Delicious gluten-free recipes

Summertime Virgin Mojito

It finally feels like summertime, which can only mean one thing – mojitos!

DSC03877Mojitos are my go-to cocktail in the summer months, so I was thrilled when the lovely people at the Body Shop got in touch about their new Virgin Mojito range.

Body Shop Virgin Mojito RangeLime and Mint Body Shop Virgin Mojito RangeI’ve tried the body butter, body scrub and body sorbet and the range smells incredible. The lime and mint really come through, with a little hint of cucumber – although that isn’t listed – and it’s a really fresh, summery scent. I’ve always loved Body Shop body butters in particular, and the virgin mojito one is no different. It’s thick and creamy, but with a light scent, meaning it’s not overpowering.

Lime and Mint Body Shop Virgin Mojito Range

To celebrate the launch of Body Shop’s Happy Skin Virgin Mojito range, I’ve come up with a virgin mojito recipe for the summer months.

Summertime Virgin Mojito
 
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Virgin Mojito Recipe - refreshing and basically guilt-free, the perfect drink for the summer months.
Author:
Recipe type: Cocktails
Cuisine: Cocktails
Serves: 4 Tumblers
Ingredients
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Soda water
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. At the bottom of each glass, grind the mint using the juice of half a lime, and half a spoon of sugar.
  2. Once the leaves have broken up a bit, add half a tablespoon of agave syrup.
  3. Top with soda water and ice, and a few extra mint leaves to serve.
Lime and MintIt’s really refreshing, and you really don’t miss the alcohol that much, making it the perfect drink for summer nights – particularly during the week!

Body Shop Virgin Mojito Range

What’s your favourite virgin cocktail? Have you tried any of the Body Shop’s latest range? Comment below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

This post was made in collaboration with the Body Shop, who sent me samples to review and reimbursed the cost of producing this post. As always, all opinions are my own – I wouldn’t blog about it if I didn’t love it!

 

Gluten-free Kinako White Chocolate Cookies

My mother is an excellent cook. I mostly got my love of cooking and food from her, especially when it comes to Japanese cuisine. I was lucky enough to grow up in New York, where there is an abundance of Japanese supermarkets, making sourcing ingredients like dashi (stock), tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) and nori (dried seaweed) really simple. When I went to Manchester for university, I found myself really stuck in terms of finding the basics I was so used to at home. Luckily, there are a few more options in London, like the Japan Centre in Piccadilly Circus or Atariya. They both have great selections, but they’re either completely rammed (Piccadilly is always horrendously crowded due to all the tourists) or quite far out (the end of the Northern line, for both Atariya locations), and getting home can be a massive hassle when you bulk buy rice and other basics, like I do.

Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free CookiesSo I was completely thrilled when I was contacted by the lovely team from the Japan Food Hall, a Japanese online supermarket based in the UK. They have a great selection of products – everything from Japanese candies and snacks to sauces and mixes for dishes like sushi or hotpot. The website is clear, easy to use, and has great customer service (they even sent along a few snacks and treats with my first order!) It’s perfect for getting all the essentials, without the expense of lugging it all across town.

Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies

One of the first items in my order was a bag of kinako, or roasted soybean flour. I love kinako, which is usually eaten with a little bit of brown sugar with roasted mochi, a Japanese rice cake. Kinako flour is gluten free, and has a rich, nutty flavour, which makes it great for incorporating it into Western-style desserts in new and interesting ways. I really like topping vanilla ice cream with it, or having it with some Greek yoghurt, honey and blueberries. For this recipe, I combined some of that nuttiness with some rich white chocolate, in a gluten-free and egg-free biscuit recipe that goes perfectly with a steaming cup of matcha tea.

Gluten-free Kinako White Chocolate Cookies
 
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Kinako flour is gluten free, and has a rich, nutty flavour, which makes it great for incorporating it into Western-style desserts in new and interesting ways. I really like topping vanilla ice cream with it, or having it with some Greek yoghurt, honey and blueberries. For this recipe, I combined some of that nuttiness with some rich white chocolate, in a gluten-free and egg-free biscuit recipe that goes perfectly with a steaming cup of matcha tea.
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Japanese Fusion
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 80g Kinako (roasted soybean) flour
  • 200g Crushed white chocolate
  • 200g Gluten-free flour
  • 125g Butter
  • 50ml Maple Syrup
  • 200ml Agave Syrup
  • Maldon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Matcha tea powder and hot water (optional, to serve)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flours until fully incorporated.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, fold the remaining ingredients with the exception of the chocolate.
  4. Stir in the remaining chocolate pieces with a spatula until evenly distributed.
  5. Using a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spoon out the dough.
  6. Leave space between each biscuit as these will spread!
  7. Top each biscuit with a pinch of sea salt, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
  8. These are crumbly when hot, so take care when placing these on a cooling rack.
  9. Let them cool – they should be quite chewy, with a creamy flavour.
  10. Serve with some matcha or Darjeeling tea.
Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free CookiesKinako White Chocolate Gluten Free CookiesI absolutely love using traditional Japanese ingredients and using them to take a new spin on the classic British afternoon tea. For summer, I’ve been thinking of matcha cheesecakes, cucumber maki rolls instead of cucumber sandwiches and roasted hoji-cha tea – with some sparkling fruit sake, of course!

Kinako White Chocolate Gluten Free Cookies

Japan Food Hall have a great selection sure to get your creative juices flowing – and until May 31st you can get free UK delivery when you use the code ErinFreeDelivery3105. Japan Food Hall deliver throughout Europe, so if you’re outside the British Isles you can use the code to get £6 off your total order. To find their site, simply click on the link below, or find links to their social media site at the end of this post!

Let me know what you end up getting – I’d love to hear your ideas!

JFH_Logo_WhiteOnGreen

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This post was in collaboration with the Japan Food Hall – all opinions are fully my own, and I wouldn’t blog it if I didn’t love the service! What recipes and ingredients will you try? Comment below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

How to Make the Perfect Steak

For the second of my courses at Leiths, I learned an invaluable life skill – how to make the perfect steak.

Beef

I’ve always loved steak – ever since I was a little girl. When I would go back to Japan in the summers, my grandfather would always prepare a steak to which I would compare all other steaks to for the rest of my life – Kobe beef with the most delicious sauce. I used to get homesick for that sauce, but he always kept the recipe close, and when he passed away I thought that the recipe was lost forever.

Steak slicesSteak

I’ve been cooking steaks more since my course, where I picked up some great tips and knife skills – I can now confidently say that I can whip up a pretty damn good steak. I now know the perfect amount of time to fry my steaks for (a minute and a half each side for medium rare), the right oil (one with a high smoke point, like sunflower, never olive oil) and how to cut an onion like an absolute pro.

Steak

The men outnumbered the women in the class – mostly those who’d been given the class as a gift for Christmas. The class was a lot of fun – we practiced our new techniques on a few steaks, and tried our hand at making a few different sauces, including peppercorn, bearnaise and chimichurri. For a dish with relatively few ingredients, there are quite a few moving parts (like how to know when the oil is hot enough!) and my steak cooking skills have most definitely improved as a result. We also got to try different types of steak – fillet, rump, sirloin (my personal favourite!), rib eye, bavette, kangaroo, venison and buffalo. It was a serious contender for the happiest afternoon I’ve ever had.

Steak Plate

With all my experimenting, I think I’ve cracked the family sauce, too – so here’s my recipe for the perfect Japanese wafu steak.

The Perfect Wafu-Style Steak
 
This is the sauce my grandfather used to make me when I would return to Japan in the summers. With all my experimenting, I think I’ve cracked the family sauce– so here’s my recipe for the perfect Japanese wafu steak.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 2 Steaks
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of soy or tamari sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of sake
  • 2 tablespoons of mirin
Instructions
  1. Drain off the excess fat from the frying pan used for the steaks, and discard.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in the pan on a medium heat, gently scraping the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the slivers of sliced garlic to the pan, and once browned, take them off of the heat.
  4. Place the garlic pieces on some kitchen paper, and add the sake and mirin.
  5. Stir constantly until the alcohol in the sake has been cooked off, before adding the soy sauce.
  6. Once the soy sauce has been added, turn off the heat but keep the pan on the hob and stir.
  7. Sprinkle the garlic pieces over the meat, and ladle the sauce over.
  8. Serve the steak cubed, with a side of sesame seed coated spinach, plain rice and miso soup.
I loved my courses at Leiths, and will definitely be looking into doing some more in the future!

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Have you done any courses at Leiths? What was your experience? Be sure to comment below, and be sure to follow me onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Almond Butter and Banana Overnight Oats [gluten-free]

When I began switching to a gluten-free diet, I noticed my on-the-go breakfast options becoming much more limited in choice. Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day (even though brunch is my favourite), but I’m never in the mood to eat around 7am. In the past, this wasn’t that much of a big deal –  I would skip breakfast most days – or pick a croissant up from Pret on my way in.

almond butter banana

I’ve recently started a new job, and they offer breakfast – but none of it is gluten-free, and the usual coffee shops chains don’t offer much choice for those of us who can’t tolerate gluten. After a few days of getting breakfast food-envy, I started looking at other options and came across overnight oats – a healthy, delicious start to the day you can have al desko. I’ve become obsessed – I’ve tried a few recipes, but I adapted this one to best suit my personal taste. The almond butter and desiccated coconut makes it seem indulgent while still being healthy – and as you make them the night before, all you have to do is, to paraphrase the words of Dolly Parton: tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen…. and to the fridge on your way out.

kilner jar

I’ve been using this Kilner jar for my overnight oats – it’s the perfect size, without being too bulky, but with a good seal which makes it okay to shove in my handbag.

almond butter banana gluten free overnight oats

Almond Butter and Banana Overnight Oats [gluten-free]
 
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This is a great on-the-go breakfast for the summer months! It's gluten-free and so simple to do - and healthy, too!
Author:
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Breakfast
Cuisine: Gluten-free
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (85 grams) of gluten free oats
  • 1 cup (240 ml) of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of plain yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • Half a tablespoon of maple syrup
  • Half a tablespoon of vanilla protein powder
  • Banana
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
Instructions
  1. Combine milk, yoghurt and oats in your jar and stir.
  2. You can always skip the yoghurt, but it makes it creamier and adds more depth to the flavours.
  3. Chuck in the chia seeds, vanilla protein powder and maple syrup.
  4. The chia seeds help to soak up the liquid, and are a great source of fibre, protein and calcium.
  5. Then add chopped pieces of banana. The riper they are, the better!
  6. Top it off with a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter.
  7. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut and your work is done, once you've popped it in the fridge.
  8. The next day, give everything a good stir before digging in!

For this recipe – or any, even – I recommend getting this Cook’s Measure from Tala. After living in New York for 10 years, half of the recipes I’ve remembered are in cups and the other half are in grams, and this measure has been an absolute lifesaver.

chia seedsalmond butter banana gluten free overnight oatsalmond butter banana gluten free overnight oatsalmond butter banana gluten free overnight oatsalmond butter banana gluten free overnight oats

Since I’ve been bringing these in I’ve found myself with much more energy in the morning, and feel more full and sated. The best part is, I know exactly what’s going into each and every pot, and it tastes better than anything shop bought!

almond butter banana gluten free overnight oats

Have you tried overnight oats? What are your favourite things to eat al desko?

Vanilla protein pancakes [gluten free]

I was introduced to this gluten free pancake recipe by a friend of mine, and its become a firm favourite. It’s a simple recipe perfect for Saturday or Sunday brunch – I had mine with some dragonfruit, figs and honey, but would also go well with maple syrup and bacon, too.

Vanilla protein oat pancakes (gluten free)

The vanilla protein powder gives it a bit of flavour which is a nice accompaniment to the oats. If you prefer a smoother texture, whizz the oats in a food processor, or go for oat flour. Personally, I’m a fan of the texture so I left them as is.

I went for the Sun Warrior blend vanilla protein powder from Planet Organic: it’s dairy, soya and gluten free.

Vanilla protein pancakes [gluten free]
 
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This gluten free protein pancake is a firm favourite - perfect for a morning energy boost.
Author:
Recipe type: Gluten-free
Cuisine: Breakfast
Serves: One Batch
Ingredients
  • 200g gluten free oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml milk (semi-skimmed or full fat)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Butter
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter in a pan: pour in batter for each pancake.
  2. When the mixture bubbles, flip the pancake over – the first side is done.
  3. Repeat for the second side.
  4. The batter should be enough for four people: I made it for two, and froze the pancakes individually. This makes it easier to pop frozen pancakes in the toaster: perfect for a quick weekday breakfast.
Vanilla protein oat pancakes (gluten free)

I’m always on the lookout for interesting, gluten free breakfast options: any suggestions would be appreciated! Comment below, and be sure to follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!