This Thai Prawn Curry really is super-easy. You can make the curry paste the night before and keep it in the fridge until you use it. (Forget the shop-bought versions when you can make this so easily and it’s so healthy) Then it’s just a case of gathering the rest of the ingredients and starting to cook. Perfect!
preparation time: 15 minutes cooking time: 30 minutes serves: 4
The sun is streaming into the kitchen and it feels great to be making hot-weather food. Step forward salads – with zingy, fresh ingredients and clean, clear tastes. Making food in this heat becomes as simple as putting some ingredients in a bowl. And when it’s this simple, it’s supereasy to make healthy, nutrient-packed meals.
This salad is full of antioxidant-rich veggies. But the stars of the bowl are the chia seeds. They are literally bursting with vitamins, minerals and the highest amount of omega-3 in any fruit or vegetable. You can use chia seeds to thicken stews, soups, juices and smoothies, to bind flour mixtures together as a substitute for eggs when baking, but also very simply to sprinkle into stir-frys and salads. Ahhh, sunshine and superfoods – a wonderful combination!
gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, egg-free, nut-free
Serves 4 Preparation time 10 minutes
- 150g/5½oz mixed salad leaves
- ½ cucumber, peeled and halved lengthways
- 2 carrots, cut into thin matchsticks
- ½ red, orange or yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced into thin matchsticks
- 2 spring onions, white part finely sliced
- 1 small handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- To make the dressing, mix together the ingredients in a small jug.
- Using a teaspoon, deseed the cucumber by running the spoon down the centre of the cucumber. Discard the seeds and cut the cucumber into thin matchsticks. Put the cucumber and the remaining vegetables into a serving bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the dressing and the herbs and mix in gently. Sprinkle the seeds over the top and serve.
A while ago, I took Zoe to a pizza-making class at our local farmers’ market. Surrounded by other kids piling on different toppings, Zoe made a very simple pizza, using just pineapple and ham. I asked her whether she wanted to add peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, or anything else, but she was very clear that she only wanted to add the two ingredients. Of course, it’s a much-loved combination with kids but I was surprised that she didn’t go for the peppers or mushrooms as well. As she munched her way through it – very happily – it led me to think about the beauty of using just a few ingredients in dishes. At home, I often cook very simple meals – baking fish, for example, in olive oil, or grilling meat, and serving it with steamed veggies and salad. If you use good quality (preferably organic) ingredients, you can enjoy every mouthful of pure, unadulterated food.
So it makes sense that you can apply the same idea to pizza. This weekend I tried out Zoe’s combo and it was great. Peter, especially, loved it. Long live the good, simple classics!
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free
Serves 2 Preparation time 25 minutes, plus 30 minutes resting Cooking time 15 minutes
- 6 tbsp passata
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 220g/7¾oz tinned pineapple, drained and cut into chunks
- 50g/1¾oz Parma ham, thinly sliced
- 30–60g/1–2¼oz/⅓–⅔ cup soya cheese, shaved
- 85g/3oz/scant ½ cup brown rice flour, plus extra for rolling the dough
- 85g/3oz/¾ cup gram flour
- 30g/1¼oz/¼ cup maize flour
- scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried active yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- To make the pizza dough, sift the flours, xanthan gum and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and, using a metal whisk, mix thoroughly. Add the oil and mix in. Pour in 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup warm water and, using either a wooden spoon or your hands, mix to form a soft dough. Alternatively, sift the flours, xanthan gum and salt into a food processor. Add the yeast and blend to mix together. Add the oil and blend well. Add 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup warm water, a little at a time, and continue blending to form a soft dough. Put the dough in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- 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 it into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, roll it out into a large circle about 5mm/¼in thick and neaten the edge, using a sharp knife, if you like. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
- Put the passata and tomato purée in a bowl and mix well, then spread it over the pizza base and sprinkle with the pineapple and ham. Bake for 12 minutes until the base is starting to turn brown and the tomato sauce is bubbling. Remove the pizza from the oven and scatter the cheese over the top, then return to the oven for 3–4 minutes until the cheese has started to melt. Serve immediately.
Recently my publishers took some new photographs for the cover of the paperback version of Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free. One of the recipes we tried was a bread recipe. I took the White Bread recipe that’s in the book and, in order to make it more visually punchy, added seeds to the recipe. This also adds crunchiness and an extra level of taste.
Adding seeds to bread is a brilliant way of introducing them into your daily diet. And, in doing so, you’re getting additional essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, B-vitamins, vitamin E, calcium and magnesium – helping you to enhance your immune system, combat energy and boost your brain power, amongst other things.
This bread really is delicious. It will keep well for a few days, and you can also freeze it. (I often cut it into slices, freeze it, and toast it straight from the freezer.) It didn’t make it to the cover shot, but it was lovely to eat at lunchtime on the shoot, anyway!
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, citrus-free
Makes 1 loaf (about 16 slices) Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 60 minutes
- 120g/4¼oz/⅔ cup potato flour (NB potato flour not potato starch)
- 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
- 50g/1¾oz/⅓ cup maize flour
- 150g/5½oz/heaped ¾ cup brown rice flour
- 1 tsp sea salt, crushed
- 1 tsp fruit sugar or caster sugar
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tbsp dried active yeast
- 75g/2½oz mixed seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and linseeds, plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and lightly grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin with a little oil.
- Sift the flours, salt, sugar, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum, psyllium husks and yeast into a large mixing bowl and, using a metal whisk, mix thoroughly. Add the olive oil and mix in gently. Pour in 400ml/14fl oz/scant 1⅔ cups warm water and mix thoroughly with the whisk for at least a minute, to aerate the dough. Whisk until the dough holds some shape, but is still soft enough to fall from the whisk, adding 1 or 2 extra tablespoons of warm water if it feels too stiff. Add the mixed seeds and mix in gently. Alternatively, sift the flours, salt, sugar, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum, psyllium husks and yeast into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend to mix together. Add the olive oil and blend again, then add 400ml/14fl oz/scant 1⅔ cups warm water and process for 3–4 minutes to aerate the dough. It will be sticky. Remove the bowl of the food processor from the machine and mix the seeds into the dough mixture gently with a metal whisk.
- Spoon the dough into the tin. Dip a metal tablespoon in cold water and smooth the surface of the dough with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle some seeds over the top to cover.
- Bake for 55–60 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Turn out of the tin and tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it is done. If not, return the bread to the tin and bake for another 5 minutes, then test again to see whether it is done. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Return to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until the dairy-free cheese is starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven.
- 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.
- 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.