chopped in 1 centimetre pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 4tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan and sauté the onions, yellow pepper and pine nuts until the onions turn translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and chilli pepper flakes and sauté for 2 more minutes, or until the garlic is light brown in colour.
  3. Add the red wine and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25 minutes.
  5. While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta in lightly salted water according to the instructions on the package.
  6. In another pot, steam the broccoli for 5 or 6 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
  7. Add the steamed broccoli to the tomato sauce and cook for a minute or so.
  8. Strain the pasta and serve on deep plates with the sauce and a bit of Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.

 

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06Jul 12

Vegetable and Legume Soup

Vegetable and Legume Soup

This delicious and nutritious vegetable and legume soup is traditionally served to break the Muslim fast of Ramadam.  It’s called harira and is usually accompanied by dates, but as I don’t really like them, I’ve left them out of my recipe.  However, feel free to include them if you want the truly authentic experience. I also recommend this Moroccan hummus!

 

Vegetable and Legume Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 125g chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
  • 50g green lentils, soaked overnight in water
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, washed and chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1tbsp frshly ground black pepper
  • 400g canned diced tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato paste
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 40g gluten-free soup noodles
  • 4tbsp fresh, finely chopped coriander
  • 3tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain well the previously soaked chickpeas and lentils.
  2. Place in a large pot of cold water and bring to the boil.
  3. Boil for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 45 minutes, or until the chickpeas are quite tender.
  4. Drain off the liquid, but save it for later.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large pot until it's hot but not smoking.
  6. Sauté the onions, celery and garlic with the pepper, turmeric and cinnamon for 3 or 4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  7. Add the cooked chickpeas and lentils, the canned tomatoes, tomato paste and 1 litre of the broth from cooking the legumes.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes. Add more broth if necessary.
  9. In a small bowl or glass, make a paste by mixing the cornflour with a tablespoon or two of the broth.
  10. Stir the cornflour paste into the soup a little at a time to thicken the broth.
  11. Add the soup noodles and cook for 5 more minutes or until the noodles are tender.
  12. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the coriander and flat-leaf parsley.
  13. Serve in bowls with a lemon wedge or 2. The idea is for each person to squeeze some lemon juice over the soup according to their own taste.

 

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03Jul 12

Deep-Fried Onion Flowers

Deep-fried onion flowerThese delicious,  deep-fried onion “flowers” make for a very visually impressive appetiser with which to astound your friends!  The best thing about them is that although they look very impressive and hard to make, they’re actually very easy and will be ready in less than 30 minutes! Serve them with a side of mustard sauce for dipping.

I also recommend these aloo bonda snacks, which are deep-fried potato balls.

Deep-Fried Onion Flowers
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large Spanish onions
  • 150g white rice flour
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125ml water
  • Canola oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Remove the skin from the onion and remove a ½ centimetre slice from the top of the onion.
  2. Using a very sharp knife, cut down from the top through the center of the onion to within 1.5 centimetres from the bottom, leaving the root end intact.
  3. Turn the onion 90 degrees, and slice through the centre of the onion, again to within 1.5 centimetres from the bottom.
  4. You now have an onion with 4 vertical sections.
  5. Keep rotating the onion 10 degrees at a time, cutting down through the center of the onion until you have made 16 slices.
  6. Spread apart the layers of the onion slightly so the coating can reach the innermost parts of the onion "flower".
  7. Repeat with the other onion.
  8. In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cornflour,
  9. garlic powder, salt, oregano, cayenne, thyme, cumin, and pepper. Set aside.
  10. In a measuring cup, whisk together the egg and water until very foamy
  11. and all the egg membrane has broken up.
  12. Using a pastry brush, coat the onion layers with the egg mixture.
  13. Place the flour mixture in a sieve and liberally dust the onions with the flour mixture.
  14. Heat the canola oil to 175ºC in a deep fryer or a deep pot. There should be enough oil to completely cover the onions.
  15. Carefully place the onions right side up in the oil and fry for 10 minutes, or until it they are browned.
  16. Using a large slotted spatula or spoon, remove the onions from the
  17. oil and drain them on paper towels.
  18. Serve immediately.

 

 

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30Jun 12

Bacon and Potato Rosti

Bacon and Potato RostiRosti is a traditional Swiss dish consisting mainly of potatoes and was originally eaten for breakfast by farmers.  Somewhat similar to the more familiar hash browns, they are usually fried, although I prefer them baked.  These bacon and potato rosti are oven-baked and while I don’t think I’d want to eat them for breakfast very often, they make for a wonderfully satisfying snack or starter.

 

I like bacon, but you could also try this salmon and rosti bake. Or if you prefer to make them vegetarian-friendly, you can leave out the bacon or alternatively replace it with some cheddar cheese or even apple if you’re the adventurous type.

You Need:

  • 450g potatoes, whole and with the skin left on
  • 2.5tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 rashers of back bacon, diced
  • 1tbsp potato flour
  • 1tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley or basil to decorate the plate.

Steps:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  3. Parboil the potatoes in abundant, lightly-salted water for 6 minutes.
  4. Drain and set aside to cool.
  5. Once the potatoes have cooled enough to be handled, peel them and grate with a coarse cheese grater.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over low heat until it is hot but not smoking.
  8. Add the chopped onion and bacon and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep them from sticking.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Add the bacon and onions to the grated potatoes along with the rest of the olive oil, potato flour, parsley, chives, salt and pepper.  Mix well.
  11. Divide the mixture into eight small portions and press into patties using your hands.
  12. Arrange the patties carefully on the baking sheet, leaving a little space between each patty.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the rosti turn golden brown and crunchy.
  14. Garnish with the sprigs of fresh parsley or basil and serve immediately.

Ready In:  45 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

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