Fit for my Fork

Fit food, fit body, fit mind!


A Gluten-Free Diamond Jubilee Part 2

Did you try out the coronation chicken recipe I posted the other day? Have you ever even heard of coronation chicken before? I hadn’t, not until I moved to the UK!

I have another recipe for you today, this time for gluten-free bakewell tartlets. Bakewell tarts are delicious almond tarts with three layers: a tart base, a layer of strawberry jam, and a frangipane topping. They are one of my favourite traditional English treats and these mini versions do not disappoint!

Gluten-Free Bakewell Tartlets

Tart base adapted from this recipe at Eat Life Whole
Frangipane adapted from the Bakewell Tart recipe at Cakes ‘n’ Bakes

For the base you will need:

1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 cup ground almonds or almond flour
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil, slightly cooled but not re-solidified

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Combine the dry ingredients. Add the egg to the flours, then add the honey and coconut oil.

Roll balls of dough in your hands (you should get about six out of this recipe) and press into the bottom of a well-greased muffin tin or silicone cupcake liners. If you have mini tart pans, even better! Use your thumb to make an indent in the middle of each tart base, pressing around the outside so that it forms a bit of a valley for your jam.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until very lightly browned.

While your tartlet bases are cooling, make your frangipane.

For the frangipane you will need:

3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp honey
1 egg + 1 egg white
1/2 tsp almond extract
scant 3/4 cup ground almonds
1 tbsp coconut flour

You will also need:

6 teaspoons strawberry jam*
Flaked almonds

Combine the butter and the honey in a bowl and mix well. Add the egg, egg white, and almond extract.

To the wet ingredients add your ground almonds and coconut flour. Mix to combine; the frangipane should be a lot wetter than your tart dough.

When your tartlet bases are cool, scoop a large teaspoon of strawberry jam into the valley in each one. Top with the frangipane, spreading and pressing it with your fingers or a spoon to ensure it covers the jam and touches the outside of the base.

Bake at 200°C (400°F) for 12-15 more minutes. Remove from the oven and drop some flaked almond slivers on top of your tartlets.

Return tartlets to the oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until the almonds look toasted.

Most of the flaked almonds will fall off the top of the frangipane when you move them – maybe try sticking them down by spreading another very thin layer of strawberry jam on the top of your tartlet before sprinkling.

Gently pop your bakewell tartlets out of the silicone cupcake moulds or your tray and enjoy!

*I used SuperJam, a new-to-me brand that uses grape juice instead of sugar to sweeten their jam. I thought this strawberry jam was excellent (as I licked the spoon after filling all of the tart bases) and I was pleasantly surprised how sweet it was considering it doesn’t have any sugar.

(Picture Source)

These bakewell tartlets are little powerhouses of almond and strawberry goodness. They are not cakey like regular bakewell tarts but the flavour is exactly the same.

Try not to eat them all at once (but I wouldn’t blame you if you did!).

(Picture Source)

Today is the last day of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It’s been a crazy weekend, and the whole country is acting very patriotic. I love it! I think this has been a great reminder of the importance of tradition, especially in a turbulent time for the economy.

Dubsy and I watched the Diamond Jubilee concert (pictured above) from the comfort of our couch. I would have loved to have been in London for the show, but I can’t imagine what it must have been like trying to leave Buckingham Palace and the surrounding area after it was over.

The concert itself was pretty good. Not all acts were great, but a few were spectacular, and the fireworks at the end more than made up for any musical shortcomings. I’ve mentioned before that I love fireworks and the pyrotechnic program last night was incredible! The best part of the whole show was when they used Buckingham Palace as a huge projection screen for images and blocks of colour or patterns. Brilliant, creative, and gorgeous!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend, whether it was long or not! I’m not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow but at least it’s a three day week and it’ll be Saturday again soon :)

Let me know if you try out the bakewell tartlets!

Have you ever been to an outdoor concert? Who did you see?

Are you a fan of bakewell tarts?


A Gluten-Free Diamond Jubilee Part 1

I feel for everyone standing along the Thames today watching the river pageant and flotilla for the Diamond Jubilee. It is absolutely pouring rain here. :(

At least any picnickers among the tens of thousands of spectators probably have a nice Coronation chicken sandwich to comfort them as they wait for the Queen to arrive on her float.

Coronation chicken was a dish devised in 1953 to mark the Queen’s coronation. An ‘updated’ version with ginger and lime was created in 2002 for the Queen’s golden jubilee, and now that we are celebrating the diamond jubilee, I’m sure both recipes have been packed into thousands of sandwiches around the country as people celebrate at street parties and in London along the banks of the Thames.

I love coronation chicken. It’s creamy and spicy and sweet all at once. It’s used mostly as a sandwich filler now, but the original coronation chicken was served with rice.

I whipped up some coronation chicken for our picnic yesterday and it was a hit! With containers of coronation chicken available all over the place (it is very popular over here), it isn’t necessary to make your own, but it’s an easy recipe and it tasted fantastic.

If you are avoiding gluten for health or dietary reasons, this recipe is gluten-free if you make sure your ingredients are as well. I don’t have a gluten intolerance but I find gluten makes me really bloated sometimes. I feel much better if I include less of it in my diet. With all the other tasty goodies going around this weekend, I thought I’d post a couple gluten-free recipes for those that want to or have to avoid it, since it is likely to be pretty prevalent in the jubilee celebrations!

Coronation Chicken

Adapted from this recipe in the Guardian

Ingredients (makes about 2 1/2 cups)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 4 steaks
1/2 tsp cinnamon or a cinnamon stick
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp-size piece of peeled fresh ginger

2 tbsp mango chutney (Patak’s is gluten-free, be sure to check label)
3 tbsp greek yogurt
3 tbsp mayo (Hellman’s is gluten-free, or you can make your own)
1 tbsp curry powder (we used hot!)
1/2 tsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
small handful chopped dried apricots, sultanas, or raisins (or a combination)
handful chopped fresh coriander

Add the cinnamon, salt, pepper, bay leaf, tumeric, and fresh ginger to a pot of simmering water. Poach your chicken breasts in the water for 15-20 minutes depending on their thickness. If you are using chicken breast steaks, they should only take about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together all other ingredients in a large bowl.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the hot water and allow to cool. Also remove the hunk of fresh ginger from the pot. Shred or chop the ginger and chicken and add them to your sauce ingredients.

Toss all ingredients together until the chicken is well coated.

Serve with rice, in a sandwich (with gluten-free bread), or over a bed of greens.

As you can see, mine doesn’t have coriander (also known as cilantro) in it, but I would recommend adding it if you have some handy. 

With extra slivered almonds on top for additional crunch.

It’s really hard to make coronation chicken look appetizing, but trust me when I say it tastes absolutely delicious!

I made two batches of coronation chicken – one with dried apricots and one with raisins. I can’t decide which I prefer and both are good, so just use whatever you have in your cupboard.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another gluten-free Diamond Jubilee recipe. I’m really excited for that one (even more so than the coronation chicken!) and I hope you’ll like it!


Chicken Maffe

Chicken maffe is an African peanut butter chicken stew. I pulled the recipe out of The Times a few weeks ago and thought I’d attempt to paleo-ize it at home. The original recipe called for a pre-made seasoning mix, which I found out contains ‘flavour enhancers’ and msg. Yuck.

Thankfully it was quite easy to tweak this one and I’m very pleased with how it came out.

Paleo Chicken Maffe

You will need:

4 skinless chicken thighs
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried coriander
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp ginger
a pinch of parsley, marjoram (I had to use oregano), salt and pepper
200g (half a tin) of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp almond butter
200ml chicken stock

It’s a very weird combination but trust me on this one.

Ingredients at the ready!

Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper, then brown in a frying pan on both sides. I left my thighs whole (that sounds weird), but you could chop them up to make the meal a bit easier to eat.

Add all ingredients (including another pinch of salt and pepper) except for the tomatoes, almond butter, and stock. Stir, then cover for about 5 minutes.

Now add the almond butter, tomatoes, and chicken stock. Stir, then cover again and leave to simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes.

I removed the lid for the last 5 minutes of cooking to thicken the sauce a bit.

Before tucking in, be sure to remove the bay leaf.

I would have served this with some light, fluffy quinoa but I opened the cupboard and… I didn’t have any! This happens too often.  Another great accompaniment would be some white or brown rice if you eat clean but are not concerned about being paleo.

Paleo Chicken Maffe is comfort food you can really feel good about eating. I’m so glad I made enough to have leftovers!


Sunday Sunday Sunday!

It’s been a slow Sunday over here. The weather can’t make up it’s mind and we had hail, thunder and lightning less than an hour ago even though it was absolutely beautiful this morning! Good ol’ England.

It was one of those days in which I really didn’t mind being inside for most of the afternoon. I got my workout in (one more week left of Lean phase on Chalean Extreme!), did some cleaning, and then got down to business in the kitchen.

What was I whipping up this weekend? Well, funny you should ask, because I was going to tell you anyway.

Courgette Tart
Original recipe by the Hairy Bikers

This was taken at the ‘mix everything together in the bowl’ stage. Then I spread it out in a dish and baked it in the oven. This went horribly wrong for me. It tastes good, but it looks awful so I decided to spare you the finished product. I tried to modify this recipe to make it Primal and replaced regular flour with coconut flour. I cut it down to half what the recipe called for and still had to use a bunch of extra liquid to try to thin the batter out.

Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

(And I’m going to eat the squidgy mess anyway.)

Quinoa Buckwheat Cereal
Recipe by Eating Bird Food 

This is the third time in as many weeks that I’ve made this granola. I love it! The protein content in quinoa is great and I have always loved making my own breakfast cereal. I am quite happy eating oatmeal, buckwheat and quinoa and it is such a wonderful, tasty change from my usual eggs!

ChocoChia Milkshake
Recipe by The Spunky Coconut

This was my post-workout snack. Since I’m still on a green smoothie kick I blended some spinach with the coconut milk before adding the rest of the ingredients. I also put in some desiccated coconut for more coconutty goodness and a whopping big tablespoon of my chocolate whey protein powder. Mmm!

I devoured this before I even thought of taking a picture.

Girl Scout Cookie Larabars LaraBalls
Recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie

Here they are, all packed up and ready to take in my lunch.

The original recipe made bars, however I rolled them into balls because I just couldn’t be bothered. My hand blender does not mix things very well and I should have chopped the dates up before I attempted to mix them with the other ingredients.

These coconut and chocolate balls are so good! I’m really pleased with how they turned out, even though they have big chunks of unmixed date in them.

I was going to make up a sweet potato salad as well but now that I have parts of the courgette tart left (since Dubs wouldn’t touch it) I’m going to take that as a side dish in my lunch instead. Planning ahead is such a pain sometimes, and though the recipes I attempt don’t always work out, it does keep things interesting. I love trying new foods and taking unusual stuff in my lunch.

Speaking of new, I found this at Waitrose today and decided to give it a try:

I’m always a bit leery of trying flavoured coconut water because sometimes it can go really wrong. This one is cherry vanilla… and it was actually really good! The other brand I’ve tried is Vitacoco, and I found their peach and mango flavour absolutely disgusting. This one has grape juice and cherry juice in it.

The best coconut water I’ve ever had was at a food festival in London. I purchased a young coconut with the top machete’d off and a straw. Oh, and there were also two shots of rum in there. Rum and coconut water is one of the best cocktails ever, and I may argue it’s one of the healthiest.

It. was. so. good.

I may be a bit late to the party, but I’ve also just discovered Instagram. I doctored a few of the photos above with it this afternoon. It’s pretty cool, and makes my mediocre pictures look almost good (if I do say so myself!).

Have you tried flavoured coconut water? What did you think? 


Primal and Not-so-Primal Pot Pies

Sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge making dinner in this house postage-stamp sized flat – I try to eat as Primal as possible, and Dubsy doesn’t. In fact, if someone can possibly be against eating Primal, it’s him.

So making a meal that we will both eat, enjoy, and feel good about fitting into our lifestyles (mainly mine – he’ll eat anything), can be very, very difficult.

Thankfully, I have a lot of great places to get inspiration, and I’m not afraid to make a few tweaks or spend a bit of time preparing other side dishes for me if he’s having rice or pasta. One such place is BBC Good Food magazine, which is full of beautiful pictures and reasonably easy recipes. We have a pretty good track record with BBC Good Food: I think we’ve only disliked two things we’ve made from the magazine in over a year, and we tend to try out their recipes at least 2-3 times per week.

Anyway, I know you’re here for the food so let’s move on.

Sausage and Mushroom Pot Pies – Two Ways

From BBC Good Food, May 2012

You will need:

2 tsp coconut oil (or other fat of choice)
1 onion, chopped
6 sausages, ours were pork
250g chestnut mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
4 tbsp creme fraiche (or cream)
fresh parsley
some stale ciabatta or french bread, ripped into pieces

Preheat oven to 200C.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook until soft. Cut or chop the sausages into pieces and add to the pan. If you don’t want the slightly puckered look of chopped sausages with the outer casing, remove it first. Alternatively, roll sausage meat into balls with your hands (this is what Good Food suggests… I am too lazy for all that effort when I’m hungry). Allow sausages to brown for about 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook 5 minutes more.

Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the mustard and creme fraiche along with about 4 tbsp of water. Bubble away for two minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the parsley.

Put the sausage mixture into two small pie dishes – or one big one, if that’s all you have. Toss the ciabatta or french loaf with a bit more oil, scatter the pieces over the top of one of the pies or half of the pie if you are using one big dish (this will be for your non-Primal friend).

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Remove and enjoy with something nice and green, like broccoli!

It was easy to make this work for us both. All I did was put the bread topping on one side and not the other! It was really delicious, and a good, quick mid-week meal. Dubs liked it and so did I – this doesn’t always happen when I try to Primalize something so I think this is a keeper.

I love sausages.

Mmm, sausages!

How do you modify recipes to suit you and your partner, friends, or family, if you don’t follow the same style of eating?

(Apologies for the quality of my food photos… I am trying to learn how to take better pictures!)

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Jamie-Inspired Primal Salad of Awesome

I made this a few weeks ago and, even though I don’t really like taking salads to work, I was really looking forward to diving in at lunch time. This one is inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Cheese and Onion Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing and it really didn’t need many tweaks at all to make it Primal/Paleo, though you will probably choose to avoid it entirely if you don’t consume dairy.

This salad is delicious and I have made it again to take to work over the next two days. I thought I’d let you in on what I have changed to make it easy and portable and have added some chicken to make it a full meal.

(Picture Source)

For my version of this salad, you will need:

1/2 small onion
white wine vinegar
salt and black pepper
mixed leaves or your favourite lettuce (I used spinach this time)
1 large slice blue cheese, chopped or crumbled
walnuts (toasting optional)
creme fraiche or greek yogurt
olive oil
dill (mine was dried)
chives (also dried)
1-2 chicken thighs, cooked and sliced

Finely slice your onion, then break up the slices and put them into a shallow bowl. Cover with salt – be generous, it will be washed off – and white wine vinegar. Leave for at least ten minutes, then squeeze them out really hard (your hands will smell like vinegar for a few hours if you don’t do the dishes right away but it’s worth it, trust me!). This will pickle the onions and take the bite out of them.

Mix your blue cheese crumbles with 1 tbsp creme fraiche or greek yogurt. I have tried both and they are equally tasty, so use whatever you have on hand. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp white wine vinegar and stir until well blended. Then add your dried herbs and set aside or refrigerate. This makes enough dressing for two servings, so just use half if you are saving some for the next day.

Prepare your salad leaves and scatter with the nuts (I am using pecans this week because I’m out of walnuts – use your favourite!). Add the cold, sliced chicken if you have space, otherwise pack it up separately. Keep your dressing and onions separate until you are ready to chow down, then toss everything together and enjoy!

By letting the blue cheese sit in the dressing, you really sink the flavour into the creme fraiche (mine sits overnight in the fridge which makes it even more cheesy). If you are missing Caesar or Blue Cheese dressings while eating Paleo or Primal, you will seriously love this salad!


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