Fiery corn couscous

We enjoy couscous as a side dish alternative to rice, pasta and potatoes. It’s so quick and easy to make so I was pleased to find corn couscous in the free from aisle at the supermarket. it has the same texture as “normal” couscous but I find it a little drier so add a little olive oil and lemon juice. This recipe is a lovely summery spicy side dish which I often serve with chicken.

Ingredients

  • Half cup of corn couscous
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 spring onion
  • Fresh coriander
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil

Method

  1. Put the couscous into a cup and just cover with boiling water from the kettle. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the chilli, spring onion and coriander.
  3. transfer the couscous to a bowl and fluff up with a fork.
  4. Add the chopped chilli, onion and coriander and toss to mix.
  5. Drizzle over a little olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Toss again to mix.

Greek rice (pilafi)

This is an easy and tasty side dish for any Greek meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Finely chopped parsley
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Pinch of paprika

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan on a low heat and stir in the rice. Heat until the rice turns white (approx. 2 minutes).
  2. Add the water, bay leaves, and salt. Heat on a medium heat until all of the water is absorbed by the rice.
  3. Transfer the rice to a bowl discarding the bay leaves.
  4. Sprinkle the rice with the parsley, paprika, lemon juice and pepper before serving.

Greek roast potatoes

This is another tasty and easy side dish which is served with any Greek meal.

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Half a teaspoon of thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks, place in a roasting dish.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil ensuring that all of the potatoes are covered.
  3. Sprinkle over the oregano and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place into the oven at 200 degrees for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and golden brown.

Cinnamon biscuits

Whilst in lockdown the smallest Braithwaite and myself have been busy getting our bake on. These cinnamon biscuits have gone down a storm! Really easy to make and very delicious. She particularly enjoys dusting them in cinnamon sugar at the end!

Ingredients

  • 175 g Dairy Free spread (I use vitalite)
  • 100 g Caster Sugar
  • 225 g Plain White Gluten Free Flour
  • 1.5 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Quarter teaspoon xanthan gum

Cinnamon Sugar for coating and topping

  • 30 g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Makes around 16 biscuits

Method

  1. Cream the butter and the sugar together.
  2. Combine the flour and the cinnamon. Mix thoroughly into the creamed butter and sugar until you’ve got a solid mass of biscuit dough.
  3. For the Cinnamon Sugar: Mix the sugar and cinnamon together then leave in a dish to one side.
  4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  5. Divide the dough into approximately 16 equally sized balls rolling each ball between the palms of your hands until it’s spherical, then toss to coat in cinnamon sugar.
  6. Keep the left over cinnamon sugar to dust the baked biscuits.
  7. Place the sugared balls of dough on the baking tray and press down with your fingers to flatten out.
  8. Bake the biscuits for 20 – 25 minutes, until they’re turning golden and have cooked through.
  9. Remove from the oven dust with any remaining cinnamon sugar before cooling on a wire rack.

Syrup biscuits

Another favourite of ours to bake which is really easy and a good fun activity for rainy days and lockdown days!

Ingredients

  • 125 g dairy free spread (I use Vitalite)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 tbs golden syrup
  • 220g Gluten Free self-raising flour
  • Quarter teaspoon xanthan gum

Makes around 16 biscuits

Method

  1. Cream butter and sugar then add the remaining ingredients and mix to make a ball.
  2. Separate into 16 equally sized balls and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  3. Press each ball down to make a round biscuit shape, they will spread slightly when baking.
  4. Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Beef stifado

This is another favourite Greek dish in our house. Once the prep is done it’s one I can just leave in the slow cooker for a few hours. It reheats really well too so make a big batch and freeze some for another day.

For the Greek rice and potato recipes see the side dishes recipes.

Ingredients

  • 400g diced beef
  • 4-5 small onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 6 large tomatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Half a teaspoon allspice
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and peoper
  • Olive oil

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and brown the beef before transferring it to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the onions to the pan and fry, turning regularly until browned before adding them to the slow cooker.
  3. Add the garlic to the pan and heat for 1-2 minutes before adding the tomatoes and honey. Simmer gently for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato purée, cinnamon stick, allspice, bay leaves, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well and simmer for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer the sauce to the slow cooker and add the water. Stir well.
  6. Cook in the slow cooker for 2-3 hours on a high heat, check regularly and add more water if needed.
  7. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves before serving.

Keftedes – delicious Greek meatballs

We LOVE Greek food in our house, the Greek restaurant is one of our favourites and I quite often cook Greek cuisine. These Keftedes are a hit!

Served on a bed of chopped tomato, red onion and cucumber with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Ingredients

Makes 24 Keftedes

  • 400g lean beef mince
  • 400g lean Lamb mince
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 slices of gluten free bread broken into crumbs
  • handful of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Method

  1. In a large bowl, combine the mince, onion, breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme and oregano.
  2. Put the mustard seeds into a pan on a low heat until a few pop. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind into a powder.
  3. Mix the ground mustard seeds with the red wine vinegar and add to the meat.
  4. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and knead the well for a few minutes.
  5. Cover the mixture with cling film and place in the oven for 1-2 hours.
  6. Moisten your hands with cold water and shape the meat mixture into meatballs. Place on a baking tray brushed with olive oil.
  7. Cook in the oven at 200 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the meatballs have browned.

Rice with butternut squash, broccoli, pancetta and feta

This is a recipe passed to me by my sister and is a favourite of ours! My daughter even has a song for the ingredients list. It’s really easy to make but tastes delicious. I leave the pancetta out of mine so it’s vegetarian and I leave the feta out of Ste’s so it’s dairy free. All naturally gluten free so happy days!

Ingredients

  • 1cup of rice (wild rice or basmati works best but can be done with any)
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 butternut squash
  • Half a block of feta -optional
  • 1 packet of pancetta (can be diced or slices) -optional
  • handful of pine nuts
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil

Method

  1. Cut the butternut squash into bitesize cubes and place a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven at 200 degrees for 15 mins turning regularly.
  2. Whilst the squash is in the oven cut the broccoli into bitesize florets, place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil.
  3. When the squash has been in the oven for 15 minutes add the fresh rosemary. Put the broccoli in the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Put 1 cup of rice into a pan with two cups of water and heat to boiling then reduce the heat to simmer.
  5. Once the squash and broccoli have been in the oven for ten minutes turn and add the pine nuts to the broccoli. Put back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Fry the pancetta until the fat turns golden brown and crispy.
  7. Once the rice has absorbed all of the water place it in a bowl. Add the cooked vegetables, feta and pancetta and serve.

Gluten and dairy free meat and potato pie

During lockdown it has been VERY difficult to get hold of gluten free flour so I used a packet of genius shortcrust pastry to make this pie. It was literally “use what’s in the cupboard while we isolate”. To quote Steve it is “the best pie he’s ever had”.

Ingredients

  • Ready to roll pastry (I used Genius shortcrust)
  • 400g Diced beef steak
  • Half an onion
  • 1 carrot
  • Half a cup of frozen peas
  • 2 stock cubes (I used knorr beef cubes as they are gluten free)
  • Tablespoon of oil
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 150ml water

Method

  1. Shallow fry the beef in the oil whilst turning regularly to ensure it is browned all over.
  2. Add the finely chopped onion and diced potato and continue to fry for 3-4 mins.
  3. Add the diced carrot, peas and stock cubes and stir well.
  4. Add the water, cover and simmer for 8-10 mins.
  5. Whilst the mixture is simmering roll out the pastry into a sheet approx. 3mm thick.
  6. Grease and line the pie dish.
  7. Lay the pastry over the pie tin and push down into the corners. Trim any excess from around the top of the dish.
  8. Roll out the excess into a circle of the same thickness as before.
  9. Pour the meat and veg mixture into the pie tin. Cover with the pastry circle and pinch around the edges to seal. Trim any excess and use to decorate the pie.
  10. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 25 mins or until the pastry is golden brown.

Delicious vegan leek and potato soup

You can’t beat a good bowl of hot soup on a cold winters day. We all love soup. Steve perhaps loves it a bit too much as he has been known to order a bowl of soup for dessert in a restaurant! Many leek and potato soups have milk/cream in them so it was another thing we needed to find a free from alternative for. This recipe is always a winner and is another convenient meal I can prep the day before and leave in the slow cooker ready for when we return from work. I go big and make a large batch of this for freezing but if you want a smaller amount you can easily halve the quantities.

Ingredients

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 1kg leeks
  • 2 tsp dill
  • 2tsp thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 4 pints of vegetable stock made with 2 cubes (I use knorr as they are gluten free)

Method

  1. Dice the potatoes (with or without skins) and slice the leeks. Put into the slow cooker.
  2. Add the vegetable stock and herbs.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Cook on “auto” setting for 5-6 hours.
  5. Blend with a hand blender and serve.

To add a little extra garnish I like to sprinkle a little bit of finely chopped spring onion and grated cheese onto the top. Steve likes little strips of fried bacon and spring onion on his. The girls like to have all three sprinkled on their soup!