Tag Archives: dairy-free cheese

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Roasted Aubergine with Amaranth & Harissa

Stuffed aubergine

I’ve had a bag of amaranth sitting in my kitchen cupboard for a while now, so I thought it was time to use it. Like quinoa, amaranth is a true superfood, but unlike quinoa, it hasn’t started to become mainstream – people generally haven’t heard of it and don’t know how to use it. Amaranth dates back about 8,000 years and was a staple part of the diet for the Aztecs in Mexico. Although it’s a grain, it’s a fantastic source of non-meat, complete protein (it is about 15% protein), along with complex carbs and fibre. Packed with nutrients, too, especially calcium and iron, as well as vitamins A, B6, C, folate and riboflavin, and phytochemicals that are great for boosting the immune system and reducing blood pressure and high cholesterol.

You can cook amaranth exactly like quinoa (simmer in boiling water or stock until tender and the water has been absorbed, or toast the grains and then simmer). And, just like quinoa, it’s incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet – use it instead of couscous or rice and add fruit, nuts, herbs or spices to flavour it. Here I’ve used it to make the stuffing for the aubergines – and I’ve made a dish with layers of flavours. You can take it back by leaving out the fruity bit (the sultanas) and/or the cheesy bit, leaving just the harissa, lemon and herbs, or you can add the whole caboodle. Either way, it’s delicious!

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

Serves 4     Preparation time 15 minutes     Cooking time 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 aubergines, halved lengthways
  • 2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 300g/10½oz/1½ cups amaranth
  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ¾ cup sultanas (optional)
  • 600ml/21fl oz/scant 2½ cups gluten-free and dairy-free vegetable stock
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 handfuls finely chopped mint leaves
  • 2 large handfuls finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 8 spring onions, white part finely sliced
  • 200g/7oz dairy-free cheese, crumbled or grated (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • salad, to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Using a sharp knife, score the flesh of the aubergines with a diagonal crisscross pattern, making sure not to pierce the skin. Put the aubergine halves on baking trays and spread the harissa paste evenly over. Bake for 40 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, put the amaranth in a fine sieve and rinse well under cold running water. Transfer to a saucepan, add the sultanas, if using, and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 15–20 minutes until the amaranth is tender and the water has been absorbed.
  3. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the lemon juice, herbs, spring onions, and add the dairy-free cheese, if using. Mix together thoroughly and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. When the aubergines have cooked, remove from the oven and carefully scoop most of the flesh out of the aubergines, leaving a layer of flesh next to the skins. Mash the flesh, then add to the amaranth mixture, and mix in thoroughly. Spoon the mixture into the aubergine cases and bake for a further 10 minutes. Serve hot with salad, if you like.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Aubergine & Tomato Stacks

Full of the flavours of the Mediterranean, this recipe transports you to sun-drenched Italy! As someone who has been intolerant to gluten and dairy for many, many years, I’ve generally stayed away from Italian food, thinking that it’s mainly based around pasta, pizza and a lot of cheese. But when we went to Tuscany recently, I discovered that real Italian food is a wonderfully, all-embracing cuisine. Of course there’s pasta and pizza and of course there are many different cheese showcased throughout the menus. But there’s also a delicious range of recipes that create little bites of heaven with vegetables, meat, fish and fruit, as well. In Tuscany I gained enormous respect for the way Italians work with local produce and hope that this (dairy-free) Italian-style recipe does the cuisine justice.

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

Serves 4     Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 35 minutes

Ingredients:

Dairy-Free Pesto:

  • 60g/2¼oz basil leaves
  • 30g/1oz/scant ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50g/1¾oz dairy-free cheese
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large aubergines, sliced widthways and ends removed
  • 3–4 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 large tomatoes, sliced and ends removed
  • 200g/7oz dairy-free soya cheese, cut into small square-shaped slices
  • 1 large, ripe avocado
  • a few basil leaves, to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and put the aubergine slices onto a baking tray. Drizzle over the oil and bake for 20 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Heat a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pine nuts and dry-fry until just starting to turn golden. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Wash the basil and pat dry in a clean kitchen towel. Put the pine nuts, basil, garlic and dairy-free cheese into a food processor and blitz. With the motor running, pour the oil until a thick, dense sauce forms.
  3. When the aubergines have cooked, put a slice of tomato on top of each aubergine slice. Then put a small dollop of the pesto sauce on top and cover with a slice of dairy-free cheese.
  4. Return to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until the dairy-free cheese is starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven.
  5. To make the stacks, put one pile of aubergine/tomato/pesto/dairy-free cheese on top of another, on a serving plate, using the smaller piles to put on top of the larger ones. Press the stacks down slightly to anchor them. This will make about 12 stacks.
  6. Cut the avocado into quarters and remove the skins and stone. Slice each quarter into thirds and half each slice. Top the stacks with a couple of pieces of avocado each and sprinkle the basil over. Serve hot or cold.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cheese & Sun-Dried Tomato Muffins

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I’ve been on a quest to make gluten-free baked goodies all taste wonderfully soft and moist inside. It’s hard to get the right balance of flour to liquid when you’re baking gluten-free, and cakes, cupcakes, muffins, biscuits, bread and all such things, and they can easily come out of the oven too dry and crumbly. Generally, I reckon you need to use more liquid than when cooking with flour that contains gluten, as gluten-free flours generally soak up liquid when they’re cooking. But the difficulty is that different flours and starches soak up different amounts of liquid…

In the past, I’ve sometimes had to test and retest until the recipe is right. (Peter and Zoe have never minded tasting up to 3 versions of a cake, so it hasn’t been a problem!) I would dream up the recipe in theory, and then work out how to make it. But recently I’ve been working much more instinctively, and finding that it’s a better method. I made these muffins on the spur of the moment – with ingredients from my storecupboard and fridge – and making it up as I went along. I mixed everything I thought should go in, tasted it and decided what else it needed. And I poured in the amount of dairy-free milk I was expecting to use and then just added more and more until it felt right. And you know what, these muffins worked perfectly. They came out of the oven with a lovely firm texture on the outside, and a gorgeously soft, moist inside. And they taste great. Yay! From now on, I’ve decided that I’m going to trust my instinct more – and wing it more – and see what happens…

gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free, nut-free (unless using nut milk), seed-free, citrus-free

Makes 6 Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/⅓ cup maize flour
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100g/3½oz dairy-free cheese, grated
  • 6 drained, bottled sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 75g/2½oz dairy-free margarine
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 175ml/5½fl oz/scant ¾ cup dairy-free milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and put 6 paper muffin cases in a muffin tin.
  2. Sift in the flours, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum and salt into a mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. Add the dairy-free cheese and sun-dried tomatoes and mix in well.
  3. Melt the dairy-free margarine in a small saucepan over a gentle heat. Pour into another mixing bowl and whisk in the eggs, tomato purée and dairy-free milk until thoroughly mixed. stir quickly until mixed.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and gently mix in with a metal spoon. Be careful not to overmix, and don’t worry if there are some lumps in the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes until well risen, golden brown and just firm to the touch, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and eat the muffins warm or transfer them in their paper cases to a wire rack to cool.

Gluten-free and Dairy-free Thin Crust Florentine Pizza

Ok this is a messy-looking pizza – but it’s truly delicious! This pizza has a gorgeously crispy crust around the sides, with a soft centre from the spinach and eggs. You need to be careful when you’re cracking the eggs onto the base but don’t stress about it – this isn’t a tidy pizza in any sense. It’s messy to look at, and messy to eat. Just enjoy the distinctive yet balanced flavours – and the fact that you’re eating a gluten-free and dairy-free thin crust pizza!

Preparation time 25 minutes     Cooking time 15 minutes, plus 1 hour rising     Serves 2

  • 150g/5½oz baby spinach
  • 4 tbsp passata
  • 1½ tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 60g/2¼oz dairy-free cheese, shaved

Pizza Dough:

  • 85g/3oz/scant ½ cup rice flour, plus extra for rolling the dough
  • 85g/3oz/heaped ½ cup gram flour
  • 30g/1oz/scant ¼ cup maize flour
  • scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried active yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. To make the pizza dough, sift the flours, xanthan gum and salt into a food processor. Add the yeast and pulse several times to mix together. Add the oil and blend well. Add 110ml/3¾fl oz/scant ½ cup warm water, a little at a time, and continue blending to form a soft dough. Process for 10 minutes, to aerate the dough Put the dough in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave to stand at room temperature for 1 hour until risen.
  2. Put the spinach in a steamer and heat over a high heat for 2 minutes until just starting to wilt. Transfer to a sieve and press thoroughly with the back of a metal spoon, pushing all the liquid out of the spinach. Leave to one side.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Turn the dough out again onto a lightly floured surface and knead a little, then shape into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, roll it out into a circle about 3mm thick and trim with a knife to neaten the edges. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
  4. Put the passata and tomato purée in a bowl and mix well, then spread it over the dough, leaving a small space around the edge. Arrange the spinach over the top and bake for 8 minutes until the edges are starting to turn slightly golden. Remove from the oven and press 3 dips into the spinach with the back of a metal spoon, making enough room for an egg in each dip. Crack an egg and gently pour into one of the dips, trying to ensure that no egg liquid spills out of the dip. Repeat with the remaining eggs and bake for a further 8 minutes until the egg whites are cooked through. Remove from the oven, scatter the soya cheese shavings over the top and bake for a further 2 minutes until the soya cheese has melted. Serve hot.

Gluten-free and Dairy-free Mushroom Calzone



Calzone is simply a folded pizza. You make a dough (I’ve made a gluten-free and dairy-free one) and then put the filling onto one side, fold the other side of dough over the top, seal it and bake it. Here I’ve filled it with rich tomato, garlicy mushrooms, pungent basil and oozing soya cheese and it’s completely delicious. It makes a wonderful lunch or dinner – and it’s also great for packing up and taking with you, for a picnic on the beach or in the park, or even lunch at work.

Preparation time 25 minutes     Cooking time 15 minutes, plus 1 hour rising     Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 75g/2½oz mushrooms, peeled and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 tbsp passata
  • 1½ tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 small handful basil leaves, shredded
  • 50g/1¾oz dairy-free cheese, crumbled

Dough:

  • 85g/3oz/scant ½ cup rice flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 85g/3oz/heaped ½ cup gram flour
  • 30g/1oz/scant ⅓ cup maize flour
  • scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried active yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. To make the pizza dough, sift the flours, xanthan gum and salt into a food processor. Add the yeast and pulse several times to mix together. Add the oil and blend well. Add 110ml warm water, a little at a time, and continue blending to form a soft dough. Process for 10 minutes, to aerate the dough.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based PTFE-free frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and fry, stirring frequently, for 2–3 minutes until lightly golden. Add the garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds, stirring all the time. Leave to one side.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Turn the dough out again onto a lightly floured surface and knead a little, then divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, roll it out into a circle about 3mm/1⁄8in thick and trim with a knife to neaten the edges. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
  4. Put the passata, tomato purée and garlicky mushrooms in a bowl and mix well, then spread it over one half of the dough, leaving a 2mm1⁄16in space around the edge. Sprinkle the basil over the top, then cover with the crumbled soya cheese. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges with water. Using a spatula to hold the dough, fold it over dough and press indentations with your finger around the edges to secure them together. Bake for 14–15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush olive oil over the top with a pastry brush. Serve.