Monthly Archives: February 2014

Perkier Gluten Free Tiffin Biscuits

These Gluten Free Tiffin Biscuit Bites are my newest addiction, probably because they are an ingenious and delicious combination of four things that I completely love – Chocolate Biscuits, Honeycomb, Raisins and Milk Chocolate. This mixture of textures and flavours works incredibly well, the Biscuit is crunchy but not as crumbly as Gluten Free biscuits often are and the Honeycomb has a great spicy, gingery taste and is soft rather than being teeth rattlingly hard.  There is a generous amount of Raisins and a reasonably thick Milk Chocolate topping.

Perkier Gluten Free Tiiffin Biscuit

They are made by Perkier, a UK based company specialising in Gluten Free foods, as well as these Biscuits and other treats they also make porridge and bread and say on their website that they are keen to challenge the current model of Gluten Free food costing a fortune.  I haven’t tried the whole range but they are definitely off to a good start with these, I picked up a tub from a local Tesco for under a couple of pounds and was impressed by the amount of bite sized biscuits in the tub – I didn’t count but there was at least 10, maybe more.

Gluten Free Tiffin Bites

The advantage of the “bite” sized serving is that you can hopefully exercise some degree of portion control when eating these, if you don’t feel able or want to restrict yourself in this way than you can buy this in a 65g sized bar as well.  To be honest most of the time I probably end up eating the same amount as I would if I bought a bar and if I ate less it’s probably because it was in a decent sized bowl of ice cream (if you have even the slightest interest in Ice Cream I HIGHLY recommend trying this..).

Not to worry though, despite being quite indulgent these arent as unhealthy as you might imagine, each piece containing around 58 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat and 7 grams of sugar.

Perkier Gluten Free Biscuit Bites

PERKIER

Perkier also make Gluten Free Rocky Road biscuits which are again available in a tub with small bite sized pieces or in a 65g bar. These use the same Chocolate Biscuit base as the Tiffin but add small pink and white Marshmallows to this and cover it in Milk Chocolate and then drizzle White Chocolate over this.  I didn’t like these quite as much as the Tiffin, probably because I’m not a massive fan or Marshmallows and as I said I absolutely love both Honeycomb and Raisin. Don’t get it twisted though, I had no problem working my way through the Rocky Road tub in well under a week.

As you can probably tell, I really can’t recommend these highly enough and am planning to test my way through the rest of Perkier’s range of Gluten Free instant Golden Syrup and Berry Porridge Pots and Breads as I find them – they seem to be increasingly available in more and more major UK supermarkets – and only hope that these products manage to maintain the same great combination of reasonable price and great flavour found here.

By Ray Smith

Gluten Free Chicken and Broccoli Satay

I love Peanuts, Peanut Butter and anything Satay (this Peanut Butter Gratin is another favourite of mine), this recipe for a Gluten Free Chicken and Broccoli Satay is really quick to make, doesn’t require sourcing or splashing out for any exotic ingredients – there’s a reasonable chance you will have all of the ingredients in the cupboard already – if not they’re all easy to find. Most importantly of all it tastes really good, the nuttiness working well with the Broccoli, and is pretty healthy.

Chicken and Broccoli Satay

Broccoli is recognised as a “super food”. It’s high in fibre (both soluble and insoluble) and is a rich source of vitamin-C, just a 100 gram serving of broccoli will provide you with more than 150% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.  Broccoli is also rich in vitamin A, iron, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, zinc, phosphorus and phyto-nutrients – compounds which lower the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Gluten Free Broccoli Satay

The Peanuts and Peanut Butter in this dish are also good for your health.  Studies suggest peanuts may be good for your heart, and that eating them in sensible amounts may make it a little easier to lose weight. They’re a great source of protein, fibre, monounsaturated fatty acids, niacin, folate and vitamin E and they also contain resveratrol, which works as an antioxidant.

The recipe below recommends using Gluten Free Soy Sauce, this is easy to find in any reasonably big UK supermarket but if you dont have any or don’t want to use it I dont find that it makes much difference to leave it out – I usally just add a pinch of Salt to make up for it.  I toast the peanuts before doing anything else – just keep them moving around a dry pan for about 5 minutes and find the putting the Broccoli and Chicken in the oven at the same time and cooking for about 15 minutes will resualt in both being well cooked but your mileage may vary depending on the size of Chicken Breast you use.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 small red chilli, de-seeded and chopped (more if you like it hotter)
  • 20g brown sugar
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 100g crunchy peanut butter
  • 30g Gluten Free Soy Sauce
  • 50g Unsalted Toasted Peanuts
  • 2 Chicken Breasts.

METHOD

  • 1 Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Cook the chilli in a splash of oil for about half a minute, add the sugar and allow it to brown a little.
  • As soon as the sugar has browned, carefully add the coconut milk and allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes so that it becomes thicker.
  • While the sauce is simmering bring a large pan of water to the boil.
  • Break the broccoli into large florets and put them into the water, blanch for 30 seconds.
  • Drain the broccoli well and place the florets on an oiled roasting tray with the Chicken. Roast in the oven for around 15 minutes.
  •  Add the peanut butter to the Coconut sauce a bit at a time, stirring it well
  • Add the soy sauce
  • To serve, spoon some sauce on a plate, add the broccoli and the Chicken, pour over some more sauce and then garnish with the toasted peanuts.

 

Sweet Potato Bubble And Squeak

Bubble and Squeak is a classic British meal usually eaten on a Monday using the leftovers from the previous days roast dinner, Potato, cabbage and onion.  It goes really well with the traditional full English breakfast and is particularly handy if you’re not eating Gluten as a Gluten Free substitute for toast.  There is no reason why you couldn’t have it as part of an evening meal too though, its great with an egg on top and some bacon, pancetta or sausages on the side.  I’ve found it goes well with almost any kind of meat and isn’t bad as a meal on its own too.

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Bubble and Squeak

Because it’s often served in british “greasy spoon” cafes, this has a reputation as an unhealthy dish but using Sweet Potato’s, kale and a low calories butter spray to fry it in makes it a pretty healthy option.

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Bubble and Squeak

The recipe below assumes you aren’t using leftovers, if you are then just skip Cooking the Potato or Greens and add your already cooked ones to the mixture.  I use Kale which is available ready chopped from most supermarkets but for a more traditional Bubble and Squeak you can substitute this with Cabbage or Brussel Sprouts, the important thing is to keep to the 6 to 10 ratio of Potato to Veg.  Coating the Bubble and Squeak in Gram (or Chickpea) Flour help them hold together a little better but if you don’t have any the recipe will still work without it.  I usually add a teaspoon of Chilli flakes but other spices (Nutmeg is good) work well too.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Reasonably big Sweet Potatoes
  • 100g Greens for 2 medium sized Sweet Potato’s
  • Gram flour to coat
  • oil for cooking
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 Teaspoon of Chilli Flakes
  • 1 small clove of Garlic

METHOD

  • As if you were making mashed potato’s chop the Sweet Potato’s into medium sized chunks (peeled or unpeeled depending on your preference) and boil them in water until they are soft – 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size,
  • If you need to cook your Greens as well, chop them up into fairly small pieces and just put them in with the Sweet Potato for the last 3 – 4 mins.
  • Drain well and put both Potato’s and Greens in a bowl together.
  • Add finely sliced Spring Onion and Crushed Garlic
  • Mix the mash and greens together well in a bowl.  You need to make sure you have enough potato for the mixture to hold so I recommend adding the greens gradually. you are aiming for about a 6 parts sweet potato to 4 parts greens – any less sweet potato and it wont hold together well.
  • Season and add spices etc of your choosing (Chilli Flakes or Nutmeg work well).
  • Divide the mix into burger-sized patties (you can make one big cake but this will be much harder to turn over) and coat lightly in Gram Flour.
  • Place the patties in a frying pan and shallow fry until brown on the edges and slightly crispy (2 – 3 minutes on each side should do it) then serve.

 

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Lentil Coconut Curry

This recipe for a Gluten (and Lactose) Free Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry is perfect for a quick mid week dinner, its super easy to throw together using ingredients that you’re likely to have in the cupboard or that are easy to grab from any supermarket on your way home from work and as it’s a one pot recipe there’s not much washing up to worry about.

As well as being easy to make and delicious to eat, its also good for you. Coconut Milk is often thought of as being fatty but the fats it contains are MCFAs (medium chain saturated fatty acids) that are used up more quickly by the body and are less likely to be stored as fat, what’s more there is evidence that the occasional consumption of coconut milk can help to protect you from infections and viruses. The Health Benefits of Sweet Potato’s are well documented and too numerous to list here and Lentils are infamously high in fibre, low in calories and loaded with all kinds of vitamins, nutrients and minerals.

Coconut, Sweet Potato, Chicken and Lentil Curry

If you follow the recipe below exactly you’ll end with a moderately spicy dish, If you’re not keen on spicy food simply leave out the spices for a tasty coconut-y stew. To save on preparation time and increase the meal’s nutritional load I don’t usually peel the Sweet Potato’s.  The recipe may sound like it will be sweet but it isn’t particularly as the spices offset the sweetness off the Coconut and Sweet Potato’s.


The recipe can be altered in a variety of ways, including adding different vegetables such as Cauliflower, Broccoli or White Potato.  Some Paneer would work well if you have it and throwing in a tin or two of Chickpeas is a great way to make it a bit more substantial.

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Lentil Coconut Curry

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp mild curry paste
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, (peeled if you prefer it) and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 tbsp red split lentils
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 175g frozen peas

Method

  • Make 300mls of Chicken Stock.
  • Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok, stir in the curry paste and fry for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken, sweet potatoes and lentils and stir to coat in the paste, then pour in the stock and coconut milk.
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Tip in the peas, bring back to the boil and simmer for a further 4-5 minutes.
  • Add Salt and Pepper to taste before serving.

Gluten Free Veggie Burgers

Although I’m not a Vegetarian I like the occasional Veggie Burger but finding Gluten Free Veggie Burgers can be difficult since many of the options available in major supermarkets use Wheat as a primary ingredient. This Recipe for Gluten Free Veggie Burgers is Quick and Easy and doesn’t require any ingredients that are expensive or hard to find, in fact most are store cupboard staples. It’s a great Gluten Free (and Vegetarian) recipe for dinner.

Gluten Free Vege Burgers

As well as being healthy these are really tasty, the Lentils and Cashews are high in protein give them a satisfying nutty taste and crunchy texture.  If you follow the recipe below exactly you’ll end up with a pretty spicy burger, if this isn’t for you then just reduce the amount of curry powder and chilli flakes.

I usually use canned Puy Lentils which you can find everywhere to make these as they’re more convenient, if you decide to use dried Lentils you’ll have to cook them first.  Chickpea flour (sometimes called Gram Flour) is available in most big supermarkets in the UK.

To toast the cashews just put them into a dry pan over a medium high heat for 5-10 minutes keeping them moving all the time, you’ll know when they’re done by the colour and smell.

It’s important to keep any eye on the burgers when frying them as they can burn very quickly, two minutes a side should be long enough.

Gluten Free Veggie Burgers

These are great served with any kind of dip, Houmous is my favourite but a Greek Yoghurt dip with Courgette and Walnut also works well. They also go well with salad and if you want an authentic burger experience you can, of course, make one with Gluten Free Pitta or other bread.

RECIPE

Ingredients.

  • 300g of Puy Lentils
  • 1 Finely Diced Onion
  • 5 Chopped Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon Chopped Ginger
  • 2 Teaspoons of Chilli Flakes
  • 2 Teaspoon of Ground Coriander
  • 4 Teaspoons of Curry Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons of Ground Cumin
  • 50g of Cashew Nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 Lightly Beaten Eggs
  • 50g of Gram (Chickpea) Flour

Method

  • Heat the oven to 180C
  • Mix all of the Burger ingredients together well
  • Shape the mixture into Burger shaped Patties (these quantities should make about 6)
  • Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a pan
  • Fry each burger for two minutes on each side
  • Transfer the burgers to the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Serve Immediately