Today is one of my favourite topics food, I love food, trying new cuisines, fresh baked good straight out of the oven, one of my favourite smells is freshly baked bread. A scrumptious roast dinner with all the trimmings, don’t get me started on desserts! But all that said the last few years me and food have had a bit of strained relationship. For a long while I suffered bad IBS caused by food intolerances, it took a while and a lot of experimenting before I found out what food and drinks were causing it and various other problems. I used the FODMAP guide to help me and basically I don’t eat food with any gluten in it. I also avoid apples, pears, onions and artificial sweeteners as they appear to be the main triggers. Drinking beer, wine and ciders are also out, just the smell makes me nauseous. I also avoid dairy as much as possible for my eczema.
|Gluten free, dairy free homemade pizza!|
I can’t tell you the number of people who have been mortified when they discover I can’t drink wine, like I’ve lost a limb of something. Have they never heard of gin! Some behave like I’m being a fussy eater, well yes mainly because my choice is pain or no pain. Think I’ll opt for the no pain thanks! Besides there are plenty of alternatives out there, some are really good, some are not. The gluten free ranges are getting much better albeit a bit more pricey than the non gluten free ranges but the real pain is eating out, I tend to research first and some places that do afternoon tea, do offer gluten free but again treat it like a fad and generally just go and raid the free from section at the local supermarket! I’ve even been offered gluted based products as alternatives!! In one place they put the gluten free and the normal sandwiches on the same plate and I accidentally ended up eating a normal sandwich. Not that it did any harm on that occasion but I had to explain that if I was a coeliac it could have been a lot worse, however some places are really good like Sketch for instance and Wagamamas where you can opt for rice noodles in your dish instead. Or just ask for the dietry specialists menu, most chain branches do them.
|Gluten free, dairy free tart made using tomatoes grown in our garden, recipe here|
Anyhoo, one thing it has prompted me to do is get back into cooking. I have already blogged one or two recipes and definitely have made it plan to add some more. I had some left over purple carrots because they had some in the supermarket for Halloween. As a gardener I like to grow my own veg and am always picking up seeds which are different like pink tomatoes, rainbow chard, lemon cucumbers, white strawberries etc.
Did you know that carrots were not originally orange but purple, red and yellow? So I decided to make some soup a bit like Borscht. Now when it comes to cooking, I am educated at the school of Ready, steady cook and lets wing it and am well practised in the art of using random items in my cupboards to make meals. Recipe books, even though I have tonnes of them are mostly used as a guideline rather than for instruction! Ergo some recipes are good, some not so, this recipe I just cobbled together using stuff I had at hand.
500g of peeled carrots, they don’t have to be purple but these ones helped give the soup and extra deep red colour.
500g of beetroot, preferable fresh or if buying ready cooked not in vinegar
I used half a tsp each of mustard, celery and coriander seeds but you can use a vegetable stock cube if your prefer.
Two cloves of Garlic
Bay Leaf or two
Pinch of salt and Pepper.
If using fresh beetroot I boil up separately but do not keep the juice, it’s easier to peel once cooked or if using pre cooked beetroot everything up in a pan, cover with water and boil till the carrots are cooked. Let it cool off a little, remove the bay leaves and then blend. Usually borsch is served with sour cream but I used Alpro soya cream and some gluten free crackers or bread.
I probably should have waited for it too cool down before taking pictures (hence the steamy effect) and the splat in the middle is my poor attempt at creating a swirl of cream in the middle. Anyway, I can honestly say this is a good soup and it would probably work as a chilled soup in the summer.