Tuesday 31 May 2011

Tired of rice and spuds

I've been looking for a few carb alternatives of late, as rice for lunch and dinner, main and dessert can get a bit tedious and spuds are traditional but unexciting. Quinoa is a good alternative for pepping up lunchtime salads at work, polenta left to set provides a reasonably interesting texture to go with cooked chicken and veg, but the allure of amaranth, for all its super-grain properties, was absent. Cooking it in stock or water like quinoa only led to a gummy porridge which was less than pleasant. I've now tried it toasted, like mini-popcorn. As a breakfast cereal, with milk, it still didn't appeal, but I have higher hopes for it mixed into a salad, as I do with quinoa.

To toast the amaranth, get a wide, flat-bottomed pan with a lid and heat it until its as hot as you can get it. Tip in a tablespoon or so of amaranth seeds and get the, preferably glass, lid on. Give the pan a shake. Within a few seconds the tiny grains should have begun to pop and within a few seconds more they should all have popped. Tip them out into a bowl, return the pan to the heat and repeat until you have the desired quantity.

With regard to quinoa, here are a few links with recipes that sound like they'll be worth trying:

For polenta, a good stock or sprinkling of chipotle chilli powder helps liven it up during cooking, then either serve it as an alternative to mash or leave it to set. Onec set it can then be sliced and grilled or used as a faux pastry on a casserole. The cold alternative, forced upon me, is to use it as a carb accompaniment to the packed lunch of the day. Some other recipes include:

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Gluten-free suppliers

If I'm going to list prescription suppliers then I may as well list non-prescription suppliers of gluten-free foods too.

  • Tilquhillie Fine Foods - very good for GF porrige oats
  • Green's Gluten-Free Beers - an excellent variety of GF beers of all sorts of strengths. I was a frequent orderer at first but I think my taste for beer, and tolerance of alcohol in general, has taken a nosedive.
  • Mrs Crimbles - some very tasty sweet treats on here, such as the Bakewell slices and the macaroons and they have now produced a loaf that isn't far off the Genius standard. Many of their products are stocked in supermarkets.
  • Genius Gluten-Free - Yes, a loaf that cuts, tastes and keeps like a "real" loaf. I possibly over-indulged when it first came out but if it becomes available on prescription then I'll definitely be ordering it.
  • Debbie & Andrews Harrogate sausages - a great sausage, plain and simple. Look out for them in Morrisons.
  • tbc

I'm on the lookout for GF haggis (a butcher in Portobello, Edinburgh does one I believe) and GF black pudding.