Cauliflower Couscous with Orange Chicken

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Since I started SCD three years ago, I’ve really missed having pasta or rice to accompany sauces. Courgetti, while delicious, doesn’t really soak up flavours as much as I’d like. This cauliflower couscous, however, does just that, and all while having the texture of a starchy grain. It’s quite dry, which I like as it adds to its soakage ability, but if you would prefer a fluffier texture you can experiment with adding water or whipped coconut cream. I like to add an egg once it is nearly cooked but if you want to make vegan cauliflower couscous then this can be left out. The parsley is also optional – I love the flavour it adds but if you’re not a fan then the garlic and onion are still bringing plenty of flavour to the dish. Just for presentation, I served this dish with spiralised courgette fried briefly in salt, pepper and chilli.

 

Serves 2-3 people

 

Ingredients

For the couscous:
1 small head of cauliflower
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 handful parsley
25g coconut flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 egg (optional)
Olive oil for frying

For the chicken sauce:
2 chicken breasts
2 red onions
1 clove garlic
1 small piece of ginger (equal to size of the top of your thumb)
1 tsp dried coriander
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground chilli or cayenne pepper
2 small red peppers
100mls (approx) orange juice
1/2 tsp honey
Olive oil for frying

For the courgetti:
1 courgette, spiralised
Salt
Pepper
Chilli
Olive oil for frying

Method

1. Roughly chop the cauliflower into large pieces and microwave for 10-15 minutes until tender. While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the chicken.

2. Dice the chicken.

3. Peel the red onions, garlic and ginger and blend in a food processor (roughly chop the onion beforehand to avoid damaging your processor).

4. Heat olive oil, coriander, chilli, salt and pepper in a wok or saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion mixture and chicken and fry until chicken is cooked and white on the inside.

5. Once the chicken is white on the inside, chop the peppers and add them to the pan with the orange juice. Put a lid on the pan and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until peppers are soft. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and allow the mixture to reduce slightly. Add the honey and taste to see whether further seasoning is required.

6. While the peppers are cooking, peel the onion and garlic (for couscous) and blend in the food processor with the parsley .

7. Add the microwaved cauliflower to the food processor with the coconut flour, salt and pepper and blend the mixture together.

8. Heat oil in a wok, deep frying pan, or saucepan on a medium heat. Add the cauliflower mixture to the pan, making sure to stir regularly and adding extra oil as required to avoid burning. Cook for 10 minutes.

9. If you wish to add the egg, add it in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Make a well in the middle of the cauliflower mixture and crack in the egg. Fold slowly into the couscous.

 

10. Fry the spiralised courgette for 2 minutes in olive oil, salt, pepper and chilli.

11. Plate the couscous and chicken sauce, and garnish with the courgetti.

 

Tip of the DayIMG_0019
I usually make up recipes as I go along which is all well and good until I make something delicious and then can’t remember how I did it! So I’ve started using a whiteboard marker to write down what I do as I go along on the tiles in my kitchen and then photographing it once I’m done. Admittedly, you could also just use a pen and paper but this way is both handier and more fun if you’re as immature as I am and writing in whiteboard marker makes you feel like a proper grown-up in charge.

michaelscott2

 

 

Please feel free to ask questions or make requests. And if you have experimented with variations of cauliflower rice or couscous, I’d love to hear your experiences. Happy cooking everyone!

 

Sinéad x

Cosy Coconut and Leek Soup

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Hi everyone! Computer problems caused a long hiatus so I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I finally got a soup blender and a decent food processor so I’ve been using my time off productively and have loads of new recipes to share!

It’s freezing here in Toulouse at the moment, so I’ve been making loads of soups and stews recently. This is a really quick and easy soup made entirely from vegetables and coconut. It is vegan but chicken stock can be used instead of water if you have it at hand. But don’t worry if you only have water, this will still be bursting with flavour, although more seasoning will be required. The cayenne pepper gives this a bit of a kick which I enjoy, but if hot foods aren’t your thing then you can just leave it out. I use honey to balance out the flavours, but to make a vegan soup it’s possible to use coconut sugar or other vegan-friendly sugar alternatives. I added courgette and peppers as they soften quickly when cooked but feel free to experiment with adding other vegetables like pumpkin, carrots and squash.

 

Makes soup for 4 people.

 

Ingredients
1 leek
1 courgette
2 red peppers
400mls boiling water or chicken stock
1 tin of coconut milk (low or full fat)
3 tsp tomato purée
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped or 2 tsp dried coriander
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp honey or coconut sugar

 

Method
1. Roughly chop the leek, courgette and red peppers. Heat the oil in a saucepan at a medium-high heat.

2. Add the leek, salt, pepper, coriander and cayenne pepper to the saucepan and gently fry for 2 minutes.

3. Add the courgette and peppers and turn down the heat to medium. Place a lid on the saucepan and sweat for 10 minutes until the veg are soft.

4. Add the water or chicken stock and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes.

5. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil again. Stir in the tomato purée.

6. Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly. Lastly, add the honey or coconut sugar and either blend immediately with a hand blender or allow it to cool before blending it in a normal food processor or blender.

 

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Serve on its own, with a fried or poached egg on top (surprisingly delicious and really makes a full meal of it!), or with beetroot chips.

 

Sinéad x

Paleo Chocolate and Berry Pancakes

Chocolate berry pancakes

Chocolate berry pancakes

Living in France, apart from reigniting my cheese addiction, has also reminded me of how much I used to love crepes. So because it’s ma burthdaaaaay, I decided pull a Donna Meagle and to treat myself to these heavenly chocolate and berry pancakes!

Being unable to use regular flour is a huge drawback to creating a crepe that won’t break apart once flipped. The solution to this is to make a thicker batter which can be used to make smaller, thicker, American-style pancakes which are far less likely to fall apart than thinner, French-style crepes.

These pancakes are definitely more of a treat than an everyday meal but they can be made even healthier by replacing the butter with either an equal amount of coconut oil or with an avocado blended in a food processor.

Although I call them chocolate and berry pancakes, these are actually just chocolate pancakes with berry compote on the side, so they can be accompanied by whatever topping takes your fancy!

Makes 12-15 pancakes.

Ingredients
40g coconut flour
4 dessert spoons cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 dessert spoons/30mls melted butter or melted coconut oil
200mls lactose-free milk or coconut milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method
1. Combine the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix using an electric whisk. Take care not to over-mix – just ensure that all the ingredients are evenly combined. Let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes.

3. Melt butter or coconut oil in a frying pan at medium heat. Add half a ladle of batter to the hot pan. This may not seem like a lot but the mixture will spread out on the pan – any more and the pancake will be difficult to flip.

4. Let the mixture cook through until the top of the pancake is longer wet before flipping. Patience is important here – don’t be tempted to turn up the heat or you will be left with a pancake that’s burnt at the bottom but not ready to flip!

5. Using a fish slice, quickly flip the pancake to cook the opposite side.

Serve with berry compote (find the recipe here!), chopped banana and dust with coconut flour or ground almonds. If you’re lucky enough to be able to get your hands on some, these are also delicious served with Nobó vanilla ice-cream!

Chocolate berry pancakes

Sinéad x

Lactose-Free Homemade Yogurt

Lactose-Free Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt     Yogurt

This is one of my favourite things I make and one of the most important components of my diet. It tastes amazing, is full of probiotics and, as the name suggests, doesn’t contain any lactose so it’s probably one of the healthiest foods you could eat.

People are usually impressed when I tell them that I make my own yogurt but that tends to change to disappointment once they learn that not only do I own a yogurt maker, but that one of the main ingredients of yogurt is yogurt.

So yes, full disclosure, I make my yogurt in a yogurt maker (although it’s possible to make it without one) and yes, you do need yogurt (or a starter culture) to make yogurt!

How does it work?
A little bit of science first. The lactic enzymes found in yogurt are what break down milk, ferment the sugars in the milk (lactose), and turn it into yogurt. The problem with commercial yogurt you buy in shops is that it has only been fermented for approximately six hours, so it still contains some lactose when it is packaged and put on supermarket shelves. While the probiotics in this yogurt are good for you, the lactose is not so good for those sad, surviving-on-soya lactose intolerants amongst us. The difference with this homemade yogurt is that it is fermented for 24 hours, leaving you with delicious dairy yogurt that’s lactose-free!

Before You Begin
If you are planning on using a thermos or vacuum flask instead of a yogurt maker to make your yogurt, a smaller flask (500mls) tends to keep the heat a lot more stable than a larger, one or two litre flask. If you want to make large quantities of yogurt, I recommend using several small flasks.

Ingredients
2 litres (2 qts) whole milk
200g approx. natural probiotic yogurt

Method
1. Heat the milk in a large saucepan to 90°C/195°F, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn’t burn.

2. Allow the milk to cool by placing it in the fridge. You want it to cool to between 40°C and 42°C/104°F and 108°F, although if it goes lower it’s not a big deal as your yogurt maker will automatically bring it to the right temperature.

3. Once its cooled remove the skin from the top using a fork. Do not use your hands or dirty utensils to touch the cooled milk as this will introduce unwanted bacteria.

4. Whisk the yogurt into the milk.

5. Pour the milk and yogurt mixture into your yogurt maker and allow to sit for 24 hours.

• If you are using a flask and the milk cools too much, heat it gently in the saucepan to bring the temperature back to 42°C/108°F.
• Scald the flask with boiling water to ensure that there are no bacteria present, letting it cool slightly before putting in the yogurt mixture.
• Add the mixture to the flask, checking the temperature again to ensure that it is between 40°C and 42°C/104°F and 108°F.
• Secure the lid of the flask, wrap it in an old towel, and place in a warm place (e.g. hot press or airing cupboard) for 24 hours.

6. Once the yogurt is ready, cool it in the fridge before eating.

This yogurt is SCD-friendly and is based on the recipe given in the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall. For more information on SCD and Breaking the Vicious Cycle, click here.

Serving Suggestions
My favourite way to serve the yogurt is with a berry compote (which can be made simply by boiling berries), honey to taste, crushed sunflower seeds, and chopped banana.

I always have little pots of vanilla and lemon essence in my cupboard which I sometimes add to the yogurt as I hate the flavour of honey on its own!

The yogurt is delicious with a spoon of peanut, almond, or hazelnut butter stirred in. Kelkin do a great peanut butter which contains no added sugar, and Meridan do delicious almond and hazelnut butters which also contain no added sugar.
Of course, if you’re struggling to find sugar free versions, dont be afraid to just make your own! Roast the nuts and then stick them in the food processor, adding a pinch of salt to taste if you want.

Bon appétit!
Sinead x

Welcome!

Hi, and welcome to Don’t Call Me Sugar! The first blog post is always the hardest so I’m going to make this short and sweet so I can get cracking on the fun part – the food!

While the recipes on this blog are designed to be grain and refined sugar-free, they are, by default, suitable for those on gluten-free, lactose-free, soya-free, paleo, or SCD diets, as well as those looking to simply reduce or eliminate their intake of refined sugar.

I want this blog to be a place where ideas can be shared and suggestions bounced of each other, so if you have questions on substituting ingredients, if you tweaked a recipe and found that it tastes better than the original (highly possible!), or simply if you successfully recreated a dish, let me know in the comment section of each post!

Happy cooking and remember – Don’t Call Me Sugar!

Sinéad x