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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Meal for 2 people

25Jun 12

Mashed Potatoes with Onion Gravy

Mashed Potatoes with Onion GravyMashed potatoes and gravy, so yummy, and so many memories!  I’ve been trying to stay away from beef and chicken lately, and the ingredients list on most gravy mixes just make me shiver, so I decided to come up with a vegetarian version of this traditional favourite.  This mashed potatoes and onion gravy recipe is the result.

You can serve it as a side dish to accompany pretty much any meat if you want, or alternatively you could throw some bangers into the mix for a quick and easy bangers and mash.  If you want to keep it vegetarian-friendly, just use veggie-bangers or serve alongside some seitan or veggie burgers.  If you’re a vegan, substitute the butter for margarine or oil and replace the milk with soy or rice milk – just make sure you choose one that’s not too sweet as that can ruin the taste.

You need:

For the Gravy:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 500ml water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the mash:

  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 200 ml whole milk
  • 50 grams butter

Steps:

For the gravy:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent but not brown.
  3. Add the vegetable stock cube and thyme and sauté another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the water and bring to the boil.
  5. Mix the cornflour with 1.5 tsp water to form a thick paste.
  6. Add the cornflour mixture to the boiling liquid a little at a time, stirring continuously, until the desired consistency is achieved.
  7. Let simmer on lowest heat possible until you’re ready to serve it.

For the mash:

  1. Boil the potatoes in abundant water with a little salt until they are very tender, approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and place the boiled potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the butter and milk.
  4. Mash it all together with a potato masher.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

  1. Spoon the mash onto a deep plate and pat down the middle so that it forms a bit of a bowl.
  2. Pour the desired amount of gravy on top.
  3. Serve hot!

Ready In: 30 minutes

Serves: 3

Difficulty: 2 out of 5

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22Jun 12

Coconut Pancakes

Coconut PancakesThese coconut pancakes are made with coconut flour, which lends a delicious and intense coconut flavour and is also a great ingredient for gluten-free baking because of its high fibre, high protein, and low carbohydrate content.  The addition of the shredded coconut and coconut-flavoured extract make the pancakes even more delicious and sweet.

It can be difficult to get these pancakes right the first time, so make sure you follow the instructions carefully, mix all the ingredients very well and don’t skip any steps, such as letting the batter set.  For best results, make sure you use a good non-stick frying pan whose surface isn’t scratched or worn. (For mini treats, try these mini pancakes with mozzarella, spinach and pine nuts.)

 

You Need:

  • 65g sorghum flour
  • 65g cornflour
  • 50g tapioca flour
  • 60g coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 200ml to 250ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut-flavoured extract
  • 65g sweetened shredded coconut
  • Additional butter or oil for frying

 

Steps:

 

  1. In a mixing bowl or large measuring cup, sift together the sorghum flour, cornflour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.
  2. Gradually whisk in the milk, butter, egg, vanilla, and coconut extract.  Mix well until very smooth.
  3. Mix in the shredded coconut. Let the batter stand 5 minutes and then add more milk, if necessary, just until the batter is thin enough to pour.
  4. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large non-stick frying pan until hot but not smoking. Pour 65ml of the batter onto the frying pan and cook until bubbles appear on top of the pancake, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the pancake over and cook until it has browned on other side.
  5. Repeat step 4 with the rest of the batter to make the rest of the pancakes.
  6. Serve immediately, either plain or with maple syrup or your favourite pancake topping.

 

Ready In:  25 minutes

Serves:  2

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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10May 12

Baked Tofu in Peanut Butter Sauce

baked tofu in peanut butter sauceIs it a dessert?  Is it a main course?  It’s hard to classify precisely although the one thing that’s for sure is that it is 100% awesome yumminess!  I pulled this Baked Tofu in Peanut Butter Sauce recipe out of my hat last Sunday after a meat-loving friend bet me I couldn’t prepare tofu in a way that he would consider delicious or even edible, for that matter.  Since he is notorious for having a sweet tooth, I decided to mix things up a bit and go for something leaning towards dessert than your typical savoury tofu dish.  This was the result.

So, to make a long story short, I made the dish, he tried it, and he was absolutely blown away!  The saltiness of the tamari contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the peanut butter, and the ginger, chilli pepper and garlic seemed like a good idea to give it a bit of a Thai feel.  (Another Thai dish that can be made with tofu is Pad Thai.) It may be a bit rich for some tastes, but if you’ve got a sweet tooth or just love peanut butter, I definitely recommend you try this one right away!

You Need:

  • 400g soft tofu
  • 3 tbsps gluten-free Tamari Soy Sauce
  • 6 tbsps smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp fresh chilli peppers, finely chopped (can substitute ½ tsp paprika)
  • 200 ml boiling water.

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  2. Mix the peanut butter with the boiling water in a bowl.  Stir until all the peanut butter is dissolved.
  3. Sauté the ginger, garlic and chilli peppers in a little oil for about 2 minutes or until the garlic starts to brown.
  4. Add the spices to the peanut butter and tamari sauce and mix well.
  5. Cut the tofu into ½ cm slices.
  6. Lay the tofu slices along the bottom of a deep, non-stick baking pan or casserole dish.  If you don’t have a non-stick pan, grease the bottom with a little oil or butter before laying out the tofu.
  7. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the tofu slices.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the peanut butter sauce solidifies and starts to bubble at the edges.
  9. Serve on top of rice or alongside some steamed veggies.

Ready In:  30 minutes

Serves:  3

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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27Apr 12

Oven-Baked Cauliflower and Garlic

Oven-baked Cauliflower and GarlicWe all know what cauliflower tastes like, don’t we?  I know I used to think it was just one of those stinky vegetables that is prepared by boiling the heck out of it until it turns mushy and pretty much flavourless.

However, it turns out that cauliflower can actually taste incredibly good, as long as you avoid overcooking it – a typical beginner’s mistake.  This quick and easy oven-baked cauliflower and garlic recipe brings the lowly cauliflower to a whole new level and is so simple to prepare that even the greenest of cooks will have no problem getting it right the first time.

The real secret behind the recipe is, as usual, the garlic and herbs.  The rosemary and thyme give the cauliflower a wonderful aromatic touch and the roasted garlic – well, let’s just say it’s almost too good to describe.  I use oven-roasted garlic in a lot of my recipes, mostly because I really love the taste of garlic, but my poor stomach has a hard time digesting it raw or even fried.  However, when you roast it, the flavour is actually enhanced, while at the same time the “bite” is lessened, so you can eat lots and lots of it with none of the typical side-effects.

Fresh rosemary and thyme are the best of option if you can get them, but if you can’t, then the dried variety will do just fine.   As always, the better quality the ingredients you use, the better the results will be.

As an option, try sprinkling some Parmesan cheese on top after stirring the mix in step 6. This version is a big favourite with my kids.

You need:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 16 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  2. Wash the cauliflower and cut into small, bite-sized pieces.
  3. Peel the garlic, but leave the cloves whole.
  4. Place the cauliflower, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and oil in a deep baking dish and toss well, making sure all the cauliflower is coated in oil and herbs.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir the mix well and bake for another 15 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

Ready In: 30 minutes

Serves: 2

Difficulty: Out of 5, it’s a 1!

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09Apr 12

Gluten-free Pizza Crust

Gluten-free pizza crustIt’s taken years of searching and trial and error, but I’ve finally managed to find a decent gluten-free pizza crust.  And what’s even better, it’s not too hard to make!  The result is crispy on the outside and just a little chewy in the centre and the dough is strong enough to hold a good quantity of toppings without falling apart in your hands when you try to eat it.  And let’s face it, pizza (such as this spinach, tomato and blue cheese pizza) is meant to be eaten with your hands, not a knife and fork!

Once the dough is ready, you can top it off with your favourite sauce, toppings and cheese.  Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the cheese!  Mozzarella is the typical choice, but I suggest picking something with a little more originality and flair to branch out and try new flavours; you won’t be disappointed!

You Need:

  • 3 tsp yeast
  • 335 ml milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/3 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour mix
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 80 ml gluten-free corn meal

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC
  2. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it is just a little warmer than room temperature.  It should not be too hot to touch with your finger.
  3. Mix the milk, sugar and yeast in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  4. Mix the flour, salt and xanthan gum well in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
  5. The yeast mixture should now be foaming.  If it isn’t, wait until it is.
  6. Mix the apple cider vinegar and olive oil into the yeast mixture.
  7. Pour the yeast mixture onto the flour mixture and mix well.
  8. Roll out the dough on baking parchment paper with a roller and sprinkle the corn meal  onto both sides as you go.  You should roll it out to about a little less than half a centimetre thick.
  9. Transfer the dough and baking parchment to a baking sheet and bake it in the preheated oven until it starts to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  10. Add your sauce, toppings and cheese and bake until the cheese melts.

Ready In: 40 minutes

Serves: 2

Difficulty: 3 out of 5

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