Clare told me recently about her gluten, dairy and corn free weekend with friends where they noshed themselves silly – with no bad effects at all. I asked her to show us how it is done – here’s her report. Remember, she is not totally grain free so mentions rice – and I don’t have access to the book she used so can’t vouch for recipes etc. Check ingredients and adapt to your own needs. That said, I thought it was a great reminder that we can still have fun with friends and don’t have to be hermits! Enjoy, and thanks to Clare. Let’s have some more reports in from you so we can all learn.
“A Truly Tasty Weekend
Catering for a girl’s weekend at home when myself and another friend are GF & dairy free was a challenge I recently relished. I have found my wheat, dairy, gluten and now corn free journey over the last few months to appeal to my creative side – in the kitchen! So when it was my turn to host an annual get together with my old college housemates I was determined to make food a central focus. It was important to me that I didn’t create a menu which meant I spent all my time in the kitchen – so speed and preparing ahead of time was key. My ‘menu bible’ was Barbara Cousins ‘Cooking Without Made Easy’.
The following describes the menu and adapted recipes I served up (everything with a * against it I was able to prepare ahead of time):
*Chocolate brownies – see Mortimer Chocolate recipe website. For their chocolate brownie recipe I replaced the flour with ground almonds, the butter with Pure soya spread [checking the Pure spreads out – look OK, not sure about the source of the added vitamins] and the sugar with Agave Syrup.
*Peanut Butter & Raisin Cookies – see page 201 in Barbara’s book. I replaced flour and buckwheat flakes with ground almonds, didn’t add any salted peanuts and instead of smooth peanut butter I used Whole Earth crunchy peanut butter with no added salt.
I also had a few bars of Kinnerton chocolate in the cupboard for the choccie moments!
*Dips – I made Butterbean and Thyme Pate and Spiced Carrot Dip – see pages 44 & 45 of Barbara’s book. I also bought organic hummus as a back up in case my dips didn’t work out, but I didn’t need to worry as my homemade versions were well received!
For dipping we cut up peppers, carrots, cucumber and opened a packet of Tyrell’s vegetable crisps. I also had rice cakes to hand too.
Falafel – I made cheat’s version from a ‘Hale & Hearty’ ready mix packet [looks OK] adding onions to the mixture before lightly frying in olive oil. All this was served with a salad of watercress & rocket leaves, boiled organic eggs and tomatoes.
Dessert was ‘greek yoghurt’ (soya yoghurt with organic honey) and selection of fruit.
For our evening meal I cooked Moroccan Lemon Chicken from Barbara’s book. I used organic chicken legs & thighs and threw all the ingredients into my slo cooker for six hours serving it up with baked new potatoes & humus, red peppers stuffed with wild rice & cashew nuts and a green salad.
I attempted banana and rhubarb ice cream but with limited success – it wasn’t our favourite! Fortunately we had chocolate brownies to fall back on! Since then I’ve made an apple crumble with rice flour, Pure spread, crushed hazelnuts & cashew nuts, linseeds and raisins in the crumble mix plus a drizzle of agave syrup – yum! I would recommend this served hot with soya yoghurt or ‘proper’ custard made from egg yolks. (Just a thought – I wonder if using ground almonds instead of rice flour for a TGF crumble mix would work?).
Sunday breakfast: This was a good fry up with Debbie & Andrews gluten free sausages (available in most supermarkets, [not grass-fed]), organic poached eggs, organic mushrooms, organic bacon and GF baked beans [watch ingredients].
Booze & other drinks: Well, it had to be raspberry bellinis – see Micki’s Christmas blog. In addition we also made sure we had a few vegan wines to hand. Other than that I had a selection of fruit/herbal teas, soda and fresh fruit juices available.
It was a great weekend centred around good food, drink and of course, excellent company. We each brought along spa products, chick flick dvd’s and pampered ourselves silly so it ended up feeling a truly indulgent weekend with the added bonus of no ill-health after effects! Marvellous.”