Category Archives: Appetisers / Snacks / Side Dishes

The Perfect Brunch: Avocados on Toast

I can’t believe it’s been exactly a year since I flew to the other side of the world and I’ve still yet to blog about it!

Last year me and Mike embarked on a trip to New Zealand to witness our lovely friends, Dave and Jen get married. Although the journey there wasn’t the greatest as I became very ill, I did have the greatest time of my life over there!

One of the things I loved about New Zealand wasn’t just the amazing and breath taking beauty of the place, it was the fact that every place I went for food, even in the remotest of places, did gluten free and for once  I did not have to worry!

The first place we visited in New Zealand was Christchurch which sadly since their terrible earthquake, most places were still being rebuilt and we often found ourselves amongst rubble and building works. However whilst stubbling around trying to find somewhere to eat we came across this weird little town made up of shipping containers called Re:Start.

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It was here in Re:Start where we ended up going to Hummingbird coffee shop which had a delicious breakfast menu and they could also provide gluten free bread and it was here where I tried avocados on toast for the first time and a love affair was born!

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It’s so easy to make that I feel silly typing out the recipe! But if you are unsure and wouldn’t mind trying it out for yourself, here’s the short but sweet recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe Avocado
  • 1 Tomato (of any variety)
  • 1 Spring Onion
  • 2 slices of Gluten Free Bread (I prefer Genius multi seeded)

Method:

  1. Place the slices of a bread in a toaster or under the grill
  2. Once toasted, apply the avocado, tomato, spring onions and season with salt and black pepper

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A Gluten Free Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!

 

I wasn’t going to do a valentines inspired blog post [and to be fair I’ve left it a little too late] but since food is the key to everyone’s heart… or is it a man’s heart?… either way, it’s a good excuse to post a wee little val’ day inspired blog post for y’all!

Now, since we’re all pretty much feeling the pinch and money is sparse, many of us will be wining and dining in tonight! Which is a wise move since all restaurants are over booked, over filled and over priced!

So whether you’re cooking for someone for the first time or cooking for your loved one, Auntie Saara is here to help you with your gluten free valentines night!

Ambience: 

 

 

Before we even think about cooking ladies and G’s, we gotta think about the ambience, which is just a posh way of saying ‘atmosphere of a place’. I’m not talking about leaving rose petals on every nook and cranny of your house or lighting candles left, right and centre [which could potentially burn your house down!]. Oh and god forbid red lighting, you don’t want your pad looking like a pimp palace. If you’re lucky enough to use a dimmer, that’ll do or even some fairy/Christmas lights tacked to the wall. Also make sure you clean and tidy your rooms, there’s nothing worse trying to get all romantic when there’s dirty dishes, dirty laundary and general rubbish strewn around the house! 

Music and Films:

 

 

OK, before you rush off to buy some Marvin Gaye or Barry White music, remember that these music legends are a just little too cliché! I mean, you don’t even need any music playing, but if you do decide you want some sweet tunes in the background, try and steer clear of tracks such as Drowning Pool – ‘Let the Bodies Hit the Floor’ or Kelis – ‘Caught Out There’, no matter how much of a tune they are!

Films are also an important feature for a good valentines night, but is also the most important as it has the potential to ruin your valentines night! Imagine, settling down with your date and they pop the film, Knocked Up, into the DVD player. You also don’t want to be forcing your other half to watch soppy, romantic films like P.s I Love You [which is enough to make anyone poke their eyes out!].

Food:

Now for the important part – the food. This could make or break your relationship! Imagine cooking your gluten free lover something and either giving them food poisoning or worse, accidently glutening them! So here is a wee little list of gluten free food that you can whip up to impress your other half. And nothing cries ‘Love’ more than Italian food, since it’s the love and food capital of the world! [… or have I just made that up!]

Starters:

 

How about many some gluten free dough balls and dough sticks with a selection of dips! There’s nothing more romantic than a couple of balls [if you pardon the expression]. Sharing some nibbles is a pretty romantic and I doubt I’m the only coeliac who misses dough balls!

But if time is of the essence, why not try Dietary Specials Tear and Share Garlic Bread!

Or if gluten free garlic bread and dough balls aren’t your thing! Why not try making your own gluten free tomato brushetta!

Mains:

 

You could impress your date with making your own gluten free pizza or go one step further and make a gluten free stuffed crust one instead using my easy gluten free pizza dough recipe!

Or why not try and make your own gluten free pasta from scratch and relive that Lady and The Tramp moment. But before you protest about not having a pasta machine, I made mine without one. Although it took a lot of rolling it did however, tone up my arms! 

But if you don’t fancy making your own pizza but do still want some, then why not try Dietary Specials Bontà d’Italia Margherita Pizza! It’s one of the nicest pre made gluten free frozen pizza I’ve ever had! What’s more, it tastes just like normal pizza so you share it with those who don’t have to eat gluten free! [For a more in-depth review, click here]

 

Dessert: 

This is probably the most enjoyable part of any three course meal! And nothing says ‘I love you’ than a box of home made gluten free ferrero rocher!

or why not try making your own gluten free Chinese fortune cookies and popping your own fortune inside! 

But if you’re wanting something super quick but deliciously chocolatey, why not try my 5 minute microwave gluten free chocolate cake! Doesn’t sound that appitzing, but for a quick gluten free chocolate cake, it does taste pretty yummy!

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free Falafel Recipe

I’d never tried (or heard) of a falafel until I moved to Manchester for University! It was in my first week of being a student, that I ventured into the famous Curry Mile, where I ws literally like a little kid in a sweet shop!

For those who don’t know, the Curry Mile in Manchester has the largest array of Pakistani, Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi cuisine! There’s so many fabulous restaurants, cafes and take outs that even the fussiest of eaters will find somewhere they like and it was here where I tried my very own falafel!

Anyways, for those who don’t know, a falafel is a fried ball [or patty/burger] made from ground chickpeas and spices. They’re usually served in a pitta bread or on a bed of salad. As you can already tell, these beauties are ideal for either lunch or dinner and make a quick, easy peasy and oh no healthy meal!

Ingredients:

 

  1. 1 Can of Chickpeas
  2. 1 Garlic Clove [chopped]
  3. 1 Small Onion [chopped]
  4. 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  5. 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  6. 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper [optional]
  7. 2 tbsp Gluten Free Plain Flour
  8. A handful of Coriander leaves
  9. 1 tbsp Oil

Method:

  1. Drain the chick-peas then let them dry on some kitchen paper 
  2. After the chick-peas have dried, pop them into a food processor and blitz them until the look like breadcrumbs 
  3. Add the chopped onion, garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, plain flour coriander leaves and cayenne pepper to the chickpeas in the food processor and blitz together 
  4. After blitzing all the ingredients together, carefully empty the mixture into a clean bowl [If you’ve got a shoddy and annoying food processor like mine, you might have to mash the mixture a little with a fork/potato masher] 
  5. Shape the mixture into little balls, then flatten to make little ‘patties’ . In other words, make them look like little burgers! 
  6. Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the patties for 3 minutes until lightly golden [I know in the bottom picture, it looks like I’m drowning the poor patties but I thought I would deep fat fry them… this just made them soggy so I tried again and fried it in a tablespoon of oil, which worked wonders] 
  7. Serve in either a gluten free pita bread like moi [I used Asdas free from pitta bread] or on a bed of salad!