Spinach and grain loaf

Delicious as ‘bread’ or toasted.

Preheat oven to 180 C/ gas mark 5    Prepare a 1 lb loaf tin
Ingredients:

8 eggs                                    1/2 cup coconut oil – melted

1/4 cup chia seeds              1/4 cup linseed

1/4 cup sesame seeds        1/4 cup coconut flour

3 handfuls  spinach           1-2 tsp chilli flakes

Method:

Blend eggs and coconut oil for 1 minute. Add all other ingredients  and blend until thoroughly mixed. Pour in to the loaf tin. Cook for 30-40 minutes – skewer comes out clean. Once cold refrigerate.

Oat, chia and flaxseed breakfast muffin – gluten and dairy free

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I have combined ingredients that have a real benefit for the body – some of which I have listed:

Flaxseed – high in fibre aiding digestion and helping to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels, omega 3, vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium

Chia seed – high in fibre, omega 3, potassium, omega 6, calcium, copper, phosphorus and  zinc

Coconut oil – healthy saturated fat

Oatmeal – rich in fibre, high protein, low fat

Spices – ginger and cinnamon – both anti inflammatory

Oat milk – lactose free, low in fat, vitamin E, vitamin B, iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium

The combination also chosen to keep me feeling fuller for longer 🙂  I have used coconut sugar as the sweetener — very little.

Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4       Muffin tin – 12 bun

Ingredients:

1 cup of gluten free self raising flour                            2 eggs

1 cup of oatmeal                                                                1/2 cup of oat milk

1 tsp ginger                                                                          1/4 cup coconut oil – melted

1 tsp cinnamon                                                                   1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 tbsp chia seeds                                                                 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp flaxseed

Method:

Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs, milk and coconut oil and stir until mixed. Divide between 12 the muffins.

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Place in the centre of the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes – until skewer comes out clean.

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Apricot, mixed seed and oat bars (gf) 

Quick and easy to make and perfect as an energy bar or snack .

Preheat oven to 160c /gas mark 3  Lightly  grease a 20cm square tin.

Ingredients:

125 g butter                          100 g dried apricots – chopped

100 g muscovado sugar    50 g linseed

125 g peanut butter           50 g pumpkin seeds

200 g porridge oats           50 g sesame seeds

25 g honey                            lemon / orange rind

Method:

Put butter, sugar and honey in a large pan and onto  a low heat. Stir until melted.  Remove from the heat and add all the other ingredients. Mix well. Put in to the tin and press down. Cook for about 30 mins. Leave to cool in the tin – when warm to touch cut in to slices in the tin.  Leave until cold before lifting the pieces  out.

Chilli with a hint of chocolate 

On a cold evening nothing warms me through like a steaming bowl of chilli. It can be made really quickly, freezes well, tastes even better on the second warm up and fills the house with wonderful aromas.  I always add chocolate to my chilli dishes….the Aztecs were on to something 🙂

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil                 1 large onion – chopped             500 g lean mince

400 g can chopped tomatoes    410 g can red kidney beans – washed and drained

1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder     1 tsp paprika    1 tsp ground cumin

5 squares of dark chocolate

Method:

Heat the oil in a large oven proof pan. Add the onions and cook until soft.  Add the mince and stir untill browned. Add the tomatoes, kidney beans and spices and stir thoroughly. If the mixture seems dry add half a tin of water. Before putting the chilli into the oven to finish cooking add the chocolate  and stir until melted.

Serve with rice and a bowl of melted cheese laden tortilla crisps.

Leek and potato soup 

I love autumn and winter – perfect weather for a bowl of warming and filling soup. I tend to make my soups hearty rather than a consomme type.

This soup is so easy to make and quick – from thought to tableware in half an hour😊

For a pan load that will provide 4 generous servings I use:

Ingredients:

3 leeks washed and chopped

5 white potatoes  peeled and chopped into small pieces

1 pint of stock – vegetable  or chicken

Cup of milk – optional

Salt and pepper.

Method:

Put the leeks, potatoes stock and seasoning in a pan. Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer until soft. Remove from the heat and blend until nearly smooth. I like to leave the odd chunk. Put back on the heat and add the milk if desired. bring up to boiling and serve.

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 🙂  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 🙂

 

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 – finely chopped             Zest and juice of 2 limes

1 large green pepper – finely chopped          600 g of cranberry sauce

Mint – large handful chopped          Coriander – large 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!)

Beef burgers

Nothing beats out-door cooked food in my mind. We may have erratic and unpredictable weather in this country (UK) but we need very little persuading to fire up a barbecue at the merest hint of a blue sky.

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If my family want to eat a burger when we have a barbecue, I don’t have a problem with this as long as I make them from scratch so I know exactly what is in them.

Makes 9 / 10 burgers

Ingredients:

750 g prime beef mince ideally sourced locally

1 large white onion  – chopped finely       2 cloves of garlic – chopped finely

3 slices of green jalapeno pickled pepper – chopped finely

3 slices of red jalapeno pickled pepper – chopped finely

Method:

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

Using damp hands form in to burger patties.

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Cover and place in the fridge for about 45 minutes. Prior to placing on the barbecue, pan fry to seal both sides.

Serve with a cranberry salsa (recipe on blog)

Water kefir

I am really enjoying drinking / eating milk kefir in smoothies or smoothie bowls every day. My husband hasn’t taken to the flavour in the same way as me – if I mix in Greek yoghurt he will then consume it! He does however act as if I he is being punished!!

So…I decided to start fermenting with water kefir grains as well.

Step 1: live grains ordered  from Crave Longevity (conversation point at work when they arrived!)

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Step 2: let the grains settle in – 500ml of boiled and cooled water with 2 tbsp sugar.Left in warm dark place for 24 hours.20160628_192347Strained and process repeated 2 x more.

Then 1L of boiled and cooled water and 4/5 tbsp of sugar.

Step 3: second fermentation. Drained liquid put in to a glass jar with sealable top and left in a warm dark place for 72 hours.20160702_190654I put a couple of prunes in the jar – created a ‘cream soda/ Dr Pepper type flavour.

Step 4: put the drink in to the fridge

Result: a delicious mildly effervescent drink 🙂   – which I am delighted to say my husband seems to enjoy.

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He particularly enjoyed the batch I made without any additions of flavours at the second fermentation stage but instead added a slice of lemon and a couple of drops of vanilla prior to serving.20160709_091829

 

Blackcurrant ‘nice cream’ (gluten and dairy free)

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2 ingredients: blackcurrants and ripe bananas

Last years crop of blackcurrants are still in the freezer and my blackcurrant bushes are laden with ripening fruit. So operation empty the freezer is taking place!

This dish is a great way to use up the pitiful looking bananas that look at the bottom of the fruitbowl – turning brown.

Method:

Put some frozen blackcurrants in to a blender (needs strong blades) / or food processor.I rinse the blackcurrants to remove any excess ice.

Add 1 or 2 bananas (some people add frozen bananas at this point – I prefer to mix everything and the pop in the freezer for a couple of hours ahead of serving)

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Pulse until blackcurrants are broken down – I use the ‘ice setting’ on my blender

Then I switch the settings to ‘desert’ and blend until all the banana is incorporated.

 

I then spoon it into a plastic container and pop it in the freezer.