Ginger and lemon gluten free muffins

Recipe testing this afternoon coincided with visitors arriving so these muffins had willing victims / volunteers to test them. With the mention of ginger within, one of the visitors who normally resists cake grabbed a sample with gusto. The cakes didn’t let me down. I am using coconut sugar in lots of my cooking at the moment – still a sugar but with less fructose content.

The resulting cakes were flavoursome, light and an even texture…success ūüôā¬† We ate them whilst drinking tea…they would be delicious served as a desert with vanilla ice cream / Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of Limoncella!!

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Preheat oven to 180c / gas 4

12 muffin tray¬† – good quality non- stick ( I used Prestige – didn’t need to grease)

Ingredients:

170 g gluten-free self-raising flour       150 g butter

150 g coconut sugar         4 eggs (3 if not using gf flour)

2 pieces of stem ginger chopped into fine pieces

1 tbsp of syrup from stem ginger jar

grated rind of 1 lemon

Method:

Put all the ingredients  for the muffins in to a bowl and mix well until smooth. Spoon the mixture in to prepared tin.

 

Bake for about 15 mins – until skewer is clean.

Place on a rack to cool.

Devour ūüôā

 

Pork and apricot casserole

This is a recipe I have made for years but more recently seem to have forgotten how wonderfully well the flavours go together. Having dug around in the freezer during an ‘eat from the freezer’ week (is it only our house or does everyone have a freezer purge / food amnesty once in a while?) I located four pork loin chops. I love making a casserole – very little preparation and the Aga does the rest. An ideal dish for a slow cooker.

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Sometimes I put an assortment of ingredients in to a casserole and then serve with simple vegetables. This casserole lends itself to simplicity – 3 flavours: onions, pork and apricots. It is then scrumptious with roast potatoes, honeyed carrots etc.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 large white onion  Рfinely diced

4 pork loin steaks – cut in to large pieces

1 large tin of apricots or 6-8 dried apricots cut in to chunks

Gluten free plain flour        Olive oil Р1 tbsp    Water

Salt and pepper to season

Method:

Heat the oil in a pan and soften the onions. Add the pork steaks and seal both sides. Add a couple of tbsp of flour and mix well. Slowly add water, stirring continuously until a thin gravy is created. Add the apricots and seasoning. Ensure the steaks are covered in liquid. Cover and place in the oven on a low heat for a couple of hours or until the pork is tender.

This dish also works well with prunes instead of apricots.

Cooking is therapy

Having had a day last week that was very different to the norm and not the sort of day I would like to repeat, it was wonderful to receive a postal delivery of dry ingredients that I had ordered prior to my op. I always get very excited when new, to me, flavours arrive.

This is my comfort zone, my area of contentment and my normality – cooking is my therapy.

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I use lots of spices in my cooking and have always been relatively confident playing around with combinations (with only the very occasional flavour disaster). My latest delivery contains sumac and za’ater – two spices I have not used myself although I have eaten many Persian and Middle Eastern dishes. So, while I recover and am relatively housebound I will enjoy spending my time conjuring up recipes. Watch this space …

Cranberry salsa

I think the finest meal is one where you have the opportunity to have a multitude of different flavour combinations – probably why I love a roast dinner with all the extra trimmings.

A barbecue is one such opportunity – a plate can be laden with a multitude of little bits of this and that.

This is one such dish.

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Ingredients:

1 large white onion Рfinely chopped             Zest and juice of 2 limes

1 large green pepper Рfinely chopped          600 g of cranberry sauce

Mint Рlarge handful chopped          Coriander Рlarge handful chopped

Method:

Put all the ingredients in to a large bowl and combine thoroughly.

 

This salsa is perfect with meat, fish and salads – an all round great accompaniment.

I put the salsa in to the empty cranberry sauce jars. It will last for at least a week in the fridge (if not devoured beforehand!)

Smoked mackerel, Greek yoghurt, ¬†cucumber, ¬†spring onions and dill

This only took a couple of minutes ¬†to prepare…my favourite sort of mealūüėÄ

Serves 3 as a main dish with new potatoes. Would serve 4 – 5 as a starter.

Ingredients:

Large handful of spinach and watercress for each person

4 spring onions – chopped

Large piece  (10-15 cm) cucumber chopped in to cubes

Greek yoghurt

3 smoked mackerel fillets – skinned and flaked

Handful of dill – chopped

Pomegranate seeds to garnish.

Method:

Put prepared onions,cucumber and mackerel in a bowl and add 3-4 heaped tbsp of yoghurt. Mix together. Add most of the dill – keep some back to sprinkle over as a garnish.Serve out on to watercress/spinach ¬†and top with dill and pomegranate seeds. ¬†New potatoes complement this dish very well ūüėÄ

 

Quail eggs and halloumi salad

So many people still think a salad consists of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber.  Glances of pity are thrown in the direction of my husband when he states we had a salad for lunch!!

This delicious salad was simply a combination of soft boiled quail eggs, chopped avocado, chopped plum tomatoes and grilled halloumi sitting on a bed of watercress ūüôā

Kale, papaya and kefir smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients:

300 ml Kefir                                         200 ml coconut water

Papaya peeled and deseeded          large handful of kale

2 tbsp chia seeds

Method:

Put all ingredients in to a blender and blitz.

 

 

 

 

Ginger sponge pudding (GF) filled with Greek yoghurt mixed with chopped stem ginger

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Serves 4/6

Microwave  2-3 mins on full power  4/6 individual large ramekins e.g. Prestige /souffle dishes

Ingredients:

For the pudding:

100 g gluten-free self-raising flour       100 g butter

100 g light muscovado sugar         3 eggs (2 if not using gf flour

3 tsp ground ginger

For the filling:

6-10 tbsp Greek yoghurt                  4 pieces of stem ginger coarsely chopped

Method:

Put all the ingredients in to a bowl and mix well until smooth. Divide equally between the ramekins. Put in the microwave for 2 mins – test with skewer. Cooked when skewer comes out clean.

Mix Greek yoghurt with the chopped stem ginger. Scoop the centre of the pudding out and fill with yoghurt mixture and pop ‘lid’ back on.  Serve whilst puddings still hot.

Smoked mackerel and rice noodles

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Serves 3    Preheat oven to 180c / gas mark 4

Ingredients:

1/2 butternut squash deseeded and chopped in to small chunks

plum / cherry tomatoes

3 smoked mackerel fillets torn into large pieces

300 g rice noodles

rocket

tamari (soy sauce if non gf)

Olive oil

Method:

Put butternut squash on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven for about 30 mins until cooked and edges crisping.

Put a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and, once hot, add the rice noodles. Stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes and fry for a further minute. Drizzle with tamari. Add the fish and heat through. Finally add the roasted squash, stir  and serve on a bed of rocket.

Hake, mangetout and cauliflower cheese bake

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Oven to tableware dish from Prestige

Such an easy dish to prepare:

Serves 3    Pre heat oven to 180C Gas mark 4

Ingredients

For the cheese sauce:

350 ml Full / semi skimmed milk            80 g  Cheddar / Double Gloucester cheese Рgrated

20 g Butter                                                       30 g gluten-free plain flour

1 tsp English mustard

For the remainder of the dish:

1 cauliflower cut in to 3 chunks             1 skinned fillet of hake    1 handful of mangetout

15 g grated cheese

Method:

Place the hake fillet within a tin foil parcel and bake in the centre of the oven for 10 mins.

Put the cauliflower in a pan of boiling water and cook until for 8- 10 mins.(alternatively steam e.g Prestige pressure cooker 5-8 mins) and boil /steam the mangetout for 3 mins.

For the cheese sauce:

Melt the butter in a saucepan.

Stir in the flour

Gradually add the milk – stirring continuously.

Simmer gently  and add the mustard and then the grated cheese, stirring until all melted and thoroughly combined.

Simply assemble all the ingredients in an oven proof dish, top with grated cheese and put in the oven to heat through thoroughly.