Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gluten Free Broccoli & Parsley Pie

As a student of nutrition I have come to learn that parsley is one of our true superfoods out there. Truth to be told I never really cared for it much. Now on the other hand parsley has become the new favourite in my kitchen. Pie is one of these dishes that taste as good or even better the day after, making it the perfect leftover for lunch at work or for a quick dinner when getting home in the evening. Unfortunately many, including myself, avoid pie as part of their health regime. This is mainly due to its high content of bad fats. This is now ancient history since my pie consists of a good mix of fats and ingredients that will keep you on the path of healthy living. The gram flour provides a nutty taste and the combo with butter and oil makes it the best most delicious base. Buffalo mozzarella has a stronger taste and is easier to digest than mozzarella made from cows milk. Incorporate this gluten free broccoli and parsley pie in your healthy way of eating.   

Gluten Free Broccoli & Parsley Pie
3dl/150g gram (chickpea) flour
30g butter
2tbsp rapeseed oil
2tbsp filtered water

300g/medium head broccoli, cut into florets
60g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 eggs, whisked
100g buffalo mozarella
freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste
  • Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF.
  • Combine flour, butter, oil, water and salt into a dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a 24cm/9.5inch pie dish covered with a baking sheet. 
  • Use your hands to press out the dough to cover the dish and its edges. This takes a bit of patient. Start from the centre and work your way out.
  • Steam the broccoli for 5min and transfer to the pie dish.
  • Combine the whisked eggs and parsley and pour over the broccoli.
  • Use your hands to crumble the mozzarella on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 15min.
Serves 4 as main or 6 as starter

HEALTH BENEFITS of Parsley: Parsley is concentrated with a variety of minerals and vitamins. Amongst these are energy-producing iron, heart-healthy potassium and dietary fibre, bone-building calcium and magnesium, and sleep-promoting tryptophan. Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin K, C and A, it cleans your body from toxins, and ease the digestion. The ancient Greeks and Romans chewed on a sprig to refresh their breath, ate the leaves to relieve digestive upset or enjoyed a cup of parsley tea for its diuretic properties.  

FREE FROM: gluten, soy, wheat, and yeast    

Don't forget to give me your feedback on your results and ask me any questions you might have. I am happy to give you the 411 on making any of the recipes as long as you are up for coming around to my place for some serious cooking fun.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gluten Free Pancakes

Today it’s Pancake Day and I am enjoying this with protein and fibre rich gluten free pancakes. For these pancakes I used gram flour (gram is a small chickpea), which gives the pancakes a slightly nutty flavour and thicker texture. Make sure to make them really thin for best flavour and texture and eat while still warm:

Gluten Free Pancakes
2dl/200ml gram flour
2.5dl/250ml filtered water
Pinch of salt
  • Combine flour and salt in a bowl and slowly pour in the water while whisking.
  • Heat an 8-1/2inch/20cm non-stick frying pan.
  • Add 2-3tbsp of batter for each pancake.
  • Serve immediately.
Makes 10-12 pancakes depending on the size of the pan you are using. Enjoy these with a choice of: jam (without any added sugar or artificial sweeteners), agave or maple syrup and lemon juice, sliced banana, seasonal berries, or chocolate spread for the really big sweet tooth.

HEALTH BENEFITS of Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a great vegan source of dietary fibre and protein. They contain minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium and vitamin B1, which is active in converting sugar into usable energy. They help with keeping the blood sugar levels steady, which makes them perfect for diabetics and insulin-resistant individuals, and with the high fibre content keep you satisfied for longer. 

FREE FROM: gluten, dairy, soy, egg, wheat, yeast, and lactose (depending on your choice of topping) 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sweets For My Sweet

Valentine's Day is about love. The love you give and the love you receive. Show yourself and your loved ones real love and turn your back on all commercial low quality sweets and put your mind into making these healthy sweets as an extra treat this day:

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Break
100g 70% dark chocolate
1/2dl/50ml coarsely chopped almonds
1/2dl/50ml raisins
  • Melt the chocolate slowly in a small pan on low heat.
  • Place almonds and raisins on a lined dish (about 20x13cm).
  • Pour the melted chocolate over the raisins and almonds. Make sure that the chocolate spreads out over the nut and fruit blend.
  • Place in the refrigerator for up to an hour and break in to desirable pieces before serving.
Raspberry Circles
100g 70% dark chocolate
1 tbsp raspberry jam (without any added sugar or artificial sweetener)
1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • Melt the chocolate slowly in a small pan on low heat.
  • Blend in the raspberry jam in the chocolate melt.
  • Scoop the chocolate and raspberry blend out on a lined tray into 12 small "circles" using a teaspoon.
  • Sprinkle with shredded coconut.
  • Place in the fridge for up to an hour to harden. Take out 5-10min before serving.
These sweets are for the whole family to enjoy together. You can easily double the recipe if you like. However it can be a bit messy before you get a real hang of it so I suggest that you start with the amounts above and go from there. If you prefer them a bit sweeter, try replacing the 70% dark chocolate with a chocolate of 60-65% cocoa.

Happy Valentine's!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cocoa Coconut Balls

The quality is what’s important when eating something sweet. Mainly I enjoy pieces of 85% dark chocolate but now and again I prefer something a little bit sweeter. These cocoa coconut balls are sweetened with agave nectar—a natural syrup from a cactus which is low on the glycemia index and often a safe alternative to most non-insulin dependant diabetics.These sweets are to enjoy any day, any time, anywhere.

Cocoa Coconut Balls
2dl/200ml oats
1 1/2tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3tbsp filtered water
1tbsp almond butter
2tbsp agave nectar
shredded coconut to coat

Blend all ingredients in a bowl. Form into 10 equally sized balls. Easiest way to go about is to wet your hands and roll 1tbsp of the mixture between the center of your palms. Coat them with shredded coconut.

For best taste and quality make sure to use a cocoa powder without any sugar or milk powder added. If it says: MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF MILK, SOYA, NUTS AND CEREAL, it means that the product has been manufactured in a fabric where they work with these ingredients and therefore can not guarantee that these ingredients are not present. Make sure it states that the product is free from any ingredient that you might have an allergy to.

HEALTH BENEFITS of Cocoa: Medical research repeatedly proves the positive effect cocoa can have on our health. Dark chocolate, 70% and beyond, contain high levels of flavonoids, antioxidants that can decrease the risk of cancer, and contains more antioxidant power than green tea, red wine and blueberries. Cocoa contains numerous vitamins and minerals such as: copper, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. It has a low glycemic index, meaning a smaller fluctuation in blood glucose and insulin levels than with other sweet foods. Eating chocolate releases endorphins, the body's natural "feel-good" chemical and is known to act as antidepressants and as aphrodisiacs.

FREE FROM: dairy, soy, egg, wheat, yeast, and lactose

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hemp & Oat Baguette

I have replaced the previous recipe for hemp flour baguettes with this easier and tastier version. I am after simplicity after all. 

Hemp & Oat Baguette
2dl/200ml hemp flour
2dl/200ml oats
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
4dl/400ml finger warm water
sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Combine all dry ingredients in a big bowl. Add the water and blend until an even but yet a bit sticky dough has formed. Place the dough on a floured surface and divide it in four equally sized pieces. Form each piece in to a 15cm/6inches long baguette. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place the baguettes on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 10min. Best enjoyed same day, preferably straight out from the oven.

HEALTH BENEFITS of Hemp: Hemp flour is simply milled hemp seeds. The seed contain the perfect ratio of essential fatty acids, omega-3, -6 and -9, to enhance the metabolism. This makes hemp perfect to include in your diet if you want to loose weight. It is one of the best sources of vegetarian protein out there with a value of 31.9g of protein per 100g. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered anti-inflammatory and beneficial in the cure of eczema, psoriasis and acne amongst others.

FREE FROM: dairy, soy, egg, yeast and lactose