Sunday, December 30, 2012

Roasted Delicata Squash seeds...

Just to say.... it works with these too!
See my post on these Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

I have also tried this with "Potimarron" seeds (have just googled this and it is apparently known as "Red Kuri" squash) but they were a bit flat and chewy compared to Butternut and Delicata.

Mix them up with dired fruits (Rains, gojis, blueberries, mulberries, cut up apricots and figs...the combinations are endless!) I should say at this point that this batch has got oil, salt, cinnamon, vanilla powder AND a squirt of honey on!! OK, it starts out simple... then greediness gets the better of me and I... elaborate! ;D

Anyway, delicious!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Breeeeeaaaad! (well, near as dammit!) Focaccia actually!

God bless people who share online!
I am a regular follower of Micki Rose's Truly Gluten Free (TGF) blog - recently, she pointed me in the direction of some recipes she shared when she had a guest spot on Foods Matter. I had mentioned wanting to use linseed (flax seed) flour and as I have been tentatively experimenting with eating egg, I thought I'd give it a whirl! Here's a link to the recipe... my modifications are below...

I did less mixture so adjusted ratios accordingly. I also had no baking powder, so used bicarbonate instead, adding a dash of vinegar to the mixture to activate it. It worked a treat - light and fluffy bread and no taste of vinegar! I sprinkled chopped rosemary and sea salt on mine.
I also made less mixture so couldn't do it in a tray - I made little buns instead!
This is the first time I have eaten anything ressembling bread in over 18 months!! WOOOHOOOOO! Thank you to Micki - and to 'Chrissie' who apparently originally shared the recipe on Micki's blog!
I have eaten mine with oven cooked veggies and with tapenade so far! Y.U.M!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Roasted Butternut seeds!

Something I CAN eat, woo!
mmm... crunchy nutty sweet yum

I am not managing to post often - partly lack of time - partly don't know where to start as my diet keeps getting more and more restrictive! This blog will have to serve as occasional inspiration for vegetable combos!!
Anyway, today I was roasting some butternut squash slices - and decided to keep the seeds and roast them at the same time -WOW! Why have I never done this before?! 

lightly seasoned

Scoop out butternut innards, if comes away easily from flesh, just give them a rinse then spread out onto kitchen roll... any stringy bits of flesh will stay behind on the tissue when you transfer them onto another piece of kitchen roll. If they are more sticky and gloopy, put in a bowl of water and swish about/ rub with fingers to work flesh loose then drain and do as above to get off last bits and dry.

Then, I believe you can just roast them dry - but keep a close eye on them as they scorch easily.
I coated mine very lightly in olive oil. Half of them I sprinkled cinnamon onto. The other half, I seasoned very slightly in sea salt and pepper....

 The reults are delicious! Roasted them for about 12 mins, maybe 15... tossed them halfway through.
For some reason, the lightly seasoned ones taste of popcorn! And the cinnamon ones don't really taste of cinnamon but it gives them a sweet side that makes them taste nuttier - and seeing as I no longer eat nuts, this now tastes positively tropical to me lol!! ;D (My nearly two year old loves them too btw - RESULT!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Link to Ghislaine Lanctot's Book "Medical Mafia"

This is a link to a copy of Ghislaine Lanctot's book The Medical Mafia ('How to get out of it alive and take back our health and wealth')
It looks to be a good read... it has been re-published in 2002. This poor lady has been made to pay just for relaying information to the masses!

Buckwheat Flapjacks

160g Buckwheat flakes (rolled)
80g raisins
As much dried fruit as you like (I use a palmful of goji berries, sultanas, 2 or 3 apricots, maybe a couple of prunes, you could use mulberries, cranberries...etc)
Fresh berries if you have any (a few strawberries)
2 tspns sweetner (sweet freeedom or agave syrop)
A big lug of apple juice (use less if you use fresh fruit)
A palmful of pumkin seeds
Chia seeds
Lin (flax) seeds
(Any other seeds or nuts according to your tastes/ allergies!)
Olive oil (about a quarter cup)
pinch of salt

Mix it all together! I don't mix this one, so you may want to pre-chop the fruit!

Spread onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray and cook on a low heat for about 10 mins or so (preheat the oven for a few mins) then turn over by putting another sheet of greaseproof paper over the top and flipping it. Then peel off the original paper from the top side and cook in th eoven again for 3 or 4 minutes for a nice even colour and texture. Voila!

This recipe is not recommended as totally TGF Barrier Plan safe - as buckwheat is almost always cross-contaminated apparently (most 'gluten free' companies still process foods containing rice, oats, millet and corn - and are therefore NOT GLUTEN FREE!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Curried buckwheat burgers

These also contain lectins (the red lentils so are not suitable for the Barrier Diet- for those of you trying to heal from leaky gut). You can do this with only buckwheat and maybe bind with egg if you can eat it or soaked chia seed gloop.

1 cup (dry) coral lentils (red lentils)
1 cup (150g) Buckwheat flakes (or oats if you eat them)
Palmful chia seeds, optional (any seeds!)
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely or crushed
1 inch fresh ginger
courgette/ carrot, grated, optional
An onion or large shallot, chopped very finely
lots of mint (fresh or dry)

Curry spices*
Olive oil / grapeseed oil
sea salt and pepper

*check there are no additives like dextrose (usually corn derived and therefore containing gluten)

Cook the lentils and drain well. Add buckwheat flakes when they have cooled a bit. These should soak up any water in the lentils and all bind together well. Add spices, s+p and mint etc and mix well by hand.
I pre-cook (fry to colour) the onions and grated veg, quickly, in olive oil, adding the garlic and ginger 30 seconds before you finish frying. Add these into the above mixture.
Bring it all together with your hands and form 'burgers', not too big so they cook nicely and have a nice crsipy outside to squidgy inside ratio going on, if you know what I mean!
I then coat them with flour - I use chick pea or buckwheat flour.

Good with salad - good with anything, depends what you can eat!  Bon appetit :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Balsamic Beetroot Side

This is one of those recipe suggestions that looks insanely easy and totally unremarkable... but I'm telling you, it's Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious! What can I say? A lucky combo that created itself through things that needed to be eaten in my fridge! I ate this with Baked courgette - also very very simple but flavour-tastic!  :)


Diced beetroot
Sliced radish


Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar * and red wine vinegar, half of each
Dijon mustard and grainy mustard
Garlic, chopped
Fresh mint, chopped

Mix together chopped veg, chick peas and vinaigrette. Let it stand for a while for the flavours to mix and develop.
Delicious as a salad but could also be a perfect relish (chop ingredents finer) for tortillas, burgers, fish or whatever you fancy! I imagine it would be delicious with cucumber too...Mmmmmm.

* watch out for ingredients! Often contains colouring (caramel) or flavouring... it need only contain wine vinegar and grape must.

Baked Courgette

So so tasty but also extreeemly easy to make :D

Cut courgettes in half, then in half lengthways, then cut again into quarter sticks.
Chop as much garlic as desired (I did 2 cloves) and 2 or 3 shallotts to taste.
Put it all into an earthenware dish.
Cover with a few big lugs of olive oil and toss.

Cook in oven at medium heat, covered with foil for first 15 to 20 mins. Then take off foil and toss. Continue cooking for a further 15 mins until coloured.

Great eaten with Balsamic Beetroot Side!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mackerel Spread

One of my staple foods, I make this a couple of times a month (not more so as not to get sick of it!!)
Extreeeemly simple and oh so good:

Tinned mackerel (in olive oil or just plain/grilled/smoked- just check the ingredients!)
OR fresh smoked mackerel
1 or 2 tspns Tahini (optional - I am now allergic so don't use!)
3 tspns Mustard (grainy mustard!)
Olive oil (until desired consistency and taste)
salt and pepper
Whatever else you want depending on allergies etc. (ex. paprika,celery salt, lemon juice)
Fresh herbs as desired

Just mush it all up together with a fork, add olive oil and season to taste! If you are allergic to sesame paste, use another such as almond paste (delicious!...those were the days..!) - or just leave it out!
Alternatively, mix it in a food processor - mix most of it but keep back some lovely flakes of fish to mix into/ sprinkle over the super fine paste after - makes it all pretty with a sprig of fresh herbs or fresh chopped herbs sprinkled over. Mmmmmm :p
Enjoy on 100 % Buckwheat crackers, on a baked sweet potato, with cucumber, on buckwheat pancakes, savoury scones etc. or with salad! Y.U.M.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dahl - very simple easy version!

A small cupful of red lentils (or yellow if you can get them without veg oil added!) -cooked to absorption, 15mins or less, so not TOO mushy...
Spices: curcuma, curry, cumin, ginger/ garam masala - or whatever you fancy*, to taste
Onion, chopped finely
Sea salt and black pepper
Mustard*, about a tablespoon
Olive oil

optional: Kale (shredded), broccoli

Dry fry spices, stirring, then add onions, coat in spices then add oil. Stir in the kale and cook for about 4 mins. Stir in mustard, add cooked lentils, a little water and some sea salt. Cook to absorption again, stirring all the time as you would with risotto.
Season with black pepper and serve with cooked broccoli florets!

*(watch out for ingredients! You'd be surprised what they can contain! And avoid Paprika and chili if you have inflammatory or gut problems)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Galettes de Sarrasin (Buckwheat pancakes)

3/4 cup flour (sometimes, for a change, I do 1/2 buckwheat and 1/4 chickpea)
roughly the same in water
chia seeds optional (acts as a binder or egg replacer... If you do use these, add another 1/4 cup water - the seeds can absorb up to 12 times their volume in water)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt

REAL buckwheat pancakes do not contain egg or any other flour than buckwheat. If you get the consistency right, and you have a good pan, they're great! Sometimes however, I add chick pea flour or I add chia seeds which acts as a binder - this is generally if I am cooking for someone else too as it generally ensures I won't have made the liquid too runny and therefore brittle pancakes! (I don't mind my pancakes being a disaster but I give myself a little more guarantee of success when cooking for others!!)
Just mix the salt into the flour then add the water, whisking.
Leave to stand for at least half an hour. You can keep this mixture for a long time in the fridge. (It keeps for less time with chia seeds in though so watch out!)

Heat a heavy based frying pan...when hot, add oil. Add any veg if desired (i.e garlic/ ginger/ onions/ leeks)
Pour the pancake batter over, on high heat, and tip the pan around and around to ensure an even spread and thickness of the pancake. Cook as long as desired. I flip mine and cook well both sides.

I generally eat these accompanied by mackerel paste or with broccoli and curry sauce or salad. If I could eat eggs, I'd serve it with a runny fried egg! Mmmmmmmm.....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"Socca" Pancake (Batter)

Socca are chickpea pancakes or flatbread.
I cook it as oily pancakes but it can also be oven cooked or grilled for a drier, flatbread type pancake.

to make the batter:

1 cup (140g) Chickpea flour
1 cup (maybe bit more) water
Big pinch of salt
Olive oil

Seive flour, add salt, pour in water whilst wisking with a hand wisk.
Leave to stand for at least half hour but longer if possible to let flour soak up water.

Here's a link to other cooking methods:

I then tend to fry garlic and ginger for 30 seconds or some shallots (something with bags of flavour), add chopped fresh herbs or spice (curcuma or curry) then pour the batter over, cook on a high heat for a few mins then reduce heat, flip over and let cook through - prob 15mins in all. I like to really overcook (i.e Burn this... lol!)

Bon apetit! (photos to come, c'est promis!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lentil and Azuki Galettes (savoury)

Raw mixture in the pan and already browned in olive oil (sorry for bad pic!)

1 cup (dry) coral lentils (red lentils)
1/2 cup (80g) Azuki flakes (rolled whatever - oats if you eat them/ rolled quinoa is an option)
Palmful chia seeds
1 ladel Pancake Batter
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely or crushed
1 inch fresh ginger
1/2 courgette, grated
1 large shallot, chopped very finely
lots of mint (fresh or dry)
Olive oil / grapeseed oil
sea salt and pepper

Cook lentils for 15 mins (until soft). Drain.
Mix with lentils and Azuki (or other) flakes and season well with sea salt and black pepper.
Add all other ingredients, including some oil, maybe a splash of water.
Leave to stand... I do this so it sticks together better (the flakes will absorb some juices and mulch up with the rest better) and so the flavours can develop.
Cook as burgers (or patties). I fried mine in hot oil to start, to make them brown and crisp, then put them into the oven to finish the cooking gently- I like them drier and Azuki is nicer when cooked through gently.

These are so so satisfying, texture is everything in this diet of fruit and veg! They are also very tasty!

You can make a big batch of this and keeep the mixture a day or two in the fridge for quick meals. (My baby boy loves these too - just  one patty with veg or quinoa usually fills him up nicely!)

What I CAN eat!

I CAN eat:

All other vegetables as far as I know! (Except sweetcorn and aforementioned nightshade veg)
Fruit (but not citrus or pineapple)
Lentils and beans, chick peas, split peas etc
Olive oil, grapeseed oil
Oily fish
Seeds like sesame, pumpkin, lin(flax), chia etc (Not Sunflower)
cocoa without added sugar
agave syrop

Some poor people are also fructose intolerant - I can't even imagine... I limit fruit and fructose intake because it's effectively like having too much sugar but I tolerate fruit well. THANK GOODNESS! ;D


1 lot of pastry
Carrots (2 small/ 1 large)
Onion/ spring onions
1/2 parsnip
tbspn mustard
splash of water
tspn tahini (optional)
herbs/ spices (optional) I like to use curry spices/curcuma or oregano or any fresh herbs)

Chop veggies up small.
Roll out pastry, thinly (I do this directly onto greaseproof paper). Cut into oval shapes. Mix all above ingredients together in a little bowl.
Spoon filling onto one half of pastry and moisten front edge with juices/ water. Fold over, stick together by pressing down with fingertips (some people use a fork for this).
Lift greaseproof paper and pasties onto oven tray...
Cut cross shaped hole in top to let steam escape when cooking.
Cook in preheated oven, hot for 15 or 20 mins.
Let cool before eating!
These are so simple and SO delicious and satisfying!

You can obviously put what you want in it! Above is my most usual filling but depends on the season....Add seeds, do it with leeks, kale, different herbs or spices, make a sweet pastry and fill it with fruit, compote or jam for a type of apple turnover style thing.....EXPERIMENT! Don't get bored and stuck in a rut!


So here is how I make pastry - this has tranformed my life because it is actually very nice and gives me the feeling that I have eaten something other than water-based food!

½ cups Buckwheat flour (or a combo of B/wheat -½ cup- and Chickpea 1/4 cup)
1 tspn salt
1/4 cup olive oil / grapeseed oil

Seive flour (actually, I never bother! But if you use chickpea flour- seive it!)
Add enough oil to make breadcrumbs (must be moist enough to stick together, as no gluten)
Add water to bring together into a ball.
Wrap in clingfilm, put into the fridge and use when ready....
or, roll out onto greaseproof paper and use straight away.

I use this to make tarts (like courgette and celeriac, mmmm!), pasties (carrot, parsnip and onion, deeeeelish!) and crumbles....

For sweet pastry, add a tablespoon of agave syrop. You can make mini jam tarts with sugar free jam, yay!

Sometimes this pastry is a dream to work with - and sometimes I can't roll it out (must depend on the moon!) in which case I use it to make a crumble instead!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Breads and cakes - So many delicious gluten free recipes - so few I can eat!

There are so many beautiful gluten free sites and blogs out there with such delicious looking recipes! And I still haven't found any breads or cakes that don't have significant amounts of ingredients I am allergic to in! Very frustrating!
Hence the name Food Free - because that is how it feels sometimes, when out of inspiration and trawling the web for some good ideas, somewhere ---at least I am creative enough to usually find at least inspiration, then work out my own solution!
Bread is the main craving and difficulty - bread and cakey stuff....
They always include one of the following (obviously, I do understand that this is what makes them bread and cake!!):
Whole grains / yeast / almond flour / potato starch / milk / butter / eggs / soja / buttermilk / rice flour / sugar / honey etc. etc. 
My main problem being that 'Gluten free flour' is not an option - as it is not technically gluten free! It usually contains some other grain (even if it's just rice or corn) which do contain proteins that are types of gluten - it is just different gluten to those that affect celiac sufferers :(
So I have come up with the closest thing I can to bread - inspired by my Swedish friend, who found a "scone" recipe in an old Swedish cookbook (it does not resemble any English scone recipe I know!!) and adapted it for me! Bless her heart. It was a good experiment and I have been playing with it ever since - there have been about a million more experiments so far!
I have also been obsessively trying to make it sweet and cakey - with unsatisfactory results so far... but getting there!
Check out my Savoury Scones recipes....

Savoury Scones

sort of bread...
My basic recipe for savoury scones:

190g Chickpea flour (gram flour) (1 cup)
or flour mix - whatever you CAN eat - for example, 2/3 ch/pea and 1/3 Buckwheat)
1 1/2 tspn Bicarbonate (7.5ml)
1 tspn Salt
6cl (60ml) Olive Oil (or grapeseed oil - or whatever neutralish tasting oil you can eat)
1 tbspn Chia seeds (10g)
18 cl water (maybe more) (180ml)
optional: 1 tspn curry powder and 1 tspn curcuma
or 1 tspn Aniseed and fennel spice.....

I almost never make this bread without herbs or spices. The flours have strong flavour and it brings it into balance with a bit of spice.
These are an aquired taste - don't imagine it will be like eating fluffy, bland bread... it is more of a cakey texture, heavier (especially if you use a high ratio of chickpea flour) and has a flavour.
Those of you, like me, who are totally starved of anything like this will appreciate it though! REMEMBER, I can only eat vegetables, fruit, quinoa, pulses and 100% buckwheat crackers - so I neeeeeeed these!! They are perfect for when you've made a soup :)

Mix dry ingredients (except chia seeds).
Add Olive oil and rub in until you have a breadcrumby mixture - sort of like soft breadcrumbs - basically, when you squeeze a handful of the crumb mix together, it will stay together but then crumble again when you break it. This is similar to when you make pastry, before you add the water to bring it together.
Add chia seeds and any others you like.
(gloopy mixture)
Mix in water with a wooden spoon. The mixture should be very sticky, wet like cake batter but not quite as runny.
I usually let it stand a bit and add a dash more water before spooning into cake tray.
The chia seeds act as a binder - there is no egg in this recipe and no gluten which would normally be present in the flour and hold it all together...

Oven cook at about 200 C for 15-20 mins... let them cool before trying. They are good eaten with hummus, lentil spread or any kind of relish.

Use whatever flour combo you like - to be honest, I change it almost every time! You can do half chickpea half buckwheat.... you can use some Amaranth for moisture - I use it because of that. It can be dry without - especially if you use more buckwheat in your mix. Or you can do pure chickpea, it tastes good that way but sits heavier in the tummy!

I usually make this with added pumpkin seeds, lin (flax) seeds, sesame seeds etc. I also always use spices or herbs such as oregano or thyme.
You can also use vegetable ingredients such as grated courgette - really good with lots of chopped mint. Just adjust the amount of water if you add a wet ingredient like that. (the picture at the head of my blog is of courgette and mint bread)
I also like to use some cooked buckwheat in this - I usually have some in the fridge. It makes the bread texture lighter. I REALLY recommend this...
I intend to try this using Quinoa soufflé (puffed quinoa) for an even lighter, maybe chewier (?!) result. Will keep you posted.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Azuki and Quinoa Flapjacks!!

Roll up roll up for some of my amazing healthy flapjacks! Their only evil is a high level of fructose due to all the fruit!
80g (½ cup) Azuki bean flakes (rolled) or rolled buckwheat (preferable but I have problems finding them!)
80g (½ cup) rolled Quinoa
80g (½ cup) (2 handfuls) Raisins or sultanas
1/4 cup Apple juice (optional)
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup olive oil or less
30g (large handful) sesame seeds
palmful Chia seeds (thought it might help mixture stick together)
1 small pear
20g (small handful) Goji berries
40g fresh berries (I used 4 strawberries)
40g dried apricots (for me this was 4 apricots)
50g Dates (6 dates or so)
1 tbspn Agave syrup

(vary these ingredients as much as you need - skip to end for suggestions and notes on this)

Put everything - except juice and oil- into the bowl of a mixer if you have one. Pulse until everything very finely chopped.
If you do not have a mixer just chop everything small and grate the pear.
Add apple juice (or whatever liquid) then add oil through hole in mixer as you pulse the mixture again.

The mixture resembles this!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Allergies...what I CAN'T eat!

Here's a list of everything I have had to exclude from my diet - be it uniquely because it has a bad effect on the gut, promotes inflammation or is an allergy or intolerance....(!!)
(I hope I can come back and edit this thing because I'll probably forget something!)

  • Wheat
  • Gluten, including trace gluten and ALL Grains...i.e:
  • Rice
  • Millet
  • Corn (maize)
  • Dairy including eggs
  • Sugar, honey and molasses any added sugar
  • Vegetable oils (so veg oil, sunflower, safflower, palm etc etc)
  • Yeast
  • Mushrooms
  • Soy (all soy products such as tofu, soy sauce, quorn etc)
  • Citrus fruit AND pineapple
  • Nightshade vegetables (Potatoes, Tomatoes, Aubergine, Peppers, Chili)
  • Most nuts (peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts...and all derivatives like almond powder/paste/oil)
I think that's about it! At a glance it perhaps doesn't seem as complicated as the reality - for example,  no flour (wheat, rice, rye, spelt, millet etc), no wheat, bran, oats, barley,semolina, coucous, spelt, no bread basically, no pasta, no pastry, no added malt of any kind etc etc yawn yawn......! 
It also means no lentils or beans or pseudo cereals that carry the phrase "may contain traces of gluten" and, for me, it also means no rice or millet (which people generally consider gluten free) (IT IS NOT GLUTEN FREE)

Monday, March 26, 2012

How it all started...Allergies and illness...

After the birth of my son and after 3 months of breastfeeding, I very suddenly found myself with excruciating joint pains. It started in my hands but rapidly moved around my body. At first, it would be agonising in one or two joints each day, for example in one elbow and one knee...and very quickly took over my whole body. Within two weeks I was debilitated, couldn't sleep for the pain, couldn't take pain killers as I was breastfeeding, could barely walk and couldn't lift my baby out of his cot, hold him properly, cook, clean or anything!
Obviously, as per usual, GPs were no help, aside from a very useful blood test that proved the severity of the inflammation and pointed towards the onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I read about treatments for Arthritis and concluded that it's a bit of a nightmare - the medication is rarely much help and very toxic with many side-effects. To start such treatment at such a young age is really not a good idea and wouldn't solve anything. So I consulted a doctor who works mainly with homeopathy and he concurred with my plan of action and also told me I needed to detoxify. For this, he prescribed me a course of daily bicarbonate in water, Rosemary and Thyme oil and some other homeopathic granules to detoxify the liver (if anyone wants to know, I'll look up the name) I think this really helped to flush some toxins out of my body and away from my joints, got things circulating again. The inflammation went on for months and months but gradually got better and better...
Well, after much research, I realised that diet can have an enormous effect on the body - it can help to heal it, but it can also be the cause of whatever illness you suffer from. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or any poly-arthritis of an inflammatory nature is actually an auto-immune disease! This is commonly unknown, and it is wrongly labeled as a disease that affects the elderly....but there is a reason for that!
Basically, many auto-immune (body attacking itself as it tries to protect itself from something it considers as bad for it) diseases actually originate from a gut problem.