Pork Loin Steaks with Mushroom Stroganoff Sauce

I found this recipe whilst looking for some inspiration for the leftover pork loin steaks in the freezer. I love Mushroom Stroganoff and haven't had it in a while, so I thought that this was perfect. I'm really glad I decided to make this recipe, because we both really enjoyed this and the flavours in the sauce came through really well.

The recipe was pretty on target with the amount of time this took to cook and I didn't feel as though I was rushing about and really slaving over the stove. The original recipe calls for wine (or broth as a replacement). I used 1 Knorr chicken stock cube to make the stock.

I decided to serve my Stroganoff with trimmed fine beans and white rice (I used long grain as this is what I had in, but normally I would use basmati). The kettle was pre-boiled when I originally started chopping the mushrooms and onions. This way I wouldn't be waiting for the kettle to boil whilst I was making the sauce. 

I tipped the beans into the pan and topped with water from the kettle and salt, brought to the boil and turned down the heat to medium. The beans should take approximately 10 minutes cooked this way, or just until the beans and cooked through to your taste. The white rice should take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to cook.  Please put 1 cup of rice into another pan, along with 2 cups of boiling water and a good pinch of salt. Please bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, put the lid on and cook until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through.

I then served pork in the Mushroom Stroganoff sauce with the beans and the rice. Next time I think I would actually slice the pork steaks, as opposed to leaving them whole like I did this time. A good recipe, that I would definitely make again.

You can find the recipe here.


If you have any leftover rice, please make sure you refrigerate immediately once fully cooled and you can use this for egg fried rice. Just ensure that you use gluten free soy sauce if you are making egg fried rice.

What's your favourite uses for leftover rice?


Easy Cajun Chicken

Sometimes when I get home, all I want to do is sit down and relax. I do love cooking and particularly on the weekend when I have a lot of free time to experiment and to test out some new recipes. In the week though, I do like to have some simple go to recipes that I can just more or less pop into the oven. One of these is my easy Cajun chicken and when I say easy... I mean really easy!

Serves 2


4 chicken thigh fillets - I use these quite often as they're more succulent that chicken breasts
Approx 2 tablespoons of Cajun spice (I used Asda Cajun seasoning for ease)
Salt and Pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C
  2. Place your chicken thigh fillets on a board or a plate and sprinkle over the spice until the chicken is fully covered.
  3. Put into the oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes, turning half way through.
Meal Ideas

Use the chicken as burgers, serve in a gluten free ciabatta with a slice of avocado and a rasher of bacon (This is one of my favorites).

Serve it with a corn tortilla, salad, avacado and bacon (You the tortillas from Mexgrocer UK if your local store does not stock them)

Serve over a simple salad, for a nice tasty and healthy lunch

You can also serve with home made wedges and coleslaw.


You can also make this with chicken breasts if you prefer. If you are, I would suggest you slightly flatten it to ensure more even cooking.  


Summer Berry Smoothie

As we're now getting towards the end of winter and coming into the spring and the weather starts to get a little warmer (I can always live in hope!), I think this recipe is a nice easy recipe that I hope you will enjoy and experiment with to get it to your own tastes.

I'm always looking for inspiration when it comes to breakfast and like to change it up sometimes and a nice smoothie is a change from the norm: toast, cereal or porridge and occasionally the odd pancake. They're also a great way to sneak more fruit into your diet, so that you can top up on those vitamins and minerals (never a bad idea!).

I find this recipe cool and soothing and the beauty of this is that you can use whatever fruit you wish to. You don't have to worry about the fruit going off, because it is frozen and it literally takes a few minutes to make and have your breakfast in the glass ready. The use of frozen berries is purely for ease for me as I find that I don't go through enough   fresh fruit to make smoothies. You can experiment with whatever fruit that you like and alter this to your tastes. 

I'll be testing out some other smoothies and milkshakes, which i'll share with you as I experiment with these. I've also heard of people putting kale and spinach into smoothies as well, so I may have to try this out as well.

Makes 2 large glasses or 3 smaller glasses


2 cups of frozen fruit (Asda's frozen summer fruits are what I used)
2 cups of milk (you can use whatever milk you want to for this)
6 tablespoons of natural yoghurt (I used Lancashire Farm natural probiotic yoghurt)
1 banana - I used a ripe banana

  1. Place all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is a little to thick then you can add some more milk.
If you find that you are reaching for those snacks early morning and the smoothie isn't sustaining you, you can always add half a cup of gluten free oats to the smoothie and blend with all of the other ingredients.

I'd be interested to hear if any of you have used vegetables in your smoothies.


Review: Baxters Favourites Lentil and Bacon Soup

There are an increasing number of gluten free products out there and products already on the market starting to label themselves as gluten free. This is starting to make it much easier to recognise which products are ok to eat and which aren't. There are still some out there that are slightly ambiguous, but I do think it's getting easier.

I thought that I'd start sharing my views on products that I've bought and tried. I've tried Baxters Favourites Lentil and Bacon soup now on 3 occasions and I must say that I do like this and would definitely buy this again. I'm not the only one to enjoy this in my house!

I don't think that it beats a home made soup by any means and actually this has inspired me to attempt my own version of this. I do think that this is one of the healthier convenience foods and good for those occasions where you don't want to cook. I actually take this to work to have for my lunch.

The smoked bacon flavour does come through and I really enjoyed the flavour. I don't really think that it needs any extra seasoning to it. 

Texture / Consistency:
It has a nice thick consistency, but is not so thick that you do not enjoy eating it. The smoked bacon flavour does come through. I would appreciate more bacon and more lentils.

£0.98 for a 400 g can from Asda - based on prices on 18/02 (verified on asda.com). I think this is a fairly average price and fairly good value.

109 for 1/2 a can or 218 for a full can


Would I buy again? I would definitely buy this again as I think this does taste good. Some tinned soups have the tendency to be lacking all flavour and are not very filling.  So I was quite pleased that the flavour came through and that it was quite filling. Its enough to keep me from grabbing the chocolates in the afternoon. It's not the best soup that I've ever tasted, but it is pretty good for a tinned product and would quite happily have this on stand by in the cupboard or at work.


Italian Tuna Balls

In an attempt to eat more fish and sea food to vary my diet a bit more, we made Italian tuna balls for dinner last night. I thought that this recipe sounded intriguing and  it was something a little different from normal meatballs. I always think it's also good to have some recipes up your sleeve that are mostly store cupboard ingredients, it means you've always got a fall back option for dinner if something happens!

We were quite pleased with the look of these tuna balls, I thought that they looked quite appetising and had a good colour to them. I thought they actually looked quite comparative to normal meatballs. They were actually quite filling and had a good fresh flavour to them.

The recipe called for a jar of pasta sauce (which would still taste good), but we prefer to make our own sauces. 

You can find the original recipe here but we did modify some of the ingredients as it didn't quite hold together. We also made this gluten free with our own pasta sauce.

Serves 4


Tuna Balls:
2 cans of 160 g tuna in oil 
small handful of pine nuts - chopped to help the meatballs hold together
grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Handful of parsley - chopped finely
2 medium sized eggs
50 g of gluten free breadcrumbs (we used Warburtons white gluten free sliced bread)
Salt and Pepper
400 g of paste - spaghetti, fusilli or whatever shape you would like

Tomato Sauce
1 1/2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons of oregano
2 cloves of garlic - crushed
1 large onion - chopped finely
Salt and Pepper

  1. Heat a medium sized frying pan with approx 2 tablespoons of oil.
  2. Add the onions to the pan and fry on a medium heat until the onions start to soften but not colour then add the garlic and fry for 1 more minute.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar, tomato puree, oregano and sugar.
  4. Tip the tomatoes into the pan along with the salt and pepper.
  5. Bring the tomato sauce mixture up to the boil and turn the heat down, put the lid onto the pan and cook for approx 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened
  6. In the meantime, drain the tuna, keep the oil to one side and flake it into a bowl.
  7. Add the pine nuts, parsley, breadcrumbs, lemon zest and mix the ingredients together.
  8. Once they are mixed, beat the eggs and add to the mixture along with the lemon juice and season with the salt and pepper.
  9. Mix together with your hands until the mixture starts to come together.
  10. Form into 12 walnut sized balls and place in the fridge.
  11. Cook the pasta according the instructions on the back of the packet.
  12. When the sauce has been simmering for 10 minutes, use some of the oil that you have set aside when draining the tuna and fry the tuna meatballs until they are looking golden brown in colour. 
  13. Add the meatballs  to the pan with the simmering tomato sauce and serve with the cooked pasta

We both really enjoyed this recipe, the tomato sauce seemed to go really well with the fresh tasting tuna balls. I would recommend this recipe to others, if you are not gluten free you can just use any breadcrumbs you like instead of the gluten free bread.

Please also let me know your comments and the above recipe. If you try this out, let me know how it turned out for you.



Cheese, Onion & Bacon Quiche

I do love to bake things on the weekend, so I also made a quiche as I still had some bacon bits and cheese left so I decided to go a gluten free cheese, bacon and onion quiche. This was with the idea of freezing the quiche into slices, so that we have some food already made for lunches.

I've always loved quiche and I'm not really sure why, whenever it was available at a buffet it was always one of the first things that I'd reach for. There's something about the cheesy set eggs with the buttery pastry that I really like. I was always a big fan of anything with pastry!

The good thing about quiche is it's one of those recipes that you can adjust to your tastes really simply and you can use all of your leftover ingredients in it. If you are a big cheese fan like me, if you have leftover cheese in the fridge, or perhaps from your cheeseboard then put it in instead of the cheddar. Goats cheese and watercress is really nice.

I've got a bit of a healthier version that I've previously made as well which is a frittata version of a quiche. I'll share this with you at some point as well. Its basically got all of the nice flavours of a quiche, without the pastry, but for now...on to the quiche!


175 g plain Doves Farm Gluten Free flour
75 g of butter, plus extra for greasing
A pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten

For the filling:
250 g of cheddar, grated (please select your cheese dependent upon your taste, I used mature)
200 g bacon -chopped
5 eggs , beaten
300 ml of milk
4 slices of tomato (this is optional, I didn't use these as I din't have them available)
A pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/2 onion (optional)

  1. Start by making the pastry; sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. If you are using a food processor, please put in the food processor with the butter and blitz in short bursts until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (please do not over mix). If doing this by hand, rub the butter into the bowl with the flour until you get a mixture resembling breadcrumbs.
  2. Tip the mixture back into the bowl if using a food processor and put in the egg. Bring the pastry together into a ball and if it is still not coming together properly then use a little water, it should be a firm dough. Rest this in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Butter a flan dish, which should be 22cm / 8 1/2 inch in size, then roll the pastry out and place into the flan dish. I rolled mine out on cling film, then put the flan dish upside down on the pastry then tipped the pastry on top. Please place this back in the fridge to chill.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190c / 375F / Gas 5.
  5. Line the bottom of the pastry with baking parchment, then put in baking beans or if you don't have baking beans you can use rice. Bake it for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and take out the baking beans / rice. Bake for another 5 minutes before removing. Whilst the quiche is in the oven, please be frying off your bacon on a medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes. Chop / crumble the bacon into small pieces.
  6. Reduce the oven to 160 c/ 325 F / Gas 3.
  7. Sprinkle most of the cheese into the bottom, then place in the chopped bacon. Put the onion in if using.
  8. Beat the eggs and milk and pour over the cheese and bacon, sprinkle the top with thyme. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top.
  9. Trim the edges of your pastry and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until the egg mixture has set.
  10. If you are going to freeze your quiche, please wait for the quiche to completely cool, cut into portions and pop into a freezer box and put into the freezer.

If you find some of your pastry breaks away when you are rolling it out, then just used some of the overlapping pastry to fix the gaps. Also if you're not using gluten free flour, then do not put an egg in the pastry mixture and use water to bring the pastry together.

This is where i took my initial inspiration from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/quichelorraine_71987

I really liked the pastry in this recipe and think it held together really well. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did


Gluten Free Slow Cooker Beef Stew

One of my Christmas presents this year was a slow cooker and as my mind quite often wanders and starts to think about food, I was thinking about what I could cook to make the most out of it. There are lots of different ideas that I have in mind for this slow cooker and I will share these with you as I start experimenting a bit more. To start with though, i'll share my simple stew recipe.

Today I will be making beef stew, this is another one of my favourite things to cook when its still a little cold outside. I do love cooking and cook almost every day, but there are some days when I've had a long and busy day at work, that by the time I get home I just don't feel like cooking. I know there'll be other people out there too who don't always have the time to slave over a hot stove.

For those of you who are a bit budget conscious ( I know I am, food isn't always cheap!) , it's also great way to use some of the cheaper cuts of beef. When you cook them long and slow, the meat should be tender and almost melt in the mouth. You can also put as many vegetables in the stew as you want, this is also another cheap way to bulk your stews out.

Serves: 5 - 6

Asda Mixed English Root Veg *
1l of beef stock - Please make sure that the stock you're using is gluten free **
1 cup (approx 120 m) - this is optional, if using please reduce the stock by 1 cup
571 g of Beef Stewing Steak (You can use any beef available to you, but the cheaper fattier cuts tend to have more flavour in stews)
2 small potatoes
1 celery stalk - chopped
2 garlic cloves -smashed with the side of a knife
1 bay leaf
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 - 2 tablespoons of cornflour (optional)
A few dashes of Henderson's relish ***
Salt and Pepper


  1. Put the kettle on and then peel and dice the mixed root vegetables and potatoes and put these into the slow cooker.
  2. Chop up the celery stalk and add this to the slow cooker.
  3. Chop up the stewing meat - unless this is already diced and put this into the slow cooker.
  4. Make your beef stock with 1l of water from the kettle that has already been boiled for you, then tip the water into the slow cooker, then add the red wine if you are using it. The stock should just come near to the top of the vegetables.
  5. Add the dash of Henderson's relish and salt and pepper, add the garlic cloves and the mixed herbs.
  6. If you are going to out all day, then I suggest you put this on the low setting. You can leave the stew in for about 10 or 12 hours this way. On medium it should take about 8 hours.
  7. The stew will still be quite thin, so if like me you like a thick gravy then please mix a tablespoon of cornflour with a drop of water  to make a paste / liquid 1 hour before the end of cooking. If half an hour from the end it is still a little thin, add another tablespoon of cornflour to a drop of water and add to the slow cooker.
* This pack is only £1 and includes a mix of the following vegetables: swede, carrot, onions, parsnips. Leeks and potatoes are dependent upon season I believe.
** Please note that I use Bovril stock cubes - this is on Unilever's list of products not containing gluten or part thereof. Knorr Beef stock cubes are also gluten free, but I prefer the stronger flavour of the Bovril cubes.
*** Henderson's relish is actually gluten free (made locally too!)

If you prepare all of the vegetables the night before, you can just pop the ingredients into the slow cooker before work or leaving the house for the day. That way, when you come home you will have a nice stew waiting for you. A thing that I like to do is make a stew at the weekend, then I'll portion this into tubs and put this into the freezer. Stew seems to taste better when it is reheated, so it still tastes good when you want a fuss free weekday meal.