Delicious grain free spinach and cheese quiche

Recently I’ve become aware that I have been baking and eating rather a lot of gluten free goodies and whilst they have tasted delicious, it has meant I have gained more weight than I would have liked. So I am now trying very hard to low carb for at least this month hopefully for much longer. Searching for something different to take out to lunch I did some research on the internet and came across a recipe for grain free vegetable tart, Inspired by this I decided to invent something similar.

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Fortunately it tasted very good, this time my parents were guinea pigs luckily they both loved it and came back for seconds!

Spinach and mascarpone quiche

base-

1 1/2 cups almond flour ( ground almonds )

1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 clove garlic crushed ( optional )

1 egg

Filling-

10 oz frozen spinach ( weigh frozen spinach cubes )

1 large courgette finely chopped or grated

1 pepper finely chopped

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 clove garlic

3/4 cup parmesan cheese

8 oz Mascarpone cheese or full fat cream cheese

2 large free range eggs

pre heat oven to 170 c

Fry courgette and pepper in a good olive oil, butter or coconut oil

add frozen spinach and allow to defrost and cook into the other vegetables.

allow to cool

make base-

combine almond flour, grated parmesan, garlic and beaten egg together

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grease ovenproof quiche dish or loose bottom pie dish

spoon into base , press down forming a layer covering the base.

bake at 170c for 12-15mins

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remove when starts to be firm with a golden colour

mix together mascarpone cheese and beaten eggs

add garlic crushed and parmesan

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You can now either have two separate layers. A bottom layer of spinach and a top layer of the eggs and cheese

or

mix the two gently together and spread on top of the base

pop in a pre heated oven at 180c for 30 mins

Quiche should be set in the middle and golden brown

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serve warm or cold

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Enjoy!

Happy gluten free baking

My visit to Seine Rigger for gluten free Fish and chips

A year ago today I started my gluten free blog. To celebrate I thought I would have a fish and chip lunch.

Seine Rigger is a fish and chip restaurant and take away in Banstead Surrey serving gluten free fish and chips, its quite a drive from me, but well worth it.

I rang in advance to book a table and inform them that I would require the gluten free menu. Seine Rigger ask you to give them at least 1/2hr notice to make up batter etc.

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What always strikes me when I arrive at this take away and restaurant is just how clean and fresh it feels, which gives you lots of confidence as someone who has to avoid gluten. Something I don’t say about many eating establishments.

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Today I chose to eat in, as its such a journey back home. I was greeted by a friendly waitress who showed me to my table. The restaurant is warm and welcoming and today was full of retired couples having lunch. One lovely elderly gentleman was reading the newspaper aloud to his lunch companion, very sweet.

I always get very excited eating out here I have total confidence in their knowledge of gluten free and cross contamination. A feeling I don’t have when I eat out normally with the exception of the italian restaurant Bruschetta in Kingston.

Today I ordered gluten free Haddock and chips with a side order of gluten free mushy peas. My pot of tea arrived very quickly, closely followed by an amazing looking plate of food. Being gluten intolerant you appreciate and get excited by food that others take for granted.

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I could see at first glance that the battered haddock was lovely and crispy and the chips looked just perfect.

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The fish was very fresh and the gluten free batter was indeed light and crispy and not at all greasy, far better than I remember regular batter to be. The chips were cooked well and again not greasy. Seine Rigger uses ground nut oil to fry in, and ensures that the temperature is perfect to avoid greasy food.

My mushy peas were very good, certainly ample for two people, I didn’t really do them justice on my own.

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Also available if you have any room left, are pineapple fritters made with gluten free batter. I’ve never been able to fit in a pudding!

A perfect meal out ,  10 out of 10 I could not fault the food or service.

I can recommend this lovely restaurant, definitely worth the journey. One tip, leave extra time to find a parking space. I struggled to find a space today, a cold wednesday afternoon.

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Here is their website Seine Rigger

and Seine Rigger facebook

Address 11 Nork way, Banstead

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no added sugar, gluten free Mince pies

Today I stood in a shop looking longingly at the gluten free mince pies, but when I looked at the ingredients Sugar was top of the list. I decided they weren’t for me, and spent the drive home in the car inventing my own.

This was the result

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short crust pastry-

200g gluten free plain flour

1tsp isabel’s baking fix

100g unsalted butter

ice cold water

filling-

5 Medjool dates

2 eating apples

50g mixed nuts I used pecan almond and brazil

1/2tsp allspice

1/2tsp cinnamon

50g raisins

You may like to add mixed peel, cranberries, brandy etc Have fun inventing your own mincemeat .

pre heat oven 200c 15-20mins

Make the shortcrust pastry

rub cubed butter into flour to resemble breadcrumbs

add a little cold water to form a ball using hands

cover in film and put in fridge for 1hr

make filling

using a food processor chop nuts, dates and the peeled and chopped apples

add allspice and cinnamon. You could add a little orange juice if you wanted the mixture less dry,

then mix all together with raisins.

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roll chilled pastry between two pieces of cling film

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using a large circle cutter, cut out 10 or more circles and place carefully in

greased muffin tray

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spoon mixture into pies

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cut little stars using remaining pastry to sit on top of the mince pies

put in the pre heated oven for between 15-20mins

cool on wire rack, then devour with a big dollop of extra thick double cream.

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Just delicious! who needs to add sugar

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My visit to Bruschetta, Italian gluten free Restaurant in Kingston

Yesterday Mr S and I decided to make the journey over to Kingston for some authentic Italian food. Not just any italian food, but Gluten and yeast free, very exciting! I remember on my first visit to Bruschetta over a year ago I actually had a tear in my eye after eating my first mouthful of Pizza in many years due to my gluten intolerance.

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Bruschetta turns gluten free eating out, on its head by offering gluten free pizza’s, pasta and puddings to everyone as First choice. You have to ask specially for a regular gluten filled pizza, Brilliant! I never worry about cross contamination when I eat here. Julia herself is gluten intolerant and her sister is a diagnosed Coeliac.

On Sunday we were the first people to arrive to the London road restaurant, but Bruschetta soon filled up and had a lovely buzzy atmosphere.  Like all good traditional italian restaurants it has a real family feel and I immediately felt transported back to holidays in Italy, In pre gluten free days.

Ordering is always difficult because I can never decided between the array of gluten free pasta dishes, risotto and pizza choices on offer. We eventually both decided on pizza’s Monteverde ( mozzarella, tomato, parma ham, fresh rocket and parmesan ) for me with extra chicken. Mr S had his usual, the famous Alex Corbisiero’s favourite ( Buffalo mozzarella, tomato, italian sausage, diced chicken and spicy salami )

The Pizza’s arrived quickly and were enormous and looked fabulous!

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It is very exciting to be able to eat pizza out in a restaurant, being gluten and yeast free means I cannot eat out at the pizza chains. Making these occasionally treat meals very special.

We enjoyed our pizza’s very much, fresh ingredients and friendly staff adding to the experience and such traditional surroundings.

I was fortunate to get a chance to speak to Julia who explained that she goes to great lengths to find the best quality italian gluten free dried pasta’s, breadsticks, biscuits etc which are on sale in the restaurants. Christmas Panettone classes raisin or chocolate chip are still available but are selling out quickly.

As it was extra special to be eating out at an Italian restaurant, we allowed ourselves pudding as a treat. We both chose the chocolate and hazelnut cake slice with ice-cream baked by Julia. It was delicious and a very good size slice. I should have shared a pudding really. will remember next time!? Our meal cost approximately £20 per head for pizza, pudding and a bottle of water.

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Bruschetta is really worth a trip, the gluten free Italian food is exceptional. The decor in the restaurant could perhaps do with an injection of cash to spruce it up a little but in some ways this just adds to the authentic italian family restaurant feel. Once the restaurant is full of people eating and drinking with lots of laughter and chatter, nothing else matters.

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The restaurant is popular with some famous rugby players maybe you will spot one or two when you go along?  We have seen Alex Corbisiero who plays for England a couple of times, enjoying his favourite pizza with fellow players and friends.

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Bruschetta is on Facebook

and Twitter

141 London road

Kingston upon Thames

KT2 6NH

0208 5469328

A visit to The Healthy Cook Company in Kingston

Today was the first day of the Christmas park and ride from Chessington world of adventures to Kingston upon Thames, a great excuse to pay a visit to my favourite shop in Kingston, Healthy cook company in Old London road. This road is easy to spot as it has the famous leaning telephone boxes at one end, it is just off the main shopping street.

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Healthy cake company is a bakery and cafe offering an assortment of gluten free, dairy free, egg free and some sugar free produce.

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The cafe is quite small so well worth arriving early for lunch as I did today. There is a cosy friendly feel to the cafe and while small, there is a huge array of produce. I struggled to chose!

As you enter on the right hand side there is a bakery section with warm homemade gluten free and yeast free bread. Sealed and boxed cakes ready to take home. I grabbed a loaf straight away incase I missed out.

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Today I decided to sample one of the lunches that was on offer, I chose the toasted soda bread with salad and homemade humous and spinach pesto, this was £3.50 followed by a homemade gluten free mince pie.

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My lunch was very good, as was my freshly made mince pie with perfect pastry. I enjoyed this with a cup of tea.

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Trisha and her staff were busy with lots of customers including a dad who had come in to collect a fabulous looking Free From Thomas the tank engine chocolate cake for his 3 year old son. He let me have a quick look, it was beautifully decorated. What a lucky boy! I’m sure it will taste very yummy. Birthday and celebration cakes can be ordered online.

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Now came the difficult decision of what to select to take home. Eventually I chose an individual  carrot and raisin cake, a chocolate cake, a flap jack and lemon and poppy seed muffin and 2 chocolate brownies sweetened partly with date syrup. All gluten and dairy free. Think I will have to freeze some.

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If you are planning a Christmas shopping trip to Kingston upon Thames in the next few weeks . Don’t forget to look in on Trisha at her award winning bakery and cafe the Healthy cook company.

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I have tried Trisha’s cakes and bread before, they are always very good and well worth taking a break from shopping to go and sample.

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The Iced gluten and dairy free carrot and raisin cake was overall winner of the free from awards 2009

check out Healthy cook company on Facebook

@HealthyCookCo on twitter

32 Old London road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT26QF

Gluten free Sausage and Courgette Muffins

These muffins make a delicious quick breakfast or handy lunch. I used Marks and Spencer Gloucester old spot gluten free pork sausages which are delicious. Any gluten free sausages would work well.

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Sausage and Courgette Muffins –

240g gluten free plain flour

2tsp baking powder gluten free

1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

1tsp sea salt

60g parmesan

2 large eggs

250g full fat Greek yoghurt

4tbsp olive oil or melted butter

200g grated courgette

100g cooked chopped gluten free sausages add more if you prefer

1 tbsp herbs or 1tsp paprika

Pre heat oven 200c

First mix dry ingredients

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in a second bowl mix wet ingredients yoghurt, eggs and oil

Add wet ingredients to the flour etc

Stir in well, then add courgettes,parmesan, cooked sausages and seasoning

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spoon into muffin cases. try silicone or waxed cases to avoid muffins sticking to case.

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Bake for 18-20mins at 200c

cool and enjoy.

The muffins freeze well too.

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store in airtight container, refresh in microwave for 10-20 seconds

Happy gluten free Baking!

Gluten free delights at Selfridges, London

Yesterday we headed up to London. While we were there we popped into Selfridges as I had heard that they now have a gluten free section in the food hall.

The gluten free deli is not easy to spot as hidden amongst the regular deli. But well worth seeking out! In a separate display case was an array of pies, quiches and fresh filled pasta. Pies and quiches made by Wagfree food. I chose a quiche Lorraine, Mr S who could have chosen any pie or quiche from the main section chose gluten free roasted pepper quiche, these cost £2.79 each.

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I asked the assistant if they had a gluten free bakery area. She directed me to the regular cake area and once again there was a special display case clearly marked and closed off from the gluten filled cakes. My eyes were out on stalks! Everything looked delicious! Then I remembered I’m supposed to be staying low sugar. Oh well , just one cake wouldn’t hurt?  We chose a coffee and walnut cake to share costing £3.45 very restrained, I really wanted to have one of each. I think these cakes also come from @wagfree

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The bakery assistant also pointed out more gluten free products, gluten free bread on top of the cake display case and an array of biscuits from Peace of cake on a separate stand. You do need to keep your whits about you as half the stand was gluten filled biscuits and brownies. Which could have been disastrous if I had not automatically read the small print. I chose some gluten free and dairy free Apricot Abricotines from Peace of cake London.

I could have honestly spent all day and a great deal of money in Selfridges but had to dash. But decided to visit again soon when we had more time

I can recommend a visit, so exciting to be able to buy such lovely food which is gluten free too. The more we all support, the more likely these sections will grow and we will have even greater choice.

Wag free baked goods are also available in Brixton from their main cafe and bakery. I hope to visit and blog about that soon, watch this space!

We searched for an appropriate picnic spot around Selfridges and came across one of the delightful gated gardens, unfortunately it was private only available to local residents. But by this time we were starving so stood at the garden entrance staring in longingly at the pretty park benches inside and munched on our gluten free quiches. Now I thought that my own homemade pastry was pretty good, Until I tasted wagfree’s beautiful pastry, light and melt in the mouth.  The quiches were really very good.

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When we returned home we enjoyed the cake with a much needed cuppa. Once again I quite like my own cakes but this was I have to admit well worth the money. The sugary icing on the top was delicious as was the creamy filling inside the light coffee flavoured cake. But thankfully not overly sweet. Another triumph!

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I look forward to my next visit to Selfridges and especially the Food Hall. Better start saving!