The best kind of dinners are often those centred around appetizer style dishes. They remind me of meals in the States while watching football games in sports bars or when out “just for a few drinks” and then you decide to opt for something small and end up ordering everys single starters on the menu. This dip was always one of my favourites and would come piping hot out the oven, served with a mountain of tortilla chips for dipping. Sadly, this dish rarely is gluten free friendly in restaurants and so I quickly came up with a safe version to prepare and eat at home when I didn’t fancy a big dinner or when having friends over. Be sure to serve with an ice cold gluten free beer or a good bottle of wine and you’ve got yourself a perfect night in!
2 x 400g Cans Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
2 x Garlic Cloves, peeled
½ x Lemon/Lime, squeezed
½ x Teaspoon Cumin
½ x Teaspoon Chilli Flakes
1 x Teaspoon Sea Salt
½ x Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 x Teaspoon Hot Sauce (I use Salsa Valentina)
200g x Cream Cheese
100g x Mild Cheddar Cheese
50g x Parmesan Cheese
100g x Shredded Mozzarella
100ml x Crème Fraiche
200g x Gluten Free Salted Tortilla Chips
For the garnish:
1 x green jalapeno, chopped
100g x cherry tomatoes, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees fan)
- In a large bowl, mix the black beans, cream cheese, crème fraiche, garlic cloves and lemon/lime juice with a hand blender until smooth (alternatively, this can be mixed in a food processor)
- Add the cumin, chilli flakes, sea salt, black pepper, hot sauce, cheddar and parmesan and blend again until smooth
- Transfer the mixture to an oven-proof dish. Top with the shredded mozzarella and bake the dip for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and leave to rest for five minutes before garnishing with the chopped jalapeno and tomatoes.
- Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
I don’t think that there is anything that goes better with a glass of bubbles at a party or on a special night in than a freshly made, gluten free blini. Of course the gluten free variety are impossible to get hold of at the supermarkets but fear not, I have the perfect recipe for y’all here. It’s one I’ve whipped out for special occasions for years and no one can even tell they are gluten free. I like to top mine with smoked salmon, crème fraiche, lemon and freshly chopped chives. These are very versatile party snacks however, and so can be topped with whatever you fancy. Give them a whirl and let me know what you think!
1 x Cup Gluten Free Flour
1 x Large Egg
1 x Cup of Milk/ Dairy Free Milk
½ x Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
½ x Teaspoon Gluten Free Bouillon Powder
Cracked Black Pepper
1 x Teaspoon Vegetable/ Sunflower Oil
For the topping:
1 x Small Tub crème fraiche
50g x Smoked Salmon
Freshly Chopped Chives
1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, Bouillon powder and black pepper.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk. When combined, add gradually to the dry ingredients and mix into a smooth batter.
3. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and use a small spoon to create small blini discs in the pan.
4. When bubbles form in the blinis, they are ready to turn over. Once turned, cook for 2-3 more minutes before removing from the pan.
5. Leave to cool and then top with ½ a teaspoon each of crème fraiche and chopped salmon.
6. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the plate of blinis when armed and then sprinkle generously with chopped chives before serving.
Did y’all know that Alaska is home to some of the world’s best seafood, with fish of all varieties swimming freely it its three million lakes, 34,000 miles of coastline and 3,000 rivers? This freedom to swim and the fish’s natural diet creates the yummiest taste and texture and so I always make sure to check for the Alaska Seafood label when purchasing salmon in the shops. I’ve gone ahead and created this simple salmon dish, which is perfect to enjoy al fresco or as a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner. Happy eating!
2 x Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillets
2 x Medium Sized Leeks (Chopped)
1 x Cup Frozen Petits Pois
1 x Tablespoon Butter/Dairy Free Butter
1 x Heaped Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/3 x Cup White Wine
25g Fresh Chives
Juice of ½ a Lemon
Salt & Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees (FAN)
2. Arrange salmon fillets in oven dish, pouring over lemon juice and season with salt and pepper
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes
4. While salmon is baking, melt butter in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add chopped leeks and stir well, making sure all are lightly coated in the butter. Sautee for 2-3 minutes until soft
5. Add mustard, white wine, salt and pepper and stir well, leaving to cook for another 2-3 minutes
6. Add the peas and stir again before removing from heat. Cover pan for 3-5 minutes, allowing the steam to cook the peas
7. Add fresh chives and arrange in a deep bowl, creating a bed of greens ready to serve with the salmon fillets on top
8. Garnish with fresh lemon and more chives
More on Alaska Seafood
Sustainability is so important to Alaska that it was written into the constitution in 1959, calling for all fisheries to be sustainably managed and fish sustainably sourced. Fishing in Alaska is a way of life and has been passed down through generation, where each day families continue to catch their quotas in small boats out on the water.
Each fisherman’s catch is sold to make a living, but a small quota can be kept for their own consumption, bringing families together and providing a yummy and nutritious feast. For more info on how this fish is sustainably caught and where to find Alaska Seafood products, head over to their website.
This post has been sponsored by Alaska Seafood.
When I was little, my Mom would make American pancakes for us every Sunday. I loved them so much that I often begged her to whip them up more regularly and so in order to make them a little lighter (and greener!) she would add fresh grated courgette. My Mom will therefore be very pleased to know that I’ve developed an EVEN GREENER version of her pancakes, which have been a hit for breakfasts and brunches (topped with fried eggs) and even dinner parties I’ve hosted over the last few years where I’ve served them as an appetiser, topped with roasted red pepper and cream cheese or lightly smoked salmon and fresh lemon. All in all, these courgette fritters are highly versatile and I hope you enjoy making them at home!
3 x Medium Sized Courgettes
2 x Large Eggs
3 x Tablespoons Gluten Free Plain Flour
1 x Tablespoon Vegetable or Sunflower Oil
½ x Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ x Teaspoon Chilli Flakes
1 x Teaspoon Chives (dried or fresh)
- Wash and grate the courgettes onto a clean tea towel or several paper towels, squeezing out as much moisture as possible.
- Beat two large eggs into a bowl with the gluten free flour , garlic power, chilli flakes and chives.
- Gradually stir in the courgettes to create a batter and mix well. Add salt and pepper and mix again.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and form small pancake size fritters. Use a silicone spatula to keep the fritters round (the batter is likely to run when it hits the pan).
- Cook the fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side until crispy.
- Leave the fritters to cool for 5-10 minutes and serve with fried eggs for breakfast or brunch or a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan.
So here it is folks – a recipe y’all probably never thought you’d see on this page – MORE GNOCCHI. Creating this dish, believe it or not, was a big deal for me as I rarely stray far from my classic Gnocchi Alla Marie, which over the years I’m so pleased to say many of you guys have given a whirl and enjoyed. As we currently find ourselves in strange times, I wanted to use fewer store-cupboard ingredients to show you how you can whip up something hearty and delicious, even if you can’t get your hands on canned tomatoes. Meanwhile, I’ve opted for courgettes as the main vegetable stars of the dish as they seem to still be widely available in the shops, so give this a go and let me know what y’all think. Stay safe everyone!
500g Gluten Free Gnocchi
1 x Tablespoon olive oil
1 x Medium Onion, Chopped
2 x Garlic Cloves, Chopped
1 x Tablespoon Grainy Mustard
250ml Creme Fraîche
100g Grated Parmesan/Italian Hard Cheese
30ml Boiling Water
2 x Courgettes, Chopped into Small Cubes
½ Teaspoon Chilli Flakes
½ Teaspoon Dried Parsley
½ Knorr Vegetable Stock Cube
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan/200 degrees gas.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the gnocchi for 1-2 minutes. Drain immediately and set to one side.
- Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat and add the onions and garlic, sauteeing until soft.
- Add the courgettes to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Stir in the creme fraîche, grainy mustard, 80g of the grated cheese, chilli flakes, parsley and crumbled half stock cube.
- When all ingredients are combined, add the boiling water and stir quickly again.
- Reduce the heat and cover the pot, leaving the sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Prepare the cooled gnocchi in a small-medium oven casserole dish and cover with the sauce, stirring the two together so the sauce is evenly distributed around the dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top as well as cracked black pepper and a sprinkling of salt.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the gnocchi is golden brown.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving with a fresh green salad.
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)
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
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- 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).
- In a separate bowl, beat the yolks, cream cheese and rest of the ingredients until smooth.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.