Tag Archives: Gluten Free

Grain-free, Gluten-free Pancakes

Gluten-free, grain-free pancakes © Sue Todd 2015.

Gluten-free, grain-free pancakes © Sue Todd 2015.

While you can make pancakes with gluten-free flour that’s not a great deal of help if you’re trying to avoid grains altogether.  This recipe uses coconut and almond flours to replace the grain and is wonderful for sweet pancakes, served with fresh fruit and maple syrup.

I thought I’d posted this months ago, doh!  It wasn’t until I went to link another article to this I realised the error of my ways! Continue reading

Gluten-free, Grain-free Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes, grain free, gluten free from English Country Cooking. © Sue Todd 2015.

Banana Pancakes, grain free, gluten free from English Country Cooking. © Sue Todd 2015.

These banana pancakes might be more aptly described as banana omelettes, but the idea of having a banana omelette really doesn’t appeal to me, so it took a while for me to come  round to this idea and try it out.  How ever I’m a true convert now.  Nutritious, scrumptious, so, so easy to do and fast.  What more can you ask?

Banana pancakes (or omelettes) are in vogue at the moment and there is stuff everywhere about them, with a number of variations, using cocoa,  vanilla extract and more.  With the view of more being less, I wanted to keep this quick and simple.  After all, there’s only one of us able-bodied at the moment, so fast and simple is good.

Literally just eggs and banana, you can’t go wrong I thought.  Well actually you can.  Do be careful when making these to keep them really small, not like normal pancakes and if you can’t flip normal pancakes (like me!!) then be prepared for these to look less than perfect.

They’ll still be edible and delightful to boot, they just won’t look quite so good – the proof of this is in the pictures where I’ve tried to dress them up prettily with fruit, but they had fallen apart substantially as I manhandled them over, in, and then out of the pan.  However it didn’t spoil the eating and they were so good I had them two days running for breakfast and they will feature very often for my breakfast now.

Banana Pancakes, healthy breakfast, grain and gluten free.  © Sue Todd 2015.

Banana Pancakes, healthy breakfast, grain and gluten free. © Sue Todd 2015.

Ingredients: (per person)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 egg
  • knob of butter or coconut oil
  • fruit and maple syrup to serve (raspberries, pear, blackberries and blueberries are all good)


Mash the banana well, you could blitz it with a hand held blender but it adds to the washing up, thought it will be faster and more effective.

Crack the egg open and beat it well before combining with the banana and mix up well.

Heat some coconut oil or butter in a skillet on a hot hob and add just a little bit of the mixture – about 1 tbsp of the mixture at a time for teeny tiny more manageable pancakes.  Let the pancake cook nicely on one side before flipping.  Once cooked lift out on to a warm plate and continue until the mixture is all used up.  You may find you can do a couple at a time this way.

Banana Pancakes and fresh fruit with maple syrup. © Sue Todd 2015.

Banana Pancakes and fresh fruit with maple syrup. © Sue Todd 2015.

Serve  with fresh fruit and maple syrup.  I used pear and some blackberries we had in the freezer, they were lovely.  I just defrosted the blackberries in a bowl on the AGA while they were being made.

Gluten-free, Wheat-free Fruity Biscotti Biscuits

Biscotti Biscuits, gluten free, wheat free.  © Sue Todd 2014

Biscotti Biscuits, gluten-free, wheat-free, lovely home-made gift idea for Christmas. © Sue Todd 2014.

I love biscotti biscuits, they are great with coffee or ice-cream and this is a lovely time of year in late autumn to make them and experiment with them ready for Christmas.  While I have a number of recipes about for these, none of them were gluten and wheat free and that was what I was after.  So it was time to experiment, I had a ‘how hard can it be?’ moment, and luckily I think they worked well, they’ve certainly disappeared quickly.

This grain-free version is a little softer than biscotti normally are, but then my teeth were quite thankful for that.  I’ve followed a few different biscotti recipes in the past and some like to use mixed spice but I tend to avoid this as I’m allergic to cinnamon.  I’ve also found that you can quite safely mix and match the fruit and nuts according to what you have in the cupboard.  I rarely have the exact ingredients needed and so have gotten used to swapping ingredients out.  These biscotti seemed to go down very well and I’ll definitely be making them again.

Not only are these great for serving with ice cream or coffee, they also make great presents wrapped up in cellophane or presented in pretty boxes.


  • 175g Almond flour,
  • 175g Coconut flour,
  • 2 tsp gluten-free, wheat-free, baking powder,
  • 250g vanilla sugar, use golden caster sugar if you don’t have vanilla sugar,
  • 3 eggs, beaten,
  • Grated zest of 1 orange,
  • 85g raisins,
  • 85g dried cherries, I used a mixture of dried sour cherries and natural glace cherries, as this was what I had to hand,
  • 50g almonds,
  • 50g hazelnuts, you could use pistachio nuts but I didn’t’ have any
  • Sesame flour for flouring a board.


If you are using a conventional oven, preheat it to 180C/350F/gas4.

Line 2 baking sheets or one AGA cold tray with greaseproof paper.  This is great as you don’t have to grease the trays at all and I always find that rather tedious.

Put the flours, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl and mix well before adding the orange zest and eggs.  Mix now until the mixture begins to come together in lumps.  At this point it gets messy as you really need your hands in there to start pulling it all together.

It may feel that it can’t possibly come together and you may be tempted to add some liquid – DON”T!  Just keep kneading and it will come together, it just sometimes takes a while.

Once there are no floury patches left, add the fruit and nuts and mix well so that the fruit and nuts are distributed evenly through the mixture.  This mixture is and remains quite sticky.

Turn it out now onto a floured board, you could use more almond or coconut flour but I chose to use a little bit of sesame flour, adding a little more structure to the mix and making it a little less sweet.  Not having a hugely sweet tooth, this was, for me, a good move.

Anyway once the mixture is on your floured board, divide it into four equal portions.  Roll each portion out with your hands into a sausage shape about 30cm long.  Place 2 on each of the smaller trays or you’ll find all four will sit on one large AGA cold tray.  I use these for baking all the time and just love how much you can get on them in one go.

Pop these in the oven, use the baking oven of the AGA, and leave to cook for around 25-30 minutes.  You want the dough to have risen, spread out somewhat and feel firm to the touch.  It also must still be quite pale in appearance, it gets cooked again so don’t look to get it golden brown at this stage.  This was mine just below, still pale:

Gluten free, wheat free, fruity biscotti © Sue Todd 2014

Gluten free, wheat free, fruity biscotti © Sue Todd 2014

Remove the trays from the oven once the dough is ready and transfer the four biscotti portions to a cooling rack to cool – this can be done quickly and easily by lifting the parchment off the tray and onto the cooling rack, thought you need to do it gently.  Leave them to cool for a few minutes until the are cool enough to touch.

At this point if you are using a conventional oven turn it down to 140C/275F/Gas 1.  I’ve not tried those settings, these are gleaned from other’s biscotti recipes.  I keep going with the baking oven of the AGA for mine.

Once the portions have cooled, you need to take a bread knife and carefully cut the portions into 1cm diagonal slices.  You need to be quite gentle in doing this as the mixture is more delicate than normal biscotti, and it crumbles into pieces easily otherwise.  Lay the slices flat out onto the baking trays.  I just re-used the same parchment paper.  It can become a bit of an artform trying to fit them all on but they generally fit.

Bake them for a about a further 15 minutes now, I think mine took a little while longer.  You want them to be dry and golden in colour at this point.  Having a memory like a sieve these days I tend to set a timer, otherwise I can find my hard work has been turned to charcoal in the AGA – there’s no smell until you open the oven door!

Once baked sufficiently, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Because these are not made with wheat flour and don’t have anything added to help hold them together they are prone to be rather more delicate and crumbly than conventional biscotti, so you’ll need to handle them carefully.  Again I found it far faster and easier to carefully tug the greaseproof paper off the AGA tray and onto the cooking rack so that they all moved in one fell swoop.

Leave them to cool and then pack away in an airtight container.  They should keep for a week or two quite happily.  Again biscotti made with wheat flour will, I know, keep for about a month, but these ones haven’t hung around that long so I can’t state the same for these as yet.

Gluten free, Wheat free, Fruity Biscotti Biscuits. © Sue Todd 2014.

Gluten free, Wheat free, Fruity Biscotti Biscuits. © Sue Todd 2014.


Vary the fruit and nuts used, I think dried cranberries would work quite well and be very seasonal.  Also try lemon instead of orange.  If you want a christmassy version you could add 2 teaspoons of mixed spice or cinnamon.

Also most people use blanched almonds, I just throw ordinary ones in to mine.  They all eat just the same.

Baked Quails Eggs

Baked Quails Eggs with smoked salmon, cheese sauce and spinach.  © Sue Todd 2014.

Baked Quails Eggs with smoked salmon, cheese sauce and spinach. © Sue Todd 2014.

This is my all time favourite starter.  We made it for the first time on Boxing Day 2013 and its become a firm staple offering on the menu since.

Baked Quails Eggs make a fabulous comfort food, warm, sumptuous, creamy, rich but not overly so and nourishing.  Basically there’s nothing not to like.

It makes a delicious starter served with a light green salad or some home-made bread.

Baked Quails Eggs with smoked salmon, creamy cheese sauce and spinach. © Sue Todd 2014.

Baked Quails Eggs with smoked salmon, creamy cheese sauce and spinach. © Sue Todd 2014.


  • 70g of fresh spinach,
  • 150ml double cream,
  • one small packet of smoked Salmon (you need enough for one layer of salmon per ramekin dish),
  • 50g Emmental cheese,
  • 50g Gruyère cheese,
  • Black pepper,
  • 8 Quails Eggs, (2 per serving),
  • finely grated parmesan cheese to top the ramekins off


Quails Eggs baked in a creamy cheese sauce with spinach and smoked salmon.  © Sue Todd 2014.

Quails Eggs baked in a creamy cheese sauce with spinach and smoked salmon. © Sue Todd 2014.

Blanch the spinach off and divide it between four ramekin bowls.

On top of the spinach add one layer of smoked salmon, cut to fit and to cover the spinach completely.

Now make a cream cheese sauce by heating the cream through gently before adding the Emmental and Gruyère cheese and black pepper to taste, stirring until the cheese melts completely.

Pour the cheese sauce over the salmon being careful to leave sufficient room at the top of each dish to add two quails eggs and some parmesan cheese.

You can prepare the dish in advance to this point and leave it to one side until your guests arrive.

Crack two quails eggs into the top of each ramekin dish and sprinkle with finely grated parmesan cheese.

Slide the ramekins   on to a baking tray and pop into a hot oven to bake.  We use the top oven of the AGA.  That will equate to about 250C, 480F or Gas 8 on conventional cookers – and you will want to pre-heat the oven.  Thankfully with the AGA that bit isn’t necessary, which is just as well or we’d always be eating later than planned!  It shouldn’t take very long, no more than 10 minutes at most, so keep an eye on it.  You want to take them out when they are golden brown and bubbly on top.

To Serve:

A sharp well chilled white wine is good with this to cut through the richness.  Serve with freshly baked bread and a green salad.

If you want some home-made bread to go with this, you could try one of these:

Beef Lasagne without the pasta.

Lasagne where courgette and aubergine replace the pasta. © Sue Todd 2014.

Lasagne where courgette and aubergine replace the pasta. © Sue Todd 2014.

I guess it isn’t really lasagne once you take the pasta away, but while I’m trying to omit grains I didn’t want to lose one of my favourite meals as well.  So this is the next best thing, its to Lasagne what Cauliflower Crust is to pizza – tastes great, does the job and explains itself!

It’s a relatively simple matter to replace the pasta layers in this dish with thin strips of courgette and aubergine. You don’t have to use both, either one will do fine but I had both so that is what we used.

Using the courgette/aubergine and adapting the sauce you can have a delicious meal which is gluten-free and grain-free.  You could of course use milk and some gluten-free flour to make a roux and a less rich béchamel sauce.

Ingredients – meat and tomato sauce:

  • 500g minced beef (grass-fed, organic being the best),
  • 3 shallots,
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic,
  • knob of butter,
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano,
  • 400g chopped tomatoes,
  • salt and pepper to season,
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

Ingredients – cream sauce:

  • 1 shallot
  • 400ml double cream
  • 1 bay leaf,
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg,
  • 1/2 tsp thyme,
  • Emmental / Gruyère (for the top of the finished dish)

Ingredients – Vegetables

  • 1 courgette,
  • 1 aubergine,


Lasagne with courgette and aubergine in place of pasta.  © Sue Todd 2014.

Lasagne with courgette and aubergine in place of pasta. © Sue Todd 2014.

Prepare the meat and tomato sauce first.

Finely chop the 3 shallots and sweat them gently in a knob of butter with the crushed clove of garlic.  Add the oregano.

Then add the beef and fry until the beef is browned.

At this point add the chopped tomatoes, with salt and pepper to season and the tomato paste.

Cook through gently.

To make the sauce, heat the cream through gently with the bay leaf, nutmeg and thyme.  Put to one side to cool.

Now you need to cut the courgette and aubergine into thin slices – if you have a mandoline that would be perfect, otherwise just watch your fingers.

Using a large square dish, add a layer of mince and tomatoes, a layer of sliced aubergine/courgette and then cover with sauce.  (Remove the bay leaf at this point) Repeat the layers until you’ve used everything up, ending with a layer of sauce.

Top the dish with grated Emmental and Gruyère and bake in a hot oven until the cheese is nicely toasted and browning.

Serve with a nice salad.



Kipper Fishcakes with Northumbrian Craster Kippers.

Craster Kipper Fishcakes served on a bed of leaves with a poached egg. © Sue Todd 2014.

Craster Kipper Fishcakes served on a bed of leaves with a poached egg. © Sue Todd 2014.

Here in Northumberland we are so lucky to have some wonderful food producers and of course we have our fabulous coastline and a plentiful supply of fish.  We like to use local food where ever possible so it was a treat to visit Craster and buy fish at Robsons, and this time Gary chose kippers.  Kippers are a quintessentially English food, very popular in Edwardian Britain for breakfast.

Kippers!  I loathed them as a child, on account of all the bones.  The one good thing about having an AGA is that you can cook them in the oven and then they don’t stink the house out.

Gary loves kippers although I have to say I’m not so fond, and he’d decided Kipper fish cakes was the way forward.  I agreed to try them on condition that we made them differently, because  I’m trying hard to follow a primal diet once again which means avoiding grains, potatoes and legumes.  This involved playing with some new ingredients and we had no idea if it would work.  However, the result was delicious and we have some spare ones in the freezer now.

In the past I’d have used potato to make the fish cakes, coated firstly with flour, then egg, then finally breadcrumbs or perhaps oats.  I needed to find some alternatives in the store cupboard if we were to create a version without the grains or potatoes.  A quick raid on the larder produced; some sesame flour which I’d just bought as a potential bread ingredient, some millet flakes which I thought would help give the celeriac a bit more body and prevent them from breaking up during cooking and finally the ground flax seeds which I thought would give a nice textured coating.

Kipper Fishcake © Sue Todd 2014

Kipper Fishcake © Sue Todd 2014

 So if you want a gluten free, wheat free fish cake, here you go.   


  • 2 oak smoked kippers, cooked in water with a small knob of butter,
  • 1/2 a large celeriac,
  • butter and cream to make mash,
  • Millet flakes,
  • 2 eggs,
  • sesame flour,
  • Ground flax seeds
  • oil to fry


Poach your kippers and when they are cooked remove from the pan and leave to cool.  Once they are cold, break the fish into flakes, removing as many bones as possible.

Peel the celeriac and dice into 1cm cubes, boil in salted water until soft.  Drain and mash with a knob of butter and some cream.  Don’t puree as you need some texture.

Mix the kippers into the celeriac mash.  The kippers will be salty enough, so don’t add more, but a few twists of black pepper will help it along nicely.  If the mixture feels a bit loose add some flaked millet and leave them to rest for about 1/2 hour.

Kipper Fishcakes shaped and ready for coating © Sue Todd 2014

Kipper Fishcakes shaped and ready for coating © Sue Todd 2014

Break two eggs into a bowl and whisk well.

Coat the Kipper Fishcakes with sesame flour © Sue Todd 2014

Coat the Kipper Fishcakes with sesame flour © Sue Todd 2014

Put some sesame flour onto a plate ready for coating the fish cakes and pour some ground flax seeds onto another plate for the outer coating.

Then dip the Kipper fishcakes in beaten egg. © Sue Todd 2014

Then dip the Kipper fishcakes in beaten egg. © Sue Todd 2014

Form the fish mixture into small rounds and coat them in the sesame flour, then put them into the egg dip and lastly into the flax seeds to give them a nice outer coating.

Coat the Kipper Fishcake in the ground flax seed. © Sue Todd 2014

Coat the Kipper Fishcake in the ground flax seed. © Sue Todd 2014

Fry in oil until brown, and then remove onto a sheet of kitchen paper to drain.


Cook the Kipper Fishcakes in oil. © Sue Todd 2014

Cook the Kipper Fishcakes in oil. © Sue Todd 2014

To Serve:

Serve on a green salad with a poached egg.

Kipper Fishcake served on a bed of green leaves with a poached egg. © Sue Todd 2014

Kipper Fishcake served on a bed of green leaves with a poached egg. © Sue Todd 2014.

Other Suggestions:

Alternatively:  Just serve with a nice salad or perhaps some sweet potato chips and a home-made tomato sauce.


Grain-free, wheat-free English Muffins

Gluten Free, Wheat Free, English Muffins © Sue Todd 2014

Gluten Free, Wheat Free, English Muffins fresh from the oven © Sue Todd 2014

I got really excited when I discovered a range of recipes online to make Paleo English Muffins.  These ones are really nice to have with marmalade or jam, but we warned I don’t think they work will with savoury things at all.  You may find them okay but to me they are too sweet to have with savoury items and I didn’t enjoy them with Eggs Benedict, however as an afternoon winter treat by the fire with home-made blackberry jam or honey …. simply scrumptious.

Most of the online recipes I’ve found use a microwave, but given I hate the microwave mine of course use the AGA instead.

Ingredients (to make 2 English Muffins):

  • 2 eggs,
  • 2 tbsp milk, (to make this dairy free too, use coconut or almond milk in place of cow’s milk)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour,
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or butter,
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder, (or 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar)
  • pinch of salt
Gluten Free, Wheat Free, English Muffins © Sue Todd 2014

Gluten Free, Wheat Free, English Muffins © Sue Todd 2014


Melt the coconut oil or butter in a small pan.

If you are using the bicarb and vinegar, mix those together well in a separate container and leave to one side for the moment.

Add the remaining ingredients (except the bicarb and vinegar) to the pan with the butter/coconut oil and mix well.  Now add the bicarb and vinegar if using and mix well again.

Split the mixture between two ramekins and bake in a hot oven for about 12 minutes, until they seem firm.  I used the baking oven in the AGA, I’m guessing you’d need to be around 200 celsius, 400 fahrenheit or gas mark 6 on a conventional cooker.  Apparently you can use a microwave and it takes about a minute and a half, which I guess is very fast if you are in a hurry, but I’d rather clear up in the kitchen while it cooks personally and then enjoy my muffins at leisure without a pile of washing up.

When cooked, loosen using a knife and turn out onto a board to cut in half.  We then toasted ours using the AGA toaster on the top of the AGA.

As I say because of the coconut flour I think these are best for having with sweeter things like jam or honey, rather than savoury items.  But they do make a fast gluten and wheat free alternative.

Gluten Free, Wheat Free, English Muffins © Sue Todd 2014

Gluten Free, Wheat Free, English Muffins © Sue Todd 2014

Cauliflower Croustade

Cauliflower Croustade - gluten and wheat free © Sue Todd 2014

Cauliflower Croustade – gluten and wheat free © Sue Todd 2014

Cauliflower is a vegetable I loathed as small child.  I can still remember cauliflower that either lacked all taste or smelt rank from overcooking, that had no texture and likely no vitamins left in it at all.  Somehow I managed to get past that and cauliflower cheese became a staple part of my diet in my late teens, which meant there was always something I felt I could eat.  As I move towards a gluten-free, wheat free diet, cauliflower consumption is on an upwards trend.  Quite apart from cauliflower cheese which remains a firm favourite in the comfort food stakes, I’m using it as a replacement for rice and as a pizza base too.

Cauliflower Croustade is another favourite.  We’ve been making this dish since the now grown up children were quite small.  I still love it, but where we first adapted it from Rose Elliot’s ‘Croustade of Mushrooms’ in  her ‘Supreme Vegetarian Cookbook’, we first made it using cauliflower to replace the mushrooms, which the boys detested, together with a cheese sauce and now latterly I’ve a gluten-free, wheat version of this dish which I love even more.

I’m looking forward to next year now and growing our very own cauliflowers here in our English country garden.

Serves 4

Ingredients – base:

  • 75g/3oz flaked almonds,
  • 75g/3oz pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, (or if you are not avoiding wheat/gluten you could use the same weight of breadcrumbs or oats – I’ve used either and sometimes a mixture of both)
  • 75g/3oz ground almonds or other finely ground nuts,
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped finely,
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed,
  • 90g/3 1/2 oz softened butter,
  • freshly ground salt and pepper,

Ingredients – cheese sauce:

  • 1 shallot finely chopped,
  • 1 small knob of butter,
  • 500ml of double cream,
  • 1 handful of grated Emmental,
  • 1 handful of grated Gruyère,
  • seasoning to taste

Ingredients –

  • 1 medium-sized cauliflower

Method – base and cauliflower:

Cauliflower Croustade - base - Gluten free and wheat free © Sue Todd 2014

Cauliflower Croustade – base – Gluten free and wheat free © Sue Todd 2014

If you are using a conventional oven, you will need to preheat it to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.

First of all blitz the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a food processor.  You are looking for fairly fine grain.  Put the blitzed seeds in a large bowl  Keep a few of the flaked almonds back but put the rest into the bow with the blitzed seeds together with the ground almonds.

Melt a knob of the butter in a small pan and fry off the onion and garlic until cooked through and golden.  Add to the bowl.  Melt the remaining butter and stir into the bowl mixing well.

Press the resulting mixture into the bottom of a ceramic baking dish, a flan dish would work well as would a shallow le cruset dish.

Bake the base for about 20 minutes.  You are looking for a golden brown, crisp finish. If you have an AGA use the baking oven.

While the base is cooking you need to par boil the cauliflower and prepare the sauce.  You don’t want to fully cook the cauliflower right through or it will be soggy and not very appetising so you want to get it to an al dente point and then drain it.

Method – cheese sauce:

You could of course just make an ordinary cheese sauce with a roux (using gluten-free flour if you need a gluten-free sauce).  However, if you want a wheat free sauce then double cream is a delicious route to take as long as you can take dairy products.

Melt a knob of butter in a small frying pan. Gently fry the shallot in the butter until its translucent.  Add your cream and heat gently.  When its hot, add the Emmental and Gruyère cheese and stir until melted.  Season to taste.

Cauliflower Croustade © Sue Todd 2014

Cauliflower Croustade © Sue Todd 2014

Method – Assemble and finish:

Once the base is cooked, lay the drained cauliflower florets over the base then cover with the cheese sauce.  Pop back in the oven to finish cooking.  You want it to brown lightly on the top, so it should take about 10-15 minutes.  Ten minutes into this cooking time, you want to pull it out quickly, and sprinkle the remaining flaked almonds over the top before popping it back in the oven.  This should mean the nuts can brown slightly but not burn.

To Serve:

I love this with a nice green salad and some fresh tomatoes.  Sausage is a good addition too.  We had this the other evening with a nice salad and venison sausages from our local butcher.


Cauliflower Croustade ready to serve. © Sue Todd 2014

Cauliflower Croustade ready to serve. © Sue Todd 2014

Sticky Lemon Chicken

Sticky lemon chicken on celeriac and parsnip rosti © Sue Todd 2014

Sticky lemon chicken on celeriac and parsnip rosti © Sue Todd 2014

I think this recipe works really well with chicken legs, because cooking the chicken on the bone adds a lovely depth of flavour.

We had ours with a celeriac and parsnip rosti and some green salad for a lovely paleo meal.


  • 1 tsp black peppercorns,
  • 1 lemon juice and zest,
  • 1 tsp mustard,
  • 1 tbsp runny honey,
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic,
  • 4 chicken legs


Grind the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar then put the crushed pepper in a large bowl with the lemon juice and zest, the mustard, honey and garlic and mix up well.  Add the chicken legs and leave to marinade for an hour in the fridge.

Transfer to a roasting tin, pouring the marinade mixture over the chicken legs, add sea salt to taste and pop in the oven to cook.  We used the roasting oven in the AGA, so you do want a hot oven.    It takes about 40 to 45 minutes to cook, turning the legs halfway through so that you get a nice sticky coating over all the chicken.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza © Sue Todd 2014

Cauliflower Crust Pizza © Sue Todd 2014

I’ve loved this since I stumbled across a recipe for it at  RecipeGirl.com(http://www.recipegirl.com/2012/01/16/cauliflower-crust-hawaiian-pizza/).  It sounds odd and if you don’t like cauliflower then you’ll be forgiven for assuming it has must be dire.  My sons refuse to believe it could be edible, but I can assure you it is wonderful and well worth trying, the resulting base is so far away from being like the stewed tasteless cauliflower I remember from my school days.  Actually thinking back to school meals I’m always surprised I ever came round to food at all, everything always seemed so gross.

Anyway back to the pizza.  The finished thing looks like pizza and tastes wonderful, while it doesn’t taste like a bread base it is really good and it doesn’t taste like you’d imagine it would either!  You don’t feel stuffed when you’ve finished eating but you are nicely satisfied.  The only thing you can’t do with it is pick it up in your hands to munch it like you would a normal bread based pizza, you’ll need to eat this one with a knife and fork.  The first time we made it Gary grated the cauliflower by hand, this takes forever and can be painful, I’d recommend using a food processor if you have one. For the crust I’ve so far used cheddar and mozzarella and they both work really well.  I think the crust could work well as the base for a gluten-free quiche that is quite delightful without leaving you feeling overly stuffed afterwards.  I’ve not tried this out yet but I think I will soon so that may figure on the blog shortly.

Ingredients: For the crust:

  • 2 cups shredded cauliflower
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic (or fresh garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


This is really down to personal choice, so far we’ve enjoyed ham and pineapple, salami with mozzarella and olives, all on top of a nice home-made tomato sauce.


Start with your cauliflower and chop it up into individual florets.  Then either grate it (I don’t recommend this route) or pulse it in a food processor until it’s in tiny pieces and looks a bit like rice.  You want small grains of cauliflower though and not a puree, a puree won’t work so well.

Put your processed cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for 8 minutes.  I hate using the microwave at all but this works so … I go with what it says to do.

Let the cauliflower grains cool and then mix up well with the other crust ingredients.

Grease an oven tray or pizza stone and shape the crust mixture into a round flattening it out carefully, so it has a traditional pizza shape to it.  Brush the top gently with olive oil.

Pop your pizza into the baking oven of the AGA for about 15 minutes.  I think this equates to about 450 degrees in a conventional oven.  If you’ve oiled the top it should begin to brown nicely.

At this point its time to add your topping of choice, before topping with cheese and putting it back in the oven to finish off for approximately five minutes.  Enjoy with salad and a nice glass of wine!

We find this makes one large pizza which we often don’t finish in one sitting.  With plenty of salad it could do four people, or two very hungry ones.