Protein Bread

This is a super quick and easy recipe for a protein bread (naturally gluten-fee) that my Mum shared with me. You only need a slice or two to be filled up for hours.

Ingredients

8 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

5 tblsp oil

300 g sour cream/creme fraiche

200 g chopped walnuts

100 g chopped almonds

200 g linseeds

100 g sunflower seeds

100 g pumpkin seeds

100 g sesame seeds

approx. 400g gluten-free rolled oats or soyflakes

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Mix the eggs, oil, baking powder and sour cream in an electric mixer: .

2. Add the nuts, seeds and rolled oats until the consistency is like thick porridge. Please note that the meausrements for the nuts/seed/oats are approximate and you can use whatever types you have around the house. The oats are approximate as it depends on the size of eggs you use. If the mixture is more wet, you need more oats whereas if the mixture is dry, you need less oats.

3. Distribute the mixrtumixture into 2 greased loaf tins (to make 2 small loaves). Please note that the mixture will not rise so sometimes I build the mixture up taller than the tin to make one big loaf.

4. Bake in the oven bottom rack for approx. 65 minutes.

5. The bread can be stored in fridge or may be frozen.

 

proteinbread

Pecan pie

This is another of my favourite recipes as it is virtually effortless to make and is always a crowd pleaser!

Pecan pie ingredients:

1 portion DS Shortcrust Pastry (unfrozen)

85g butter (at room temperature)

140g light muscovado sugar

2 eggs

100g golden syrup

2 tbsp double cream

100g pecan nuts (roughly chopped)

 Pecan pie method:

Preheat oven to 180°C .

1. Knead the pastry for a few minutes then shap into a ball and, with a rolling pin, roll out and line a shallow loose-bottomed 23cm fluted flan tin.

2. Cover with baking paper and add baking beans and blind bake for 17 minutes.  Remove the paper and bean and return the tin to the oven for a further 5 minutes.

3. Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale in colour and fluffy.

4. Gradually beat in the eggs, syrup and cream.

5. Add the nuts and mix well.

6. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake for 30-35 minutes until set. Leave to cool in the tin.

7. Dust with icing sugar and serve by itself or vanilla icecream.

Enjoy!

 pecan pie

Helen’s Brilliant Bakery Mixes

Helen’s Brilliant Bakery Mixes

I recently had the opportunity to try the brown bread, white bread and scone mixes from the ‘Helen’s Brilliant Bakery Mixes’ range.

The first thing I realized when making the bread/scones was how EASY it was – who knew gluten-free baking could be so quick and simple! Other than the mixes you only need a few other store cupboard ingredients such as milk, oil, eggs or water (depending on the mix). There is no need for a bread maker and you don’t have to be an expert baker.

I didn’t have the exact pan shape needed for the bread – mine was a little bigger so the bread itself came out a little flat but didn’t take away from the taste. It is an easy way to impress your friends and family with home baked gluten-free goodies – it almost feels like cheating!

Here is the brown bread:

helen - brown - 1helen - brown - 2

 helen - brown - 3

 helen - brown - 4

 helen - brown - 5

Unlike the brown bread, the white bread needed to prove (eg leaving it covered in a warm place for about 45 minutes). Here is the white bread:

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helen - white - 2

 helen - white - 3

helen - brown - 4

 helen - white - 5

The scones were my particular favourite though I’m not sure the texture is quite the same as a traditional scone. An American friend said the scones reminded them of American style biscuits. I lathered my scones with butter and Jersey black butter (more of a conserve than butter) and they were delicious! Here are the scones:

 helen - scone - 1

 helen - scone - 2

 helen - scone - 3

helen - scone - 4

 helen - scone - 5

I was very pleased that the end result of the bread and scones were that they were firm and held together well (not ridiculous crumbly that you couldn’t put butter or jam etc on them like some gluten-free products!). I found that the bread and scones were best eaten on the day of baking as they got a little dry afterwards but I think that just may be down to the gluten-free factor.

Helen’s Brilliant Bakery Mixes are excellent products to introduce yourself to gluten-free baking and they would be perfect if you need to rustle up some gluten-free bread/scones in a hurry for unexpected guests. They would also make a fun project to get children into (gluten-free) baking.

 Helen’s Brilliant Bakery Mixes are available at Sainsbury’s and the RRP per pack is £2.49

 

 

 

*I was sent samples of Helen’s Brilliant Bakery Mixes to try.

Tibits

Located off the hustle and bustle of Regent Street on Heddon Street is a small oasis housing a number of restaurant/bars including Tibits. The Tibits vision is to be a high-class, fast food vegetarian restaurant and from my experience, it is certainly a vegetarian experience like no other!

The concept at Tibits is that it both a take-away and sit down restaurant. The restaurant itself is fitted out to a high standard – as you would expect given its Mayfair location.

tibits - inside

tibits - inside1

I dined on a Tuesday evening and it was fairly busy. On entering the restaurant we were greeted by the friendly manager Antony and shown to our table. As it was my first time to Tibits, Antony was more than happy to walk me through the process of dining at Tibits.

At Tibits, rather than paying per dish, you pay per grams – meaning it is set up as a buffet where you take a plate (I was impressed they also had heated plates if you wanted a hot plate!) and help yourself to the fresh and delicious goodies on offer that day.

 tibits - food

tibits - food1

 tibits - food2

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All the food is made in-house and each dish as a note advising you of the allergens in the dish. This is the list of what is noted on the dish notes.

tibits - sign

Tibits even had gluten-free bread of offer!

 tibits - rolls

After loading up on a bit of all the yummy gluten-free dishes that were available, we took our plates to be weighed. As mentioned before, the concept at Tibits is that you pay for what you eat so whether you are super hungry or just want a snack – you can regulate how much you eat. The prices for dinner is £2.50 per 100g (lunch is £2.30 per 100g).

 tibits - weighing

 A word of warning, with all the delicious food on offer, you may suffer from a case of your eyes being bigger than your stomach. My dinner plate came to a total of £15.20.

 tibits - plate1

tibits - plate

Tibits have a number of fresh juices on offer so I decided to try the Tutti Fruitti juice which was very more-ish.  Their bottles of wines are from £15 .

tibits - juices

I’m a big fan of dessert (I’m sure we have a separate stomach just for dessert as I always seem to have room!) so I decided to try what vegetarian/gluten-free offerings Tibits had. Disappointingly, on the day that I dined, there was not a large choice of gluten-free desserts available – there was only fruit salad and a vanilla sauce (which was nice but nothing special).

tibits - desssert1tibits - dessserts

 Tibits also have a vegetarian cookbook available for purchase which is also available on Amazon so you can make your favourite Tibits dishes at home!

tibits - book

TIbits also offer a frequent dinerscard that gives you benefits the more you dine.

tibits - card

The total bill for 2 main meals, 2 juices and 2 desserts was £42.30. We were told that during summertime, those sitting in the outside seating area can experience live music on offer in Heddon Street. If you are in the Regent Street area, Tibits is an excellent place to visit if you want a fresh, vegetarian (and gluten-free) and healthy meal (to eat in or take away).

 

*I dined at Tibits as a guest of the restaurant.

North Road

I recently went to North Road for dinner to catch up with some old work colleagues who n  longer live in the UK . I specifically chose North Road for this dinner as I had been wanting to go for a while but, unfortunately, they are not open for Saturday lunch.  North Road has a Scandinavian touch to the menu and the restaurant prides itself on using produce that has been sourced exclusively from within the British Isles while in season.  We were unable to decide what we wanted to eat from the a la carte menu  (as it all looked good) so we decided to treat ourselves to the 7 course tasting menu. We also decided to have the wine pairing to go with the tasting menu.

As appetisers we were given Jersey royal potatoes, quail eggs and pork crackling which was beautifully presented and was equally delicious.

I was also given some gluten-free bread though they were more like mini muffins and, while they were nice, I did find them a bit hard and dense.

We were then treated to raw Dorset crab and cockle juice with apple vinegar and coastal herbs which tasted so fresh.

The next course was Scottish lumpfish roe with frozen cream, onions and chicken skin.

Then we had smoked native Dorset lobster with wild and cultivated vegetables.

The next course was Wye Valley & Kent asparagus with wild garlic & salted pheasant egg.

Then we had Herdwick lamb and sweetbread morels, sea lettuce and coastal herbs.

This was followed by yoghurt, herbs and Douglas fir pine.

Finally we had cotton candy which I was delighted with. As a child I absolutely loved cotton candy and this really brought me back to my childhood.

To finish off with, we had some Mount Sion Estate coffee and petit fours. The wine pairing really complimented the food and we all enjoyed the meal very much. The staff were attentive and explained the food and wines excellently. I have the feeling that North Road may not be as well known as the other Michelin restaurants due to being fairly new on the scene (it opened late 2010) and received its first Michelin star in 2012 but I’m sure once people try this restaurant, they will, like me be definitely returning.

Pusser’s East

Pusser’s East is located at Hodge’s Creek on the southern shore of Tortola near East End. The restaurant itself if quite large and offers waterfront dining with a large, breezy deck and views of Peter, Salt, Cooper and Ginger islands.

Unfortunately I dined at Pusser’s East for dinner after having a very large lunch at Rosewood Little Dix Bay so I was not overly hungry when we arrived. Pusser’s East is known for the local lobster and as you walk in there is a tank with them to greet you!

One of the main local drinks in the British Virgin Islands is called a Pain Killer – and it isn’t as bad as it sounds. At Pusser’s East you can get your drink in a souvenir to take home. You can also choose your strength from 2 to 5. I decided to go for a 3 and I found that was quite strong!

They do have a varied menu, however, it isn’t overly gluten-free friendly. I decided to go with what the restaurant is known for – the lobster and ordered lobster thermidor which was delicious!

 

We also decided to be extra greedy and we ordered the coconut bomb (I think that is what it was called). There were 3 of us at dinner and we still couldn’t finish it all. I don’t quite think the picture quite does it justice as to how big this dessert actually was!

Whilst the restaurant was ok, it wasn’t particularly gluten-free friendly – but if you like lobster then you will be in luck!

Rosewood Little Dix Bay

On a day trip over to Virgin Gorda (one of the islands that make up the British Virgin Islands), a colleague had recommended that a nice place to have bruch/lunch was at Rosewood Little Dix Bay. The resort is located just a few minutes taxi drive from the harbour and is set on a nice calm bay. The resort itself is quite exclusive (and the price to stay there reflects this), though the restaurant is open to outside guests. The restaurant overlooks the bay so you have a lovely sea view. As we were there on a Sunday for lunch, they had a very varied buffet lunch on offer. I thought the price of $30 per person was very reasonable for the quality of the food. I was also pleasantly surprised by the variety of gluten-free foods on offer.

For starters I had a nice selection of cold salads, cold meats, veggies and fruit.

Then for my main course I had a lovely piece of grilled swordfish and grilled mahi mahi with salsa and more salad.

The only thing I was slightly disappointed with was there was not much of a selection of gluten-free desserts. I ended up having a cream caramel and some more fruit. At this point in the day, it started raining and so we decided to stay for a little longer at the restaurant and have another course of cheese. By the time we left we were well and truly stuffed and had we been cats, it would have been time to curl up for a long nap! The staff were very friendly and helpful. I would recommend visiting Rosewood Little Dix Bay for a nice relaxing brunch/lunch by the sea and if you can afford to stay there, I have heard the amenities are excellent.

The Dove

Upon arriving late in the evening on a Saturday night to Tortola, British Virgin Islands a colleague of mine had recommended The Dove as a nice place to eat. Whilst I was pretty exhausted from travelling all the way from London, I was a bit hungry and was looking forward to tasting some Island food.  The restaurant is located close to the harbour and is quite cosy inside. I understand that it is usually best to book ahead but as we arrived fairly late on the Saturday evening, they did have a table available. I told our server that I was allergic to gluten and they said they would check with the chef but the dishes I had ordered should be ok (or could be modified to be gluten-free).

First we were treated by the chef to an hors d’oeuvre of mushroom, asparagus and egg – delicious!

For my starter, I chose the tuna tartar. I was not disappointed, it tasted so fresh – I could have eaten two plates worth! The presentation was lovely with a few pretty edible flowers.

For my main I had Angus steak and fries. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the steak but again I was pleasantly surprised that the meat was fresh and tender and the peppercorn sauce was just devine.

Unfortunately but the end of the main course I was too full to try a dessert. I was impressed that the restaurant was easily able to accommodate me eating gluten-free and the food was of an excellent quality. I would definitely recommend dining at The Dove if you are ever in Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Gluten-free ANZAC biscuits in rememberance of ANZAC Day (25 April)

As you may know, I grew up in Australia and the 25 April each year is ANZAC Day and is marked by a public holiday.   [Read more…]

ANZAC biscuits

ANZAC biscuits are very quick and easy to make. For a brief history of ANZAC biscuits, please see here. This recipe should produce about 24 biscuits.

ANZAC biscuit ingredients:

350g gluten-free flour

160g gluten-free oats

350g sugar

80g dessicated coconut

170g unsalted butter

2 tbsps golden syrup

6 tbsps boiling water

3/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

ANZAC biscuit method:

Preheat oven to 180°C and grease and line baking trays with baking paper.

1. In a large bowl, add the flour, oats, sugar, coconut and salt and stir well with a wooden spoon until well combined.

2. Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water.

3. In a small saucepan over a medium heat, melt the butter and golden syrup together then add the baking soda mixture.

4. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and combine well with the wooden spoon. Please don’t be concerned that the mixture is on the dry-ish side – this is correct!

5. Roll the mixture into balls (say about 1.5 times the size of a walnut) and place the dough well spaced out (at least 4-5 cms apart) onto the lined baking trays. The flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand (you may need to push the edges in a bit as cracks may appear).

6. Bake until golden brown and firm which is about 15 mins (make sure you turn the trays half way through baking.

7. Once you take the tray out, if the biscuits have spread into each other, quickly (while they are warm) use a knife to separate the biscuits. Leave on the tray to cool for a few minutes before attempting to move them to an cooling tray (they will just crumble otherwise). After about 10 mins move the biscuits to a cooling tray and allow to fully cool before eating. Enjoy!