Pesto Cod

Since going free from I have definitely been eating lots more fish in order to make my diet more varied. Recently after making my own pesto for a salad recipe (pesto recipe below) I decided to put the reminder on top of a piece of cod and then top with some gluten free bread crumbs before baking in the oven for 15 minutes. For something so simple to make, I thought it had a wonderful fresh taste while being both soft and crunchy, and then to serve I just roasted some wee new potatoes and sautéed some spring greens. I look forward to having this again.

For the pesto:

Combine pine nuts, olive oil, a bunch of basil, sun dried tomato’s, and seasoning and blitz in a food mixer. It will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge but I also froze some in an ice cube tray until solid before popping into a freezer bag. Before making the fish I took 3 cubes out in the morning, put in a tupperware with a little olive oil.

pesto cod

Fish cakes

For a simple mid week dinner, fish cakes had always been one of my top go to meals. The ones from the supermarket were always really handy to have in the freezer as they could be cooked from frozen in about 30 minutes, come in a range of flavours and sometimes even have a wee saucy centre! However they are also generally covered in breadcrumbs. Not the best for a gluten free diet.

So I decided to try making them myself. I used the salmon and horseradish fish cake recipe from The Intolerant Gourmet by Pippa Kendrick. It was a simple recipe which involved baking the salmon in the oven, cooking the potatoes until soft, and then combining with horseradish, capers, diary-free margarine, parsley, and seasoning. I did adjust the recipe slightly by not adding in the horseradish, as I personally find the flavour too strong but I still found it flavoursome without.

After combining the ingredients and shaping into four cakes, I pan fried the first one on each side for about 5 minutes. Then it was lovely golden and crispy on the outside while soft and fluffy on the side.

The other three I popped in the freezer for another time. It was here I had a wee issue with them. I found that when defrosting they lost their shape slightly, not completely but not as round as before. When pan frying this time as well it was harder to flip them in the pan as they did feel a lot more fragile. And when serving up they did tend to spilt. As it was just me eating them after work it was fine, as the taste was still there but did make me note that if friends where coming over I would maybe try and make fresh as they look a lot more presentable first time around.

All in all though I thought these were a success and will defiantly be repeating.

Sweet Potato Noodles with a Satay Sauce

I’ve already blogged about a few Deliciously Ella recipes but this time it is one from her “with friends” book and one that immediately took my fancy when I read it; mainly due to the sweet potato noodles. I love sweet potato! The recipe on the next page though for sautéed tamari greens also appealed so I kind of combined into one super stir fry!

To start with I fried garlic celery and fresh ginger together. I could taste the garlic and ginger in the end dish but the celery was neither here or there. Next time if I have some in I will use it but I won’t get some in specially. After that I added in some chicken (this isn’t in the recipe but I eat and like chicken so decided to add it in) until it was brown all over. Then came time to add the sweet potato noodles and cook for a couple of minutes.

To make the noodles I peeled and then spiralised two small (200g per potato) sweet potatoes. I used the finest noodle setting on the spiraliser but next time will use the larger one as the noodles where quite fragile and as they are moved around lots I think bigger ones would be better.

After cooking the noodles for a few minutes I added a courgette, some long steam broccoli, and shredded spring greens and stir fried until all cooked.

Then came time to add the sauce; crunchy peanut butter, almond milk, tamari, chilli flakes, lime juice, and honey. It recommended blitzing everything in a blender but I just mixed by hand until it all came together. Once it has, add to the rest of the dish and cook until heated through.

The result was lovely. The noodles were heartier and had a more filling texture than courgetti and the sauce was very creamy. I’m looking forward to showing this recipe off next time I have visitors!

chicken satay

 

Dips

One of the things I have tired a few times since going Free From is dips. They just make a great pre tea snack or addition to my lunch box.

The recipes I’ve tired so far have been from the aptly named “Deliciously Dip” section of Deliciously Ella Everyday. Its been handy as a few of the ingredients overlap so has reduced the costs of making each dip.

First up was a sweet potato and garlic puree. I was very excited to try this one as it was very simple; just sweet potato, garlic, lemon, salt, and almond milk. However once all blended together the result was a little disappointing as it was a lot like eating mashed sweet potato. If I had some sweet potatoes to use up I would make again, but it won’t be my go to dip.

Next up was a spiced turmeric hummus. Spice wise it contained two teaspoons of ground cumin, two teaspoons of coriander, two teaspoons of turmeric, two of paprika, and one of chilli powder, and the flavour was lovely. Texture wise I found the recipe slightly dry, so will play around will the recipe to try and get the perfect consistency. Maybe a little more lemon juice, tahini, or a wee dash of water.

But the one I’ve had the most success with is a smokey aubergine dip. Aubergines, sun dried tomatoes are the two main ingredients and Deliciously Ella flavoured with cumin. Now I have a low spice tolerance, even a korma can sometimes be too spicy, but I thought this recipe needed more spice flavour. The second time I made it I used a teaspoon of cumin, along with a teaspoon of paprika and a teaspoon of turmeric. The result I think was much better. I had friends over the day I made it too, and they both asked for the recipe so I’ll take that as a positive.

Over all recipes I’ve tired so far have been good bases but have, in my opinion, needed a little adjusting. This has helped grow my confidence in the kitchen though and get to know a little more about what spices and flavours I like, so can’t be a bad thing.

dipsMy food processor hard at work!

Strawberry Shortcake Sponge

Personally for me nothing is more relaxing than baking a cake on a Sunday afternoon. However since March, my attempts at gluten free, diary free, and egg free cakes have failed to raise to the occasion.

But while writing this blog I stumbled amongst a website dedicated to gluten free vegan bakes and took a look.

There were a few required ingredients I hadn’t got in, such as flaxseed, and I didn’t have time to pop to the shops to get them, but I had everything needed for the Strawberry Shortcake recipe.

The recipe was easy to follow, and I soon had the mixture ready for the oven. I will say though that the mixture seemed to have a rubbery consistence, and I was sceptical about that. The only change I made to the recipe was add in 2 teaspoons of Xantham Gum as I find it always helps give sponges strength.

After 25 minutes in the oven it seemed well risen and definitely resembled a cake. I left to cool but when I took it out of the tin one of the sponges cracked a little down the middle but the cake was still together and I thought icing would fix it.

For the icing, I didn’t have time to chill the coconut cream before mixing it up, and used three little cans of creams, as the recommended brand in the recipe isn’t stocked in the UK.

After it was all put together, I couldn’t wait to give it a taste. And without wanting to blow my own trumpet, I think it was success. The texture was light and fluffy, and the coconut cream was lovely and fresh.

The only downside was after 24 hours and being cut a few times, it did crumble, but I guess if you eat it quickly this wouldn’t be an issue!

Definitely a recipe I’ll be repeating and a site I’ll be using again.

strawberry cake