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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Recipes with olive oil

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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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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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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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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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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18Jun 12

No-egg Caesar Salad

No-egg caesar saladIf you’re like me and you don’t like to eat raw eggs, then this no egg Caesar salad will soon turn into your new favourite salad recipe!  The crispiness of the romaine lettuce and the tanginess of the Worcestershire, garlic, mustard and vinegar in the sauce come together to make a winning combination that’s been a favourite for discerning diners around the world for years.

As for the omission of the raw eggs, I can guarantee you that you won’t even miss them – in fact, I’m having a bit of a hard time understanding what they were doing in the original recipe in the first place! (Also try this chicken salad with roast tomatoes, almonds and balsamic dressing.)

 

You Need:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 65ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 200g chicken strips
  • 375g gluten-free bread cubes, crusts removed, and cut in 1.5cm pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (omit for vegetarian-friendly guests)
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, washed, patted dry, and torn
  • 50g (1⁄3 cup) grated Parmesan cheese or soy alternative

 

Steps:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC and place a rack in the middle position.
  2. Make the chicken: Fry the chicken in a frying pan until cooked thoroughly. If you prefer it hot, you can serve it immediately with the salad. If you prefer it cold, you can make it the night before and store it in the fridge until ready to add to the salad.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mash the minced garlic with the salt and the oil; set aside.
  5. Make the croutons:
    1. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until they are just lightly browned.
    2. Transfer the bread cubes to a large bowl, toss them with half of the garlic-oil mixture, and return to the baking sheet to bake for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until golden brown and crisp.
    3. Remove the croutons from oven and set them aside to cool just a little.
    4. In a large salad bowl, whisk together the remaining garlic-oil mixture, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and anchovy paste, if you’re using it.
    5. Add the Romaine lettuce and toss thoroughly.
    6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, chicken strips and croutons, toss again, and serve immediately.

 

Ready In:  20 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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14Jun 12

Oven-Baked Artichoke Dip

Oven-baked Artichoke DipArtichokes are a wonderfully tasty vegetable that bring an authentic Mediterranean flavour to any dish, and this oven-baked artichoke dip is no exception!  As an added bonus, artichokes are known to have one of the highest antioxidant capacities of all vegetables, are diuretic and even help to reduce cholesterol!

This dip has a sweet roasted flavour and will be sure to impress your guests at your next dinner party.  Serve it in a bowl with a plate of fresh chopped veggies, savoury biscuits, crisps, or my rosemary focaccia recipe.  I guarantee the bowl will be empty long before the night is through!

 

You Need:

  • 125ml fresh lemon juice
  • 185ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package (400g) frozen artichokes, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, or soy alternative
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • A selection of chopped mixed vegetables or crisps or biscuits for dipping.

 

Steps:

 

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 175ºC.
  2. In a large, heavy frying pan, combine 6 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, salt, and pepper.  Mix well until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
  3. Add the artichokes to the lemon juice mixture and toss to coat them in the liquid.
  4. Bring the mixture to boil, remove from heat, and transfer from the frying pan to an oven-proof dish.
  5. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the artichokes are tender and lightly browned.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. Place the roasted artichokes in a food processor and add the rest of the lemon juice, the remaining oil, and the thyme, basil, and Parmesan cheese.
  8. Process until thoroughly blended and smooth.
  9. Taste the dip and add additional salt and pepper if required.
  10. Serve immediately with some chopped veggies, crisps or savoury biscuits.

 

Ready In:  60 minutes

Serves:  8

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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31May 12

Menemen – Turkish Scrambled Eggs

Menemen - Turkish Scrambled Eggs

One of my fondest memories from a trip I made to Turkey a few years back has got to be the incredible breakfasts!  Nuts and cheeses, yoghurt, honey, fresh fruit and marmalades, and of course, menemen, a kind of Turkish scrambled eggs.  I can still remember falling asleep every night with my mouth watering in anticipation of the next morning’s breakfast!

This recipe, as with most scrambled egg recipes, is very quick and ridiculously simple to prepare.  The only thing you really need to keep in mind to make this taste as good as possible is to use the best quality vegetables you can find, preferably organic.  And if you haven’t switched over to organic free-range eggs, I strongly recommend you do so as soon as possible, as the difference in taste and colour is absolutely astounding!  Also, if you can find the Italian style green peppers (they’re longer and thinner), then you should use them for a more authentic experience.

If you like a big breakfast, why not also try these mini pancakes with mozzarella, spinach and pine nuts? You can technically eat them for lunch or dinner, but to me, pancakes are for breakfast. And I usually prefer salty over sweet in the morning.

 

Menemen - Turkish Scrambled Eggs
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, minced
  • 1 medium sized green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, washed and finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 4tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
  • ¼tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium size frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking.
  2. Sauté the onion for 5 or 6 minutes, or until it's very soft.
  3. Add the green pepper and sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well.
  5. Cover the pan and let it cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Remove the cover from the pan and keep cooking, stirring occasionally, until all the excess liquid has evaporated.
  7. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and season to taste with the salt and pepper and nutmeg.
  8. Add the egg mixture to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Add the freshly chopped parsley and mix well.
  11. Serve immediately.

 

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26May 12

Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves

Greek stuffed grape leavesA great appetiser or party food, these Greek stuffed grape leaves have a more subtle and mellow flavour than the pre-made variety. For more Greek goodness, try these lamb kebabs with cucumber and feta relish.

You Need:

  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 250g long-grain white rice
  • 375g gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 can (about 200g) grape leaves
  • Juice of 2 lemons

 

Steps:

 

  1. In a medium heavy pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add 125ml of the broth.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is just tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the rice mixture to a bowl and stir in the dill, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  7. Fill a deep, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid with water and bring to the boil.
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low and blanch the grape leaves in the hot water 5 for minutes.
  9. Drain the leaves on paper towels and trim away the stems and hard veins. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels.
  10. Lay a grape leaf on a work surface, shiny-side down. Put 2 tablespoons of the rice filling near the stem end of the leaf.
  11. Fold the stem end over the filling, fold both sides toward the middle, and roll up into a cylinder. (Don’t roll too tightly as the rice will expand as it cooks.)
  12. Repeat with the remaining grape leaves and filling placing the rolled leaves in the pot, seam-side down in a single layer.
  13. Pour the remaining broth, olive oil, and lemon juice over the stuffed grape leaves.
  14. If the liquid doesn’t reach at least halfway up the rolls, add more water.
  15. Cover the pot and simmer 30 to 40 minutes over low heat, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  16. Can be served warm or cold.

 

Ready In:  60 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

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