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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Starters

06Sep 12

Curried Apple Soup

Curried Apple Soup
I don’t think I can be enthusiastic enough about just how much I love this sublimely delicious curried apple soup!  Who ever would have imagined that apples and curry would go so well together!?  It was certainly a surprise for me the first time that I tried it.

Red apples are really the ideal type for this recipe. But as with any dish, you can play around and change things to suit your own personal preferences.

You can use either chicken or vegetable broth – it won’t matter much to the final taste. And if you want to make a slightly lighter (low calorie) version,  you can replace the double cream with single cream or milk and use oil rather than butter.  But be warned: this will take away from the taste, at least a little.  After all, Indian food is meant to be a bit decadent!

And for dessert, munch on this hot apple tart with cream. Delicious!

 

Curried Apple Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A decadent mix of apples and curry
Ingredients
  • 2 large Spanish onions, coarsely chopped
  • 55g butter
  • 2tbsp curry powder
  • 2tbsp cornflour
  • 60ml cold water
  • 1 litre vegetable or gluten-free chicken broth
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 250ml double cream
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Thin slices of unpeeled apples for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cook the onions in the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until soft but not brown.
  2. Stir in the curry powder.
  3. Blend the cornflour with the cold water in a glass, making sure there are no lumps and all the cornflour is dissolved.
  4. Add the cornflour paste to the onions and curry powder.
  5. Add the vegetable or chicken broth.
  6. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until slightly thickened and clear.
  7. Add a little bit of the hot liquid to the egg yolks, let sit a few seconds and then return the liquid and egg yolks to the pan.
  8. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute.
  9. Add the double cream and then remove from the heat.
  10. Add the diced apples.
  11. Process in an electric blender or food processor until smooth.
  12. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  13. Serve either hot or chilled.

 

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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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26Jul 12

Lima Bean Soup

Lima Bean SoupThis simple Lima bean soup is sweet and savoury and very satisfying.  The starchy Lima beans help to give the broth the perfect thickness and also provide a sweet counterpoint to the kale and spices.  The soup also freezes well, so don’t worry if you can’t finish it all in a few days. (Why not also have a go at this red lentil and sweet potato soup?)

 

Lima Bean Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 litres vegetable stock
  • 250g giant lima beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 3 fresh sage leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 80ml white wine
  • 10 kale leaves, ribs removed and cut into thick strips
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Drain the lima beans and rinse well with cold water.
  2. Place the beans, oregano, sage, thyme and bay leaf along with 1.5 litres of the vegetable stock in a large soup pot.
  3. Bring to the boil.
  4. Lower the heat and let simmer for about an hour and a half, or until the beans are cooked through and beginning to break up.
  5. While the beans are simmering, heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the chopped onions, a few pinches of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
  6. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until the onions start to soften.
  7. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  8. Add the carrots, red pepper, another 2 pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper.
  9. Cook for about 10 minutes, adding more stock when necessary to keep the veggies from sticking to the pan.
  10. Add the white wine and continue cooking until nearly all the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  11. Add the fried vegetables to the beans in the soup pot, together with any remaining vegetable stock, ¼ teaspoon of salt and another pinch of pepper.
  12. Continue cooking until the flavours blend together, about 20 minutes or so.
  13. Add the kale leaves and cook until tender, approximately 10 minutes.
  14. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  15. Serve in bowls with a little olive oil drizzled over each 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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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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27Jun 12

Corn Tortillas

Corn TortillaMexican-style corn tortillas for making burritos, quesadillas or chicken fajitas.  They’re surprisingly easy to make and taste so much better than the store-bought variety!

 

You Need:

  • 500g cornflour
  • 250ml to 300ml warm (45°C) water

 

Steps:

  1. Blend the cornflour and warm water with a food processor until a soft ball forms. Remove the dough from the food processor. You should be able to knead the dough in your hands without it sticking to your hands or falling apart. If it isn’t right, put the dough back in the food processor. If it is too sticky, blend in more flour, a tablespoon at a time; if it falls apart, add more warm water, a tablespoon at a time.
  2. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls. Cover tightly to prevent them from drying out.
  3. Cut 24 pieces of baking paper, each about 7 inches square. Place one ball of dough between two pieces of baking paper, roll with a rolling pin to a 15cm diameter, and stack on a plate.  Don’t remove the paper.
  4. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  5. To fry, heat a cast-iron frying pan over high heat until hot. Hold the tortilla in one hand and peel off the top layer of wax paper with the other hand (starting with side nearest your wrist) and pull the wax paper up toward the ceiling.
  6. Carefully invert the tortilla onto the griddle. Wait 3 seconds and then peel off the remaining baking paper. (Do not leave the wax paper on the tortilla for longer than 3 seconds or it will permanently stick to the tortilla.)
  7. Cook the tortilla about 2 minutes on each side until it looks dry and has golden flecks on it. Transfer the cooked tortilla to a plate to cool between clean sheets of baking paper.
  8. Cook the remaining tortillas. These are best eaten right after they’re cooked, but if you have leftovers, let them cool, and refrigerate them between layers of parchment paper in a re-sealable plastic bag.
  9. Reheat tortillas in the microwave on low 1 to 2 minutes.

 

Ready In:  45 minutes

Serves:  2-4

Difficulty:   4 out of 5

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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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