Here’s a quick an easy vegetable idea that doesn’t require much preparation and tastes good – Cauliflower Cheese without the Cheese!
First up, steam your cauliflower until slightly undercooked then mash it up. Whilst your cauliflower is cooking make some Healthy Béchamel Sauce using this recipe but substitute the herbs and spices for ones that you want to incorporate in your Cauliflower Cheese. I used some ground nutmeg and rosemary as well as dried garlic.
Once the cauliflower is steamed and the Healthy Béchamel Sauce ready, mix together, season to taste and then cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
I made this whilst I had the oven on for a chicken but I’ll reheat it tonight for my dinner. A healthy meal and a frugal way to make second use of the oven whilst it was already on.
I cooked this easy to make recipe yesterday for a nice warm, hearty dinner as I was craving carbs and comfort food and needed filling up! It was relatively quick and easy to make in terms of preparation and fed my Husband and I, so quantities below are for two hungry people or for four people if part of a meal with other courses.
I used gluten free lasagna sheets but if you’re not obliged to eat gluten free you can use normal lasagna.
The recipe is also dairy and nut free (so long as you don’t use almond milk or other nut products).
- 1 butternut squash, cubed
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons rice milk (or other milk alternative such as almond milk, quinoa milk…)
- 3 tablespoons of walnut oil (for anti-inflammatory benefits of the walnut, alternatively olive oil is good too).
- 1 tablespoon of rosemary
- Healthy Béchamel Sauce (click here for recipe)
- 8 sheets of Gluten Free Lasagna
- Place the cubed butternut squash in a roasting tray, drizzle with walnut oil and sprinkle rosemary on top.
- Slowly roast for 20 minutes at 175 degrees or until soft.
- Once roasted, mash the butternut squash and add the seasoning, nutmeg and milk so that you get a smooth paste consistency (or lumpier if you prefer). This will be the filling that goes between the lasagna sheets.
- Pre-cook the lasagna sheets in some boiling water (if required) as per package instructions.
- Assemble the layers in a dish, starting with a layer of Béchamel Sauce, followed by a layer of Butternut Squash mixture, followed by lasagna sheets. If you can get hold of dairy free cheese it may be worth adding but we didn’t and it was fine. Finish off by covering the last layer of lasagna with the Béchamel Sauce. For information we used 8 sheets of gluten free lasagna.
- Cook in oven at approximately 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 45 minutes or until the lasagna sheets are cooked through.
Since removing dairy from my diet I have been using Soy substitutes for cream but I’m not a huge fan of them and I often worry about what they contain as they are becoming more and more processed whereas I am trying to clear my diet from processed foods as much as possible.
I found this recipe for a creamy sauce which I have adapted to my taste by changing some of the main ingredients such as the milk and flour used as well as the herbs and oils. The consistency will largely depend on the type of flour you use so I would recommend to add the flour slowly until you get the consistency that you desire, the quantities below are what worked for me.
- 200 ml of rice milk (or other milk substitute such as almond milk)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons of walnut oil or olive oil
- ½ cup of chickpea flour (or other gluten free flour)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon or dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- Slowly bring the milk to a simmer in a pan.
- Once simmering, remove from heat and add lemon juice, oil, seasoning and herbs.
- Introduce the flour to the mixture slowly whilst stirring and return to a low heat. Keep stirring and introducing flour until you obtain the desired consistency. Add more milk if it becomes too thick.
Lentil Pate with avocado and bean salad
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 stick of celery (finely chopped)
3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground coriander
1½ pints (850ml) vegetable stock
6 oz (175gr) red lentils
1 egg (small)
soya or rice milk (I never used this as the mixture seemed to be wet enough)
2 tbsp mango chutney
(use another other type of chutney if you prefer)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp walnut oil (vegetable oil if not available)
1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add celery, onion and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes.
2. Add the garam masala and ground coriander. Cook for a further 30 seconds.
3. Add the stock and lentils. Stir and bring mixture to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils are soft.
4. Remove pan from heat and drain any excess moisture.
5. Put mixture in a food processor. Add dairy free milk (I never added milk), egg, mango chutney and parsley. If you want to skip using the food processor, just mix well with fork until mixture is smooth.
6. Grease and line the base of a 1 lb/450gr loaf tin. Add mixture and smooth to form an even surface (My loaf tin was too large)
My loaf tin was too large!
7. Cover and cook in a preheated oven 400F/200C/Gas mark 6 for 40-45 minutes or until firm to touch.
8. Leave paté in the tin to cool for 20 minutes and then transfer to a refrigerator to cool completely.
9. Turn the paté on to a serving plate
Keen to see the results I completely overlooked step number eight and tried to turn the paté onto the serving dish while it was still hot. Result, it all disintegrated as you can see from the photograph. I optimistically pressed the paté back into shape and hoped for the best.
While my first attempt would not win an award for appearance it did taste absolutely delicious. I feel the lentil paté makes an excellent starter served with gluten-free bread and mango chutney or even a light lunch served with avocado, bean and tuna salad as pictured above.
My husband certainly gave it the thumbs up so I will definitely be cooking this again. However, next time I will leave in the tin until cold as instructed!
I will also experiment replacing the garam masala with chili powder.
Does anyone have a simple recipe for a gluten-free loaf?
Sage Chicken with Rice
Sage Chicken with Rice
1 large onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
2 sticks of celery (Thinly sliced)
2 carrots (diced)
2 sprigs of fresh sage (or 1 tsp dried sage)
300 ml/ 1 pint chicken stock (You may need more depending on rice)
350 gr/12 oz boneless and skinless chicken breasts
8 oz mixed brown and wild rice
*(400 gr/14 oz can of chopped tomatoes)
Dash of Tabasco sauce
2 medium courgettes (zucchini) peeled and thinly sliced
100 gr/ 3½ oz lean ham
Place garlic, onion, carrots and sprigs of fresh sage into a heavy base pan. Add chicken stock, bring to boil, cover pan then simmer for 5 minutes.
Cut the chicken into aprox 2.5cm/ 1 inch cubes and add to pan. Mix with vegetables. Cover pan and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Stir in the rice and chopped tomatoes and rice. Add Tabasco sauce to taste and season. Bring back to boil, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. (I added additional water with stock during this time as the mixture began to stick)
Add sliced zucchini and diced ham. Continue to cook uncovered for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is tender.
Serve with a fresh salad.
* If you are following an Anti inflammatory diet omit the tomatoes and replace with red chopped peppers.
Stir Fried Cod with Mango
175 gr/6 oz carrots (grated or thinly sliced in sticks)
2 tbps vegetable oil
1 red pepper (deseeded and sliced)
1 green pepper (deseeded and sliced)
1 red onion (sliced)
450 gr/1 lb skinless cod fillets (fresh or frozen)
1 ripe mango
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp soy sauce
100ml/31/2 fluid oz tropical fruit juice
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chopped coriander
Cut cod into small cubes.
Carefully peel mango and remove stone. Cut flesh into thin slices.
Preheat wok add vegetable oil and heat.
Add carrots, onions, peppers to wok and stir-fry for 5 minutes
Add mango and cod to wok and stir-fry for 5minutes or until cod is cooked. Do not stir too much to avoid breaking up the cod.
In a separate bowl mix the soy sauce, cornflour, lime juice and fruit juice, mix and then add to wok. Allow to bubble and juices to thicken.
PS you may also use papaya instead of mango.