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The Gluten Free Veggie

Gluten Free and Vegetarian Recipes, Reviews and Information

Month

October 2015

Recipe (GF, DF, Vegan) | Risotto-Stuffed Tomatoes

Recently I’ve been trying to make as many of my recipes dairy free or vegan as possible. I want my recipes to be suitable for as many people as possible, and so if there is a way to make my recipes dairy free/vegan I’ll try to include it! This of course can include some kind of cheese (I think goat’s cheese works very well) if you would like, but it’s just as tasty without!

This is a nice way to spice up risotto and add some extra veg into your dinner!

This can be an accompaniment to veg, served as a starter, or with risotto as a dinner.

For a more in depth method for the risotto see my other recipe here.

Ingredients:

For the tomatoes:

Beef tomatoes (you can use smaller ones if you just want them as part of a dinner)

Fresh basil leaves

Stuffed toms (1)

For the risotto:

Dried oregano

Approx. 70g arborio rice.

1/2 a vegan/gluten free stock cube and 1 pint of water

3-5 button mushrooms (you can use whatever you like, but mushroom risotto is my personal favourite).

For the topping:

1 slice BFree GF bread (I chose this bread as it is vegan as well as GF)

Pine nuts (as many as you like)

Stuffed toms (8)

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to gas mark 7. Take the tomatoes and carefully remove the top. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Place them into a baking dish with olive oil drizzled on the inside and around the base. Add the basil leaves to the inside of the tomatoes for extra flavour.
  2. Place the dish with the tomatoes into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  3. In a pan make the mushroom risotto, following the instructions set out in my recipe above.
  4. In a food processor add the bread and pine nuts and blitz.
  5. Once the tomatoes are baked and the risotto has reduced, spoon the risotto into each tomato.
  6. Top with the breadcrumb and pine nut mix and return to the oven until the pine nuts are golden.
  7. Serve on a bed of the risotto, with a side salad or just on it’s own!

Stuffed toms (10)

Product Review | Silly Yak Ready to Roll Gluten Free Pastry

Please read the entire review to see my star rating and overall conclusion.

Tesco are stocking this new ready to roll, chilled pastry and it’s wonderful! You can use it for sweet or savoury and it’s easy to use.

I’m not the most accomplished baker, but I managed to make a pie, some pasties, cheese straws and sweet pastry swirls with my block.

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Pictured above is my mushroom, cheddar, green pesto and pine nut pie, which isn’t very neat but was very tasty! I made several of these and froze them for later – they reheated perfectly!

The pastry once cooked is flakey and buttery, perfectly mimicking gluten-filled puff pastry. It’s fairly easy to roll out and doesn’t fall apart quite like other gluten free ready to roll pastries (such as Genius’ frozen one which is near impossible to work with sometimes!). I’ve found the pastry works much better if you handle it less – it seems the more you knead or roll it out, the more flimsy it becomes.

My only issue with it would be that you can’t freeze it before cooking and it has a very short shelf life in the fridge so it would be very useful to put it in the freezer and defrost it at a later date. However, you can make pies etc, cook them and then freeze them (I asked the companies themselves and they confirmed this).

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

4 out of 5 stars.

Recipe (GF, DF, V, Ve) | Butternut squash, spinach and cashew burgers

A burger recipe that everyone can enjoy – gluten and dairy free, vegetarian and vegan!

Cashews are full of protein and compliment the sweetness of the butternut squash, as well as giving a bulkier texture to these rather soft burgers. Spinach is also packed full of good stuff! According to BBC Good Food “Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folic acid as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health and it is difficult to find vegetables richer in vitamin K than spinach. Others include kale, broccoli and green cabbage.” Or the short version – eat as much dark green veg as you can stand!

As always the amounts may vary – especially depending on the size of the butternut squash.

Ingredients (to make approx 6 burgers):

1 small/medium butternut squash

2 handfuls of raw cashews (you can try soaking them first if you wish I found they turned the burgers to mush!)

2 handfuls of spinach (as spinach can be quite watery, I limit the amount compared to the butternut squash. If you would like to use more spinach, increase the amount of flour or even add some gluten free breadcrumbs)

3 dessert spoons of gf plain flour or enough to bind the mixture

Dried herbs – sage and rosemary are my favourites for the recipe. Around a teaspoon of each should be enough, and of course you can use fresh if you have them.

Half a teaspoon of smoked paprika

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7.
  2. Top and tail the squash, cut in half and remove all of the seeds and pith. Chop into cubes.
  3. Add the cubed squash to a large baking dish with plenty of oil and the herbs. Bake in the oven for 30-40 or until soft.

Butternut squash (6)4. While the squash is cooking, wilt the spinach, chop and leave to cool on a plate. If it’s too warm I’ve found the burgers don’t hold together as well.

5. In a blender, blitz the cashews until they resemble breadcrumbs.

6. Once the squash has baked, leave it to cool and then remove the skin. Add the flesh to a bowl with the spinach, cashews, flour, paprika and seasoning.

7. Shape into approx. six burgers.

8. Heat some oil in a pan.

9. Cook each burger for around 5 minutes on each side or until golden.

Product Review | Schär Gluten Free Cream Crackers

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Please read the entire review to see my star rating and overall conclusion.

I used to have cream crackers for lunch everyday before I had to go gluten free, so naturally I was incredibly excited to see that Schär have developed a gluten free version!

These are not only gluten free, but also lactose free and suitable for vegans! I picked these up for around £2.50 at the supermarket. 

You get quite a lot in a pack and they are individually packaged in groups of 5. This gives them an upper hand compared to some other brands of gluten free crackers; I’ve often bought a box of crackers, opened and eaten a few and within a couple of days the entire packet are stale – even when put into a tupperware container! With these, I can open each individually sealed pack and the rest will still stay fresh.

This also makes them easy to transport – I can take a pack in my work bag and they’ll still be fresh later on in the day.

I started by having these plain and found them very tasty even without margarine/butter. The texture is very similar to “normal” cream crackers. I did, however, find these very crumbly. After just ONE cracker my lap was covered in crumbs and flakes, not to mention the state of the carpet (note to self for next time – use a plate 😉 ).

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Perhaps this is a necessary evil – so long as you’re delicate with them, the crackers are very similar to the “normal” version. They work well with a small amount of spread or even as lunch with cheese and tomato.

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★★★★☆

4 out of 5 stars for a product very similar to it’s gluten counterpart. Great tasting, fairly priced and individually packaged for ease of use. I would happily have given these 5 stars if the texture wasn’t so crumbly.

Pea Pesto Potato Ravioli

Pine and Crave

Pea Pesto Potato RavioliI’ve been trying different variations of this potato ravioli for months, and I finally hit on a flavor combo I really like. Pesto is just so easy and so flavorful, so that was an easy choice, But I wanted to boost it with more veggies, so I mixed in spinach and peas…it’s all green, right?

My favorite part of this recipe is how the potatoes crisp up when pan-fried. And the ravioli sauce is really creamy and mild, which pairs great with the pesto because it doesn’t distract from it. Hope you like this tasty, grain-free alternative to traditional ravioli. I gobbled it up faster than I’d like to admit.

Happy cooking!
M

Pea Pesto Potato Ravioli
Two Servings | Vegan, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free
Prep time: 10 min | Cook and serve time: 20 min

Pea Pesto Ingredients
Ingredients:

2 large red potatoes
2-1/3 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup basil
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup…

View original post 255 more words

Small Business Spotlight! | Nutritious and Delicious NRG Bites

I’m always willing to support a small business, especially when they cater for people with dietary requirements! Recently I was scrolling through the Facebook group “Coeliacs in the UK” when I saw a post from Matty Taylor, who has recently developed a range of energy bar “bites”. At only 16 years old Matty has launched his own business making these products.

He says, “I started developing a range of energy bars/balls two years ago as I couldn’t find any shop-bought energy bars that tasted nice and weren’t full of additives! I was also taking GCSE Food Technology at the time and for our coursework we had to develop a project so I chose my energy bars!”.

After achieving success at school with this project, Matty went on to launch his own business. He says, “I’m focusing on a range of raw energy bites, Nutritious and Delicious NRG bites! With 4 flavours, ‘Cherry and Dark Chocolate ‘ ‘ Apple and Cinnamon ‘ and Orange and Ginger ‘ and Cranberry Pistachio and Fennel ‘. […] These are perfect for a bespoke hand crafted gift for friends or family at Christmas or simply to be enjoyed as a healthy treat.”

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These products are also completely gluten, dairy, wheat, refined sugar free and vegan! They cost £1.30 to £1.50 per energy ball (not including postage).

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Quotes from customers include “Blow nakd bars out of the water ” and “Celebration of flavours in the mouth”.

Contact Details

Facebook page

or

e-mail matttaylor265@gmail.com

University of Reading | My story and campaign for more GF food at uni

In the summer of 2014 I became very ill overnight. I was barely able to eat and spent all of my time in bed with severe stomach pains etc. After three weeks I called the doctor. After several tests and two months of being ill, it was finally concluded that it was not a virus but an allergy or intolerance to food; I then began an elimination diet. After many months of being ill, and cutting out each food group, my doctor concluded that I have a severe intolerance to gluten, which may or may not be permanent. Since then I’ve also been diagnosed with IBS. I am still undergoing tests to find out whether I have more serious conditions such as IBD or coeliac disease.

Gluten is protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Intolerance and sensitivities to it are fairly common, and cause the body to reject gluten, leading to the symptoms that I had.

Intolerance and sensitivities are only the tip of the iceberg. Some people have allergies to gluten, causing them to go into anaphylactic shock – forcing them to carry an EpiPen with them at all times. Others have a serious auto-immune condition called coeliac disease (CD). CD causes the body’s immune system to attack the gut due to the presence of gluten causing the above symptoms, plus: lasting damage to the gut, an increased risk of bowel cancer, and in some cases where a gluten free diet is not used, osteoporosis. 1 in 100 people have CD. Coeliac UK predicts that 500,000 people are living with the condition but are NOT diagnosed.

As well as this array of gluten related illnesses people can have intolerances and allergies to lactose, dairy, soya, nuts, eggs, lupin etc. Awareness of these conditions is poor, leading to ignorance about the exact impact on the sufferers’ lives.

People like me have to avoid gluten completely in their diets in order to feel well. I, for example, can barely function when eating a gluten inclusive diet. Avoiding gluten may be harder than it sounds. It is not only found in bread, pizzas, and pastas; but also in malt vinegar, soy sauce, breakfast cereals, beer and some soups.

Cross-contamination is another big worry for those with a dietary requirement. Kitchens or factories need to follow strict procedures: such a hand washing in between handling allergens, separate preparation areas, separate utensils, and separate cooking areas. Just one gluten-containing breadcrumb falling into my food could lead to me being ill for days or weeks.

Many national chain restaurants are becoming more informed on dietary requirements. For example, Pizza Express, Ed’s Easy Diner, TGI Fridays, Costa and Starbucks now have many gluten free options. It seems clear to me that all eateries, especially those catering for large communities, such as at a university, should provide several options suited to dietary requirements.

When I was first diagnosed, naturally I hoped to find suitable options on campus. I was disappointed to find a small selection of snack sized gluten and dairy free cakes as well as a few types of potato crisps or popcorn that were suitable. In my first year at the university I used to regularly buy sandwiches for lunch, but once I had to remove gluten from my diet I began to boycott the university cafes and shops altogether; it worked out much cheaper to bring a gluten free sandwich in a lunchbox from home, not to mention much more filling than a small packet of popcorn and a mini cake!

Therefore, when I submitted my request for more gluten free food to the ChangeIt campaign I was doubtful that any progress would be made.

My main aim with this campaign was to be able to find convenient, reasonably priced and tasty gluten free lunch options on campus on a day to day basis. For those of us with dietary requirements, the lack of convenient food options is not just a matter of going hungry for a few hours, it also makes us excluded from the general community on campus.

My experience finding food on campus since the ChangeIt campaign has been much the same as before I submitted my thoughts. Often when I try to get lunch in Dolce Vita or Campus Central there is only popcorn, crisps or a small cake/chocolate bar/cereal bar on offer. Recently Dolce Vita haven’t been displaying the gluten free brownie and I’ve had to ask them to go into the back to get it. Although this is not an issue for me as I am confident asking for gluten free food now, it could lead some students to feel that they are being awkward when having to ask for something particular that the staff have to then go and get.

Although there is now a gluten free menu in Mojo’s (which is a fantastic improvement on what was available before) the kitchen processes mean that for someone as sensitive to gluten as I am (which will also include people with coeliac disease) the food is still not suitable and will still make me ill. Separate areas, utensils and fryers (for chips) need to be used in order for the food to be considered “gluten free” for coeliacs as opposed to “no gluten containing ingredients”.

The university have added a few more options since my campaign began. Recently two gluten free wraps have been added to Dolce Vita, as well as gluten free falafel box. Although pricey, it’s nice to have an option. The vegetable and houmous wrap is not to my taste, and so I won’t be buying it again, but I’m pleased to see an improvement.

Gluten free and vegan falafel box
Gluten free and vegan falafel box

 

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