You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘gluten-free’ tag.
We’re just back from a magical 3 days in Rome! Bella! We stayed in central Rome, just next to the Opera House and spent our days walking around, looking at the amazing sights that the city offers. We saw the majestic Colosseum, where gladiators fought to the death and prisoners were thrown in with lions and other wild beasts….
We went to the Forum, an incredible sprawl of ruins dating back to 700 BC – which were once marble-covered temples, forums and other awe-inspiring buildings.
We also went to the Pantheon – the temple (now a church) built by Emperor Hadrian in 120AD. And then walked on to the beautiful Trevi Fountain. (Zoë has now been telling everyone at school, apparently, about the magic wishing well that we threw coins and wishes into!)
We popped into a couple of churches – the Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesci and the Chiesa di Sant’Agostino – where there are famous Caravaggio paintings.
And on our final day, we took the metro to the awe-inspiring St Peter’s Basilico, and the Vatican Museums. One of the great things about going in January (apart from the bargain price!) is the lack of crowds. We didn’t have to queue and we wandered around, soaking up the history, the opulence and the incredible store of treasures within. I knew that there were many paintings, statues and works of art within the Vatican but I was still astounded. The floors, walls and ceilings are literally covered. There are ancient Egyptian relics, ancient Greek and Roman pieces (including the famous statue, Laocoön), Renaissance masterpieces (including the iconic Sistine Chapel which was utterly beautiful) and many, many more – right up to works by Matisse, Chagall and Bacon.
And throughout all of this, I tried to find gluten-free food. Buoyed by my success in finding gluten-free ingredients in Tuscany, I arrived in Rome thinking it would be easy. On the way to our hotel from the airport, we passed a restaurant advertising gluten-free pasta and I thought, ‘oh, great, there are going to be lots of restaurants like this’. But easy it certainly wasn’t! In fact, I found it very hard to track down anything gluten-free – and then the problem was compounded by the fact that there seemed to be cheese in everything! We were served cheese (in various shapes and sizes) for breakfast and, as I looked for something to eat for lunch and for dinner, I was overwhelmed by the frequency of cheese – it seemed to be a main staple of the Roman’s diet. As Peter and Zoë munched through pizzas and sandwiches all full of the stuff (and ice creams), I hunted and hunted for something I could eat. I saw a couple of cakes in one shop – but in the end, I resorted to the fail-safe thing to do in Italy – go to the Farmacia. Fantastico! There I found a brilliant selection of very good gluten-free goodies – by Schär – especially a really good Foccaccia.
We went out for dinner in the evenings. Both the restaurants we went to on the first and second night had no gluten-free options, so I had the usual safe option of chicken and roast potatoes, and then lamb and the same old roast potatoes. By the third night, I’d given up trying. We tried to find a restaurant that had been recommended to us, but it was closed. So we wandered around and ended up in a bar/restaurant called Mimi & Coco, just because it looked so inviting. We had some drinks, including the wonderful green apple juice that they serve in Italy and then they came to take our food orders. I started to order another potato-orientated dish and they mentioned that they had gluten-free pasta. YAY!! They brought a delicious Penne alla Amatriciana and I sat drinking organic wine and savouring every mouthful of the pasta – with delicious crispy bacon and a lovely, slightly fiery tomato sauce. Finally I found what I had been looking for! You’ll find Mimi & Coco near to Piazza Navona on Via del Governo Vecchio, 72 00186 Roma, Italia.
This is a wonderfully robust soup – with a great mixture of flavours from the sweet, earthy chestnuts, the salty pancetta and the aromatic rosemary. It makes a lovely lunch-time soup for 4 – or a evening bowl for 2. And if your toddler can tolerate nuts, it’s guaranteed to be a hit with him or her.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to forage or get some fresh chestnuts, all good. Simply cut a cross in the top of them and roast in the oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for about 10 minutes. Then just peel and use. Or, of course, you can use the vacuum-packed chestnuts you can buy in packets. With these you just soak the packets in boiling water for a minute or so, before opening.
gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, soya-free, egg-free, seed-free, citrus-free
Preparation time 5 minutes Cooking time 20 minutes Serves 4
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200g/7oz pancetta
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 celery stalk, sliced
- ½ leek, sliced
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
- 400g/14oz cooked chestnuts
- 1.2l/42fl oz/scant 5 cups stock made with gluten- and dairy-free stock powder
- sea salt (optional as the pancetta is already salty) and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat until hot. Add the pancetta and fry for 5–6 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to one side.
- Put the onion in the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Fry for 2–3 minutes, stirring frequently, until just starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring all the time. Add the carrot, celery and leek and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, until the leek starts to turn translucent. Stir in the rosemary and chestnuts and cook for a further 5 minutes until the carrot is starting to soften. Add the cooked pancetta and pour in the stock. Season lightly, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.
- Using a immersion blender or blender, whiz the mixture to make a slightly textured soup. Serve hot.
Brixton is on the up. After years of being overlooked by foodies, Brixton Village is turning it into a foodie destination. And what’s really brilliant, is that there’s a great choice of places to eat for gluten-free and dairy-free foodies. Yep life just gets better and better!
Step inside the Village and, as you weave around the crowds, the thing that hits you is just how friendly the whole place is. All the tiny eateries have tables outside, so people sit in the corridors of the arcade (wrapped in blankets when it gets chilly) chatting, drinking and eating – and sometimes dancing to the live music that pops up on Thursday evenings. You really do feel like you’ve stepped into another world – miles away from the humdrum of your routine life. I’ve taken Zoë down there a few times at the weekend and invariably she’s bumped into someone she knows (her network of friends is growing at an impressive pace for a four-year old!) even though we live a 30-minute bus journey away. Pleading eyes then lock into mine and all plans are thrown in the air while she eats ice cream or cupcakes with her friends.
The first place we tried during the summer was the WAGfree Bakery, Deli and Cafe. I ordered the Fish and Chips as I’d heard the batter was impressive. And impressive it really was – light and crunchy and really delicious. Zoë had an egg and bacon muffin and, while the bacon was overcooked, the bap was delicious. It held together well and had a lovely taste.
WAGfree also sell their some of their products to other stores, including a burger bun to Honest Burgers. This weekend Zoë came with me to try their gluten-free burgers. The staff literally couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful. There was a 30-minute wait, so they promised to call when a table came free, and they did. When we arrived back, they then went out of their way to get us a table inside as Zoë was cold. The real downfall, though, is that they can’t promise dairy-free for the meat burgers as all the burgers (with cheese toppings in most cases) are cooked on the same small hot plate. For me, even a small amount of cheese can make me sick, so I can’t risk that sort of contamination. The waitress was lovely about it though – she made me aware of the issue and then said that the vegetarian burger would be fine as they are cooked in the chip fryer, not on the hot plate. So I had a Cauliflower and Sweetcorn Fritter (without the Cucumber Yogurt), along with their Chips with Rosemary Salt. It was good and the WAGfree bun was really good. Again, it held together well and had a really nice taste.
Slightly further afield – on Coldharbour Lane – is the wonderful Ms Cupcake. London’s first entirely vegan bakery, its mantra is “Everybody deserves great cake. It is our job to create indulgent and decadent cakes for you regardless of what you can, and cannot eat.” Not surprisingly, as well as making vegan cupcakes, they also do sugar-free ones (on request) and gluten-free. The base cakes are lovely, which is always impressive if they’re made without eggs. I met Ms Cupcake a while ago and she told me that the secret was all in the way that they’re mixed. I’m longing to know more!
But the revelation for me was Brixton Village in the evening. I met up with a friend for drinks and we sat, wrapped up in blankets, loving the atmosphere. As we sipped wine, we watched a mother dance with her young daughter to the live music and other people joining in. This just isn’t what happens in Britain! It felt very relaxed, very lovely and huge fun. Next time Zoë’s awake late, I’ll bring her down for a dance…
This recipe comes from Sophie Michell’s gorgeous new book, Love Good Food, and is based on a dish that Sophie tried when she was in Malaysia. Malaysian food is definitely the unsung culinary hero of Asia. It’s uniquely diverse cuisine combines the original Malay cooking style along with cooking techniques and ingredients from China, India, Portugal and Holland, with Thai and Indonesian influences. The huge variety of cuisines creates a delectable mix of regional specialities and iconic dishes.
Probably the most immediately-noticeable aspect of Malaysian food is the use of an unusual mix of spices. The Chinese, Indian and Portugese spice traders brought in spices like cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, tamarind and turmeric and these are used with great effect in the dishes. Here Sophie has mixed turmeric into the pancake mixture, giving the batter a beautiful yellow colour, along with a slightly tart, peppery flavour. Mixed in with the rice flour, the creamy, sweet coconut milk and the light-onion flavour from the chive, this is a really delicious pancake mixture.
What’s more, this recipe is not only gluten-free and dairy-free but it’s egg-free. Yep – pancakes you can make without having to use eggs or egg substitutes. Brilliant! You can also use strips of pork or prawns and peanuts instead of the crab. Sophie finishes the dish off with some oyster sauce but this contains gluten, so you could simply leave it as it is, or perhaps try a squeeze of lime if you like.
gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, egg-free, seed-free
Serves 4 Preparation time 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes resting time Cooking time 35 minutes
- 1–2 tsp groundnut oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2.5cm/1in piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 300g/10½oz picked cooked white crab meat
- 1 tsp tamari soy sauce
- 175g/6oz/heaped 1 cup rice flour
- 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup coconut milk, plus extra as needed
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp snipped chives, plus extra for sprinkling
- a pinch of sea salt
- To make the pancake batter, whisk together the rice flour, coconut milk, turmeric, chives and sea salt in a bowl with 125ml/4fl oz/½ cup water until thoroughly combined to make a smooth batter, adding more coconut and water if needed. Cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- To cook the pancakes, heat a frying pan with a base about 20cm/8in in diameter over a medium-high heat. Add some of the groundnut oil, and, when it is hot, pour in one-quarter of the pancake batter. Tilt the pan to spread the batter into a thin, lacy layer, then cook the pancake for 5 minutes until the batter is set and the edges are starting to turn golden. Flip the pancake over and cook for a further 2–3 minutes until golden. Turn the pancake out onto a heatproof serving plate and keep warm while you cook the remaining 3 pancakes, adding more oil to the pan as required.
- Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the ginger and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the crab meat and tamari soy sauce and stir-fry until heated through. Divide the crab mixture onto the pancakes and roll them up. Serve immediately, sprinkled with chives.
Zoe’s favourite part of the kitchen is the cupboard where the dried fruit and nuts are stored (unless there’s some cake or cupcakes in the kitchen, in which case her focus switches immediately…) Her favourites at the moment are dried cherries and coconut so when she wanted to make pancakes, she pulled those out of the cupboard. We soaked the cherries for a little while and toasted the coconut, but if you’re in a rush, you don’t need to do that. When they were made, we drizzled honey over the pancakes – mountain honey that we’d brought back from Thollon, France – delicious!
gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free
Makes: 4–6 Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus at least 10 minutes resting Cooking time 20 minutes
- 3 large eggs
- 50g/1¾oz/heaped ¼ cup rice flour
- 25g/1oz/scant ¼ cup gram flour
- 25g/1oz/scant ¼ cup maize flour
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 300ml/10½fl oz/scant 1¼ cups soya milk or dairy-free milk, plus extra if needed
- 30–40g/1–1½oz dairy-free margarine
- 75g/2½oz/heaped ½ cup unsweetened dried cherries
- 50g/1¾oz/1 cup coconut flakes, to serve
- clear honey, to serve
- Put the dried cherries in a bowl and pour the soya milk over. Leave to soak for as long as you can – up to 30 minutes. Strain through a seive into a bowl and leave to one side, and reserve the soya milk.
- Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl, then sift in the flours, gluten-free baking powder and salt and stir together. Slowly beat in the soya milk, gradually drawing in the flours to make a smooth batter. Cover and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes at room temperature or up to 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Add the coconut flakes and dry-fry, stirring continuously, for 2–3 minutes until just beginning to brown. Remove from the pan and leave to one side.
- Add a little of the dairy-free margarine to the pan and heat until melted, making sure it covers the base of the pan. Using a small cup, pour a cup of the batter into the pan to form a circle. Sprinkle a small handful of the cherries over the top, distributing them evenly, and cook for 2–3 minutes or until the base of the pancake is golden. Using a large spatula, flip it over and cook for another 1–2 minutes until golden.
- Repeat with the remaining batter to make 4–6 pancakes, melting more margarine in the pan as needed and adding a little more soya milk if the batter seems too thick. Stack the pancakes between sheets of baking parchment to prevent them from sticking together and to keep them warm. Scatter coconut flakes over the top, drizzle with honey and serve hot.
This delicious crumble is made with gluten-free oats. Recently it was discovered that oats don’t actually contain gluten – but because they are generally produced and packaged alongside other gluten products, especially wheat, they often have a certain amount of gluten in them. Great news! I’ve always loved oats but have definitely experienced reactions from them in the past. But Coeliac UK have confirmed that oats are naturally gluten-free, within their parameters of less than 2 parts in 1 million (although not all organizations agree). For me, the gluten-free oats you can now get are definitely ok, and I don’t get any reactions. My favourites are made by Nairns and you can find them in most supermarkets and health stores.
This is a great recipe for everyone, especially little ones. I’ve made the crumble with honey and apple juice instead of sugar, so it won’t cause a ‘sugar hit’. Oats are one of the best slow-release carbohydrates so they helps concentration and brain function. Hazelnuts are particularly rich in omega-9 fatty acid, also known as oleic acid, which boosts the immune system. And the humble apple is a brilliant fruit. High in antioxidants, including vitamins B3, C and beta-carotene, it’s also packed full of a soluble fibre called pectin, which helps to regulate your digestion. Make sure you use lovely ripe blackberries, preferably picked fresh on a leisurely Sunday afternoon…
gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, soya-free, egg-free, seed-free
Serves 4 Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 35 minutes
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
- 225g/8oz/scant 2 cups blackberries
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp apple juice
- 60g/2¼oz/½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
- 175g/6oz/2 cups gluten-free porridge oats
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp apple juice
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Put the apples and blackberries in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with the lemon zest and juice. Drizzle over the honey and apple juice.
- Mix together the hazelnuts, oats, oil and apple juice, then spoon the mixture over the fruit and press down gently.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown, then serve.
Zoe loves nori which is great because it’s amazingly good for you. Like other sea vegetables, it is high in B vitamins, beta-carotene, calcium, iron and zinc, so it is brilliant at boosting your immune system. And it’s particularly high in vitamin A which helps prevent colds and sore throats, as well as maintaining healthy skin. She’ll eat the sheets of nori by themselves (and I’m inwardly cheering as she nibbles all those fantastic nutrients!) and is particularly keen on having it as sushi, especially with this avocado/mayonnaise filling.
I used to make sushi the more standard way, by rolling the nori over the filling and then cutting each roll into pieces. But then Renée Elliott showed me how easy hand rolls are to make – in fact, you can put all the ingredients on the table and let everyone (kids included) make their own rolls. This recipe is adapted from Renée’s latest book, Me, You & the Kids, Too – you can use any combination of veggies – we used the cucumber and carrots we had in the fridge this time (and added extra avocado), instead of the asparagus, sprouts and beetroot in Renée’s recipe.
The additional bonus about this recipe (like all the recipes in Me, You & the Kids Too) is that you can also make nutrient-dense purées for your baby, from this recipe. There’s no need for additional ingredients, you just take from the main amount. And bingo – a meal that feeds all. However, as Zoe told me this morning (on her first day at nursery/school), she’s not my baby any longer. So no more purées for her… Sob!
gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, soya-free, nut-free, seed-free
Makes: 20 Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 40 minutes cooking the brown sushi rice Cooking time: 5 minutes
- 10 asparagus, woody ends removed and halved
- 40 green beans, trimmed
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 200g/7oz/1 cup brown sushi rice or brown short grain rice
- 10 nori sheets, halved lengthways
- 12 tbsp wasabi (optional)
- 1 beetroot, grated
- 50g/134oz sprouts such as alfalfa, broccoli or mung (optional)
For the sauce:
- 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- Put the rice and 455ml/16fl oz/scant 2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes until the rice is just cooked but still retains a slight bite.
- Put the asparagus and green beans in a steamer and steam, covered, for 5 minutes until the vegetables are cooked but still slightly crunchy. Add the salt to the cooked brown sushi rice and mix well.
- To make the sauce, mix together the avocados and mayonnaise in a bowl until smooth.
- To make a hand roll, spread 1 tablespoon of the sauce diagonally down the centre of one nori sheet, then add a little wasabi on top, if using. Put 1 tablespoon of the cooked brown sushi rice, 1 piece of asparagus, 2 green beans and 1 tablespoon each of the beetroot and sprouts, if using, on top of the sauce. Take the nori sheet in your hand and roll into a cone shape. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and serve.
Green bean, Avocado & Rice Purée for a 6–9 month old baby
- Put 4 tablespoons of the cooked brown sushi rice and 135ml/4½fl oz/generous ½ cup boiling water in a saucepan and simmer, covered, over a low heat for 10 minutes. Add 4 green beans and cook, covered, for a further 10 minutes until completely soft. Transfer to a blender and add 2 tablespoons of the avocado and 3 tablespoons water. Blend for 30 seconds, adding extra water 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth. Serve warm.
Vegetables, Avocado, Sprouts, Beetroot & Rice for a 6–9 month old baby
- Put 4 tablespoons of the cooked brown sushi rice and 135ml/4½fl oz/generous ½ cup boiling water in a saucepan and simmer, covered, over a low heat for 10 minutes. Add 2 green beans and 1 asparagus piece and cook for a further 10 minutes until completely soft. Transfer to a blender and add 2 tablespoons of the avocado, 1 tablespoon each of the beetroot and sprouts, if using, and 3 tablespoons water. Pulse for 15 seconds, adding extra water 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture forms a lumpy purée. Serve warm.
Most people think of buckwheat pancakes when they think of buckwheat – made with buckwheat flour. But the grain itself (totally gluten-free) is a fantastic addition to your storecupboard. It is highly nutritious (full of magnesium, B-vitamins, rutin which helps circulation and all eight essential amino acids) and in particular it’s great in terms of your blood-sugar balance. Don’t be put off by the nutty taste of buckwheat, though. As this recipe shows, it can be delicious if you mix it with strong, fresh flavours. Here I’ve added sweet roasted veggies, and fresh, tangy lemon and mint. Serve this as a main course, with a salad, for a delicious dinner – and it makes a brilliant meal for your lunchbox, too.
gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, nut-free, seed-free, egg-free
Serves 4 Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 20 minutes
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 aubergines, diced
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
- 1 onion, cut into 16 pieces
- 200g/7oz buckwheat
- 240g/8½oz/scant 2¼ cups tinned butter beans, drained and rinsed
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 large handful chopped mint leaves
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Put the aubergine and peppers onto 3 separate baking trays and drizzle 2½ tablespoons of oil over. Bake for 10 minutes, then add the onion and drizzle ½ tablespoon of oil over. Bake for a further 10 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and transfer to a large serving dish.
- Meanwhile, wash the buckwheat thoroughly, put in a saucepan and pour over 400ml/14fl oz/scant 1⅔ cups cold water. Bring to the boil over a high heat then turn the heat down to low and leave to simmer for about 6 minutes until softened, scimming off the scum with a flat metal spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for 10–15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the buckwheat is soft, but not mushy. Rinse thoroughly with boiling water and transfer to the serving dish with the roasted vegetables.
- In a small jug, mix together the lemon juice and the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and season lightly. Add the butter beans to the serving dish and pour over the dressing. Mix thoroughly, then add the mint leaves and mix gently. Serve either warm or cold.
Another year, another trip to Wincanton a couple of months ago to join the judges for the Great Taste Awards judging… I really enjoyed going to the tastings the previous two years so I set off with high hopes. But this year it wasn’t nearly so much fun. In truth, during the day we tried a lot of entries that really didn’t taste great. It seems to me that this year, as the Awards have become recognised as the standard of authority both within the food industry and with consumers, more and more mass-produced products are being entered. But it’s very clear in the blind-tastings which foods are what the Great Taste Awards are all about – great quality, made with care, fine ingredients and excellent methods – and which ones are not!
We also noticed that a lot of the products seemed to have lovely descriptions, such as ‘finest quality natural ingredients’, ‘family recipe passed down through generations’ or even ‘secret bespoke’ recipe – but when we tasted the products, they didn’t live up to the marketing descriptions. And there were some lovely-sounding ingredients within some of the products, such as Madagascan vanilla or smokey charred peppers. But often these ingredients didn’t seem to be anything but a marketing ploy.
The thing that really annoyed me, though, was that we tasted various “gluten-free” products that are obviously marketing ploys as well. There was a soup that had no clear reason to be marketed as a gluten-free soup, with indistinct flavours and really nothing to commend it. (It would be lovely to get delicious gluten-free soups that are full of flavour, from the chiller cabinet, though.) And then we tasted some gluten-free chocolates that had seriously misleading descriptions – and really weren’t good. Some mass-produced chocolates do contain traces of gluten to help bind them but I’m feeling annoyed at how gluten-free people are being targeted so cynically. It would be great to get delicious gluten-free chocolate, but then the good stuff normally is. What would be better, though, is if we could get more dairy-free and gluten-free chocolates (like some of the delicious ones out there, including the awesome Booja Booja ones).
As a community of people (whether coeliac, intolerant, allergic or avoiding certain things out of a lifestyle choice) we need to make it clear to those in the food trade that we are a) not dumb b) want to buy delicious food c) also want to buy food that will help us nutritionally. I’m certainly not going to buy products that feel like they are arrogant marketing ploys.
Free-from products are judged along with all the other entries, so it’s pot luck how many turn up on the day I’m judging – and this year there were hardly any on my day. But suddenly, within the tastings, there was one very nice gluten-free product. One that is a lovely idea, tasted really good and would be a great ingredient to have in your storecupboard to use as you cook. It was the Linwood’s blend of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. What I loved about it was that the blend was very clever – pumpkin seeds can often taste too strong, but the overall taste of this blend was really good. And this is the sort of thing that you could use to add some excellent nutrients into your daily meals, such as into smoothies, soups, stir-frys, casseroles and stews, as well as in your baking. This was a wonderful product – and it definitely deserved the star it was given. Congratulations, Linwoods!
This one is a super easy version of a risotto. Forget standing at the hob stirring – all you do is fry the leeks and garlic, steam the beans, add all the ingredients and put it in the oven to cook. Brilliant! The creaminess of the risotto comes not from patient, methodical stirring but from adding soya cream cheese in at the end. This makes a deliciously fresh yet comforting meal that makes the most of summer veggies and also stars the superfood, edamame.
Edamame beans are young soya beans (which grow in pods.) They are a fantastic source of protein and also of iron and fibre, and they also contain vitamins A and C, folic acid, calcium and omega-3. In this recipe there’s also mint, which is well known for its soothing effects on the gut. It is particularly good for relieving wind, calming indigestion and regulating bowel movements, which will help many people with food intolerances, and can also help to ease muscle spasms that are associated with IBS.
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free
Serves 4 Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 35 minutes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 leeks, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 350g/12oz/1⅔ cup risotto rice
- 800ml/28fl oz/scant 3¼ cups gluten-free and dairy-free vegetable stock
- 300ml/10½fl oz/scant1¼ cups dry white wine
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 200g/7oz frozen edamame beans
- 600g/1lb 5oz broad beans in their pods, or 150g/5½oz frozen broad beans
- 1 small handful mint leaves, finely chopped, plus a few sprigs for cooking
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 5–6 tbsp soya cream cheese, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400°F/Gas 6. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and fry the leeks for 2–3 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds then add the rice and stir well, covering the grains of rice with oil.
- Transfer the rice mixture to a large ovenproof dish and add the stock, wine and lemon zest. Stir well, cover with greaseproof paper or foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the edamame and broad beans in a steamer, add the mint sprigs and steam, covered, over a high heat for 4–5 minutes until tender. Remove and discard the mint. Rinse the beans under cold running water, then drain well and leave to cool. If you’re using fresh broad beans, remove and discard the skins from the beans by squeezing them until the beans pop out of the skins. (Of course, you don’t have to do this if you don’t have the time – but they will taste better, if you do.)
- When the risotto has baked for 30 minutes, remove from the oven, stir thoroughly, add the beans and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice, mint and soya cream cheese and mix well until smooth and creamy. Serve hot.