The Other Half and Number One would happily eat the same meals week in week out, but I crave variety and new things.
My current reflux imposed dairy free, soya free diet means that at the moment, finding meals that we can all eat, and enjoy is particularly tricky, so all too often variety is sacrificed for safe.
So when we were invited to take part in ‘It’s Pepper Time’, I was excited to experiment.
I am far from the biggest vegetable fan in the world (in fact if the children weren’t watching I would probably avoid them), but peppers are one of the few that I would actually choose to eat.
The challenge we were given was to create a smoothie made with pepper. Yes you read that right! The mission was to make a drink by blending pepper.
I was skeptical but intrigued.
And hey, peppers are dairy free and soya free so I was up for the challenge!
The sunny weekend gave us the perfect opportunity. Feeling like a treat, I decided it was time to play.
And this was the result. An orange pepper and apple smoothie – so delicious I popped it in a wine glass and told myself it was a mocktail.
1 Orange Pepper
200ml of Chilled Apple Juice
A Coin Sized Piece of Ginger
Chop one orange pepper into medium sized chunks.
Place the orange pepper, ginger and apple juice into a blender.
Blend until smooth and pour into two wine glasses.
Look at the view, sip your mocktail smoothie and enjoy with dinner.
If you have an unusual, yet delicious recipe I’d love to hear about it. Extra points if it’s dairy free and soya free.
Disclaimer: We were gifted peppers and a blender to enable us to take part in this challenge
I don’t know about you, but for us food that we all can and want to eat can be quite tricky these days. These easy dairy free American Style Pancakes are one of our current favourites, even Number One will eat small amounts of them, which for us is always a good thing.
3 large eggs
140ml oat milk
1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder
1) put the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2) Seperate the egg whites from the yolks and place in two seperate bowls.
3) Add the yolks to the dry ingredients.
4) Add the oat milk and mix to form a batter.
5) Whisk the egg whites in a seperate bowl until they form stiff peaks, then fold into the batter.
6) Mix in finely chopped banana and whole blueberries.
7) Heat a non-stick frying back over a medium heat, adding as much batter as desired. Cook until golden brown on each side.
8) Serve whilst warm as a perfect finger food for babies, or add a drizzle of maple syrup to make a delicious dessert for the rest of the family.
Mission dairy free is still going well, but I have to confess that I’ve been missing both baking and eating goodies. So after a day of experimenting in the kitchen we’ve come up with a mince pie recipe that’s simple, yummy and dairy free.
Ingredients (makes 24 mince pies)
2 jars of good quality mincemeat (ours from the local farm shop was totally fine but please do check the ingredients on the one you decide on.)
380g plain flour
260g dairy free sunflower spread (ours is from M & S)
130g caster sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
1 large egg (plus another beaten egg for glazing)
Rub together the flour (as always no need to sieve) and butter.
Add the sugar and large egg and fold to make a dough. Work as little as possible.
Leave dough to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Grease bun tin using dairy free spread.
Roll dough out (you will need additional flour as the dairy free spread makes the mixture quite sticky) and using cutters (or glasses as happened here) cut out bottoms and slightly smaller tops for your pies.
Place bottoms in your bun tin and fill pastry until it is just below level. Avoid overfilling as otherwise the pies will explode when cooked.
Using a little egg, brush the top edge of the pie before topping with lids.
Top with lids, glaze with egg and then put the pies in the oven for twenty minutes or until golden brown.
Remove pies from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
As regular readers of the blog will know, when it comes to anything involving chocolate, especially if it happens to be brownies, I’m more than a little obsessive. This week however, I committed a bit of a faux pas and forgot to buy cake when my mummy friends were coming over. As I hadn’t planned to bake I began a bit of an invention test with what we happened to have in the cupboard. These brownies were the result and as according to the girls and the other half they were my best ones yet I thought I’d better share
10 oz Toblerone (7 oz for melting, 3 oz for breaking up)
4 oz butter
8 oz caster sugar
2 large eggs
A couple of drops of vanilla essence
5 0z plain flour
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Break 7 oz of Toblerone into small chunks and melt with 4 oz butter. (I do this in a bowl over hot water, but if you are careful and do it in small increments to avoid burning the chocolate you can also do it in the microwave).
Once melted stir in 8oz of caster sugar evenly. (At this point because of the nougat in the Toblerone the mixture will look much thicker than you would usually expect.)
Beat two large eggs and stir into the mixture alongside a couple of drops of vanilla essence.
Stir in 5 oz of plain flour (no need to sieve).
Place the mixture into a square cake tin and spread out evenly.
Break the remainder of the Toblerone into small chunks and press lightly into the top of the mixture at even intervals.
Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes depending on how gooey you like your brownies.
P.S. Remember if you overcook, pop into the microwave for 20 seconds before serving to restore their lovely gooey texture.
Never one to be particularly organised and bake in advance, my easy peasy shortbread recipe is a good failsafe if unexpected visitors announce their impending arrival. Even better, it’s easy enough to do quickly with children on playdates and is virtually impossible to get wrong.
6 oz Plain Four
Pinch of Salt
2 oz Caster Sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
4 oz Butter (plus extra for greasing)
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius (don’t panic if you forget – it’ll work fine anyway, just add a couple of minutes on to the overall time).
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, there is no need to sieve them.
Rub in the butter until it’s evenly distributed throughout.
Grease a large baking tray.
Mould the mixture into nine small balls and flatten them out.
Place formed biscuits on the baking tray and bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes (until golden brown).