Fluffy Cloud Bread

Even though there is a wide array of gluten free bread available on the market today, sometimes I still need a break. Growing up, my mom would come up with all sorts of things for breakfast, lunch and dinner that were bread free, just to give us an alternative from time to time. I therefore never got used to bread on the table at every meal and I still see it as quite a luxury!

When I’m in the mood for something a little different, and something lighter than gluten free bread, which can often be quite heavy, I turn to my trusty fluffy cloud bread. This alternative is made from eggs and cream cheese and yet still comes out of the oven resembling bread! It makes a delicious sandwich, or accompaniment to any meal. For years I hand whisked the eggs and I am delighted to say that a brand new electric whisk has just changed my life! Let me know what y’all think!

Fluffy Cloud Bread
(Makes between 12 and 15 portions)

Ingredients

4 x Eggs (separated)
65g Full Fat Cream Cheese (I use Philadelphia)
½ x Teaspoon Gluten Free Baking Powder
½ x Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
½ x Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ x Teaspoon Sesame Seeds
¼ x Teaspoon Sea Salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks. No liquid from the white should remain in the bowl and all the mixture should be foam that doesn’t slide across the bowl (this may take up to ten minutes).
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the yolks, cream cheese and rest of the ingredients until smooth.
  4. Spoonful by spoonful, fold the yolk mixture into the whites. Word of warning: take your time here. The quicker you go, the more likely the whites will fall flat and turn to liquid again, which is not the appropriate consistency for fluffy cloud bread.
  5. When all the mixture is combined, spoon the mixture on to the baking trays using a tablespoon. Allow at least 6cm between each cloud bread as they do spread in the oven.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool for up to 15 minutes before serving in sandwich form with an array of fillings or on their own as a snack.

Low FODMAP and Dairy Free Gnocchi Alla Marie

One of the best things about starting my gluten free blog has definitely been meeting and making such lovely new friends, who have taught me so much about diets, allergies and intolerances way beyond my own knowledge and personal issues with gluten. As a way of saying thank you for being so awesome, I decided to have a crew over to my new house for dinner to celebrate. I put myself to work to create the ultimate low FODMAP and dairy free version of my classic gnocchi dish that so many of you have been able to enjoy.

With coaching and advice from the lovely Lottie aka The Tummy Diaries on the do’s and don’ts of the low FODMAP diet and top dairy free tips from the amazing Alice aka Gluten Free Alice (who also took this lovely al fresco photo of our meal), I put together the following dish so that everyone can enjoy my Gnocchi Alla Marie. I am still learning about the FODMAP diet, and as getting your hands on appropriate seasoning or stock can be difficult, I decided to feature pancetta in my dish to add extra flavour and depth. For vegetarians, the pancetta can be replaced with black olives, which can be thinly sliced and added to the dish just before baking. Happy eating!

Low FODMAP and Dairy Free Gnocchi Alla Marie
(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

For the Sauce:
3 x Tablespoons FODMAP friendly garlic infused olive oil
1 x Carrot (peeled and finely chopped)
1 x Red Pepper (finely chopped)
800g Chopped Tomatoes
1 x Cup Red Wine
30g Fresh Basil
80g Smoked Cubed Pancetta
1 x Teaspoon Dried Chives
Salt and Pepper to Taste

For the Gnocchi:
500g Gluten Free Gnocchi
200g Vegan Mozzarella Style Cheese
30g Fresh Chives (finely chopped)
1 x Medium Courgette (diced)

Method

  1. Heat the FODMAP friendly garlic infused oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the pepper, carrot and cook until soft.
  2. Add the pancetta and cook through, stirring the mixture frequently.
  3. When the pancetta is cooked, add the chopped tomatoes, wine, dried chives, salt and pepper and let the sauce cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes.
  4. While the sauce cooks, preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  5. Boil water in a separate pot. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook for two minutes, draining immediately.
  6. Place the partially cooked gnocchi in a good sized baking dish and add the vegan mozzarella style cheese (saving a handful for garnish), chives and courgette.
  7. Add the torn basil to the sauce before transferring it to a blender, or a bowl and then using a hand blender, liquidise until smooth.
  8. Gently pour the cooked down sauce over the gnocchi mixture and stir evenly. As the sauce tends to cook down even further during the baking process, I tend to use all of it but depending on preference, some sauce can be held back and either refrigerated or frozen for later use.
  9. Evenly sprinkle the remaining vegan mozzarella style cheese over the top along with some more black pepper.
  10. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5-8 minutes before serving. Accompany with mixed leaves.

Gluten Free Pasta by Mamma Flora

Where From? Mamma Flora
Available Directly Via the Company Website

Despite the wide range of gluten free pasta available on the market today, finding a brand that cooks properly and does not fall apart is still incredibly difficult. Cue Mamma Flora – an Italian start-up based in London and run by the wonderful Maria. Maria has worked hard with Italian farmers and manufacturers to create the perfect gluten free pasta recipe, which comes in three different traditional Amalfi coast varieties: Mezzi Paccheri, Casarecce and Gnocchetti Sardi. The texture is fantastic and perfect when mixed with some of Mamma Flora’s Sundried Tomato Pesto or Pumpkin Pesto – both of which are 100% gluten and dairy free. Order online via the company website and prepare to be wowed!

Gluten Free Rosemary Crackers

While I love to indulge in a traditional post-dinner cheese plate in true British style, sometimes I just have to give into my pre-meal craving. In the US, cheese and crackers are often enjoyed as an appetiser, and they definitely played a huge role in my household growing up. My mom would often put out a board of soft and hard cheeses with a selection of crackers and while obviously these were the gluten days, I still look back on them fondly.

After being gifted some beautiful rosemary by my friend Jessie, I decided to put it to good use and create some gluten free crackers which are naturally dairy free and can be paired with a selection of dairy free or regular cheeses. Enjoy with a cucumber gin and tonic for the perfect start to your dinner party!

Gluten Free Rosemary Crackers
(Makes Around 20 Small Crackers)

Ingredients

For the crackers:
2 x Cups Gluten Free Flour
1 x Teaspoon Xantham Gum
3 x Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary (chopped or torn)
2 x Teaspoons Rough Sea Salt
2 x Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 x Cups Water

For the Garnish:
1 x Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 x Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary
1 x Teaspoon Rough Sea Salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Gradually add the water and oil and mix quickly with a wooden spoon to create a dough. The dough should hold together and not stick to the spoon. If it sticks, add a little more flour to dry it out.
  4. Roll out the dough onto baking paper to create a layer with a thickness of around 1cm. Cut carefully into squares and separate on the baking paper before placing both onto a baking tray. Note – the squares, unless you use a cutter, will not be perfectly formed as the dough softens but fear not! I think this creates more of a rustic-looking cracker!
  5. Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove tray from oven and using a spatula, carefully turn all the crackers over and drizzle with the olive oil, rosemary and sea salt set aside for garnish, and return to the oven for a remaining 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and allow the crackers to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving with an array of cheeses.

Cookie Dough by Whole Creations

Where From? Whole Creations
Available at Morrisons

Cookies are the ideal accompaniment for my daily 4pm cup of tea. Given that there are so many gluten free varieties available in various supermarkets nowadays, I sometimes panic over the choice. The wonderful team at Whole Creations however have the answer to all of my cookie-choosing problems with their new chilled and ready to bake cookie dough. This roll of goodness makes perfectly soft, home-style cookies in less 20 minutes (including prep time) and is even better when chocolate chips are added! This cookie dough isn’t available everywhere (and is temporarily unavailable online), but head to a decent-sized Morrisons and it should be waiting for you in the chilled, free-from section.

Baked Garlic Chicken Tenders

I spent a good part of my early twenties living, studying and working in South Carolina. It was there, in the Deep South, that my love for proper fried chicken was born. I realised within 24 hours of arriving in the state capital for the first time that I had never really eaten fried chicken. What I had eaten for years in the UK had just been breaded chicken, which often lacked flavour and crunch. Here in the southern states however, fried chicken was not only the real deal but a way of life.

The official food of my University football team was a regional fast food restaurant’s signature deep fried chicken sandwich, which they would pass out by the thousand to students during games. While my arteries may not have been enjoying themselves that much, my taste buds were having a permanent party and every moment of it was fantastic.

Ever since coming back home, I’ve been working on recreating this southern staple with a healthier twist. I do not often trust myself with a deep fryer and that is just as well because these chicken tenders I make are baked in the oven, instantly making them a lighter choice. I hope you enjoy them as either a meal, an appetiser or simply because you want to snack on them. Dig in y’all!

Baked Garlic Chicken Tenders
(Serves 2-3)

Ingredients

320-360g Chicken (pre-cut supermarket mini chicken breast fillets are a great time-saver)
3 x Large eggs
2 x Cups gluten free flour
2 x Cups gluten free breadcrumbs
1 x Teaspoon garlic powder
1 x Teaspoon minced garlic
1 x Teaspoon dried parsley
1 x Teaspoon dried chives
2 x Tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
Vegetable Oil of Choice

To Serve:
Freshly Chopped Chives (to garnish)
Garlic Mayonnaise or Ranch Dressing for dipping

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Prepare your “dipping stations”. Place beaten eggs in a shallow bowl, gluten free flour in a second and the breadcrumbs in a third.
3. Season the egg mixture with the garlic powder and salt and stir.
4. Add the parmesan cheese, minced garlic and pepper to the breadcrumbs and mix.
5. If your chicken is not pre-chopped, cut into strips with a width of around 1 1/2 – 2 inches wide.
6. Using a fork, start dipping your chicken strips by placing each tender into the egg. When the tender is well covered in egg mix, dip in the flour, ensuring a good dusting all-around the tender (this is easiest, and less messy, if you hold the tender on a fork and use an additional fork to pile the flour onto each tender).
7. After the flour, pass the tender lightly through the egg mix once more and then into the breadcrumb mix, again ensuring the entire tender has a good coating. Top up dipping bowls as required, although the measurements above should be enough to cover the specified amount of chicken.
8. Place each tender on the lined baking sheet, leaving at least a centimetre between each piece.
9. Pour a light drizzle of a vegetable oil of your choice over the tenders before baking.
10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, turning the chicken tenders over gently with a fork or thin knife half way through cooking, making sure to do this slowly so breadcrumbs do not fall off in the process.
11. Sprinkle with freshly chopped chives before serving with a dipping sauce of your choice.