Saturday, 26 February 2011

Birthday Cake / Victoria Sponge. (Dairy, Soya, and Gluten free (Wheat too).

In theory this could also be egg free but I have never found or made a large sponge cake with egg replacer myself.

I cheated on this one - twins wanting separate cakes with different decorations of their choice and I searched the supermarket shelves this time!

Both Tesco and Sainsbury's do "Free From" sponge cakes, plain Victoria and others. Check the labels obviously, they seem to vary but ours were from Sainsburys.
I used buttercream made from caster sugar and "Pure" sunflower spread for the icing, needing a little less margarine than the recipe to achieve the desired consistency.

TIP: I learned recently to have a palette knife and cup of boiling water handy to smooth over the buttercream perfectly. I just wish someone had told me a long time ago!


1 ready made Victoria Sponge
(Contains:-Sugar, potato starch, disodium diphosphate, sodium bicarbonate, salt, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, guar gum, calcium carbonate, maize starch, natural vanilla flavour.)
Buttercream icing
175g Pure Margarine
400g sifted icing sugar, beaten together with 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Bacon and Corn Muffins

I adapted this recipe from one which contained cheese. It is Dairy free, Gluten free (and therefore wheat free), soya free and can be egg free.

Makes 12 - use muffin cases in a patty tin and preheat oven to 180C, NOT fan


150g Rindless bacon - check ingredients/preservatives. (Most ham has lactose added)
55g "Pure" Sunflower margarine
300g Dove's Farm Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 extra teaspoon baking powder
30g polenta (not the block/precooked one but the flour)
1 small can of sweetcorn or equivalent of chick peas
pinch of salt
1 egg (or orgran egg replacer for egg free)
350-400mls oat milk, rice milk or hemp milk.

Cook the bacon (I cook it on a covered plate in the microwave, quicker and less messy!)
Blend corn or chickpeas in food processor, I also blend the bacon as my two have trouble swallowing sometimes.
Melt the margarine (you can use the bacon pan for this if used and still warm)
Place flour, Xanthan gum and baking powder in a bowl or mixer, stir in the polenta, salt and add the margarine.
Beat the egg and add to the bowl.
Add the milk slowly, combine well until the mixture is a soft dropping consistency and spoon into muffin cases.

Bake at 180 C preferably in a non-fan oven until risen, firm and just going golden on top.

I make double quantity most times and freeze. these make a great alternative to sandwiches in a packed lunch and are quick and easy to defrost for tea after school.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Absurdly Easy Herby Tomato Sauce

Prep time a few minutes, makes about 300ml, or enough to cover pasta for 3-4 children or to spread on pizza and freeze some or store in the fridge!
The only trick is you need a good amount of fresh herbs.

2 large or 3 medium nice ripe tomatoes
2 large tbsp tomato paste
fresh herbs: a good handful each of basil, parsley, and coriander (in whatever proportion you’ve got/fancy), small amount of dill and/or mint if you like
half a not-too-strong red onion
clove of garlic, crushed
pinch of (preferably sea) salt
olive oil to mix up to total of 300ml or enough to mix into a smooth paste if using as a pizza topping.

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blitz. That’s it!!!

Sacha says "I love this raw sauce in the summer. It is great on any kind of pasta. If you want to make a slightly more substantial meal, add a tin of white beans (just rinse, drain, and stir into the pasta and sauce), some grated cheese, and/or black olives. This is a 5-minute, one pot dinner."

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Pizza Base

Free From – wheat, dairy, egg, soy, corn

Prep Time - 15 minutes
Cook Time - 25 minutes

  • 1 Tablespoon dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour 
  • 1/2 cup potato flour/ tapioca flour 
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning (optional)
  • 2/3 cup warm rice milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar (optional)
  • Extra rice flour for sprinkling

Crust: Preheat oven to 190 degrees . In medium mixer bowl using regular beaters (not dough hooks), blend the yeast, flours, xanthan gum, salt, and Italian seasoning on low speed. Add warm milk, sugar, oil, and vinegar.

Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. (If the mixer bounces around the bowl, the dough is too stiff. Add water if necessary, one tablespoon at a time, until dough does not resist beaters.) The dough will resemble soft bread dough.

Put mixture on a greased 12-inch pizza pan. Liberally sprinkle rice flour onto dough, then press dough into pan, continuing to sprinkle dough with flour to prevent sticking to your hands. Make edges thicker to hold the toppings. 

Bake pizza crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Top Pizza Crust with sauce and your preferred toppings. Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes or until top is nicely browned.

Suggestions for toppings:-

  • Tomato sauce and fresh cherry tomatoes, sprinkled with Redwood Cheezly Dairy and Soya free cheese.
  • Spinach with the above
  • Vegusto Melty (if tolerated) cubed and added on the top to resemble a Pizza Express Pizza
  • Shredded chicken and sweetcorn
  • If you are allowed eggs, a poached egg and spinach are a great combination on top!

Easy Oatmeal Muffins

Serves - 12 muffins 
Free from - Wheat, dairy, egg, soya, nut, peanut
Contains - Gluten* (use oats listed in Coeliac UK* directory for reduced risk of contamination from other grains) 
*Coeliac UK: 
480g (1lb) oat flour 
150g (5oz) white or dark brown sugar 
1tsp bicarbonate of soda 
125ml (4 fl oz) oil 
300ml (10fl oz) apple juice or water 
50g (2oz) rolled oats 

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4 
  • Combine all ingredients, except rolled oats, and mix with electric mixer for 30-60 seconds. Add the rolled oats to the dough and mix. 
  • Place dough mixture in a greased/non-stick muffin tray. Use margarine to grease 
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes 
  • Cool before removing muffins from tray 
Cooks tip: 
  • Adding 100g (4oz) of raisins makes delicious oat raisin muffins 
  • If you find it difficult to find the oat flour, you can place rolled oats in a food processor to make it. Process each 100g (4oz) of oats for 30-60 seconds to make the flour. 
  • Adding water instead of apple juice makes muffins that are slightly less sweet 
  • For higher calorie muffins, double the amount of oil 

Chicken Nuggets

Free from - Wheat, gluten, milk, egg, soya, nut

NB for a gluten free diet check the Food Directory from Coeliac UK to see which brands of cornflakes are suitable (

There are several brands of "free from" breadcrumbs, hale and Hearty, Orgran and Crimbles, but crushed cornflakes or rice crop cereal works just as well.

This topic came up for discussion in our Facebook Support/Chat group recently. One member had excellent advice:-

Click to visit our group
  • Chicken breasts 
  • Cornflakes or "free from" breadcrumbs
  • Oil 
(45g/1½ oz) corn flakes will coat a 170g/6oz piece of chicken) 

  • Preheat oven to 170ºC/340 ºF/Gas mark 3 
  • Place cornflakes in plastic bag and crush with hand or rolling pin 
  • Cut the chicken into chunks, dip in water 
  • Coat chicken in crushed cornflakes 
  • Fry in a little oil to seal 
  • Bake for 15 minutes on a baking tray 
  • Eat immediately! 

Tip If you can use egg, dipping in a beaten egg before coating works well.

You can use these cold in packed lunches, and freeze until needed.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Serves - 4-5 pancakes

Free from - Wheat, gluten, milk, soya, nut, peanut
Contains - Egg

Buckwheat is actually related to the rhubarb plant and is naturally gluten free. It has a lovely texture and an almost nutty flavour. It makes an airy pancake which is great for soaking up maple or golden syrup!

  • 30g (1 oz) buckwheat flour 
  • 15g (½ oz) rice flour 
  • ½ tsp gluten free baking powder 
  • 125ml (4 floz) milk alternative (Rice Milk was tested)
  • 1 egg - can add egg replacer sunflower oil for frying
  • Sift flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. 
  • Separate egg. 
  • Whisk egg white with hand blender until it forms soft peaks. 
  • Add egg yolk & rice milk to flour. 
  • Mix with hand blender. 
  • Fold in egg white. 
  • Heat half tablespoon oil in frying pan & add from a ladle enough of the mixture to cover the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes or until firm enough to be turned over, repeat until all the mixture has been used.  
Cooks tip - Makes lovely fluffy pancakes which are not as elastic as normal pancakes so top with fillings rather than wrapping them.

Serving suggestions - Lettuce & smoked salmon , Tuna paste [lemon juice, pinch of pepper & oregano, mashed] , Raspberry jam thinly spread topped with fresh raspberries or other berries.

Buckwheat Pancakes - photo courtesy of Arah Bahn, Flickr Creative Commons

Apple and cinnamon fairy cakes

Serves: 12-14
Free from - Wheat, gluten, milk, egg, soya, nut, peanut


  • 175g (6 oz) milk/soya free margarine 
  • 175g (6 oz) light brown sugar or caster sugar 
  • 175g (6 oz) buckwheat flour 
  • ½ tsp Xanthan gum 1½ tsp wheat free baking powder 
  • 115g (4 oz) grated apple Egg replacer to be equivalent to 3 eggs (3tsp Orgran egg replacer mixed with 6 tbsp water was used) 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 


  • Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. 
  • Line bun tin with paper cases 
  • Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and Xanthan gum into mixing bowl. 
  • Add the sugar and margarine and mix thoroughly. 
  • Add the egg replacer and beat well for several minutes to form smooth texture. 
  • Mix in grated apple. 
  • Turn into paper cases 
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until warm skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. 
  • Leave to cool. 

Tip: Add a little water if mixture seems too thick. Should drop off spoon easily but not be runny. Serving suggestions: Sprinkle with sieved icing sugar.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Hedgehog Pie (Shepherd's pie) Dairy, Soya, Wheat and Gluten free.

This is my variation on Shepherd's Pie. My youngest son does not like mince and seriously does not like mashed potato.... but such is his desire for crisps that putting a few on the top and calling this "Hedgehog Pie" worked a treat!!

I make a large quantity and freeze half.


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • crushed garlic (1/4 bulb)
  • herbs to taste - basil?
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 lb of lean lamb mince or beef if preferred
  • 1 1/2 lbs potatoes
  • Pure Margarine or olive/sunflower oil to mash
  • Packet of plain crisps * CHECK ingredients, not all are gluten free.


Mince mixture:-

  • Dice and fry an onion with the crushed (or dried) garlic in a little oil.
  • Add the mince and cook until brown
  • Mix half pint water with some stock - CHECK the ingredients, Anthony Worral-Thompson has put his name to a range which are ok and Knorr cubes. I use 2 cubes.
  • Add a tiny amount of this to mix with 1 tbsp cornflour. Mix to a paste, add a little more of the stock until dissolved and add to the pan with the rest of the stock.
  • Leave to simmer for 20 mins (- I have a fantastic deep pan which I can transfer to the oven at this point!)
  • Transfer to a large dish (or two smaller dishes).

Then for topping:-

  • Boil 1 1/2 lbs potatoes until soft, drain and mash with Pure Sunflower Margarine or olive oil depending on preference. I usually add a little Oatly milk too.
  • Spread across the surface of the mince in the dish - TIP start around the outside first.
  • Add crisps for Hedgehog "quills" across the top and back at 180 C for 20 mins if it is to be eaten straight away, or freeze at this point once cool.

Quiche - Dairy, Wheat, Corn and soya free.

My youngest son LOVES this and it goes cold to school in his lunchbox. He dislikes the word "quiche" so we call it "Egg Pie"!!

Use the basic pie crust from here to make the case.
For a gluten free recipe use Juvela Harvest White mix, the pastry recipe on the back.

Blend 3 eggs and one carton of oatly cream, a little salt and pepper and pour into case.
Bake as usual!

Leave plain as above (the only way my son will eat it...) or add fillings of your choice - broccoli, ham sweetcorn and tuna.... anything your child likes and can eat.

Today I tried this with a variation on the filling. Half a sachet of coconut cream (Patak's) three eggs and some rice milk, blended up. Looked very authentic and creamy inside.

Basic Pastry / Pie Crust - Wheat, Dairy and Soya free

I discovered this only recently in the "Kid Friendly Food Allergy Book" after trying everything to make half decent pastry!

90g or 3/4 cup  Rice Flour
150g oatmeal (or rice bran to make this recipe gluten free)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
3 tablespoons of honey or corn syrup
2 teaspoons of water if needed

In a food processor pulse until you have blended the rice flour and oatmeal.
Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until you have a firm dough in a ball.
Roll between two pieces of plastic wrap or press into a pie dish.
Bake as usual

Shortbread biscuits - dairy, gluten, wheat, soya and egg free

This is fantastic, quick, easy and tasty recipe, which can keep the kids happy for a good hour after as they decorate the biscuits with icing etc afterwards! Alternatively, they can cut them out with their (washed!) favourite play-doh cutters or you can make Pudsey Bear Biscuits for Children In Need which everyone can eat!


2 oz caster sugar
4 oz Pure Margarine
6 oz Dove's Farm plain flour
1 teaspoon Xantham Gum


Cream together sugar and margarine, gradually mix in the flour to make a dough. You may need to add more flour, sometimes Pure requires additional flour, it is the consistency which is important so don't worry about adding more. If you are not gluten/wheat free then use normal plain flour.

The dough should be roll-able. Roll approx half cm thick and cut into desired shapes.
Bake for 7-10 mins at 180 C or until just turning golden. They harden up after removing from the oven, don't leave them in too long.

Decorate as desired!

Zizzit's Flapjacks - dairy, wheat, soya and egg free, could be gluten free

These are wheat, egg, soya and dairy free. They could be gluten free if gluten free oats are used.

There is now a GLUTEN FREE option here

My children call my Mum "Zizzit" (long story!) and this is her recipe. These are soft, not too chewy or sickly and so easy to make. We have had them on a weekly standing order for years from her...

Do resist the urge to try and cut them before they are completely cooled or they will disintegrate.

This is a large quantity for a 12" x 8" tin, you can halve it if you like but they are very more-ish and keep for a few days.


  • 8 oz Caster Sugar
  • 12 oz Margarine (Pure Sunflower)
  • 2 tablespoons Golden Syrup
  • 1lb oats
  • *You can add raisins or other dried fruit if you like for interest and variety.*


  • Melt the sugar, syrup and margarine then stir in the oats. Line the tin and bake at 180C until golden on top, roughly 25 minutes. 
  • Leave to cool before cutting!!

Top Tips
You really DO need these to cool before cutting! Otherwise they disintegrate.
You can crumble these on top of stewed fruit for an instant crumble!

Banana Muffins

These are scrummy and are gluten, dairy, soya (and wheat) free. They could be egg free if egg replacer is used and are an ideal recipe to use this as banana also helps as a raising agent.


  • 1 1/2 oz Pure Sunflower margarine
  • 5oz caster sugar
  • 3 eggs (medium to large)
  • 4 bananas (mashed, unless you have a mixer then it will achieve this for you!)
  • 8oz SR flour (I use Dove's Farm SR on substitutions page)
  • 1 extra tsp baking powder (check ingredients)
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum


  • Beat sugar and margarine until together
  • Beat in eggs, then mashed bananas
  • Add dry ingredients - flour, Xanthan gum, baking powder and combine fully.
  • Spoon into cases and bake at 180 C for 20 minutes unless using muffin cases (larger) when 35 minutes is needed.

TIP I would not recommend a fan oven, turn the fan off if possible.

Link up your recipe of the week

Saturday, 12 February 2011

What is the Recipe Resource?

Are you or your family on an exclusion diet? Suffer from complex allergies and struggling to find substitutes which are easy, fast and portable? Then you have found the right place!

The Recipe Resource has been set up to support those catering for multiple food allergies, particularly in children. My youngest children suffer from EGID (Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease) which amongst other things manifests as reflux and constipation caused by food allergies. We are at present on a diet which excludes all dairy, wheat and soya and in the past have excluded egg also.

I started this project as so many people seem to be struggling with allergies and intolerances, and providing a broad spread of alternatives not full of sugars, fillers or preservatives can be quite a challenge. When my two were younger it was easy to find baby foods with only a few simple ingredients, and the supermarkets stock a variety of adult "free from" foods, but children are sadly neglected. If you are excluding multiple food groups then unless you want high sugar, tasteless or spicy foods on the whole you must make them yourself.

Please email new recipes to me via the comments facility on this Blog and appropriate ones will be added!

Allergy or Intolerance?

Sometimes, what you think could be a food allergy, is actually food intolerance. The symptoms, such as vomiting, stomach ache and diarrhoea can be the same for both conditions. But food intolerance doesn’t involve the immune system. Fruit is a good example. The natural acids in fruit can cause redness around your child’s mouth and all the natural sugars can cause diarrhoea, but these aren’t allergic reactions.

Similarly there is a difference between allergies affecting various parts of the body. A "Gut Allergy" for example will probably not show up in a skin prick test, or a RAST blood test but will present as predominantly gut symptoms and WILL involve the immune system.

The Government has produced a useful page on children's allergies here and BUPA have here .
True allergies can be tested for, by the traditional skin prick test or by blood tests called RAST tests. This is a "radio-immune assay test and is described The skin prick test basically involves allowing a small drop of the allergen to enter below the skin by pricking the surface and observing the result.

Unfortunately the only way to determine if you or your child has a food intolerance is to commence an exclusion diet. In the case of a child advice should always be sought first from your doctor since children are growing and require a complex combination of nutrients, excluding whole food groups requires careful management and substitution.
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