Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Chorizo & Spinach Pasta

If I'm not following one of my favourite recipe books I'm throwing stuff in to a pan and whipping up my own creations. I'm no professional but I never hear my husband complain about my food so that's all that matters.

I wanted to try out my new pasta that I got from the Allergy Show. It is by a new company called Feel Free. They have four different pastas; Penne, Spaghetti, Fusilli and Alphabet Shapes. They are made of 100% corn giving them a lovely golden colour and a nice firm texture. 

Here's the recipe I created:

225g Chorizo (lots contain milk so be careful)
1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
1 Small Courgette
1 Teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
2 Handfuls Spinach
200g Pasta

Remove the skin from the chorizo and chop into half moons. Fry off in a dry frying pan. Once most of the oil has come out of the chorizo drain it from the pan. 

Next grate the courgette and add to the chorizo. Fry off for a few minutes. 

Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and half a tin of water. Stir in the light brown sugar and the smoked paprika. Simmer for approx 20 mins. If the sauce starts to dry out add small amounts of water to loosen.

Whilst the sauce is cooking boil a large pan of water and add the pasta. 

When the pasta is cooked drain well and add to the pan with the sauce. At this point fold in the spinach until wilted. Add pepper to taste.

Serve with some crusty white bread (I used Luce's bread mix) to mop up the juices. 

Monday, 21 July 2014

Brighton Eats!

Brighton is one of my favourite places to visit in the UK. Not only is it a great seaside place but it is also fantastic for special diets. I doubt very much if anyone would go hungry in Brighton no matter what allergies or intolerance's you have. There is such a vast amount of restaurants, cafes and shops all with a huge array of different foods. I love picking up different treats to eat on the beach while watching the world go by.

Last weekend we got up early to make the 3.5 hour journey down there. We like to go at least once a year and if the weather is right it's like being abroad. Forecasts weren't great but our hotel was booked so there was no turning back. Luckily the thunder storms happened the night before so except for a little shower mid afternoon the weather was glorious.

I'd seen on twitter (@StreetDiner) that a small street food market takes place on a Friday & Saturday from 11am-3pm on Queens Road. I'd also noticed that some of the stalls catered for various diets. I decided to try Paella from Crocus (@CrocusPaella). Their sign stated that both the Veggie and Chicken Paellas were gluten free and the nice lady confirmed they were also dairy free. I had the small portion for £4 which was a generous size and filled me up. It was delicious. Really tasty and and chicken was very succulent. It was perfect and I really enjoyed it. 

Next stop was Infinity Foods. I visit the shop every time I go to Brighton as they have a great selection of free from foods. I like to get snacks from here to take to the beach. On this occasion I found the Ten Acre crisps (@10Acre) that people have been raving about, and for good reason. You don't often see dairy free cheese and onion crisps but this company has put an end to that. They are fantastic. Not only the flavour but also the type of crisp. I also picked up the chicken & hickory flavour. I also spotted a chocolate bar called Vego which is hazelnut chocolate with full hazelnuts. I am in love. I don't know how I've not tried one if these before. Amazing. Chunky, nutty, melt in the mouth Chocolate with crunchy hazelnuts mmmm. I popped a Seed & Bean Mint Choc bar in the basket too. I spotted their Smoked Garlic Vegan Mayonnaise on offer so I thought I'd try. I also had a snoop round the bakery and found a Raspberry & Almond GF DF muffin and GF DF Focaccia. Both were really nice. I did go back to the shop before leaving Brighton to get more crisps & Vego ;) 

After lunch and browsing round the shops we decided to pick up a bubble tea from Pearls and head down to the beach to relax. I've found my new flavour combo of Lychee fruit tea with Blueberry popping boba. I do love bubble tea :) We also stopped by a bar later on in the day for a nice Pimms & Lemonade. 

We planned to go to Pho Vietnamese restaurant (@PhoRestaurant) for our evening meal as it's one of my faves. Their menu has a huge amount of choice for Dairy, Egg & Gluten free. Their staff are always helpful and knowledgeable too. I normally have the Chicken Pho but I felt too warm to be eating a big bowl of steaming hot soup so I thought I'd try the Pho Xao wok fried rice noodles. I asked the server for them to be gluten free which wasn't a problem. We also ordered a side of the Cha gio crispy spring rolls which are made from rice paper. The server advised they'd be served with sweet chilli dip as the usual sauce wasn't gf. It showed that the server was thinking about ingredients. I loved the noodles but the vegetable spring rolls are still my ultimate favourite. Yum! I washed it all down with a lovely Phojito :) I wish I had a local Pho. 

As we'd gone to Pho pretty early we knew we could catch Boho Gelato (@bohogelato) before closing for some dessert. I love Boho Gelato and it's another place I always visit when in Brighton. They make amazing Dairy free Gelato. The server is always happy to point out which flavours are dairy free (they can vary day to day). I chose to have the Watermelon which was soooo nice. We also went the following day and I tried the cucumber & rose which was really really good. Nice and refreshing but creamy. Highly recommend if in the area. 

On our last day while visiting Infinity Foods (again) I picked up a few snacks to have for the journey home. I'd had a pretty good breakfast of grilled tomatoes, bacon and melon at the hotel so I didn't want a big lunch. I picked a falafel pack with a nice dressing and houmous which was tasty along with a nice elderflower green tea. We called at Cobham services on the way home where I found a pot of yummy Edamame to snack on from Cho Zen Noodle. 

All in all I had a fab weekend in Brighton and had some delicious food. I love Brighton lots and I hope that if you choose to visit you do too :) 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

MexGrocer Haul

If you want to buy Mexican supplies this is the site you need to visit.
I have placed a few orders with them now and they have great products and customer service. Delivery is always fast and arrives well packaged.
Even better they have a section on their website that contains Gluten Free products. If you have time to scout around on their website and research other items there are other naturally Free From products too. Not all items have their ingredients listed though and some are in Mexican so be a bit careful.
I love to stock up on the Corn Tortillas. I usually warm them in a dry frying pan and use them for Fajitas or as flat breads with curry. I’ve also put Dairy Free cheese in between them whilst in a hot pan to make “cheese” toasty wraps. They are a great bread substitute. They do have a few types; I’ve tried the purple tortillas and the cactus ones. Not a huge difference in taste but the coloured ones look good. They also do a small version which is also handy for serving with meals.
This time I also purchased some Corn Tortillas for frying. I like the idea of making my own freshly cooked chips for dips whenever I want without going to the supermarket for a bag of them. I did order some of their boxed tortilla chips too which were lovely.
They have a good selection of sauces on the site. I’m yet to try the ones I ordered but I like the sound of them. They have lots of chilli and salsa style sauces as well as Mexican staple foods such as re-fried beans etc.
I also like to add a few random (safe) items to my basket too, on this occasion it was a few different Mexican drinks, Hibiscus tea leaves and a jar of Guava Jam which I really like the sound of.
All in all I really recommend this website. Things are reasonably priced and it is easy to use.
You can find them on Twitter and their website is linked here.
This is my homemade Mexican Meal using some of the tortillas I purchased

Considerit - Monthly Chocolate Box

For many years I've seen adverts in magazines and had leaflets come through my door offering monthly chocolate subscription boxes. I'd look a them longingly knowing full well there would be no chance of them being dairy free. 

Considerit Chocolate have changed all that by launching a new monthly chocolate box which is completely Dairy Free. I ordered from this company a while ago after a recommendation from Sarah (@sugarpuffish) and I really enjoyed their handmade truffle style bars. 

The box is £9.95 plus £3.00 postage and has to be ordered Here before the 15th of each month. It is then delivered within the first 10 days of the following month. It's hard to get good dairy free chocolate from the shops so I liked the idea of it arriving monthly through my letter box. I also like the idea of the contents of the box being a surprise then every time it arrives it's like a chocolaty Christmas. 

My first box arrived and I couldn't wait to open in. Here's what it contained:

1 x Large Madagascan Vanilla Chocolate Truffle Bar
1 x Mini Orange Chocolate Truffle Bar
1 x Mini Sea Salt Caramel Bar
1 x Mini Passion Fruit Chocolate Truffle Bar
1 x Chocolate Buttons

I tried the passion fruit bar first and it was lovely. Never thought of that combo but it works :) I've had the Sea Salt Caramel before and it's epic so I'm going to save that until last. I like how a few of the bars are dusted with gold, pretty. The chocolate they use is lovely and I love the smooth truffle centers. Yum! I'm going to enjoy this box but it probably won't last long!

If you love chocolate it's worth checking out :) I'm already looking forward to next months box.

Well done Considerit! 

August Box

I had another lovely box of goodies delivered from Considerit :) 

This month I received the following:
1 x Mini Mint Chocolate Truffle Bar
1 x Mini Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Bar
1 x Mini Single Malt Whisky Chocolate Truffle Bar
1 x Mini Nothing but Chocolate Truffle Bar
1 x Sea Salt Chocolate
1 x Bag of a selection of individual truffles

I loved all of the chocolates but especially the bag of truffles and the mint truffle bar. 

September Box 

Yay! It's that time of the month again when I receive an exciting little box full of goodies :) I'm still loving receiving my box of surprises each month. It never lasts very long. This month has another great selection plus a new addition of a flapjack which I can't wait to try. Very excited to get the Sea Salt Caramel as that is my all time favourite, also love how it's dusted in gold :) 

This months box contains:
1 x Belgian Chocolate Flapjack
1 x Mini Amaretto Truffle Bar
1 x Mini Sea Salt Caramel Bar
1 x Mini Cinnamon Truffle Bar
1 x Large Mint Chocolate Truffle Bar

Thumbs up to Considerit Chocolate! 

Happy Chocolate Eating!! 

Sorry the October box didn't last long enough to take a photo oooops!

November Box

I must admit I did a little dance around the kitchen when I opened this months box...OMG it's quite possibly the best yet! If you don't have these boxes your missing a treat!

My ultimate favourite bar is the Sea Salt Caramel...well much to my surprise this months box contains a lovely jar of the golden liquid deliciousness. A jar full of the caramel centre which can be used for various things. Wow!! I cannot wait to use it (and not share it). I love how there's a new little twist in some of the boxes. 

I was also delighted to see a glistening big bar of honeycomb chocolate dusted in gold. I cannot wait to try this as I used to love crunchies in my dairy eating days.

There is also a lovely little chocolate truffle bar and a cinnamon truffle bar. Yum!

Another fab box Considerit! Keep em coming :) 

December Box

It's that time of the month again when a lovely box of chocolatey goodness pops through my letterbox.

This months is a lovely Christmas themed box

There is a new addition of a Hot Chocolate which I can't wait to use, very pretty chocolate shards covered in snowflakes, one of my favourite Amaretto Truffle Bars and also a Christmas flavoured Truffle bar. 

It's a great little box to see me through the festive season 

Merry Christmas Considerit! 

January Box

Happy New Year! 
I thought I would have been fed up of chocolate after the christmas indulgences but oh no!

This months box was full of greatness as always with some new items included. 

It contained the following:
Chocolate Ganache covered Rice Cake 
Coffee & Muscavado Truffle Bar
Belgian Chocolate Buttons
Cranberry Crunch Chocolate Bar
Chilli Chocolate Bar

I loved the rice cake, it was a great combination with the ganache and chocolate shell. I also really enjoyed the cranberry bar which had pieces of biscuit in it and the coffee truffle bar was lovely.

I'm yet to try the buttons and chilli but I'm thinking the chilli chocolate will be great if I break a piece into a chilli con carne as I often add dark chocolate to my recipe. 

Another great box :)

Last box....for now! 

I decided to suspend my subscription up to my holidays (healthy eating and all that in preparation) but today I received my last box, which is quite possibly my favorite one yet. Its an uber cute box this month which is full of Easter goodies. I think i'm going to love all of it.

The box contains:
Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
Butterscotch Sauce
Gold dusted Chocolate Bunny Lolly
Cream egg
Hot Cross Bun Chocolate Bar

I was really excited to see the cream egg and tried it straight away. I must say it was loads better than another vegan cream egg I had recently. Lovely crisp shell with a nicely flavored runny fondant filling. Yum!
I'm really excited to try the butterscotch sauce and if its anything like the salted caramel sauce in one of the previous boxes its going to be epic. Think i'll use it on some banana ice cream (if i don't eat it on a spoon out of the tub). The choc bunny is a cute addition. I love pretzels and chocolate so i'm sure they are going to be great too. I'm interested to taste the hot cross bun bar, I like the white chocolate cross detail.

As soon as i'm back from my holidays I will be re-subscribing because there's nothing better than receiving a box full of chocolatey surprises each month.

Thanks Considerit & I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Luce's Artisan Bread Mix

I was flicking through Instagram, like you do, when I spotted a photo that Sarah (@gfdf_wdw) had posted of a Gluten Free Artisan Bread Mix. After a few tweets she declared that the mix was amazing and even her non gf relatives loved it. I really liked the sound of homemade fresh bread.

The bread mix is made by Luce's of New Jersey, USA. Charles Luce (@breadnmorels) quickly tweeted me to say that their European supplier is Freego (see my previous post). I was on the website straight away to place an order. 

They stock three different mixes on the Freego website. New Italian, Sourdough and Bold Buckwheat. All the mixes are Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Nut Free. 

When my mixes arrived I could wait to try one. As I was cooking a pasta dish for our tea I decided to try the New Italian.

In the package are a few items you need to make your bread. You receive a bag of the bread mix, a smaller bag of rice flour for dusting, a parchment base and a baking bag. There is also a sheet of easy to follow instructions. The only extras you'll need is a bowl, spoon and water.

Basically all you need to do is add water! Amazing! 

I found it really easy to follow the instructions and mix the bread. Once mixed it was spread on the baking sheet and placed in the oven inside the magic baking bag.

85 mins later I had a fantastic looking loaf. It smelt just like real bread and looked just like real bread. It had a really tasty crust and a softer inside which reminded me of ciabatta but tastier. 

I was actually amazed at how good it was to say all I did was add water. It was delicious served with pasta to mop up the sauce. I've also been cutting slices and eating it on its own with dairy free spread. Mmmmm.

  Huge thumbs up to Luce's. I look forward to trying the other mixes now and I'll 100% be buying more in future. You can read more about the company HERE 
Thank you to Sarah for recommending them!

Freego Haul

I found this website by pure chance. I was on the hunt for some bread mixes that @gfdf_wdw had tweeted about. After a tweet from the company that make the mixes I found out that Freego was their European supplier.

After visiting the website I soon discovered that they sold loads of Free From delights. The website is mainly focused on Gluten Free food but you can also filter by other allergies. That being said I had a look at other items I could get that were also Dairy & Egg Free.

I found the bread mixes and ordered one of each type. They are by Luce's who are an American company. The mixes are Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soya and Nut free. You basically just add water. They produce an artisan style loaf.

I thought I'd give Ilumi another try. I'd tried one of their meals in the past but fancied trying some of their meat based meals. I selected the Beef Meatballs and Lamb Koftas. I will report back on what I think to them.

I was intrigued by the Chestnut Crispbreads. I love chestnuts so I had to buy. 

I spotted the 9Bar Breakfast - Cashew & Cocoa bar.  Cashews & Cocoa are a winning combo for me so I look forward to tasting. 

Last but not least I put some Breadcrumb + Coating in my basket to try.

The website is easy to use. Ingredients and Nutritional information is clearly displayed. You can get free shipping if you spend £30 otherwise it is £4.99. I placed my order on Sunday and it was delivered Tuesday quickly and safely by DPD. 

I'll definitely be using the site again when I need to stock up. I like that there's lots of products in the same place and that some items are from other countries. 

If you would like £10 off your first order of £20 or more feel free to use the link below

Freego Haul

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Allergy & Free From Show 2014

This is the 3rd year I've been to the Allergy & Free From Show in London. I enjoyed the previous shows so I ordered my free entry tickets and booked a train to the big smoke. With my sister in tow off we went...

This year it was held in the Grand Hall of the Olympia. This to me was a great change as the previous years it was in the smaller halls which were very tightly packed with stalls and quite warm with bustling people. There was a nice amount of space between stalls and a lot more stalls. It was a great atmosphere with no pushing or shoving (that I saw). Thumbs up!

I had a shopping list in my head of the items I really wanted to get and the stalls I wanted to visit, anything else I came across was a bonus! It also helped that I took a pull along bag with me and a small cool bag with an ice pack for refrigerated finds.

My first stop was BFree. If you've seen my tweets recently you will be aware that I am a big fan of their bagels. They are Dairy, Gluten and Egg Free which is great as I get fed up of seeing bread that contains egg. They are also very very realistic. They were a bargain at 3 for £5 so I got two of the seeded and one of the plain which I'd not tried. I did later go back for another 3 packs as it will save me driving 25mins to the nearest Tesco that sells them. They freeze great.

Next stop was Venice Bakery, I'm also a big fan of their pizza bases. I'd not brought any in a while as I thought I'd stock up at the show. I got the small seasoned bases and some flat breads. This year you could also buy MozzaRisella from the stall so I got two of the SmokeyRisella.

I stopped at the Plamil stall. My favourite egg free mayonnaise is their garlic one so I picked up a jar. I also got a chocolate orange spread and a big bag of chocolate chips as I like to use them in my cakes.

I'd seen the Feel Free brand floating around on twitter recently so I took advantage of their 4 for £5 offer on their pasta. Can't wait to try the alphabet shapes (yes they are aimed at children as my sister pointed out...I'm a big kid). I also got a pack of their Choc Chip Granola bars. I did test one of these when I got home and I love them. More of a rice crispy bar with chocolate. Winner!

Whilst browsing the flour collection on the Bobs Red Mill stall a lady asked if I would like to meet Bob for a free signed copy of his book. Why not! If it wasn't for this man I would never have eaten the Waffles and Beignets they make with his flour at Disney. He was very friendly bless him. I stocked up on his pizza mix (to make beignets) and a few flours that my Babycakes recipes use. 

My Sister, Bob & Me
I found a stall with a lovely display of cakes. I like cake. I had to buy. It was Ruby's of London. She had a great selection of Vegan and also Gluten Free cakes, donuts and brownies. I chose the hazelnut donut and my sister had a rocky road brownie. We both thought they were delicious. 

I very nearly forgot that Clive's Pies were on my list. I have a limited selection in my local Holland & Barrett so I wanted to try some of their other flavours. There was a 5 for £10 offer so I chose two French Cassoulet, two Vegetable Chilli and the Lentil & Olive. Looking forward to trying them.

We received some free samples of the Slendier Organic Konjac rice and pasta. I'd not heard of these before so interested to try.

My Free From Haul

We spent a couple of hours browsing round the stalls. I still managed to get home and realise I'd missed some of them. To be honest we couldn't carry anymore. Thank goodness for the pull along trolley. I would have liked to have investigated the beauty and back pain area a bit more but my main priority was food. 

Overall I had a lovely day. Their were some fantastic companies at the show who were very friendly and helpful. I met my lovely twitter friends Nia (@ChubbaNia) and Sarah (@Sugarpuffish) for a chat. Check out their blogs in my favourites list. I was sad to miss Dairy Free Baby & Me (@dairyfree) but next time!

Hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as me. 
To quote my sister " How your reacting to this show is like me being at a theme park"
 (she really really likes theme parks)

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Cauliflower Korma - With Chicken

This recipe is based around a whole cauliflower head which creates a lovely "korma" style sauce. I love making this curry for my non vegetable eating nephew as he has no idea that it contains veg *wink wink*

Feel free to swap spices and add extras as you see fit but this is my basic recipe.

1 Medium Cauliflower 
1 Small/Medium Red Onion
2 Teaspoons Mild/Medium Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Mango Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Ltr Chicken Stock (or Vegetable)
300 ml Rice Milk 
60g Cashew Nuts
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
Salt & Pepper (optional)
2 Chicken Breasts

You will need a big pan and a hand blender.


Remove all the leaves and break up the cauliflower into floret's.

Add the oil and cauliflower pieces to the pan and saute until browned (more colour gives more taste).

Thinly slice the onion and add to the pan. Fry until softened.

Once the cauliflower has browned and the onions have softened add the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, mango powder and cinnamon. Fry off for a minute or two.

Add the chicken stock (I use two knorr stock pots with 1ltr boiling water), rice milk and cashews and bring to the boil. Simmer until the cauliflower has completely cooked and you can easily put a knife into it.

Remove the pan from the heat and use a hand blender to blend until smooth and a "korma" consistency.

Thinly slice the chicken breasts and add to the curry mixture. Put a lid on the pan (it does start to spit otherwise) and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. If the mixture gets too thick add a bit of rice milk to loosen.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

I serve it with Brown Basmati Rice. 

I hope you enjoy this as much as me and my family does.