Gluten Free Butter Chicken

butter chicken

Well its been a very long time since I posted something on the ol’ blog. I’ve still been cooking away but I’ve just struggled to find the time to keep this updated. I’ll be trying to post regularly from now on though.

It may be March but it snowed this morning in Belfast so I’m not quite ready for salads and spring veg just yet. I decided to cook Butter Chicken today. It’s one of my favourite curries and naturally gluten free.

To serve four:

six boneless and skinless chicken thighs, chopped in to cubes

Marinade

1 tbsp natural yoghurt

1 tbsp mild chilli powder

1 tsp of garam masala

1 tsp of grated garlic

1 tsp of grated ginger

squeeze of tbsp lemon juice

Sauce

handful of tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tin of  chopped tomatoes

1 tsp mild chilli powder

1 tbsp of ground almonds

1 tsp ground fenugreek

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp turmeric powder

handful of coriander, chopped

30g butter

30ml single cream

1 chopped pepper

Rice to serve

Begin by mixing together all the ingredients for the marinade and stir in the chicken. If you have time, leave it in the fridge for a few hours. Sadly I only had time to marinade the chicken for half an hour so the flavour wasn’t as intense as it could be.

In a large pot, add the tomatoes and chopped tomatoes, along with all the spices. Whilst this is reducing you can begin cooking the chicken in another pan or on a griddle using skewers.

Once the sauce has reduced add the ground almonds and blitz with a hand blender, return to a low heat. Add the peppers to the pan with the chicken once the chicken is nearly cooked. When these are done you can add to the sauce. Stir in the butter and the cream and serve with rice.

I must admit, it took all my will power not to eat the whole thing.

This may not be the most healthiest dish I’ve posted and if you don’t have the spices in the cupboard already then it can add to the weekly grocery bill. But when it still feels like winter outside there is every excuse to grab a massive bowl of butter chicken and enjoy

Dom x

Quick guide to feel good foods for IBS

Recently I’ve not been feeling myself, lethargic, grumpy and experiencing a lot of pain in the ol’ gut department. My IBS has flared up over the past few months and it seems it’s back with a vengeance. I got my IBS diagnosis when I was 17 and for years nothing helped. It wasn’t until two years ago I thought there might be a correlation between my symptoms and gluten and eventually I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. Since following a gluten free diet I’ve felt fine, only getting a flare up when I’ve been glutened (whether accidental or admittedly not having any will power to say no). However, for over a month now I’ve been feeling terrible. I was keeping a food diary to see if some new allergy had reared its ugly head and found nothing. I couldn’t link it to stress because my life has been pretty stress free recently and I haven’t ate gluten in a very long time.  I am stumped as to why I’m feeling this way and whilst there is no quick answer I am keen to find a quick remedy.

I’ve never really found IBS medication helpful, it may relieve pain temporarily but I don’t like becoming reliant on a tablets and I’ve  only found light relief when my IBS is particularly bad. I bought pro-biotic digestive support tablets and found they didn’t help either so over the past few weeks I’ve made a conscious effort to make sure my diet is aimed at helping relieve my IBS.

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As much as I love coffee, if I drink too much or try to down a cup before I head off to work in the morning I get jittery and slightly nauseous. So, to combat tiredness I drink a lot of peppermint tea. Peppermint tea has been a life savour recently as I’ve been feeling extra lethargic with the pains of IBS. If you aren’t partial to a hot drink, peppermint oil is also a great way to combat IBS too, a few drops in water can really help to ease bloating and cramps.

My second favourite thing at the moment, and one of the biggest food trends going, is kale. I’ve seen everything from kale crisps to kale sorbet. Although I’ve not been THAT adventurous I’ve been adding it to smoothies and making it a main ingredient in all sorts of salads. Having it in a smoothie really helps my level me out first thing in the morning so I can get on with my day and not dwell on a bloated tummy.

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kale, asparagus, courgette, corn and squid salad with pesto

I may be jumping the gun slightly as I only bought these yesterday but I’m astounded at the quick fix effects of the Linwoods Flaxseed mixes. Flaxseed, also known as linseed, has anti-inflammatory qualities that help relieve the horrible bloating we get with an IBS flare up. Linseeds on their own aren’t meant to be very nice but these mixes are pre-milled and filled with other sweet and savoury options. I added the cocoa and berries one to my morning smoothie and sprinkled it over my porridge and I bought a mix with goji berries, pumpkin and sesame seeds which will be perfect for bulking up soups and stews.

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I’m starting to feel a bit better this week but I’m still determined to get to the bottom of the problem rather then settle for a few quick fix solutions. What are your go to foods when you get hit with a bought of IBS?

Dom

x

Lunchbox Special: Shin of Beef Chilli

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When I asked my friends recently what type of posts they’d like to see me do they all said lunches for people with hectic schedules. Now that we’re all old, boring and busy I thought I’d oblige and do a few posts, this being the first, that consider lunch time meals that are easy to bring to work.

Now I know slow cooked chilli doesn’t exactly scream ‘quick and easy’ but if you prep this meal on a Sunday night, you’ll have plenty to do some lunches and some dinners too, depending on your portion size and how many mouths are being fed.

The recipe below lasted five days for lunch and two dinner portions.

To make this you will need: 

Two medium sized beef shins

one tin of chopped tomatoes

one tin of pulses (I used cannellini as I had them in the cupboard)

two red chillies, finely chopped

two large onions, roughly chopped

two tbsp of tomato puree

one tsp of paprika

one tsp of mild chilli powder

one tsp of cayenne pepper

one pint of beef stock

one yellow pepper

one green pepper

To serve:

sour cream

cheese

avocado

coriander

rice

This couldn’t be an easier dish to cook. I started by browning my beef shins and onions in a pan for about 5 miuntes. I then added these along with the chopped tomatoes, spices, the tomato puree, chopped chilli’s and beef stock.

I cooked this for two/three hours and then added the beans and peppers (cut the peppers however you like them, doesn’t really matter). I cooked for a further half hour and then left to cool. I had some the Sunday I cooked it and then took it in to work with some rice for the next five days, its a brilliant dish if you have microwave facilities but also nice cold.

I wouldn’t take a dinner sized portion for my lunch which is why the dish went so far. I brought some avocado and sour cream to work with me too which filled me up slightly more. I would really recommend using a slow cooked cut of beef to make chilli rather that mince steak. It adds such a meaty flavour and the two shins came to the same price as a medium packet of mince.

I’m trying to plan more veggie and vegan friendly dishes to cook at the minute and I’ll be out and about more doing some restaurant reviews in the coming weeks.

Dom

Irish Stew

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In preparation for St Paddy’s Day I decided to make a traditional Irish stew. This is probably one of my favourite meals, perfect comfort food for a cold night. Even though it’s spring and we’ve been blessed with some sunshine, we’re still experiencing some cold clear evenings so a big bowl of stew is completely justified.

Some people will make stew using stewing beef or mince meat but to me it isn’t proper Irish stew unless you’ve used a slow cooked cut of lamb (traditionally you would use mutton but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this available to buy). I opted for lamb shanks because I managed to pick up a packet in the reduced aisle of the super market. With so many variations of Irish Stew you can throw in all sorts of veg but to keep it simple I only use five ingredients, lamb, potatoes, onion, carrot and rosemary. There’s no need to ‘sex it up’ with other flavours and ingredients.

To feed four you will need:

Two lamb shanks

two large onions

6 large maris piper potatoes, peeled and chopped in to quarters

7 carrots, peeled and chopped

a handful of fresh rosemary

salt and pepper to season

brown sauce to serve

Begin by browning the meat and onions in a large pot with some olive oil. Once these are browned, fill the pot three quarters of the way with water and leave for an hour and a half on a high heat. Once the time is up add the potatoes, carrots and rosemary and turn down the heat. You may need to add a little more water at this point but it depends on your desired thickness for the stew. I like mine quite thick and mashed through.

After half an hour check the tenderness of the lamb. The meat should be falling off the bone and all the fat rendered down. If this is not  the case cook for slightly longer.

Once the meat is tender, take out the shanks and remove the meat. You may need to chop it in to bite sized chunks even if it is pulling away from the bone. Add the meat back to the pot, stir and serve. Some of the potatoes should have mashed up slightly, creating a thick and creamy stew.

I love brown sauce on my stew but be careful and ensure its gluten free as some brands contain malt vinegar. A slice of wheaten bread also goes down a treat but I  couldn’t find a GF alternative so I would suggest you bake your own (I was eager to do this but was stuck for time today).

Now if only Guinness would do a gluten free stout and then we could all have a perfect St Paddy’s Day. A girl can dream.

Dom x

 

 

John Dory’s Gluten Free Fish and Chips

Although I prefer cooking most food from scratch and favour a healthy, balanced diet, there are times when you need to pie out. As coeliacs we’re pretty limited in the ‘junk food’ we can eat but I’m finding more places are catering to dietary requirements and I’m always keen to try a gluten free alternative.

Friends have been telling me that John Dory’s fish and chip shop have started to do gluten free batter for fish and chicken for a while now but as there isn’t a branch near where I live I hadn’t had the opportunity to try it. This evening my boyfriend and I travelled to the Ballyhackamore take away to give the gluten free batter a go.

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As far as take away food goes, I had always favoured fish and chips over other food but it has been nearly two years since I got to enjoy the well loved dish. Thankfully John Dory’s don’t charge extra for gluten free batter as so many places do when they offer an alternative. However, the chippie is quite expensive. A cod supper was £6.30 which only included fish and chips. Although its been a while since I bought a fish supper, I was used to chippies including mushy peas and a drink in the price but these were extra, as was tartar sauce.

The fish itself was delicious. The batter was light, crispy and the cod was flaky and perfectly cooked (they also provided gluten free vinegar to slather it in). I was impressed with the fish and chips themselves but I just didn’t feel like it was good value for money. I can understand why the chippie has been titled ‘Fish and Chip Shop of the Year 2014′ but in my eyes £6.30 for fish and chips plus extra for sundries isn’t worth it.

However, its nice to know that anytime I get a craving there is a place I can go for a nice fish supper. A bonus for those who live in the area, the chippie also delivers in and around Ballyhackamore and East Belfast. Hopefully they’ll start delivering to other areas soon so we can all benefit from some tasty fish and chips.

http://www.johndorys.co.uk/

Dom

Gluten Free Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies

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A few weeks ago I said I would put my hand to chocolate and beetroot brownies and I finally got round to making them today. I adore spending a Sunday in the kitchen experimenting and trying new recipes and that’s exactly what I got up to today. I made these brownies and then a gorgeous mild curry which I’ll blog about during the week.

Now I have mentioned before that I’m not much of a baker and a few of my gluten free attempts at baked goods have failed miserably but these turned out perfectly. To guide me on my way I used the basis of this recipe by James from the Great British Bake Off. I wanted to make these brownies a little less indulgent so I tweaked the recipe slightly and added beetroot.

To make these delicious brownies you will need:

250g Half Fat Butter

3 eggs

250g of Dark Chocolate (I used 70% cocoa)

3 tsp of vanilla extract

75g of Self Raising Gluten-Free Flour

60g cocoa powder

300g of fresh cooked beetroot, cut in to small chunks

Begin by lining a small deep oven dish and preheat your oven to 160C

Melt the butter and chocolate together, either in a bain-marie or in the microwave. I used the microwave and cooked for 1 minute, stirred and cooked for another minute, the chocolate had melted by this point.

Using my chopper attachment I was able to get the beetroot rather fine but if you don’t have a blender/food processor you could grate the beetroot finely (make sure you wear gloves and beetroot dye is a pain to get off). I then whisked my eggs and vanilla extract using my electric whisk attachment for about two minutes. After years of using good aul fashioned elbow grease this was such a treat to my poor arm. I wanted to keep this recipe low on sugar so instead of using the caster sugar the original recipe called for, I just added extra vanilla extract. I was apprehensive about this but the brownies tasted just as sweet as sugary ones.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder as the chocolate/butter mix cools slightly. Add the chocolate to the eggs, quickly whisking, then fold in the beetroot. Finally, carefully fold in the flour and the cocoa to the mixture. Once this is done you can pour in to your oven dish and cook for about 40 minutes.

Leave to cool and then cut. Due to the deepness of the dish I cut these brownies quite small, getting 15 out of the small oven tray. I’ve already had two and I’m super stuffed and don’t think I can manage any for dessert.

I’m pretty darn pleased with these, its restored my faith in gluten free baking but to be honest it was probably the original recipe that helped perfect them. Maybe I’ll try my hand and more tray bakes next weekend.

Dom

Comforting Fish Pie

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Whilst I wouldn’t say the comfort food I make is high in fat I do have a tendency for massive bowls of bolognese with GF pasta, risottos and stews. It may just be my portion size that I need to cut down on but I hate the guilty feeling you have after you eat too much or something fatty. However, my fish pie is guilt free and super comforting. I always think its an inexpensive way of getting your weekly fish intake and as I usually put lots of veg on the side, most of your five a day.

It can take some time to make so I wouldn’t suggest making it after a long day at work if your desperate for a cooked dinner. Using a decent size dish though, means I usually have enough to do my boyfriend and myself two days and I can just heat it up quickly the day after.

To make this dish you will need:

300g of salmon

300g of cod

300g of smoked haddock

handful of cooked prawns

pint of skimmed milk

nutmeg

bay leaves

lemon zest

6 meduim sized maris piper potatoes

25g GF flour

25 g half fat butter

a large knob of half fat butter

large handful of frozen peas

2 large handfuls of grated cheddar (light cheese if you want to keep it healthy)

To serve:

corn on the cob

green veg of your choice.

salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.

Start by peeling and boiling your potatoes for 20 minutes.

Whilst they cook, in a pan, add the fish and pour in enough milk so the fish is covered. Add a grating of nutmeg, lemon zest  and the bay leaves and lightly simmer until the fish is cooked.

Strain the fish ensuring you keep the milk as you’ll need this for the sauce (you don’t need to keep the bay leaves). Add the fish to your pie dish , along with the prawns and start making the sauce. In a pan on a low heat, slowly melt some butter adding a small amount of flour at a time and whisking constantly until the butter and flour turn in to a roux. Gradually add the milk you used for the fish, again whisking constantly until you make a sauce. Take off the heat once the right thickness has been reached and pour over the fish, along with your frozen peas.

Your potatoes should be cooked by the time you have done this. Make a lovely thick mash by adding the large knob of butter and the rest of the milk left over from the pint. Whisk until thick and creamy (alternatively you can use cream but I prefer to use skimmed milk and half fat butter to try and make this dish healthier). Once your mash is done, spread over the fish mixture. Add the grated cheese on top and some salt and pepper if desired, although this dish has so much flavour I don’t think seasoning is really necessary.

Pop in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the top is crispy and golden.

Whilst your fish pie is cooking, you can cook your chosen accompaniment. I usually go for some corn on the cob, which I just boil for a few minutes, along with green beans or asparagus. I must admit the veg I put with this dish in the picture looks a bit dry but I usually add some butter (YES I KNOW THERE’S ALREADY LOADS OF BUTTER IN THIS DISH) and hadn’t yet done so when I took the picture. The creamy sauce with the fish pie will also ensure this dish isn’t at all dry.

This is perfect for a family of four too as I usually get about four decent sized servings from my pie dish. Super tasty, healthy and warming,  this is one of my ultimate comfort foods. What comfort food do you crave?

Dom x

 

 

 

 

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