Buckwheat Flatbread with Avocado, Peas, Courgette and Goat’s Cheese

This is the ultimate in mid week, super tired, just need something quick, easy and most importantly filling suppers. You know the feeling. Get home after a long, let’s say,  Thursday, at work, you’re tired, a little bit grumpy, it’s nearly the weekend but not quite. The bus was really busy, you’ve got a bit of a headache. You don’t want to have to use your oven. Or put in any real effort.

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Perfect! This is just the meal for you. And better yet, it’s light and nutrient rich, so it won’t leave you feeling yucky on top of everything else. Despite its slightly misleading name, buckwheat is a gluten free flour alternative that has a really unique nutty flavour. The texture of these flatbreads is slightly denser than with a conventional flour, however it works perfectly with the lightness of the toppings.

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(ps. it doesn’t only have to be eaten on Thursday evenings- it would make a great weekend lunch (or even brunch) too!)

Buckwheat Flatbread with Avocado, Peas, Courgette and Goat’s Cheese

makes one large flatbread (enough for two people)

For the flatbread:

7og buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt and pepper
6oml water

For the toppings:

1 large and ripe avocado
1 small courgette
olive oil
handful of cherry tomatoes
handful of peas
about 5og soft goats’ cheese (I prefer the logs without a rind for this, but it’s up to you!)
salt and pepper
chilli flakes (optional)

In a bowl mix the flour, oil, baking powder, salt & pepper and then add the water. Mix to form a dough and knead a little so that it comes together as a dough. Roll it out into a large, flat, pizza base sort of thing. Put it into the griddle pan, and cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side before flipping it.

After a few minutes on each side, the flatbread should be starting to colour and char, and have risen a little bit. Remove it from the heat and put it to the side. m

Now make the toppings. In a bowl, mash the avocado with a pinch of salt and pepper. Preheat a griddle pan, or large frying pan, over a medium heat. Cut the courgette into thin strips. Drizzle some olive oil into the frying pan, and fry the courgette for a few minutes on each side until they have softened and started to char. Remove them from the heat and put them to the side. Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters. Meanwhile, cook the peas as per the cooking instructions.

Spread the avocado onto the flatbread, then pile on the courgette, peas and tomatoes. Break chunks of the goats and place on top, followed by a good pinch of salt and pepper, and the chilli flakes if you’re using them.

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Perfect!

xxR

 

Low Carb Thai Noodle Salad

When I was in Thailand, I developed a mild pad thai obsession. I must have eaten it on nearly every day I was there, for either lunch or supper, slurping up long sticky noodles with chopsticks on a Bangkok street corner or sitting on a sun-drenched beach. I’ve been trying to both find the perfect pad thai back in England, and figure out a way to make my own comparable plate. This is the closest I’ve been able to come. I know I know, it’s not the most of traditional pad thais, but this recipe is so delicious, so easy to whip up and doesn’t require you to make a specific trip to source any special ingredients that you wouldn’t already have.

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Better yet, this is a totally low carb version- instead of noodles, I used spiralised courgettes and carrots- which aren’t wholly alien to a normal pad thai anyway. Beansprouts and peanuts add extra crunch, and a sauce that is the perfect combination of sweet and salty is pad thai perfection. (ps. look how beautiful these spiralised veg are- how can you resist?! I use a spiraliser that is basically like a giant pencil sharpener- super easy to use and gives you the perfect veggies.)

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You can add any protein you like to this recipe- tofu, chicken, prawns- depending on your preferences, or just make a big ol’ batch and enjoy devouring a whole plate of veggies!

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Low Carb Thai Noodle Salad

Serves 2

2 tablespoons sesame oil (or vegetable oil if you don’t have any)

2 ½ tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

juice of half a lime (use the other half as a garnish when to squeeze over when you serve)

½ a red chili

3 cloves of garlic

small piece of ginger, about an inch long

1 teaspoon coconut oil

6-8 spring onions

2 large courgettes

2 large carrots

1 handful beansprouts

1 handful coriander

1 handful peanuts

Begin by making the sauce. In a jam jar, mix together the sesame oil, tamari, honey and lime juice. Chop up the chilli and 1 clove of garlic, and finely grate the ginger. Add those to the sauce. Taste it and see if it needs a bit more of anything.

Then, spiralise your veggies.

In a large frying pan, heat your coconut oil over a medium heat. Chop your spring onions into small rounds, and chop your remaining two garlic cloves. Add the garlic and spring onion to the pan, and fry for about a minute, or until they have started to soften. Add the beansprouts and fry for a further minute. Add a splash of the sauce and toss around.

In one side of the pan, crack in the egg. Keep moving it around with a spatula as it cooks, so you have a firm scrambled egg. Add in your courgettes and carrots, and the rest of the sauce. Toss it all around, so the ‘noodles’ are coated in the sauce, and the beansprouts and egg are mixed in. Cook for about a minute, or until the courgette and carrot have softened slightly, but still retain some of their bite.

Meanwhile, chop your coriander and peanuts. Dish the noodles onto a plate, and top with the coriander and peanuts. Finish with a final squeeze of lime juice and devour, picturing a busy Thai food market with every bite.

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xxR

Shakshuka

My sister has recently moved in with me. My flat is tiny- it’s just one bedroom, and there’s barely enough room for one person in the kitchen- but she’s working in London for the next six months and so we’ve turned half the living room into a bedroom, and after nearly two years of living alone, I now have a roommate again!

Of course, there are definite pros and cons to our new living situation, but one of the greatest pros has got to be the fact that we now cook and eat together almost every night. We take it in turn to come home laden with ingredients, and invent new and interesting things to eat. This is one of our favourites.

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Okay okay, so I know I’m not the first person to come up with shakshuka, and in fact, maybe I’m a little late to the shakshuka party. But it’s too good not to mention. In case you don’t know, shakshuka is basically eggs baked on top of a (normally tomato) base. It’s the perfect combination of protein, vegetables and, most importantly, flavour.

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We always have shakshuka for supper- it’s become a complete staple in the flat, we probably have a variation on it at least once a week- but you could also have it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even an afternoon snack, if you were that way inclined. It’s also super easy to make, and really adaptable. We put in whatever vegetables we have in the fridge- aubergine is a firm favourite- or chickpeas or beans. This is the classic recipe, but feel free to put your own little twist on it and add your own favourite veggies.

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Shakshuka 

(serves 4, or 2 if you’re really hungry!)

olive oil

4 cloves garlic

1/2 a red onion

1/2 a red chilli

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tin kidney beans

about 6 sundried tomatoes

4 eggs

about 100g of feta cheese

cherry tomatoes, to serve

avocado, to serve

handful of coriander, to serve

Begin by heating a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan. Finely dice your garlic cloves, onion and chilli. Toss these into the frying pan and cook until the onion is just starting to soften. Add in your chopped tomatoes, and mix well, then add the kidney beans. You may also need to add a splash of water at this stage. I normally fill up the tin about halfway with water and add that. Don’t worry if it seems too wet- the water will evaporate!

Cut your sundried tomatoes into thin slices and add these to the pan. (If you’re feeling extra extravagant, add in a tiny splash of the sundried tomato oil, just to boost the flavour!) Let everything simmer for about 7 minutes, until it has started to thicken up. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Crack your eggs onto the tomato mixture. They will partially submerge but also sort of stay on the top- that’s exactly what you want! Don’t panic if one disappears completely, it will just be poaching in the tomato sauce ready to be uncovered (and most importantly, eaten!) later! Crumble over the feta.

Put the whole thing in the oven and leave to bake for about 15 minutes. You want the feta to melt and the eggs to bake and get solid. Then, for the last few minutes, put it under the grill, to allow the feta to crisp up and get brown.

When it’s ready, top it with some cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado and chopped coriander leaves, and dig in! Build a bite with a bit of everything- tomato, egg, feta and avocado- bliss!

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xxR

Pistachio and White Chocolate Cake

Before this, I hadn’t baked just a straightforward cake for ages. I was really starting to miss the feel of beating butter and sugar together, of breaking eggs and the hard to describe sound of batter as it’s mixed around the bowl.

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But, most of all, I was missing the taste of cake. Unsurprisingly, I have eaten far less cakes since being gluten free than at the peak of the gluten-ful diet I previously enjoyed. A craving for cake can really only be satisfied by cake, and this one pulls no punches. Full of butter, sugar and white chocolate, this cake is unashamedly unhealthy.

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I have been experimenting with replacing wheat flour in various recipes over the past six or months, with, admittedly, varying degrees of success. My preferred substitute is rice flour, which I think has a really delicious flavour. The one downside of rice is, however, it’s tendency to suck all moisture out of anything. I have it on extremely good authority that the whole putting your phone in a bowl of rise after you drop it in the toilet thing actually does work, and I can totally vouch for the dryness of rice. I’ve been battling against dry gluten free cakes for month, and then I had this revelation.

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This cake was perfectly moist and soft all thanks to the addition of some chopped pistachios. Turns out that not only are nuts a delicious cake ingredient, but their oil really helps to combat the dryness issue. A cake miracle. I would highly, highly recommend the combination of white chocolate and pistachio. I can’t resist putting dried rose petals on top of anything (must have something to do with my name…!) but how you decorate is completely up to you! Gluten free or not, this is a cake you don’t want to not eat!

Pistachio and White Chocolate Cake

220g unsalted butter softened
220g caster sugar
4 large eggs
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
100ml milk
50g coarsely chopped pistachios
50g white chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Begin by creaming together your butter and sugar, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour, baking powder and milk and mix well before adding the pistachios and white chocolate (easy!)

Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined cake tin, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until it is slightly golden and crisp on top. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.

For the icing:
150g white chocolate
150g butter, slightly softened
150g icing sugar
pistachios, to decorate
rose petals, optional

Begin by melting your white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Be careful- white chocolate can burn more easily than normal chocolate, so make sure the water is only just simmering.
Beat your butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy, then add your melted, cooled chocolate and mix well.
Cut the cake in half, and spread half the icing over the bottom layer, then sandwich the other half on top. Spread the rest of the icing over the top of the cake and decorate. Perfect with a big cup of (green) tea!

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xxR

Red Lentil Dahl with Grilled Aubergines

Isn’t it depressing to look out of the window at 7 o’clock in the evening and see, well, nothing? Getting home in the dark is one of the worst things about the winter in London. Second only to leaving the house in the morning in the dark.

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At this time of year, all I really want to do is throw on my PJs and my slippers (I have some Ugg ones- pure bliss!) and snuggle down with a big bowl of something warm and comforting.

This dahl really is the ultimate comfort food. It is a big huge bowl of steaming hot, somewhat stodgy, super delicious goodness. Really what’s not to love?! Plus- it is simply excellent for you! Lentils are an amazing source of iron, and for a lifelong vegetarian, iron can sometimes be a little hard to come by. Whenever I’m feeling a big run down, I erve myself up a big ol’ helping of lentils, usually with some kale thrown in for good measure too. Practically as irony as a steak!

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I must confess, I am absolutely not an expert of Indian food. I mean, I am an expert of eating Indian food, but that is about as far as my expertise stretch. There is one secret weapon that I always use- garam marsala. A good tablespoon of that, along with some mustard seeds and turmeric, and it will taste like you really know your Indian stuff! Eat this dahl as a side to your favourite curry- I love sweet potato and chickpea- or just have a big bowl of it as the main event.

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Red Lentil Dahl with Grilled Aubergines

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 teaspoons garam marsala

4oog red lentils

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 aubergine

handful coriander, optional

In a large saucepan, heat a splash of olive oil. Add your onion to the pan, and turn the heat down to low. Cook the onion for a few minutes until it starts to soften, the add your garlic. Cook for about another minute, then add your mustard seeds and garam marsala. Cook for about 3o seconds- the mustard seeds should start to pop.

Add your lentils to the pan. Pour water into the pan until it is about two inches about the lentils. Bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave your lentils to simmer for about 2o minutes. They might absorb all the water, so keep an eye on them and add more if necessary. Stir in your ground turmeric.

Slice your aubergine into thin strips, and heat a splash of olive oil in a griddle pan. Fry the aubergine slices on each side for about 5 minutes, or until it is soft and starting to char.

When your lentils are about the consistency of porridge- they will sort of turn to mush (for want of a better word!), and you won’t be able to see individual lentils anymore- they are done! Season with salt and pepper to taste, then spoon a big dollop into a bowl, and top with a few strips of aubergine and a pinch of chopped coriander, if using.

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Enjoy!

xxR

Gluten Free Oat Bars with Dark Chocolate and Pistachios

I spent an embarrassingly large proportion of my university life in Pret. I’m reluctant to admit that I’m actually in Pret now, savouring a mug of green tea and stealing wifi on my lunch break.

During the hours I spent, perched on a Pret bench, revising, pretending to revise and/ or avoiding revision, I developed a real affinity for the so-called ‘Love Bar,’ a gooey flapjack-like bar, flavoured with pumpkin and vanilla, topped with a soft caramel sauce, dark chocolate chunks and pistachios. There is something ridiculously addictive about that combination, or perhaps I what I became addicted to was simply not being in the library…

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Either way, it is absolutely fair to say that I ate more than my fair share of Love Bars during my four years at the Courtauld, spending way too much money and probably eating way too much sugar. The money I can feel somewhat better about, as Pret donate a percentage from each sale of a Love Bar to homeless charities.

I eventually decided that enough was enough- I could no longer justify the £1.50 (it is impossible to eat a Love Bar without a cup of free tea, so the total spenditure of any of my Pret visits was a minimum of £3.10- not much, but trust me it all adds up!)

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I have since created my own version of the Love Bar- but one that is entirely gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Instead of pumpkin, I used sweet potato to flavour the oats, as well as give them a gooey texture. The caramel is made of coconut oil and honey, and the bars are topped with dark chocolate chunks and pistachios. I devoured the entire batch in under three days….

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Oat Bars with Dark Chocolate and Pistachios

For the bars:

1 large sweet potato

100g coconut oil

3 large tablespoons honey

250g gluten free oats

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Pierce your sweet potato and roast for about 45 minutes, or until it is very soft. It has to be soft enough to mash easily, so don’t worry about leaving it in for a bit longer than you normally would!

Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil and honey together in a saucepan. When the sweet potato is done, take it out of the oven and mash it – well! You want it to be as smooth as possible. Stir the oats and mashed sweet potato into the coconut oil and honey mixture and stir well, making sure everything is completely combined.

Grease a large pie dish and spoon the mixture in, flattening it down. Bake it for 25 minutes, or until it starts be golden around the edges.

For the topping:

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5og dark chocolate, roughly chopped

5og pistachios, roughly chopped

Mix the coconut oil and honey together until you have a thick paste. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. When the oats are completely cool, pour the mixture over the top. Sprinkle the chocolate and pistachios on. When the topping has hardened slightly, cut them into squares.

Wash down with a lot of green tea (optional) and donate some money to a homeless charity (recommended).

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xxR

Plum Tart with Honey Frangipane

Since April, I have been doing an internship at a very small, London based charity, the Women’s Environmental Network. Over the past 27 years, WEN has campaigned on a number of environmental issues, from climate change to real nappies. At the moment, however, their main focus is promoting growing and eating local food as a way to ensure a healthier lifestyle and planet.

I have always been keen on eating seasonal and local food- where possible of course, I have to admit I am quite partial to the odd avocado….

Eating as much local and seasonal food as you can is one of the best ways of promoting a healthy diet. It also ensures that your food is as delicious as possible. I love browsing my local farmers’ market on Saturday mornings, picking out the freshest produce.

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I am also very lucky because my parents’ garden is full of fruit trees and berry bushes, as well as the odd tomato and cucumber plant. Plums are one of their most abundant fruits, so our summer diets are always full of plum pies.

This year, the plums seemed to come slightly later- eating into apple season!

This is my gluten free take on a plum classic. It also contains no refined sugar, so is slightly healthier than the traditional version too! Honey is used to sweeten the frangipane, which gives it a slightly different, but equally delicious flavour.

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Even if you can happily and without worry eat gluten, I would still highly recommend gluten free flour for pastry. I discovered the pastry like qualities of rice flour one evening as I attempted to make myself a gluten free flatbread to accompany a lentil curry, and it was impossibly crumbly. I finally managed to wrangle the dough into a vague flatbread shape and throw it into a frying pan. When it was the perfect amount of charred on each side, I eagerly began mopping up my lentils, only to find that the texture was crumbly and much more similar to a slab of pastry.

Using gluten free flour completely eradicates the risk of a tough, over worked pastry. It makes for a crumbly, melt in the mouth texture, but it is slightly more difficult to work with and takes a lot more liquid. You might need to do a bit of experimenting to get it right (I have!), but once you’ve found the perfect formula, you’ll love it!

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Plum Tart with Honey Frangipane

For the pastry:
225g riceflour
125g butter, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg
2-3 tablespoons cold water

Rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the honey. In a separate bowl, beat the egg, then gently stir it into the flour mixture. Add the water gradually, bringing the mixture together into a ball of dough. You don’t have to worry as much about the risk of an overworked, tough pastry. What is more of a concern is a pastry that is too crumbly to work with, so it is okay to be a bit rougher with it than usual. Knead it for about 30 seconds, just to bring it together. Wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge while you make the filling.

For the filling:
75g butter, softened
3 tablespoons honey, plus 1 tablespoon
1 large egg
pinch of salt
75g ground almonds
10g rice flour
3 tablespoons almond milk
10 ten ripe plums

Beat the butter and honey together until you have a smooth paste, then beat in the egg. Add the salt, ground almonds and rice flour, and fold into the butter mixture, then stir in the milk. The mixture should be like a fairly stiff cake batter.

Set to one side while you roll out the pastry. Grease and line a pie dish and preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Gluten free pastry can be very very crumbly, so the easiest way to do this is sandwiched between two sheets of cling film. Place one, large piece of cling film on your work top, flatten the pastry onto the cling film slightly, then place another piece on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry out to about ½ an inch thick.

Peel the top layer of cling film off, then using the bottom layer as support, lift the pastry into the pie dish, flipping it so thee pastry is on the bottom and the cling film on the top. Peel the cling film off, and press the pastry into the grooves of the tin.

Place a piece of greaseproof paper over the pastry and fill the case with baking beans (or real dried beans or rice- just something to weigh it down!) Bake your pastry blind for about 15 minutes, or until it is just starting to go golden brown.

Meanwhile, slice the plums in half and remove the pip.

When the pastry case is just baked, pour in the frangipane and spread it until it’s level. Arrange the plums on top, and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of honey.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the frangipane feels firm to the touch and is slightly golden brown. You might need to cover with a piece of tin foil for the last 10-15 minutes to stop the top burning.

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xxR

Butternut Squash, Halloumi and Amaranth Salad with Kale and Almonds

I graduated from uni in July and since then (give or take a few holidays) I have been spending my unemployed days frantically searching for a job. I started out with high aspirations (and hopes), applying for jobs in prestigious art museums and magazines but, after a string of (rather painful) rejections, I have lowered my sights to babysitting and waitressing jobs. Welcome to the real world Rosie!

However, there is a positive side to this apparently chronic unemployment. It gives me the chance to do all the Londony things that I never got around to during my degree. I had a huge list of exhibitions I was desperate to see, which I am working my through.

I’ve also had the chance to do a lot of experimenting in the kitchen. I’ve bought a whole range of gluten-free flours and I’m working my way through my baking repertoire, attempting to remove gluten from all my favourite recipes.

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Okay, so this recipe never had gluten in it to begin with- but it was still a bit of an experiment. I was experimenting with a new grain- amaranth. Similarly to quinoa, to which it is closely related, amaranth is a naturally gluten-free whole grain. But, believe it or not, it might actually be better than quinoa. It has more protein than most other grains, and has also shown potential to lower cholesterol. Like quinoa, it has been a staple ingredient in Mexican and Central American food for thousands of years.

It’s smaller than quinoa, but cooks in the exact same way- simply boil it for about 15 minutes, and then serve with your favourite salad ingredients. If you need some salad inspiration, read on…

This salad is the perfect combination of everything you could want in a salad. The butternut squash is roasted in garam marsala (an Indian spice blend), so it is sweet and rich in flavours. The halloumi is salty, the kale is garlicky and the chopped almonds add just the right amount of bite. Just trust me, you want to try this!

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Butternut Squash, Halloumi and Amaranth Salad with Kale and Almonds

to serve 4

1 butternut squash

splash of olive oil

6 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 tablespoon garam marsala

1 cup amaranth (just use a regular sized mug if you don’t have a measuring jug that does cups)

1 block of halloumi

1oog kale

large handful almonds

salt and pepper, to serve

Preheat your oven to 18o degrees. Begin by peeling your butternut squash. Cut it in half and remove the seeds, then cut it into wedges. Place the wedges in an oven dish, and drizzle over the olive oil. Toss in the garam marsala and half the garlic cloves, then roast in the oven for about 45 minutes. The butternut squash should be soft all the way through.

Meanwhile, cook your amaranth. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to the boil (again, just use a mug if you don’t have a measuring jug- but just make sure it’s the same size as the one you measured the amaranth in!), then add the amaranth. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.

To cook your kale, finely chop it and remove any of the really tough stalks that aren’t nice to eat. In a large griddle pan, heat up a splash of olive oil and the remaining garlic cloves, then add the kale. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is tender.

On a large serving dish, arrange your amaranth, then place the sautéed kale on top.

To cook the halloumi, cut it into thin slices. Using the same griddle pan that you cooked the kale in, fry the halloumi for 5-7 minutes on each side, until it is golden brown and soft.

Arrange the halloumi slices and butternut squash wedges on top of the kale.

Finally, roughly chop your almonds and sprinkle over the salad. Season the whole thing with a good pinch of salt and pepper and devour!

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xxR

Not (Yo’) Nachos

Today is Mexican Independence day!

I feel very attached to Mexico- as you might know, I have recently graduated from the Courtauld Institute of Art with an MA in History of Dress, and my dissertation was all about nationalism in representations of Mexican dress immediately after the 1910-1920 revolution. I know I know, it sounds kinda boring, but I loved every minute I spent cooped up in the British library, pouring over photographs of Frida Kahlo and Mexican newspapers from the 1930s. I spent months reading everything I could on Mexican politics and culture, and then just as long writing 10,000 words exploring the subject further.

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It was hard work, and very stressful at times but I found the subject so engrossing that I was actually quite sad to have to hand in my essay when I finally reached the deadline (but I was also, of course, immensely relieved!)

On a selfish, personal level, I love Mexican Independence day, because, if it wasn’t for Mexican independence, I really wouldn’t have had anything to write my dissertation about! I’m definitely going to be having my own one-person party to celebrate today, and gorge myself on Mexican food (which has always been my favourite!)

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This is a new way, healthier way to make nachos, with much less saturated fat and salt than the traditional kind (even though those are, of course, delicious!)

Sweet potatoes! The solution to everything. To make your very own sweet potato nachos to celebrate all things Mexican (independence, food, tequila…) peel your sweet potatoes (allow about 1 potato per person).

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Slice your sweet potatoes as thinly as you can (think nacho chip!) and spread them out in an oven dish. Drizzle with a splash of olive oil and sprinkle over a pinch of salt. Roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until they are soft in the middle but crisp on the outside.

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Then, use them as you would normal nachos. Cover them with your favourite Mexican toppings (I went for black beans, with plenty of salsa, guacamole, coriander and lime- of course!) For my bean recipe, click here. Or be creative!

Happy Mexican Independence!

xxR

Gluten-Free Bread

Bread is all about gluten. It’s the gluten in wheat, spelt and rye flours that give the dough its stretchy, elastic consistency and bread it’s distinct chewiness. There is nothing better than biting into the crisp crust and fluffy inside of a homemade loaf, fresh out of the oven.

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A really good loaf, one that’s crunchy on the outside and perfectly light and soft in the middle is very difficult to find in a gluten free world. I have often found myself lingering by a freshly baked loaf, trying to get a whiff of the familiar and unmistakable bread smell.

I dread ever going to France again- I think the sheer temptation of baguettes that I can’t eat would get too much.

This loaf is no baguette. But it is bread (in some sense of the word!) I was absolutely thrilled when I pulled this out of the oven. After having some frankly disastrous attempts at constructing a loaf that is both gluten free and won’t break a tooth, this one seemed like a miracle.

The texture is slightly different, I have to admit- it’s not soft and fluffy like the best baguette, but it’s close enough that you could be fooled, especially when it’s smeared with a good dollop of houmous. It’s also dairy and sugar free, and won’t make you feel bloated and too full, like so many of the best breads out there!

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Gluten Free Bread

325ml almond milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

45og gf flour (use your favourite here- I used a mixture of rice flour, corn flour and buckwheat flour)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons honey

1og fast action dried yeast

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon

handful of pumpkin seeds

Begin by heating the almond milk in a small saucepan, then leave to cool slightly. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the vinegar, and then gradually stir in the milk until it is well mixed.

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until they form a smooth dough. Add the olive oil and bring it together into a ball. Add more flour if it is too sticky.

Oil a baking tray, place your ball of dough in the middle and cover. Leave to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 2oo degrees Celsius. Once the dough has risen, use a sharp knife to score a cross into the top. Brush the top with olive oil, and sprinkle a handful of pumpkin seeds over the loaf, then bake for around 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden.

Eat fresh out of the oven!

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xxR