Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Thai-spiced Chicken Burgers

This recipe is based on a recipe for thai turkey burgers which I changed a little by using ready-made thai green curry paste and using chicken mince instead of turkey mince as I could only get hold of chiken mince that day. These burgers are wonderfully moist with a subtle kick from the Thai green curry paste, so I like to pair them with fresh crisp lettuce leaves but you could also serve them in halved gluten free ciabatta rolls which my brother does. Try making them with turkey mince instead of chicken mince and/or thai red curry paste instead of green curry paste.

Thai-spiced Chicken Burgers
Makes about 5 or 6 small burgers

600g chicken mince (or turkey)
150g grated carrot (about 3 carrots)
5 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
4 tbsp ready-made Thai green curry paste
1 egg white
1 tbsp vegetable oil

5 or 6 large lettuce leaves, washed

1. In a large bowl, mix the chicken mince with the grated carrot, spring onions and curry paste. Add the egg white and stir well to combine.
2. Divide the chicken mixture into about 5 or 6 portions and shape into burgers. Place on a board, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
3. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the chicken burgers and cook for about 6-8 minutes on each side or until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
4. Serve wrapped in a crisp lettuce leaf.

Sorry about the lack of photos, I have not got any good ones but I'll post some photos next time I make them.

With love,
Teenie Foodie

Monday, 11 July 2011

Pea and basil soup

Finally, it's the Summer holidays! Sorry I haven't been on here in ages, I've just been so busy with exams and coursework... but now that I'm on holiday I plan to try out all sorts of recipes to share with you.

I've had this recipe for pea and basil soup for a while now and it's a regular at my home. It was given to me by a friend when I was starting out with the gluten, dairy free diet and I've just made a few little changes. I've been dying to share it with you, so I finally I took a photo of it. I've added chilli because I love it, but feel free to leave it out. With the basil, it's up to you how much you add... I add several bunches because I like it really basil-y.

Another variation of this recipe would be to leave out the onions and garlic, simmer the peas and stock and add several bunches of mint instead of basil for a refreshing summery soup.

Pea and basil soup 
Serves 6

1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
1kg peas, fresh or frozen
1l vegetable stock
1-2 bunches of basil, leaves picked and washed (alter to taste)

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan/soup pot and soften the onion and garlic (and chilli, if using) over low heat for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the peas and vegetable stock and simmer until cooked for about 5-7 minutes or until the peas float.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil leaves. Allow to stand and cool a little for 10-15 minutes.
4. Blend soup in a blender or with a hand blender to preferred smoothness. Season with black pepper.
5. Serve garnished with a little basil leaf.

This soup freezes well and I always have several portions of it in the freezer for a lazy sunday dinner.

With love,
Teenie Foodie

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Nut and seed cookies

Hi, sorry I have not posted in a couple of weeks, but the weather has just been so wonderful in London that I can't bear to stay inside on my computer in my free time when I could go for walks in the park! Anyway I have a recipe for some cookies that I talked about earlier. These are the only cookies that don't leave me feeling too heavy but are also satisfying, as they have no flour or oil and are just nuts, seeds, coconut and spices binded together with honey and egg white. I call them cookies because of their shape and sweetness but by most people's standard they are more like a snack as they are barely sweet.

Speaking of sweet things, I've noticed something a little interesting...: My most popular posts are my sweet treats like my banana bread and also my 'replacement' foods like pancakes which get the most comments. Yet my favourite recipes like my lentil soup receive no comments! Sure, my banana bread is gluten and dairy free, but it still has that same intention attached to it to comfort and escape. I mean I'm not saying that I don't sometimes need something sweet but I find that what I'm pointing out reflects how so many people are obsessed with junk food and just looking for comfort. To me, it's not just about the ingredients, but also about the intention behind eating it. I mean I see the sweetest, creamiest, chewiest recipes on some gluten free blogs that would make me feel sick! So many people who are gluten and dairy free are just making the same foods like bread, lasagna, cake etc. except without gluten and dairy. If you want to eat that its perfectly fine and there are some really delicious gluten dairy free cake recipes out there... ;-) but I just want to get it straight that this blog is not one that's trying to replace cake, pizza, ice-cream etc, because I personally don't eat these things but I just want to make foods that are mostly naturally gluten and dairy free, nutritious and make you feel good!
... Anyway let's get on to the recipe!

Nut and seed cookies - Gluten, grain, dairy, and refined sugar free.
Makes about 20 cookies.

2 cups nuts (eg. almonds, walnuts, pecans...)
1/2 cup desiccated/shredded coconut
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large egg white
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and prepare a large baking tray with baking parchment.
2. Place nuts, seeds and coconut into a blender or food processor and blend until finely chopped and coarsely ground. Place mixture into a large bowl and stir in spices.
3. Place wet ingredients in a small bowl, combine slightly and add to dry mixture. Mix well until you have a big moist lump of 'dough'.
4. Scoop balls of the dough about a heaped tablespoon in size and flatten into chunky discs, then place onto the prepared baking tray.
5. Bake for about 12 minutes or until they are golden brown but still a little chewy. Leave to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

With love,
Teenie Foodie

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Red lentil and pepper soup

Hello again,
Sorry for the little disappearance from the foodie blogosphere... I've had a busy busy week at school and now I'm on holiday just taking it easy. Oh and I just remembered to say that it was my birthday two weeks ago, so I really need to update my profile to a 15 year old foodie! I'm not that big on birthday celebrations, I mean I think the getting older part is great (at least when you're my age!), but I feel like the day is just like any other... In fact I had to do an essay on Wuthering Heights (cringe) in the morning before I went to school on my birthday! Anyway the previous post for Banana Bread is what I had made for my birthday, because I used to adore baking when I was younger and wanted to make something again with the excuse of my birthday. My friends who are skeptical of my.... 'alternative' snacks, actually liked the banana bread! However I personally found it too sweet and little heavy. In fact I've also moved on from some of my previous sweeter cookie recipes and I'm trying to create one that is grain free, oil free, and apple puree free, and as low in sweetener as possible. I will post what I create next week... But till then I have a wonderful recipe for red lentil and pepper soup! It's from a book called 'Soups' by good housekeeping and it is fast becoming a favourite on my dinner table. It makes a wonderful meal served with a mixed green salad dressed with olive oil and lemon. I have a family of four but I make it for six and freeze the leftovers.

Red lentil and pepper soup
Serves 6

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (not in recipe but I add garlic to just about everything)
1 celery stick, chopped
1 leek, trimmed and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 red peppers (capsicums), seeded and diced
225g red lentils
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 litre hot light reduced sodium vegetable stock
25g flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to season

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic (if using), celery, leek and carrot and cook for 10 - 15 minutes until soft,
2. Add the red peppers and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the red lentils, add the tomatoes and hot stock and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Cover the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes until the lentils are soft and the vegetables are tender.
4. Stir in the parsley and serve with a green salad on the side.

With love,
Teenie Foodie

Saturday, 12 March 2011

The Best Banana Bread

Finally I have found a delicious banana bread recipe! The amount of times that I have made ones which turn out bland, or mushy or burnt... I had almost given up, when I came across this really simple recipe on the Book of Yum blog. I changed it a little to suit my taste and pantry, and halved the portion to make a small loaf. It makes a wonderful afternoon treat with a dollop of soy yoghurt, although it's moist enough to eat on it's own. Anyway just a short post, I'm having a lovely lazy Saturday but I wanted to quickly share this with you. Have wonderful weekend!

Banana Bread - gluten, dairy and refined sugar free

1 cup rice flour (I use a store bought blend of brown and white rice flour)
1/2 + 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
a good pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 + 1/4 cup very ripe bananas, mashed (about 3 small bananas)
1/4 cup rapeseed oil

1. Preheat oven 180C/350F. Grease a small-medium loaf pan and set aside.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. In a smaller bowl, mix together the remaining wet ingredients. 
4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the wet mixture. Fold in the flour into the wet mixture until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface.
5. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack and slice.

With love,
Teenie Foodie

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Nut and seed treats from Frisky Lemon

Being on a gluten and dairy free diet, it can be tough to find something to eat when you are on the go. Sometimes I can be out the whole day with my mum if we have lots of things to do and I like to take a snack with me in case I get hungry or I can't find something to eat. My snack staples are nakd bars which are made of nuts and dates, all cold pressed into a perfectly sized bar. These are satisfying and great to to take on the go. I recently found a great recipe on the blog 'Frisky Lemon' which is similar to a nakd bar. You basically blend nuts and seeds and smoosh it together with blended dried fruits, delicious! They make a wonderful little treat and when I want a change from my favourite nakd bar, I take one of these wrapped up in some foil. You can use whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you want, in fact I changed the original recipe from frisky lemon slightly and added extra spices. And have fun making them when you roll them into little balls!

Nut and seed treats - vegan, gluten, grain, refined sugar and soy free.

1/2 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1. Place the dried apricots in a bowl, cover with water and soak until softened. Drain and blend in a food processor or strong blender until you have a sticky paste. Set aside.
2. Place the nuts, seeds and coconut into the food processor/blender and process until they are coarsely ground/finely chopped. Mix in the oil, ground almonds and spices until all ingredients are combined well.
3. Mix the fruit paste into the nut/seed mixture until the ingredients are well combined and you have a big sticky lump. Scoop small lumps of the mixture and roll them into balls.
4. Place balls in the fridge to firm up for at least half an hour. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

With love,
Teenie Foodie

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Grain free Granola

One of my favourite snacks in the gluten full days were these little bags of cocoa granola with chunks of dried cherry pieces, these were honestly the best snacks and I was sad to give them up. I was suddenly  thinking about granola recently as my mum bought some buckwheat granola. Sadly I'm allergic to buckwheat, and had to give the granola a miss, but I then decided to create my own. This one however is completely grain free and so simple to make. The recipe given below can be altered to your liking; I've used almonds, walnuts, coconut flakes and sunflower, pumpkin and hemp seeds, but you could also use your choice of favourite nuts and seeds such as cashews, pecan, sesame seeds etc. I tried to use as little honey as possible, plus theres no oil as nuts and seeds are already full of good oils. You could also toss some chopped dried fruit at the end, if you like, but I found the granola sweet enough already. Serve this glorious granola with soy yoghurt, almond/soy milk (unsweetened because the honey sweetens the milk) and berries or chopped banana. In fact today for breakfast I tossed it with soy yoghurt that I thinned with almond milk for a lighter consistency, and chopped strawberries. You could even munch on this for a sweet but satisfying snack!

Grain free granola - Vegan, gluten, grain, soy, refined sugar free.

1 cup almonds
1 cup pecans   
(or 2 cups of your choice of nuts)
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds     
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp runny honey (or maple syrup/ agave nectar)

1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
2. Place nuts into a blender/food processor and pulse until finely chopped. You want it to be coarsley ground but still have small pieces of nuts.
3. Place chopped nuts into a large bowl and stir in the coconut, seeds and spices. Stir in the honey and mix until nut/seed mixture is evenly coated in honey and sticking together a little.
4. Spread nut mixture in a thin even layer on a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray and place in the oven. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes, stirring once or twice until golden brown all over. Leave cool then transfer to airtight containers.

With love,
Teenie Foodie