gluten free

Low-FODMAP, Gluten-free, Dairy-free Pancake Recipe – With Chocolate Orange or Goats Cheese & Walnut Fillings.

Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Pancake Day – it always comes as a surprise – consider this advance notice, it’s the 28th February – you’re welcome!

My brother is a something of a pancake king, not a crepe or an American style pancake but a slightly thicker British-style pancake. When you make pancakes you have to allow for the first pancake to go wrong. When I was younger we christened this practise pancake ‘Sporran’. No idea why, it’s one of those ‘family sayings’ that is met with blank looks from outsiders!

Classic lemon and sugar

Classic lemon and sugar

Either eat your pancakes with lemon and sugar or with one of the two filling suggestions. I’ve used two specific ingredients – Mature Goats Cheese and Clementine Jam – the supplier details are below. The recipe is very easy to double or treble. You can freeze pancakes in an airtight container with greaseproof paper between the pancakes. 

Makes 6 pancakes and a sporran.

110g gluten-free plain flour blend.

2 large eggs

280ml coconut milk

Pinch of salt

Up to 1 tbsp. sunflower oil for frying

Using a balloon whisk, whisk together the eggs and coconut milk. Sift the flour and salt into a separate bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the eggs and milk into the well and whisk until blended. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium high heat (5/6 on my hob). Put a teaspoon of oil into the pan, swirl it around then wipe the excess away with paper towel. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the pan and immediately tilt the pan, swirling the batter until it covers the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Cook until the pancake is lifting from the edges and set on top, about 1 minute. Using sleight of hand or a fish slice flip the pancake and cook for a further minute until the pancake slides free around the pan.

If you are keeping these warm, place on a plate in a warm, not hot, oven and layer the pancakes with greaseproof paper. Lightly grease the pan again, using a couple of drops of oil and the paper towel and repeat until all the batter is used up.

Cheese and Walnut Pancake-1.jpg

Goat’s Cheese and Walnut Filling

I have already waxed lyrical about the joys of St. Helen’s goat butter and cheese, not least because unlike some goats’ products it doesn’t taste of goats! Have you tried the mature version of their cheddar type cheese yet? It’s delicious! See here for details. You can use other sorts of low-FODMAP friendly mature cheese, or a chevre but I do so love the walnut/ goat’s cheese combo.

 

Per pancake

40g goats cheese

20g walnut pieces

Handful of finely chopped curly parsley.

When the pancake is cooked, cover one half in cheese and walnuts. When it is just starting to melt, slide out of the pan onto a warm plate. Scatter the parsley over the cheese and flip the other half over the filling. You can do this with a ready cooked pancake by reheating it in the pan before covering with cheese.

Clementine Jam and Chocolate Chip Filling

A pancake that tastes like Jaffa Cakes? Yes please! I get my Corsican clementine jam from French Flavour. Clementines are thankfully low-FODMAP and the rest of the ingredients are FODMAP friendly. Although untested, it’s closest relatives are marmalade or strawberry jam both of which have a portion size of 2 tbsp. You could use another orange jam or marmalade but I can’t guarantee it’ll be as Jaffa-Cakey!

Per pancake

1 tbsp. clementine jam

15g dark chocolate chips

When the pancake is cooked, spread the jam over one half and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. When the chips are just beginning to melt, fold the other half of the pancake over and slide onto a warm plate. . You can do this with a ready cooked pancake by reheating it in the pan, before adding the filling.

I have not been paid to endorse these products but I've found them and enjoyed them - I hope you do too! 

Low FODMAP servings

UHT Coconut milk – 125ml

Eggs – high in protein and do not contain carbohydrates

Flour – My flour by Dove’s Farm is a blend of rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat

Sunflower Oil – high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates

Walnuts – 30g

Cheese – 40g hard and a goat’s cheese such as chevre are high in fat so low in FODMAPs. Do check your individual cheese if you are using a different sort.

Clementine Jam – Marmalade is 2tbsp, Strawberry Jam is 2tbsp. Check your ingredients for high fodmaps.

Dark Chocolate – 30g

Roast Radishes Recipe - Low-FODMAP and a whole new shade of pink

I love the colour-way of a radish; bright fuschia globes with a crisp white interior standing out on any salad platter. But how best to eat a radish in February? I have boiled radishes in broths but they lose their colour. Roasting radishes however, brings an entirely different shade to my gastronomic colour-scheme. They become pink, so terribly, terribly pink! It’s worth mentioning they taste nice too, slightly peppery, ever so slightly crunchy and slightly sweetened by the experience. Serve with baked fish for the prettiest little plate you ever did see.  

Serves 4

250g radishes, topped and tailed

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Large pinch of sea salt flakes

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Few grinds of black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 225°C.

In a small baking tin, toss all the ingredients together. Bake for 15 minutes, turning over halfway through. If the radishes are particularly large you may need to bake for a further 5 minutes. Serve on a warm plate.

Low-FODMAP servings

Radish – FODMAP’s were not detected in this food. Eat freely and according to appetite.

Olive oil – high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates

Salt, thyme, pepper – FODMAP safe

 

 

 

Low-FODMAP Chocolate and Raspberry Pudding Cakes - gluten-free and vegan recipe.

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. I’m of the mind you shouldn’t restrict your romance and affection to one day a year. However, my daughter has other ideas and feels grand gestures should be compulsory. Therefore, I shall be demonstrating my love and affection to my family by making these low-fodmap, gluten-free, vegan, chocolatey-raspberry treats. In return they can show their love and affection to me by not bickering and doing their homework without me having to nag.

I’m using frozen raspberries as they’re readily available. You need to have 9 fairly good-looking ones for the tops but the others can be a bit battered. When using coconut cream, empty the can or tetrapak into a bowl first and beat with a spoon to thoroughly combine, before weighing out. Any unused cream can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container. Please do not panic if the tops go cracked – they’re going to be smothered in choccy topping. FODMAP friendly portion sizes at the bottom.

Squidgy

Squidgy

Makes 9 cakes

85g gluten-free self-raising flour blend

100g dark 72% chocolate, very finely chopped

85g dairy-free margarine

55g caster sugar

1 tbsp. golden syrup

125ml UHT coconut milk

36 frozen raspberries

160ml coconut cream

Pre-heat a fan oven to 150°C. Line a muffin tin with 9 paper cases and place 3 raspberries in the bottom of each case.

Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the middle. In a small pan, melt the margarine, sugar, golden syrup and milk over a low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as it warms, do not let it get hot. When it no longer feels grainy on the spoon, stir in 30g of the chocolate and remove from the heat. Keep stirring until it is all combined and melted.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the well in the flour and whisk well with a balloon whisk. Pour the batter into a jug then pour over the raspberries, splitting the mixture evenly between all 9 cases. Bake for 25 minutes. When baked, leave to cool in the tin.

Place a tightly fitting heatproof bowl on top of a pan of simmering water. Add the coconut cream and stir until it is smooth and just warm. Stir in the remaining 70g of chocolate until it just starts to melt then remove the pan from the heat. Continue stirring until it is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk for 5 minutes using an electric hand-held whisk.

Keeping the cakes in the tin, spoon the chocolate on the cakes to as near to the top of the cases as you can. Leave to cool and set. Lift the cakes out of the tin using a palette knife. I like to remove the paper cases before serving. Place a ‘good-looking’ raspberry on the top and if you’re feeling fancy, sift over a little icing sugar.

Low FODMAP servings

Dark Chocolate – 30g

Margarine – 19g

Sugar – 14g

Golden Syrup – ½ tbsp.

UHT Coconut milk – 125ml

Raspberries – 10 berries

Coconut cream – not yet tested but it is processed in the same way as coconut milk so it is likely to have a similar results. It’s high fat content means it is possible it could be even lower in FODMAPs

This is a sample of how we do Valentine's Day - Homemade Moomin Cards. Like our family sayings - I have no recollection how we started this but after 16 years we're amassing quite a collection! They no longer look like Moomins but strange creatures that find themselves in a variety of unusual situations. 

This is a sample of how we do Valentine's Day - Homemade Moomin Cards. Like our family sayings - I have no recollection how we started this but after 16 years we're amassing quite a collection! They no longer look like Moomins but strange creatures that find themselves in a variety of unusual situations. 

Buttered Fish Broth - Low-FODMAP recipe

Thankfully butter is low-FODMAP and I feel no fear about throwing it into my food at the slightest opportunity. If you are a ghee advocate then do please substitute for the butter. The benefit of this dish is that it does not require a fish stock. As the hot water reduces it almost emulsifies with the butter to turn it a delicate, primrose yellow. The flavour will intensify as it reduces. As an addendum, I have made this with a frozen fish portions putting the frozen fish straight into the water. I can’t say it has altered the flavour at all, but it has made my life easier when I’ve forgotten to defrost any fish! I’ve given you the recipe for 2 portions, as I’ve realised not all of you are feeding a family of four, but you can easily multiply the recipe. I serve this on its own for a light meal or in a bowl over rice for a main meal, (see picture for both options). If you can find some good low-FODMAP crusty bread, it works as a delicious mop for the yellowy broth. 

In light of the news of vegetable shortages, I've had to rethink this month's recipes! If you cannot find baby spinach, look for some homegrown perpetual spinach. It will need a good wash, tough stems removing and a slightly longer cooking time but will still be terrifically good for you.

Right-hand bowl is without rice, left-hand bowl is with rice

Right-hand bowl is without rice, left-hand bowl is with rice

2 portions of firm white fish such as haddock or cod each weighing between 120g-150g

700ml water

Bay leaf

2 large sprigs of thyme

8 peppercorns

40g butter

120g peeled diced carrot

70g baby leaf spinach

Small handful of basil, shredded

Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

 

If you are serving with rice, start cooking this while you prepare the broth. Warm two soup bowls.

Place the fish in a medium sized pan with the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and water. Bring to the boil, cover and turn down to a simmer for 6-7 minutes, until the fish flakes easily. It is difficult to be exact, as the cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillet.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish from the pan and place in a soup bowl. Skim out and discard the peppercorns and bay leaf from the water. Add the butter and carrots to the pan and bring to the boil, uncovered. Reduce the water by half, stirring occasionally to blend the butter. Meanwhile, flake the fish by hand, removing any skin or bones

When the broth has reduced, stir in the spinach and basil. Cover and allow to wilt for a minute. Remove from the heat. Take out the woody thyme sprigs but leave any thyme leaves. Add the flaked fish back into the pan then taste and adjust the seasoning. If you are using rice, place a portion in each bowl before sharing the broth between the bowls.

Low-FODMAP servings

Fish is high in protein and does not contain carbohydrates.

Butter is high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates.

Carrot – Eat freely and according to appetite – suggested serving 61g.

Spinach – 38g

Basmati rice – 190g (I used 150g of cooked basmati rice as a serving)

Basil – 16g

 

Hearty Adaptable Soup-Stew with Turmeric - Low-FODMAP recipe

A winter-warmer I’ve been eating at any given opportunity. Although the recipe seems like a very basic vegetable soup, the herbs and spices all have their nutritional place.

I deliberately don’t add the ‘protein of choice’ until the end. You can portion up the soup and freeze for quick, filling lunches. By adding your protein just before serving, you can ring the changes and have a different lunch each time; simply re-heat the soup-stew and stir in. We still have air-dried ham leftover from Christmas which I diced up to use for the picture. You can of course use a mixture of several proteins. I hope you will experiment and see how adaptable this soup is!

Serves 6

1 litre stock chicken, beef or vegetable stock or if you have some, bone broth.

1 tbsp. coconut oil

240g carrots, peeled and diced

220g parsnips, peeled and diced

Thyme, 5 sprigs

440g potato, peeled and diced (all rounders, such as Desiree)

2 tomatoes, each cut into 8

3 sage leaves, shredded

½ tsp. ground black pepper

¼ tsp. sea salt flakes

3 sage leaves shredded

½ tsp. turmeric

Very large handful of curly leaf parsley finely chopped (30g of leaves)

 

The following measures are given per person. Add to heat through, before serving.

70g chopped, cooked chicken, beef, ham, turkey or pork

46g well rinsed, canned lentils

42g well rinsed, canned chickpeas

40g air-dried ham

 

Warm the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium high heat. Add the carrots, parsnips and thyme sprigs, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, sage, turmeric, pepper and salt before cooking and stirring for a further 2 minutes, making sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Stir in stock, cover and bring to the boil before turning down to a simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the woody thyme stalks. The soup will be cooked now but if it needs to stand for a while, it won’t harm, the flavours will simply mellow together.

If you are freezing this, stir in the parsley and cool fully before portioning it up. If you are serving now, add your chosen protein to heat through and stir in the parsley at the last minute.

Low-FODMAP servings

Parsnip - Eat freely and according to appetite – suggested serving 62g.

Carrot – Eat freely and according to appetite – suggested serving 61g.

Potato - Eat freely and according to appetite – suggested serving 122g.

Tomato – Common, eat freely and according to appetite – suggested serving 119g.

Canned chickpeas – 42g

Canned lentils – 46g

Meat is high in protein and does not contain carbohydrates. Check ingredients of processed meats for high-FODMAP ingredients.

Low-FODMAP Cheese and 'Onion' Potato Bake - Yes, FODMAP friendly onion flavoured recipe!

ONION?! A low-FODMAP blog suggesting an onion recipe? Have I not read the guidelines?!

Well yes dear readers I know the guidelines but I also know that oil and water don’t mix. The FODMAPs in onion responsible for making our tummies miserable are oligos-fructans and they remain in the water of the onion (or garlic). By infusing oil with onions and then discarding the onions, the oligos-fructans stay with the water, in the onion, in the bin. There are many how-to videos about how to infuse oil all over the internet. (No-nonsense eHow example hereYou can certainly use the oil straight away but do take care particularly when making your own garlic oil. It is fine to use straight away but there is a risk of botulism if you store it for more than 3 days. 

Although I use shop-bought garlic infused oil regularly, onion oil is one I have to make. Imagine how thrilled I was to receive a bottle of Cobram's roasted onion infused extra virgin olive oil, bringing Australian sunshine to our British chilly midwinter. I love ‘playing’ with new ingredients, one of my little games tasted just like cheese and onion crisps – I didn’t realise that I had even missed cheese and onion crisps! Realising whatever I was going to do with the oil was now going to have to include cheese, I set to work.

Crunchy on top, squidgy in the middle.

Crunchy on top, squidgy in the middle.

You can get ahead of yourself and boil the potatoes the day before. The dish involves very little effort, 20 minutes boiling, 15 minutes baking and only 3 minutes actively assembling. I simply serve this with a Help-Yourself Salad Platter, which can be prepped while the potatoes bake. You should also know, this makes delicious leftover-lunches.

1 kg charlotte potatoes (you could also use Jersey Royals, or another waxy new potato)

240g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp. onion infused extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat a standard oven to 240°C. Boil then simmer, the whole potatoes for 15-20 minutes until they are tender to a knife-point. Drain the potatoes then stand them in a colander for 5 minutes to cool and dry.

In a large baking dish (mine measures 28cm x 19cm), put the olive oil with one tablespoon of the onion oil. Tip the dish to cover the base in the oil. Tumble the potatoes into the dish and press lightly with a potato masher until the skins have burst and there is an even layer of crushed potatoes. Sprinkle over two thirds of the cheese, the thyme, the remaining onion oil and black pepper to taste. Using your hand, turn everything over until it is thoroughly jumbled. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the top is golden and crunchy. 

Low-FODMAP servings

Potato - Eat freely and according to appetite – suggested serving 122g.

Cheddar Cheese – 40g

Olive Oil is high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates.

 

Low-FODMAP & Gluten-free Quick Christmas Pudding Recipe

Gone are the days of a Christmas pudding: heavy, rich and laden with pounds of FODMAP fruit and rum. The curious thing is that the only person mourning this loss seems to be me! The children were never keen on Christmas pudding and my husband is more a cake person.

Core of marmalade :-)

Core of marmalade :-)

This pudding is more of a sponge cake. I don’t usually cook cake in a microwave* but in this instance, when every surface in our tiny kitchen is covered in pans and detritus from the main course, I simply don’t have enough hob space to steam a pudding. You can weigh all the ingredients and cream the butter and sugar ahead of time. The final assembly should take no more than 5 minutes. My family love this with custard and the children can cheerfully use the recipe from the Our House For Tea cookbook to take charge of this task. You can see how quickly this comes together in the video here but do please ignore my eyes - I was having some sort of allergic reaction!

Please don’t be confused by the quantities of flour, butter, and sugar! As an example my eggs weighed 124g so I had 124g flour, 124g butter, 62g light muscovado sugar and 62g white sugar. 

Serves 6

40g dried cranberries

2 tbsp. orange juice (not from concentrate)

30g walnut pieces

2 medium eggs

1 tbsp. coconut milk (not canned)

3 tbsp. orange marmalade

½ tsp. mixed spice

½ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. orange extract

Extra butter for greasing the bowl

 

Weigh the eggs and have the same weight of

Soft butter

Gluten-free self-raising flour

 

Halve the weight of the eggs and have the same weight of

Light muscovado sugar

White sugar

 

Place the cranberries in a small bowl and cover with the orange juice and leave to soak. Grease a 2 pint microwave safe basin thoroughly with butter, if you have a lid, grease that too. Otherwise grease a piece of cling film to make a lid. Put the marmalade in the bottom in an even layer.

Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl using a wooden spoon at first then graduating to an electric hand whisk. When it has become fluffy, whisk in the orange extract. Sift the flour and spices together in a separate bowl.

Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Add to the butter and sugar with a tablespoon of flour. Whisk thoroughly, scraping down from the sides as necessary. Using a large metal spoon fold in the remaining flour until the mixture is combined. Lightly crush any overly large pieces of walnuts and fold those into the batter along with the cranberry and orange mix.

Place the batter mix on top of the marmalade as evenly as possible. Cover with the greased lid (or greased cling film) and microwave on high (800W Cat E oven) for 6 minutes.

Remove the lid, gently loosen the edges with a palate knife and place your serving plate on top. Turn the plate and pudding over together then remove the basin. Cover any mistakes you made removing the pudding, with holly sprigs or icing sugar.

I had some enquiries about whether it is possible to steam this pudding - it is! Butter a 2 pint pudding basin (one with a lip around the outside edge.) Butter a sheet of greaseproof paper and lay it on top of a sheet of foil. Make a one inch pleat in the middle of the sheets. Place the marmalade then the batter mix in the basin. Cover with the pleated greaseproof paper and foil and tie tightly around the edge with string. It is a good idea to make a string handle to lift it out of the pan with. Steam on a trivet in a large pan of simmering water that comes halfway up the basin. 

After steaming, remove the lid and string. Run a thin palette knife around the edge of the basin and turn out onto your serving dish. These pictures aren't nearly as good as the ones my husband takes but they prove it can be done! You won't have as much of a marmalade core as a marmalade topping. 

 

Christmas Clementine Carrots - A Low-FODMAP and very orange recipe

As much a part of Christmas as Christmas trees and stockings, a bowl of clementines becomes our table centrepiece for most of the festive season. I love it when I am able to get a box of clementines with their glossy green leaves still attached. 

Low FODMAP Christmas Clementine Carrots recipe

Thankfully low-FODMAP, a clementine can add a much needed vitamin C boost to a season peppered with colds and chills. Aside from the pleasing alliteration, this side dish provides a festive twist on my favourite combination of carrot and oranges. Carrots are another Low-FODMAP vegetable that Monash says we can 'eat freely and according to appetite' no less! Please do endeavour to find mace – it adds a delicious nutmeg-y spice to the carrots. If you can only find blade mace, grind it yourself in a pestle and mortar. You can watch a video of how to prepare this FODMAP friendly dish here.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

Prep 20 mins

500g carrots, peeled and cut into batons

2 clementines

25g butter

100ml water

1/8th tsp. ground mace

Small pinch of ground white pepper

Place the carrots in a lidded pan with 100ml of water. Wash and lightly scrub the clementines to remove any residual wax. Finely grate the zest from one clementine over the carrots and add the juice of both clementines to the pan. Add all the remaining ingredients, cover and bring to the boil. Turn down to a low simmer for 10 minutes to allow the carrots to steam but not burn the juice.

Remove the lid and turn up the heat for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid, taking care not to boil the pan dry. Serve in a warm dish. 

Sprouts, Courgette & Pancetta - Recipe to stretch your 2 Low-FODMAP sprouts at Christmas

Is there any vegetable more crucial to the Christmas dinner than the humble but unfortunately high FODMAP Brussels sprout? Even those who dislike sprouts see it as vital that there should be sprouts on the table. I am, or was, a great sprout lover but a low-FODMAP safe serving is a measly 2 sprouts. I was left with the riddle of how to make my duo of sprouts go further and seem like I was eating more. Challenge accepted.

It's important they still look sprouty.

It's important they still look sprouty.

Pancetta is a great partner to sprouts; the courgette can bulk up the greenery without overwhelming the sprout flavour. By shredding the sprouts lengthways the leaves should stay together enough to stay recognisable as sprouts. There is a joke about people who put their Christmas sprouts on to boil in October so all you have is a smelly mush. This dish is the antithesis of that meme: it takes minutes to make and can be thrown together just before serving. You can see how quickly it comes together in this video.

Serves 6 as a side dish

Prep – 15 minutes

 

1 tbsp. olive oil

140g diced pancetta

200g courgette diced into 5mm pieces

12 sprouts, sliced thinly lengthways

3 tbsp. water

30g butter

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Warm the olive oil in a wide lidded pan over a medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and fry for 3 – 3 ½ minutes, stirring often, until the fat is a golden brown and starting to render down. Throw in the sprouts and courgettes and gently turn over so as not to break up the sprouts.

Add 3 tbsp. of water cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the butter, turn over again and remove from the heat. Gently stir in the parsley and pepper. Remove to a warm serving dish.

 

 

Low-FODMAP Red Cabbage for Christmas - a deep purple recipe

Red cabbage can be difficult to navigate on the Low-FODMAP diet. Although a ‘safe’ serving of red cabbage is 80g, I would struggle with this amount. Whether it’s the fibre or an extreme reaction to the oligo-fructans, any brassica in large quantities can poleaxe me. The reaction does seem slightly less severe when the cabbage is cooked. Also, I really need that deep purple on my Christmas plate. Whether you’re having goose, turkey or ham this slightly aromatic, sweet pile of purple can lift a festive plate. You can watch a 'how to' video of this super simple FODMAP friendly recipe here

Low FODMAP Christmas Red Cabbage Recipe

Serves 6

Prep – 15 minutes

250g shredded red cabbage, (core removed, shredded in 5mm slices)

6 tbsp. (90ml) water

2 tbsp. non-brewed condiment or cider vinegar

20g butter

¼ tsp. mixed spice

2 tsp. dark muscavado sugar

Large pinch of salt flakes

Large pinch of ground white pepper

 

Rinse the red cabbage and place in a small-ish lidded pan with all the other ingredients. Cover with the lid and bring to the boil over a high heat. Immediately it has started boiled turn it down to a low simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the lid and simmer for a little longer (around 5 minutes) until the water has evaporated and the cabbage is glossy. Keep an eye on the cabbage, as it is important the pan doesn’t boil dry and burn the sugar. Remove to a warm serving dish.

 

 

Chestnut and Cranberry Stuffing Balls - Low-FODMAP, gluten-free, easy and moreish

 

Not raw, just so very pink from all those cranberries!

Not raw, just so very pink from all those cranberries!

Irrespective of what beast makes up your Christmas feast, for me the star of the show is the stuffing. My mum dutifully stuffs both ends of a turkey: forcemeat at the front and chestnut at the rear. In the days pre-Low-FODMAP, I would cheerfully forgo any meat for extra servings of stuffing. However, a life without FODMAPs and their related issues, has meant a change of heart. Also, I'm not great at getting up at stupid o’clock in the morning to get a fully stuffed turkey in the oven. Stuffing balls it is then. These will make a meal in themselves; it doesn’t have to be Christmas to whip up a plateful! Watch my 'how to' video here

As I can’t eat yeast, I use Clearspring dried rice ‘breadcrumbs’ but if you would prefer, use standard gluten-free dried breadcrumbs (check the ingredients for FODMAPs). A low-FODMAP serving of boiled chestnuts is 168g so you're well within your limits. You can cook these ahead of time: cool well and store in the fridge in a Tupperware box. Re-heat in the oven for 5 minutes after the turkey comes out. Check they are piping hot all the way through before serving.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

Prep – 15 minutes, baking 20 minutes

100g frozen cranberries

2 tbsp. water

45g butter

250g pork mince (not too lean)

90g cooked chestnuts, finely chopped

Finely grated zest of ½ lemon

Large pinch of salt flakes

1/8th tsp. ground allspice

1 heaped tbsp. finely chopped parsley

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

50g unsweetened chestnut puree

100g rice breadcrumbs

Optional ½ tsp. finely chopped thyme

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a shallow baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Gently heat the cranberries and water in a small pan over a medium heat. Cover and bring to a high simmer for 5 minutes until the berries have started to burst. Remove from the heat, add the butter and set aside to cool a little.

Mix all of the remaining ingredients together in a bowl. Start mixing with a wooden spoon and then progress to a clean hand. Add the partly cooled cranberries and continue to squish everything together until thoroughly combined. Roll into 28 marble sized balls and place on the baking sheet, spaced apart. Bake for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with some extra chopped parsley if you're feeling jazzy.

 

 

 

A Winter Warmer - Low-FODMAP Parsnip and Parsley Soup Recipe

Bacon - optional: cosy feeling - obligatory.

Bacon - optional: cosy feeling - obligatory.

As autumn winds slide into winter frosts food is as much about keeping you warm as it is about nourishment. Parsnips are a wonderful, cheap, low-FODMAP and plentiful winter staple but I don’t deny they can be awkward to cook with. Often I will roast them, or add plenty of chilli to mask a bit of the, sometimes overwhelming, flavour. This time I wanted a large soup, with enough leftovers to for me to freeze individual portions that I could use for quick lunches or teatimes. Parsley came in because I’d never before noticed the similarity between the words parsley and parsnip. The Our House For Tea approach works like that, it isn’t entirely scientific, but it works! I found the best way to cut through the rich parsnip flavour was to add a little lemon juice, more salt than I would normally use and forgo the usual chilli for lots of black pepper.

Serves 8,

Prep 10 minutes, cooking time 40 minutes

1 kg parsnips

400g carrots

2 tbsp. olive oil

Scant 1/8th tsp. asafoetida

1.2 litres chicken stock

1 tsp. salt flakes

2 large handfuls of curly parsley, very roughly chopped

6ooml almond milk

2 tsp. lemon juice

Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Optional to serve - 8 rashers cooked, crispy, smoked streaky bacon, crumbled and a few reserved parsley leaves.

 

Peel and chop the parsnips and carrots into even sized 1.5cm pieces. In a heavy based pan warm the oil over a medium high heat. Add the vegetables to the oil and fry off for 2 minutes before covering the pan and allowing the vegetables to sweat for 5 minutes. You will need to stir occasionally, to prevent the vegetables sticking.

Add the chicken stock and salt then bring up to the boil before turning down the heat, covering with a lid and simmering for 30 minutes. You may need to stir occasionally, remove from the heat when the vegetables are soft. Add the parsley, reserving a small amount to serve.

Liquidise the soup in batches, then return to the pan with the almond milk and lemon juice to warm through. Taste and add as much freshly ground black pepper as you wish – we like lots! Serve with the crumbled bacon on top, more black pepper and any remaining parsley leaves.

 

Low-FODMAP Mini Mont Blanc - Gluten-free and Christmassy

They may not look like any mountain you've seen but they certainly taste better!

They may not look like any mountain you've seen but they certainly taste better!

Chestnuts don’t always have to be roasting on an open fire at Christmas: they can be sweetened and piled into tiny, mountain-shaped meringues, with cream and chocolate, for a low-FODMAP, gluten-free pudding. You don’t have to make your own meringues. If you do, you can simply shape dollop-y nests, using a dessertspoon instead of piping, although this seems like a missed opportunity to easily impress. You can see from the video that my FODMAP friendly mini Mont Blanc require very little skill!

Most people with IBS can tolerate 60g of whipped cream. Chestnut puree is made with boiled chestnuts, this serving is well within the low-FODMAP safe serving of 168g. Do check the ingredients for any rogue FODMAPs. If you can get ready sweetened puree from Clement Faugier, please do, it’s delicious! Otherwise I have given you a recipe to make your own. Depending on the size of your egg white you may have some cream and chestnut left over - I call these a breakfast bonus.

It is easier to use a stand mixer to whisk the eggs. You can use a handheld electric whisk but it would take a very long time if you were to use a balloon whisk. When you lift the whisk out of the whisked egg white, and it holds its shape in peaks, you have reached the stiff peak stage. When the cream holds its shape briefly before flopping over, you have reached the soft peak stage.

Meringues

1 medium egg, separated.

1.5 x caster sugar to the weight of egg whites

(My egg white weighed 32g so I used 48g of caster sugar)

150g whipping cream (do not use double cream)

50g plain chocolate

Either

150g of sweetened chestnut puree 

or

150g of unsweetened chestnut puree

½ tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. icing sugar

Preheat a non-fan oven to 120°C - you will need to watch the oven temperature like a hawk. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Place a piping bag, fitted with a large rosette nozzle, upright, in a tall glass.

Ensure your bowl is dry and entirely free-from all traces of grease. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking well inbetween to make sure all the sugar is combined. Stop when the meringue is looking thick, peaky and glossy. Fill the piping bag with the meringue. When piping it is really important you squeeze from the top down and not the middle.

Pipe the meringues onto the lined baking sheet in 5cm nests: it’s easier to start piping from the middle outwards and finish with an extra swirl around the outside edge. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour.

The meringues will be ready when they lift away from the paper. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for half an hour on the baking sheet.

If you are using unsweetened puree, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle (2mm is ideal) with the now-sweetened chestnut puree. Whip the cream until it reaches a soft peak stage, fill a piping bag with the same nozzle you used to pipe the meringues.

Lay the meringues on a platter. Pipe in some chestnut puree in the base of the nests, then cover with piped cream. Top the cream with squiggles of chestnut puree in a haphazard, craggy design. Finally grate the chocolate over the tops. These will get sticky and soft as they stand so try to serve within the hour. Alternatively, make all the elements separately and assemble at the last minute.

FODMAP friendly gluten free mini mont blanc dessert recipe

Low-FODMAP Tomato Salad - (Salade de Tomates)

Low-FODMAP Tomato Salad - (Salade de Tomates)

If I was told I couldn’t eat fragrant, ripe, gloriously red tomatoes any longer I think I would cry - I would grieve for them far more than I have for any other food I have had to eliminate on the Low-FODMAP diet. You can keep your Chanel No.5; I think there is no aroma that matches the luscious, verdant smell of a greenhouse full of tomatoes in summer.

How best to celebrate the tomato? With this simple salad of course! A dish that is elegant enough to serve to others but quick enough to knock up for a snatched kitchen supper. Shush, don’t tell anyone the secret ingredient in this salad until after they have eaten. People can be peculiarly snobbish about tomato ketchup.

You can add a torn up ball of buffalo mozzarella to turn this into a more substantial lunch dish. Although I have used extra virgin olive oil here, do try using different oils such as the basil oil or Aromatic Spiced Oil for variety. Use the salad to top The Greatest Garlic Bread to make The Greatest Bruschetta Ever - divine.

I have used the Natural Grey Sea Salt with Herbs de Provence as it feels right that a tomato dish should taste of Provencal sunshine but equally the Natural Grey Sea Salt with Garden Herbs bring you flavours an English country garden. For a yeast-free version, use non-brewed condiment in place of the vinegar.

I use Chippa gluten-free Tomato Ketchup, as it is low-FODMAP, but use any good quality ketchup you can tolerate. For an entirely different smoky flavour – please use the barbeque tomato ketchup from the recipe in my book, Our House For Tea.

Serves 4 as a side dish

Prep – 5-10 minutes

4 large ripe tomatoes, at room temperature

1 tbsp. ketchup

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. white wine vinegar

½ tsp. Natural Grey Sea Salt with Herbs de Provence

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. finely chopped parsley (optional)

Slice the tomatoes horizontally into 5mm slices, cutting out the ‘stalky’ middle nearer the top. For this I use the end of a vegetable peeler. Lay the slices artistically in a shallow dish, putting the less attractive slices on the bottom. Whisk all the remaining ingredients, except the parsley, in a small bowl and pour over the slices in an even layer. If you are using the parsley, scatter it over the top. This salad benefits from standing for 10 minutes to mingle but it is not essential. 

 

Spinach Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Feta Cheese - Low-FODMAP, gluten-free and very hurried!

Looks a bit lumpy but then again, so do I!   

Looks a bit lumpy but then again, so do I!

 

This very quick recipe accompanies the very quick video ‘Spinach Pasta with Roasted Veg and Feta Cheese’. So hurried in fact I didn’t have time to write ‘vegetables’. Some teatimes are destined for lateness – children’s clubs only need to slide by ten minutes and the next thing you know it’s 7.30 and everyone’s looking famished.

 

In my book ‘Our House For Tea’ (did I mention I’ve written a book?!) I extol the virtues of pre-roasting your vegetables. Specifically useful for a very late teatime when your diet doesn’t allow you the luxury of ordering a takeaway. Without wishing to sound like an infomercial, the gluten-free spinach pasta available in my shop is the marvellous – it gives you a bit of green goodness as well as not falling apart in the boiling process. Free-from mono and diglycerides of fatty acids – what are these and when did most of the supermarkets and big brands decide it was such a good idea to change their pasta recipes to be full of them?! Sorry it’s my current bugbear – the pastas were perfectly serviceable before but there’s something about mono and diglycerides of fatty acids that the Little Miss and I cannot tolerate. Grrr.. Anyway my lovely green pasta contains nothing but rice, spinach and water.

What follows below isn’t so much of a recipe as a guide of things to throw together for a ten-minute teatime. Serve with whatever salad or vegetables you can knock up in the 5-8 minutes it takes the pasta to boil. We have ½ corncobs and lettuce.

Prep 10 minutes.

1 x 250g pack of spinach fusilli pasta

1 x 400g portion of ready roasted vegetables

1 x 200g block feta cheese (we make sure ours is sheep or goat milk)

Start boiling the pasta according to the packet. Start heating the roasted vegetables through in a microwave. Warm a serving dish. When the pasta is cooked, allow to drain and place the vegetables in the pan. Add the pasta back in then crumble in the feta. Add plenty of black pepper before transferring to the warmed serving dish. Boom, tea is served.

 

 

 

Sausage Stuffed Courgettes - Low FODMAP and gluten-free

I was recently given a very large yellow courgette – I composed it a little Low-FODMAP lullaby* and shared it on social media. The reception was mixed, from LOL’ing to accusations of sinister behaviour. Maybe I need to self-edit more. 

 

Courgette baby, funny or sinister?!

Courgette baby, funny or sinister?!

I digress, a large yellow courgette (or zucchini) is a thing of beauty and I think its FODMAP friendly nature is something to celebrate. It also provides plenty of innuendo material - vitally important at Our House For Tea. I originally made this filling for one very large courgette but realised the chances of other people laying their hands on such a magnificent beast were slim, so retested the mixture using 4 normal sized courgettes. It still worked and was still snaffled down without complaint by my teatime companions.

I buy my sausages from the butcher a whole batch at a time. They are bagged in pairs for quick freezing/defrosting and easy portion control. His special recipe is gluten-free and Low-FODMAP – I do recommend you see if your butcher can do the same for you! I also have the benefit of knowing the meat is high-welfare and locally grown. That’s a lot of plus points.

Use a teaspoon to scoop out the littler courgettes.

Use a teaspoon to scoop out the littler courgettes.

4 courgettes, yellow or green

Or a large courgette or marrow weighing around 1-1.2kg

1 tbsp. garlic oil

8 Low-FODMAP, gluten-free sausages (check ingredients)

2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, oregano or marjoram

75g finely grated cheddar-type cheese (we use mature goats cheese)^

2 tbsp. brown rice breadcrumbs

A little oil for greasing

Serves 4, Prep 15 mins, Baking 15 mins

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.

Cut the courgette/s in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds and flesh making sure you don’t go all the way through the skin (see picture). Roughly chop the flesh.

Warm the garlic oil in a wide frying pan. Empty out the sausage meat from the skins into the pan and squash until you have a minced meat texture. Brown slightly. Add the courgette flesh, tomatoes, salt and chopped herbs. Cook off for 5-8 minutes until all the courgette flesh has soften, some of the water has evaporated and it has melded together unctuously.

Place the courgette halves in a lightly greased baking tray and fill centres with the sausage mix. Sprinkle over the cheese evenly and then the rice crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes until the courgette shell is tender to a knifepoint.

If you are filling a large courgette or marrow it can take 10 minutes longer to bake, depending on the size. Keep testing the edge of the shell with a knifepoint until it slides in easily. Serve with a green salad.

*Hush little courgette, don’t be shy

You’re the prettiest massive courgette I ever did espy.

Your skin makes everything seem so sunny,

You’re Low-FODMAP so won’t hurt my tummy.

 

Pretty but not worthy of a ditty.

Pretty but not worthy of a ditty.

Low-FODMAP Meringues with Raspberry or Passion Fruit

Low-FODMAP Meringues with raspberry or passion fruit

We have a phrase at Our House For Tea, ‘is that Low-FODMAP or is it you?’ It’s shorthand for ‘Can you not eat this because it is high in FODMAPs or because it is another of your intolerances?’ Eggs and cows milk fall into the ‘me’ category but seeing as three-quarters of the household can eat eggs and half can eat cows milk, it would be churlish of me to deprive them of meringuey treats. Most people with IBS can tolerate 60g of whipped cream. Meringues are terrifically quick to prep but the cooking time is a little longer. I would plead with you to try making your own but if you really can’t be faffed, simply use the cream filling on shop-bought meringues.

These little meringues have a cream filling, flavoured with either Passion Fruit or Raspberry Syrup. If you are in the mood to impress your guests, make half of the meringues passion fruit flavoured and half raspberry flavoured. For accuracy's sake, I have given the cream measure in grams as opposed to ml.

You will need an electric hand whisk or stand mixer with whisk attachment fitted. When you lift the whisk out of the whisked egg white, and it holds its shape in peaks, you have reached the stiff peak stage. When the cream holds its shape briefly before flopping over, you have reached the soft peak stage.

Serves 4 – makes 8 meringue sandwiches

Prep –  15 minutes + 1 hour baking. 

 

1 medium egg, separated.

1.5 x caster sugar to the weight of egg whites

(My egg white weighed 34g so I used 51g of caster sugar)

120g whipping cream (do not use double cream)

 

For passion fruit flavour

1 tsp. Passion fruit syrup

1 flesh of 1 Passion Fruit

For raspberry flavour

1 tsp. Raspberry syrup

2 tsp. freeze-dried raspberry pieces

 

Preheat a non-fan oven to 120°C - you will need to watch the oven temperature like a hawk. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.

Ensure your bowl is dry and entirely free-from all traces of grease. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking well inbetween to make sure all the sugar is combined. Stop when the meringue is looking thick, peaky and glossy.

Spoon the meringue onto the baking sheet in 16 well spaced, dessertspoon sized, peaky dollops or pipe into 16 smarter rosettes. Either way, the meringues should be between 4.5cm – 5cm in diameter. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour.

The meringues will be ready when they lift away from the paper. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for half an hour on the baking sheet.

Whip the cream until it reaches the soft peak stage, add the syrup and briefly whisk again, taking care not to over-whip and split the cream.

Sandwich the meringues together with a very heaped teaspoon of cream. Scatter the cream with either passion fruit pulp or the raspberry pieces.

 

Aromatic Spiced Prawns - low-FODMAP, gluten-free and quick!

Aromatic Spiced Prawns - low-FODMAP, gluten-free and quick!

Aromatic Spiced Prawns and noodles, low-FODMAP

Two things I have found whilst on my Low-FODMAP, gluten-free adventures – a ridiculously restrictive diet means a lot of time spent cooking everything from scratch: between childcare and work, we don’t seem to have a lot of time. It’s an impossible equation.

I do find it frustrating when ‘quick and easy’ recipes include stir-fries and then list an overwhelming number of vegetables that need chopping: chopping carrots into matchstick-sized pieces can take an eternity. Bagged, ready-chopped stir-fry mixes often contain a few brown ends on the vegetables or have a curiously dried-out-yet-soggy texture. The exception to the ready-prepped veg rule seems to be ready-spiralised courgette, also know as ‘zoodles’ (zucchini noodles) or ‘courgetti’. I don’t have the space to store a spiraliser but if you do, then please use your own! In my book, Our House For Tea, I would put this under the ‘Making An Effort’ chapter – not because of the time spent in preparation but because you need to remember to buy the courgette noodles!

I’m always grateful to find a shortcut – the shortcut for this recipe comes via Aromatic Spiced Oil, next time maybe you could try garlic oil? If you can't buy a ready made oil, I'll give you the recipe for that too at the end. If you would like a more carb-heavy meal, serve over some rice-noodles that cook in minutes.

 

Serves 2 as a light meal

Prep – 10 minutes