Banana bread: no egg, no gluten, no milk

Food-free banana bread

What do you do with three overripe bananas? You make banana bread, that’s what. But this is a banana bread that has no milk, no gluten and no eggs. A food free quickbread: a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free. You can even leave out the sugar, if you want to. Best of all, it’s quick and easy to make.

Coq au vin: chicken thighs slow-cooked in a red wine and bacon sauce, thickened with mushrooms, more red wine and some ground tomato if needed

Coq au vin (sort of)

Coq au vin is one of those dishes that is designed for a long, slow cook. And even if you don’t have a rooster (the cockerel part of coq au vin), chicken thighs make a good base, as does a whole chicken chopped into pieces that fit your pot. We’ve adapted this dish, as does everyone, to cope with the ingredients and the equipment we have.

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.

Almond-apple mini-muffins

Apple-almond mini-muffins

This one is for those who love muffins. It’s a simple mixture of almond, apple, egg and a few other ingredients to give a really delicious and moist muffin. As a bonus, it’s perfectly suited to those can’t tolerate gluten or any starch at all.

A food-free mini cupcake - no wheat, no dairy, no egg

Food-free chocolate cupcakes

‘Food free’ is a label we invented for a very restricted diet one of our relatives was forced to endure for a few months: no gluten, no egg, no dairy, no legumes, no nuts, no spices. It’s pretty limiting, especially if there’s a demand for, oh, a birthday cake for a child. We still have food…

Rhubarb and apple crumble - too good to leave

Super healthy apple-rhubarb crumble

This crumble is our easy-to-make dessert of choice. The tartness of the rhubarb is offset by the sweetness of the apple, so you don’t need to add any extra sugar to the filling. The crumb is a mixture of oats, coconut, honey and olive oil, whizzed in the food processor for just a few seconds.

Breakfast: Polenta with rhubarb and almonds

It’s polenta for breakfast

This is a great, not-too-sweet alternative for breakfast. If you’re not a morning person, this is an easy way to prepare polenta for breakfast. No boiling and stirring in a saucepan with the resulting mess and washing up. No, just a quick soak in boiling water (the polenta, not you), and a microwave zap of rhubarb and it’s done.

A tasty way to serve rice: spinach and rice and pumpkin slice

Spinach and rice and pumpkin slice

This rice and spinach based slice is an excellent way of serving up these two ingredients as a tasty side supporting act for ratatouille or a casserole. There are no eggs, so the pumpkin adds a layer of flavour and colour, and it holds this slice together long enough to transfer it from baking dish to plate, just.

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.

Ratatouille served on polenta rounds and cucumber

Ratatouille

Ratatouille is flavoursome and versatile. Mostly we pair it with Basmati or brown rice for a healthy, vegan main course (until the kids add cheese to theirs!). But it also makes a great snack with polenta rounds or even cucumber slices. I’ve also seen it used in wraps. Really, you can’t go too far past ratatouille as a great all rounder.

Turkish aubergine meatballs

Turkish aubergine meatballs

These meatballs are ‘packed with flavour’, according to the kids, and ‘don’t taste like they’re not all meat’ according to my-other. They are fiddly, as are all meatballs, but really, really worth the effort.