GLUTEN FREE PIZZA DOUGH

I have gluten sensitivity and therefore I am constantly experimenting gluten free recipes. The trouble with most gluten free breads is that they don’t have any chew nor do they have any structure. Most times it is powdery. This recipe doesn’t fully combat this issue but I can say that it is one of the better gluten free pizza dough recipes I have experimented with.

Gluten free pizza

INGREDIENTS

125g Greek style yoghurt

200g Gluten free bread mix

100g millet flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

125ml lukewarm water

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 tablespoon olive oil

METHOD

Mix the yeast in with sugar and warm water and rest in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Mix the flours and salt together.

Make a well in the centre and tip the yoghurt in along with the warm yeast mixture.

Knead well for five minutes.

Make a ball and rub the olive oil all over.

Cover and rest dough for an hour at a minimum.

Dust work bench with a little rice flour or corn grits. Cut the tow into two balls. Roll out each ball into 10 inch pizzas.

Top with tomato sauce and your favourite toppings. Bake at 260 degrees Celsius for 12-15 minutes.

Chef’s notes: I preheat my pizza stone and roll my gluten free pizza dough directly on the paddle. For tomato sauce, Idiscard the juice from a tin of tomatoes, and squeeze them well. I season with salt and pepper and use some garlic, chilli flakes and oregano as flavourings for sauce.

ROAST PUMPKIN TOPPED WITH PUY LENTILS

This is a wholesome and hearty vegetarian dish that you can make as a main and doesn’t require much else by way of accompaniments. Butternuts roasted are the best as they are sweet, luscious and warming. I used Manchego cheese for this recipe but you can use Gruyere or any other sweet cheese that melts well.

I’ve made the dish using two medium sized butternut pumpkins but you can scale it up or down. By the way, any leftover lentils are yummy on their own or on toast!

Roast Pumpkin Topped With Puy Lentils

INGREDIENTS

For the butternut pumpkins:

2 medium sized butternut pumpkins weighing about 700g each

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

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BROCCOLI SOUP WITH POACHED EGG

Who doesn’t love food that is nutritionally balanced, screams fine dining without the pretence or expense, easily prepared at home with readily available ingredients?

This soup is the answer as it is packed with flavour and deliciousness. It is rich and robust without using cream and I know it is going to be this season’s favourite.

Cook’s notes: If you want to retain the green colour of broccoli, use hot stock and leave the soup uncovered if not serving immediately.

Broccoli soup with poached egg

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs

1 large head of broccoli, florets and stalk separated

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4-5 spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped into 2 cm pieces

5-6 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1l hot, vegetable stock

75g leftover cooked rice

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BROCCOLI & SPINACH SCONES

For a good scone, you need to have everything ready and not over mix. They are relatively easy and I like because they can be served for morning tea as well as lunch. Do try these as they are flavourful and delicious. I adapted this recipe from the Ripe café cookbook called Ripe Recipes – a third helping.

Broccoli & Spinach Scones

INGREDIENTS

160g broccoli, cut into large florets

340g plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ tsp baking soda

1 and a ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon mustard powder

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

100g unsalted butter, cold and grated

1 egg

125ml natural yoghurt

½ cup milk

40g spinach leaves, roughly chopped

1 spring onion, finely chopped

65g sundried tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped

50g cheddar cheese

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Place broccoli into a microwave safe bowl with a tablespoon of water. Cover and microwave on high for a minute. Remove, shake and return to microwave for a further minute. Drain and when cool enough to handle, finely chop the broccoli and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cumin seeds, mustard powder and cayenne powder. Add the cold grated butter and using your fingertips, rub it into the dry mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg, yoghurt and milk together.

Tip the dry ingredients onto a clean work bench. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the egg mixture along with the broccoli, spinach, spring onion, tomatoes and cheese. Use a butter knife and cut the liquids and vegetables into the flour until just combined. Do not worry if there are small unmixed lumps.

Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured baking tray. Pat the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 2 centimetres high and cut into 8 triangles.

Separate the scones out a little so they have room to rise. Brush the tops with a little milk and bake for 15 -18 minutes or until cooked through. Serve warm.

STOVETOP MAC ‘N’ CHEESE

Sometimes you just feel like the basics or love the idea of a one pot no fuss dish. My ultra-gooey mac ‘n’ cheese is just the answer (you may need more than one pot though). Use flavourful cheese along with good melting cheese to get it gooey. A lot of households have salt and pepper on the table – in our household hot sauce also makes an appearance if my family suspects a dish looks bland and I hate the thought that my food will get doused in hot sauce for extra flavour. For chilli lovers, I have already incorporated hot English mustard and hot sauce into the recipe.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese

I have made this with both gluten and gluten free (Barilla) pasta and both are delicious. The gluten free packet is 350g and I didn’t alter the proportions.

My recipe has been adapted from Kenji Lopez Alt’s book “The Food Lab”.

INGREDIENTS

400g elbow macaroni

400ml evaporated milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon hot sauce or to taste

1 tablespoon hot English mustard

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GRILLED MISO EGGPLANT

As far as condiments and flavourings go, I love miso. I use it rather unconventionally in salad dressings and also in sauces/ marinades. The savouriness of miso lends well to eggplant. You could use the same technique with zucchini (cut it lengthways).

Grilled Miso Eggplant

INGREDIENTS

2 eggplants, cut into 2cm thick slices

2 -3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (like sunflower)

100g mozzarella, grated

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GRILLED HALLOUMI FLATBREADS

I guess this could easily pass for a Mediterranean version of a taco! You can serve with store bought flat breads or pita breads for convenience but my flat bread recipe is not cumbersome just takes a bit of planning. Don’t be daunted by the different elements – I guarantee this is very easy to make and you can serve this as a starter or on its own for a light lunch.

Grilled Halloumi flatbreads

INGREDIENTS

2 x 250g blocks Halloumi cheese

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons liquid honey

Sumac powder to garnish

For the avocado salsa

2 avocados, peeled, stoned and diced

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STUFFED MINIKIN WITH MINT YOGHURT SAUCE

There are 45 different varieties of pumpkins and while the Jack O Lantern pumpkins are the most recognizable, pumpkins come in different colours, shapes and sizes. Look for the mini ones if you want to stuff and cook them whole.

I have used caramelized onion in this recipe and I recommend doing a batch and keeping in fridge as these are incredibly versatile. You could add to a quiche or pie or sandwiches. To do caramelized onion, slice 2 onions thinly, fry in a couple of tablespoons of oil on low heat for 20 – 25 minutes.

Stuffed minikins with a mint yoghurt sauce

INGREDIENTS

2 small pumpkin or winter squash

1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

½ red pepper, finely diced

2 tablespoons of caramelized onion

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup

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ROAST BUTTERNUT & QUINOA SALAD

When I tried quinoa nearly a decade ago, to be perfectly honest I didn’t like it. I felt it was chalky and the appearance wasn’t appetizing. I am now converted – I believe that locally grown organic red quinoa is tasty and yummy. You will love this salad as it is another great one pot dish that has all the nutrients you need.

Roast Butternut and Quinoa Salad

INGREDIENTS

800g butternut, skin on cut into a small 2cm by 1cm pieces

400g tin of chick peas, drained and rinsed

1 cup organic red quinoa

1 red pepper, cored and finely diced

50g red onion, finely diced

Arals of 1 pomegranate

2 tablespoons sunflower oil, plus 1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon sumac

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DIWALI SWEETS – THIYYA GAVALLU

Thiyya Gavallu literally translate to sweet shells. Store bought ones pale in comparison to homemade ones. This is an Andhra sweet and is like a sugar dipped dough nut. My grandmother used to make them and I have her shaping device but if you don’t have any such contraption, you can use the back of a fork.

Thiyya Gavallu

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour or standard flour

2 tablespoons ghee

Oil to fry

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