Courgette ‘Pasta’ naturally gluten free

Avoiding gluten and grains? On a low carbohydrate diet? Looking for an alternative?

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This could be for you! Just like pasta but made from Courgettes/Zucchini

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All you need is a regular peeler and a courgette. You could use a Spiralizer, but I find a peeler works perfectly well.

Peel strips from top to bottom of the courgette until you reach the seeds in the centre, dispose of the centre.

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One good size courgette is about one portion of pasta

Cook the courgette Tagliatelle in a frying pan with butter or coconut oil for just a few minutes.

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serve with a homemade bolognese sauce

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or make your own pesto by processing pine nuts, parmesan, basil and a little olive oil

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I promise you, it is very delicious!

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with no bloated feeling after a large bowl full !

Simple and quick

What pasta sauce will you try with your courgette tagliatelle ?

 

Gluten free and low sugar breakfast ideas

I really believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Since changing my diet I was surprised  and pleased to find I no longer felt hungry by 11am. I was always desperate for a mid morning sweet snack, now I have to remind myself to have lunch.

The key ingredient for my favourite Breakfasts is free range eggs, cooked in a good healthy fat . You just can’t beat them! healthy, reasonably priced and naturally gluten free. No need to just eat the whites, the entire egg is a healthy addition to your diet and contains good fat.

Embrace good fat, coconut oil, butter and cheese etc . All are great for breakfast and really fill you up! Avoid the sugar not the fat.

Here are some ideas

For frying I use either coconut oil or butter. you notice the taste of the coconut initially but we no longer can taste it in my cooking.

Cooked Breakfasts –

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon

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Naturally smoked fish fillet with poached eggs

Bacon and eggs either fried poached, scrambled etc optional extras fried tomatoes, mushrooms

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Ham and or cheese omelette

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Veggie Omelette with cheese, I use courgettes but you could use peppers, onions , tomatoes etc

Scrambled eggs with spinach, onion and finely chopped bacon or ham

For a full english Gluten free breakfast Sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes. Maybe even some gluten free black pudding!

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Grain free bread or American grain free biscuit  ( a little like an english scone  ) with bacon

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Fried Eggs on grain free or occasionally homemade gluten free toast. Helen’s gluten free homemade bread  or Sukrin gluten free bread toasted

other ideas for occasional breakfasts – 

Porridge with no added sugar. watch out for added raisins as they have a very high sugar content. Serve with a little honey, dextrose or cinnamon. Good with a dash of double cream

Homemade grain free or gluten free pancakes served with fruit or a little honey or dextrose and lemon

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Homemade banana pancakes fried in coconut oil, these contain sugar from the bananas so best to eat in moderation.

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Grain free Muffin cinnamon or lemon and poppy seed or savoury muffin for a quick breakfast on the run

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Cold Breakfasts –

Full fat plain greek yoghurt ( We use Yeo valley ) with homemade Granola. oat free version, sugar free version with fresh berries

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Fresh fruit with or without full fat plain greek yoghurt. Better to eat fruit rather than drink as a juice or smoothie due to the high level of sugar

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Cold platter of cheese, ham or mackerel and boiled egg

Hope these ideas will inspire you.

Ditch all the sugar filled cereals and fruit smoothies, you will notice the difference very quickly.

 

What will you have for breakfast tomorrow?

 

Grain free Quiche Lorraine, perfect for an Easter picnic

Following the success of the grain free Spinach and cheese quiche and the grain free salmon quiche, I thought I would try out a  Quiche Lorraine. Perfect to slice and take to work for lunch or great for a picnic.

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Recipe –

Grain free Base

1 1/2 cups of Almond flour approximately 150g ( ground almonds )

1 1/2 cups of grated Parmesan approximately 150g

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg

Filling –

250g Mascarpone cheese

2 or 3 large eggs ( I used 3 today )

3/4 cup grated Parmesan about 50g

1 finely chopped onion or

1 grated courgette optional

175g streaky bacon chopped

salt and pepper

Large quiche dish

Method –

pre heat oven 170c

Mix together ground almonds , parmesan and egg

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press into quiche base

bake for 12-15 mins until golden brown

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fry bacon and onion or courgette gently in some coconut oil

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combine mascarpone cheese, parmesan and beaten eggs

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add the cooled bacon and onion or grated courgette

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spoon into the cooled base and bake for 30 mins at 180c

serve warm straight out of the oven

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or cool and use for a quick and easy lunch choice.

Happy gluten free baking!

 

 

Gluten free Chocolate cake

Today is my youngest’s son birthday, yesterday I decided to make a chocolate birthday cake

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This recipe is very simple and easy to make!

Recipe-

175g unsalted butter (leave out at room temperature)

190g Dextrose or 175g Sugar

175g gluten free SR flour (I used Doves Farm)

25g cacao powder ( I used Bon Pom ) or cocoa powder gluten free

4 eggs

1 1/2 tsp GF baking powder

A little milk if needed

2 x 7 in prepared lined Tins

 

Method-

Pre heat oven 180c

Cream fat and sugar together

Add beaten eggs

Mix together

Add flour, baking powder and cacao

If the cake mixture feels a little too thick and a splash of dairy or non dairy milk

When completely mixed together spoon in to cake tins

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pop in the oven for 25 mins

remove from oven and turn out onto wire rack

 

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Once cooled add filling

I used a butter icing inside the cake but to keep it low sugar use extra thick double cream

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I used Cadburys large chocolate buttons to decorate

The cake went down very well with the family, I will definitely make it again.

If you would prefer a grain free refined sugar free chocolate cake, check out my recent blog post here Grain free Chocolate cake

Happy gluten free Baking!

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In search of the best way to a healthy body inside and out

Those of you that follow me on Twitter will know, I have been in the process of being diagnosed for possibly Inflammatory bowel disease or Coeliac disease. After a colonoscopy and endoscopy just over a month ago, followed a few weeks later by an MRI scan I have finally got a diagnoses.

After having Coeliac type symptoms, looking back now for about 30 years, I  eventually found a Doctor who was prepared to look again at a diagnoses rather than sticking with the label of Irritable bowel disease .  I had never been satisfied with the initial diagnoses and for probably 7 years I have been wheat free and about 4 years ago now I  have been gluten free as I did research about gluten intolerance and found lots of similarities with my condition.

Unfortunately after such a long time eating food that was causing me damage I am now intolerant to yeast ( wine, vinegar etc ) and onions and garlic all giving me the same symptoms as gluten, bloating and painful cramps.

After the two procedures I have decided I needed to work even harder to heal my insides. I have been researching,  reading books, blogs, tweets etc watching videos trying to take information from lots of different sources.

In doing so I have also learnt about the problems with Sugar and Fructose in our diet. I am now sugar free except the occasional birthday or special celebration when I make or bake using dextrose, raw honey or brown rice syrup. I can honestly say I don’t crave sugar anymore. I baked 50 gluten free cakes the other day for a holiday club and had no desire to eat one. It can be done! Parmesan cheese , macadamia nuts have been my go to treats. I have removed all alcohol too, to help with the healing process. Again, this has been easier than I imagined.

I have been researching  FODMAPS and Specific Carbohydrate Diet looking at removing all grains including rice and lowering possibly excluding cows milk and caffeine .

I think I will stick with Specific carbohydrate diet for now and see how this goes. Avoiding sugar, grains, starchy vegetables and some dairy.

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Finally on Wednesday it was time to go back and see my Gastro specialist, I took my husband with me in case I didn’t take in everything the Doctor told me. I had been waiting for this moment for many years. If Im honest I had got my head around Coeliac disease and ticked all the boxes for the condition and If I was a betting woman I would have put my money on Coeliac disease. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case and I was told I had Crohns disease  which is an inflammatory bowel disease. My biopsies were inconclusive but from the evidence he had from Colonoscopy and the MRI scan he concluded it was Crohns. I was told the types of medication I could have. ( I have no idea what he said ) But Mr S attempted to write down the Drugs names. Surely not the best way to give out important facts. We needed a leaflet with correct spellings of drugs and some basic advice and information.

I was given no information, just told to check out  National association of Crohns and Colitis and go home and do my homework!

When I asked about Coeliac disease and reminded him how long it was since I had eaten gluten. The Doctor said Coeliac disease could not be ruled out although he saw no damage when he did the endoscopy.

He asked me how my health was at the present time and I was thrilled to tell him how well I felt really well and that I was managing the disease by eating very healthily. I could tell he wasn’t convinced that the healthy diet was making much of a difference.

He told me to come back in 4 months, sooner if I had a major flare up and to have more blood tests.

Well, I left the hospital with a scary new ‘label’, I knew very little about the disease. Only knowing one person with Crohns who was regularly hospitalised and a cousin with Ulcerative Colitis, who has had many tough years of medication and operations.

I think its fair to say I was in shock, and still am a bit. But as a few wise Twitter friends reminded me, nothing has changed, its just a new label. I have never had a major flare up. over 30 years.Only been in hospital for these recent procedures.

In the past I probably have had one possible two days a month when I have cramps and sickness or brain fog after being accidentally glutened or after eating one of my other food intolerances. Even that seems to be reducing, but its early days yet.

Since changing my diet my weight is staying constant and so far I have not had any bloating. After hearing strong medication mentioned I am determined to keep this disease from flaring, using a healthy diet removing many known irritants to the body.

If you feel symptoms you have are not being taken seriously, seek another Doctors opinion. It took me 30 years and 3 separate surgeries in two counties and many many doctors to reach my diagnoses. Don’t give up! Maybe try Specific carbohydrate diet or FODMAPS to see if that could help.

I still haven’t really started looking at information about Crohns disease, but know that it is my next task.

Here’s to staying Fabulously Free From and eating only gorgeous fresh nutritious food!

 

Great sources of information here

Crohns and Colitis uk

Coeliac uk

SCD Lifestyle and follow on Twitter @scdlifestyle

I can also recommend a book Coeliac Disease what you need to know by Alex Gazzola

 

 

 

Lemon and poppy seed grain free Muffins

Inspired by grain free cake and muffin recipes I decided to have a go at making some lemon and poppy seed muffins. Here are the results

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Bouncy light texture with a medium sweet lemony taste, well worth giving them a try, We love them!

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Lemon and Poppy seed Muffins-

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

4 large beaten eggs

1/2 tsp poppy seeds

1/4 cup of non dairy milk I used Koko dairy free but almond milk would work well too

1/2 cup raw honey

zest of 2 lemons

Topping –

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp raw honey

2 tsp coconut oil ( I used Lucy bee raw organic coconut oil )

Method-

Pre heat oven 175oC

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Mix dry ingredients together

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Mix wet ingredients together

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pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well together

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remove all lumps

spoon into muffin cases ( I used some new muffin cases with foil insides, they were fab! no sticking  )

mix the topping together and spoon on to the top of the muffins

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any remaining juice can be used when the muffins come out of the oven for extra lemony taste.

pop in a pre heated oven for 20-25 mins ( mine took about 23mins )

cool on wire cooling rack and drizzle with remaining juice

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Enjoy warm or cold

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Happy Baking!

 

 

 

 

Paleo Walnut and Banana bread

I had a couple of ripe bananas that needed eating up so rather than throwing them away.  I went in search of a new recipe . I have recently bought a new recipe book The Paleo diet by Daniel Green ( author of Healthy Eating For Lower Cholesterol ) I found this recipe for walnut and banana bread. This bread is not only grain and gluten free but dairy free too.

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The book explains about the principles of Paleo, foods to avoid, ideas of what to buy and a huge selection of recipes from breakfast to light meals, soups and salads, main meals and desserts.

Walnut and Banana bread-

2 large ripe bananas ( or 3 small )

3 eggs

110g Almond flour ( ground almonds )

1 1/2 tbsp raw honey

70g Walnuts , roughly chopped

coconut oil for greasing loaf tin

Method

Pre heat oven 200oC

grease loaf tin

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mash bananas, I used a potato masher

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In another bowl beat the 3 eggs add almond flour and raw honey

stir in the chopped walnuts and mashed bananas

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pour into loaf tin

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pop in pre heated oven for approximately 20 mins ( my bread needed longer it was baked for about 30 mins in all )

cool in tin then turn out onto wire cooling rack

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The bread is delicious served warm or cold. Very nice with a interesting texture from the walnuts. Slightly different from a regular banana loaf but considering no flour is used and no fat it is well worth making.  I wasn’t sure about the slightly  doughy texture but you can put the slices back in the oven to bake a little longer. The slices are small but you can always have a couple! Delicious toasted for breakfast too.

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