Monday, 23 December 2013

Gluten Free and Grain Free Christmas Cake GF SCD

Gluten Free & Grain Free Christmas Cake

I decided to improve my other gluten and grain free Christmas cake recipe this year and I thought you might like the recipe since it has turned out so well! It's easily one of the best Christmas Cakes I've tasted. Christmas Cake is a favourite in our house and Christmas just wouldn't be the same without it.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Gluten Free Nutty Vegetarian Stuffing GF

Newburn Bakehouse contacted me to ask if I would like to share one of their Christmas recipes on my blog. I requested a vegetarian stuffing recipe and was delighted that they sent this one because not only does it look amazing, it was quick and easy to make but I added in some butternut squash and fresh parsley to further enhance the recipe.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Vegan Gluten Free Christmas Cake GF

I made a small vegan gluten free Christmas Cake this year that I thought you might like to try. I normally wouldn't share before it's been taste tested but this looks perfect on the outside so I'm hoping it's just as good in the middle.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Mulled Wine and Fig Tarts

Mulled wine is sweetened red wine slowly heated with spices and served warm during the Winter months. With a history dating back to the Romans when it was enjoyed as a tonic, its popularity as a Christmas drink today is probably due to a mention of it in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol".

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Grain Free Fig Tarts GF SCD

I'm a traditional Christmas person. I love mince pies and Christmas cake and in the past there would always be a packet of fig rolls in the cupboard, my husband's favourite. He's been asking me to make gluten free fig rolls for the last couple of months and for Christmas this year I've made some fig tarts.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Sainsbury's Freefrom Christmas

When Sainsbury's gave me the opportunity to review their gluten free Christmas food, I thought why not? I also asked some of my work colleagues and family to sample the food for their opinions too and the response was quite surprising!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Moroccan Vegetable & Chickpea Burger GF

Moroccan Vegetable & Chickpea Burger

I've never used harissa before in cooking but that is definitely going to change from now on, what an awesome ingredient!!  Harissa is a fiery, aromatic paste used widely in many North African and Middle Eastern cuisines as a condiment, in stews or even mixed with olive oil as a dipping sauce and the exact ingredients vary depending on the country, region or family tradition.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Grain Free Bhaji Bites GF SCD

Bowl of grain free bhajis

I'm a huge fan of Indian food and I particularly adore onion bhajis. My favourite vegetarian Indian restaurant is Prashad's near Bradford and their bhajis are absolutely wonderful. After I created my almond and butternut squash bites, I wondered if I could create a bhaji spiced version of them and these are the result. Flavoured with cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and red chilli these little flavour packed bites truly are awesome!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Take One .. Bag of Flaked Almonds

Open bag of flaked almonds

Did you know that almonds are one of the world's healthiest foods? For years I avoided them like the plague, that first taste of marzipan was enough to put me off eating almonds forever. When I first started to cook with almond flour I expected everything to come out tasting of commercially made marzipan but no, I was quite taken by surprise!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Golden Apple Products - A Review

A couple of months ago I was so very excited to discover these Organic Raw Crackers from Golden Apple! Not only are they made from the purest of ingredients, I was over the moon when I realised that some of the flavours are suitable for the SCD... which is exciting news because there are very few products out there..

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash Dip GF SCD

This dip is golden, sweet, smooth and very delicious! I served it with Golden Apple raw crackers and biscuits but the following day I noticed one of my family spreading the little bit we had left on some gluten free bread and making a salad sandwich with it!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Roasted Red Onion and Coquina Squash Soup GF SCD

Compared to butternut squash, Coquina squash is deeper in colour and much easier to peel. An excellent source of Vitamins A and C and rich in phytonutrients and antioxidant carotenoids, this soup is incredibly nutritious as well as being tasty and warming. However, if you can't get hold of one, use butternut squash in this recipe instead because it's also a nutritional powerhouse. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Caramelised Pears GF SCD

When roasting pears, I've always taken out the core as well as the stem but apparently you can make the pears look much prettier if you just use a melon baller (I couldn't find mine) to take out the core and leave the stems intact. Doing this will create a more "impressive presentation". That said, these are much easier to eat!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free by Ricki Heller - A Review

I don't remember how I came across Ricki's web site a couple of years or so ago but I've followed her blog ever since. Her deep knowledge of nutrition and extremely witty personality both strongly shine through in her writing. Ricki's gift for designing innovative and tasty recipes ensures that her new cook book will be loved by all and I was delighted to be asked to write a review for Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free. This is my very honest opinion.

Dairy Free Pesto GF SCD

This simple dairy free, plant based pesto recipe is a perfect alternative to shop bought pesto and it's made in minutes. We like to mix it in with some courgetti noodles or drizzle it over pizza and gluten free pasta.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Sainsbury's Cook Book Competition Result

I can now announce the results of the Sainsbury's Cookbook competition I held on my blog in August!

Congratulations Kevin Friend. Kevin, please would you contact me with your address details!

Thank you to everyone for taking part, I'm sorry you couldn't all be winners :(

Monday, 30 September 2013

Autumn Fruit Ginger Pudding GF SCD Guest Post for The Seasonal Real Food Blog Series

Autumn is my favourite season of the year. Aren't the colours spectacular! It sounds a little bit crazy but I find myself longing for root vegetables, freshly picked apples and blackberries as well as the dark nights ahead long before Autumn is even approaching. So when Emily of Recipes to Nourish contacted me to see if I would like to contribute a guest post for her Seasonal Real Food Blog Series, I was excited and delighted to participate and I also felt very honoured since I've admired her blog and what it represents for some time now.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Cream of Tomato Soup GF SCD

Growing up we had two kinds of soup, tomato and mushroom and both from a can!  I loved the tomato soup but I haven't had it for years since following a healthier real food diet. So when Sainsbury's sent me a can of chopped tomatoes as part of their support for Organic September, I thought I'd try to create a healthier version of my childhood favourite and I'm so happy with the result!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Blackberry Stuffed Baked Apples GF SCD

Blackberry Stuffed Baked Apples

I strongly believe that the variety of fruits and vegetables growing on this planet were put here to help cure and prevent major disease. Now blackberries, for example, are little nutritional powerhouses and wild blackberries are high in Vitamin B17 which many believe can help in the fight against cancer. Most of the fruits and berries containing B17 are the sour ones - those that your grandparents used to eat when in season. They are the fruits least likely to be available easily, fruits such as quinces, wild crabapples, gooseberries and elderberries and if you're interested in finding out the other foods containing B17, check out the list here.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Vanilla Cashew Cream GF SCD

Cashew Cream is a wonderful dairy free alternative to cream. On hot puddings it is amazingly delicious and reminds me of custard and it can be used quite successfully in place of dairy cream in many recipes.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Almond & Butternut Squash Bites GF SCD

When Sainsbury's sent me an organic hamper this month in support of Organic September, I was so pleased to find a pack of organic almonds in the box. A fantastic source of Vitamin E, almonds are also rich in essential minerals including phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. I eat almonds virtually every day. I adore almond milk and love roasting almonds with salt and as you know, I use them to bake cookies and cakes. AND have you tried almond butter? If you haven't then you're definitely missing out!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Chocolate Chip & Raspberry Frangipane Cake Bars GF

I didn't give into temptation and eat the beautiful bar of Santo Domingo organic fairtrade dark chocolate which I received to use in a blog post this month in support of Organic September. Instead I decided to use it in a raspberry ripple, chocolate chip cake. However, I left out one important ingredient and these cake bars are the result of that mistake!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Gluten Free and Milk Free Scones GF

These scones are made with sparkling mineral water instead of milk. Although they don't look quite as perfect as scones made with milk and eggs, they taste just as nice.

Dairy Free Rice Pudding GF

Dairy Free Rice Pudding

Do you like rice pudding? For me, it brings back cosy, wonderful memories of childhood and dark Winter's nights which are definitely on the horizon now. Rice pudding has always been a great favourite of mine so I decided to make a dairy free version using almond milk. This is much healthier than the one my grandma used to make. Her recipe included dotting huge dollops of butter all over the top before it went into the oven - not that it wasn't amazingly delicious at the time.

Take One .. Jar of Conserve GF

Working on the theory that it sometimes takes only just one ingredient to inspire us to get cooking, Sainsbury's are setting a challenge each month for members of its Blogger Community. This month the ingredient is a jar of Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Strawberry Conserve.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Organic September

Sainsbury's are supporting National Organic Month, or Organic September which is all about encouraging people to think organic and buy organic, even if it's just one item in the shopping basket, so collectively we can start to make the planet a greener place for both people and wildlife to enjoy.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Mixed Bean Salad GF SCD

I'm always making bean salads, not only are they extremely quick and easy to assemble, they're also full of plant protein and add fibre, B vitamins, iron, folate, potassium, magnesium as well as health promoting phytonutrients to the meal.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Trust Your Intuition Kindle version

Do you remember the launch of the paperback book to which I was fortunate to contribute a chapter about healing with the SCD? Well, the kindle version of "Trust Your Intuition" has just been launched and to celebrate this event you will be able to claim lots of FREE gifts when you purchase Trust Your Intuition: 25 "Natural Medicine Confessions" From Influential Women Who Use Healing Remedies For Their Families on Amazon in the UK or on Once you've purchased it head over HERE to get all your free gifts! The offer is open to midnight on August 29th 2013.

Basic Salad Dressing GF SCD

It's so easy and quick to make your own salad dressings. I'm sharing a very basic dressing which I use for most of my salads. I add other ingredients to it depending on the particular salad. You may notice that I haven't used vinegar - that's because my husband can't tolerate vinegar of any sort but I've included other options below.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Versatile Blogger Award

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a wonderful new blog called Coconut and Berries. The tempting and tasty vegan recipes on this site are all created by Emma, a student in the UK! I felt both surprised and honoured when she recently nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award, thank you so much Emma, you made my day!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sainsbury's Magazine Cookbook Review

I was so very excited to be given the opportunity to review the new cookbook written to mark the 20 year anniversary of Sainsbury's Magazine but I never imagined it would be so enlightening. The striking close-up full page photographs of each recipe most definitely help to make it one of the most beautiful cookery books I have ever seen. 

Black Bean, Pea and Mint Bites with Raita Dressing GF SCD

I stopped picking the mint from the garden a couple of years ago because whenever I glanced out of the window the local black tomcat was sitting on it. Moving it into a pot didn't help but this year, I've had a plentiful supply from my Mother's garden and we're loving the wonderful fragrance in the kitchen.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Cranachan GF SCD

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert originally made with Crowdie (a type of cream cheese), toasted oatmeal, honey and whiskey. Raspberries were added in the Summer months as they became available. These days it tends to be made with cream and has become quite a luxurious dessert. 

Friday, 9 August 2013

Courgette and Pea Salad GF SCD

We love to eat mixed salads in the Summer months and this particular salad has become a favourite. Served warm or cold, it's very quick and easy to make as well as looking so attractive on the plate.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Cauliflower Rice GF SCD

Cauliflower Rice

Years ago, my favourite way to eat cauliflower was smothering it in cheese sauce. It wasn't until I started cooking for a grain free diet that I realised how versatile this simple, much loved vegetable is. Used to replace starchy vegetables and grains, it can add so much nutritionally to the diet which, considering its colour, is unusual. This is one white food you can definitely enjoy eating regularly.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

PERKIER Flakes Review & Dark Chocolate Crispy Buns

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Ann of Perkier Foods asking if I would like to review their Brand NEW Flakes. Of course I said "Yes, PLEASE"!! A big fan of Perkier Porridge I couldn't wait to try these brand new cereals.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Sugar Free Strawberry & Peach "Ice Cream" GF SCD

For the first time in years we're having Summer weather in the UK and I LOVE sunshine and hot weather. Having enjoyed a fantastic couple of weeks in Canada this year coming back to the same climate was such a treat! 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

July 17th Trust Your Intuition Book Release Day

“This tremendous resource will shift your paradigm about healthcare. It’s simple, eye-opening, and fun to read! When conventional medicine hasn’t entirely provided the answers you’re looking for, it may be time to think outside of the box and consider the possibility that nature may have already long-since provided remedies for many of the ailments that plague society today. So sit back and enjoy these stories from real people who struggled with real challenges, and the fascinating ways in which they overcame them.”

~Leslie Householder, bestselling author of The Jackrabbit Factor: Why You Can,
I am so thrilled and delighted to announce that Trust Your Intuition 25 “Natural Medicine Confessions” from Influential Women Who Use Healing Remedies For Their Families has been released today Wednesday July 17, 2013.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

A Healthy Gluten Free Diet May Help Relieve Reflux Disease

I'm pretty much a private person really but I feel I must share this awesome news with you so that it may help someone else who has been suffering just like me. Have you ever wondered why I am following a gluten free diet? Well, one of the reasons why I started a long term gluten free diet is because I have been dependent on proton-pump inhibitors since the Summer of 2001 and because of their potential side effects, I have been desperate to stop taking them. I really hoped that a long term gluten free diet might just help me to stop. 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Trust Your Intuition

“I’ve always been a huge believer in the power of personal stories in setting others on the path to wellness. The 25 “Natural Medicine Confessions” shared in Trust Your Intuition are all very different, yet very similar. These women have used what they have learned to heal themselves and their family members. The results of their “mama bear” instincts coming out are simply amazing and inspiring........"
~Shirley Braden, author at

Thank you Shirley for writing this wonderful review which is published in the chapter "What People Are Saying in Praise of Trust Your Intuition".

I am incredibly excited and feel so honoured to have been asked to be a contributor to the newly published book, Trust Your Intuition 25 “Natural Medicine Confessions” from Influential Women Who Use Healing Remedies For Their Families, to be launched next week on Wednesday July 17, 2013. There are 24 other women besides me who have contributed and shared a story of why we chose to use natural medicine for a health issue or challenge in our homes.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Butternut Squash, Beetroot and Avocado Salad GF SCD

When I was younger, salad was defined as lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber and, if we were lucky, coleslaw and potato salad. My grandma also used to include spring onions, celery and occasionally mustard and cress. How things have moved forward! This salad is so colourful and delicious and once the butternut squash has roasted, it takes no time at all to put together and since it's bursting with nutritional goodness it's ideal to eat as a main course as well as a side.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Poached Pears with a Raspberry Reduction GF SCD

Pears are notoriously difficult to store. Trying to catch them when they're perfectly ripe is probably one of the reasons why they're not as popular as they should be. They're either too hard or too ripe. But one of the ways around this problem is to cook them.

I chose conference pears for this recipe but you can use any variety, just ensure that they are ripe AND still firm. I made these to eat straight away but if you leave them in the liquid overnight the colour will be much deeper and richer. The ones below were left for 24 hours.

Poached Pears with a Raspberry Reduction GF SCD 

4 - 6 pears
400 g frozen or fresh raspberries
1½ pints filtered water
2 tblsps honey (or other liquid sweetener)
½ - 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 split vanilla pod

Tip the raspberries into a pan. Peel the pears carefully.

Place in a pan on top of the raspberries then add just enough filtered water to cover them.

Add 1 tablespoon of honey or other liquid sweetener, bring to the boil then simmer very gently for about fifteen to thirty minutes depending on the size of the pears. Test to see if they are soft by inserting a sharp knife carefully into the pear. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the pears from the pan. They will be pink. If you want them to be a richer colour just let the pears cool in the pan, then chill overnight. This will intensify the colour and flavour as in the picture above.

Strain the raspberries then pour the liquid into a clean pan. Add the sliced vanilla pod or the vanilla extract and another tablespoon of honey (or chosen sweetener) to the pan. Bring to the boil and reduce the liquid by at least half to thicken it. I used just over half a teaspoon of vanilla extract but taste the sauce and add a little more vanilla extract and/or sweetener if you wish.

Remove the vanilla pod if you used one then pour the sauce over the pears.

Serve with a few raspberries and vanilla cashew cream or coconut cream..