Goodness me it’s Gluten free.

Call me weird (you won’t be the first) but I have never been a pizza fan. I know shock horror what’s wrong with me right? I just never liked the concept, deep base, thin crust, stuffed crust whatever… All too messy and doughy and stodgy for this fussy person, until I discovered this amazing recipe by Savy Vegan on you tube for two ingredient quinoa bread And it got me thinking…

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This is so unbelievably easy and delicious even favourite man (harshest critic ever) approves.

For the bread (which actually is more than two ingredients by the time I finished with it)

1 cup quinoa

1 and a half cups water

salt and pepper

2tbsp Nutritional yeast

1tbsn Garlic powder

2tbsn Oregano

2 tbsn chilli flakes

Preheat your oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with baking parchment paper ( not greaseproof paper as it will stick)

Pour the quinoa and spices and water into a food processor or blender ( I use my nutri bullet) and whizz until all smooth and well, sloppy. Pour it on to the baking sheet and smooth into a round pizza base shape and bake for about twenty minutes until its firm and golden, you can turn it over mid way if you wish.

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BOOM! IT’S THAT SIMPLE! when its ready just whack on your pizza toppings of choice and grill for anothe 8-10 minutes. I added homemade Ragu sauce, red onions red peppers, mushrooms and vegan mozzarella cheese by Violife Truly, it is delicious, light not stodgy (yay!) and GOOD FOR YOU being protein rich and full of fibre! I also tried soaking the quinoa over night and it bakes much much crisper, and makes ideal crackers for slathering with hummus or peanut butter or whatever takes your fancy… On a roll now I made a sweet version, simply by adding a liberal slosh of maple syrup, vanilla essence, half a bag of chopped dates and desicated coconut and maraschino cherries…gluten free heaven.

 

Loafing about.


For me Sunday has become a day that has developed a reassuring and comfortable routine to it. I no longer get that dreaded “back to school tomorrow ” feeling that can still haunt us in our adult life.

We get up a little later, I make Vegan scramble for breakfast with lovely strong black coffee, and then I pfaff about in the kitchen looking through cookery books and notes and recipes I have written, deciding what I am going to bake or cook later. 

This is my little Sunday morning ritual and I suppose this is Hygge for me. If I am super organised I will bake this banana loaf before we go out for a walk, then we come home to that wonderful smell of baking and cinnamon.

Sometimes I jazz it up with dried fruit, raisins, apricots or sometimes maraschino cherries. It’s delicious eaten as it is or toasted, it usually lasts until the next Sunday, just in time for me to whip up another one! Because it’s not really a cake, or a bread I have decidd to simply call it a loaf. So there.

My recipe. 

By accident last week I mistook Coconut flour for coconut sugar (should’ve worn my gogs!) thinking I was using the measurement half and half with caster sugar, the dough took on a totally different consistency in the bowl, almost foamy as if it was proving like bread? 

And whilst it also didn’t rise nearly as much as when I didn’t add the wrong ingredient it did seem to be lighter in texture after baking?

Or was that because I added more raisins as well? Ah well therein lies the alchemy of cooking…..

My banana loaf recipe.

3 or 4 ripe bananas 

250 grams Self raising flour

50 grams Caster Sugar

Vanilla essence (lots)

2 Tablespoons of Cinammon, Mace, Nutmeg or mixed spice

3 tablespoons Baking powder

4 tablespoons  rapeseed oil

If you’re feeling fruity add Raisins or Cherries or Apricots, whatever floats your boat, a good quantity so they will evenly distribute through the mix.

Whack the oven on at 180 C and grease and flour your loaf tin

Skin and mash the bananas, sling them in a large bowl and add the vanilla and spices and oil and mix really well. (the  mixture will be quite runny.)
Sift the flour and baking powder in along with the sugar and the dried fruit of your choice and mix really well again until every thing is all nice muddled together.

Pour into your loaf tin and bang the tin a couple of times on a flat surface to level it and get rid of any air bubbles.

Bake for 30 minutes then cover the top with baking parchment or foil and bake for another 20 minutes or so or until a knife comes out clean.

When it’s completely cool turn it out on to a rack to completely cool all through.

Enjoy immediately or wrap in foil until you eat it.

NB. I have just tried it with some crunchy peanut butter and it tastes awesome!

Roast Apricot Bruschetta.

Last week I kept reading about grilled peaches and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Unable to get my hands on any at our local Tesco’s (I guess everybody read the same articles as me and got to the peaches first!) I decided to try doing something similar with apricots. Favourite man looked nervous and said it probably wouldn’t work…well BOOM! I present delicious roast apricots on bruschetta with rocket, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

This is really easy, I used some leftover focaccia which was lovely and crunchy already but you could toast any left over bread knocking around in the kitchen.

My recipe

Preheat the oven to 180C

Halve and stone the apricots then cut each half into quarters.

Pop the apricots in a shallow baking dish and liberally splash with olive oil, a glug of balsamic vinegar and some ground black pepper.

Roast the apricots for about 35-40 minutes, you want the apricots to be really soft but still hold their shape

Toast your bread of choice and slather with oil and add a little sea salt.

When the apricots are ready line up your toasts and layer  on the rocket and apricots then drizzle with some more oil and balsamic vinegar and there you are!

Who needs peaches anyway?

Today in my kitchen.

I’m so relieved it was a little cooler today! I wanted to bake some more focaccia and the thought of having the oven on in this lovely heatwave we are having made me get all hot and bothered just thinking about it! I made a batch of mini focaccia, so I can vary the toppings, this little baby is drenched in Greek extra virgin olive oil infused with garlic, sea salt and fresh rosemary from my friends garden.

Little naked focaccia babies waiting to be dressed…

I thought I may have made too many but favourite man has just hoovered one up with vegan pesto and tomatoes so I have a feeling they won’t last long. I never really baked before becoming vegan, it always seemed a bit of a faff, but now I get it, It’s so therapeutic and when the dough works and your bread comes out just right it’s so satisfying. Not to mention that incredible smell of freshly baked bread.


Everywhere I look at the moment I am seeing recipes for grilled peaches on pizza. So I thought let’s give it a whirl on focaccia with heaps of rocket and balsamic vinegar…could I find any peaches in Tesco today ? Nope. Nada. Zip.
I have apricots instead wish me luck.

Focaccia for Friends.


This bread is so satisfying and easy to make and any left overs can be toasted for a super crunchy bruschetta.

I have adapted this from a recipe I found in Three Guys in Miami cook Cuban available from Amazon.

1/2 teaspoon fruit sugar (it’s much sweeter soyou don’t need to use as much as regular sugar)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup warm water (not boiling)

I packet yeast

2 cups white flour

2 Cups Chopped fresh rosemary, sage or oregano plus extra for garnishing

Salt

Black pepper

Olive oil to garnish

Whisk the sugar with the warm water and yeast and leave it covered up with a clean tea towel somewhere warm, for about 45 minutes.It will froth up and then go flat again, the original recipe says leave it for 10 minutes but I have found leaving it longer somehow results in the bread being much lighter and bouncy

Take a large mixing bowl and pour in the yeast mixture. A little at a time sift in the flour and salt, along with the herbs of your choice, making sure you integrate the herbs well into the mixture.

Use a knife to cut in to the dough and when all the flour and herbs are added use your hands to knead it together.It’s quite easy with this recipe to gauge how much flour you need. If the dough is too dry add a little olive oil to make it more malleable, if it’s too moist add a little more flour.

Knead the dough for about five minutes, rolling into a ball and pushing it back down, to release the gluten in the flour.

In another bowl pour a little olive oil to coat the bottom of it, and put the dough in. Cover it with the tea towel and leave it for about 50 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

After 50 minutes the dough should have risen happily into an adorable puffy ball, twice the size it originally was. Punch it back and place it on an oiled baking tray.

Use your hands to flatten it slightly and form it into an oval shape, then make indents with your finger in the dough.

Bake it for 10 minutes, then take it out and drizzle with olive oil and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Serve with another liberal drizzle of olive oil, your herb of choice sprinkled on top and salt and pepper.

Eat drink and be merry!