Broccoli, Spinach, and Lemon Quinoa

This quinoa dish makes a a quick and healthy meal for two which is packed full of flavour. The recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and vegan.

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  • 80g quinoa
  • 300ml water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 broccoli
  • 4 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2tsp paprika
  • pinch of garlic powder

First, measure out the quinoa and pour into a saucepan. Dissolve the stock cube in 300ml of just boiled water and pour this into the saucepan with the quinoa. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the stock has been absorbed.

Chop the broccoli into small florets. 10 minutes before the quinoa is cooked, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the broccoli. Simmer for 6-7 minutes before adding the spinach and stirring until just wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the spinach and broccoli.

Whilst the broccoli is cooking, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, paprika and garlic granules in a glass.

Add the broccoli and spinach to the quinoa, pour over the dressing and mix well. Serve immediately.

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Review: The Wooden Fender, Ardleigh

IMAG1423The Wooden Fender is a traditional village pub in Ardleigh, near Colchester, which serves delicious food and offers a full gluten free menu. The menu includes steaks and grills; pub classics like Fish & Chips and Hunters Chicken; and summery salads. What was most exciting about the menu was the GF Garlic Bread, I can’t remember the last time I was able to have garlic bread in a restaurant!

I chose the Roasted Vegetable and Mozzarella Salad with a side of garlic bread. The salad was beautifully presented and really yummy, packed full of flavour. The portion sizes were very generous; I was given 4 slices of garlic bread which I shared with my friend. The bread was delicious, much better than any supermarket, free from version I’ve tried.

I would highly recommend The Wooden Fender for a tasty, gluten free lunch or dinner. I will certainly be returning for more garlic bread and I’m keen to try the fish & chips.

 

Carrot and Cauliflower Curry

This mild curry is packed full of my favourite veggies, making it a tasty, healthy, and filling dinner. It’s easy to make and it’s vegan, dairy free, and gluten free. The curry serves 4 on its own or more if you’re having it with rice.

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Serves 4

  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 400g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 400g carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 60g red lentils
  • 100g spinach

First, dissolve the stock cube in 1 litre of boiled water, then add the tomato puree and stir. Toast the curry powder in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat for 1 minute. Add the liquid, carrots, sweet potato, and onion to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and lentils, stir and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Finally, stir in the spinach until wilted and serve immediately.

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Review: Nature’s Path Cereals and Cereal Bars

I recently received lots of gluten free goodies from the lovely people at Nature’s Path. I had tried their Pumpkin Seed, Almond, and Raisin Granola before and their Mesa Sunrise cereal and loved them so was very excited to try some of their other products. Included in the box was Granola, Maple Sunrise, O’s, and 2 types of granola bars. Here’s what I thought:

IMG_20170616_204025_649Nice and Nobbly Granola Bar – Dark Choc Chip

These bars have a soft and chewy texture and are made up of oat flakes, rice crispy-like puffs, and chocolate chips. The bars had a nice, sweet, but not too sweet, taste and a good amount of chocolate. I thought they were yummy and made a nice mid-morning snack with some fruit.

 

IMG_20170622_1815378_rewindNice and Nobbly Granola Bar – Trail mix

The trail mix bars were more interesting in flavour and texture than the choc chip ones. They were packed full of oat, quinoa, and amaranth flakes, dried cranberries, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. They were mostly soft and chewy in texture but with a nice crunch from the nuts and seeds. I thought they were much tastier than the choc chip ones and had a lovely hint of cinnamon. Both bars were good but the trail mix ones were my favourite.

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Blueberry, Raspberry, and Strawberry Granola

The granola is made up of crunchy clusters of oats, dried berries, and little yoghurty chunks. I had it with yoghurt and fruit or with milk and thought it was delicious! It’s very sweet so I would have it as more of a treat breakfast rather than an everyday cereal but I will definitely buy it again as it is so yummy.

 

IMG_20170620_0747426_rewindMaple Sunrise

This cereal really surprised me as I was expecting it to be quite sweet because of the name. However it had a very natural, earthy, maple flavour which gave it a more grown-up taste than expected and was a pleasant surprise. The cereal is very very crunchy and it’s like having 3 cereals in one as it is made up of balls, flakes, and rice crispy-style puffs. The different shapes and textures made it really interesting and enjoyable and I would definitely have this cereal again. It’s also dairy free and vegan.

O’s

I really enjoyed the O’s; they had a natural, wholegrain flavour and subtle sweetness. The cereal is tasty on it’s own, with milk, or with fruit and yoghurt. They’re pleasingly crunchy and go just the right amount of soggy in milk. The cereal is vegan and it’s also really low in sugar so I would eat this regularly as a healthy breakfast.

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I liked all of the Free From products that Nature’s Path kindly sent to me but my absolute favourites were the Granola and the Trail Mix granola bars. Both of the cereals I would buy and eat again and I recommend them for adults and children alike as they make a tasty, healthy, gluten free start to the day.

Thanks to Nature’s Path for sending me these samples. All opinions in this post are my own and honest.

Review: Perfect World Caramel Pecan Ice Cream

IMG_20170625_2004452_rewindLast year I tried Perfect World’s Belgian Chocolate Brownie ice cream and really did not enjoy it. Because of this experience I had no interest in trying the other flavours, until now. I saw that the Caramel Pecan flavour was on offer in Tesco and I decided enough time had passed for me to try Perfect World Ice Cream again. And I am so glad I did!

The ice cream has a rich, caramel flavour, filled with chopped nuts, and was sweet with no artificial taste from the sweeteners. The texture was soft and creamy although a little grainy. But for a gluten free, dairy free, sugar free ice cream that’s absolutely delicious, I can put up with a slightly grainy texture!

I can highly recommend the Caramel Pecan flavour and I urge you all to get to Tesco and stock up will it’s still on offer.

 

Review: Jacqueline’s Tea Room, Colchester

IMAG1413I have recently moved from Norwich to Colchester so this is the first of many reviews as I start exploring all that Colchester has to offer in the way of gluten free options. We’re certainly off to a great start as in my first week here my sisters and I took our mum out for afternoon tea at Jacqueline’s Tea Room where I had 3 gorgeous tiers of gluten free goodies.

The Tea Room is absolutely stunning with a 1940’s vintage theme and the staff were really friendly and welcoming. We booked a table for 4 people for 3 Afternoon Teas and 1 Gluten Free Afternoon Tea and paid a deposit of £5 per person in advance. It was great value as we all got a huge amount of food and tea or coffee were included.

The Afternoon Teas were comprised of: egg mayonnaise, ham, and cucumber finger sandwiches; small slices of Victoria sponge, chocolate brownie, orange and almond cake; and a fruit scone with clotted cream and IMAG1414jam. The cakes were delicious, especially the Victoria sponge which was incredibly light and fluffy. The scone was the best gluten free scone I’ve tried; the texture and taste was pretty identical to how I remember scones being.

What I really liked about it was that my food looked the same as the ‘normal’ afternoon tea so I didn’t feel like I was different or missing out. In fact the cakes were identical as all the cakes that day just happened to be gluten free. My mum and sisters loved the cakes and, if it wasn’t for the fact that I could eat them too, wouldn’t have been able to tell that they were gluten free.

I highly recommend Jacqueline’s Tea Room and I can’t wait to go back.

Review: Tesco’s new desserts

Tesco have recently launched some exciting new Free From products including Strawberry Gateau and Blackcurrant Cheesecake. I was very excited to try them and thought I would share with you what I thought of them.

IMAG1368Blackcurrant Cheesecakes

These cheesecakes are vegan and free from gluten, wheat, milk, and egg. The price is reasonable for 2 decent sized cheesecakes. The blackcurrant topping is quite loose and will travel if not stored flat. I thought the blackcurrant was overly sweet as I was expecting a slight tartness to contrast against the sweet cheesecake. The cheesecake and biscuit layers similarly just tasted very sweet and as a result there is not a much difference between the flavours of the layers.  The biscuit layer was disappointingly soft; the texture was practically identical to the cheesecake layer. Although pleasant tasting, unless you’re not a fan of very sweet things, the flavours and textures are not quite right so you certainly wouldn’t be fooled that it is a real cheesecake. It’s no surprise the flavour is so sweet when you realise there are 19.5g of sugar per cheesecake! I didn’t mind the cheesecake but probably wouldn’t buy again and if you’re a cheesecake snob then I advise you to stay away.

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Strawberry Gateau

The new strawberry gateau can be found in the freezer section and is gluten and wheat free. It’s fairly pricey considering it’s only small. The box says it serves 5 but we only managed to squeeze 4 slices out of it. The gateau is comprised of layers of light and fluffy vanilla sponge and cream, topped with strawberries and a strawberry coulis. We really enjoyed it, if you like strawberries and cream you’ll love this.

 

 

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Toffee and Vanilla Ice Cream Cones

I’m a big fan of the Strawberry and Vanilla Ice Cream Cones so I have wanted to try these for ages and I finally found them in a Tesco Extra store. The cones are even crunchier than I remember the strawberry cones being and the ice cream has the same smooth and creamy texture. Weirdly, only two in the box had the advertised ‘toffee pieces’. However, these toffee pieces tasted exactly the same and had the same texture of the caramel sauce running through the ice cream so I wasn’t missing out on much. Despite the slightly disappointing toffee pieces, I really enjoyed these ice creams and will certainly be buying again over the summer.

 

Spiced Chocolate Mug Cake

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Need a treat in a hurry? It takes just 1 minute to cook this chocolate cake in the microwave. It is gluten free and also sugar free as it is made with Jim Jams No Added Sugar Chocolate Spread.

  • 4 tbsp gluten free self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp sweetener
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1tbsp Jim Jams chocolate spread
  • Good sprinkle of mixed spiceDSCN5232DSCN5238

Melt the Jim Jams in your favourite mug for a few seconds. Add the
milk and egg to the mug and whisk with a fork until combined. Fold in the flour, sweetener, and mixed spice. Microwave for 1 minute (800 watts) or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before eating straight from the mug or tipping out onto a plate. Serve with another dollop of Jim Jams for an extra special treat.

Review: Giggling Squid, Norwich

https://www.gigglingsquid.com/restaurant/norwich/

We recently visited Giggling Squid which is a new Thai restaurant in Norwich. The restaurant is large with tables across 2 floors and has a beautiful, sophisticated decor. What I love is that Giggling Squid has separate Non-Gluten and Vegetarian menus so we were easily able to find what was safe for us to eat. They have a good selection of soups, curries, stir fries, rice and noodle dishes.

We shared a bowl of coconut rice and I had a vegetable Pad Khing stir fry and Mike had a Massaman Vegetable Curry. The portion size was generous and the food was fresh and full of flavour. Service was super quick and all the staff seemed cheerful and friendly. We will definitely visit again.