Seven-layer Dip

egg, gluten, dairy and nut free

This colourful tasty dip is ideal for parties or make a smaller version for your own vibrant light lunch!  The recipe is from Alice Sherwood’s ‘Allergy-free Cookbook’ which has a wealth of ideas for gluten, dairy, egg and nut free meals, snacks and desserts.

For a party sized dish you will need:

3 avocadoes

juice of 1 lemon or lime

450g can refried beans (or use a mixed bean salad and crush the mixture up)

500ml dairy-free soured cream or plain soya yoghurt

1/4 tsp chilli powder

2 green peppers, chopped

340g drained, pitted and halved black olives

8 tomatoes, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

750g dairy-free cheese, coarsely grated

chopped coriander and spring onions to garnish

Peel and mash the avocadoes with the lemon or lime juice.  In a glass bowl, layer the ingredients starting with the beans as the base, then the avocadoes, soured cream or yoghurt, green peppers, olives, tomatoes and red onion.  Top it all with cheese, coriander and spring onions.



Make Your Own Nut Milks

gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan

You will need:

  • 1 cup nuts of your choice – almonds, hazels and Brazil nuts make good milks (walnuts are too oily) OR grated creamed coconut for making coconut milk
  • 4 cups of plain water
  • Flavouring if desired; choose from 5-6 chopped dates / 1 teaspoon vanilla extract / 1 dessertspoon of agave syrup or 1 teaspoon good quality cocoa powder (for chocolate milk!)
  • A nut milk bag or square of polyester voile fabric 50cm X 50cm for straining the mixture
  • Blender
  • Large mason jar or container for the nut milk

As a guide to quantities, 1 cup of nuts to 4 cups of water will give you 2-3 cups of nut milk plus the leftover nut solids which you can use in baking or add to cereal or yoghurt.

Soak your nuts for 8-10 hours, (overnight ideally) then strain the soak water off and discard it.  Grated creamed coconut does not need pre-soaking.

Place the nuts and 4 cups of plain water in a blender along with your chosen flavouring.

Blend the mixture for a couple of minutes.

Line your container with the fabric (or nut milk bag) so that the fabric dangles halfway down the inside of the container and overlaps the edges.  Secure the fabric around the edge with string or an elastic band if you wish.  Pour the mixture into the fabric and leave it to strain through.

Once the milk has stained, pop your jar of fresh nut milk into the fridge where it will keep for 2-4 days.  Enjoy!


Coconut & Oat Salmon Strips

wheat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free option

This recipe works well with chicken, turkey or any firm white fish too.

Serves 4

450g skinless and boneless salmon fillets

80g gluten-free or regular oatcakes – crumbled up

60g dessicated coconut

2 eggs, beaten

40g rice flour

Dip of your choice; guacamole, houmous or a mix of avocado and mayonnaise

Slice the salmon into thick strips.  Mix together the crumbled oatcakes, coconut and rice flour.  Dip the salmon in the beaten egg then coat thoroughly in the dry mixture.  Grill until cooked through.  Serve with dips and vegetable crudites.


Rainbow salad

The spectrum of colours in this salad highlight the range of powerful antioxidant nutrients in the foods.  Great for immune health and energy levels it makes a tasty accompaniment to grilled chicken, fish or lentil bake 🙂

In a large bowl mix together chopped cooked beetroot, sliced mango, pomegranate seeds, 2 handfuls of mixed leaves (rocket, watercress, lambs lettuce, pea shoots, spinach – any green leaves); sliced avocado and a tablespoon of pine nuts.

Dress with a blend of flax oil, wholegrain mustard and lemon juice.


3 Easy Zingy Juice Ideas

These fantastic juice ideas are from the ‘Innocent Little Book of Drinks’.  Simple, tasty and guaranteed to wake you up!

#1 – Spinach and Spice

2-3 big handfuls of fresh spinach

2 large apples (preferably Royal Gala if you can get them)

1/2 lemon

Grated nutmeg

Remove the stalk from the spinach and put the leaves through the juicer.  Put the juice in a jug.  Cut the apples into wedges, juice and add to the jug.  Add the lemon juice and grated nutmeg, stir well and serve.

#2 – Carrot & Pink Grapefruit

5 carrots

2 pink grapferuits

Top and tail the carrots, put through the juicer and pour into a jug.  Squeeze the grapefruits and add the juice to the jug.  Mix and drink.

#3 – Peach and Redcurrant

1 apple (Royal Gala if possible)

1 large juicy peach

1 orange

2-3 handfuls of redcurrants or raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Cut the apple into wedges, put through the juicer and pour the juice into a blender.  Halve the peach, remove the stone and place the halves in the blender.  Squeeze the orange into the blender.  Add the redcurrants/raspberries and whizz everything until smoth.

Top 5 Sprout Recipes

The beautiful sprout must be the vegetable equivalent of Marmite – loved and hated in equal measure.  These little round brassicas are packed with folic acid, vitamin B6 (good for low mood and ‘winter blues’) potassium, fibre and glucosinolates; plant compounds with cancer-fighting powers and can be enjoyed for the next few weeks of Sprout Season not just on Christmas Day!

Stuck for ideas of what to do with them?  Here’s 5 to get you started…

1. Classic Sprout – lightly steamed and drizzled with olive or hazelnut oil and a few flaked almonds

2. Rich Red Sprout – gently fry chopped good quality bacon and red onion in coconut oil until the onions are soft and sticky.  Add steamed sprouts, mix together and top with pine nuts

3. Fruity Sprout – add finely chopped raw sprouts to a salad mixture of  lambs lettuce, yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and pomegranate seeds.  Dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

4. Stir fry Sprout – sprouts are efectively mini cabbages and taste delicious in a stir fry.  Add chopped or shredded sprouts to your wok with sliced peppers, beanshoots, carrot, mushrooms, chilli, ginger and cashew nuts

5. Hidden Sprout – sneak any leftover sprouts into a rich warming turkey stew!

And for even more tasty ideas, click here!

Soothing Linseed Tea

Linseeds (or flaxseeds) are rich in mucilage that coats, soothes and hydrates your digestive tract which in turn, supports the hydration of your entire body.  Drinking 2-3 mugs of linseed tea per day inbetween meals can be very helpful for digestive problems, stiff achey joints or as part of a gentle detox plan…

In a pan, add 2 tablespoons of golden linseeds to 1.5 litres of water and bring to the boil.  Switch off the heat and leave the mixture to stand for 12 hours or overnight.

Reheat and simmer for an hour with the lid on the pan.

Strain the seeds off and keep the remaining thick liquid in the fridge.

To make a tea with it, dilute a 50/50 mixture of linseed tea and fresh hot water.

This recipe is from ‘Cellular Awakening’ by Barbara Wren, Hay House 2009.

Spicy Lentil & Coconut Soup

gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, egg-free

A warming soup that can be as spicy as you fancy…

1 cup red lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 glove garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 large green pepper, chopped

2 teaspoons grated ginger

1 teaspoon of finely chopped red chilli

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon ground cardomom

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

2 1/2 cups tinned coconut milk

handful of coriander for garnishing

allspice, for garnishing

Cover the lentils with boiling water and leave to soak for 15 mins.  Heat the oil in a large pan then add garlic, onion, green pepper, ginger, chilli, spices and corainder and cook gently for 3-4 mins.

Add the drained lentils, stir well, add the stock and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 mins.  Add the coconut milk, stir well and continue to cook for 45 mins.

Garnish with the coriander and allspice, serve and enjoy!

Recipe from”Vegetarian Cooking” by Jo Anne Calabria (Murdoch Books).

Pumpkin & Prune Muffins

gluten-free option, egg-free option

Makes 12 delightful muffins

1 1/2 cups wholemeal self raising flour OR gluten-free self raising flour

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1/3 cup oats OR gluten-free oats

2/3 cup unrefined brown sugar

1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin (this equates to roughly 350g of uncooked pumpkin)

3/4 cup chopped prunes

1 egg, beaten OR egg-replacer

125g butter, melted

Sift the flour and mixed spice into a mixing bowl.  Add oats and sugar and mix together.  Make a well in the middle of the bowl and pour in the egg, pumpkin, prunes and butter.  Using a large metal spoon, stir quickly until the ingredients are mixed.

Drop spoonfuls of mixture into muffin cases, filling each case two thirds full.  Bake at 200*c for 20mins or until the muffins are golden, well risen and cooked through.  Leave to stand for 1 minute before putting them onto a wire cooling rack.


Recipe from”Vegetarian Cooking” by Jo Anne Calabria (Murdoch Books).

Lemon, Feta & Rosemary Buckwheat Muffins

gluten-free, wheat-free, egg-free option

These tasty savoury muffins are ideal for pack-ups or as a great accompaniment for soup.  The recipe was published in The Guardian ‘Cook’ supplement, 31/08/2013 and was supplied to The Guardian by

Makes 6:

300g butternut squash

70g buckwheat flour

1 tbsp arrowroot

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda or baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 tsp garlic powder

Zest of 2 lemons

1 egg, lightly beaten, OR egg replacer

1 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 chopped spring onions

20g pumpkin seeds

100g diced feta

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350F/gas mark 4.  Dice the butternut squash and gently roast until soft.  Allow the squash to cool slightly then place in a food processor with all the ingredients except the spring onions, pumpkin seeds and feta and blend until smooth.  Stir in the spring onions and half the feta.  Pop the mixture into muffin cases then decorate the muffins with the remaining feta and pumpkin seeds.  Bake for 35-40mins.  Allow to cool and enjoy!