Thursday, 31 October 2013

Gluten Free and low lactose courgette lasagne - could be adapted to be dairy free

Many thanks to Cath on the Facebook Group for sharing this recipe!

Ingredients: (to make 6 portions)

  • 1kg of lean minced beef
  • 3 medium-large onions
  • 2 500g cartons of Passata (I use Cirio)
  • 2 safe beef stock cubes (I recommend Telma kosher stock cubes if you can get them. Such a good taste. Otherwise whatever you can get hold of that works…)
  • Brown sauce (I use Stokes because it’s GF)
  • 3 large courgettes
  • Olive oil
  • Whatever cheese is best tolerated – lots of it, grated.
  • TIP Redwood cheezly grates well if frozen first and there is a dairy and soya free version.
  • Big pan
  • Some oven dishes

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Pea and Lentil Fritters/Cakes

To serve 4-6


175g/6oz easy cook peas (e.g. Whitworth)
125g/4oz Red Split lentils
10ml/2tsp Mixed dried herbs
25g/1oz butter equivalent (we used PURE sunflower)
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 large garlic clove, skinned and chopped or crushed
1 egg, beaten
1.25ml / 1/4tsp cayenne pepper
30ml/2 tsp plain flour - we used Dove's Farm Plain Flour
salt and pepper


1. Place peas, lentils, enough water to cover and herbs into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer, partially cover and stir occasionally for 30-35 mins until dried peas and lentils are tender but peas are still whole. Drain off excess liquid.

2. Melt the margarine in a large frying pan. Add the onion, pepper, celery and garlic and cook gently for about 10 minutes until soft and almost transparent.

3. Turn the peas and lentils and the vegetable mixture into a large mixing bowl, allow to cool slightly before adding the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

4. Divide the mixture into 10-12 pieces and form each into a "cake" on a lightly floured board.

5. Fry gently for about 10 minutes each side or until golden and crisp outside. Drain on absorbent paper and serve with safe tomato sauce.

Mum made these today for the twins! Would also be delicious cold on a picnic or in a packed lunch.

Hallowe'en Packed Lunch for kids!

An American friend of a friend posted this wonderful idea for Hallowe'en!

Peeled satsuma with basil leaf as the stem, celery with almond/cashew nut butter and strawberry slices for witches fingers and safe bread with pumpkin spread or houmous with olives for the eyes and mouth. Coconut milk or rice milk to drink!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

My Guest Post on WhatAllergy?

Ruth at WhatAllergy? has kindly invited to me to write a guest post on her Blog.

What Allergy is one of the Top 5 Allergy Blogs and I am thrilled to have been asked to contribute. Packed with over 400 articles about living with multiple food allergies, intolerances, eating out, gluten free, coeliac disease, eczema and a whole lot more it really is a mine of information.

Our first Guest Post!


In a moment of frustration in 2012, I totted up how many hours a week I was spending trying to get food for my sons – I was going round 3 supermarkets, a health food shop and searching for things online every week!

I discovered I spent 3 times longer than my friends and spent twice as much money! I didn’t dare tot up the hours I was spending baking foods that I couldn’t find in the shops!

Having children with food allergies and gut problems is hard enough and I felt strongly that parents shouldn’t have to struggle to find safe foods and that children shouldn’t have to go without food that ‘looked’ like their friends food.

Our Aim:-
We launched Freefromforkids with this aim in mind and we have been adding at least 2 products a month since it launched. We hope that in time there will be something for every diet and for every occasion.

This year we entered the Foods You Can Peoples Choice Awards and we were thrilled to win 1st place in the Small Online Freefrom Food Supermarket category!

We have received some lovely feedback, particularly in the run up to Christmas, with many families telling us that this year will be the first time their child has had an advent calendar or a chocolate santa. Even if we can only help a few families like our own, then all the hard work will have been worthwhile!

Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last year!
Suzanne (Freefromforkids)

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Chocolate coconut cupcakes

This is actually the muffin recipe here.

Today I created a more speckled effect throughout using finer chocolate which went in the food processor first.

I had run out of the Doves Farm Self Raising flour I usually use so substituted for the same weight of the Juvela Harvest White mix we have.  I did add a teaspoon of baking powder too.

To be honest, the Doves Farm flour is definitely better, but since there are only two of these left they can't be that bad - my non allergic children enjoyed them too!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

The All Party Group for Allergy meeting 16th October 2013

Yesterday I attended a Meeting to discuss Allergy at the Houses of Parliament. It was a collaboration between the All Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology  supported by Allergy UK. The meeting was to discuss progress in Allergy in the UK since the Lords' report of 2007. (More details here.)

Dr Adam Fox (Joint Clinical Lead for Allergy, Consultant & Reader in Paediatric Allergy Guy's & St Thomas' Hospitals ) explained how whilst Allergy is not new, its incidence amongst the population is increasing exponentially. Whilst it was a rare phenomenon when described in the early Nineteenth Century this is sadly no longer the case -with the incidence of allergic disease higher in the UK than any other country in the world. There has been considerable progress in joining up care improving transition from paediatric to adult services, and in beginning to address equality of availability and access to services across the country but there is still a long way to go. GPs are not trained to support allergic patients and too often symptoms are partitioned and dealt with singly rather than a holistic approach with specialist allergy care at the centre. There are only 20 specialist Paediatric Allergists in the UK at present, and only 28 Adult Allergy Specialists. Many US cities boast far more.

Recent NICE guidelines have been issued (Feb 2011) to advise on diagnosis and assessment of food allergy in children and young people which, if taken up would greatly improve the situation of many, many children and young people across the country. However, as GP Dr Matthew Doyle reminded everyone, GPs receive many new guidance documents on a weekly basis

Unfortunately there was little time for meaningful questions and I was unable to publicly ask the burning question I had nurtured all afternoon-

"What is being done to address the relative lack of progress in both awareness and understanding of delayed non IgE allergic reactions amongst the medical professionals?"

Because all too often I encounter ignorance about delayed reactions - the assumption that if it isn't an IgE response, cannot be tested for it isn't an allergy. There is considerable research into cell mediated responses and they are detailed extremely clearly in the NICE guidelines - yet they are unread, ignored or rubbished.

It's a great document. I recommend anyone dealing with delayed gut reactions in particular - which include EGID, Ulcerative colitis, Chrohn's, Coeliac disease, allergic gut disease, multiple food intolerances to read it.

I was also lucky enough to hear Ruth Holroyd speak, from What Allergy? What Allergy? was voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK and regularly gets 2000+ unique visits a day with some blog posts getting hundreds of comments each.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Dairy Alternatives

"My Waitrose" ran an excellent article on alternatives they now sell to Cow's Milk so I thought I would share.

I use a variety depending on my purpose, so rice milk on cereal, rice for cooking e.g. in mashed potato, oat milk in custard, coconut milk in baking.... they all have their uses and their function does vary.

Soya milk is not heat stable so goes lumpy when too hot.

If the text is too small to view click on the link in the first sentence to download the PDF file.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Vegg Cookbook

Rocky at The Vegg in the USA read my Blog and got in touch - and I am so pleased he did as I am now the proud owner of "The Vegg Cookbook"!

We across "The Pond" are often a little "behind" on with the Vegg and it really only arrived on the scene at the Free From and Allergy Show a year or so ago. I had tried it and had limited success, but since it is an egg white replacement rather than an egg yolk replacement it wasn't doing what I felt it should.

I am extremely impressed with the versatility of the Vegg product and lack of reliance on additonal recipe ingredients to support its function. Given that most of my readers are reducing ingredients or swapping mainstream ones this is a real plus.

Now, armed with the cookbook I am seeking supplies to test and have some on order. Although my children most definitely react to eggs, egg white seems to be OK on its own so this is not so urgent for us, but I'm still hoping to test it out!

ISBN 978-0-615-78423-6
Available from (not currently the UK site)

The Vegg can be bought from Amazon too

Also now available, Vegan egg yolks. 

Ingredients are:-Fortified nutritional yeast (dry yeast, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin hydrochloride, folic acid, B12), sodium alginate, black sea salt, beta carotene

Thanks Rocky - we just need the availability of your products to improve in the UK now!

Perhaps the most "Free From" Free From bread ever?

This loaf contains no soya, dairy, egg, wheat, gluten, corn, oats, rice. The recipe has been devised by top specialist allergy dietician Tanya Wright.

Do not use a breadmaker or whisk or food processor…

  • 75g tapioca flour (from healthfood shop)
  • 35g buckwheat flour ( Doves Farm but you can source from other places)
  • 220g potato starch ( Do not use potato flour)
  • 55g ground almonds
  • 2teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons xantham gum
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 14g dried yeast ( Allinsons/ Doves Farm – there are lots out there)
  • 220mls warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil Fresh or dried rosemary and sea salt
  • Mix all dry ingredients 
  • Mix water and oil 
  • Add to the dry ingredients 
  • Mix to a cake like texture mixture 
  • Spread on a greased baking tray 
  • Brush top with olive oil 
  • Sprinkle on salt and herbs 
  • Cook 200c for 25 minutes 
  • Cut when cool
Pictures on my friend's Blog here

Alison's Gluten Free Bread

Alison's Gluten Free Bread
Another Free From Bread - Excellent for those on very limited diets for nourishment BUT it contains EGGS.

All recipe info and details o the above link, but the following tips were shared on the Facebook group:-

"The eggs and flours make it far more nourishing than most gluten free breads, and it tastes great sliced, as toast and even works for toasties.

We used the following tips for best results ...
* For egg white, we use Two Chicks from Ocado or Sainsburys
* For oil can use any neutral tolerated oil eg sunflower, rice bran oil
* In place of honey can use any sweetener eg rice bran syrup, golden syrup, agave, maple syrup, apparently stevia will also work
* Xantham gum can be substituted with Guar Gum
* Milk can be replaced with any substitute (we have used oat milk, almond milk and coconut milk)
* Tapioca flour we found in World Foods section of Tesco, Brazilian brand, but Asian shops like Wing Yip sell a brand called Thai Boy which is also guaranteed gluten free
*We love garbanzo flour, use Bobs Red Mill brand bought from Whole Foods or Amazon, but it can be substituted (read comments)
*In place of millet flour we used Sweet Sourghum again by Bobs Red Mill
*For rice flour we used Doves farm which is a combination of both white and brown rice flour

We did as suggested and combined the dry ingredients, proofed the yeast in the warmed milk with a little sweetener for 5 minutes, then added all wet ingredients together.

Works well in oven or bread maker. Might look a little overwhelming, and you will need to source a few rarer ingredients but in the long run if it works is very economical. Good luck!!!"

Cat and the Cream

Ocado (and Waitrose) are trialling these delicious free-from cakes, definitely worth a go!

Not suitable for everyone who follows the Recipe Resource I know, but a step in the right direction for those on restricted diets!

Cat and the Cream


Whilst I believe there is a brand of Peanut butter known as "Sunbutter" in the UK I had not heard of sunflour seed butter before. Someone on the Facebook Recipe Resource group posted about this and it sounds such an excellent food for all, for toddlers as a nutritious dip or spread, for school lunch boxes and for anyone with a penchant for nut butter who needs to eat nut free or in a nut free environment.

Another recipe I have not yet had the chance to try but I'm off to buy the sunflower seeds tomorrow!

All info with step by step instructions here 

Darcy's Banana Bread

This is named after a friend's little girl who is on a restricted diet so protein content really matters. It sounds complicated but I am assured it is actually very quick and easy!

MEWS free, corn free, nut free and delicious!

PREHEAT oven to 170C


350g peeled bananas (peeled weight)
180g-200g plain flour (rice and quinoa flour mixed works well with 140g-150g rice flour to 30g-40g quinoa flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1/3 cup brown sugar and white sugar mixed (if you convert this measurement remember different ingredients have different weights to cup values....)
1 tbsp water
1tsp xanthan gum
3tbsp oil plus any extra to grease a loaf tin
splash of vanilla extract (I use the Madagascan vanilla extract from Lakeland, it's lovely!)
1tsp cinnamon (optional)

Optional nutritional supplements :-
2tsp calcium and vit D powder
5 scoops of Neocate
dash of apple juice if using the above and the acid helps the rise


Mash bananas in a large bowl
Mix Sugar, water and oil and microwave/heat 30 seconds. CAREFUL IT WILL BE VERY HOT!!
The oil will be sitting on top of the sugar so whisk through then whisk it into the bananas fast. (You could use a Kenwood type mixer instead)
Add vanilla, salt to this "wet" bowl

Mix everything else into the dry bowl and sift in to the wet bowl.
Pour into a lined loaf tin, if you want a crunchy top then sprinkle some brown sugar over it before baking.
Bake until a knife or cocktail stick comes out clean, allow to cool then cut in slices. Freezes well.

IF YOU CAN USE EGGS THERE IS A BANANA MUFFIN/LOAF RECIPE HERE WHICH IS A GOOD ALTERNATIVE. I am looking forward to trying this myself - thanks Claire!

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