Category Archives: Gluten Free

Salted Caramel Sauce

A very quick post today as I know some people are eagerly awaiting this recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce. It’s simple once you know how and absolutely amazing! I have had to restrain myself from simply eating it from the jar! 

Makes 1 jar

250ml double cream

1 cup granulated sugar

1tsp salt

– Pour the cream into a small pan and heat to just short of boiling. Turn off the heat and set aside. 

– Place the sugar in one flat layer in a large, heavy bottomed pan. You need it to be much bigger than you think as when you combine the ingredients it can bubble up and rise to nearly 10 times the height! Also, thin pans mean that the sugar may quickly burn as the heating is more intense. Heat your sugar on a LOW heat. It will take time (about 8 minutes to start to melt) but if you heat it too intensely then the sugar may burn and cause problems for you. Do Not Stir!

– Once about 8 minutes has gone by you should be able to see the sugar melting around the edges. At this point you can gently turn the sugar so the melted stuff on the bottom comes on top and the solid sugar on top gets to the bottom. Your sugar should be turning from white to golden caramel. Don’t rush, it will get there. 

-Once your sugar is all melted with no lumpy bits take it off the heat. 

– Pour half your hot cream into the sugar. It WILL bubble, spit and rise up. Stir vigorously the whole time. 

– When it has died back down pour the remaining cream in, remembering to keep stirring. It will usually rise and spit again. It will look like a lumpy mess. This is normal. 

– Return the pan to a low heat and keep stirring. The lumpy mess will slowly melt back in and you will get a smooth pale caramel sauce. This will probably take about 10 minutes. If you have any huge lumps it may take longer but they will eventually dissolve. You don’t want the mixture to boil so keep it on a nice low heat and it will get there! 

– When you have a nice, smooth sauce sprinkle over the salt and give it a good mix then pour into a heat proof container. 

– I store mine at room temperature but that’s because it doesn’t last long at all! If you plan to be more restrained in your consumption then you can keep it in the fridge but be aware that it will stiffen at a lower temperature. 

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Basic, Desserts, For the Keen Cook, Gluten Free, Jams and Preserves

Banana Art!

A quick silly one for you this week as I’m concentrating on the fact that I will be running 5k tomorrow!!!  Donate Here!

Did you know you can decorate your bananas?

Banana Art!

It’s so simple!  Just take a banana and a blunt writing implement and trace your design on the skin of the banana.  Don’t press too hard and break the skin.  Leave for a few hours and the design develops into a brown ‘bruise’ on the skin as it oxidises.  Simple!

Excellent for labeling food or leaving notes or drawings in lunchboxes to bring a smile!

Leave a comment

Filed under Basic, Easy, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Teatime Treats

Lime, coriander and chilli chicken with tomato, red onion and sweetcorn salsa

A long name for a simple dish but this recipe for Lime, coriander and chilli chicken with tomato, red onion and sweetcorn salsa is a lovely, refreshing take on a basic favourite.  Pepping up a simple chicken breast and salad with some zingy flavours brings a whole new dimension to it and I could eat this healthy meal every week at the moment!

Lime, coriander and chilli chicken with tomato, red onion and sweetcorn salsa

 

Serves 4

 

200g cherry or baby plum tomatoes
1 small red onion, diced
1 small tin sweet corn, drained
1 tsp coriander leaf (fresh or dried)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 small red chilli, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice

4 chicken breasts
1 tsp coriander leaf (fresh or dried)
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp olive oil

Salad, avocado and creme fraiche to serve

– Slice the tomatoes into quarters and put into a bowl.
– Add the onion, sweetcorn, corianders, chilli and lime juice and give a good stir.
– Set aside and leave until you’re ready to eat.  If you can make this a couple of hours in advance, great, otherwise the half hour while the chicken cooks in the oven will do nicely.

– Heat the oven to gas mark 5 (Or turn on a health grill!)
– Take your chicken breasts and score lines into the top being careful not to cut through the whole breast.
– Place the chicken in an oven proof dish sprinkle over the coriander, chilli, lime juice and oil.
– Rub this mixture all over your chicken.
– Bake for 30 minutes or simply use a health grill to cook for a more charred look.

– Serve with salad, avocado and creme fraiche.

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy, Fast Day Food, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Mains

Rhubarb and Orange Compote with Yogurt and Museli

A little breakfast recipe here to ease back into the swing of things! This Rhubarb and Orange Compote is a nice zingy way to pep up your yogurt and museli and gets the day off to a great start! I didn’t used to be a breakfast person.  In fact I spent about 28 years avoiding the meal!  Nowadays, however, I cannot get going until I’ve had a good breakfast and I know that a bad breakfast will hold me back the whole day, no matter how much I’ve enjoyed it! (I’m looking at you, croissants!).  I need protein to kickstart me, sugary cereals and pastries do me no good at all.  I tend to turn to eggs but some days you just don’t want anything cooked, a cool bowl of greek yogurt, fruit and museli is just perfect for me then!

Rhubarb and Orange Compote

My love affair with rhubarb is well documented.  I love the colour and the tartness.  I think the combination of rhubarb and orange is just diving, a really zingy combination that hits your tastebuds and wakes you up! Perfect breakfast food!

Rhubarb and Orange Compote

 

Serves 2 generously, 4 more reservedly

~3 stalks rhubarb, trimmed
~100-150ml orange juice (just enough to come about halfway up your rhubarb in the pan)
2 tbsp sugar (or  honey as a natural alternative) *

Plain Greek Yogurt and Museli to serve

– Trim your rhubarb and chop it to about 2″ lengths.
– Pop it in a small saucepan with enough orange juice to come about halfway up your rhubarb and the sugar or honey.
– Bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat for 10-15 minutes until your rhubarb is soft.
– You can serve it warm but I like to prep this in advance for a cold breakfast.
– Serve with greek yogurt and museli.  I like to mix up my own museli according to my mood, this time it was oats, almonds, hazelnuts and goji berries.

*You may find you can dial down or even leave out the sugar here if you like.  The sugar in the orange juice may be enough for you, especially if you are using a juice from concentrate rather than fresh as it has added sugars already.  I still have a painfully sweet tooth but I’m getting there cutting down slowly!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfasts, Easy, Gluten Free, Low Fat

Slightly healthier brownies! 

I have been playing around recently with trying out some natural sugar alternatives.  I’m not giving up sugar, no siree! However, I did come back from Canada with half a suitcase of maple syrup so I’m having a lot of fun finding new ways to use it and any health benefits are purely coincidental!

Maple Syrup Brownies

I found it really interesting how it affected the texture of the brownies.  Unsurprisingly without the solid sugar crystals there is no trace of the granular sugar feeling, it is a smooth, fudgey texture.  You still get the same chocolatey intensity though!  They also cooked more quickly I think.  All in all I feel that it was a very successful experiment.  I kept to just plain chocolate this time for a true base reading (I’m all about the science!) but I think it would take on any combination of flavours you wanted it to!  As ever with my brownies you can make these gluten free simply by substituting the flour for ground almonds.

Maple Syrup Brownies

Makes 12

200g unsalted butter
200g plain chocolate
3 large eggs
150g maple syrup
100g plain flour (or ground almonds)
40g cocoa powder

– Heat the oven to gas mark 5/190C and line a 7″ x 11″ brownie tin with baking paper.
– Melt the butter and the chocolate together then leave to cool a little. (Short sharp bursts in the microwave, stirring in between or slowly in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.)
– In a large jug mix the 3 eggs and the syrup until well combined.
– Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly as you go.  (Make sure the chocolate isn’t too hot or you could cook your eggs!)
– Add the flour (or almonds) and cocoa powder and fold into the chocolate mixture.
– Pour into the prepared tin and level the surface.
– Bake for 30 minutes until just set in the centre.
– Allow to cool in the tray before slicing and serving.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Easy, Gluten Free, Teatime Treats

Prawns and Red Lentils with Rice

This dish came about because I had defrosted a bunch of prawns for a salad… and then the weather changed.  It was horrible!  So I wanted a nice, warming, filling dish to warm me up and bring some sunshine back into my life! This prawn and red lentil dish hit the spot nicely!

Prawns and Red Lentils with Rice

It was nice and simple to throw together and just half an hour of simmering works wonders on the depth of flavour you get from a dish like this.  The ingredient list might seem a bit long but I promise you, it doesn’t take that long to throw it all in a pan and the combination of flavours really works!  I also managed to get my workout in while it was simmering so that was a nice bonus!

Prawns and Red Lentils with Rice

Serves 4

1/2 onion, finely diced
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp dried coriander leaves
1 sweet red pepper, sliced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
+ 1 tin boiling water
3 tbsp coconut milk powder ( or 1 sachet coconut cream)
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp garlic puree ( 1-2 cloves, crushed)
1 vegetable stock cube
8 tbsp red lentils
~ 150g prawns, defrosted (I used a mix of king prawns and coldwater prawns)

– Heat a splash of oil in a large heavy frying pan (I adore my enamel cast iron pan for this kind of dish!)
– Add the onion and spices and gently cook for a few minutes until the onion in soft and the spices are fragrant.
– Add the pepper and cook for another two minutes, stirring occasionally.
– Add the tinned tomato, rinsing out the tin with the hot water, to coconut milk powder, the tomato puree, garlic puree and the stock cube. Give it a good stir to mix.
– Add the lentils and stir in.
– Leave to simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and the liquid reduced by half.
– Add the prawns and heat through until piping hot.
– Serve with rice, or without as a nice Fast Day option.  You can sprinkle a little fresh chopped coriander on top for a little more panache!

Prawns and Red Lentils with Rice

Leave a comment

Filed under Dairy Free, Easy, Fast Day Food, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Mains

Salmon and Veggies in Foil Packets

A simple dish to throw together these salmon and veggies in foil packets are an easy, tasty and very low mess way of prepping a nice fillet of salmon and some beautiful fresh veggies.  Use whatever veggies float your boat.  Here I’ve used baby courgettes, sweet red peppers and asparagus but you could use bok choi, tomatoes, aubergine.  Lemon slices are a really nice addition too but sadly I didn’t have any in! You can prep them in advance and then store them in the fridge so they’re great for a weeknight supper.

Salmon and Veggies in Foil Packets

 

Serves 2

2 salmon fillets
1 baby courgette, split lengthways
1 sweet red pepper, split lengthways and deseeded
a handful of asparagus spears

– Heat the oven to gas mark 5.
– Lay all of your veggies out on a large sheet of foil.
– Place the salmon on top.
– Fold in the edges of your foil to make a sealed parcel.
– Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes until the veggies are tender and the salmon cooked through.

3 Comments

Filed under Dairy Free, Easy, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Mains