Tag Archives: tomatoes

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

Lamb shanks

HUGE apologies to everyone for the silence on the blogging front. I’ve been starting to write a new book – and living and breathing new recipes! But coming back onto the blog is lovely (hello everyone!) and I thought the best recipe to do would be a warming, reviving comfort food one. This recipe is utterly delicious, but also incredibly simple to make, and perfect for the weekend. Enjoy!

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

Serves 4     Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 3¼–4¼ hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 leek, white part diced
  • 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup dry red wine
  • 375ml/13fl oz/1½ cups gluten-free and dairy-free beef or vegetable stock
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Working in batches, add the lamb shanks and cook, turning over, for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Remove the lamb from the pan with a slotted spoon, transfer to an ovenproof casserole and leave to one side.
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/315°F/gas 2–3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes until starting to turn golden, then stir in the garlic. Add the carrots and leek and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, until softened. Add the red wine, stock, tomatoes, bay leaves and sage. Cover and bring to the boil over a high heat. Pour the mixture into the casserole and stir. Transfer to the oven and cook, covered, for 3–4 hours, depending on how much time you have, until the lamb is meltingly tender.
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaves and serve.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Kale Salad with Toasted Seeds

Nourish Kale

In my role at the publishers DBP, I have been working on a book that has just come out – Nourish: The Cancer Care Cookbook. Written by the team at Penny Brohn Cancer Centre and nutritionist Christine Bailey, it shows you how to create delicious meals, snacks and drinks that are packed with nutrients to support your body if you have cancer.

The introduction to the book explains the role of nutrition in protecting against cancer, helping to alleviate some of the symptoms, and forming a crucial part of any cancer treatment programme. And then there are recipes for shakes, juices, smoothies and breakfasts, soups and light meals, main meals, desserts and baked treats. There are also recipes that are designed specifically to help with the common side effects of treatment. The recipes are easy and quick to prepare, and highly nutritious.

We tried this simple kale salad. I wanted to try it because I’m always looking for ways to make kale taste good. I find it unappetising and bitter, but I know that it’s supergood for you! (Kale is packed with flavonoids – antioxidants that help lower inflammation and protect against cell damage. This cruciferous super-food is also rich in glucosinolates, which can play a primary role in protection against many forms of cancer.) The combination of the tamari-toasted seeds with the avocado/lemon dressing sounded good. And it really was! I served this with steamed fish and it was a great success.  (And by the way, it’s worth making up a batch of the toasted seeds and keeping them for a snack.)

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free

Serves 4
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 3 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 250g/9oz kale, large stems discarded, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (optional)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or flaxseed oil
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 200g/7oz/1⅓ cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 handful of alfalfa sprouts

Toasted seeds and nuts:

  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 6 tbsp mixed seeds, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  1. To make the toasted seeds and nuts, put them in a dry frying pan over medium heat and lightly toast for 1 minute, stirring. As they begin to colour, pour over the tamari and stir to combine. Stir for 1–2 minutes until crisp. Leave to cool.
  2. Put the kale into a large bowl and sprinkle over the garlic salt and yeast flakes, if using. Massage with your hands to allow the kale to soften. Put the avocado, lemon juice, cumin, oil and tamari into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Mix into the kale so that it is thoroughly coated. Stir in the tomatoes and sprinkle over the alfalfa sprouts and toasted seeds and nuts, then serve. (Store in the fridge for up to 2 days.)

Nutritional Information per serving
Protein 9.8g, Carbohydrates 7.8g of which sugars 4.8g, Fat 24.3g of which saturates 3.1g, Kcals 289

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Kale Salad with Toasted Seeds

Nourish Kale

In my role at the publishers DBP, I have been working on a book that has just come out – Nourish: The Cancer Care Cookbook. Written by the team at Penny Brohn Cancer Centre and nutritionist Christine Bailey, it shows you how to create delicious meals, snacks and drinks that are packed with nutrients to support your body if you have cancer.

The introduction to the book explains the role of nutrition in protecting against cancer, helping to alleviate some of the symptoms, and forming a crucial part of any cancer treatment programme. And then there are recipes for shakes, juices, smoothies and breakfasts, soups and light meals, main meals, desserts and baked treats. There are also recipes that are designed specifically to help with the common side effects of treatment. The recipes are easy and quick to prepare, and highly nutritious.

We tried this simple kale salad. I wanted to try it because I’m always looking for ways to make kale taste good. I find it unappetising and bitter, but I know that it’s supergood for you! (Kale is packed with flavonoids – antioxidants that help lower inflammation and protect against cell damage. This cruciferous super-food is also rich in glucosinolates, which can play a primary role in protection against many forms of cancer.) The combination of the tamari-toasted seeds with the avocado/lemon dressing sounded good. And it really was! I served this with steamed fish and it was a great success.  (And by the way, it’s worth making up a batch of the toasted seeds and keeping them for a snack.)

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free

Serves 4
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 3 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 250g/9oz kale, large stems discarded, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (optional)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or flaxseed oil
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 200g/7oz/1⅓ cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 handful of alfalfa sprouts

Toasted seeds and nuts:

  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 6 tbsp mixed seeds, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  1. To make the toasted seeds and nuts, put them in a dry frying pan over medium heat and lightly toast for 1 minute, stirring. As they begin to colour, pour over the tamari and stir to combine. Stir for 1–2 minutes until crisp. Leave to cool.
  2. Put the kale into a large bowl and sprinkle over the garlic salt and yeast flakes, if using. Massage with your hands to allow the kale to soften. Put the avocado, lemon juice, cumin, oil and tamari into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Mix into the kale so that it is thoroughly coated. Stir in the tomatoes and sprinkle over the alfalfa sprouts and toasted seeds and nuts, then serve. (Store in the fridge for up to 2 days.)

Nutritional Information per serving
Protein 9.8g, Carbohydrates 7.8g of which sugars 4.8g, Fat 24.3g of which saturates 3.1g, Kcals 289

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.

Sunshine, Gluten-Free Bread & Bruschetta in Tuscany

Just back from a heavenly week in Tuscany. Ahhhhhhh. I’ve never been (other than a weekend in Florence for Peter’s 40th) and have longed to go for years and years – and we finally made it. We stayed in an agriturismo appartment on the side of a beautifully-restored old farmhouse and spent the week travelling around, seeing the stunning countryside and persuading Zoe to look round Pisa and Sienna with us… Every morning I would get up and go for a swim in the salt-water pool pictured above. Truly, life doesn’t get much better than those early morning swims as the sunlight bounced on the water and the scent of the lavender bushes filled the air. (We’re now back in grey, chilly London and I’m dreaming of those swims!)

The farmer grows olives and makes the most delicious olive oil – smooth and clean yet full of depths of flavours.

We swam and swam and swam some more – in the pool, at the beach and even in this river where there were hot springs. The smell of sulphur was strong but somehow not unpleasant and we lay in the water, and then covered ourselves with the mud and sat in the water, letting the water do its magic. The waters are mainly detoxifying, drawing out toxins and impurities, but they also act as a relaxant and stress-reliever (so you come out feeling very sleepy!) and are also great for various allergic/intolerant conditions, especially eczema, psoriasis, asthma and sinusitis.

We went to Sienna which was stunning. The medieval buildings, famous Piazza and Duomo were awe-inspiring. According to Roman legend, Sienna was founded by Senius, who was the son of Remus. (Remus, and his brother Romulus, were the legendary founders of Rome. They were the sons of Mars who were abandoned as babies but saved by a she-wolf who suckled them and a woodpecker who fed them, and then rescued by a shepherd.)

Sienna is full of statues and artwork showing the she-wolf suckling the young babies. And the duomo is bursting with beautiful paintings, statues and glass windows.

And I was wowed by the Siennese style of paintings (you can see a rather bad photo of one of them below) which are full of bright, bold colour blocks and a modern-feeling graphic styling (despite the medieval style of painting.)

We went to Pisa, too, and took Zoe round the Duomo there. The audio equipment was brilliant as it meant Zoe was intrigued by the handsets and chatted into those while we gazed at the paintings! The Italians are generally lovely about kids and let them play and run around. We kept it to a minimum in the Cathedral (!) but even when Zoe was ordering rice and chocolate cake down the audio handset, they didn’t bat an eyelid.

And on the subject of food – yes it was amazing! The fruit was sweet and juicy and the vegetables full of the flavours of sunshine; the selection of prosciutto and hams in the delis were joyous; and the fresh fish and seafood were all gorgeous. But generally gluten-free or dairy-free in restaurants or cafés weren’t an option. We were in deepest, rural Tuscany – where they would serve just a few dishes with home-made gluten pasta and rich cheeses. But I happened on a selection of gluten-free breads in the small supermarket in the local town and, from then on, happily munched my way through the gluten-free breadsticks, buns and bread…

And I made a wonderful, wonderful bruschetta with toasted gluten-free buns, rich, plump tomatoes, pungent garlic and sweet, earthy basil leaves.

This recipe (inspired by her home-grown tomatoes) came from Renée Elliott’s website and it’s utterly delicious.

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

Serves 2 for lunch or 4 as a starter    Preparation time 20 minutes     Cooking time 15 minutes

  • 125ml/4fl oz/½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 thick slices of gluten-free bread, or 4 gluten-free rolls, halved
  • 4 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 10g/¼oz basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  1. Heat the oven to 220˚C/440˚F/gas 7.  Pour the oil into a medium bowl, add the salt and pepper and mix well.  Dip each side of the bread in the oil until lightly coated with oil and put the bread in a shallow baking tray.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until crisp.
  2. Meanwhile, add the tomatoes, basil and garlic to the oil and mix well.  Transfer the toasted bread to a serving plate, top generously with the tomato mixture and serve.