Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Liebster Blog Award




Today I was honoured to receive the Liebster Award from the lovely Laura at Gluten Free Pantry. Thank you Laura! Please visit her site for some tasty gluten-free recipes and in particular her Persimmon and Strawberry ice cream recipe looks to die for!

Funnily enough I was just reading about this on The Tasty Alternative. I always go and visit the sites of the lovely people who comment on my blog and I was excited to find that Amber also blogs about the SCD ...and from her blog I have found other wonderful blogs to visit....and from their blogs......This is how it works isn't it? There's so many awesome blogs out there!

Liebster is a German word meaning "Dearest" thus the award means "Dearest Blog". It is given to people whose blogs have less than 200 followers which is lovely since it is a kind of recognition for their dedication and enables them to meet similar bloggers and get an insight into their interests too!

I started my blog to create a place for my own family to re-create the recipes we have at home since they are no longer at home! I also hoped that it might be found by other SCDers so they could also enjoy the recipes! I didn't expect that I would enjoy writing my weekly blogs and that it would become my "full time" hobby!

To accept the award you have to thank the person who nominated you on your blog then :
  • Link back to the person who awarded you
  • Nominate 5 other blogs for the award
  • Inform the 5 other bloggers by leaving them a comment on their blog
  • Post the award on your blog.
These are my 5 blogs with under 200 followers (I think) which definitely deserve this award (although I could nominate many more!)
Please visit these sites and enjoy their wonderful creativity!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas Sundae GF SCD


This amazing dessert was inspired by Jamie Oliver's Christmas Pudding & Ice Cream Sundae and re-created by my son. It's a great way to use up the left over pudding and cake from Christmas and tastes awesome.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Grain Free Christmas Cake GF SCD


We love Christmas Cake, especially with cheese. This year I've made a gluten-free egg-less cake and another one suitable for the SCD. We've still got some of a gluten-free cake I made last year, the one with too much brandy! When the tin is opened you can smell the aroma at the other end of the house! I don't like to feed the SCD cake so it's made a week before Christmas.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Sugar Free Mincemeat GF SCD


I'm getting quite excited for Christmas now and really looking forward to seeing family and relaxing for a few days. But the run up to the big day and the preparation of food is quite hectic! We love mince pies! I always used to buy an organic mincemeat but since cooking for the SCD I've made it myself. This recipe doesn't contain any additional sugar, the natural sweetness of the fruit itself is enough!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Chestnut Stuffing GF SCD


I started making my chestnut stuffing a few weeks before Christmas a couple of years ago. Prior to that I was always very anxious in the days coming up to Christmas that I wouldn't be able to find the chestnuts and parsley, they always seemed to become extremely scarce. So now I make and freeze it a couple of weeks before Christmas Day. Then all I have to do is remember to take it out of the freezer on Christmas Eve and leave it in the fridge overnight to defrost.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Lentil Pie GF SCD

Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Vegan Lentil Pie

Lentil Pie is most definitely one of our favourite meals during the Winter months. It's the classic vegetarian or vegan version of cottage pie and it's a winner with everyone who tries it. This low carb version is topped with mashed swede and cauliflower to make it suitable for the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) but other options are equally as delicious.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Spicy Lentils with Roasted Butternut Squash GF SCD

Spicy Lentils with Roasted Butternut Squash

This lightly spiced dish is high in healthy plant protein and can be served with the roasted butternut squash and onions or/and with cauliflower rice if you prefer.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Grain Free Raisin Cookies GF SCD


These simple gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free cookies are quick to make and you wouldn't think they were suitable for a restrictive grain free diet since they taste so good.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Butternut Squash & Spinach Cannelloni GF SCD


Since pasta is not permitted on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, making our favourite Italian dishes has been impossible. I experienced a brainwave while I was browsing the supermarket aisles that leeks might work instead of cannelloni.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Active Manuka Honey


I first discovered Manuka Honey's healing powers about seven years ago when I was advised to take it to help with reflux I was experiencing due to a hiatus hernia and I have been taking a spoonful in the morning and a spoonful at night ever since. The most remarkable thing I have noticed is that I haven't had a cold since I started taking it! As soon as I start to feel a sore throat developing, I take a spoonful of honey and then another one every hour until it goes away.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Grain Free Ginger Cake GF SCD


In the week or two leading up to Bonfire Night we used to eat Parkin Pigs, which were similar to gingerbread men but in the shape of a pig. These are a traditional Yorkshire delicacy! As soon as the parkin pigs were on sale, I used to look forward to eating my Grandma's parkin. Parkin is a ginger cake which originated in the North of England, most likely Yorkshire, my neck of the woods. It's traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night, November 5th. I wanted to try and recreate this scrumptious Parkin and make it suitable for the SCD. My son had created a coffee cake which was quite similar in texture and by altering this recipe slightly, the cake became one which is extremely similar to my Grandma's ginger cake and brings back so many memories for me!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Lentil Soup GF SCD

Lentil Soup

We rarely ever run out of dried lentils, onions and carrots and this soup is one of our favourite soups. Full of flavour with heaps of plant protein, lentil soup is economical and very simple to prepare.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Apple Chutney GF SCD


If you grow your own apples, you'll understand the problem we face each year trying to find ways to use them all up. One solution is to make chutney. This chutney needs to be left for 2 or 3 months for all the flavours to mingle and do their magic so if you're looking for something to eat straight away, this recipe is not for you.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Carrot and Courgette Fritters GF SCD


Since I had a few courgettes in the fridge, I thought I'd have a go at making some egg free veggie fritters. To make them suitable for the SCD, I couldn't add flax seed or other egg alternatives. So I came up with these - a bit delicate to turn over but nevertheless pretty tasty - especially straight from the fridge the next day!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Apple Pie GF SCD


We planted our apple tree about twelve years ago and it looks more like a bush than a tree. However, despite its strange shape it's never failed to produce an abundant crop of luscious eating apples. We haven't a clue what variety of apples they are since the tree was a gift.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Hummus (oil free) GF


This is a quick and easy version of the classic spread but using water instead of oil and tahini.

Hummus (oil free) GF 
2 x 390g cartons chick peas in water or 460g cooked chick peas
3 cloves garlic crushed
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp sea salt
120ml spring water

  • Rinse the chick peas under a running tap.
  • Juice half a lemon.
  • Tip the chickpeas into a food processor bowl.
  • Add the lemon juice, crushed garlic, salt and water then process until the beans are broken down.
  • Take the lid off and give the mixture a stir from time to time. Eventually it becomes smooth. 

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Monday, 3 October 2011

Roasted Apple and Carrot Salad GF SCD


This week we had the hottest day in October recorded ever, the temperature reached 29.9°C in Gravesend, Kent on October 1st. The temperature registered 29°C in my car, which isn't bad for the North of England when it's supposed to be nearing Autumn!

Salads don't always have to be cold, sometimes a warm salad can make a lovely change, especially when it really is feeling like Autumn has arrived. This salad combines the deep sweetness of apples and carrots with the peppery flavour of the watercress and the topping of crunchy almonds and pumpkin seeds adds texture as well as some tasty plant protein.

Roasted Apple and Carrot Salad GF SCD

3 or 4 large carrots (about 500g)
4 sweet dessert apples
A large bunch of watercress
25-30g flaked almonds
25-30g pumpkin seeds
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dressing (optional)

5 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
1 tablsp organic apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 tblsp clear honey
1 crushed clove of garlic
1 tsp mustard (made from mustard powder and water if SCD)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Measure the olive oil, cider vinegar or lemon and honey into a clean jam jar.
  • Add the crushed garlic clove and a few twists of freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Make up some mustard by measuring a heaped teaspoon of powder into a small bowl.
  • Add water, a teaspoon at a time and mix into a paste.
  • Add a teaspoon of mustard to the dressing in the jam jar.
  • Put the lid on the jar and give it a good shake.
  • Set to one side.
  • Set the oven to 190°C.
  • Wash the apples and peel and wash the carrots.
  • Slice the carrots lengthways and cut into 6 to 7 cm long pieces.
  • Tip into a bowl and drizzle about 3 or 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over them and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Pour into a baking dish and cook in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes until soft but not browned. Meanwhile, core the apples and slice into about 12 pieces per apple. Leave in a bowl of water to prevent browning.
  • Heat a thick based frying pan over a medium heat and toss in the almonds. Cook for a few minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until they start to turn golden. Tip into a bowl and leave to one side.
  • Pour the pumpkin seeds into the pan and heat until they start to pop and turn brown.
  • Tip into the bowl with the toasted almonds and mix together.
  • By now it should be time to take the carrots out of the oven. Tip the apples into the roasting dish and mix in with the carrots.
  • Turn the heat up to 200°C and roast for another 20 to 30 minutes until the carrots are turning brown and the apples are soft.
  • Tip the carrots and apples over a few handfuls of watercress in a serving bowl.
  • Pour two or three tablespoons of dressing over the top.
  • Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and pumpkin seeds.

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Monday, 26 September 2011

Stuffed Courgettes GF SCD


Courgettes or zucchini? What do you call this rather nutritious vegetable? I looked up some facts about courgettes and this is what I found:

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Grain Free Onion Gravy GF SCD


This very tasty gravy recipe is a breeze to prepare and doesn't rely on anything other than the onions, celery and carrots to thicken it so, for followers of a grain free diet, it's perfect. We make it regularly to pour over our burgers and nut roasts.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Black Bean Burgers GF SCD


Black Beans are SCD legal and high in protein and fibre in addition to being a great source of calcium, potassium, iron and folic acid. These nutritional powerhouses also contain small amounts of omega-3 fats and the shiny black coating contains at least eight different flavonoids. They're ideal for making bean burgers as well as for adding to stews, curries and chilli.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Bean and Vegetable Soup GF SCD


There's nothing more comforting than a wholesome and warming vegetable soup. Economical and very simple to prepare, this soup is packed full of root vegetables, beans and herbs and is a meal in itself. It's a great way to boost your intake of vegetables.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Pizza GF SCD


The haricot beans in this pizza's base give it a lovely almost scone-like texture and although it could never ever be compared to a real pizza, it's a perfect alternative to the real thing for followers of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. If there's any left, it tastes equally good without heating it up. In fact I've packed slices of this into a huge number of lunch boxes.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Courgette and Pea Soup GF SCD


This deep green wholesome and very tasty soup can be created in minutes. Since I adore peas, I make sure we buy a pack of frozen peas every week to avoid any calamity that would arise if we actually ran out. We cook them every day, they are a fantastic source of plant protein. This soup recipe is also a perfect way to use up the odd courgettes that have been sadly neglected in the fridge. We tend to over stock courgettes and since I purposefully avoid throwing anything away, this soup has become a firm favourite.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Blackberry and Apple Crumbles GF and SCD

Gluten Free Apple and Blackberry Crumble

I love this time of year because the apples are ripening on the tree and the blackberries are ready to pick but it's a bit of a jungle at the back of our garden since we leave the brambles to grow wild and bushy.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Yogurt Cheese GF SCD


Yogurt cheese is a creamy, soft, spreadable cheese made by separating the liquid, or whey, from yogurt, in fact it's simply strained yogurt.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Cheese Sauce GF SCD


I love how cauliflower is so versatile! This grain free cheese sauce is made simply with cauliflower, onions, cheese, salt and pepper and it's surprisingly smooth! 

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Vegetable Stuffed Tomatoes GF SCD

Stuffed Tomatoes in a dish

These stuffed tomatoes are filled with a selection of seasonal vegetables and herbs and are packed full of vitamins and phytonutrients. They are suitable for all diets because instead of using rice, I've used delicious cauliflower rice, a much healthier alternative.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Apricot Slice GF SCD

Apricot slice on a plate

We've had a lovely long weekend! It was my daughter's birthday on Friday and since the weather was warm, we decided to go to the beach! It's some years since I've been to the East Coast but there are some lovely beaches on this side of the UK one of which is Cayton Bay.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Green Lentil Salad GF SCD

Green Lentil Salad

This green lentil salad is super delicious and full of plant protein. High in protein and low in fat, green lentils are rich in dietary fibre and phytonutrients which are essential to maintain a good immune system. They're also a great source of folate, thiamin and Vitamin B6 as well as iron, manganese and phosphorous. They are perfect for adding to soups and salads.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Grain Free Cheese and Vegetable Flan GF SCD

Grain Free Cheese and Vegetable Flan

Sunday was our family birthday get together and it was my turn to host! Most of our birth signs are Cancer or Leo and I try to cook dishes that everyone can enjoy but which don't appear to be too out of the ordinary to most our guests. I made this flan as one of the dishes for our buffet.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Onion Bhajis and Cauliflower Pakoras GF


One of my favourite Indian foods, the traditional onion bhaji recipe is made with gram flour. Gram flour, which is also known as chickpea flour, garbanzo flour and Besan, is milled from naturally gluten-free gram or Chana Dahl, a small chickpea with a fine yellow colour. Having a low GI ranking, it is a healthy alternative to some of the widely used gluten-free flours which contain a high amount of starch. It has a sweet but earthy taste and is used widely in Indian and Middle Eastern cookery.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Grain Free and Refined Sugar Free Carrot Cake GF SCD

Grain Free and Refined Sugar Free Carrot Cake

This delicious grain free, gluten free and refined sugar free carrot cake recipe is a great choice if you're looking for a healthier option. It's not just the carrots which make this cake a nutritious treat, the walnuts, almonds, apricots and spices add an abundance of vitamins and minerals.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Sun Dried Tomato, Onion and Garlic Bread Rolls GF SCD

Grain and Gluten Free Sun Dried Tomato, Onion and Garlic Bread Rolls

We watched a documentary last year showing how they undertook the most challenging big cat rescue ever, saving 13 lions from shocking conditions in the run down Oradea Zoo in Romania. The cats were rehabilitated and released into a 9 acre reserve at the end of May 2010. We decided to visit the Yorkshire Wildlife Park this year as part of my birthday celebrations, it was a fantastic day out.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Apricot and Pistachio Ice Cream GF SCD

Apricot and Pistachio Frozen Yogurt Cream

I always buy organic dried apricots because they are free of sulphites which is why they are dark brown in appearance as opposed to bright orange. Dried apricots are brimming with beta-carotene which is converted into Vitamin A in the body, a powerful antioxidant which boosts the immune system. They are also an excellent source of potassium, calcium and iron. Inside a fresh apricot stone is a kernel which contains a nutrient called amygdalin or B17, also known as laetrile. This is believed to attack cancer cells and thus prevent and even cure cancer. 

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Onion Bhajis SCD GF

SCD Onion Bhajis in a pan

Once I'd discovered the joys of onion bhajis, the wonderful, spicy, flavour packed crispy little balls of onions bound together with a batter full of delicious, fragrant spices, I was hooked! But they are not suitable for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet so I created a SCD legal version - not quite the same but still packed full of flavour.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Chilli Omelette GF SCD

An omelette topped with vegetable chilli and yogurt mint dip

Tonight I made Vegetable Chilli with my son who adheres strictly to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Since we were making the SCD legal version, we used 2 fresh green chillies instead of the chilli powder and included most of the seeds. We also added a carrot, sliced thinly. It tasted hot, so to cool down the chilli a little we made a yogurt mint dip.

Though most of the family ate the chilli with brown basmati rice, my son decided to serve his on top of a two egg plain omelette. We poured yogurt dip over the top of the chilli.

Delicious! 

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Sunday, 3 July 2011

Baked Beans GF SCD

a dish of baked beans


Haricot Beans are also known as Navy Beans. This is because they were a staple food of the US Navy in the early 20th Century. I suppose you could say that baked beans were one of our staple foods before I started cooking for the SCD and I developed this simple recipe so we could continue to enjoy one of our favourite foods.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Vegetable Stock GF SCD

A display of fresh vegetables

This vegetable stock is very simple to make and can be used in soups, sauces and casseroles. It doesn't contain vegetable fat or sugar which are so often found in commercial stocks.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Vegetarian Chilli GF SCD

Vegetarian and Vegan Chilli

This simple, tasty, vegetarian and vegan chilli recipe is gluten free and suitable for the SCD. I'm not that keen on very spicy food but the rest of my family love it - the more chilli the better. Apparently, most people think that the seeds are the hottest part of a chilli pepper but the heat comes from an oil called capsaicin. This is concentrated in the internal membranes which holds the seeds in place and not from the seeds themselves which actually don't produce any capsaicin. So when you scrape out the seeds you remove the membranes and therefore the heat from the chilli pepper. 

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Bean and Pea Dip GF SCD

Bowl of Bean and Pea Dip with raw vegetable crudites

I adore peas. Bursting with nutrition they are an excellent source of protein as well as being rich in dietary fibre, iron and Vitamin C. They are also a good source of Folic Acid and Vitamin B6 as well as lutein, an antioxidant carotenoid essential for eye health.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Vegetarian Paella GF

Vegetarian Paella served on a plate

On Saturday we went to see our daughter, Hannah-Rei, perform at a local community festival in Leeds. Despite the sunshine, it was cold and windy and the breeze carried the aromas from the wonderful selection of ethnic foods on sale which we were unable to sample because of our gluten free diet.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Red Pepper and Carrot Soup GF SCD

Red Pepper and Carrot Soup in a soup pot

We often make soup, not just because it's totally delicious and comforting but also because it's a fantastic way to make sure that we don't waste any of our vegetables. Soups are so quick and easy to make. Just chop and chuck the vegetables in a pan with a bit of stock and a few herbs and spices, cook for a about half an hour, blend and enjoy. This soup is one I made recently, I love its fiery, vibrant colour.

Red Pepper and Carrot Soup GF SCD

600g carrots
2 red bell peppers
1 onions
2 cloves garlic
700ml water or stock
1 tsp paprika
11/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tblsp fresh chopped parsley
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
ground mace

  • Heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a deep heavy based pan. Chop the onions roughly. Tip into the pan and fry gently for about 5 to 10 minutes until translucent.
  • Heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a deep frying pan or wok. slice the peppers and tip into the pan. Fry on a medium to high heat for 5 minutes.
  • Peel and slice the carrots and add to the onions with the garlic and paprika. 
  • Continue to fry, stirring regularly for another 5 minutes. Add the dried thyme and tip in the peppers. Pour in the water or stock, add a large pinch of mace and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cover and simmer gently for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Chop the parsley and sprinkle into the soup.
  • Blend until smooth, this recipe serves 4 people.


Blend the Red Pepper and Carrot Soup


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Thursday, 2 June 2011

Paprika Roasted Celeriac and Carrots GF SCD

Paprika Roasted Celeriac and Carrots

Celeriac is certainly an acquired taste but, because it contains very little starch, it is an ideal alternative to potatoes for people following the SCD. If you don't like celery you may like celeriac, if it is cooked properly. It's a bit of an ugly beast, beige/brown colour and quite knobbly but peeling it reveals a lovely white flesh. If you have never cooked celeriac before, here are a few tips:

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Fresh Tomato Sauce GF SCD

Tomato Sauce

We regularly eat food which requires a home-made tomato sauce. It's lovely poured over burgers or pasta and I've spread it on my home-made pizzas for years! 

Monday, 30 May 2011

Toffee Ice Cream GF SCD

Toffee ice cream in a sundae dish

I think one of the most difficult things about making ice-cream is remembering to put the bowl in the freezer the night before. Frozen yogurt can be just as delicious as regular ice cream and makes a lovely treat for followers of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Pineapple Muffins GF SCD

Pineapple Muffin

Pineapple is one of my favourite fruits especially freshly chopped with bananas. It's packed full of Vitamin C as well as being a fantastic source of manganese which helps to support good bone health. It also contains the enzyme, bromelain which has anti-inflammatory properties and also aids digestion.