This one is a super easy version of a risotto. Forget standing at the hob stirring – all you do is fry the leeks and garlic, steam the beans, add all the ingredients and put it in the oven to cook. Brilliant! The creaminess of the risotto comes not from patient, methodical stirring but from adding soya cream cheese in at the end. This makes a deliciously fresh yet comforting meal that makes the most of summer veggies and also stars the superfood, edamame.
Edamame beans are young soya beans (which grow in pods.) They are a fantastic source of protein and also of iron and fibre, and they also contain vitamins A and C, folic acid, calcium and omega-3. In this recipe there’s also mint, which is well known for its soothing effects on the gut. It is particularly good for relieving wind, calming indigestion and regulating bowel movements, which will help many people with food intolerances, and can also help to ease muscle spasms that are associated with IBS.
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free
Serves 4 Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 35 minutes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 leeks, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 350g/12oz/1⅔ cup risotto rice
- 800ml/28fl oz/scant 3¼ cups gluten-free and dairy-free vegetable stock
- 300ml/10½fl oz/scant1¼ cups dry white wine
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 200g/7oz frozen edamame beans
- 600g/1lb 5oz broad beans in their pods, or 150g/5½oz frozen broad beans
- 1 small handful mint leaves, finely chopped, plus a few sprigs for cooking
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 5–6 tbsp soya cream cheese, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400°F/Gas 6. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and fry the leeks for 2–3 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds then add the rice and stir well, covering the grains of rice with oil.
- Transfer the rice mixture to a large ovenproof dish and add the stock, wine and lemon zest. Stir well, cover with greaseproof paper or foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the edamame and broad beans in a steamer, add the mint sprigs and steam, covered, over a high heat for 4–5 minutes until tender. Remove and discard the mint. Rinse the beans under cold running water, then drain well and leave to cool. If you’re using fresh broad beans, remove and discard the skins from the beans by squeezing them until the beans pop out of the skins. (Of course, you don’t have to do this if you don’t have the time – but they will taste better, if you do.)
- When the risotto has baked for 30 minutes, remove from the oven, stir thoroughly, add the beans and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice, mint and soya cream cheese and mix well until smooth and creamy. Serve hot.
Here we are in the midst of root veg season. Parsnips, swede, celeriac and, of course, the humble carrot – all impart deliciously sweet, earthy tastes to stews, casseroles, soups, gratins, and roasted veggie dishes. But you don’t have to always think of these veggies as only for savoury dishes. Forget dark winter nights in front of the fire with a roasted vegetable lasagne, and think of tea-times with crisp, clear skies and winter sunshine – perfect for pretty, colourful comfort food. Enter carrot cake…
Here’s an awesome gluten-free carrot cake with a dairy-free frosting – and the addition of pine nuts to add texture and taste.
Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 40–45 minutes Makes 1 cake (serves 10–12)
gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free
- 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 125g/4½oz/¾ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 4 tbsp clear honey
- 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
- 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
- 50g/1¾oz/¹⁄₃ cup maize flour
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 350g/12oz carrots, peeled and grated
- 100g/3½oz/⅔ cup pine nuts
- 25g/1oz dairy-free margarine
- 75g/2½oz dairy-free soya cream cheese
- 85g/3oz/½ cup fruit sugar
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pine nuts and dry-fry until just starting to turn golden, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and leave to one side.
- To make the frosting, put the dairy-free margarine and soya cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat, using a whisk or hand-held electric mixer, until smooth. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat until light and fluffy. Put half of the pine nuts into the bowl of a mini-food processor and whizz until finely chopped. Add to the frosting and mix in. Cover and chill in the fridge until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease a deep 20cm/8in cake tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment. Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until well mixed, then beat in the honey.
- Sift the flours, gluten-free baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum and cinnamon into the mixture and fold in, then fold in the carrot and the remaining pine nuts. Make sure the mixture is well mixed, but take care not to overmix it. Pour it into the tin.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then cover with baking parchment to prevent the cake from overbrowning. Bake for another 20–25 minutes until firm to the touch and cooked through and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
- Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, spread the frosting over the cake and serve.
This wonderful cheesecake is filled with sweet blueberries, and accented by zesty lime, rich soya cream cheese and spicy ginger biscuits. The world is filled with people who ADORE cheesecake and, having never, seriously, ever been able to eat one, I’ve now been able to join them. YAY! Delicious and stunning, and I know from experience that it travels well (I carried it from West Dulwich (where I live) to the offices of Simon & Schuster in Bloomsbury when I presented my book Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at the Sales Conference.) I use Tofutti Creamy Smooth – a dairy-free alternative to cream cheese – because it has a beautiful taste and texture and works brilliantly in this cheesecake. It takes a while to make because you need to make the biscuits first, then put the cheesecake together, bake it and leave to chill and set. But wow is it worth it!
Serves 6–8 Preparation time 40 minutes, plus at least 3 hours setting Cooking time 1 hour
100g/3½oz dairy-free margarine, melted, plus extra for greasing
300g/10½oz/2 cups blueberries
550g/1lb 4oz soya cream cheese
175g/6oz/1 cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
zest and juice of 2 limes
175g/6oz dairy-free margarine
125g/4½oz/¾ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
50g/1¾oz/¹⁄₃ cup maize flour
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
1cm/½in piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
1 To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Put the dairy-free margarine and sugar in a saucepan and heat over a low heat until the margarine has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 4–5 minutes until the mixture has caramelized slightly and become syrupy.
2 Sift the flours into a large mixing bowl and stir in the ground ginger, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum. Add the root ginger and, using your fingertips, rub it into the flour mixture until well mixed. Add the margarine and sugar syrup, and stir well with a wooden spoon.
3 Spoon the mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, onto the baking sheets. Using your hands and the back of a metal spoon, shape each mound into a round biscuit shape about 3mm/1∕₈in thick.
4 Bake for 8–12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. Break into pieces.
5 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Lightly grease a deep 20cm/8in springform cake tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment. Heat the dairy-free margarine in a saucepan over a low heat until melted. Put the biscuits in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the crumbs to the melted margarine and mix well. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture evenly into the base of the cake tin. Cover with the blueberries and leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
6 Meanwhile, blend the soya cream cheese, sugar, and lime zest and juice together in a food processor until smooth. Add the eggs and blend until smooth and creamy.
7 Pour the cheese mixture over the blueberries and bake for 30–35 minutes until pale golden brown and the top feels firm to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake to rest in the oven for another 30 minutes.
8 Ease the cheesecake out of the tin and leave to cool completely, then chill in the fridge for 3–4 hours until completely set before serving.
These gluten-free cupcakes are truly indulgent and heavenly! The mixture is incredibly simple – just a combination of rice flour and ground almonds, along with the dairy-free margarine, sugar, eggs, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum. I think you have to be careful when you use ground almonds in baking – that you don’t use too much because I find they dominate and leave a slightly sticky taste at the back of your mouth otherwise. Here I’ve balanced the ground almonds with the same amount of rice flour and then I’ve added raspberries to the mixture – and these add moistness and texture, as well as a lovely berry taste. And then I’ve made a rosewater frosting with soya cream cheese. This is the image used on the cover of my new book, Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free – and I think these cupcakes sum up the book – incredibly simple to make and truly delicious.
gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, citrus-free
Makes 12 Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 25 minutes
- 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened
- 125g/4½oz/¾ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 75g/2½oz/heaped ¹⁄₃ cup rice flour
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 75g/2½oz/scant ¾ cup ground almonds
- 100g/3½oz/scant 1 cup raspberries, lightly mashed, plus 12 to decorate
- 25g/1oz dairy-free margarine
- 75g/2½oz/¹⁄₃ cup soya cream cheese
- 1 tsp rosewater
- 85g/3oz/½ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and arrange 12 paper cupcake cases in a bun tin. To make the frosting, put the dairy-free margarine, soya cream cheese and rosewater in a mixing bowl and beat, using a whisk or hand-held electric mixer, until smooth. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat until light and fluffy. Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well mixed.
- Sift the rice flour, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum into the mixture. Quickly fold in the ground almonds, using a spoon, then gently fold in the raspberries. Mix well, but take care not to overmix. Divide the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases.
- Bake for 18–20 minutes, until golden brown and well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and turn out of the tin, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- Spread a little of the frosting over each cupcake, top with a raspberry and serve.
Taking some time to make a delicious meal is lovely – but often I want to be able to whizz something together with zero effort. So I made this Creamy Salmon Pasta recipe for lunch at the weekend. Zoe (who’s almost 2 years’ old) loved it!
Recently Peter (hubby) and I went on a health blitz for a weekend. We drank loads of juices and ate mainly salads with either pulses or steamed fish. It reminded me just how delicious steamed fish can be – beautifully moist and very soft textured. And the flavours of the fish come through wonderfully. So here I’ve steamed the salmon, instead of frying or baking, to get that gorgeous taste and texture.
gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free
Preparation time 2 minutes Cooking time 15 minutes Serves 4
- 4 salmon fillets
- 400g gluten-free pasta
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 450ml soya cream cheese
- juice 2 limes
- 1 small bunch chives, finely snipped
- 1 handful finely chopped dill leaves
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- Grease the skins of the salmon with the oil and put in a steamer. Cook for 12–15 minutes over a high heat, depending on how cooked you like it, until it is cooked through. Take the fish out of the pan and remove the skins. Using a fork, flake the fish, checking for any bones and discarding any you may find.
- Put the pasta in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water. Pour in the oil and stir well. 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. Drain and rinse well with boiling water, then drain again and return to the pan.
- Mix together the soy cream cheese and lime juice in a large mixing bowl until smooth and cream. Stir in the herbs and the pasta and season with salt and pepper if you like, and stir in thoroughly. Add the salmon, stir in gently and serve.