Linseed crisps

Linseed crisps

Cooking for people who can’t eat grains, including wheat, can be a challenge when it comes to snacks and finger foods. It’s all very well to keep putting out those celery and carrot sticks on the table, but sometimes, you just want to do more for people. These linseed crisps do just that.

Salmon balls: paleo and no starch

A basic salmon ball recipe

Easy and tasty no starch recipes can be challenging to find. These little balls of salmon tastiness fit the bill perfectly in our household. They’re quick to make, so they’re great for an emergency school lunch on those badly organised mornings.

Guacamole, served with some extras to make a tasty little appetiser

Guacamole

Avocado is a bit of a luxury here, and guacamole is an absolute delicacy. Because of its specialness, our guacamole is really just mashed avocado with seasonings added: lemon juice, salt and pepper, and sometimes onion. That’s about it. If we have a few people, then it becomes a full-blown appetiser with some celery and tomato to…

Tabouleh

Tabouleh

I first met tabouleh when it appeared in a local bistro many years ago. Served as part of a chicken and tabouleh sandwich, it quickly became my favourite bought lunch. I’ve since learned how to make it, and it appears a few times over summer, especially at barbecues and parties.

For starters: green shallots with tagliatelle pasta

Easy and elegant: shallots with tagliatelle

It’s almost too easy. This combination of creamy, melt-in-your mouth shallots and tagliatelle is so simple it makes a perfect entree on a busy night. And it looks great. The bulbs cook down into a creamy sauce for the pasta while the tops hold their shape and colour, just to make it all look good.

Pizza with rosemary, potato and zucchini

An entrée pizza: potato and rosemary

An entrée pizza with potato and rosemary isn’t a pizza for consuming between main courses, although you could do that if you want. And it’s not the main course either. No, here it’s a first-course pizza: to refuel hungry teenagers when they get home from school, and to feed hungry guests as they walk in the door.

Traffic-light paneer: three curries for a tri-coloured taste

Traffic-lights paneer

Red, amber, green: three different curries to accompany paneer. Served with chapati, they make an exciting first course for young and old alike. It’s a bit fiddly to make the three separate curries, and it takes the best part of an afternoon. But it’s worth it to get “This is the best ever” from little voices, talking about…

Chicken and sweetcorn soup

Sunday soup: Chicken and sweet corn

Our boy loved chicken and sweetcorn soup from the first spoonful he ever had as a three-year old in the local Chinese restaurant. It’s firmly entrenched as a must-have when we go out, and it’s now a treat when we stay home. It’s a treat that tastes great and is so easy to make.

A tart of caramelised onions over a bed of gooey blue cheese: delicious!

Onion and blue cheese tart

This has become our picnic tart of choice. The soft onions collapse into the rich, gooey blue cheese to give a wonderful savoury starter. It belongs in that small space between setting up and the entire extended family and friends converging for the main meal.

Cream of mushroom soup

Sunday soup: cream of mushroom

Sunday night is for soup. Tonight it’s cream of mushroom, using the beautiful orange saffron milkcap mushrooms we picked on our mushrooming adventure. Because we have people in the house who just don’t like cream, we’ve gone vegan and used cashews for the ‘cream’ part of the soup. It’s really tasty and surprisingly filling.

Mermaid's tresses

Sweet and salty mermaid’s tresses

Our family first encountered Mermaid’s tresses before we even were a family: it was served at our local Chinese restaurant while my now-husband and I were courting (now there’s an old-fashioned concept), and we loved it. You can use any leafy green, but the best results come from using bok choy.