Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Gluten-free lasagne

Just thought I'd share the info that Sainsbury's Free From Corn Lasagne Sheets are really great - I've only ever seen Orgran's mini ones before but the ones from Sainsbury's are full size and work really well - I've been making a good vegetarian one recently and none of my friends said they could tell there was anything different to a normal veg lasagne...

Their corn penne and fusilli is also really good - it has a really good texture and means you can have al dente pasta... the rice ones are good but I find tend to go soggy so quickly.

I haven't tried their corn spaghetti yet but someone told me yesterday that they'd had it and that it was great so I'll let you know when I've tried it...

Their range is also not very expensive compared to a lot of the gluten-free pastas available and is WAY better than Tesco's own-brand Free From pasta which is a mixture of soy flour and other things (that I don't believe need to be there) which turns into mush...

1-0 to Sainsbury's...!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Gluten-free veggie burgers at Borough Market

I live and work near Borough Market and always feel very jealous of my gluten-eating friends when I go as nearly ALL the hot food comes in buns/baguettes/panini/wraps etc that I can't have...
Obviously a lot of the cheese/meat samples etc are gluten-free and very tasty, but it's not the same as being able to enjoy a freshly made hot sandwich or whatever.
However, I have recently become a huge fan of The Veggie Table - which is a stall that serves hot, vegetarian food - and one of their burgers is gluten-free - YAY!
It's a quinoa/mushroom burger and is bound with gram flour (it also has a bit of chili and I think some other spices) and is SERIOUSLY flavoursome and a nice texture - if you like quinoa, anyway, which I do...
They usually serve the burgers in a wrap in a box with some salads, but if you ask not to have the wrap you just get LOADS of the salads (there is always a selection) and your burger on top so you can eat it standing up (they have forks) - which means you can join in the al fresco fun of your wrap-devouring friends...
They have fliers with a website on but I haven't been able to find it, so here's a link to an interview with the people who run it from another site - Interview.


Sunday, 20 April 2008

Muffin recipe

Sorry it's been so long since I posted - I was in a job where I was commuting 4 hours a day which didn't leave much time to go out for food...! I also just got a puppy so for the last few weeks have been hanging out with him so not been out to eat much at all...

However, to make up for it, I thought I'd post this recipe for banana muffins which I adapted from a couple of others - I think they're delicious and a really great texture, but let me know what you think!

Gluten-free Banana Muffins (makes 6)

3oz Rice flour
1oz Ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon Gluten-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Xanthan gum
Pinch of salt
EITHER 2.5oz of caster sugar or 2oz Fructose
30g Butter
1 egg
100ml buttermilk
2 small bananas

First - turn on the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Then melt the butter in a saucepan and leave to cool.
Then put all the dry ingredients into a bowl - so the rice flour/ground almonds/sugar/salt/bicarb. of soda/xanthan gum/g-f baking powder/salt.
Whizz up the two bananas - I use one of those handheld blender things - about £20 and one of the most useful kitchen tools I think...
Beat the egg in a jug or similar, add the buttermilk and the butter to it and mix.
Make a hole in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir a bit then add the liquefied banana and mix properly.
You will end up with quite a sticky batter but shouldn't be dry.
Divide between six muffin cases in a muffin tray and put in oven for about 25 mins.
Stick a knife in after this time (or maybe at around 22/23 mins) and if it comes out clean, they're done. I always worry that they feel soggy so put them back in but they will harden as they cool so don't over do them!
Transfer muffins to a rack to cool.

Honestly - this recipe is so easy and I think they're really good. I'm not a big fan of really sugary things so I prefer to use fructose (natural fruit sugar) - you always need less than with normal sugar... However, if you prefer things really sweet then just experiment with what you like. The banana adds a lot of sweetness anyway...

I've also tried blueberry and vanilla ones - add a teaspoon of vanilla essence and instead of mushed up bananas put in a load of blueberries - however, the mixture may need some extra liquid if you do this - I find the liquefied banana really helps the texture.

Let me know what you think!