An App For Your Appetite

I have lots of cookery books adorning my kitchen shelf. Actually, to be more accurate, I have lots of dusty ignored cookery books sitting neglected at the back of my kitchen shelf. They have an airing on occasion when I am feeling ambitious about following a recipe. This results in my cookery book being plastered with double cream, while I stress out realising I forgot to blanch my tomatoes, that I haven’t any fresh tarragon and then give up on the whole idea.

In fact, after purchasing a cookbook I flick through to see all of the lovely ideas, only to realise my ‘cupboard staples’ are looking a bit pathetic. And Mr Jamie Oliver, as much as I admire your cheeky chappie enthusiasm for cooking, I would like to talk about your 15 minute recipes, I haven’t manage to cook one within an hour yet!

Then there is the matter of pleasing your dinner guests. I am a sort-of vegetarian, I eat fish and wear leather (obviously other types of material too!) , one of my friends doesn’t eat carbs, another friend is gluten intolerant and most are often on some kind of fat-free, sugar-free, impossible to cater for kind of diet. So, if I am to embark on a dinner party my cook books do not tend to please my crowd.

So, it was with great pleasure that I discovered that a hugely talented chef friend of mine, Laura Pope, is launching an app for the iPad with lots of healthy, easy to follow and gluten-free recipes. No more trying to balance my cook book on the top of the bread bin while I lose my place, but instead I can upload a recipe from the app and take it grocery shopping with me.

The  app, Gluten Free Me, launched this month with a follow-up iPad app scheduled for December in order to satisfy the in-laws over the festive period. The recipes are simple to prepare and full of fresh flavours and nutritious ingredients. None of the recipes contain wheat, the only two with gluten use spelt instead of wheat, how many of you are now googling spelt, its OK I had to as well. Many of the sumptuous recipes are unbelievably dairy-free, sugar-free and therefore guilt free! The app is free to download and there are eight free recipes available, with four further albums of paid-for recipes.

As a taster, Laura kindly provided me with one of her yummy dinner ideas which has given me a reason to actually use the quinoa I purchased a month ago from Holland & Barrett for a recipe that I gave up on and it has since lived unloved in the back of my cupboard. I found this recipe really easy to do and honestly gorgeous to eat, resulting in my toddler type behaviour of ‘not sharing’ once it was finished.

So go download it, give it bash and as Mr Oliver would say its ‘pukka-tukka’!

Yum yum!

Yum yum!

Griddled summer vegetables with herby quinoa 
� Laura Pope 2013
A super-healthy accompaniment to your meal or a main course in itself. Go for lovely seasonal veggies and a LOT of herbs for your quinoa.
Quinoa is a fantastic food – a ‘super food’, in fact, containing all eight essential amino acids and loads of vitamins and minerals. Also, being a seed rather than a grain, it is a great source of protein and is naturally gluten-free. All the herbs make it super-delicious – the greener, the better! Cooking your veg in a dry griddle pan (no oil) gives a far better result and you don’t smoke out your kitchen in the process – by tossing them in the oil, vinegar and seasoning after they’ve cooked, they marinate and take on the flavours beautifully. Serves 6.
  • 2 red peppers, seeds and stalks removed, cut into eights
  • 2 courgettes, cut in half horizontally and then lengthways into 1cm (��) slices
  • 1 medium aubergine, cut horizontally into 1cm (��) slices
  • Good glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • Your favourite vinegar – I love fig balsamic or a nice sherry vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (optional)
  • 200g (7 oz) quinoa
  • 100g (3� oz) rocket and soft green herbs (flat-leaf parsley, chervil, tarragon, basil, mint, coriander�)
  • I red, medium chilli (optional), deseeded and finely sliced
  • Glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation Steps:
Cook the quinoa following the pack instructions, then drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again.
Chop the herbs and rocket roughly and mix through the cooled quinoa with the olive oil and chilli (if using) – season with salt and pepper.
In a large heat-proof bowl, mix together the oil and vinegar to get the right balance of acidity, add the garlic, if using, then season with salt and pepper.
Heat a griddle pan up really high – this can take 5 minutes – and then start to cook your veggies in batches until you get distinct griddle marks on each side. In my experience, the peppers take the longest. As each batch cooks, tip the veggies into the oil and vinegar and toss well.
Once all the veggies are cooked, leave them to marinade in the oil and vinegar for up to half an hour, then arrange on a platter with the quinoa to serve.

12 thoughts on “An App For Your Appetite

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