Wednesday, 30 November 2016

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE YULELOG.



So here we are at the last post of the year. Christmas is almost upon us & everyone is coming to me this year. I found out when my younger sister asked me if it was Ok if one more joined us for lunch (her holiday plans fell through). I was like " Of course! Wait. Why is she asking me?....."
But I'm looking forward to having them all over and will actually get a Christmas tree for once. Just hope that a certain black cat can be trusted not to attack it on a daily basis.


                                                    "who me?"

So, on with the recipe and I think its a good one! It Certainly didn't last long in my family, which is always a good sign (especially with my sisters who seem to have a strong aversion to anything with a "gluten free" tag.)
Not everyone likes Christmas cake or Christmas pudding (my brother is the one in our family who will eat it and he's in Spain this year) So this is a yummy, Christmassy alternative. It's not as difficult as you may think, but always looks quite impressive. The great thing about making a yule log is that it doesn't matter if it cracks or falls apart - in fact all the better if it does - it will look even more like a gnarly piece of log! just have fun with it and don't worry about getting it perfect. It will taste delicious no matter what.
I've made it with two alternative fillings. The one at the top is covered and filled with buttercream , the one below  is dairy free, filled with coconut cream and covered with dairy free icing.


SPONGE ingredients
125g plain gluten free flour  ( I used Dove's farm)
130g caster sugar
4 large eggs
3 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
1 level teaspoon baking powder

ORIGONAL FILLING
150g unsalted butter
225g icing sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

DAIRY FREE FILLING
200g of coconut cream or coconut yogurt ( I used Coyo)

100g dairy free spread
150g icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1  Preheat the oven to 180c
2  Beat all the sponge ingredients together until you get a smooth batter
3  spread the mix onto a sheet of paper, about 1 - 1.5cm thick, in a kind of rectangle shape (it doesn't need to be too exact)
4 bake in the oven for 15 minutes. I know I've said it a million times, but all ovens vary, so keep an eye on it - your oven may take 10 minutes. you want it firm, but springy to the touch.
5 lay another sheet of baking paper on a clean work surface. when the cake is cooked, flip onto the  paper and peel off the lining paper it cooked on.
6  roll up the sponge (from its longest side - with the second piece of paper inside) into a tube shape. leave to cool. when cool, unroll the log


To make the buttercream icing shown at the top of the page
1 Beat the icing sugar, unsalted butter & cocoa together. you may need a little water if the mixture is too stiff (or to take it up a notch, a spoonful or two of brandy)
2 when the sponge is cool, unwrap it. Spread some of the icing over the flat surface and roll it up again (not in the paper this time).
3 cut a thick, diagonal piece off the log and place it at the side of the log (to make a branch, see main picture).
4 cover the log with the rest of the buttercream. Use a fork to make a "bark" pattern. dust with icing sugar for a snow effect and decorate with Holly.

To make the dairy free version.
Spread the coconut cream over the flat surface instead of the icing and roll the log up (not with the paper this time).
Beat the dairy free spread, the icing sugar and the cocoa together to make the icing. Don't use any water for this one - the consistency of the icing won't be thick enough. Spread the icing over the top of the log, use a fork to make a bark pattern, and dust with icing sugar for a snow effect.
Voila!
Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2017 to each and every one of you!



Just to clarify, This is a Christmas tree at the Royal Albert Hall in London, not mine!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

VEGETARIAN SHEPHERDS PIE



November! - Not going to lie, it's not my favourite month of the year........ It's usually starting to get cold, wet and Christmas seems ages away. Kia wants to hibernate and I do too! That being said there are some absolutely beautiful autumn colours around at the moment, so it's not all bad!


I do however, love late autumn/winter food - Curries, casseroles and best of all shepherd's pie. There is already a recipe on the blog for lentil shepherds pie (and its one of the most popular), but this one really is quite different. The other one uses lentils, mushrooms & sweet potatoes, whereas here we're using vegetarian mince, tomatoes and white potatoes...... (oh, er and still mushrooms).



INGREDIENTS
200g frozen vegetarian mince (I used soya mince, you could also use quorn mince)
2 medium carrots
6 medium mushrooms
2 medium tomatoes
1 stick celery
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
150 ml red wine
1 dessertspoon sundried tomato paste (or regular if you can't get sundried tomato)
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce (I used Biona which is gluten free)
500g (peeled weight) potatoes
2 tablespoons butter (or alternative)
A little milk of your choice to get mashed potato to the right consistency

1 Chop up all the veggies
2 Heat 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil in frying pan, over a medium heat. Add the celery, carrots & mushrooms. Stir fry for about 10 minutes, until softened and starting to brown.
3 Add the tomatoes, veggie mince and red wine. Stir well, then add the tomato paste and the Worcester sauce (you can use tamari soy sauce instead if you like).
4 cook over a medium heat for about 15 mins. ( you want it gently bubbling away).
5 meanwhile chop your potatoes and place in a large saucepan. cover with water, add a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave bubbling away, until the potatoes are soft and cooked. (around 15 mins)
6 When your mince and veggies have had their 10 mins, transfer the mixture to a baking dish.


8. Drain the potatoes, mash with the butter (or butter alternative) and milk.  spoon the mashed potato over the mince.
9 sprinkle with a little cheese, maybe some breadcrumbs, bit of chilli, few sliced tomatoes, some chopped nuts - top it as you like!
10 Bake in the oven for around 30 mins until the top is starting to brown.
11 Serve!


ps a note on servings. this would feed 2 - 3 people, depending on appetite and if you serve it with peas, green beans and other veg etc.


                                                  Happy November everyone!

Friday, 30 September 2016

PLUM CRUMBLE CAKE AND PUMPKIN SOUP


September has been a lonnnggg month! - so much has happened, feels like ages since I posted. But here we are in October & it's a month I love. everything starts to feel very autumnal, but (hopefully!) we still get some sunny days. I love the beautiful leaves on the trees, long walks with my whippet kia, then coming home to candles, bubble baths, oversized sweaters, hot tea, hot chocolate and soup.....

Actually obsessed with soup, so had to include a recipe in this October post, but I'm going to start off with a recipe for Plum Crumble cake.
At the beginning of September I went with some friends to the annual local village fete, (where my whippet Kia retained her title as fastest whippet in the south east, beating other whippets and a greyhound in the doggie dash - this despite the fact my sister had to carry her to the start line. Everyone was laughing, but who's laughing now? )


At the fete they have a huge cake competition and one of the categories was an apple crumble cake, This coupled with the fact that my friend Shara has a plum tree and makes jars & jars of sugar free plum jam every year, gave me the idea for today's cake recipe which is where I'm going to start. I used homemade biscuits for the topping - you can use any biscuits, or granola or crushed nuts if you want to keep it sugar free.

preheat the oven to 180c or 150 fan oven.

150g gluten free flour (I use doves farm)
75g sugar free plum jam  (or any other flavour you like)
75g date syrup
3 eggs
150g dairy free spread
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

topping     100g sugar free plum jam
                  50g gluten free biscuits crushed.

mix the cake ingredients together in a blender until you have a nice smooth batter.
2  pour into a prepared cake tin 20 cm in diameter. I use a loose bottom cake tin, and line the base with some baking paper and grease the sides with a little coconut oil to make it super easy to get out of the tin.
3  bake in the centre of the oven for 30 mins
NB  A note about timings. I've baked in a few different ovens over the years & I really find each one is a little different when it comes to timings - in my old oven this cake would've taken around 45 mins, so this is just a guide line. you want the top to be firm but springy and a skewer poked in the middle should come out clean (ie no uncooked cake mix)
4 when cooked, remove from the tin and leave to cool.
5 When cool, spread with the topping jam and then crumble the biscuits/ granola/ nuts over the top.
6 Eat!


Ok, next up, soup!



Love soup, and Pumpkin is probably my favourite, so here's a simple recipe if you've been carving pumpkins and want something to make with all the flesh!

400g pumpkin flesh (or butternut squash)
2 dessertspoons rapeseed oil or coconut oil
1 dessertspoon curry powder
salt, pepper, chilli powder to taste
250ml stock (fresh or from a cube)
100ml coconut milk or almond milk

1  preheat oven to 200c
2  put the oil into a bowl and add the curry powder. mix well.
3  Mix the pumpkin flesh into the curried oil , so that it's all evenly covered.
4  transfer the pumpkin to a baking dish. Bake for around 35 mins (or until the flesh is soft, tender and cooked through - )
5  put the pumpkin, the stock, the coconut milk into a blender and blitz. 
6 I purposely made this a thick soup, because you know how thin you want your soup & its easy to add more stock or more coconut milk until you get the right consistency.
7 add salt, pepper and a little chilli powder to taste.
8. warm in a saucepan and serve (You can also decorate with coconut cream and pumpkin seeds as shown above).

That's all for today, thanks for dropping by, see you in November!






Thursday, 1 September 2016

Baked apples with blackberry coconut cream


It's September! Always sad to see the end of summer but I really love September too. I always get that 'back to school feeling' even though it's ages since I left school! I actually used to like the start of a new school year......getting my haircut, new school shoes, then catching up with friends I hadn't seen all summer, new class teacher, new timetable...... then the novelty wearing off after a few days and feeling really depressed that it's ages till Xmas holidays!....
I especially love autumn food - pumpkin soup, blackberries, apple crumble, more soup. I've been busy making new treats for the Yard Yoga juice bar (www.yardyoga.com) , so if you're in the area, drop in! Yard yoga had a visit from a blogger recently who wrote this post which very kindly gave an amazing review of my Mint Matcha energy balls. It's a lovely blog, so check it out if you're interested in vegetarian food. www.hippiewholefood.wordpress.com 
So, for this month's recipe I'm lucky enough to have 2 apple trees and a blackberry bush at my new house so.........here's what I did with them!

Serves 2- double or triple to serve 4 or 6.

Preheat oven to 180c

2 baking apples
FILLING ingredients
2 heaped teaspoons butter or coconut oil
1 heaped tablespoon chopped pecans
1 heaped tablespoon chopped dried apple or raisins
1 teaspoon mixed spice (ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon)
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey or brown sugar

Take the centre out of the apples- great if you have an apple corer but if not you can used a sharp knife and then scoop the inside out with a teaspoon as I did. (Be careful if you're doing it this way- I nearly cut my finger off!- ,but then I am someone who probably shouldn't be allowed to play with sharp things in the kitchen😉
NB Make sure you don't go through the bottom of the apple - you're basically making a container for the filling.


2 chop the pecans up. Mix with the rest of the filling ingredients.
Stuff the apples with the filling and place them in a baking dish and into the oven for about 40 mins. (The apples should be soft and cooked through and look something like this.....


While the apples are cooking -make the blackberry cream. You need
200g blackberries
2 tablespoons maple syrup
150g coconut yogurt- I used CoYo.(you can use plain Greek yogurt if you prefer).


Blitz the blackberries with a stick blender. Push through a small to get the pips out.

Put the sieved Berries into a saucepan with 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Bring to the boil and then reduce the  heat a little so its still bubbling but not going crazy (don't worry you don't need to be too exact!) Keep stirring with a wooden spoon so it doesn't stick to bottom the of the pan. You want it bubbling away for 5 mins, then remove from heat - put the mixture into a bowl and leave to cool.
Once cool mix in the coconut yogurt.


When the apples are done remove from the oven and serve with the berry cream.

Happy autumn everyone!


Monday, 1 August 2016

VEGETARIAN PASTA BAKE


Welcome to the August post of Rabbit food! - It's the last month of summer, so I feel I should be posting a summery recipe. Yesterday I went out to lunch and ordered a dish called "summer in a bowl" which I thought would be a great title for today's post. It turned out to be a bowl of lettuce leaves with a few pieces of melon that my sister nicked (and possibly a bit of very bland dressing?- hard to tell)......nothing wrong with it, but I did come home still super hungry and in need of some Nutella toast)
However its a bit cooler today and the forecast this week is rain, rain, wind, and er ....a bit more rain.  Can't beat the good old british summer!! but colder weather calls for heartier meals - so summer in a bowl will have to wait for another time. Maybe next month. Indian summer in a bowl? watch this space......!

serves 2   preheat oven to 180 c

ingredients
225g tomato pasta sauce
50g mushrooms
50g left over veg (in this case, some sweet potato and broccoli) if you don't have any left over veg you could use a mix of onion, carrot, celery, sweetcorn, peas, courgette...........anything else you can think of!
100g pasta (I used buckwheat pasta)
handful of cheese ( I used vegan cheese)
1 1/2 cup soymilk  (or any other milk of your choice)
2 slightly rounded tablespoons flour (rice flour used here)
1 1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil or other light cooking oil
salt and pepper

1.  for the tomato pasta sauce - you can use shop bought or make your own. I make my own simple sauce by putting 1 tin of peeled, chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon sundried tomato paste, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon date syrup, and some Italian dried herbs. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about 30 -45 mins depending on how thick you want it.

2. chop the mushrooms up and stir fry in a little rapeseed oil or light olive oil until softened and starting to brown. Add in the left over veg. Mix the tomato sauce into the veggies and combine with a wooden spoon. Place in the bottom of a baking dish (this one is 20 cm by 15 cm)


3 Cook your pasta as per instructions on the packet - nb different pastas will take different cooking times - I always add a spoonful of light olive oil to the cooking water to stop the pasta sticking.  When cooked, drain and cover the tomato veggie layer of the dish.


4  to make the white sauce, take 1 1/2 cups of soymilk and 2 slightly rounded tablespoons gluten free flour. (I used riceflour) . 
5 make a Roux, by adding 1 1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil or other light cooking oil, to the saucepan. add in the flour and mix well together (I use a little whisk) Add the milk little by little, stirring all the time . If you use a whisk it should prevent any dreaded lumps - but don't panic if you do get lumps - just strain the mix through a sieve. Season to taste. I also like to add a spoonful of Dijon mustard to the white sauce to give it some more flavour. If you want to do that, add it in as you're whisking in the milk.
6  When the white sauce has thickened, pour over the pasta. Then sprinkle over a handful of grated cheese (I used vegan cheese - you can use any cheese you like).
7, Then slice your tomato and use to decorate the top. scatter with some torn, fresh basil.


8 bake in the oven for about 30 mins till the top is starting to brown.

served here with lettuce, or should I say " summer in a bowl" ;)


ps for those of you who caught last month's post and have been waiting with baited breath to find out what the mystery veg i'm growing in the greenhouse is - it turned out to be.................drumroll..................Broccoli. Really tiny broccoli - as soon as it got any bigger than this it all started to flower. Epic fail! - It's all down to the carrots now!




Monday, 20 June 2016

RAW BANOFFEE NUTTY TART



I've been so busy the last couple of months, what with moving house & starting a new catering project, the blog has been horribly neglected, so when I dropped by yesterday I was amazed to find that it was still attracting lots of visitors, even in my absence.
While this shows my presence here isn't really needed! - I still thought I owe you a new recipe, so here it is - & it's worth waiting for (if I do say so myself!).
This is the first blog post from the new house! For the last few weeks I've been camping at the old house with no fridge, hot water or oven - but I'm all moved in now - more importantly my cat & whippet are now in residence which makes it feel like home!


For the last few weeks Rabbit food has been supplying gluten free treats to the new juice bar at Yard Yoga in forest row. (www.yardyoga.co.uk). There is a raw citrus tart & a raw chocolate tart  - both gluten free, sugar free & vegan. Also 3 different flavour energy balls, fresh juices, smoothies and delicious teas & coffees.


So, since i'm in tart making mode, I've come up with a new recipe for the blog & If you want to give it a go, here it is.
.
BASE
150g raisins
100g gluten free rice krispies or cornflakes
125g cashew butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil

FILLING
100g pitted dates, 125g water

TOP LAYER
100g fresh banana (peeled weight)
1 tablespoon date syrup
50g coconut flour
100g cashew butter

TOPPING
10g dark chocolate or raw chocolate
handful of peanuts (or pecans or cashew nuts
you could also decorate with some banana chips.

1 To make the base. put the base ingredients into your blender and blitz really well until it's a nice sticky mess.


2 Grease or line a tart tin. (I use a loose bottom tin as it's so much easier to get the tart out). Press the base into the tin (as shown).


put into fridge for a few hours (or freezer for an hour).
3 bring the water to the boil. add the dates & cover with a lid or a plate. leave to cool.
4 once cool, blitz the dates & water together using a blender to make a thick date paste.
5 spread the date paste onto the tart base.
6 blitz together the banana, date syrup & cashew butter. add in the coconut flour. Spread on top of the date paste.
7 grate the chocolate over the top, add the nuts of your choice and return the tart to the fridge for a few hours.
8. remove the tart from the tin, cut into slices and eat !
(please excuse the edges! I'm a rustic cook!



Tuesday, 17 May 2016

BREAKFAST TO GO - summer adventures


Life is chaos at the moment! my new house will be ready in about ten days time, so I'm surrounded by to do lists, boxes & my pets are feeling the stress, which is stressing me further!


I also have an exciting new venture, because over bank holiday weekend the Yard Yoga juice bar is opening (www.yardyoga.co.uk) and Rabbit food will be supplying the energy balls & GF, vegan gingerbread yogis. So it's all happening at once, and although quite stressful, also really exciting & lots of positive changes ahead.


So, to today's recipe. I'm thinking ahead to summer holidays/trips/weekends away/festivals. I've found one of the most challenging things about having Coeliac disease is staying with friends or in a hotel - places where the kitchens handle gluten containing foods all the time, and breakfast in particular is usually when gluten is a staple in the most western diets. Cereal, Toast, waffles, pancakes, porridge & muesli with regular oats.......  I'm a firm believer that a good breakfast sets you up for a good day ahead, so one of the best options is to take something with you that is full of nutrition, quick & easy to prepare & of course delicious, and this recipe ticks all the boxes.
Yes it's a bit annoying to have to think ahead, but living with Coeliac disease or Gluten intolerance means it's so worth it to avoid getting glutened.
This recipe is perfect if you're going camping or festivaling this summer as it really is fuss free, once you've done the prep at home.

                            
Makes 1 serving

2 - 3 tablespoons Gluten free oats or Buckwheat flakes (or a mix of both)
1 tablespoon goji berries
1 tablespoon freeze dried strawberries
1 tablespoon cashew nuts
1 tablespoon hemp seeds or milled chia seeds
1 tablespoon dried skimmed milk/ dried soya milk/ powdered almond milk/ whey powder etc


If you're staying overnight with friends or in a B&B/hotel, you can make this up and then put it in a plastic ziplock bag, then tip it into a bowl ready to add some boiling water.


Or you can make it up in a disposable takeaway cup , then just add water when you want to eat it. I know that's not very environmentally friendly, but if you're not going to have access to a bowl, then it's an option.



                                                Yummm.....

another version is


3 tablespoons gluten free oats or buckwheat flakes
1 scoop vegan chocolate protein powder ( I like dr Mercola)
1 tablespoon hemp seeds



Chocolate porridge, make some tea, herbal tea or coffee & you're all set for a delicious GF start to the day.