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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Spelt Pizza with Red Onion and Goat's Cheese

I've spent quite bit of time over the past year experimenting with spelt flour. I always bake with gluten-free flour but have found that eating spelt bread or pizza, which I bake myself, doesn't cause the severe effects that other wheat products have on my digestive system. However, spelt pasta still doesn't agree with me. I guess more experimentation is needed on that one. 

Lately, I've been making a lot of the pizza with red onion and goat's cheese. The topping is quite rich though, so occasionally I'll swap it out for some anchovy and olive, or pancetta, parmesan and rocket. The variations are endless...

Spelt Pizza with Red Onion and Goat's Cheese

For the dough:
450g spelt white flour
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
250 ml warm water

For the tomato sauce
250g cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1 handful fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp red wine vinegar

For the topping:
1 red onion, sliced into rings and caramelised in some butter
1 goat's cheese round, finely sliced
250g grated mozzarella
a few basil leaves


1. For the dough:  In a large bowl combine the ingredients for the dough. Mix well and knead for five minutes. Leave in a warm place to prove for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Knock down the dough and knead for a further 5 minutes or until more pliable. Divide the dough into 4.

2. For the tomato sauce: Roast the cherry tomatoes for 20 mins on a 180C oven with the garlic, thyme and olive oil. Meanwhile in a separate sauce pan, fry the shallot at a low heat in a little olive oil until translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and sundried tomato paste and cook at a low heat for 20 mins. Add the roasted cherry tomatoes to the saucepan and cook for a further 10 mins. Add salt and pepper and the red wine vinegar and then remove from heat. Blend with a hand-held blender until smooth.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out or press out the dough using your fingers until very thin. Pre-cook the dough in a 220C oven until lightly golden (5 mins) and then flip the base to avoid having a soggy middle of the pizza. Spread a dessert spoon of tomato sauce and then spread out a few red onion. Cover with a handful of grated mozzarella. Place a few sliced rounds of goat's cheese on the top. Return to the oven and bake until lightly golden (5-10 mins) and the base is cooked.

Makes 4 very thin pizza bases.



Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Food: Pasta with Courgette and Anchovy

I never really jumped on the spiralizer wagon of a few years ago as I prefer not to eliminate food groups (like carbs) unless I absolutely have to. I do, however using spiralled vegetables as an accompaniment in pasta and Courgette Pasta with Anchovy has become a firm lunch-time favourite served, in my case, with gluten-free pasta. This is perfect for sunny alfresco lunches or if you fancy a lighter meal over the warmer months.

Pasta with Courgette and Anchovy

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Food: Chicken and Bean Burritos with Mexican Street Corn

I've been experimenting with Central American flavours ever since we visited Costa Rica last year. Burritos perhaps, are not Costa Rican, but I made these Chicken and Bean Burritos on a cold a dreary day when I'd quite happily have transported myself to a tropical beach. These are very easy and quick to make but I do warn you, the accompanying Mexican Street Corn are quite addictive!

Chicken and Bean Burritos and Mexican Street Corn

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Shakshuka - Poached eggs in a Spicy Tomato Stew

I enjoy eating lots of fruit and veg in my diet and find that my meals become a lot more imaginative when I incorporate as many vegetables as I can into every meal. Breakfast in our house usually involves oats and toast with fruit thrown over as a topping but over the weekend, when I prefer something a bit more savoury. Shakshuka has become a favourite. The wonderfully warming Moroccan spices complement the eggs really well. Perfect for breakfast or brunch with friends!

Shakshuka - Eggs in a Spicy Tomato Stew

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Gluten-Free Orange Cake

The daffodils are blooming and the mornings are brighter here in the east of Scotland but the weather hasn't seemed to realise that it's meant to be Spring. This week we've had hail storms, snow and lots and lots of rain which makes me want to switch to hibernation mode and hunker down... a bit Groundhog-like really. Life is slowly returning to normal after the disruption of having our kitchen remodelled in January. Four weeks without a kitchen was difficult, but it made me appreciate how lucky I am. Yes, the disruption was a pain but I still ate really well (from my well-stocked freezer) and now feel really inspired to cook in my new kitchen. My approach to life this year is to be a lot more positive and after nearly two years of daily meditation and yoga, I feel that my general outlook has become much sunnier. Yes, I still worry about little things, but I don't let them consume me and when life gives me lemons, well... which leads me to this week's recipe. I can feel a cold lurking after all the strange weather we've had and now after buying some oranges (and vitamin C tablets) to boost my immune system, I've decided to make an orange cake. See... there's the silver lining!

Gluten-Free Orange Cake

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Spinach and Feta Phyllo Pastry Parcels

It's been ages since I've last posted a recipe and I wanted to boot up the blog once again, partly to share my recipes with the internet, but also to record the recipes I've come up with for posterity. I've come a long way in the kitchen - from my early days of only being able to cook things in a microwave, to meeting my husband and cooking together to decompress in the evening and now as a stay at home mother where I cook every day and look forward to dinner parties where I can experiment a bit more. In the early days, I would follow recipes religiously but now I like to experiment and enjoy conjuring up something new. I can only liken this to the rush I'd get in my days in the laboratory when I'd finally been able to get a particularly tricky experiment to work. I relish these experiments in the kitchen  as I get to share the spoils with the people I love which brings me so much joy.

 As a PhD student I'd often get together with a big group of Greek students on a Sunday for a pot-luck lunch and someone would always make Spanakopita which is the obvious inspiration for my Spinach and Feta Phyllo Parcels. When I first started making these, it would usually be for a dinner party so I'd make them in ramekins and scrunch up some leftover phyllo as decoration on top, but these days I'm more likely to make them for a weekend lunch for the kids as they love feta cheese and this gives me a way to sneak in some green stuff amidst all the gooey cheese.

Spinach and Feta Phyllo Parcels

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Moroccan-Inspired Hummus

The weather has been unusually pleasant lately which generally means more relaxed eating in our house. I've been baking my own bread again, which is always such a rewarding task and complementing this with homemade hummus, which in my experience always tastes better than the shop-bought stuff.  I'm always very surprised as to how quick and easy it is to make my own hummus, especially if you already have a can of chickpeas to hand. I generally prefer a flavoured hummus and this time came up with a Moroccan -inspired version, using spices that I always have to hand in my store cupboard. 

Moroccan-Inspired Hummus

Hummus with Moroccan spices

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Overnight Oats with Peanut Butter and Apple

The mornings are always a rush in our house. The kids have to be fed and chivvied along to get themselves ready for school, the dog needs to be played with and fed, I need to get myself showered and ready for the day and then I also need to eat a bit of breakfast. A big breakfast usually leaves me feeling lethargic, so I prefer a smaller breakfast which usually comprises of a slice of gluten-free toast  and a swipe of crunchy peanut butter. As an alternative I also enjoy a small bowl of overnight oats, which sets me up nicely for the day and saves the time I spend waiting for my toast to brown. 

Overnight Oats with Peanut Butter and Apple

Overnight Oats recipe with Peanut Butter Apple Cinnamon

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Gluten-Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

My favourite tea-time treat is a slice of lemon drizzle cake with a cup of herbal tea. I've been determined to come up with a gluten-free recipe and after a bit of trial and error, I've come up with a light and moist version that I've already made twice this week after my family devoured the first one. This recipe produces an extremely lemony lemon drizzle, just the way I like it!

Gluten-Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

Gluten-Free Lemon Drizzle Cake using Dove Farm Flour

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Food: Beef Brisket in Barbecue Sauce for the Slow Cooker

We seem to have left the worst of the winter behind and my body is definitely calling out  for a change in diet. Gone are the heavy comfort foods I was craving through the colder months and back are the grills, roasts and salads I turn to in the warmer months. The weather here in Scotland is never predictable and so making firm plans for barbecuing outside is a bit foolhardy. This recipe for a beef brisket in barbecue sauce cooked in the slow cooker is perfect for those days when you want to offer relaxed entertaining in the summer but you're not sure what you're going to find when you open the curtains in the morning. Amazingly delicious!

Beef Brisket in Barbecue Sauce for the Slow Cooker

Beef Brisket in Barbecue Sauce Crockpot UK

All Images Copyright Clementine Buttercup 2016