Tag Archives: gluten free

Foraged wild garlic soup

I’m not working on Monday’s at the moment and I wanted to do something fun with my kids today, and I wanted to cook with wild garlic. Yesterday a friend told me about a secret spot not far from home with a great big patch of wild garlic, so we, myself and my two little helpers, headed down there this morning to pick some.

Half of our haul being washed

Half of our haul being washed

It was a lovely sunny morning and we had a nice walk down there stopping off on the way for some coffee and hot chocolate from a local cafe. We headed down to a small wooded area really right in the middle of our town. Wild garlic grows in woodland areas, the sort of place you’d find bluebells. You have to be a little careful what you are picking because it does look quite similar to other members of the allium family like Lily of the Valley which is not edible, but in fact toxic. The easiest way to tell is to pick a leaf and rub between your fingers, there is a definate aroma of garlic there if it’s the right stuff! The garlic we picked was not in flower but you can also eat the flowers of wild garlic.

A typical field of wild garlic

A typical field of wild garlic

So today’s lunch is wild garlic soup. Now I know I’m mostly paleo but this has to be an exception and so I’ve got a lovely loaf of bread, local bakery too.

Just after blending

Just after blending

You need:
Two large handfuls of wild garlic leaves about 200 g
A few potatoes two large or several small I used some that had been hanging around in the back of the fridge for while
2 celery sticks
A bunch of spring onions
Glass of white wine
Chicken stock
Glug of olive oil
Few spoons creme fraiche (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Delicious!

Delicious!

Wash and chop the spring onion, celery and potatoes. Add a glug of olive oil to a large pan and heat, throw in the chopped veg and cook without colouring for a few minutes. Wash your wild garlic well in plenty of cold water and drain. Remove any tough stalks or roots. Add the white wine and  enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables to the pan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the potatoes are tender and then add in your wild garlic leaves. Allow them to wilt and cook in gently with the other ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes. Then blend using hand blender until you have a really nice smooth consistency. Stir in the creme fraiche or yoghurt, or omit if you want dairy free. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve with crusty fresh bread (or not!).

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Banana pancakes, a breakfast revelation.

Quick share this morning of another super quick, tasty and incredibly easy breakfast a few friends have mentioned they enjoy.

pancake cooking

You need:
One banana
One egg
Dollop coconut oil

Mash you banana and beat in the egg. Heat a small pan and add a dollop of coconut oil, less than a teaspoon in enough. Scoop a scant quarter cup of the banana mix into the pan and fry until set then flip and cook until done. About 1 more minute.

Delicious protein rich breakfast and not a cereal in sight. Took the same time as toasting a slice of frozen bread, I did both together.

UPDATE: Following on from the comments, today I added a pinch of cinnamon a couple of drops of vanilla extract and a squeeze of honey, delicious and no toppings needed! Thanks for the ideas.

a cooked pancake ready to eat

A flash in the pan breakfast

When I tell people about Paleo eating one of the first things they usually ask is “but what do you eat for breakfast?”. Our current eating habits are so based around cereal products in the morning it’s often hard to image what you could eat that is quick and easy and doesn’t contain wheat, grains, sugar and milk whether it be toast and jam or cereal and milk. They also usually think it won’t fill you up.

I’ve pretty successfully ditched wheat based breakfast and there are a whole host of options out there. Anyway, I just thought I’d share this mornings’ quick and easy offering with you.

pan scramble

This took a grand total of 4 minutes to prepare, so no more “I don’t have time to cook” excuses, it takes at least that long to toast a piece of bread and spread it with butter and jam!

As always, if you are doing strict paleo just omit the cheese! I used raw unpasteurised Keen’s Cheddar as I have decided that unpasteurised cheese is healthy in small doses and it add’s great flavour.

½ an avocado peeled and chopped
2 or 3 slices of wafer thin sugar free, sulfite free organic (preferably) ham
1 egg
1 tbsp olive oil or ghee
small handful of raw cheese, grated
seasoning/herbs/spices

Heat a small frying pan and add the oil or ghee. Add in the avocado and mash up a bit which gets easier as it warms up. Add in the ham and toss until warm, then break the egg into the pan and scramble with a fork, mix in the cheese if using, season with salt, pepper, chillies to taste.

I ate mine from the pan, saves on washing up!

chilli mills

I like a bit of a chilli kick in the morning and on the Frome Artisan Market this weekend I bought some new seasonings from The Wiltshire Chilli Farm. I love to support local business and they had an amazing range of very tempting seasonings, sauces, dips and more. I chose these lovely grinders as I know we’ll use them often. They were £5 for the Lemon Chilli Pepper and £4 for the Chipotle Chilli Salt which I thought was a bargain as the grinder was included too. I just hope they start doing refills! They were delicious and added a nice spicy kick to my breakfast.

Rootin’ Tootin’ Curry

This one’s for Phil. It’s a great recipe that really got me into grinding my own curry spices, which is in fact super easy and nowhere near as scary as it seemed at first. It’s vegan (if you want it to be) and paleo friendly if you don’t put any off-road type ingredients in (potatoes or corn!) and don’t serve it with rice. To be honest, you don’t really need rice as it’s full of roots but we do like it with rice!

This recipe was inspired by Nigel Slater’s root vegetable curry recipe, but I’ve removed all the dairy and changed up a few things! It’s a Korma curry, so mild unless you add loads of chillies.

Serves 6-8

2 medium onions, chopped
2 inch piece of fresh root ginger, grated
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1.5kgs mixed roots, peeled and chopped. Some suggestions: butternut squash (ok, not a root!), sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, jerusalem artichoke, potatoes (not strictly paleo if you add these).
100g unsalted cashews, half roughly chopped
6 cardamom pods
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp chilli powder
1 cinammon stick
2 small green chillies
300ml coconut cream
2 tbsp olive oil or ghee
large handful freshly chopped coriander

Take the cardamon pods and split them open (you can do this with your thumbnail), remove the seeds and put in a pestle and mortar. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and then grind until you’ve got a coarse powder. Mix in the turmeric and chilli powder.

Put the oil or ghee into a large heavy bottomed pan, add the onions and stir gently letting them soften but not colour, then add the ginger and garlic and allow them to cook gently for a couple of minutes. Add the spices, stir for a couple of minutes until the spices release their fragrant aromas.

Add the roots and the chopped half of the cashews to the pan, season with the chillies, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then add 750ml water to the pan, partially cover with a lid and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until the roots are tender to a knife point.

While the roots are simmering toast the remaining cashews in a pan. To do this use a dry frying pan on a medium heat, add the cashews and stir regularly for a few minutes until the nuts start to colour, keep them moving to toast all over. Do not use a high heat or the nuts will quickly burn.

curry up

When the roots are tender add the coconut cream to the pan. Check the seasoning and then serve garnished with the toasted cashews and fresh chopped coriander.

If you wish you can substitute the coconut cream with 150ml of cream and 150ml thick natural yogurt. If you do this do not allow the curry to return to the boil or the yogurt will curdle. If this does happen, the curry is still perfectly tasty and edible but does have a slightly grainy texture to the sauce.

Paleo friendly Pizza base

I love pizza, but, I do struggle to find pizza to eat at home that I really like. I’m not that keen on shop bought pizza, never seems to taste that great, and unless I am on a massive junk/gluten binge I’m not keen on Domino’s either.

My inspiration for this recipe came from Clean Eats in the Zoo but I modified it to suit me and also I found Shanti’s version to be very wet, but maybe I got the measurements wrong!

We topped it with a simple shop bought pasta sauce, although I did have some home made sauce in the freezer I decided not to defrost it as I had some sauce open, some grated mozzarella although you can exclude or use your preferred dairy free alternative, pepperoni slices and green and black olives.

It took about 30 minutes from start to table and was universally acclaimed as a success! It was even good cold in London at a demo the next day. I personally preferred it to any shop bought pizza I’ve ever tried.

Some of these recipes use ingredients that I have found expensive or hard to buy in large quantities needed in UK supermarkets or local stores. Where relevant I have included links to what I buy.

Preheat your oven to 220c

1 1/3 cups ground almonds (the finer the better)
2 cups tapioca flour
2 tsp gluten free (maize starch free) baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil (I used extra virgin)
2/3 cup water

Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in the middle and add water and olive oil. Using a wooden spoon gently combine the wet and dry ingredients to form a soft dough.

base ready

Base after 10 minutes in the oven

Oil a large baking sheet liberally with olive oil using your hands and keep your hands well oiled. Turn the dough out onto the baking sheet and with well oiled hands press out to form an even base. I made mine rectangular and filled the baking sheet but you can make it round if you prefer. Re-oil your hands as needed to stop the dough sticking.

ready to eat

Put into the hot oven and bake for about 10 minutes. The base should be risen and light golden brown. Mine was slightly cracked too, that is ok.

Remove from the oven and add your toppings. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until the pizza is done, the cheese is bubbling if you are using cheese.

Enjoy!

Now with added pictures – tried again just to make sure it was still as good and it was another resounding success!