When life hands you lemons…

Life has thrown me a bit of a curve ball these last couple of weeks in that I’ve found out I have a few severe food intolerances and so have to adapt to a pretty restricted diet for the foreseeable future. I’ve been gluten-free for a long time but now I also have to avoid all dairy, eggs and yeast as well as move to a low-FODMAPS diet.

Dear readers, my reaction was not pretty. I wept, I railed at the unfairness of it all and mourned for the loss of my beloved cheese and wine. I ignored the fact that I had found out what was causing some of my health problems and would possibly feel loads better once I started following the eating plan and instead focussed on how it was another thing I was having to give up in life….rant, moan, rage etc.

And then I remembered about moving with ease through life and started to focus on what I can still eat. I remembered that I’m luckier than most people in that I’ve already been through one dramatic life/eating change when I had to give up gluten and so I know the process. I know it gets easier once you get into it but if I’m honest, I’m still grumbling a bit. But I’ve pulled out the recipe books and started playing a bit and it ┬áis getting better.

Here are some of the things I’ve been making:

Lemony roast chicken soup

Lemony roast chicken soup


Roasted seabass with rosemary potatoes, peppers and spinach

Roasted seabass with rosemary potatoes, peppers and spinach

And made some attempts at baking, which I have to say were not wholly successful!

First batch of baking

First batch of baking

There’s some choc chip cookie bites adapted from a recipe at Elana’s Pantry which worked perfectly and tasted lovely. Some peanut butter biscuits which tasted nice but spread all over the baking sheet because the egg replacer changed the consistency and so I ended up with random bits of biscuits. Finally an attempt at bread which I have to say was an abject failure…completely inedible! Will have to try again on that one, I think gluten, dairy, egg and yeast free bread is going to be a bit of a holy grail mission. By any weird chance does anyone know a reliable recipe for this?!

So it’s a steep learning curve but one that will hopefully be really worth it. If you happen to see Mr Purly Queen at any point in the next few weeks, give him a hug won’t you? I suspect I am not that easy to live with while I work all of this out…:)

Sorry Mr Purly Queen!

Sorry Mr Purly Queen!


March is finally here, meaning that Spring is on its way! It’s also St David’s Day so in honour of all the Welshies (my family live in Wales) I decided to make a batch of gluten-free Welsh cakes. For those of you that have never had Welsh cakes, they are rather like drop scones and usually served warm and with a generous slather of butter.

I found a recipe for a gluten-free version in a great cookbook on my shelf: Gluten-Free Baking by Phil Vickery. I do have another of his books Gluten-Free Cooking which is also pretty good with more ideas for meals etc.

Gluten-free Baking...yummy!

Gluten-free Baking…yummy!

Here’s my slight adaptation of his recipe:

Phil Vickery’s Gluten-Free Welsh Cakes

Makes about 10-15 (I got 15 cakes out of this recipe but it depends on the size of your cutter)

Prep time: About 10 mins

Cooking time: 15-20 mins

225g Gluten-Free flour (Phil uses a blend made up of rice, potato and tapioca flour that you can make up yourself, I have done this in the past but now find Dove’s Farm brand much quicker and easier)

1 teaspoon mixed spice

100g butter (Phil suggests cooking margarine but I’m not a fan, feel free to use any fat that works for you)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon of glycerine

80g fairtrade unrefined caster sugar (Obviously sugar is not great for you but at least if its unrefined, there is some goodness in it and buying fairtrade is something we should all aim for if we can!)

80g sultanas (I had to use raisins as that’s what I had in but I think sultanas or even currants are actually more traditional)

1 medium egg, beaten

1.Put the flour, spice, butter, xanthan gum and bicarb in a bowl and rub through gently until you get the consistency of fine breadcumbs.

2. Add the glycerine, sugar, sultanas and egg and mix through till you get a soft douch

3. Dust a work surface with some flour or corn flour and roll the dough out to a thickness of about 5mm. Using a cutter, cut out as many little cakes as you can get out of the dough.

4. Heat a griddle pan or normal frying pan over a medium heat. Add 4 cakes to the pan at a time and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are lightly coloured and puffed.

5. Once cooked, remove from the pan and serve warm. (Phil suggests sprinkling with caster sugar but to my taste they are quite sweet already).

Storage: Can be kept for 2 days stored in an airtight container. Warm them through for 10 seconds in the microwave before serving. They can also be frozen in an airtight container. Defrost for an hour and pop in the microwave for 10 seconds before serving.

Welsh cakes and daffodils for St. David's Day!

Welsh cakes and daffodils for St. David’s Day!

Ta da! They’re quite yummy! I am going to have to get some in the freezer straight away as otherwise I can see me scoffing them all at once. Have you got any baking plans for this weekend?x