​Gluten free and gluten full cheese and pancetta muffins

I have to start with some apologises, it has been far too long since I last updated you all, but everything has just got a bit on top of me since starting a new job and getting into some new routines. But, never fear, I think I’m getting there!
As mentioned in my previous post I mentioned that I had made numerous things to take into work to suit all tastes and dietary requirements. I have made these muffins a couple of times and attempted to make them gluten free but they didn’t really work, so unlike the peanut butter cookies, I didn’t have the  confidence to only make them gluten free just in case the same thing happened again. Luckily, they didn’t, previously they were far too dry, crumbly and just had a really unpleasant aftertaste which the gluten full ones definitely didn’t have. So you can guarantee that when I was taste testing these I was hyper critical. This time, I was rather impressed that I couldn’t really tell the difference between them and I was happy to take them into work. They went down really well! I am determined to help change the way some people view gluten free baking which means I’m really picky about which recipes I take into work, so I’m happy to have a savoury option to take in. 

Ingredients

1 Pack Lean Pancetta

1 Cup Grated Mature Cheddar

1 Cup Whole Milk

1 Cup Gluten Flour

1 Cup Gluten Free Flour

2 Tbsp. Salted Butter

1 Tbsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

1 Tsp. Salt

½ Tsp. Xantham Gum

2 Eggs


Method

1. In a frying pan, cook the pancetta lardons until cooked through then leave to one side to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to  175°c and grease 12 muffin tins/cases.

3. Over a medium heat, melt all the butter then allow to cool to room temperature.

4. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together, then add the butter, cheese and  bacon lardons and divide the mixture into 2 separate bowls. Ready for the gluten and gluten free versions.

5. In a separate bowl combine the flour and half of the baking powder, salt and sugar. Add this to one set of the bacon mixture.

6. In a fresh bowl, mix the gluten free flour, xantham gum and remaining baking powder, sugar and salt then add to the second bacon mixture. With this mixture if it begins to look a lot thicker/drier than the gluten version just add a bit more milk to ensure the mixture doesn’t get too dry once baked.

7. Spoon the mixture into your prepared tins (I use a different type so it’s easy to remember which are which), only fill them about 2/3 full to give them room to rise.

8. Bake for roughly 20 minutes or until they begin brown.

9. Leave to  cool on a wire rack then enjoy!

Nutritional information

Serves 12

Calories: 209

Protein: 9.3g

Carbohydrates: 18.7g

Of which is sugars: 1.4g

Fibre: 0.8g

Fat: 10.6g

Of which is saturated: 6.0g

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

​With everything going on more recently, it’s been ages since I did any baking to take into work.  But being as I’m changing jobs I thought it was about time I got my mid-week bake back on. I’m glad I did as I got spoilt rotten by the people at work and I’m not even moving that far away! 

I decided to  make a couple of different things as there are some people who prefer savoury over sweet and some people who are gluten free. 

I’ll share all the recipes but today I thought I’d start with my favourite which is a tweak to the hummingbird bakery recipe to make some gluten free peanut butter cookies. These went down a storm with both gluten full and gluten free folk and out of a batch of 28 that was made, I only came away with 2 bring home. Which I naturally polished off as I couldn’t have them sitting in the cupboard, that would have been nothing short of blasphemy. 
These are pretty straight forward to make, they just take awhile for me as I can only fit 1 baking  tray in my oven at one time, so it takes me a lifetime to bake them all, but they are worth it.

Ingredients

340g Gluten Free Flour

225g Salted Butter

240g Peanut Butter (this time used smooth but crunchy adds amazing texture)

80g Dark Chocolate (chopped)

200g Caster Sugar

200g Light Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

2 ½ Tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

½ Xantham Gum

½ Tsp Salt

½ Tsp Vanilla Extract

Method

1. Preheat the oven to175°c. In an electric mixer, whisk together the butter with both sugars until light and fluffy.

2. Turn the mixer down slightly and add the eggs one at time.

3. Once fully incorporated add in the flour, gum, salt, baking powder and vanilla extract and mix together then add in the peanut butter and chocolate chunks and thoroughly mix again.

4. On some prepared baking trays put a good dollop of the mix, ensure there is enough space between them when they spread out on the tray, depending on which tray I use I can either fit 5 or 6 per tray.

5. Put in the oven for 10 minutes until they start to spread out and go slightly brown but they should still look a bit soft in the middle as this will keep them gooey and soft. Leave them on the tray to cool, if you transfer them to a wire rack as this point they will fall apart.

6. Once cooled and set, enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Calories: 201

Protein: 3.3g

Carbohydrates:  22.5g

Of which is sugars: 13.4g

Fibre:  0.7g

Fat: 10.7g

Of which is saturated: 4.8g

Bounty Overnight Oats

​It may already have become apparent but breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day. It’s the one I spend the most time thinking about and prepping for the week ahead. 

This week, I decided to incorporate some inspiration from one of my favourite chocolate bars. A good ol’ Bounty bar. And mix it with one of my favourite breakfasts, overnight oats. And voila! Here’s my bounty overnight oats. It so simple and you can make a weeks worth (well 5 days) of breakfast at once so it’s super easy to stay on track for the rest of week when all you have to do is grab the tub out of the fridge and trundle off to work.
Ingredients

500ml Hazelnut Milk

1 Cup Rolled Oats (Gluten Free if needed)

450g Natural Yoghurt

¼ Cup of Shredded Coconut

6 Tbsp. Chia Seeds

6 Tbsp. Cacao Powder 
Toppings – amount added per each serving

50g Frozen Raspberries

10g Shredded Coconut

5g Cacao Nibs

Method

1. In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients, (excluding toppings) coconut, oats, chia seeds and cacao powder.

2. Add the hazelnut milk in bits, stirring as you go to avoid getting lumps of cacao powder.

3. Once all the milk is added, add the natural yoghurt and thoroughly mix together.

4. Leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours then dish up into 5 servings.

5. I add the frozen raspberries in at this point as I like the juice to go into the oats as they defrost. If you don’t like raspberries, you can add some maple syrup as it can be a bit bitter if you’re not careful!

6. Leave in the fridge overnight until required.

7. I also pre portion out the additional coconut and cacao nibs in a separate tub and then add them just before eating so they keep a bit of crunch!

Nutritional information

(includes toppings)

Calories: 371

Protein: 12g

Carbohydrates: 33g

Of which is sugars:  16g

Fibre: 12g

Fat: 21g

Of which is saturated: 13g

Mexican Turkey Burgers

​As summer is upon us, it’s BBQ season. Unless, of course, you live in the UK, where we wouldn’t know summer if it hit us in the face at the moment.

This was the scene that greeted me after spin class on Saturday morning, ready for a nice day out with one of my friends….hard to believe this is a July morning.
However, I have refused to let that dampen my spirits when it comes to my food choices. Family BBQ’s should be a really fun occasion where you shouldn’t have to worry about what you’re eating. But inevitably the shop brought burgers can be full of various preservatives and also gluten. I prefer to make my own burgers and they are simple and easy to do!
I have previously make these sun-dried tomato burgers which are amazing, but I’ve had a really craving for something with a slight Mexican twist so I came up with these burgers.
Ingredients

800g Lean Turkey Mince

3 Shallots

1 Egg

½ Tbsp. Chilli Powder

½ Tbsp. Paprika

1 Tbsp. Harissa Paste 

Bit of coconut oil to oil baking trays (if not grilling)

Side note: I prefer to use a burger press to help with portion sizing and shaping but you can do it by hand if you prefer.

Method

1. Finely chop the shallots. Oil 2 baking trays with some coconut oil ready for later (if you’re not grilling them)

2. In a large bowl, mix together the turkey mince, egg and shallots. I normally do this by hand and it allows you really feel how it’s all coming together.

3. Add in all the spices and harissa paste and mix until the spices are evenly distributed throughout turkey mince. 

4. Mould into burgers, I find it normally makes around 7 good sized ones. And place onto a baking tray, cover and place in the fridge for an hour.

5. Once the hour has passed if you want to cook them in the oven, pre heat to 150°c, then place the burgers in the oven and cook for roughly 25 minutes, turning them around half way through.

6. These can also be cooked on the grill just ensure you’ve made the burgers tightly packed else they may fall apart on the grill.

7. Then enjoy!

Nutritional Information

(For the burger, not including the salad)

Calories: 181

Protein: 23g

Carbohydrates: 2.2g 

Of which is sugars: 0.7g

Fibre: 0.8g

Fat: 8.8g 

Of which is saturated:2.4g

Protein Packed Stuffed Breakfast Peppers

I don’t think there’a any meal I put quite as much time into thinking about as breakfast. I know people always say that it’s the most important meal of the day, but honestly I think it’s just my favourite. There’s such a variety of what you could have, hot or cold, sweet or savoury. I think for anyone who saw the picture of my birthday breakfast the other week at one of my favourite restaurants (Annie’s burger shack in Nottingham, they also offer EVERY option on their menu as veggie or vegan, as well as catering for gluten free) you would have seen that my ideal breakfast is a mix of sweet, savoury, hot and cold. Who says you can’t have it all?
Back to reality in terms of what do I want for breakfast this week, I spent a few hours looking on pinterest and flicking through my various cookbooks and I thought that I would have a go at some stuffed peppers. What I found really appealing about this is there’s no need to follow a strict recipe, you can just fill it with what you like and tweak as you go to your personal preference. However, if you do want some inspiration, why not try my protein packed stuffed peppers. Perfect for a quick and easy breakfast, whether it’s before a run or ready to drop in your bag to take to work.

image

Ingredients
6 Peppers, chopped in half
6 Eggs
12 Tablespoons of Water
100g Feta Cheese (I like the one that some with sundried tomatoes)
150g Tinned Sweetcorn
155g Lean Smoked Bacon Lardons
2 Shallots, chopped

image

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 150°c
2. Take the chopped shallots and bacon lardons and gently fry off in a pan until just cooked and the shallots have softened then leave to one side.
3. Take the  halved peppers and scrape out the insides until you have a nice cup to hold your filling as so. This does take a little while if you’re prepping enough for the week, but be patient!

image

4. In a large mix bowl, beat all the eggs together. Add all the water and beat until full incorporated. Add in all the feta (draining any oil beforehand if you buy the feta in oil and sundried tomatoes like I do) and sweetcorn and mix again.
5. Lay all your peppers onto a greased oven tray to prevent the bottoms sticking/burning to the pan, try to balance them so when you pour in the mixture it won’t spill, this may take a bit of fiddling about.
6. Add the shallot and lardon mixture to your eggs, if you do it earlier the heat may start to cook the eggs slightly, so try to leave it as late as possible.
7. Fill your peppers with the mixtures, ensuring that they don’t spill over and place in the oven.
8. Cook for roughly 20 minutes, depending on the size of the peppers. Keep a check and once the filling starts to look firm take them out and leave them to cool.
9. If you’ve made them a head of time, just give them a couple of minutes in the microwave until warmed through (timings will vary depending on the size of each pepper) then enjoy.

image

image

Nutritional Information
Serves 6 (2 halves per serving)
Calories: 228
Protein: 17.3g
Carbohydrates: 11.7g
Of which is sugars: 8.0g
Fibre: 3.5g
Fat: 11.8g
Of which is saturated: 3.9g

Peanut Butter Raworeos

With the weather now starting to warm up (if we ignore the dismal weather last weekend), I’ve  been trying to find some recipes that don’t involve me melting away in the kitchen for hours on end. So instead I spent a few hours flicking through pinterest for some inspiration when I came across ‘‘Fettle Vegan’  with an amazing recipe I just had to try of some raw, healthy oreos. I did tweak the recipe slightly, because what’s better than oreos? Peanut butter oreos, of course!  So here are my peanut butter raworeos. Now they did need a couple of hours prep, to allow the filling to set nicely but they’re definitely worth it. I’m not going to lie, I ate far too many and couldn’t even resist having them on a non treat day as well.
The calorie information does seem quite high but I didn’t make that many out of the mixture I had, I don’t think I rolled the base out thin enough so I ended up with 5 monster cookies! Well worth it, but obviously you can make them slightly smaller with a bit less filling in each to bring it down if you wish, but sometimes it’s nice to be a bit indulgent.

Ingredients
¾ rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup cashews (75g)
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
2 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoons vanilla essence

image

Method
1. In a food processor blitz together the oats and cacao powder until you have a rough flour. Then add the dates. As my processor isn’t the strongest one going, I have to gradually add them 2-3 at a time to stop it burning it. It does take a while but eventually it will  come together in a well mixed dough. Remove from the processor and place in a bowl and leave in the fridge to cool as it will be warm and sticky after mixing.
2. To make the filling, mix together all the ingredients with the exception of the peanut butter in the food processor until you get a smooth filling, then gradually stir in the peanut butter until it starts to thicken up and you get the desired amount of peanut buttery goodness. I know some people don’t like too thick a texture but I love it.
3. Leave to cool in the fridge for a couple of hours until it’s started to firm up and it able to  e spread.
4. About 10-15 minutes before you want to start building the cookies, remove the dough from the fridge so it starts to warm up slightly making it easier to roll out. Then roll out and cut out cookie shapes until you use all the dough (making sure it’s an even number) and place onto a parchment paper lined tray.
5. Remove  the filling from the fridge and spread/dollop the filling evenly over half of the cookies and build. Hey presto all made 🙂
image

image

Nutritional information
Calories: 429
Protein: 10.4g
Carbohydrates: 49g
Of which is sugars: 25.7g
Fibre: 7.4g
Fat: 23.7g
Of which is saturated: 7.6g

Lemon Bars

Every so often I just fancy baking without being too fussed to eat the end result (I know, weird, but it does happen on the odd occasion) and this week I had one of these times. I was raking my brain trying to think about what to make that would still go down well at my house without then leading to being tempting treats in the house for me later in week when I’m being good. This is particularly important as most recently my willpower hasn’t been at its best so I’m better not having it in the house otherwise I’ll hit a midweek slump and a whole batch of baking will be gone in one. Not good.

So, light bulb moment of something lemony similar to the mini lemon loaves I made, which I promise I will post the recipe for I just want to tweak it a couple of times before I do, but I thought of lemon slices. Now I’ve never made my own lemon curd, and to be honest, I’m not a lemon fan. I can just about take it in some hot water every so often or a dash on pancakes with sugar on pancake but generally whenever my mum would make homemade lemon tarts (with homemade lemon curd) she would have to make me jam tarts instead as I wouldn’t eat them. However, my partner is partial to such desserts and does enjoy a good lemon meringue so I figured these Betty Crockers bars would be perfect.

Ingredients

1 Cup Plain Flour
½ Cup of Softened Butter (salted or unsalted it doesn’t really matter)
1 Cup Caster Sugar
¼ Cup Icing/Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Lemon Peel Grated
½  Teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ Teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs

wp-1462640153411.jpeg

Method

1.       Preheat the oven to 150-180⁰c (my oven always runs hot so I have to go for a slightly lower temperature)

2.       In a large bowl, rub together the flour, icing sugar and butter. It may take a few minutes but it will eventually turn into a breadcrumb consistency then it should all of a sudden start coming together. Be careful how long you keep mixing it for as the butter warms it will before more difficult to keep its shape.

3.       Press the dough into a 8×8 tin, ensuring you do around 1-2cm sides to contain the lemon mixture, if it’s non-stick you can get away with not greasing the tin – trust me on this.

4.       Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until it’s starting to go slightly brown. As you will be re-baking you don’t want to overcook the bottom.

5.       Whilst that’s cooking, whisk together the remaining ingredients until it’s light and fluffy. This can take a few minutes, so just keep going with it. I used an electric whisk to help speed it up but it still took a fair few minutes.

6.       Once the base is done, take it out the oven and pour the lemon topping straight onto the base and put back in the oven for a further 20-30 minutes.

7.       Keep a check on this, I had to cover the top with tin foil at the 10-15 minute mark as the top started to brown a lot quicker than expected, but it’s done once the filling doesn’t wobble when moving it or leave an indentation when you press on it.

8.       Leave to cool, then remove from tin and cut into slices.

9.       Dust with icing sugar to finish.

wp-1462640111557.jpegNutritional Information – Serves 12

Calories: 202
Protein: 2.5g
Carbohydrates: 29g
Of which is sugars: 19.4g
Fibre: 0.5g
Fat: 8.7g
Of which is saturated: 5.1g