gluten-free, dairy-free option, vegan option, vegetarian
Perfect for fending off colds as the weather turns damp and cold. Makes enough for 4-5 servings.
500g carrots, peeled and diced
500g butternut squash, peeled and diced
Generous size piece of root ginger (about the size of the end of your thumb) peeled and grated
1 large onion peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Ground black pepper – to taste
1-2 teaspoons ghee / coconut oil
1.5-2l vegetable stock
Optional: soya or cashew cream to drizzle
Melt the ghee or coconut oil in a large pan. Once warmed, add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the spices and ginger and stir well.
Add all the vegetables and passatta, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer until vegetables are soft.
Allow to cool, then blend till smooth.
Serve with an extra dash of black pepper and drizzle of soya or cashew cream.
Homemade ghee is low-cost, delicious, and super easy to make.
As a cooking fat it is stable at higher temperatures, and adds a unique flavour to curries and risottos, and pretty much any other dish requiring butter or oil!
Ghee is simply clarified butter: pure butter fat with virtually no protein residues left. This makes it tolerable for some people with mild dairy protein sensitivities – though I wouldn’t recommend ghee if you have a dairy allergy as it isn’t guaranteed to be 100% whey and casein-free.
Here’s a step by step guide to making rich, golden, more-ish ghee…
You will need:
250g block of organic unsalted butter
A couple of pieces of cheesecloth to line the sieve
Glass jug to strain the ghee into
Jar to store the ghee; this can be an old jam jar or mason jar – anything with a secure lid
Let’s get started…
Dice the butter into small cubes and heat gently in the pan.
The melted butter will start to bubble and foam. After a few minutes the bubbles will go down, and then start up again.
After this second round of bubbling and foaming, you will see a dark reddish coloured residue at the bottom of the pan. The ghee is now done!
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then strain through the sieve into the jug.
Carefully pour the ghee into your storage jar, and allow to cool to room temperature.
By now, the ghee will be starting to set. Fasten the lid securely and allow it to set completely. Your ghee is complete -enjoy!
vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
This recipe comes from Elena Holmes, a fellow nutrition consultant and superb vegan cook! Based on a traditional dish from northern Italy, Elena has added more vegetables and spices to increase the taste, colour and nutritional quality.
200g Gram flour (also sold as chickpea flour)
approximately 400ml water
1 medium leek
1 red onion
1 red pepper
1 large courgette
4-5 medium tomatoes
1 bunch fresh (or dried) sage
Optional spices: crushed chillies, turmeric, curry, smoked paprika – select according to taste
Olive oil to grease the tray and drizzle over the farinata
Pinch of salt
Carefully mix the flour, water and salt until it has the consistency of cream or gravy – use a whisk to avoid lumps. Leave this mixture to rest for 40-60mins.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Dice the vegetables and sage. Oil a standard sized baking tray and scatter the veg and sage evenly over it. Add your chosen spices. Pour the flour mixture over the vegetables, drizzle sparingly with olive oil and bake for 25-30mins until the vegetables are cooked andthe farinata has the consistency of soft flat bread. Allow to cool for a few minutes then cut into pieces and serve. Leftovers can be eaten cold the next day.
Leaving the snug confines of the duvet is a little bit easier if you have a delicious breakfast to look forward to. And at this time of year we need something warming to pull us out of that blanket nest.
Porridge is the obvious hot breakfast and this doesn’t have to be made with oats: quinoa flakes, buckwheat flakes, millet and polenta all make tasty porridge-like dishes.
But what if you can’t stand the texture of porridge?
Try these tempting alternatives instead and enjoy a warming, porridge-free start to your day!
For the pancake mixture blend buckwheat flour with whichever milk you enjoy and either a mashed banana or an egg. Serve with blueberries and yoghurt (natural, soya or coconut).
2. Poached eggs with spinach, grilled mushrooms & grilled tomatoes
Protein, greens and antioxidant nutrients are all packed together in this simple breakfast.
3. Warm Smoothies
Many people abandon smoothies once the weather turns cold but you can switch them round to suit the winter months. Simply warm the milk and add 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon and turmeric before blending in your fruit and greens.
4. Stewed Fruit Crumble
Apple, pears and plums are perfect stewing fruit and plentiful at this time of year. Top with homemade sugar-free granola, flaked almonds and seeds and a dollop of yoghurt (natural, soya or coconut).
5. Pumpkin & quinoa bowl
Mix pre-roasted pumpkin (or butternut squash) with cooked quinoa, chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon – add yoghurt too if you like!
6. Veggie omelette
Gently fry chopped peppers, mushrooms, spinach and a handful of cherry tomatoes in coconut / olive / avocado oil then add beaten egg to make a speedy, healthful breakfast omelette.
Or try Rainbow Egg Cups; these can be batch cooked and stored in the fridge or freezer to last all week.
7. Toasted rye bread with sliced avocado, pistachio nuts and chopped fresh figs
Use gluten-free bread or oatcakes for a G/F alternative to rye bread, and drizzle a little raw honey over the figs.
8. Tofu Scramble
Tofu is a great alternative to scrambled eggs and a rich source of calcium, magnesium and protein. For full recipe details click through to www.thekitchn.com
Which foods tempt you from under the covers at this time of year?
Tell us more over in the Facebook group!
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan (Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash)
This beautiful golden spice is gaining widespread popularity for its amazing health benefits that include powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions.
As well as being a staple ingredient in so many curry dishes it can be added to warm milk for a ‘turmeric latte’, mixed with hot water, ginger, raw honey and lemon for a soothing cold-fighting brew or simply blended in with other herbs and spices in casseroles and soups.
Shakela Shan from www.nutrishan.com is a Nutritional Therapist with a special interest in weight management. Her passion for creating new recipes really shines through and she has kindly shared this one for you!
1 cup quinoa
1.5 cup water
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh coriander
1. In a pan add quinoa, water, salt, turmeric and black pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on the pan. Turn the heat off and allow to stand for a further 10-15 minutes.
2. Finally add the cranberries, coriander, flaked almonds and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir in all the ingredients with a fork.
Serve with chicken / fish / lentils, and a colourful salad for a nutrient-packed meal!
Here’s our next recipe from expert cook and food writer Claire Davies, aka The Greedy Wordsmith.
To discover more about Claire, her workshops, and her food and copy writing services hop on over to www.greedywordsmith.com
Almonds are a common ingredient in medieval cookery. With three days a week
classed as fast days, cooks needed a regular replacement for milk and cream. This
is one recipe where I am thankful for the use of a blender; the traditional process
was of course a longer and more physically demanding task.
All of the spices in this recipe were available to cooks in the medieval era. Within medicinal recipes we can find reference to ginger as an anti-emetic, useful for stomach and gout pains.
Of course many spices were only accessible to the very rich so they were also an excellent way of showing off ones wealth.
Cocoa didn’t arrive in England until the late 1600’s but the addition of raw cacao nibs offers a subtle, malty flavour and a beneficial hit of useful antioxidants. Please note – pure cacao is quite high in caffeine so feel free to leave them out if you are a
sensitive to the effects.
150g whole almonds
50g raw cacao nibs
400 ml of filtered water
1 tbsp of ground ginger
½ tsp of ground cinnamon
A pinch of ground mace
A pinch of ground clove (optional)
A pinch of salt
Cold pressed honey or agave syrup to taste
Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for at least six
hours. When you are ready to go, strain the almonds and rinse well.
Place the soaked almonds in your blender along with the cacao nibs and filtered
water. You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your
Line your sieve with a piece of muslin. Sit this over a saucepan before straining the
almond milk through the muslin. Press the nut pulp to remove as much of the liquid
as possible before setting it to one side.
Bring the almond milk to the boil before reducing to a gentle simmer. At this point
add the spices, salt, 2 tbsps of your chosen sweetener and a tablespoonful of the
leftover almond pulp. Simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly.
Strain one last time and check for sweetness before serving. Keep any remaining
almond milk in the fridge for a day or two.
Here we have the second in this series of recipes from expert cook and food writer Claire Davies, aka The Greedy Wordsmith.
To discover more about Claire, her workshops, and her food and copy writing services hop on over to www.greedywordsmith.com
As is often the case with modern favourites, the roots of Paella lie with farmers and workhands of the past. The name refers to the pan itself but has come to be known as a dish of rice flavoured with tomatoes, saffron and paprika. The addition of seafood, chicken or meat changes with each region of Spain so feel free to
experiment in your own kitchen. I also love mine topped with squid or mussels.
Soaking the saffron ahead of time allows for the true flavour of this luxurious spice to really shine. The resulting liquor always fills me with excitement and gives a beautiful ochre colour to the final dish. The stamens of the saffron crocus have a long culinary history due to the belief that they could imbue miraculous healing properties. In medieval England traders could be put to death if they were found doctoring their produce. Today the stamens are still picked carefully by hand and – weight for weight – demand a price more expensive than gold.
Pinch of good quality saffron
2 fillets of salmon (around 200g)
1 lemon, cut into quarters.
A large onion
1 medium carrot
2 cloves of garlic
200g of paella rice
1tsp of sweet paprika
½ tsp of smoked paprika
1 tbsp. of gluten-free vegetable bouillon powder
300ml of hot water
Half a can of chopped tomatoes
2 – 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
8 – 10 green Spanish olives
A handful of frozen peas
A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
You will need a large, deep frying pan for this dish.
Place the saffron in a bowl and cover with around 20ml of warm water. Leave to
infuse for at least 4 hours. Squeeze a quarter of the lemon over each salmon fillet and wrap loosely in greaseproof paper. Set aside.
Peel and finely dice the onion and carrot. Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Fry these
gently with a little coconut oil or ghee until the vegetables are soft and translucent.
Add the paella rice and stir well.
Make a flavoured stock by combining the paprika, vegetable bouillon and hot water.
Pour this into your pan along with the chopped tomatoes and saffron liquor. Mix well before tucking the fresh thyme sprigs under the rice. Bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for fifteen minutes. If the rice appears dry pour over another 100ml of hot water. Add the peas and arrange the olives on the top of the rice. Cover with a lid or foil and cook for a further ten minutes. You are seeking sticky textured rice.
Towards the end place your salmon parcels in the microwave and cook for just a
couple of minutes. The salmon should still be slightly pink in the middle but not raw.
Leave to rest.
Taste your paella and season with salt and pepper accordingly. Stir through the chopped parsley before spooning a portion of the paella into a bowl, topped with one of the salmon fillets and a quarter of the lemon for squeezing.
Expert cook and food writer Claire Davies, aka The Greedy Wordsmith, has been writing a few recipes to share with you all. Claire is a whizz when it comes to food history and spends her time running cookery workshops (if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make proper bread, go see Claire!) and writing blogs and copy for a wide range of food businesses.
Over to Claire…
Humanity has a long history with dried peas. For the Anglo Saxons, peas and beans acted as the main protein source between the rare occasions that meat was available. They still act as a vital food stuff on the Indian sub-continent where a large percentage of the population honour a vegetarian diet as part of their religious tenet.
The high levels of protein, dietary fibre and complex carbohydrates work hard to help you feel full for longer and ward off any snacking tendencies later in the day. Nutritional analysis also shows split peas to be a great source of thiamine (B1) and many of the minerals required for a healthy life.
This split pea dahl recipe makes a great lunch option with rice or flatbreads. It is a beautiful example of how we can create delicious meals with a few simple ingredients and only a little time.
Serves 3 (main) or 6 (side)
300g yellow split peas
A bay leaf
2 brown onions
2-3 cloves of garlic
Inch long piece of fresh root ginger
1 green chilli
1 ½ tbsp. of cumin seeds
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of garam masala
Organic ghee (dairy-free or vegan? Opt for cold pressed rapeseed oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Before making the dahl – place the split peas in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or at least four hours.
Drain and rinse the peas. Place them and the bay leaf in a pan with one litre of cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce and simmer gently for around 35 minutes or until the peas are cooked through and can be squashed with a wooden spoon.
Prepare the remaining ingredients. Peel and finely slice the onions, garlic and fresh ginger. Dice the green chilli.
With a little ghee / rapeseed oil – fry the onion and cumin seeds before adding the garlic and ginger. Fry for a further five minutes or until golden brown.
Take a wooden spoon or potato masher and break down the split peas. Add a little hot water until it reaches the desired consistency. Return your dahl back to a gentle heat and stir in the turmeric, garam masala and onion mixture. Taste. Season with salt and pepper if required and drizzle over a little cold pressed rapeseed before serving.
egg & dairy free
This is a time-honoured recipe I learned from working at Tullivers in York. The ingredients of the menopause cake provide slow-releasing sugars, energy boosting B-vitamins and minerals, and natural phytoestrogens – plant compounds that have a balancing effect on female hormones. Enjoy a slice a day!
Ingredients (makes 2 loaves)
200g wholemeal flour (gluten-free plain flour or buckwheat flour could be substituted for a gluten-free alternative)
100g porridge oats
100g golden flaxseeds
50g sunflower seeds
50g sesame seeds
50g flaked almonds
2 pieces chopped stem ginger
750ml organic soya milk or almond milk
1 tbspn malt extract
1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeng, cinnamon and ground ginger.
Stir together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk and malt extract and leave to soak for 30mins. If the mixture is very stiff, add more soya or almond milk. Spoon the mixture into 2 lightly oiled and lined loaf tins and bake at 190*C/375F/gas mark 5 for about 75mins or until cooked through. Turn out and leave to cool.
egg, gluten, nut and dairy free
Ideal for summer picnics and lazy afternoon snacks in your garden, this is another great recipe from Alice Sherwood’s ‘Allergy-free Cookbook’. Serve with new potatoes, cherry tomatoes, oatcakes, rice cakes or crudites.
To serve 4 you will need:
200g plain, natural soya or coconut yoghurt
225g cream cheese or silken tofu for dairy-free option. Use 1 tbsp olive oil if using silken tofu.
1-2 tbsp olive oil
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 small garlic clove, skinned & crushed
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chervil
4 spring onions, finely chopped
ground black pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients in a food processer or blender and whizz until blended. Season to taste. The dip can be stored covered in a fridge for up to 24hrs.