oliveoilandlemon

recipes for a healthy life

Lemon & Raspberry cakes – a gluten free treat

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I have mentioned before how I love to bake and it is hotly debated topic in our house as to whether it is more important to have good flavour or whether the item in question is gluten free. Even when we are out and about, I see items touted as gluten free when to be quite honest you might as well be chewing a piece of cardboard. It is getting better out there but it is still my holy grail to try and bake the perfect gluten free bread.
So I’m delighted with this recipe – a perfect light cake, a delicious lemon flavour balanced by raspberries and gluten free treat! No hockey pucks with this one and any berries will work, even small pieces of chopped apple with some cinnamon would be a great alternative.

Lemon & Raspberry Loaves
Makes 12
Oven at 180C

9oz butter
4 1/2 oz caster sugar
6 1/2 oz Gluten free flour (you can use half gf flour and half polenta too)
3 oz ground almonds
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 large eggs
250 gr Raspberries
Lemon syrup made from juice of 1 lemon and 1 oz sugar

Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy
Beat in the eggs and flour alternating 1 egg with 1/3 of the flour
Beat in the ground almonds and the zest and juice of the lemon

Transfer to muffin or mini cake pan tins which have been greased and lightly floured
Press in 2 raspberries into each cake and bake for about 20 minutes until lightly golden and cooked through
While they are in the oven, dissolve the juice with the sugar
When the loaves are cooked, cool for about 5 minutes then remove from their tins and place on wire tray over a flat baking sheet.
Spoon the syrup over and leave them to full cooly

Meatballs with Peppers Capers & Green Olive Sauce

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The first thing I ask you to do is forgive the awful photo – I took it at night under glaring light but what is a girl to do when she has to work to earn a crust. The second thing I’m asking is go ahead and make this recipe, you will not be sorry. It is amazing especially the sauce – even for the little ones in the house – I blended it and they gobbled in down, olives capers and all. Now that is success :-)

For the sauce
2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
2 cloves Garlic minced
1 small onion, diced
2 red Peppers deseeðed and diced
1 can plum tomatoes chopped
2 tbsp capers
1/2 glass white wine
2 tbsp Olives pitted
1 spring of rosemary
salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar

Heat the oil and add the onion garlic and pepper and cook on a medium heat until soft. Add the tomatoes, white wine and the sprig of Rosemary.
Simmer for a few minutes, take out the Rosemary, add the capers, olives. Simmer for a few minutes, season including sugar if required. Add the meatballs and cook on low until they are cooked, about 15 minutes.

Meatballs
1 lb Pork or beef mince
2oz breadcrumbs
1 egg beaten
1 small onion finely diced
2oz grated Parmesan or pecorino
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to season

Tip all the ingredients into a bowl. Season as required.
Lightly oil your hands and form into meatballs – dont make them too large as you want to cook them in the sauce.
Brown the meatballs and then add to the sauce to complete the cooking.

Butternut squash soup with Cumin, Chives and Crispy Onions

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Even I get tired of cooking sometimes, especially January when the excess of December is still fresh in mind. That is why soup is a perfect excuse – Healthy eating disguising a bit of laziness!

I like to add some interest and the ground cuimin adds a lovely flavour and topped with chives and crispy onions brings this recipe to delicious heights. Fully of the goodness of the squash and spices and perfect to bring to work.

Makes enough for 4
1 butter nut squash peeled and chopped
1 medium onion chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 oz butter
1 tbsp cuimin seed ground
1/2 block of coconut dissolved with 1 pint of stock or 200ml coconut milk from tin
1 stock cube made up to one pint.
Chopped chives and crispy onions to serve

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a medium pan
Add the onion and sweat with the lid on for about 3 minutes
Add the ground cuimin seed, butter nut squash and the butter
Stir to mix and coat the veg with the butter as it melts.
Put lid on and cook for about 7 minutes on a medium heat to sweat the veg
Add the stock mixed with the coconut and cook until the veg is tender
Puree, taste for seasoning and serve with chopped chives and onions on top.

Dairy Free Mixed Berry Ice Cream

I always loved ice cream as a kid and ice cream sandwiches with wafers were a delicious treat, trying to make it last as long as possible, the wafer getting slightly soggy in the process, doesn’t sound so nice but really was.

I make a lot at home usually dairy based but this is a delicious quicker version – berrys,nuts and a few squeezes of honey if you are using a lot of less sweet berries. Perfect especially for a less indulgent January but you still want something nice.

150gr cashews
500gr frozen fruit
30ml water
2-3 tbsp honey to taste

Throw the cashews and fruit into processor and pulse until smooth. Use the water to loosen as needed.
Taste and add the honey to the desired sweetness.
Pop back into the freezer until needed.
Easy, delicious!

Fish Pie and Chocolate Chestnut Puddings

Listening to the radio, I heard Ian Dempsey say that the average person consumes 6,000 calories on Christmas day between food and drink. These recipes are not going to do anything to bring that number down but in my defence we did have a long walk before we came home, sat by the fire after enjoying both these. Perfect food for a cold day  – you might need to start the new leaf pretty soon though! :-)

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Self Saucing Chocolate Chestnut puddings
Makes 6 (too) big portions or 8 smaller ones
Oven at 170C
340gm brown sugar
140gm butter, softened
2 eggs
100gm sweetened chestnut purée
225gm gluten free self-raising flour
65gm cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
30ml dark rum
225ml milk
140gm good quality dark chocolate (61% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped

Beat 200gm of the brown sugar and butter until pale and creamy, add the eggs and chestnut purée and beat to combine.
Sift over flour, 50gm of the cocoa and baking powder, mix to combine, then stir in rum, milk, and chocolate. Divide among 8 lightly buttered ovenproof ramekins and set aside.
Combine remaining brown sugar and cocoa in a bowl, gradually add 300ml boiling water and stir until smooth and combined. Pour over the batter, dividing equally among ramekins,then bake until risen and a skewer withdraws clean about 15 minutes.

Fish Pie with Brown Butter Potato Topping
Serves 4
700g fish, e.g. smoked haddock, coley
625ml milk
½ onion
1 bay leaf
6 pepper corns
2 juniper berries
Pinch of saffron
100g butter
50g plain flour
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Topping
900g freshly mashed potatoes with lots of butter, salt and pepper
50gm milk
1tbsp thyme finely chopped

Oven at 180C
Place the milk, onion, bay leaf, juniper berry, saffron and pepper corns in a large saucepan and bring to a very gentle boil.
Reduce to a low simmer, add the fish and cook gently for about 3 minutes.
Remove the fish from the pan, allow to cool a little and flake into bite-sized pieces being careful to remove the bones.
Sieve the cooking liquid and retain for the sauce.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour
Cook for 3 minutes, stirring all the time until golden brown and the flour is cooked out. Gradually stir in the fish cooking liquid, continue stirring until the mixture thickens and is smooth, season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for a few minutes.
Add the fish to the sauce to and taste for seasoning.
Add the fish mix to an oven proof dish and spread with the potatoes.
Melt the butter over a hot heat, remove the milk solids as it melts and cook until it is a nutty brown. Spoon over the potatoes, sprinkle over the thyme and season.
Tip into the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown and heated through.

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