Thursday, 29 January 2015

Almond Red Pepper Dip from The Wheat Belly Cook Book

We were asked if we'd like to review the Wheat Belly Cookbook by Dr William Davis and jumped at the chance... it's always good to get a look at new recipes and were delighted, on the first flick through, to find 4 recipes we liked the look of.  This is the sign of 'our sort of book'... we are always keen to find new, simple, recipes.

The first recipe from the book we liked the sound of was Almond Red Pepper Dip.  For this we needed -
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained well
24g flaked almonds, toasted
40g parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove
Pinch of ground red pepper (we didn't have any)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Putting the first five ingredients in our mini blender, they were whizzed together until smooth.

Seasoning was then added and the dip was served with lettuce leaves, celery sticks and cucumber slices.

This was a really easy-to-make and tasty recipe.  Sous Chef J enjoyed his dip with some spicy potato wedges.

The recipe was judged to be a "real hit" as it was super-tasty and was made using store cupboard ingredients.  It's definitely a dish that will be made more than once!

Looking more closely at Dr Davis's Wheat Belly Cookbook, it has two parts - Part One deals with Health, Weight and Life the Wheat Belly Way and Part Two is the Recipes.

In his introduction, a statement that caught our attention was ".. to help you recreate delicious foods without wheat and without the rice starch, cornflour, potato flour and tapioca starch of commercial gluten-free foods.  The recipes presented herein are tasty, don't screw with blood sugar, don't trigger appetite and are truly healthy - a novel concept!"  Seeing as we're all about cooking from scratch and finding simple, easy to prepare food, this sounds great. 

Reading, quite swiftly we admit, through part one we were provided with a good overview of what the Wheat Belly diet aims to address, why Dr Davis thinks this is necessary and how to assemble the goods/ingredients needed to follow the regime he recommends.  As was said at the start, when looking through part two, we found a number of recipes which caught our eye and were marked for making.  It's a book we'll enjoy reading and referring to and will definitely be trying out more recipes as we continue to 'cook from scratch'.

Disclosure - we were sent a free copy of the book but were not required to write a positive blogpost.  The opinions are our own.  We were not paid for this post.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Parma Ham, Cheese and Pea Tarts

Following a post-Christmas 'fridge audit' we discovered some Parma Ham that needed to be used up.  We also had double cream and yogurt that were nearing their use by dates.

The ingredients we needed to use were -
2 large eggs, beaten
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
One red onion, diced and lightly cooked
200ml live, natural yogurt
100ml double cream
6 slices Parma ham

Also - 100g frozen peas (could be replaced by asparagus spears or brocolli florets)

The onions were being lightly cooked in some sunflower oil until they became transparent.

Taking a muffin tin, each slice of ham was cut in half and used to line the tin.  This would form the 'case' for the tart/quiche filling.

Having mixed the yogurt, cream and beaten eggs, the Parmesan cheese was added and mixed through.

A dessertspoonful of the mix was added to the bottom of the 'case' and then some fried-off onions were laid on top.  Next, another layer of the mix was added until the 'cases' were filled.

Finally, a few frozen peas were added to each case.  The tarts were then ready to be cooked, at 170ÂșC (fan oven) for about 15 minutes.

We also cooked a 'large' pastryless tart/quiche by oiling a pyrex dish, and layering the mix, onions, mix in the same way.  This, larger, dish also had extra grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top before the frozen peas were added.  This was cooked for about 30 minutes, until it was lightly firm when the dish was moved.

The Parma Ham tarts were used, cold, for lunch on a day out before New Year's Eve with friends - they were much admired by our gluten-eating foodie pals.

We ate the large pastryless, vegetarian, quiche warm with chilli potatoes and a green salad.  It made a lovely change from the 'excesses' of the Festive Season.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Sticky Pork with Apple

In case you overindulged over  the 'Festive Season' and have now embarked on a calorie counted diet or are doing the 5:2 fasting diet, this is a recipe from Jaqueline Whitehart's "the complete 2-day fasting diet" cookbook which our whole family likes.  We made this, with properly weighed out portions for me (doing the 5:2) and the others had theirs with amounts that weren't restricted, potatoes over the 'measured' amount and served together with peas and sweetcorn.

The ingredients we used for one were 100g pork tenderloin (fat and sinew removed and sliced), half a red apple (cored and sliced), half a shallot (peeled and thinly sliced), garlic clove (peeled and crushed), half a Tablespoon of grainy mustard, half a Tablespoon of maple syrup and one teaspoon of cider vinegar.  Using a small amount of olive oil for cooking (half a teaspoon), one portion represents 242 calories and, served with 100g of boiled new potatoes, is 312 calories for the meal.

We started by frying off the pork and sliced shallot, cooking the meat until it was lightly browned on each side.

At this point the meat was removed from the pan and put to one side to rest.

Adding the apple to the pan, it was cooked through for a few minutes until it began to soften.  Next, the garlic, maple syrup, vinegar and water (one and a half Tablespoons for the 'counted' version) was added was stirred through.

The contents were brought up to the boil and the pork was returned to the pan.  Spooning the sauce over the pork, the dish was cooked for a further five minutes, over a low heat, until heated through.

Finally the mustard was mixed through and the dish was ready to serve.

We cooked my, measured, meal in a small skillet and the remainder, for the rest of the family, in a frying pan to ensure portion size for me, the 'faster', was maintained as accurately as possible.

This is a tasty dish and one we'll make again.