Monday, 8 March 2010

A good veggie option

Creamy Leek and Mushroom Tagliatelle

I used this recipe loads when I was at Uni. Particularly as I wwent to Aberystwyth which had several really good health food shops to find good dairy free cream cheese.  I use Tofutti as it has the best taste however these days there are several really good options  in supermarkets.

Dairy free, egg free, nut free, optional- gluten free (choose gluten free pasta if allergic)


Serves 4
2 tbsp Olive oil
3 leeks sliced into rounds
2 garlic cloves
8oz chesnut mushrooms
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
13oz tagilatelle
5 tbsp vegan cream cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper

1. Heat the oil and saute the leeks and garlic  until soft.  Add mushrooms, oregano, and chilli and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Cook the pasta and drain, reserving about 4 tbsp of the cooking liquid.
3. Stir the reserved liquid into the mushroom mixture and add the cream cheese> Season to taste. Add Parsely and serve.

More desserts- yum!

Chocolate Sorbet

This recipe comes from a vegan cookbook, which if I ignore the nuts is great for people with food allergies. This recipe is really easy but remember to stir with a fork while its freezing or its very watery.

Gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, optional- soya free


16 floz water
3 tbsp maple syrup
4oz caster sugar
3oz cocoa powder
2oz plain dark chocolate (try to find soya free if allergic)
Red fruits to serve

1. Place water, maple syrup, sugar and cocoa into a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until melted. Leave to cool.
3. If you have one, tip into an ice cream maker and churn until frozen. If you don't have one, pour into a freezer proof container and freeze. Remove from freezer when slushy and whisk until smooth. Repeat as needed and serve with red fruit.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Back to basics

Gluten free Shortcrust pastry

One essential but scary basic recipe is shortcrust pastry. It needs to be tackled slightly differently than normal wheat pastry but is still really easy and useful for mince pies, sausage rolls, meat pies, and desserts. I was scared to try at first because I have had some real disasters but since discovering xanthum gum my pastry has improved so much!

Gluten free, Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, Soya free


8oz Gluten free flour (again I like Doves farm- I don't use the self raising because I've had allergic reactions to it even though there is nothing I'm allergic to!)
1tsp xanthum gum
2 1/2oz Lard (if you are a vegetarian use hard margarine)
2 1/2oz Margarine
pinch of salt
1oz icing sugar if making sweet pastry
3-4 tbsp cold water

1. Mix flour, salt, xanthum gum, and sugar if using. I do this in a food mixer for ease. Add lard and margarine and blitz until breadcrumbs are formed.
2. Gradually add the water. Gluten free flour will require slightly more water. 
3. Just before every bit is mixed, take out and place onto a floured board and lighlty knead. Don't overwork the pastry or it'll be ruined.
4. You can wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for 1/2 hour but if you're in a hurry don't worry too much- you can use it straightaway if you want.

Tips and tricks: Sometime whatever a gluten free recipe book might say it won't roll out well. If this happens and you're making individual tarts, just press the pastry into the tin and it will be ok. If its something where the pastry needs to roll around something that can be more tricky but it is possible to just patch it up once its rolled.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Sweet Treats


These are easy and yummy, especailly if like me, you have spent years watching other people eat little chocolates at the end of a meal or at Christmas and wishing you could have the same. Nowadays a few companies sell chocolates which are lovely but not the same as home made. Try not to eat the mixture before its set as I always do!!

Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, Gluten free (optional), and can be Soya free by using soya free margarine and milk.

10oz icing sugar (unrefined is best as its a bit like toffee)
3oz biscuit crumbs (optional- you can use the melting moments recipe on the blog or crush up any biscuits you can eat)
2oz margarine
2tbsp cocoa
1tsp vanilla essence
2tbsp soya or other allergy friendly milk
Chocolate sprinkles, extra cocoa, desiccated coconut

1. Mix together all ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Chill until firm keeping those sticky fingers out!
3. Roll into balls (Tip: pat hands with cocoa or icing sugar first as it stops the truffle mixture sticking to your hands)
4. Roll balls into cocoa, drinking chocolate, strands or coconut and put into mini cake cases.

These can be made more naughty by adding any liquor to the mixture. Brandy, or a mint liquor are my favourites.

Told you they were easy!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Recipe of the Week!

Cappuccino Cupcakes

Everyone I have made these for have all had two so I assume they like them as much as I do. Don't be scared by the lack of egg. It will still rise. Many original allergy free recipes come from wartime recipes where eggs were scarce and everyone had to make do with what they had.

Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, GLuten free (optional) and can be soya freeIngredients

4 oz Margarine
4 oz Caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
8 oz Gluten free plain flour (I like Doves Farm which you can buy in most supermarkets)
1 level tsp Xanthum gum (again from supermarkets and again I use Doves Farm)
4 level tsp Baking powder
1/4 pt whatever milk you can tolerate (I'm not allergic to soya so I use this but I imagine rice/ oat/ dairy milk all work as well) mixed with 2 tsps of instant coffe mixed with a couple of tsps of hot water.

8 oz Icing sugar (try to use unrefined as it gives a lovely toffee flavour and is better for you which is a silly irony when you think about it)
4 oz Margarine
Cocoa powder

Oven 190°C
1. Cream together the margarine, caster sugar and golden syrup until quite smooth.
2. Sift together flour, xanthum and baking powder and stir gently into creamed mixture.
3. Gradually add enough milk to make a smooth batter. You will probably need all of it as gluten free flour is very absorbent.
4. Pour into cake/ muffin cases and bake in oven for about 18 minutes. This will depend on your oven though. I have a naughty fan oven which likes to defy the laws of time and cook things in about 12 minutes so use you judgement. If you've never cooked much before or aren't sure the same rules apply to a normal cake. If you poke a knife or skewer in a it comes out clean the cakes are done.
5. Mix together the icing sugar and margarine to make a "butter cream" icing. When the cakes are cool, ice them using a fork in a circular motion and dust with cocoa.
6. Have at least 2- you've made cakes after all so the diets out for today!