Aubergine Parmagiana

The following is a very easy and cheap recipe to make with the added bonus that it is delicious!  Great gluten-free alternative to lasagne.  I’ve noticed that it also seems quite a good dish if I’m coming down with a cold.

 

Ingredients:

 

2 large aubergines chopped into thin round discs from the bottom up,

olive oil,

tomato and basil sauce, or a few large fresh chopped tomatoes and basil to make into a sauce yourself,

cheddar cheese (grated),

parmasan cheese (grated),

herbs:  ie. thyme, oregano, rosemary

 

Method:

 

After chopping the aubergines, place the discs on an oiled baking or pizza tray.  Brush the surfaces of the aubergine with a little more oil and scatter your choice of herbs on top.  Bake in fan oven at 240 celsius for 10 minutes.

Spread some of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a pyrex baking dish.  Place some of the aubergine discs on top, and then scatter with cheeses.  Continue to layer in this way until you end with the last of the cheeses.  Sprinkle herbs on top.  Bake again for another 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy with brown rice or quinoa, and/or green salad.

 

 

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Cool Chile Corn Tortilla

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I bought these today from Unicorn Greengrocery in Chorlton.  And I can safely say they are fantastic.  Nice and soft but not too flimsy and doesn’t taste like cardboard, unlike some of the supermarket gluten-free tortillas.

Simply put one in a warm pan and fry for a short while.

I had mine with the Laura’s Idea Bean Feast.  All in all it was a far better experience than my recent visit to Barburrito…. and far cheaper!  The only thing missing was salsa and sour cream.

They can be bought online from here:  http://www.realfoods.co.uk/product/24524/cool-chile-corn-tortilla-gluten-free-13pcs

My Review of Domino’s Gluten Free Pizza

When I heard that Domino’s were finally due to start serving Gluten Free pizzas, I was a little excited.  I used to enjoy the veg supreme and volcano pizzas, and ordered them whenever there was a deal on, (as there often is in the student areas of Manchester) or I felt the urge to treat myself.  I even had them a couple of times since my decision to rule gluten out of my diet.  Such is their evil mono-sodium-glutamate filled allure.

The pizza bases went on sale last Monday, though I was almost expecting the branch I phoned to tell me they’d sold out or hadn’t been able to stock them yet for some reason.  Of course, everything was fine, the only downfall being that the GF pizza bases are only made in small size. ‘ That doesn’t matter’ I said, and ordered the small Veg Supreme.

After the half an hour’s wait (plus delivery man checking with his boss that I had already paid over the phone like I’d said) I was ready for my pizza!   I opened the box and noted that it was an inch or two or few bigger than the free ‘personal pizzas’ I pretend to be a student for at the start of each new academic year…  I took a bite…

And it is safe to say that, at £11.99 a pop, which almost no pizza in the world is worth, it was a huge, gigantic let down.

The crust was noticeably warmed-from-frozen.  The toppings tasted no different than if I had gone out and bought a cheap bag of veg and loaded its contents onto the pizza.  The one redeeming feature was the garlic sauce, which just about made the pizza taste like normal Domino’s pizzas.   However, I did not order garlic sauce as a main dish.

Perhaps I should be less harsh – it is good that Domino’s are conscious of their coeliac and gluten-intolerant customers, many of whom have been looking forward to this new development as much as I was…. but the recipe they use still needs improving if it’s to stand-up to the quality of their fresh pizzas.

So my advice is this:  save your money and buy a frozen Genius tomato pizza base, which were about £2.99 last time I checked in Tesco.  Then buy whatever cheese and veg you want, pile that on top, and cook it in the oven for the 12 minutes necessary…  it will be just as good, if not better….. and find a good garlic sauce!

Terriyaki Brocconut Noodles

Yum, yum yum!  This is mighty good.

Serves 1.

 

Ingredients

1 x packet of Brown Rice Soba Noodles

A handful of tenderstem Broccoli, washed

Half a Red Chilli, chopped

1 x Garlic Clove, chopped

2cm piece of fresh Ginger, chopped

2 tablespoons Tamari Soy Sauce

1 teaspoon Agave Nectar

A handful of Cashew Nuts

A knob of butter

Olive Oil

salt

Fresh lemon chunk to serve

 

Drop a dash of olive oil into a frying pan and heat.  Throw in your handful of cashew nuts and toast on a medium heat.  Add your small knob of butter (I use olive butter to minimise dairy intake) and a generous pinch of salt.  When the cashews are golden-brown, remove them to a bowl.  Try not to eat them while finishing the cooking – they are dangerously delicious!

Without adding further oil or butter to the pan, heat up your broccoli, so that it turns a deep bright green.  When it is threatening to brown in places, add the chilli, garlic and ginger.

While those are gently frying, cook your soba noodles as packet states.

While the noodles are cooking, add your 2 tablespoons of tamari to the broccolli, chilli, garlic and ginger.  Also add agave nectar.  Toss so contents of pan are coated.  Switch off the heat.

When your noodles are cooked, transfer them to bowl or plate.  Pile the contents of frying pan on top of the noodles and then scatter your cashews over and squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on top.

 

I challenge you not to become addicted!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Cafe, Manchester, UK

open             mon-fri  11am-4pm – sat 10am-5pm – sun CLOSED

address        16-20 turner street, manchester m4 1dz   

Perhaps my favourite cafe in Manchester.  Although in a cellar next door to the Buddhist centre, it has not been a part of the centre for 5 years now.   It still maintains the original Buddhist theme, with brass figurines of the Buddha and information about meditation to hand etc.

There is a mix of large and small wooden tables to sit at, as well as more intimate booths, perfect for a romantic occasion.

Always popular is the £6 food platter, which gets you 4 portions of food – up to 2 can be main courses, and the rest can be sides.  There are always gluten free choices available.  I tend to get the dahl, brown rice, carrot and apple salad, and roast potatoes.  The one criticism I have is that the variety of the food served rarely changes:  in other words, there is little variety.

Also available is an excellent smoothie and juice bar:  I often go for the Green Queen so I don’t miss out on my dose of green fruit and veg.

I can’t remember ever having any of the cakes, though they look good.  I rarely have enough room inside!

The atmosphere is that of a chilled canteen and the staff are friendly.

Happy Kitchen Brownies

I will start this off by recommending what is perhaps my favourite food-alternative, although really it is a food in its own right:  the Happy Kitchen Brownie.

 Happy Kitchen have sadly announced the closure of the canteen in their East London bakery (the bakery is still open).  Luckily they continue to make the best, richest brownies I have ever tasted –  so good even my dad likes them.

There are four lovely flavours:

chocolate on its own,

chocolate raspberry,

chocolate orange,

and, my favourite, the Pecan Brownie.

All are vegan and completely free of gluten.

I buy mine from 8th Day in Manchester.  They are thankfully available online from several website, including Goodness Direct