So much food to enjoy

Guilt Free Deserts

Guilt Free Desserts

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whether you are a passionate or practical cook, there's an extensive range of foods available to you, even if one or more of the "Big Four" allergens have to be avoided. Everything on the greengrocery, fresh fish, and meat counters is on the menu in this book. Make a fuss of a grown up, have fun cooking with children, or just make sweet small indulgences for yourself - you'll find plenty of opportunities in the baking section, which has more than a sprinkling of chocolate recipes.

Vegetable side dishes and salads are such an obvious idea when cooking for people with allergies that I've only allowed myself a few full recipes for them in the book, as I preferred to concentrate on tricky dishes like breads, pies, pastries, and puddings. But there are lots of vegetable ingredients in the recipes as well as in tips and serving suggestions. Pick the best from leafy greens, peppery salads, potatoes for every use and occasion, winter root vegetables and squashes, fragrant herbs and spices, and fresh, dried, and seasonal fruits.

Likewise, if you are not allergic to fish or shellfish the entirety of the fish counter is open to you.

You'll find nostalgic treats like Fish pie (p.96), future classics like Miso marinated salmon (p.101), or barbecue specials such as Marinated Swordfish (p.99). Adapt the recipes to suit whatever your fishmonger has on the slab, whether it's mussels, sardines, anchovies, sole, sea bass, monkfish, mackerel, lobster, or skate.

Meat dishes are often the centrepiece of a meal, so I wanted recipes with staying power-both as common sense cookery and inspirational starting points. Choose from quick dishes such as Lemon thyme grilled chicken (p.109), slow-simmered Ragu Bolognese (p.117) and Moussaka (p.128), and classic roasts for the whole family.

MY FOOD HEROES

Having an allergy or food intolerance doesn't mean doing without. Recipes for breads, pies, puddings, and pastries are made possible in this book by what I call my "food heroes":

real problem-solving substitute ingredients that mean crusty, light-textured breads, creamy desserts, sponge cakes, and ice creams are no longer out of bounds. I've listed them here.

• Dairy-free milks like soya are now familiar but rice, oat, and nut milks are also healthy and delicious in their own right. Soya cream makes an excellent dairy cream substitute.

• Dairy-free cheeses work well in many toppings and sauces.

> Xanthan gum acts as a gluten substitute, adding essential springiness to breads, and helping to hold together gluten-free pastry that could otherwise be crumbly and difficult to work with. You only use a little at a time so a pack lasts a long time.

> Flours made from corn (maize) have a multitude of uses and have a delicious colour and flavour. Use maize meal for breads and tortillas (p.68); finely ground cornflour to thicken sauces, stews, and gravies.

> Ready-made gluten-free flour mixes are available in many supermarkets. Most are based on rice flour but a mix of flours gives a better balance of flavour, texture, and weight.

> Potato flour gets top marks for its binding properties. You can also use it with liquid as an egg substitute in baking.

> Commercial egg-replacer powders - use them to adapt cake and quiche recipes.

> Tofu - soft, silken, and firm varieties are good in dips and dressings, and replace cooked eggs in recipes.

> Pine nuts are my problem-solver for nuts in baking, toppings, and sauces, as are sunflower, sesame, and other seeds.

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Why Gluten Free

Why Gluten Free

What Is The Gluten Free Diet And What You Need To Know Before You Try It. You may have heard the term gluten free, and you may even have a general idea as to what it means to eat a gluten free diet. Most people believe this type of diet is a curse for those who simply cannot tolerate the protein known as gluten, as they will never be able to eat any food that contains wheat, rye, barley, malts, or triticale.

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