Okay, this isn’t exactly a pizza, but this recipe gives you a straightforward, quick and easy way of making something similar enough to one of the dishes people eating Gluten Free miss the most.
The base is a Socca, an easy to make Chick Pea flour based pancake that you can throw together using just a couple of easy to find ingredients and the topping is a healthy Turkish influenced Aubergine, Mince and Feta dish but you can of course put anything you fancy on the top.
Chick Pea Flour is often called Gram Flour and can be find in most larger supermarkets in the UK, usually in the Asian or Ethnic foods aisle.
The trick to making this as Pizza like as possible is to ensure that the topping is very dry before you put it onto the base, if it isn’t it will make the base soggy and you may have to use a knife and fork to eat it which, in my eyes, is a no no with Pizza.
Even if you don’t fancy Pizza it is worth learning how to make a Socca, for anyone on a Gluten Free diet this can be a versatile replacement for all kinds breadlike things you can no longer eat. If you make it quite thin it is great for Fajitas or Burritos and you can also use it to replace Crackers and eat it with Hummus or other dips.
For the socca
- 100g Chickpea Flour
- 230 Mls Warm Water
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil plus extra for cooking
- 1 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Dried Rosemary
For the topping
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, Finely Chopped
- 1 Clove of Garlic, Finely Chopped
- 250g Lamb Mince
- 2 Small Augergines, Cubed
- 2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Ground Allspice
- 2 Tomatoes, Chopped
- 2 tsp Tomato Puree
- 100 Ml Water or Stock
- Feta Cheese
- Combine the chickpea flour and salt. Slowly whisk in the water until a smooth batter forms. Set aside for about 20 minutes to rest while you make the filling.
- Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Gently fry the onion for 10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute.
- Add the mince and fry until it begins to colour. Add the aubergine and combine well in the oily mixture. Cook for 2-3 mins. Add the ground spices and stir well until combined.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Stir well and add water or stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 mins. (Add more liquid to prevent the stew from drying out.) If using as a topping for socca, turn up the heat to reduce the liquid.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Add 3 tbsp olive oil, the chilli flakes and rosemary to the batter and stir to combine.
- Add about 1-2 tbsp olive oil to an ovenproof frying pan. When the oil is sizzling hot, ladle in the batter. Immediately put in the oven and cook for 12 minutes.
- Top with the lamb mix, crumbled feta and coriander, then return to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve hot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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
A Frittata is technically a baked omelette but I like to think of it as a Gluten Free Quiche. You can use any combination of ingredients that you’d find in a quiche (the recipe below is based on the classic Quiche Lorraine) and its much easier and quicker to make as well as being a great cheap, filling meal. The only tricky part to making this is getting it out of whatever you use to cook it in once it is finished. To alleviate this I recommend using a Silicon cake mould that you can just peel off. This makes the whole recipe much easier and less stressful, an ideal silicon mould is available from Amazon here – Lékué 1300 ml Square Cake Mould, Black
If you don’t have one of these and use a an oven proof dish or pan the easiest technique is to put a plate over the top and flip it over using both hands. You can then cut it into slices while it is upside down and turn these over to serve it.
This is a really versatile dish. As well as being easy to customise to your taste with different ingredients it can be also be eaten warm or cold, or both. If you’re having it warm it goes well with salad, baked beans, olives, pesto or anything else you fancy. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge and eaten cold the next day as part of a packed lunch or quickly warmed up under the grill for another meal.
The recipe below is for a Bacon, Cheddar and Onion Frittata and will provide a decent sized portion for three or four meals.
There are more ways you can change the recipe to your own taste than I can list. One easy change you can make is to use your preferred type of cheese, parmesan or gruyere are traditional but I think a strong cheddar is good, for the frittata pictured here I used Blacksticks blue cheese. You could also add Chorizo to this recipe to make a more substantial dinner. Spinach, Mushrooms or Courgette all go well with any Eggy dish and would also work well.
- 8 rashers smoked streaky bacon cut into squares
- 1 small onion diced
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 8 eggs
- 200ml crème fraiche
- 100g grated cheese
- Black Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180c
- Line a 20x28cm dish with baking paper (scrunch the baking paper into a ball first as this makes it more malleable) or grease a 21cm x 21cm square silicon cake mould (much easier to get it out once it is done).
- Heat the olive oil in a pan to a medium heat then fry the bacon and onion until the onions are turning golden and the bacon is beginning to crisp.
- Take a large bowl and mix the eggs and crème fraiche together, then stir in the bacon, onions and fat from the pan.
- Add the grated cheese (save some to sprinkle on the top) and season with salt (the bacon will add some salt so personally I would only add a little) and black pepper to taste.
- Pour the mixture into the dish and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
- Put it under the grill for 5 minutes to brown and crisp up the top.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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
- 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.
Fish cakes are a popular choice for supper that you may miss when you start eating Gluten Free. With this recipe for Gluten Free fishcakes, they are back on the menu. It is a really quick and easy recipe to follow and none of the ingredients are difficult to find anywhere in the UK.
The recipe suggests using canned Salmon which tastes great as well as being really good for you with a high omega 3 content (tinned Salmon also contains more Calcium than fresh salmon). Salmon can however be a bit expensive although there are often special offers if you shop around a bit. I can’t see any reason why you couldn’t replace the salmon with another canned fish. I’d think Tuna would work well but experimentation is encouraged.
Served with sweet potato fries and mayonnaise these make a great, quick, easy and healthy dinner. The fishcakes also go well with guacamole, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables or a green salad.
The amounts given in the recipe below will produce about 6 fishcakes, if you’re just cooking for yourself you can put them into an airtight container and then store them in the fridge and they will keep for 2 or 3 days.
If your having people round you could make these and turkey burgers and serve them with a variety of dips and sides for a quick, impressive buffet that should have something for all but the fussiest of tastes.
1 (420 gram) can salmon, drained and flaked
2 eggs, beaten
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Teaspoons of parsley
Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and quickly beat them together.
Open the canned Salmon, drain off some of the liquid, check it for bones and remove any that you find and then add this to the eggs.
Add the diced onion, parsley and some black pepper to taste.
Thoroughly mix all of this together.
Shape into about 6 or 7 burger shaped patties.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
Fry each patty for about 5 minutes on each side until they are crispy and golden brown.