Month: May 2015

Tummy tea, 3p

It’s been almost a week now since I fell ill at Ballymaloe literary festival on Friday night – festival-goers hopefully didn’t notice my decidedly below-par sluggishness under a professional veneer of an inch of makeup and a litre of strong sugary tea, as I was there to work and didn’t want to let anyone down by cancelling any events at the last minute, so powered on through and napped in between. I don’t know what exactly it was that pulled me under, my chief suspect was a delicious sea urchin I’d had for dinner on Friday evening,  as I have had difficulties with shellfish before (most notably a piece of regurgitated shrimp sitting in my hair through the duration of my appearance on BBC Question Time…) But six days later with a still-upset stomach, I’m not so sure my sea-urchin-diagnosis is correct. I’ll spare you the gory details. This morning,  frankly bored of being unwell, I decided to make myself something with turmeric in, to try to rebalance my digestive system and settle my tummy and get everything back to normal. It’s mostly better,  but caffeine, alcohol,  acid and spice set it back off to gurgling and burbling and cramping and rather like my mums IBS,  actually. And in my line of work that’s deeply unhelpful. I could shrug off caffeine and booze – reluctantly – but without lemon...

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Gram flour pasta, 17p [V/DF/GF]

   As part of my ‘health binge’ that I’m currently embarking on after the carbtastic Live Below The Line challenge followed by scarcely and sleep and a lot of crap sandwiches to power through a General Election, I decided to experiment and see if I could make gluten free pasta. I’m not a fan of ‘gluten free’ flour, having used it a few times in the past and being decidedly unimpressed with the results – and pasta being one of my absolutely favourite foods, I wasn’t going to run the risk of something that tasted like wet cardboard spoiling...

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Gramcake, 15p (GLUTEN-FREE) (VEGAN)

   Some people say socca, some say farinata; I decided to christen my breakfast this morning ‘gramcake’ – a pancake made with gram flour and little else. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to crack into my bag of gram flour, seeing it ticks all of my culinary boxes – it’s high in protein, versatile, and I can bake with it! All of which make me very happy indeed. This simple recipe made for a very satisfying breakfast – you can amend the spices and flavours to whatever you like, as the base is slightly sweet and...

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Cakey-Goodness Bread, 62p a large loaf (VEGAN)

One of my readers got in touch last week to say that they had started baking bread using recipes from my book and blog, and that it helped immensely with their anxiety. I totally get that – I find if I’m having a wobbly day, or week, a good session of kneading dough helps to work through it somewhat. It’s not a catch-all solution, but it is one of the rare moments in my week where I can stand still and rhythmically bash something, both well recommended for calming the soul.  Today I decided to do that thing, still...

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Socca frying-pan-pizza base (Gluten free), 14p

As part of my ‘health binge’ I am currently indulging in, I bought a bag of gram flour from the supermarket. At £1.30 for a kilo (brand: KTC, widely available at major supermarkets), it’s not as cheap as Basics flour, but it is gluten free and very versatile, or so I’m told. I used to shuffle past it in the supermarket, eyeballing it, wondering what could be done with it other than bind my bhaji, so to speak.  And then I took the plunge. And got some. And brought it home. Yesterday I used it as the binder and...

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