Monthly Archives: January 2010

Dairy-Free Pesto Pasta


Dairy-free cheese makes a fantastic pesto. I find the harder types of dairy-free cheese (often called cheddar-style) best for this, but any of them work well. This recipe freezes well, so you can prepare a large batch – especially if basil is in season and inexpensive – and freeze individual portions for when you’re just too tired or just don’t have any spare time to cook.

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

Preparation time 2 minutes     Cooking time 10–13 minutes     Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 400g gluten-free pasta
  • 50g basil
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 40g dairy-free cheese
  • sea salt
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, then the pasta. Cook over a medium heat for about 8–10 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, stirring frequently so that the pasta does not stick together.
  2. Meanwhile, wash the basil under the running cold tap, and carefully pat dry in a clean tea towel.
  3. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Add the pine nuts and dry-fry for 2-3 minutes, until they start to brown. Keep the nuts moving all the time so they don’t burn.
  4. Remove from the heat and tip the nuts into the bowl of a food processor. Add the basil leaves, garlic and dairy-free cheese, and start to blend the mixture. With the motor running, pour the remaining oil in gradually until the mixture becomes a thick, dense sauce. Add salt to taste.
  5. Drain the pasta and rinse well with boiling water, then drain again. Serve immediately with the sauce.

Harry’s Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Pesto Pasta!


Harry’s Mum requested this as Harry can’t eat pesto because of a nut allergy. He’s fine with chickpeas (but they’re part of the same food family as peanuts, so it’s important to check this out), so I devised this recipe. Apparently it was a great success!

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, seed-free, egg-free, citrus-free

Preparation time 5 minutes plus overnight soaking time, if using dried chickpeas
Cooking time 1½ hours–2 hours, if using dried chickpeas     Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 400g gluten-free pasta
  • 50g basil
  • 25g dried chickpeas, or 50g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 40g dairy-free cheese
  • sea salt
  1. If using dried chickpeas, place them in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight or for at least 12 hours.
  2. The next day, drain the chickpeas, then rinse thoroughly. Put in a large saucepan, cover with fresh water and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 1-1½  hours until tender. Drain thoroughly.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add 1 tbsp of the oil, then the pasta. Cook over a medium heat for about 8–10 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, stirring frequently so that the pasta does not stick together.
  4. Meanwhile, wash the basil under the running cold tap, and carefully pat dry in a clean tea towel.
  5. Put the basil leaves, garlic, cooked or tinned chickpeas and dairy-free cheese into the bowl of a food processor, and start to blend until the mixture is a smooth puree. With the motor running, pour the remaining oil in gradually until the mixture becomes a thick, dense sauce. Add salt to taste.
  6. Drain the pasta and rinse well with boiling water, then drain again. Serve immediately with the sauce.

Dairy-Free Coconut Panacotta

This is richer than a dairy-based panacotta, and looks impressive. It’s well worth spending the money on agar-agar flakes as they work incredibly well (the Japanese have used them for centuries), are preservative- and chemical- free and even contain nutrients from the sea vegetables they’re made from.

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, soy-free, egg-free, citrus-free

Cooking time 8 minutes plus 1½ hours chilling time     Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 400ml coconut cream
  • 2½ tbsp xylitol or fruit sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 tsp agar agar flakes
  • unsweetened coconut flakes, to serve
  1. Spoon the coconut cream into a saucepan and heat gently over a low heat, until it has softened into a liquid. Add the xylitol or fruit sugar and the vanilla pod and sprinkle the agar agar flakes over. Turn up the heat and bring almost to the boil. Turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 3-5 minutes until the agar agar flakes have dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Add the coconut flakes and dry-fry until lightly browned, turning frequently to prevent burning. Tip the toasted flakes into a bowl.
  3. Remove the coconut liquid from the heat, discard the vanilla pod and, using a hand-held electric whisk, beat well for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour the liquid into two 175ml ramekins and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 1½ hours until set. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut flakes and serve.

Green Goddess Dairy-Free Omelette

This is a recipe to make you feel incredibly virtuous! Packed with nutrients, particularly from the avocado and the alfalfa sprouts, this makes a fantastic start to your day – or a deliciously nutritious lunch or light supper.

Fresh alfalfa sprouts can be difficult to get, so you could make your own. You can buy special seed sprouters, but a jam jar will do just as well. Simply take a small handful of seeds, wash them and place in the jar. Fill the jar with about three times the amount of water and soak for at least eight hours. Drain and rinse the seeds and leave in a warm, dark place. Rinse thoroughly every 12 hours for three days, then bring them out into sunlight and repeat the process for another two days until they’re ready to eat.

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Preparation time 5 minutes     Cooking time 5–6 minutes     Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 2 tsp dairy-free margarine
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • ½ ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and mashed
  • 25g alfalfa sprouts
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the margarine in a 20cm heavy-based frying pan, making sure the base is well covered in the hot fat. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and sprinkle over half the chopped mint and coriander. As the egg begins to set, keep lifting the edges gently and tilting the pan to let the uncooked egg trickle underneath. After 5–6 minutes the base of the omelette will be golden and the top almost set, but still soft.
  2. When the omelette is just set, spoon the avocado on top, covering the omelette and sprinkle the remaining herbs and alfalfa sprouts over the top. Tilt the pan away from you and, using a spatula, carefully fold it in half. Serve immediately.