Tag Archives: Grain Free

Chicken and Pineapple Kebabs on Cauliflower Rice. © Sue Todd 2017

Chicken and Pineapple Kebabs

Gary made these for me this week and it was a great hit, so much so we have it on the menu again this week.   I know some people hate the idea of fruit and meat together but I rather like it.  The chicken and pineapple work really well together and you get a really good dose of fruit and veggies with this one, especially if you opt for cauliflower rice.

What more can I say, give it a whirl and let me know what you think?

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

  • 150g ketchup (home-made best of course but ….)
  • 100ml  white wine vinegar
  • 250ml Water
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to season to taste
  • Splash of oil to fry the onion off.

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts,
  • 1 red onion,
  • 8 mushrooms
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 a fresh pineapple

Method – BBQ Sauce:

Chop the onion finely.

Take a heavy based pan and put a splash of oil in, put on the heat and then fry the onion until it’s transparent.   Add the wet ingredients then the dry ingredients and stir well.  Simmer for 20 minutes stirring from time to time until the sauce has reduced and is thick.

Set to one side while you prepare the chicken.

Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and drop into the sauce.  Leave to marinate for two hours.

Method – Kebabs

If you are using a conventional oven pre-heat to 200C/Gas 6.

Chop the onion, pepper, pineapple and pepper in into large chunks, for threading onto the skewers.

Skewer the chicken with pieces of red onion, mushroom, Pineapple and red pepper, taking each in turn over 4 skewers (2 per person).

Lay the skewers out on a flat baking try and cover with the remaining BBQ sauce.

Place in the roasting oven of the AGA ( or for conventional ovens use 200C/Gas 6) until the chicken is cooked through.

To Serve (serves 2):

Serve on a bed of rice or cauliflower rice.  I love cauliflower rice and am avoiding grains again at the moment so that was what I went for.

You could use other meats or even fish in this.

 

 

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)

Method:

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Method:

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.

Variations:

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.

Home-made Burgers

We’ve had a spate of burger making recently.  I can’t remember the last time we bought an actual burger, it would be some considerable time ago and lately the only ones we’ve bought are the venison ones our local butcher makes on the premises.   Burgers are one of our few ‘fast foods’ not that any of our food is very fast really.  We both believe in food being enjoyed and savoured and that includes the making time too, so I’d guess we’re more in the ‘slow food’ bracket.

Ideally we’d start from scratch with beef and put it through the mincer to get minced beef, because we prefer to know exactly what is going in to our food.  But if you want to use ready bought mince then do so.

We used oats in this recipe instead of breadcrumbs to help bring the burger together, however, a handful of seeds such as pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds blitzed in the food processor to break them down slightly could work just as well and give you a grain free burger.

Ingredients

  • 500gm of lean minced steak,
  • 2 finely chopped shallots,
  • 1 egg,
  • Small pinch of thyme,
  • Pinch of Rosemary,
  • Salt and black pepper to taste,
  • Chilli flakes, as required to taste,
  • handful of rolled oats,
  • smaller handful of ground almonds,
  • Olive oil to fry,

Method:

Mix everything together in a large bowl and then divide into two, four or even six burgers, depending on how hungry or how big you like your burgers.

If you have a mincer,  you can whack the whole lot through a mincer  after mixing it together.  This will improve the consistency of the burger but it’s not essential.

Now either fry in olive oil until cooked, or alternatively pop them on a baking oven and stick them in a hot oven.  We’d use the roasting oven on the AGA, not entirely sure what this is for a conventional oven but somewhere around 240/475 or Gas 8.

To serve:

  • muffins/breadbuns/portobello mushrooms – to serve up the burger in
  • suggestions as given below for three slightly different stacks.

Serve with home made chips and a big napkin because you’re going to get messy.  To produce a primal/paleo version omit the  muffins for serving and use portobello mushrooms instead. The mushroom version is lovely and next time we have them that way I’ll take a photograph.

Variations:

Stack 1

  • Toasted English Muffin,
  • Mayonnaise,
  • Little Gem Lettuce,
  • Burger
  • More Little Gem Lettuce
  • Home Made Plum Chutney

 

Stack 1 - Home made Burger © Gary Todd 2014

Stack 1 – Home made Burger © Gary Todd 2014

Stack 2

  • Toasted English Muffin
  • Mayonnaise,
  • Slice of Air dried Beef,
  • Pommery whole grain mustard,
  • Little Gem Lettuce,
  • Burger,
  • Caramelised red peppers, red onion and mushrooms,
  • Fresh Plum Tomato
  • Mayonnaise,
  • Toasted English Muffin
Home-made Burger: Stack 2 © Gary Todd 2014

Home-made Burger: Stack 2 © Gary Todd 2014

Stack 3.

  • Toasted English Muffin,
  • Mayonnaise,
  • Slice of Air dried Beef,
  • Pommery whole grain mustard,
  • Little Gem Lettuce,
  • Burger,
  • Caramelised red peppers, red onion and mushrooms,
  • Rasher of locally smoked Bacon,
  • Mayonnaise,
  • Toasted English Muffin
Home-made Burger - Stack 3 © Gary Todd 2014

Home-made Burger – Stack 3 © Gary Todd 2014

Sugar Free Sweet Treats

Sugar free, grain & gluten free, sweet treats © Sue Todd 2014

Sugar free, grain & gluten free sweet treats © Sue Todd 2014

These are really easy to make, have no added sugar whatsoever and taste fantastic.  Wholesome, good for you and delicious, what more can you ask.  The other wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can just swap ingredients out depending on what you have, for instance while I’ve used cherries, apricots, apple and pecans, you could just as easily use dates or any other dried fruit and walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds, just make sure you have the same quantities of dried fruits or nuts and it works.

If you want to omit nuts for nut allergy just replace the nuts with the same quantity of extra dried fruit, and use more coconut oil in place of the peanut butter.

This would be good to make with children but do be careful with the food processing though. They’d also make a nice gift.

Ingredients:

  • 50g dried cherries (could be sour cherries or glace cherries both will work),
  • 50g dried apricots (ready to eat),
  • 25g dried apple,
  • 25g pecans,
  • 1 tsp coconut oil,
  • 2 tsp peanut butter,
  • up to 50g desiccated coconut to coat the treats

Method:

Put your chosen dried fruits/nuts into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  You don’t want  a purée, but you do want it to be slightly on the sticky side.

Tip the chopped fruits and nuts into a bowl, add the peanut butter and coconut oil and mix with a spoon or your hands.  Children will enjoy mixing this up with their hands.

Shape the mix into small balls.  The number you will get will depend on the size you go for.  With my first batch I only got about 8, which didn’t seem many but they were larger than the average walnut.  With the next batch I got a good deal more.

Then roll your treats in the coconut to coat them.

Store in an airtight container, if you can keep them!  And that’s the challenge, they are wonderfully moreish.

Sweet Treats © Sue Todd 2014

Sweet Treats © Sue Todd 2014

Variations: 

  • You could use sesame seeds instead of the coconut to coat these.
  • Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds could replace the nuts.
  • Add grated orange rind to give some extra flavour – this is really nice