Sunday, 4 January 2009

Rice, Tomato and Cumin Soup (Serves 2)

The cupboard is bare (rather like this blog, in fact, but I will hopefully remedy that in the New Year).

So, picture this: you return from holiday and the fridge is completely empty. When you went out for chips earlier, the vegetable shop was shut and you try not to buy from the supermarkets.

Fast forward to the next day: lunchtime. It's cold outside and you're hungry. What on earth can you make with an onion and a tin of tomatoes?

Soup, of course. And the BBC is, as ever, on hand to help out. Thank God for James Martin!
Rice, Tomato and Cumin Soup
Serves 2

1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed (or garlic paste)
1tbsp butter/vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cumin
85g long grain rice (basmati)
1 large tin of chopped tomatoes
290ml vegetable stock

1. Fry the onion and garlic in the butter/oil, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft.
2. Add the cumin, rice, tomatoes and stock and cook for about 10 minutes until the rice is cooked.
3. Season and serve.

Adapted from here

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Saturday, 8 November 2008

MSN on IBS - do they have a clue?

10 ways to ease IBS

When I saw this link, I was prepared to rip it to pieces. However, I think there might be some sound stuff in it and it's a basic introduction, at least. Some of it's definitely too specific though.

What do you think?

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Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Rosti Time!

I enjoy visiting the fruit and veg shop. There's something about the chat and the baskets, and the dog that's sometimes sleeping across the doorway.

Today, I picked up some beetroot. What can I do with a beetroot? I didn't have the energy to make soup, so I decided to go for something a little different.

Rostis are quick and easy. If you don't have a food processor, they require a little bit of elbow grease but the result in simple yet delicious. I topped mine with sliced beetroot and feta, but you can have them with anything!

Recipe this way...

Potato Rosti
Serves 1

1 potato, peeled
1 tsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. Halve the potato and grate. A free-standing grater works best.
3. Once grated, gather the potato in your hands and gently squeeze the excess water into a bowl. It doesn't need to be bone dry, as a little moisture helps it stay together. Season well.
4. Melt the butter with the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan. Add the potato and and press down flat into the pan. Fry for a few minutes until the under-side is golden, then transfer to the oven and bake for eight minutes, until the potato is cooked through.
5. To serve, turn the rösti out onto a plate and add the topping of your choice.

Original recipe here

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Sunday, 2 November 2008

Feta and Spinach Scones...maybe

I've missed baking. I used to make a cake every other week, but I can't get my head around mixing flours and all that. So, I finally bought myself some Doves Farm Gluten-Free Plain Flour.

I thought some savoury scones would brighten up my lunch box (more on that later), so here's a recipe I adapted from Everyday With Allergies.

Feta and Spinach Scones
Makes 10-12

225g Doves Farm gluten-free plain flour
4tsp gluten-free baking powder
120g butter
175ml milk
100g feta, crumbled
handful spinach leaves

1) Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2) Combine flour and margarine until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the feta and stir through.
3) Pour in the milk and mix until just combined. Do not over mix or the scones will not rise.
4) Using a large spoon, drop heaped spoonfuls of mixture onto prepared tray. Leave room between each scone for them to grow a little during cooking. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden (they will still be soft to touch, due to the melted cheese, but will firm up as they cool).

I've found these scones tend to lose flavour after a day or two, so I suggest spreading them with margarine (olive spread is best) and placing them in the microwave for about thirty seconds works wonders. Eat hot for best taste.

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Thursday, 30 October 2008

A solution to the mushroom problem

I bought a bag of gluten-free plain flour and I am enthused with a love of cooking once more, so expect a flurry of recipe posts!

Today's post is about the dilemma of mushrooms slowly rotting in your fridge. Mushrooms are strange things, because they work well in things but are pretty rubbish on their own.

Enter the Omelette.

Mushroom, spinach and feta omelette
Serves 1

1 tbsp vegetable oil
handful of button mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
handful of spinach leaves, roughly chopped
2 free-range eggs, beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g feta, cubed

1. Fry the mushroom pieces in the oil until slightly browned.
2. Add the garlic and fry for about a minute before adding the spinach.
3. Season the beaten egg and pour into the pan before stirring in the feta.
4. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes until the egg sets.

Original recipe here

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Wednesday, 1 October 2008

The dangers of hidden sponge

I have a cold that has knocked me for six. Consequently, I am craving cake. Yet I cannot get to cake, so I go to a coffee shop and find...

It was chocolatey and it was good; however, I got this far before I realised...


I knew this chocolate heaven was too good to be true. Check the bottom of your puddings, people - the crafty dessert vendors are hiding the wheat everywhere!

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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Snack analogues - the best in wheat-free copycats

Sorry for my absence of late: I got back from my holiday, went to university, moved (temporarily) to Swansea and gorged myself on snacks.

Snacks are heralded as past of the anti-diet. And, to be honest, they're not the best for your health. However, sometimes you just need a biscuit.

Today, I'm going to talk about two things that are off-limits to the wheat-free: cookies and chocolate-covered wafer. And then show you how good it can be.

Trufree Cookie Bites are new and delicious. These cookies are small but only 41 calories, so not too naughty after all. They also taste exactly like the real deal and I fooled all my friends with them. They melt in the mouth and taste buttery good - shame about the egg and soya content, but oh well. They certainly taste better than the Trufree Custard Creams, which were sawdust-flavoured.

No Wheat Gluten Free Chocolate & Orange Wafer Bars are a bit of a mouthful - they taste sinful, but only clock in at 106 calories. You also couldn't distinguish them from their wheat-laden equivalents.

I'd show you pictures but I've eaten them all.

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