Glutenfreevegan – my new journey begins!

It’s amazing how little we know about what’s going on in the world and right under our noses, or is it because we would rather not know. Or is it what ‘they’ would rather us not know? I have just begun the transition to veganism.  I have to admit I went off red meat a… Continue reading Glutenfreevegan – my new journey begins!

Another Gluten Free Cook Book

Greetings to anyone who reads this blog.  I have to say that I haven’t posted for a while as I have been off my game and wanting a social media break. That’s not to say that I’ve stopped cooking lots of lovely gluten free goodies, I just haven’t been so obsessed with taking photographs of everything that I cook.  This did get on hubbies nerves a bit!!

I nabbed this new gluten free cook book (the one in the picture) from my Mum, she is always buying new cook books so that she can make me goodies when I go to visit her.  I read this one and really liked the look of the recipes, the ingredients were run of the mill and they looked simple enough.  So Mum said I could have it as I’m more likely to use it than she is. … Continue reading

Mixed Bean and Pepper Chilli

On a Monday evening my daughter comes round for dinner, before she and hubby go to Art class.  They’ve been going for a few weeks now and enjoy the relaxation of doing Art and it’s a release from their hectic jobs.

Faye is a vegan , this is a great excuse for me to try out new recipes or make stuff up and also for me to have ‘Meat Free Monday’!  I also wanted to make something that would be very easy so I wasn’t slaving over a hot cooker when I could also be spending a bit of time with Faye before she goes off with Dad!

For tonight, I fancied making a bean chilli. So when I was doing my food shop I came across a tin of Mixed Beans in a Spicy Tomato Sauce.  I thought that this would be a great base to add to. The sauce itself does have a spicy flavour but I found it needed more ‘oompf’ so I added more chilli.

Waitrose Mixed beans in spicy tomato sauce
Waitrose Mixed beans in spicy tomato sauce

Well it turned out lovely and I would definitely make it again. It made enough for two decent portions and Faye took home the leftovers for her lunch tomorrow.

Ingredients

  • tin of mixed beans in spicy tomato sauce
  • tin of butter beans
  • tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper -chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper – chopped
  • 2 green jalapeno peppers – sliced  (mine were home grown and not that hot, so you may want to change depending on the heat of your chilli)
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic – finely chopped or use garlic press
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes (or more if you want it hotter)
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Next

  • heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and onions and cook gently for 5 minutes until soft
  • add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a few seconds
  • then add the mixed beans and tinned tomatoes and gently simmer for 10 minutes until it thickens.
  • Add the butter beans and gently heat through for about 5 minutes, being careful that they don’t go mushy
  • season to taste and serve with wholegrain rice with a dollop of mashed avocado mixed with lemon juice and black pepper

I hope you find this recipe useful, even If it gives you some inspiration to make your own version ♥

My home grown chili
My home grown chili

 

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins – unbelievably fluffy!

I made these blueberry muffins as I had a load of buttermilk left over from another bake I made, I bought too much!  So, I didn’t want to waste the stuff and found this recipe for gluten free blueberry muffins.  It makes a large amount of mix and the recipe said that it makes 15 muffins, it looks too much but do cram the mixture in your large cases as they come out so nice and big and fluffy. They are crammed full of blueberries which seem to explode into little purple bite fulls of yumminess during the cooking.

So without further ado, here is the recipe for you to enjoy… … Continue reading

My Little Korean Mint Plant

Back in March, my daughter and I went on a weekend in London.  We had an amazing time at a pop up Sunday brunch with The Raw chef at the Tiny Leaf in Notting hill.  The Herball were there too giving out their wonderful plant infused drinks of wines, cocktails and teas.  As a gift, we were given a choice of seeds and a little pot to plant them in, I chose Korean mint and look what’s happened….

My little Korean Mint Plant
My little Korean Mint Plant

I put the picture up on Instagram and tagged the guys at The Herball and they loved it, apparently I’m the first to send an update on all the seeds that were given out.  I asked what to do with the herb and they said it can be planted in the garden or a large pot and is great for making herbal tea with or for cooking.  Strangely enough, the leaves of the plant don’t smell like the usual mint when you rub them, they have a smell, but I couldn’t place it.

So I googled it, as you do and this is what I found…

Medicinal use of Korean Mint:

Korean mint is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Considered to be a “warming” herb, it is used in situations where there is “dampness” within the digestive system, resulting in poor digestion and reduced vitality. The leaves and stems are antibacterial, antifungal, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, febrifuge and stomachic. They are used internally to improve the appetite and strengthen the digestive system, they relieve symptoms such as abdominal bloating, indigestion, nausea and vomiting. They are also used to treat morning sickness. The leaves are also used in the treatment of chest congestion, diarrhoea and headaches. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of angina pains. The plant is used as a folk remedy for cancer, extracts of the plant have shown anticancer activity.

Edible parts of Korean Mint:

Young leaves – raw or cooked. A strong anise-like fragrance, they are normally used as a flavouring or as an addition to the salad bowl. We find them a bit coarse and too strong for use as a salad. The leaves can be used as a tea substitute. A pleasant flavour. The seed is possibly edible. No further details. The seed certainly should not be poisonous, but it is very small and its use would be very fiddly.

I’ll have to experiment – on hubby first! ♥

 

Sunday Brunch

On Sunday my son Brad and his wife Faye came round for brunch.  They are both into healthy eating and so I thought I would do an alternative to the usual cooked breakfast.  Inspired by a couple of recipes from my Eat Healthy magazine I did roasted sweet potato, butternut squash and red pepper frittata, homemade ‘baked’ beans and grilled gluten free sausages by Heck.  It went down really well and was surprisingly filling.

The baked beans were a combination of two recipes, I just took the flavours I like and the ingredients I had and a little bit of hey presto!

Here is the recipe if you fancy having a go yourselves:

  • coconut oil for frying
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tin of cannellini beans
  • 1 tin of mixed beans
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml passata
  • a large tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp Tamari
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coarse-grain mustard
  1. In a small frying pan, gently fry the onions in the coconut oil for about 10 minutes until they are nice and soft
  2. drain and rinse the beans and add to a large saucepan
  3. add everything else and the cooked onions
  4. bring to the boil and simmer for at least 30 minutes, the longer you simmer the thicker the sauce.

They were very simple to make and a lot healthier than the usual tinned baked beans.

They also bought me a beautiful flower arrangement for the table, it’s from their favourite florist  Penny Jane Flowers in Leigh-on-sea.

Beautiful flowers from my lovely son and his wife
Beautiful flowers from my lovely son Brad and his wife Faye

 

Cakes for birthday pressies!

Tomorrow it’s one of my colleague’s birthday.  He will be 60 years old, although he doesn’t look or act like 60!  He’s having a little shindig and as I have no idea what to buy him I decided to make it personal and make him a cake.  This cake is one of my favourites and I’ve been making it for years, it’s called ‘Venetian carrot cake’ and it’s from the book ‘Kitchen’ by Nigella Lawson.  The great thing about this cake is that it is naturally gluten free and dairy free, although Nigella does suggest you accompany a slice with a dollop of mascarpone cream, which is yummy!   So Happy Birthday Dave, here’s looking at you kid!