Casserole

I totally got inspired to cook a casserole after enjoying one with friends recently. This is a scrumptious version of Vera’s recipe 🙂 It mainly takes preparation time and very little to do after that than wait for the house to fill with wonderful aromas and meat that melts in your mouth.

For a vegetarian/vegan option, add kumara (or other sweet potato), carrots and/or regular firm tofu instead of the beef and bacon. It will soak up the beautiful flavors or the marinade and you can shorten all the timings by half.

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DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Enough for 4 people.

1 kg (2 lbs) of meat suitable for slow cooking, I used beef cut into inch sized cubes.

3 tbsp gluten-free all purpose flour

3 tbsp dextrose

2 tbsp tomato sauce or ketchup

150 ml white vinegar

150 ml port wine or sweet red wine (or for a non-alcoholic option use regular beef or vegetable stock – there is fructose in the wine, so if you want to reduce it use a dry red wine but the taste will be different)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (check ingredients for sugar content, I found one with less than 5g per 100g)

Grated rind and juice of an organic lemon (you don’t want all the pesticides in the rind of regular lemons).

1/8 tsp each of ginger, mustard, paprika and curry powder

15-20 prunes (or use less if you want less fructose in this dish)

3-6 slices of streaky bacon cut into thin strips

Directions:

Dredge your meat or vegan alternative (easiest way is to chuck the flour and meat in a bag and shake until the meat is coated in flour – this is to thicken the stew) and place in the bottom of a casserole dish. Prep all the rest of the ingredients  and add to the meat and and cover with a lid. Let it sit in the fridge for up to 2 hours to infuse all the flavors.

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Pre-heat your oven to 140C (280F) and cook the casserole for 2.5 hours.

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Just before cooking time is up, make any accompaniments – such as steamed carrots, potatoes or kumara and serve on a hot plate. Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Burning love

As the otherwise beautiful weather was shattered by a storm shaking the windows and howling outside yesterday evening, we felt like a nice hearty meal. What could be better than return to my childhood roots and put together some ‘burning love’ (brændende kærlighed). This an adaption of my mother’s recipe which is an all-time favorite of mine.

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The name burning love is actually a direct translation from Danish which made me think about where the name came from. No definitive answers although some people suggest that it looks like a bonfire if you make a mount of mashed potato with the fried meats on the very top. It is also said that two lovers were cooking the dish once upon a time and were staring too deep into each others eyes (or something like that!) and forgot about the dish, thus earning it its ‘burnt’ name 😉

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To make this a VEGAN meal you could substitute the meats for vegan bacon and sausages! Either buy them ready made or you could even try and ‘make’ your own. Check out Vegan Adventures’ bacon here. I am going to try that sometime soon – using gluten-free flour instead or regular flour and glucose syrup instead of molasses (although it will loose some of the flavor by not using blackstrap molasses). You could also try to make your own vegan sausages with this recipe from Hell Yeah It’s Vegan! (using same swaps as above to make it gluten and fructose free).

DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Enough for dinner for 2.

2 kumara potatoes (or yams or other sweet potatoes)

1 regular large white potato

6-7 long rashers of thin streaky bacon

2 continental/European frankfurters

1 German spicy kransky sausage

A handful celery leaves

Crispy fried onions to sprinkle over the top (you can get these in European delicatessen or other specialty stores. Or, you can make them yourself – all you need is shallots, gluten-free all purpose flour and oil for deep frying. Cut the onions in very very very thin slices and cover in flour. Heat up oil and fry them until they turn brown and crunchy. Then place on paper towels to soak up the excess oil). You can also just swap for regular pan-fried onions.

Directions:

Heat a pot of water. Peel your potatoes, cut them into big chunks and pop them in the water and heat to a low boil. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, turn a pan to medium-high heat and put on your bacon in one layer so they all get crisp.

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Your bacon is done when it’s nice and crisp and looking almost a bit burnt (but don’t go black, black is not good for your body or taste, only dark brown).

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While the bacon is cooking, get your franks and sausages out and cut into small chunks (or have all this prepared beforehand).

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Take the bacon off the pan and place on paper towels to soak up the excess fat. Leave the bacon fat in the pan and now cook your sausages in this which brings out the most beautiful flavors.

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Chop your bacon into nice thin rows and leave for the moment. When the sausages have cooked, put them aside with the bacon.

Chop a handful of celery leaves finely leaving a leaf or two for decoration (you could use parsley as well, I just always have celery in the house and rarely use the leaves/the top anyways – less waste, more taste).

Now check that your potatoes are ready – you should be able to put a knife in one and have it slide though easily. Pour all the excess water away. Then pour all the fat from the pan into the pot with potatoes and mash away (this is in place of butter and makes it taste delicious – if you want a healthier version, just leave it out, but the taste is not the same). Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Then, just before serving, add half the chopped celery to retain the fresh taste and give it a stir.

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Now all you have to do is plate it up. Place a portion of mashed potato on the plate. Add your bacon and sausage mix. Sprinkle celery and crispy onion on top and finish with a decorative celery leaf. Serve as is or traditionally it’s eaten with tomato sauce or ketchup. Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Quick weekday pork meatballs with raw carrot and pear salad

These meatballs are inspired by my Danish heritage (they are called ‘frikadeller’ and are normally flat) and take only 20 minutes of prep and 25 minutes of baking in the oven. Super easy on a weekdays when you don’t have time to cook for hours. Makes around 10-12 meatballs and enough salad for two.

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GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

500 grams (1.1 lb/17.6 oz) pork mince

1 tsp peanut oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 small onion, chopped finely

1/4 cup of rolled oats (gluten-free)

Salt and pepper to your liking (I used ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper)

1 egg

Sauce:

2 cups (17 floz/415 ml) of  chicken stock

1 stock cube

4 tsp of corn flour

4 tsp of soy sauce (I haven’t tried it yet but you can substitute for coconut aminos which is super low in sodium and sugar – if not, just check that your soy sauce is not massively high in this – pays off to check brands)

Salad:

4 medium carrots

1 medium pear

½ small lemon

Directions:

Preheat the oven on 175C (350F).

Prepare the sauce by mixing the corn flour with a little bit of cold water. Then dissolve the stock cube in a bit of boiling hot water from a kettle and stir until completely dissolved. Now put all the ingredients in a pot, stir well. Turn the heat to medium and stir continuously until it thickens.  When it has the right consistency, take it off the heat (if it doesn’t get thick enough, mix some more corn flour and water separately, take the pot of the heat, let it cool down for 5 minutes, then mix in the extra corn flour mix, put back on the heat and stir again)

Now combine all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork or your hands (or if you want a finer consistency put it all in a food processor – I just like the rustic texture from hand chopping).

Shape the meatballs (approx 2 tbsp per ball) and place in a baking tray lined with a baking sheet. Then pour over the meatballs and pop in the oven for 25 minutes (test one to see if the liquids run clear – if they do, they are ready).

While the meatballs cook boil your preferred rice.

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5 minutes before the meatballs are due to come out the oven you prepare the salad. Peel or wash your carrots. If you can get organic carrots that’s best, then all you need to do is just cut off the ends and scrub them to keep all the nutrients in the peel. The non-organic ones I always peel as the peel will also contain all the pesticides they are sprayed with. In this case I have organic pears but regular carrots.

Slice the pear in 4 pieces and de-core it. Then grate the carrots and pear and squeeze over the lemon (add more if you like it zingy). Combine gently and serve with the rice, meatballs and sauce.

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Easy Thai Green curry

Before starting to eat sugar-free, one of our favorite take-away meals was a Thai Green Curry, but unfortunately they add refined sugar. So this recipe satisfies this craving and is super quick and easy to do to boot. The curry paste itself may have a bit of sugar but with 1 1/2 tablespoon used for this recipe, the one I buy makes it  less than 1 gram in this dish.

To make this vegetarian, swap the chicken for snow peas, bamboo shoots or firm tofu.

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This dish serves two people and takes 10 minutes of prep and 8-15 minutes to cook (depending on your rice) + 1 hour for the meat to marinate.

GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

400 grams of chicken breast

1 tin of coconut cream (160 ml)

1 cup of rice, your preferred

2 cups of water

The juice of two limes

Leek, 3 inches dark green part, 3 inches white parts for colour, chopped in short stalks

1-2 tbsp of green curry paste (you can buy this in most supermarkets in a little jar

1 tbsp of oil (I used coconut oil, any oil which is good for high heat is good)

Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes and marinate in the lime juice for at least an hour in the fridge (or put in the freezer a super quick dinner another day). Meanwhile, chop the leek and set aside for later.

Cook your rice according to instructions.

5 minutes before the rice is done, take the chicken out of the fridge and pop in a pan with the oil and fry at high heat for 3 minutes. Then add the paste, coconut cream and leek. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

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Serve the rice with the Thai Curry on top and dinner is ready!

Mini chicken veggie pies

Finished pie

I have wanted to try making pastry forever, it just always seemed tricky, and gluten-free pastry more so. Tonight I tried making gluten-free (and dairy free) pastry for the first time and it was very nice indeed (although, I must say, I think I will make a separate post for the pastry, it needs more experimenting). This is the recipe for the filling though (makes 12 mini pies or you can choose to use only some of it then and pop the rest of the filling and sauce in the freezer and pull out another night where you have little time to cook, e.g. serve with rice). This could easily be made vegetarian and vegan by substituting the chicken for more veggies and use vegetable broth.

GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

500 grams (1 pound) of chicken breast halves – cubed

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup frozen green peas

1/2 cup sliced celery

4-6 inches (10-12 cm) of a large leek, sliced

3 onions, chopped

10 small/medium mushrooms

1/3 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 1/3 cups chicken broth/stock

Preheat oven to 175C (350F). In a pot, combine chicken, carrots, leek, and celery. Pour over half of the broth and boil for 10 minutes. Add the peas, cook for 1 minute longer and then remove from heat, drain the broth into a separate container and set aside.

In a second pot, cook onions in a little oil until soft. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Slowly stir in chicken broth saved earlier. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mushrroms and onion onion and flour sauce

Prepare the muffin pan with the pastry. Blind-bake for 10 minutes. Then spoon chicken and veggie mix in and pour over the sauce and seal with lids.

Filling Filling and sauce

Crack an egg and whisk with a fork. Brush the lids with egg and make little slits in them. Then pop in the oven for another 10 minutes. Done!

Pizza crust

Pizza crust

Multiple times I have bought the ready made gluten free pizza bases in the super market and to my disappointment found that (like many other gluten free products)… they taste a bit like card board. So, I was mightily pleased when I found a homemade recipe which was delicious. I adapted this one from Wheat Belly to be diary free as well.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups ground almonds (almond meal)
1/4 cup chana (chickpea) flour
1/4 ground flaxseeds (linseeds)
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or other oil
1/4 cup water

Mix almond meal, chana flour, flaxseeds, onion powder, garlic powder, xanthan gum and salt in a bowl. Stir in the eggs, oil and water and mix thoroughly. Spread a large sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray /pizza sheet. Place the dough on the parchment paper and lay a second sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough. Flatten with a rolling pin into desired size (depends on how thick you want the crust). Then remove the top layer of parchment paper and use a utensil to form a crust edge. Bake for 20 minutes at 175C. Then throw on your favorite toppings and pop back into the oven for 10 minutes.

I make several of these crusts at the time to pop in the freezer for those long days where there is little time and no energy to cook.

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