Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble

Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble by The Fat Foodie

The other day my Dad gave me some more rhubarb from his garden and I decided to make a gluten-free rhubarb and ginger crumble with it. I wasn’t going to write up this recipe because I was convinced that I must have put a crumble recipe up on my website at some point in the past, but I was astonished to find out that I hadn’t. I make crumbles all the time because they’re such an easy, quick pudding to knock up and they’re a great way of using up old fruit that’s kicking around the fruit bowl.

A while ago I’d been in Morrison’s supermarket and I spied a huge bag of fresh ginger roots in their ‘Selected Seconds’ section for the incredibly low price of 62p and because I normally use fresh ginger in my curries I figured that I’d chuck the roots in my freezer and use them as and when I needed them. However, when I was considering what to pair my sticks of rhubarb with I remembered that I had the fresh ginger and so I decided that a rhubarb and ginger crumble would be a beautiful combo.

I’ve written before about how dry and granular gluten-free flour tends to be, but in this case it’s a real bonus because it lends itself very well to giving the crumble topping a really crisp, biscuity texture. As a result, the rhubarb and ginger crumble you take out of the oven has a crunchy, buttery topping that provides a delicious contrast to the sharp, but sweet pulped rhubarb that’s thoroughly infused with the warmth of fresh ginger. It’s a dessert which marries perfectly with a generous dollop of custard, a scoop of cold ice cream or a gulg of cold cream.

Ingredients:

300g rhubarb (washed and cut into 1cm chunks)

50g root ginger (minced)

70g sugar

For the crumble topping:

100g gluten-free flour (I use )

50g butter (or non-dairy equivalent)

50g sugar

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

Place the rhubarb pieces, minced ginger and sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook until the rhubarb has pulped down.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6.

Put all of the dry crumble ingredients into a large mixing bowl and rub the butter into it until it looks like damp sand.

Once the rhubarb has cooked, taste it and add more sugar if you like before pouring it into an ovenproof casserole dish.

Scatter the crumble mixture over the top and bake until the top is golden brown.

Serve with cream (I like oat cream), ice cream or custard.

Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble by The Fat Foodie

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Quick Cook Dahl

Quick Cook Dahl by The Fat Foodie

Emma Hatcher, the author of the awesome low FODMAP cookbook The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen Cookbook, has a recipe for a dahl that’s made with just three tins and some spices. It’s a lovely dahl, but as an Indian food aficionado I prefer my curries to have a lot more flavour in them so although I make this quick cook dahl with the three tins Emma suggests, I also add a lot more spices to it which, in my humble opinion, makes the dahl more complex and tastier.

I normally make my dahls with dry red lentils, but tinned green lentils work very well in this curry because they keep their shape even after they’ve been cooked which helps to add texture to the curry. Also, the beauty of using tinned lentils is that the tinning process helps to reduce their FODMAP content, so you’re much less likely to have problems digesting them. (This would be the perfect opportunity to use a flatulence joke, but I’m much classier than that. Honest.)

This quick cook dahl can easily be made in a slow cooker if you’d like a meal ready to come home to after work, simply requiring you to throw the ingredients into the slow cooker and give it a stir before leaving the house, but it only takes about half an hour to make on the stove top too so it’s a great option for dinner if you don’t want to be standing cooking for ages when you get home.

This recipe makes a lovely creamy, substantial dahl that’s well-spiced, but not hot, and is packed full of flavour. It’s the perfect quick-to-cook, comforting vegetarian curry that’s just waiting to be topped with freshly chopped coriander leaves and served to accompany soft, fluffy boiled rice and crispy shards of poppadums. My own mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground turmeric

2 tsps ground coriander

1 tsp asafoetida powder

A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger (minced)

A handful of shredded green leek tops

1 tin of green lentils

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin of coconut milk

300g rice

30g chopped fresh coriander

Method:

If you’re using the slow cooker then just add everything into the slow cooker, stir well and then leave to cook throughout the day before serving with freshly cooked rice.

If you’re cooking this on the hob though, put the oil in a saucepan and then add the spices and cook them for a couple of minutes to release their flavours.

Drain and rinse the lentils and add them to the pot along with the coconut milk and chopped tomatoes.

Leave to simmer for 10-15 mins until hot and cook your rice during this time.

Stir two-thirds of the chopped fresh coriander through the dahl and then serve with soft, fluffy rice and rest of the fresh coriander.

Quick Cook Dahl by The Fat Foodie

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Gluten-Free Soda Bread

Gluten-Free Soda Bread by The Fat Foodie

Gluten-free bread doesn’t rock my world in the slightest. It’s gritty, grainy and dry. It’s everything a loaf shouldn’t be and that makes me sad. However, I recently visited family in Ireland (stopping off to see Phil Collins in concert along the way too, which was freakin’ awesome!!!) and after a delicious breakfast of traditional Irish toasted soda bread with butter and jam I realised that I could abandon my yeast-based attempts at making a gluten-free loaf and focus instead on making a bicarbonate of soda based oat bread.

My previous attempts at making gluten-free bread have produced somewhat mixed results. I think this is because gluten-free flour tends to be very dry and produces a really dense crumb when baked into a loaf. However, this gluten-free soda bread incorporates oat flour, which I simply made by blitzing some oats in my food processor, which helps to add a lightness to the loaf and enhances the texture of the bread.

Although soda-based loaves are found in the history of many countries, in times gone by, a soda bread loaf was traditionally freshly made every morning by Scottish and Irish women because it’s really quick to produce. Instead of using yeast which takes a long time to prove, soda bread uses alkaline sodium bicarbonate as its raising agent which is activated by acidic buttermilk (or in this case lemon juice) to produce carbon dioxide bubbles which make the bread rise. This results in a robust, but flavoursome loaf which is gorgeous when spread with fresh butter.

This recipe is just for making a standard plain gluten-free soda bread, but you could easily incorporate raisins, dried cranberries or different types of nut into the base bread mix to produce a variety of loaves. I’ll bet a soda bread made with plump little raisins and crunchy walnuts would be outstanding!

The gluten-free soda bread produced by this recipe is soft, but substantial and is surrounded by a lovely golden crunchy crust, while its interior crumb is moist and has a faintly nutty flavour from the oat flour. It’s practically begging to be sliced while still warm and coated in butter and generously topped with good quality jam.

Ingredients:

200g oat flour (or 200g of oats pulsed into a rough flour using a food processor or Nutribullet)

100g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F Plain Flour)

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp salt

1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

200ml milk (or rice milk)

2 tbsps lemon juice

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/425F/gas mark 7 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Pour the milk into a jug and add the lemon juice.

Place all of your dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir well.

Once the milk has curdled and become thick add it to the dry ingredients and stir until it starts to come together.

Get your hands into the bowl and continue mixing it until it forms a ball.

Place it on the baking tray and flatten slightly before scoring it with a cross and baking for 35 mins.

Gluten-Free Soda Bread by The Fat Foodie

Turn it over and bake for about another 10 mins. You’ll know it’s cooked when the base sounds hollow when tapped.

Leave to cool slightly before serving.

Gluten-Free Soda Bread by The Fat Foodie

Gluten-Free Soda Bread by The Fat Foodie

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Mediterranean Risotto (serves 2)

Mediterranean Risotto by The Fat Foodie

I never used to be a fan of risottos, thinking that a dish made out of rice simply soaked with stock must be stodgy and bland, but then I made a gorgeous mushroom risotto one day and realised how tasty risottos actually are. Risottos must be made with arborio rice because it’s a particular type of rice that steadily absorbs the liquid you’re soaking it in, becoming infused with a multitude of flavours until the plump little grains of rice are ready to be eaten.

One of the great things about risottos is that you can make them with loads of different flavour combinations. You can make them based on meat or fish, but I think they’re particularly good when made with vegetables because the fresh vegetables add lots of crunch and texture to the soft risotto rice. Plus, there are so many types of vegetables you can make a risotto with, you’ll never get bored!

Making this Mediterranean risotto doesn’t involve a huge amount of ingredients, but it tastes fantastic. It’s thick, gooey, cheesy and satisfying and only takes about 20 minutes to make. A traditional Mediterranean risotto would ask for onions and garlic in the base ingredients, but they’d make my tummy hurt so I’ve just left them out. I used oyster mushrooms in my risotto because they release a great deeply-flavoured stock as they cook and they’re the only low FODMAP mushroom. Also, Grana Padano is a hard cheese so it’s a great low FODMAP option, but you could use dairy-free alternatives instead, such as Violife’s parmesan.

If you haven’t tried making a risotto before then please give this one a go, but feel free to change the ingredients to your heart’s content (pancetta and fresh petit pois peas is a particularly gorgeous risotto combination) and let me know how you get on. You won’t regret it and I guarantee you’ll be making it again within a couple of weeks. It’s that tasty!

Ingredients:

1 red pepper (diced)

1 green pepper (diced)

1 yellow pepper (diced)

A generous handful of parsley (finely chopped)

4 oyster mushrooms  (diced)

2 Knorr vegetable stock pots

1 litre boiling water

150g arborio rice

75g grated Grana Padano (or dairy-free alternative)

150ml white wine

2 tbsps capers

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp butter

1 red chilli (finely chopped, but entirely optional)

Method:

Place a risotto pan or large frying pan over a medium heat.

Dissolve the vegetable stock pots into the litre of boiling water.

Add the butter into the risotto pan and once it’s melted add the rice and stir.

Add the white wine and let it be absorbed by the rice, stirring all the while. Once it’s absorbed add the mushrooms and the vegetable stock and keep stirring.

Once the rice has thickened a bit add the chopped peppers, parsley and capers and keep stirring until all of the stock has been absorbed and the rice is soft.

Remove from the heat and stir the grated Grana Padano through the risotto. Taste for seasoning, add chopped chilli if you like, and serve.

Mediterranean Risotto by The Fat Foodie

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Tomato and Mozzarella Tart

Tomato and Mozzarella Tart by The Fat Foodie

I’m a huge fan of pastry, particularly puff pastry because it’s such a versatile base ingredient upon which to base a meal around. I tend to keep a block of it in the freezer for whenever inspiration strikes so when I looked in the fridge the other day and saw that there were a number of summer vegetables that needed to be used up I decided to make a tomato and mozzarella tart with them.

Puff pastry is a very cheap way to make a tasty meal that can be topped with loads of delicious ingredients and it works particularly well with soft, sweet roasted vegetables, such as tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines and the likes. I’ve recently discovered (and fallen in love with) jars of roasted red peppers. Although they’re on the expensive side to buy from supermarkets, I’ve found them to be fairly cheap in discount stores (such as B&M and Poundstretcher’s). They’re gorgeous stuffed into sandwiches or served on the side of salads, but I’ve also been adding them onto pizzas because their natural sweetness goes really well with creamy, melted mozzarella.

The beauty of this tomato and mozzarella tart is that you can add any other ingredients you fancy. I’ll bet some chopped bacon or smoked ham would be lovely on top of it or some shredded pieces of roast chicken. I dare say a few strips of smoked salmon would be outstanding on it too, especially if you served the tart with a fresh green salad and a cold, crisp glass of white wine.

This tomato and mozzarella tart is a celebration of summer vegetables. It’s a crisp, flaky puff pastry base that’s topped with walnut and basil pesto and adorned with a plethora of delicately roasted tomatoes, courgettes and black olives which are nestled underneath a crisp blanket of grated creamy mozzarella. It’s simply an excellent dish for a summer lunch or dinner.

Tomato and Mozzarella Tart by The Fat Foodie

Ingredients:

500g block of gluten-free puff pastry (or normal puff pastry)

2 large tomatoes (sliced)

1 courgette (sliced)

1 red pepper (jar)

8 black olives (halved)

Freshly ground black pepper

50g grated dairy-free mozzarella (or normal mozzarella)

For the walnut pesto:

15g fresh basil

40g walnuts

30g sundried tomatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas mark 6.

Line a flat baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper.

Roll out the block of puff pastry on top of the greaseproof paper and use a plate to cut a large circle out. Cut a second circle that is slightly smaller than the outer circle, leaving a gap of around 1 cm around the edge.

The rolled out puff pastry base.

Lay the puff pastry circle onto your baking tray.

Make your pesto by blending the pesto ingredients together (I used my Nutribullet) and spread the pesto over the puff pastry base.

Spreading the walnut pesto over the puff pastry base.

Lay your tomato and courgette slices on top of the tart and add freshly ground black pepper.

Laying the tomatoes and courgettes over the tart.

Add the pieces of sliced red pepper and black olives.

Adding the red peppers and olives.

And top with grated mozzarella before baking in the oven for around 30 mins.

Topping the tart with grated mozzarella before baking.

Once the vegetables are soft and the pastry is cooked through, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Tomato and Mozzarella Tart by The Fat Foodie

Tomato and Mozzarella Tart by The Fat Foodie

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