Tag Archives: red pepper

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Paella

paella Madhouse

If you’ve been watching What’s Cooking on Channel 4, you may have seen Jo Pratt cooking up a storm during the first week. I first met Jo a few years’ ago, when she was planning her first (gorgeous-looking and hugely successful) book In the Mood for Food. She wrote another after that, went off and had two beautiful babies and has returned to the world of TV, books and other foodie things with her new book Madhouse Cookbook, which I’ve been working on with her.

The premise of the book is really simple. It’s billed as a life-transforming collection of recipes for busy parents – for surviving the stressful week, coping with hectic weekends and enabling you to cling onto your social life. All of the dishes have been devised to make life easy – with shortened preparation and cooking times, brilliant plan-ahead tips and ‘Lifesaver’ and ‘Leftover’ mini-recipes to make those precious moments you spend cooking go further.

I made her Baked Seafood Paella yesterday. As Jo says, this is a “real-life recipe”. You don’t need a special paella pan and, instead of having to stir and continually do things, you simply prep it then put it in the oven and let it cook itself. It really is spectacularly easy – and it’s a great recipe if you’re having friends round for dinner, as well as a lovely one for the whole family.

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

Makes: 4 adult portions     Preparation time: 20 minutes     Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 300g/10½oz/1⅓ cups paella rice
  • 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup dry white wine
  • a large pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika or standard sweet paprika
  • 750ml/26fl oz/3 cups hot gluten-free and dairy-free fish or chicken stock
  • 500g/1lb 2oz shellfish, such as mussels and/or clams
  • 2 medium squid tubes, cut into rings
  • 150g/5½oz/scant 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted, or fresh green beans, chopped
  • 8–12 raw, whole king prawns
  • ½ small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Scrub the mussels thoroughly with a stiff brush under cold running water to remove all traces of grit, then remove any barnacles or other debris attached to the shells and pull off and discard any beards. Rinse again and discard any mussels that stay open.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.
  3. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat, add the onion, garlic and red pepper and fry for about 5 minutes until the onion has softened. Stir in the rice for a minute or so until it is coated in the oil, then add the wine, saffron, paprika and stock. Stir well and bring to the boil, then bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the mussels and/or clams, squid and peas and season lightly with salt and pepper. Nestle the prawns into the surface. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes until the rice is tender and the seafood is cooked through. Make sure all the prawns are pink and discard any mussel or clam shells that haven’t opened.
  5. Sprinkle over the parsley and serve with lemon wedges. Provide empty bowls for the shells, and a few finger bowls of warm water and plenty of napkins for messy fingers.

Paella Mixta:
If your friends aren’t massively into seafood, then make your paella with chicken and chorizo. Add 150g/5½oz thickly sliced or chopped chorizo and 4 roughly chopped chicken thighs to the fried onion and cook until the chicken is golden. Add the rice and follow the recipe as above, but just using prawns and not the mussels or squid.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Paella

paella Madhouse

If you’ve been watching What’s Cooking on Channel 4, you may have seen Jo Pratt cooking up a storm during the first week. I first met Jo a few years’ ago, when she was planning her first (gorgeous-looking and hugely successful) book In the Mood for Food. She wrote another after that, went off and had two beautiful babies and has returned to the world of TV, books and other foodie things with her new book Madhouse Cookbook, which I’ve been working on with her.

The premise of the book is really simple. It’s billed as a life-transforming collection of recipes for busy parents – for surviving the stressful week, coping with hectic weekends and enabling you to cling onto your social life. All of the dishes have been devised to make life easy – with shortened preparation and cooking times, brilliant plan-ahead tips and ‘Lifesaver’ and ‘Leftover’ mini-recipes to make those precious moments you spend cooking go further.

I made her Baked Seafood Paella yesterday. As Jo says, this is a “real-life recipe”. You don’t need a special paella pan and, instead of having to stir and continually do things, you simply prep it then put it in the oven and let it cook itself. It really is spectacularly easy – and it’s a great recipe if you’re having friends round for dinner, as well as a lovely one for the whole family.

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

Makes: 4 adult portions     Preparation time: 20 minutes     Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 300g/10½oz/1⅓ cups paella rice
  • 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup dry white wine
  • a large pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika or standard sweet paprika
  • 750ml/26fl oz/3 cups hot gluten-free and dairy-free fish or chicken stock
  • 500g/1lb 2oz shellfish, such as mussels and/or clams
  • 2 medium squid tubes, cut into rings
  • 150g/5½oz/scant 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted, or fresh green beans, chopped
  • 8–12 raw, whole king prawns
  • ½ small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Scrub the mussels thoroughly with a stiff brush under cold running water to remove all traces of grit, then remove any barnacles or other debris attached to the shells and pull off and discard any beards. Rinse again and discard any mussels that stay open.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.
  3. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat, add the onion, garlic and red pepper and fry for about 5 minutes until the onion has softened. Stir in the rice for a minute or so until it is coated in the oil, then add the wine, saffron, paprika and stock. Stir well and bring to the boil, then bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the mussels and/or clams, squid and peas and season lightly with salt and pepper. Nestle the prawns into the surface. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes until the rice is tender and the seafood is cooked through. Make sure all the prawns are pink and discard any mussel or clam shells that haven’t opened.
  5. Sprinkle over the parsley and serve with lemon wedges. Provide empty bowls for the shells, and a few finger bowls of warm water and plenty of napkins for messy fingers.

Paella Mixta:
If your friends aren’t massively into seafood, then make your paella with chicken and chorizo. Add 150g/5½oz thickly sliced or chopped chorizo and 4 roughly chopped chicken thighs to the fried onion and cook until the chicken is golden. Add the rice and follow the recipe as above, but just using prawns and not the mussels or squid.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Superfood Omelette

Sprouts

Sprout omelette

My birthday falls at the beginning of January, and I find that Christmas, New Year and my birthday tends to roll into one long celebratory period! We generally eat lots of chocolate from Santa, indulge in delicious, rich meals and, of course, eat our way through the ubiquitous Christmas and birthday cakes… It’s lovely to breathe a deep sigh of delight when the festivities are over, and then focus on cleaning up our diet a fair bit afterwards!

Omelettes make great healthy, fresh meals. They work brilliantly any time of the day, whether it’s breakfast time, lunchtime or even dinner time. And you can literally pack them with nutrient-dense ingredients. Here I’ve used red pepper, sprouted seeds and and alfalfa sprouts. Sprouted nuts and seeds are fantastic. The sprouting process increases digestibility and greatly enhances the nutritional content. They become powerhouses of vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients, and packed with energizing and health-promoting enzymes. Besides this, alfalfa sprouts also contains amino acids and phytochemicals that can balance hormones and protect against disease.

Sprouts can be difficult to get, though, so you can make your own very easily. 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, soya-free, nut-free, citrus-free

Preparation time 5 minutes     Cooking time 5–6 minutes     Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
  • 50g/1¾oz sprouted seeds, such as mung bean, chickpea and lentil
  • 50g/1¾oz alfalfa sprouts
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Beat the eggs in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of water, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat, tilting the pan so that the base is covered with oil. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and sprinkle over the red pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the base of the omelette is golden and the egg is almost set, but still soft.
  2. Sprinkle the sprouted seeds and alfalfa sprouts over the top and serve immediately.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Kelp Noodles with a Chilli Lime Dressing

Last night I made a recipe from Christine Bailey’s new book The Raw Food Diet. A raw food diet is increasingly recognised as a superhealthy way to eat (and followed by many celebs, including Jennifer Aniston and Demi Moore). Raw food is basically food that hasn’t been heated above 47.7°C/118°F. It’s all about pure, unadulterated, whole food that is rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients – mainly from lots of veggies (especially green leafy ones), fruit and nuts. Processed or refined foods are out, and alkaline foods and drinks are in, especially those that are nutrient-dense, such as kale. And by not cooking any of the food above 47.7%, the valuable enzymes are preserved. Raw foodists swear that their diet improves their digestion and immune function. Many lose weight and say that their skin and hair looks much better, and that their energy levels are much higher. They also claim that it can bring relief to allergies and intolerances, as well as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions. You don’t have to follow a raw food diet 100% of the time. It makes sense to eat food in its natural state and devotees reckon that even if you can only eat 40-50% of your food raw, this will make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing.

I made Christine’s Kelp Noodles with a Chilli Lime Dressing. I’ve never tried kelp noodles before but I’ve been wanting to try them because they’re so good for you. Kelp noodles look and taste very similar to glass noodles and are simply made of the sea vegetable, kelp, and water. They’re beloved by many people, including raw foodists, as an alternative to pasta or noodles because they are totally unprocessed don’t need to cooking, (People looking to lose weight also love them because they’re very low in calories and carbohydrates.) Plus, kelp is a true superfood, like all sea vegetables. It’s rich in minerals, including iodine, plus enzymes, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and amino acids. It’s also very cleansing and detoxifying for the body.

Kelp noodles have a very mild taste and soak up flavours beautifully. In this recipe, Christine has added delicious shiitake mushrooms, red pepper and cucumber and created a strong, vibrant dish, full of punchy flavours, especially from the chilli lime dressing. This recipe uses dried kelp noodles, but I used noodles that were immersed in water and sodium alginate, so I didn’t need to soak them.

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

Preparation time: 20 minutes plus 20 minutes soaking time     Serves: 2     Storage: will keep in the fridge for up to 1 day

Ingredients:

  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 225g/8oz/1½ cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, halved lengthways, deseeded and julienned
  • ½ cucumber, deseeded and julienned
  • 1 tbsp chopped Thai basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 large handful baby spinach leaves
  • 350g/12oz kelp noodles (soaked for 20 minutes, then drained)

Chilli Lime Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 1 tbsp xylitol
  • 1 tsp deseeded and finely chopped red chilli
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  1. Mix together all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, then chill until needed.
  2. Put the onion, mushrooms and pepper in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Leave for 10 minutes to soften. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 84kcal • Protein 4.2g • Carbohydrates 16.2g • Fat 1g (of which saturates 0.2g)

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Pork with Buckwheat


Here’s another fantastic recipe from Christine Bailey’s The Top 100 Baby Foods, full of delicious tastes. And it features buckwheat which is a brilliantly useful gluten-free grain (it’s not related to wheat, despite its name). It’s full of B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc, and it’s a low-GI grain that helps keep blood sugar levels steady. With a lovely firm texture when cooked and a nutty taste, you can add it to stir-frys, stews and soups, or add some extra ingredients and use it like rice or couscous.

When you’re starting your baby on food, it’s good to introduce gluten later on in the weaning process because it is harder for little babies to digest and process. So buckwheat is great for the early stages. Once you’re past the first stage of weaning, this is a lovely recipe for babies. (Use olive oil instead of the sesame oil, though, and leave out the sesame seeds, if there’s any possibility of allergy.) Pork is an ideal protein for your baby. It’s naturally low in fat, and a great source of B vitamins that help with the development of your baby’s nervous system, as well as promoting hormonal balance and the production of brain neurotransmitters. And here you’re also adding beta-carotene-rich red pepper and antioxidant-filled spinach, too. Feeding your baby can be very daunting but this nutrient-rich recipe makes it easy. Whizz it into a puree for your baby, or eat it yourselves – you’ll all love it!

About 4 servings for little ones     Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 50g/1¾oz/¼ cup buckwheat
  • 125ml/4fl oz/½ cup vegetable stock (without added salt), or water
  • 200g/7oz pork fillet, cut into thin strips
  • ½ tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (or olive oil if any possibility of nut allergy)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 4 tbsp apple juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional if any possibility of nut allergy)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp frozen sweetcorn
  • 100g/3½oz baby spinach leaves
  1. Put the buckwheat in a saucepan with the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and keep covered. Put the pork a dish with the five spice, sesame or olive oil, garlic and juice to marinate.
  2. If using the sesame seeds, heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and add the sesame seeds. Toast for 1 minute until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the pork and marinade. Cook for 2–3 minutes until the meat browns. Add the pepper and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the sweetcorn and spinach. Cook for 3 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Add the sesame seeds, if using, and buckwheat and heat through.
  4. Serve hot or pulse in a blender or food processor to make a chunky purée.