Monthly Archives: October 2013

Avocado, Tomato and Sweet Potato Salad

Obviously all Salads are or can easily be made Gluten Free but this salad recipe is something a little different as it doesn’t have any lettuce or other leaves, and only uses 3 ingredients. The recipe is also suitable for anyone on vegan, diary free and nut free diets.

Avocado, Tomato and Sweet Potato Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sweetness of the sweet potatoes works really well with the creamy avocado and slightly sharp tomatoes.  The recipe is really simple and apart from the time needed to roast the sweet potatoes, it comes together really quickly. It makes a great lunch served on its own , I like it with some tinned mackerel or other fish If I feel like something a bit more substantial.

It is also a perfect side dish for some grilled chicken, fish or steak for a quick, easy, and healthy mid week dinner.

Its worth making sure the avocados you use are perfectly ripe, if they are too hard just leave them out in the kitchen for a day or so and they should be good to go.

Avocado, Tomato and Sweet Potato Salad

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 medium on-the-vine tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, stoned and peeled
  • A handful each of mint and coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180c.
  • Put the potatoes on a roasting tray, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, sprinkle over the cumin and season with pepper. Toss together to coat the potatoes and roast for 25-30 minutes until tender.
  • Once done take to potatoes out and leave them to cool to room temperature.
  • Mix the remaining oil with the vinegar in a large bowl and add Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Quarter the tomatoes and slice the avocado. Tip into the bowl, add the potatoes and herbs and toss together gently.

Chicken with Quinoa, Lentils and Pistachio.

Quinoa and Lentils are both Gluten Free and this quick, healthy and delicious recipe combines them with Chicken for a filling and inexpensive mid week supper.  The addition of Pistachio nuts adds a satisfying crunch to the dish that you can be one of the things you miss when cutting Gluten out of your diet. Using the quantities of spices in the recipe below results in a fairly spicy dish, reduce the amount of Cumin seeds to half a teaspoon if you’d prefer it a little milder.

Chicken, lentils, pistachio and quinoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other than the difficulty in pronouncing it correctly there are no drawbacks to making Quinoa a regular addition to your diet, now considered one of the super foods, its high in fibre and protein and contains all of the 9 essential amino acids your body needs. Its available in most big UK supermarkets and not expensive, many supermarkets sell their own brand version.

Lentils are similarly good for you being low in fat, high in protein and containing A and C Vitamins that may help to prevent some diseases.  They don’t really deserve their reputation for being difficult to prepare, cook or find, all supermarkets sell at least few different varieties and most of these won’t require soaking and will have a cooking time of 30 minutes or less.  I usually use the green “Verte” Lentils but some people find these a little bland so its worth experimenting with different types to see what you prefer, just bear in mind that you will need to adjust cooking times accordingly.

The dish couldn’t be any easier to cook, make sure you use a gluten free chicken stock cube, again these are available in most high street supermarkets and keep an eye on the Lentils, some types take a little longer to cook and you may need to add more water while they cook to get them to the consistency you prefer.  It keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days so you could have it for your dinner one day and then heat it up for your lunch the day after.

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RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Thighs/Breasts
  • Olive (or other) oil
  • 40g Green Lentils
  • 40g Quinoa
  • 400 mls Chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 sliced garlic cloves
  • 50g Pistachios
  • 1 handful chopped fresh coriander
  • A swig of Lemon juice

Method

  • Put the Olive oil into a pan on medium heat with the Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Ginger and Garlic
  • Cook for about three minutes
  • Add the Lentils and Chicken Stock
  • Bring to a rolling Boil and then boil for 10 minutes before adding the Quinoa
  • Turn the heat down and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  • Cook the Chicken in a different pan (or in the grill or oven if you’d prefer)
  • When the Chicken is cooked remove it from the pan and add it to the Lentil and Quinoa mixture.
  • Add a dash of Lemon Juice
  • Toast the Pistachios in the pan you just took the Chicken out of for 2 minutes
  • Sprinkle the Pistachios and chopped Coriander on top of the Chicken and serve.

Baked Avocado and Egg

This is a quick and easy (and Gluten Free) recipe for something different for lunch or a weekend breakfast, it takes 15-25 minutes to cook depending on the size of the egg so is ideal for mornings where you have little more time. Avocados are easy to find nowadays here in the UK and eating them for breakfast is a great way of getting a massive dose of Omega 3’s at the start of the day.  Make sure you use a ripe one for this recipe as it will be much easier to carve out the hole for the egg.  As well as being full of  healthy fatty acids and proteins they are also low in sugar and high in fibre.

Baked Avocado and Egg

You may be wary of eating avocado that’s has been cooked but don’t worry. It doesn’t become at all mushy after being baked and although the taste changes slightly if anything it become slightly more bland, the creaminess of the avocado is great with the egg and there are tons of ways you can easily alter the dish to make it more to your liking. Traditional breakfast meats like Bacon or Turkey Ham work really well served on the side or chopped up and sprinkled over the top of the egg.

Other toppings that work well if you don’t fancy the Cayenne pepper suggested in the recipe are some red salsa or a dash of hot sauce. Feta cheese with chopped spring onions is also good.

The recipe couldn’t really be any more straight forward, the only slightly tricky parts are making the hole in the avocado where you are going to put the egg big enough, I find the easiest way of doing this is gently circling the hole with a teaspoon removing a little avocado each time.  To get the Avocado to stay securely stood up while its in the oven, loosely scrunch up some tin foil and then make a dip in the middle by pressing it down with your thumbs.

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Egg
  • Cayenne Pepper, Salt and Black Pepper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
  • Halve each avocado and remove the stone.
  • Scoop out a bit of the avocado from the inside, to make room for all of the egg, and reserve it.
  • Take some tinfoil and scrunch it up to make a bowl/stand for the avocado.
  • Crack the egg into each carved out space in the avocado.
  • Top with some cayenne pepper (if you like it) and a little salt and pepper.
  • Place the tinfoil bowl on a baking tray and put the avocado in it
  • Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Put the slivers of Avocado that you removed when making the hole for the egg over the top.

Sweet Potato Gratin

Sweet Potatos and Peanut butter are two of my favourite things to eat but I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be able to eat them both together.  This recipe for a Sweet Potato and Peanut Butter Gratin made that dream a reality.

Sweet Potato Gratin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato’s are good for you in all kinds of ways and they’re a cheap and easily obtainable alternative to starchy white potato’s.  If you’re a fan of Sweet Potato’s click here for a simple salad recipe and here for a Gluten Free Hash recipe.  The Lime, Garlic and Chilli added to the Sweet Potato’s here cuts through their sweetness a little bit and the addition of Peanut Butter brings a Satay vibe to the dish but without the need to use or find a replacement for glutinous soy sauce.

If you don’t like peanut butter just leave it out, the recipe works just as well as a straight forward sweet potato Gratin.

Sweet Potato Gratin

 

 

 

 

 

 

This gratin works well as a side dish, I like it with Chilli or a chicken breast and green beans. It’s equally good as a main dish served with a green salad, this is a good option if you find it too sweet as the bitter salad leaves balance the sweetness of the gratin.

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • About 1kg of sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp oil.
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped, or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves.
  • 250ml double cream
  • salt and black pepper
  • 150g peanut butter (I find a crunchy, sugar free variety best).
  • 2 tsp of lime juice

Method

  • Heat the oven to 190C and lightly oil a large oven proof dish.
  • Cut the sweet potato’s (peeled if you prefer, I usually don’t bother) into thin slices.
  • In a large bowl, mix the sweet potato slices together with a tablespoon of oil, the chilli, garlic, cream and some salt and pepper until they are all equally covered.
  • Arrange half the sweet potato slices in the oven proof dish, spreading them out with your fingers until they form a rough, flat cover of the bottom of the dish.
  • Mix the peanut butter with the lime juice and a tablespoon of oil. Pour the mixture over the sweet potato in the dish and then spread it flat.  Cover it with another layer of sweet potato and then cover the whole thing with any of  cream, garlic and chilli mixture remaining.
  • Cover the dish with  foil and bake it for about 20 minutes, then take off the foil and bake it for another 30 minutes.
  • It’s done when the sweet potato is completely tender and the top is browned and beginning to crisp.
  • If you’d like it a little crispier put it under a hot grill for 2 or 3 minutes but keep an eye on it as it can easily burn.