Category Archives: Meal Ideas

A Gluten Free Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!

 

I wasn’t going to do a valentines inspired blog post [and to be fair I’ve left it a little too late] but since food is the key to everyone’s heart… or is it a man’s heart?… either way, it’s a good excuse to post a wee little val’ day inspired blog post for y’all!

Now, since we’re all pretty much feeling the pinch and money is sparse, many of us will be wining and dining in tonight! Which is a wise move since all restaurants are over booked, over filled and over priced!

So whether you’re cooking for someone for the first time or cooking for your loved one, Auntie Saara is here to help you with your gluten free valentines night!

Ambience: 

 

 

Before we even think about cooking ladies and G’s, we gotta think about the ambience, which is just a posh way of saying ‘atmosphere of a place’. I’m not talking about leaving rose petals on every nook and cranny of your house or lighting candles left, right and centre [which could potentially burn your house down!]. Oh and god forbid red lighting, you don’t want your pad looking like a pimp palace. If you’re lucky enough to use a dimmer, that’ll do or even some fairy/Christmas lights tacked to the wall. Also make sure you clean and tidy your rooms, there’s nothing worse trying to get all romantic when there’s dirty dishes, dirty laundary and general rubbish strewn around the house! 

Music and Films:

 

 

OK, before you rush off to buy some Marvin Gaye or Barry White music, remember that these music legends are a just little too cliché! I mean, you don’t even need any music playing, but if you do decide you want some sweet tunes in the background, try and steer clear of tracks such as Drowning Pool – ‘Let the Bodies Hit the Floor’ or Kelis – ‘Caught Out There’, no matter how much of a tune they are!

Films are also an important feature for a good valentines night, but is also the most important as it has the potential to ruin your valentines night! Imagine, settling down with your date and they pop the film, Knocked Up, into the DVD player. You also don’t want to be forcing your other half to watch soppy, romantic films like P.s I Love You [which is enough to make anyone poke their eyes out!].

Food:

Now for the important part – the food. This could make or break your relationship! Imagine cooking your gluten free lover something and either giving them food poisoning or worse, accidently glutening them! So here is a wee little list of gluten free food that you can whip up to impress your other half. And nothing cries ‘Love’ more than Italian food, since it’s the love and food capital of the world! [… or have I just made that up!]

Starters:

 

How about many some gluten free dough balls and dough sticks with a selection of dips! There’s nothing more romantic than a couple of balls [if you pardon the expression]. Sharing some nibbles is a pretty romantic and I doubt I’m the only coeliac who misses dough balls!

But if time is of the essence, why not try Dietary Specials Tear and Share Garlic Bread!

Or if gluten free garlic bread and dough balls aren’t your thing! Why not try making your own gluten free tomato brushetta!

Mains:

 

You could impress your date with making your own gluten free pizza or go one step further and make a gluten free stuffed crust one instead using my easy gluten free pizza dough recipe!

Or why not try and make your own gluten free pasta from scratch and relive that Lady and The Tramp moment. But before you protest about not having a pasta machine, I made mine without one. Although it took a lot of rolling it did however, tone up my arms! 

But if you don’t fancy making your own pizza but do still want some, then why not try Dietary Specials Bontà d’Italia Margherita Pizza! It’s one of the nicest pre made gluten free frozen pizza I’ve ever had! What’s more, it tastes just like normal pizza so you share it with those who don’t have to eat gluten free! [For a more in-depth review, click here]

 

Dessert: 

This is probably the most enjoyable part of any three course meal! And nothing says ‘I love you’ than a box of home made gluten free ferrero rocher!

or why not try making your own gluten free Chinese fortune cookies and popping your own fortune inside! 

But if you’re wanting something super quick but deliciously chocolatey, why not try my 5 minute microwave gluten free chocolate cake! Doesn’t sound that appitzing, but for a quick gluten free chocolate cake, it does taste pretty yummy!

 

 

 

 

Easy Peasy Three Bean Chilli Recipe

As I’m sure you’re all pretty much aware now  (as I haven’t shut up about it all last month!) that I do love my Mexican food! Which is why I’d finally blog my gluten free, easy peasy, super healthy 3 bean chilli recipe for y’all! 

I first came across the 3 bean chilli dish when I lived with three wonderful girls; Sophie, Amy and Fiona, in a cockroach infested house in the middle of Moss Side which was owned by the craziest of landlords! But pushing crazy landlord and cockroaches aside, living with these girls was one of my favourite years of Uni!

[Fiona, Amy, Me and Sophie]

It was Amy who introduced me to three bean chilli. I had foolishly assumed that three bean chilli was made with mince with 3 types of beans added which was the reason why I hadn’t tried it. The problem was, I hate mince, which was why I would never eat a dish that involved it. I don’t know why I don’t like it and even now I try my damn hardest to have it again, but I can’t make myself like it sadly!

But when I looked in the pan that was bubbling away on the stove I was super happy to find there wasn’t any mine in sight! What’s more, the recipe was a ‘hand-me-down’ from her Peruvian brother-in-law, so I knew it was going to taste pretty amazing… and trust me it was!

Which is why three bean chilli has become one of my favourite dishes which I either have with rice, my own gluten free tortillas or Discovery Tacos with my home made guacamole!

Now for some little tips from yours truely!

Although the recipe below is enough to feed the flippin’ army, bear in mind this dish freezes really well so you can always save some of it for days when you can’t be bothered to cook anything. Also, with the spices, you can also buy sachets of Chilli seasoning by Discovery [which is also gluten free] instead of buying all the different spices. However, I sometimes use the Discovery sachet… with the spices because I’m crazy like that and  feel free to use any other vegetables that you fancy! Oh and one thing [I promise!] I sometimes buy a tin of ‘3 Beans’ which you can get in water or in spicy Mexican sauce, so again you have a choice of buying the one tin or three different types of beans separately.

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 tablespoons of Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion [chopped]
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic [chopped]
  • 1 teaspoons of Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoons of Ground Corriander
  • 1 teaspoons of Paprika
  • 1 teaspoons of Chilli Powder
  • 1 teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon [optional]
  • Mushrooms [chopped and as much you want]
  • Peppers [chopped and as much you want]
  • 2 tins of  chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small tin of Sweetcorn [use as much as you want]
  • 1 tin of Three Beans in Water [drained] or 1/2 tin of Kidney Beans, Butter Beans and Black Eyed Beans [drained]
  • 1 small tin of Baked Beans
  • 100ml of gluten free Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar [optional]
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a frying pan over medium flame,  add the oil with the onion and cook until they turn soft and brown. Then add your chopped garlic 
  2. After a couple of minutes, add your chopped vegetables [i.e Peppers and Mushrooms] 
  3. Add all the  drained beans [but not the baked beans] along with all your spices [or your Discovery Chilli sachet] and mix together 
  4. After a couple of minutes add the small tin of baked beans, along with the chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock.  
  5. Now add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, corriander and the juice of one lime and simmer until some of the liquid [but not all!] is reduced! 

Easy Peasy Roast Chicken Drumsticks and Roasted Vegetables

Since I was a student, I became aware at how expensive meat can be to buy. Even though I took advantage of those “3 for £10” offers at the supermarket, I still found it hard as those offers were few and far between! I did try and become a vegetarian and live on vegetables but I do love my meat so sadly that never lasted! However, this was before I discovered how cheap and convenient chicken drumsticks, thighs and wings were!

You see, I was always a chicken breast kind of gal! I found more recipes required chicken breast meat and I didn’t know what to cook with chicken drumsticks, wings and thighs [don’t forget though guys, I was a novice chef and could just about make beans on toast!]

So I came across a dish in my first year that was not only simple to make but so cheap as well! Plus, it was pretty healthy and didn’t require a thousand pots and pans to make [which you know is a bonus for us students!]

The good thing about this recipe is that it can be easily adapted! You can use any type of vegetable that’s good for roasting [for example, butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, courgettes, onions, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, peppers – the list is endless!].

Ingredients:

  • Chicken drumsticks, thighs or wings
  • Salt and Pepper [to taste]
  • 1 teaspoon of Chilli Flakes [optional]
  • Handful of Cherry Tomatoes [chopped]
  • 1 Small Onion [chopped]
  • 1 Pepper [chopped]
  • Handful of Mushroom [chopped]
  • 5 whole Garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil [to drizzle]

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC
  2. Pop the chicken legs in a roasting dish and season well by rubbing salt and pepper into the skin 
  3. Add all the chopped vegetables to the dish, along with the garlic and sprinkle with the chilli flakes  
  4. Drizzle with the olive oil and mix it in with the vegetables and chicken
  5. Pop in the oven for 1 and 1/2 hours 
  6. Serve on it’s own or with mash potato!