Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Easter Holidays Day 2

Today has been quite busy.

We got up and out fairly early for a school holiday day, and were at the shoe shop for just after 10am, and unusually we managed to get everything we needed from the one shop! Three pairs of school shoes, for C, L and R and one pair of trainers for L (B had new school shoes in the last holiday and her trainers are still fine, and she pinches mine sometimes too!) So £155 lighter we headed home for a tidying session as L has her best friend staying over tonight, and R wanted his best friend to come and play.

I've had Nerf gun fights, and people playing in the garden, running back in to get umbrellas because it's raining and overall happily playing children.

Pizzas were on the menu and I had decided to make them and so not ordered any.  I followed the recipes I found, but I think maybe I made the mixes a bit too dry as the gluten free ones were definitely more like pastry with pizza toppings on, L's friend said she doesn't like pastry and liked my pizza so it must have tasted like pizza, and I made C and hubby wholemeal pizzas to see what they were like, hubby isn't home yet but C said his was nice, so overall I think the 'normal ' pizzas tasted like pizza and the GF ones need a bit more practice.

We had a choice of toppings, mozzarella, ham, peppers, red onions, chopped cherry tomatoes and I made wedges with the skins on, and served a salad to go with it all, so not a complete failure, but maybe next time I've got a guest staying I'll not experiment on them!

We've got to pop out now as C volunteers and needs dropping off, so I'm going to treat everyone to either a McFlurry or a Milkshake from McDonalds on the way home for pudding!

Here's hoping day 3 is as much fun!

Lupin Girl x

Monday, 30 March 2015

Duchess' Tea Rooms Woburn Abbey

Wow, this is my 100th post!  Thank you to everyone who has read any of them, commented and hopefully enjoyed them.

Yesterday we surprised my cousin with an afternoon tea for her babyshower at The Duchess' Tea Rooms in Woburn Abbey.  One of my other relatives, A, set it all up and dealt with Julia from the tea rooms about my long list of allergies. 

I was a little nervous and slipped some of my bread into my bag just in case they had been unable to find anything I could have, that way they could bring me some filling and I could make my own, and half expected to not be allowed the same cakes as everyone else and be offered a fruit salad, but I didn't need to worry. 

After we had all selected the tea we wanted, and there was a large list of different teas to chose from, I had the Woburn Tea, which was very nice, and everybody had arrived one of the waitresses came over carrying one of the stands with sandwiches, scones and cakes on.  She said that it was for the gluten free lady, I put my hand up and she bought it over to me saying it was all for me.  I asked her to double check that it was free of all of my allergens, mainly because there were chocolate brownies on the top and I'm usually not allowed anything with chocolate in because of the soya.  She happily went to double check and Julia came out and assured me it was free of everything, I had apparently been one of the most challenging cases that they had had to deal with, and they had been worried they wouldn't be able to feed me much, but they had found the chocolate brownies, mini lemon sponges and almond squares, along with the sandwiches and scones, and they had put 3 large, juicy strawberries on too.  I was so happy, I had thought that they would find bread and I'd be able to have the sandwiches, but I wasn't so sure about the cakes as this is what I struggle with when eating out.  I thanked her for going to the trouble to make my afternoon as brilliant as everyone else and told her it was lovely to be able to have so many different cakes to eat. 

If you have food allergies/intolerances I would definitely recommend going there.  The staff went out of their way for me and one of the other ladies who had to have Granary bread (they went and bought some especially for her) A had said that Julia had known all about the new food regulations and been happy to sort out the food for us, and I had no problems other than being so full up I could hardly move lol

The Duchess' Tea Rooms at Woburn Abbey get a 10/10 from me

Lupin Girl x

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Cressheads and Watermelon Salad

Last weekend my husband and daughters went the garden centre and bought some seeds, they got cucamelons which we discovered last year as a friend had bought them and the girls had been desperate to try out, and they bought some cress and peas.

The peas have gone straight into the garden, the cucamelons are in little pots on our windowsill as they can't go into the garden yet, and L and R made funky 'heads' out of toilet roll tubes to grow their cress in.

Yesterday the cress had grown enough to eat and so for lunch we had egg mayonnaise sandwiches with cress, and I made a watermelon salad out of Davina's book but added mixed seeds to it, which was lovely.

Watermelon salad ingredients:

                   Half a watermelon

                   2 avocados

                  1 block of feta cheese

                  A sprinkling of mixed seeds

                  The juice of half a lemon

                  A bag of lambs lettuce


             Cut up the watermelon into chunks, I used a watermelon which has the white edible seeds, but if you have one which has the black seeds, then you will need to remove these.

             Slice open the avocados, remove the stone and cut into chunks.

             Cut the feta into chunks.

             Wash your lettuce.

              Put everything into a large bowl and toss, squeeze the juice from half a lemon over your salad and serve.

Lupin Girl x


Saturday, 28 March 2015

Homemade Fish and Chips

Last night I made fish and chips, proper battered fish and chip type fish and chips, and they were amazing, and I made a battered sausage for my daughter who doesn't like fish, we had them with my homemade ketchup and my husband asked if they could go onto the planner for every Friday instead of every four weeks!

I've never really done fresh fish, I'm always a bit scared of the bones, but I decided to be brave and ordered some cod fillets. 

I still haven't gotten around to buying a deep fat fryer yet and so I used my pan with Trex in, and it worked just fine, just be sure to stay with the pan the whole time.


               Gluten free flour



               Cod fillets



              Put 1 cup of gluten free flour into a bowl, add enough water to make a thickish batter, you don't want it too thick, but it needs to be able to stick to the cod.

              Heat up the Trex.

              Cut the potatoes, leave the skin on, into wedges.

             Fry the chips in batches, they take about 5 minutes, then keep warm in the oven until you're done.

             Dip your sausages if you're doing, into the batter, then fry in the oil, I used frozen sausages and fried them for about 7 minutes, then put them in the oven to keep warm.

             Dip one piece of cod into the batter and fry until the batter is golden, this took about 5 minutes or so, keep warm in the oven until you have fried all of your fish.

 I served the dinner with peas or beans, depending upon personal preference of my family member!

Like I say it was soooo good my husband wants it to go onto the meal planner weekly, that won't be happening lol as one of the weeks is sweet and sour chicken balls, my personal favourite, but I may be tempted to surprise him now and then, if he's been good!

Lupin Girl x


Friday, 27 March 2015

Easter Cakes and Dressing Up

It's been quite a hectic few days.  The primary school my youngest two go to are holding a bake off and an ambitions day today, and so my kitchen has been taken over by them making and decorating cakes.

L was desperate to make a chocolate brownie cake and R couldn't decide, first off he wanted to make a chocolate cake, then a marble cake, in the end he settled for a green and yellow marble cake covered in green icing, with chicks and a bunny on, and L decided to stick with the chocolate brownie cake but ice with green buttercream icing for grass, and stick her chicks and bunny on.

R went first and made a gluten free Victoria sponge using this recipe:


                  225g soft butter

                  225g sugar

                  4 eggs

                 225g gluten free self raising flour

                 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum

                 A few drops of green food colouring               


              Cream your butter and sugar together, beat well.

              Add your eggs one at a time, beating well in between.

              Add your self raising flour and xanthan gum and beat well.

              Divide your mix between two bowls.

              Add the green food colouring to one bowl and mix in.

             Grease and line a round tin, and put in your mixes in blobs, then use a fork to swirl the two together, but don't let them blend to one colour.

             Bake for approximately 40 minutes on gas mark 4.

Once the cake was cooled R had a bit of help rolling out the green fondant icing, he then put a bit of jam on his cake so that the icing would stick, and we placed the fondant on top, unfortunately during cooking the cake had sunk in the middle, but as this was going to be an Easter cake, it actually worked to his advantage as he made a nest for his chicks using some mint Matchmakers and he put a Cadbury Mini Egg in the nest too.  I think it looked amazing and think it would have done well in the competition, but he got upset when he found out that the school were selling the cakes after judging them and has refused to take it in!  He ate the nest, egg and bunny last night so I'm just left with a green cake in the kitchen lol.

L went next with our tried and tested chocolate brownie recipe:


However things did not go to plan! 

We really didn't have time to make and decorate cakes as the only evening we have free is a Friday, but they had to be in this morning and so we had to make the cakes Wednesday straight after school, and decorate them Thursday straight after school, before the clubs.  R's cake took longer to make and cook than I had thought it would, and therefore I was only just able to put L's cake in the oven as we had to leave for her club, so I left my hubby in charge of taking it out when the oven beeped.  When we got home the cake was indeed out of the oven, however for some reason it hadn't cooked properly, when the oven beeped it wasn't cooked in the middle and so it went back in, but when the middle was just about cooked half of the outside was burnt.  We tried cutting the cake in half but L wasn't happy, so Thursday morning before school we were making another chocolate brownie cake, luckily this cake cooked properly and is the one that she has decorated and taken to school to be judged! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her x

So sat in my kitchen along with the green cake is half an edible chocolate brownie cake and half a burnt chocolate brownie cake, I think I might feed that bit to the birds lol

On top of this they also had to decide what to wear, they had to go dressed as what they want to be when they're grown up!  Neither of them really know, L wants to be an actress, but how do you go dressed as an actress?  I suggested going as a character that an actress had played, but that's a bit too similar to dress up as a book character day, and so she has gone in her dance gear and is saying she wants to be a dancer.  R was going as a pilot, but I'm not sure what happened this morning, as he was sulking and changed into army gear by the time I was up, he was upset that they couldn't take guns into school!  I suggested going in his football gear, but he didn't want to and has gone dressed in army trousers and jacket with boots on and a belt with pouches on in which he has his water bottle and drink bottle, so I think he was happy in the end!

I'm so glad it's the Easter holidays after today (today for my eldest daughter who has a teacher training day and is off, looking forward to popping into town with her later for a coffee!)

Lupin Girl x

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Pinto bean chilli

I'd never heard of pinto beans before, but my local Tesco had them reduced down to 30p so I thought I'd buy them and see what they were like.

You can't be in a hurry when using them as first they need rinsing, then boiling for 10 minutes, the simmering for an hour, then you add them to your dish and cook as usual. 

I decided to make a chilli to go with our jacket potatoes because neither of my boys like jacket potatoes so I could cook a little rice for them and they'd still have a meal. However life is never that simple! Neither of my girls like chilli! They had tuna mayonnaise, cheese and beans to chose from. 

Chilli recipe:


                  100g pinto beans

                  500ml water

                  2 tins chopped tomatoes

                  1 tin red kidney beans

                  2 red onions

                  Chilli powder to taste

                 1 tsp oil



             Weigh out 100g of pinto beans.  Rinse well and place in a saucepan with 500ml of water.

            Boil for 10 minutes.

            Reduce to a simmer, put a lid on and leave for an hour.

            After your beans have been simmering for half hour put your washed and pricked potatoes into the oven on gas mark 6.

            Drain and rinse well with boiling water.

            Chop onions and fry in a very little oil in your saucepan.

            Add pinto beans, kidney beans chilli powder and tomatoes and simmer for 45 minutes.

           Cook your rice according to the instructions on your packet.

           Serve and enjoy!

We had some of this left over so another night I added 500g of cooked minced beef to it and another Tom of chopped tomatoes and a tin of baked beans, a delicious meat chilli.

Lupin Girl x



Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Sugar free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Soya Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

So I wanted to see if it was possible to make a yummy refined sugar free lemon drizzle cake.  I haven't iced this one as I did the last one


I used honey in place of sugar for the cake, and then xylitol for the lemon drizzle and it's gone down a storm, so here's my recipe:

Ingredients for the cake:

                 225g soft butter

                 150g honey

                 4 medium eggs

                 225g Gluten Free self raising flour

                 Juice of 1 lemon


               Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 4.

               Put your butter, honey and eggs into a large bowl, or mixer and beat well.

               Add the GF SR flour and continue to beat.

               Add the juice of 1 lemon, beat and then pour the mixture into a greased and lined cake tin.

               Bake for approximately 45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean and your cake is brown and coming away from the edges of the tin.

Ingredients for lemon drizzle:

                      Juice of 1 lemon

                      50g xylitol


              When your cake has 5 mins left to cook, put the juice of 1 lemon and the xylitol into a saucepan and heat until the xylitol has dissolved.

              Take your cake out of the oven, prick all over with a skewer and pour the hot drizzle over your cake. 

              Allow to cool for about 10 mins in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack.


Lupin Girl x


Homemade Granola

My eldest son and husband love granola so when I saw a recipe for it in Davina's 5 Weeks To Sugar Free I thought it was worth giving a go, and, actually it is very easy to make:


                 250g oats (Davina's book says to use jumbo oats, but they were more expensive than my regular brand so I just used that, I'll report back when the boys have tried and compared to the usual brand)

                 50g desiccated coconut

                 150g nuts (lightly crushed) (I used cashew, walnut and almond)

                 3 table spoons coconut oil

                 2 table spoons maple syrup

                 1 egg white (beaten)


                Place your selected nuts into a bag and attack with a rolling pin, great for getting your anger out lol, but don't go too mad we still want some bite to the granola!

               Weigh out your oats and add the nuts and desiccated coconut.

               Add the coconut oil. (I had to melt mine in a saucepan on a low heat as it was solid)

              Add the maple syrup and beaten egg white.

             Mix together and put onto a large lined baking sheet.

            Bake in a pre-heated oven on gas mark 2 for 40-50 minutes, I did like Davina suggests and checked after 40 minutes but mine needed 45 minutes.  It is done when golden brown.

              Allow to cool then put into an airtight container.

              Davina's book says it will last for a few weeks, if it's not gobbled up before then lol.

Looking forward to the boys trying this out in the morning and seeing what they think.

Lupin Girl x

Monday, 23 March 2015

Avocado and Poached egg on Toast with Nibbly Nuts

One of my new favourite lunches is avocado on toast with one, sometimes two poached eggs on toast.  I don't know why I have never tried this before, but it is amazing, to follow I have a pot of mixed nuts, raisins and apricots.


                One or two eggs

                Saucepan of boiling water

               1/2 ripe avocado

               2 slices of gluten free bread

               4 dried apricots either whole or chopped into pieces

               A small handful of raisins or sultanas

               A few almonds, cashew, pistachio nuts (My husband likes walnuts as well, but I'm not keen on those)


              Chop apricots if you want small pieces or just put them whole into a pot/bowl, add a small handful of each nut you are having then add the raisins/sultanas and give a little mix.

              Boil a saucepan of water, when it's boiling stir vigorously to make a whirlpool, then drop your egg into the water and turn the heat right down.

              Pop your bread into a toaster

              Split your ripe avocado in half, put the half with the stone still in back into a bag and into the fridge for another time, and spread the soft green flesh of the half without a stone over your toast (discard the skin).

             Use a slotted spoon to remove your poached egg and put it onto your avocado toast.

             If you're having two poached eggs, you can either now cook a second one in the same way as the first, or if you're not fussy about how they look you can cook two at the same time.  I find that by the time my toast has popped and I've spread the avocado onto it my egg has cooked, I like the yolk to still be runny.

Avocados are said to be very nutritious, it is high in healthy fats and provides you with many of your daily vitamins.


Lupin Girl x


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Slow Roast Pork

I've had an amazingly relaxing weekend, and what better way to say thank you to my wonderful husband than by cooking him his favourite roast, I think it's the kids favourite too. 

Until I worked out how to make crackling and pork so tender it fell off of the bone, I didn't really like pork, and now I do know how to make it perfectly it doesn't seem to agree with me, I can only tolerate a taste, and even then I get a dull ache in my stomach, so I mainly have the garlicky roast potatoes and the amazingly huge and fluffy Yorkshire puddings with the vegetables.

Here's how you cook it.


                   Pork approximately 2kg

                   Potatoes approximately 1 medium potato each


                   Garlic powder

For the Yorkshire puddings, use the second recipe from here, I double it to make extras:


             Pre-heat your oven on gas mark 8.

             Rub salt into the skin of your pork and place onto an oven tray.

            Put the pork into the oven and turn down to gas mark 4.

            Leave for about 4 hours.

            After your pork has been in for 4 hours, boil your potatoes for 15 minutes, drain in a colander and rough the edges up by swirling them around.

            Take the pork out of the oven to rest, turn the oven up to gas 7 and put your potatoes into the pork fat, sprinkle with garlic powder, and put in the oven for about 20 minutes.

            Make up your Yorkshire pudding batter.

           After your potatoes have been in for 20 minutes, put a muffin tray which has oil in each muffin hole into the oven for about 5-10 minutes to get hot, then spoon in two soup spoons of your batter into each muffin hole and put back into the oven for 15 minutes.

           Cook your vegetables.

           Make gravy if having, and enjoy.

I hope you enjoy it as much as my lot do, we were supposed to be having pulled pork rolls for dinner tomorrow, but there isn't enough pork left for everyone lol.

Lupin Girl x

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Simple Fish Dish

One of the new dishes on our meal planner is white fish with new potatoes.  We're not big fish eaters and I'm trying to get a bit more of it into our diet.  This is the first time I've done this dish, and apart from L we all liked it.  I kept it simple, served with potatoes and vegetables and some of my homemade ketchup:


To make this dinner all I did was:


                   1 White fish fillet per person (I used frozen pollock fillets)


                   One knob of butter per fillet of fish

                   Dried or fresh herbs

                   Vegetables of your choice


               Boil the potatoes.

               Whilst the potatoes are boiling heat an oven tray up with a little oil in.

               Put the drained potatoes into the hot tray and place your fish on top and put     a knob of butter on top of each fish fillet, then sprinkle with herbs and pop into the oven. (I used frozen fish which took 25mins to cook, if you are using fresh then pop the potatoes into the oven for about 15mins first, then add your fish and pop back in)

               Cook for 25mins on gas mark 4/5

               Boil whichever vegetables you fancy having, we had broccoli, cauliflower, peas and sweetcorn with ours.

Lupin Girl x

Friday, 20 March 2015

Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Soya Free Spiced Moist Apple Cake Pudding

I have made savoury dishes all week, and as it's Friday I wanted to treat us all.  However I still wanted to try and stick to the sugar free idea and so decided to modify an old recipe I have written down for a spiced apple cake. 

It turned out really well, it's more like bread pudding in consistency, but it always was a dense cake here's what I did:


                  330g grated apples (about 4)

                  120g soft butter

                  165g honey or maple syrup (I used maple syrup)

                  1 egg

                  300g gluten free self raising flour

                  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

                  1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or the seeds from one pod.


                 Mix your butter, egg, vanilla and maple syrup together.

                 Fold in the grated apples.

                 Mix the flour and cinnamon together.

                 Fold the flour mix into your cake mix.

                 Pour into a greased 7inch square cake tin. (I used a pyrex)

                 Bake at gas mark 4/180C/350F for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

Enjoy, this is definitely a mixture between a cake and a pudding, and was loved by everyone in the family :)

Lupin Girl x

Solar eclipse 2015

I've just witnessed the second solar eclipse of my life.  I was pregnant with my eldest child during the first one in 1999 and watched it with work colleagues, I remember it feeling quite eerie and exciting.  In 1999 it was a total eclipse and I wish we had had the camera phones and digital cameras that we have today as I would have love to have taken a picture of it.

Now I know it's dangerous to take pictures of eclipses as you cannot look at the sun, however if you point and shoot a few times without looking through the view finder or screen you can get a good shot or two, after all, it happens over a long period of time.

I also tried to use a pinhole viewer and spoon with holes in (my colander has lines not holes) but I was very disappointed as due to the cloud cover it didn't really work.

All of my children have witnessed this amazing event at school, the youngest two were watching it on a live stream on their interactive whiteboards, my eldest is in a mock exam and so I'm not sure will have seen much of it at all, and the other school hasn't informed us how they were viewing, but I suspect it would have been a live screen too.  I've recorded the BBC1 programme for them all and will show them my pictures when they get home.

Lupin Girl x

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Quick and EasyTurkey Skewers

When I was looking for inspiration for new dinner ideas the other month, somebody had posted a picture of their dinner that night on Facebook.  They had made their own turkey skewers and I thought they looked easy, and fun for the kids, so I popped them onto my planner and yesterday was the first day we had them.  They are really easy to make:


                   Turkey mince (I think my pack was about 500g)


                   Chili flakes (optional)

                   Herbs (optional)

                   Brown rice


                   Red pepper

                   1 garlic clove


                Divide mince into enough portions for people, we had one big skewer each, but you could do smaller ones, if you preferred.

                Using your hands, squish the turkey mince onto the end of each skewer and spread along the skewer, but not all the way.

                If you are using the herbs, and/or chilli flakes sprinkle these onto the skewers.  I did three plain and three with chilli flakes.

                Place into an oven on gas mark 5 for about 30 minutes.

                Boil enough rice for each person you are serving.
                Fry your pepper and garlic, add in chili flakes once cooked and stir for a minute or two, then add to your cooked rice.  (I kept half plain)

                Boil your peas.

                Serve and enjoy.

These were a big hit, and I'd like to thank whoever it was who posted their dinner online as it is another one which we all like, and are all allowed.

The skewers are easy to prepare in advance, I did mine before I collected the children from school, put them on an oven tray and covered them with tin foil, popped them in the fridge, then cooked them when I needed them.  I would think they would freeze well too, if you wanted to make them up well in advance, but you would need to ensure they had fully defrosted before cooking them.

Lupin Girl x

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Quinoa, Feta and Avacado Salad

Today we're trying quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, an edible seed from the goosefoot family.  It is said to be, according to the BBC Good Food website, a supercrop having all eight of the essential amino acids, and is packed with fibre, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. We've never had it before, it looks similar to cous cous and I've made a salad with it for lunch, here's what I did:


                   100g quinoa, rinsed well

                   300g water/stock

                  1 ripe avocado

                  100g feta cheese


                  Cherry tomatoes


                  Rinse your quinoa thoroughly.

                  Bring 300g of water or stock to the boil.

                  Add quinoa, stir, then reduce heat and cover pan with a lid, simmer for 20 minutes, or until almost all of the water has been absorbed.

                 Take off the heat and allow to cool.

                 Prepare you avocado by running a knife around the middle then twisting the two halves apart.  Peel off the skin, if your avocado is ripe this will be easy, if any bits of skin stay on the avocado then use a knife to cut them off.

                Chop avocado into cubes.

                Cube your feta cheese, cucumber and slice cherry tomatoes in half.

               Wash your lettuce and pat dry, place in a large bowl, add all of your ingredients (make sure your quinoa is cold) and toss.

Quinoa is gluten free and stated as safe for coeliacs, I have read that it does contain a protein which some coeliacs and gluten sensitive people react to so I guess I'll see how I am later on!

Lupin Girl x

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Blending and Sieving

If you'd asked me a year ago if I was the sort of woman who made her own soups I'd have said occasionally, usually with the children at a weekend. 

If you'd asked me if I would make my own ketchup, I probably would have laughed at you!  But this week that is what I've done, and apart from being a bit time consuming, it's easy.

As I'm trying to cut down the hidden sugars in our food, I knew I was going to have to try and make ketchup.  I didn't hold out much hope for it, but when I saw it in Davina's 5 Weeks To Sugar Free I thought it must be possible, and so yesterday afternoon I decided to make a batch to have with our homemade burgers:


I followed Davina's recipe exactly and made ketchup!

You will need to allow yourself about 2 hours to make this, and then time for it to cool down, (although, it's actually quite nice warm) and you will need to sterilise a bottle to keep it in.

Now it doesn't taste the same as the shop bought varieties, it's, obviously, nowhere near as sweet, it is thick, and gloopy and yummy.  L liked it!  Yep, that's right L who doesn't like sauce liked this ketchup, I was a very happy mummy last night.

This afternoon I have yet again been at the stove, making tomato soup, like I said before, I have made soups in the past and the reason I've made it today is because we're having stew tomorrow and normally I would put a couple of tins in that, but there is a lot of sugar in tinned tomato soup and so thought I'd have a go at making my own.  I researched a few recipes and blended them to come up with this:


                  About 1kg tomatoes (roughly 10)

                  1 large carrot, grated

                  2 small red onions

                 600ml of vegetable stock

                 1 bulb of garlic


                 Chop your tomatoes in half, and place them on an oiled oven tray and scatter with whole cloves of garlic.  Put in the oven on gas mark 5 for about 45 minutes.

                 Fry your onions and grated carrot until soft, then add the vegetable stock to the frying pan and simmer for about 5 minutes.

                 Allow both your tomatoes and your stock to cool slightly before continuing.

                 If using a blender with a pulp catcher you can put everything in through that and blitz, if using a hand blender you'll need to squeeze your garlic pulp out of the skins first.

                 Depending upon how smooth the blender has gotten your soup you may feel you want to sieve it, I did as I could still see the odd bit of garlic and wanted a really smooth soup.

I have divided my soup into two containers, one for the hubby to have re-heated and to take to work, and one to put into our stew tomorrow.

I tasted the soup myself, and it's really nice.  Now I don't like tinned tomato soup, I think it tastes really sweet and artificial, but I would eat a bowl of this.

Lupin Girl x



Monday, 16 March 2015

Homemade Gluten Free Burgers

For dinner our planner has us down for burgers. I decided to make the burgers myself and used the recipe from Davina's 5 Weeks to Sugar-Free I did increase the recipe slightly and I made 6 which had cheese in the middle. One of my best friends does this if we're having a BBQ and they are delicious.  

I also made some sweet potato burgers which were met with mixed reviews, L refused to try them at all, C wasn't feeling very well today and so didn't eat very much, but I think would like them if he was feeling ok.  B tried them very cautiously, but then declared them yummy, and R was the first to grab them and had eaten one before I even knew anyone had had one!

Here's how to make the sweet potato burgers:


                 500g sweet potatoes (peeled)

                 140g gluten free breadcrumbs

                 1 grated carrot

                 25g mixed seeds

                 1 roasted pepper


              Roast your pepper (I cut mine in half and de-seeded it, then placed it on an oven tray and put it in the oven on gas 5 and left it in there until I had cooked and mashed my sweet potatoes)

                 Boil your sweet potatoes in small chunks, drain and mash.

                 Chop your pepper and add to your mash, along with the grated carrot and seeds, stir.

                Add half of your breadcrumbs and stir them in.

               Lightly blitz remaining breadcrumbs so they are fine, but not powder (this is used to coat your burgers) I skipped this step and we didn't have our burgers breaded as I didn't have enough GF bread to turn into breadcrumbs, well I did, but then R wouldn't have lunch tomorrow, so thought I'd better not!

              Shape your mix into burgers, I managed to get 10 out of mine.

             Cook on gas mark 7 for 20-30mins

Davina's burgers, and my twist with cheese:


                  750g minced beef.

                  1 large onion and 1 small onion, finely chopped.

                  2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped.

                 1 egg

                 25ml milk

                1 teaspoon dried herbs

                100g gluten free breadcrumbs

                3 soft cheese triangles

Method to make 6 cheese burgers and 6 mini burgers:

               Fry your onion until soft, then add your garlic and fry for another minute or two.
               Put your mince into a large bowl, and add the onion and garlic to it.

               Add all of the other ingredients and mix with your hands.

               Place your mixture in the fridge for about half an hour to firm up.

               Line an oven tray with greaseproof paper.

               Take a piece of mince mixture about the size of the bottom of a tin and squash flatish. (I used my palm, but you'd have not idea how big that was lol)  Put half a cheese triangle onto the patty, then get a bit more mince put on top and completely enclose the cheese.

               Place onto the oven tray.

               Repeat until you have 6 burgers.

               Cook on gas mark 7 for 30 minutes.

              Next divide the remaining mixture into 6 mini burgers and place onto a separate tray if needed.

            Cook at gas mark 7 for 15-20 minutes.

The cheese burgers were by far the favourite of my gang, only L didn't like them as she didn't like the taste of the cheese in the middle.

I hope you and your family like them,

Lupin Girl x