Gluten Free & Dairy Free Cocoa Pops Recipe

Every year I make it my New Years Resolution to eat breakfast every single day – but, every year I fail miserably and just end up  feeling pretty bad about myself and my lack of willpower. So this year, instead of coming up with resolutions I know I won’t keep, I decided to challenge myself to come up with fun breakfast ideas and to just enjoy food more.

My breakfast of choice used to be cereal and wouldn’t just eat it for breakfast, I’d have it as an after school snack or for a late night feast – now, I can’t eat most cereals as a lot of popular brands aren’t gluten free, and haven’t found many gluten free cereals which I really like or that don’t contain copious amount of sugar and additives.

This morning I had a huge craving for Coco Pops, so I decided to try to make my own homemade version and I’m very pleased with how they turned out.imageThese homemade Cocoa Pops are super easy to make – you only need four very basic ingredients and they can whipped up in less than 20 minutes. The recipe uses a natural alternative to refined sugar and is both dairy and gluten free, but I promise they are delicious and taste just as good, if not better than the shop variety!

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Gluten Free Cocoa Pops

Ingredients

3 cups puffed rice
60 ml maple syrup
30 ml sunflower oil
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees/Gas Mark 3 and line two large baking trays with greaseproof paper.

2. Place the maple syrup, oil and cocoa powder into a sauce pan and place it over a low heat. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon until no lumps remain, then fold through the puffed rice until it is fully coated in the cocoa mixture.

3. Spread the mixture into a thin layer across the two baking trays. Bake for 6 – 8 minutes, until the puffed rice becomes crisp – make sure to give the cereal a stir half way through the bake time.

4. Leave the cereal to cool on the baking trays for a few minutes, then it’s ready to enjoy!

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Honey Roasted Chicken, Feta and Quinoa Salad with Sticky Sautéd Tomatoes

Today I’m going to share with you one of my most favourite creations, my Chicken, Feta and Quinoa Salad with Sticky Sautéd Tomatoes. This is a recipe which I come back to time and time again because it’s super easy to prepare and incredibly tasty.

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I made this for my sister on her most recent trip to London, I had offered to make us both lunch and wanted to serve something more interesting than your usual lunchtime fodder.

Personally I think this salad ticks all the boxes. For a start, there is not a bland lettuce leaf in sight which instantly makes it infinitely more appealing. The base of my salad is made up of quinoa, a grain which is a fantastic source of protein and dietary fibre, and if prepared in the right way can be incredibly flavoursome.

The rest of the ingredients are far from boring, the chicken breast is roasted in sweet and sticky honey which contrasts wonderfully to the salty feta and refreshing cucumber, but without a doubt the absolute star of this dish is my sticky sautéd tomatoes which I am completely obesessed with – you’ll know why, once you’ve tried them!

The salad is topped off with a handful of pomegranate seeds and a bunch of parsley… I tried to get some leaves in there, somewhere!

Honey Roasted Chicken, Feta and Quinoa Salad with Sticky Sautéd Tomatoes

Serves 2 – 3 

For the Salad:
120g Quinoa, rinsed (I used a mix of white/black/red quinoa)
500ml water, brought to the boil
1 chicken stock cube
400g diced chicken breast
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1/2 a cucumber, deseeded and chopped into half moon shapes.
50g Feta cheese
A bunch of fresh parsley
12 cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp caster sugar
A handful of pomegranate seeds (optional)

For the Dressing:
Lemon juice
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to season

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/Gas mark 4.

2. Coat the chicken in olive oil and honey, then season it with black pepper.

3. Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. To check the chicken is cooked, make sure the meat is white and that no pink remains.

4. Whilst the chicken is cooking, place the quinoa into pan of boiling water and crumble over a stock cube. Stir and reduce the pan to simmer, then cook for 15 minutes until the quinoa is soft.

5. Drain quinoa and leave it cool slightly.

6. To make the sticky tomatoes: heat up a dash of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a minute or two, until they start to become slightly wrinkly. Add the red wine vinegar and sugar, then stir to coat the tomatoes until they become sticky.

7. Serve your salad on a large serving plate. Start with the quinoa on the bottom, layer up the slices of cucumber, feta, chicken and tomatoes, then top with fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds.

8. Drizzle over olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Season with black pepper and serve with wedge of lemon on the side.

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Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

Last weekend I went to stay with my sister and her boyfriend up in Leeds and on a rather dull and grey sunday afternoon, we decided to bake a Lemon Drizzle cake.

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My family are not coeliac or on a gluten free diet, but they are always happy to try and critique my gluten free cakes whenever I’m around and I’m happy to report that they think they taste just as good as normal cakes!

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When I was little, my mum used to make the most delicious lemon flavoured Madeira cake and have I tried to create a gluten free version of her Madeira cake as the base of my Lemon Drizzle.

Here a few snaps of our afternoon:


Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

175g caster sugar
175g butter, softened
225g gluten free self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest from an unwaxed lemon
3 tbsp lemon juice

To decorate:
150g icing sugar
3 – 4 tsp lemon juice
Finely grated lemon zest

Method

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees c/gas mark 4 then grease and line a 2 lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Sift together flour and baking powder then stir through lemon zest.

3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer until pale, light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time along with one tablespoon of the flour to stop the mixture from curdling.

4. Stir through the remaining flour and lemon juice and mix until all ingredients are fully combined.

5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, then bake for 50 – 55 mins minutes.

Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake to check if it’s cooked– if it comes out clean the cake is ready.

6. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, before turning it out on a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

7. To make the icing: sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the water slowly whilst stirring – the icing shouldn’t be too runny but should be spreadable.

8. Spread the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it drip down the sides.

To finish, sprinkle finely grated lemon zest across the top of the cake.

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