Gnocchi with Broccoli and Parmesan Cream Sauce

Gnocchi is something that I used to love a lot, but since going gluten free it's not as easy as picking up a pre-prepared pack from the supermarket. This is quite possibly a good thing, as home made has a better texture and taste anyway but takes a little more time to prepare. With this in mind though, there's no harm with making double or triple the recipe needed and freezing them before you cooking, so that you can take them out and cook them any time you want.

The flavour of sauce was good, with a nice creamy taste and rich flavour coming of the cheese coming through. We did increase the amount of sauce made, as we made a little more gnocchi but found that the amount that it made was pretty spot on. You can always taste and add a little more crème fraîche if it is too rich, or add some more cheese if it is not rich enough.

Serves 3 - 4

The recipe for making the Gnocchi is is follows:


1 kg Maris Piper Potatoes
300 g plain flour (gluten free)
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and white pepper

  1. Boil the potatoes, whole with the skin on for approximately 20 minutes for medium sized potatoes or until they are cooked through.
  2. Leave the potatoes to cool, then peel the skins and mash the potatoes trying to ensure that there are no lumps (a potato ricer would help you here).
  3. Add the flour, eggs, oil and seasoning, bring this together to form a dough. Put this onto a floured work surface and knead for 1 minute, adding a tough of flour if it is too sticky. 
  4. Tear off a fist sized portion and roll out into a long sausage. Cut into inch sized pieces with a sharp knife. Put into indentations on the top with a fork and repeat until you have used all the dough. 
  5. You would then boil the gnocchi, when it floats to the top of the water it is ready to eat. 

We used this recipe to serve and incorporated the cooking of the gnocchi with the broccoli in this recipe.

Note: We did double the ingredients in the sauce recipe, as we made quite a lot of gnocchi. As mentioned earlier though, you don't have to eat it all at once and it does freeze before cooking.


Wild Mushroom and Chestnut Cottage Pie

As we've been trying to put more vegetables into our diet and stop eating quite as much meat, this seemed like a really good recipe. It was actually my boyfriend who found and cooked this recipe, who assures me that it was fairly simple  and one where you didn't have to hover over the stove for the full cooking time.

The portion size of this is quite large and serves 4 people, but we found that you could probably get away with serving 6 with some more vegetables on the side. We'll freeze ours into portions and have some later in the week when we're having leftovers.

The flavour was earthy and rich with the mushrooms in the dish.  The chestnuts added a lovely nutty sweetness and made it that bit more substantial. 

The only change we made was to use a 390 g carton of tomatoes instead of 200 g. This gave the cottage pie a nice sauce, as we noticed some of the comments on the original recipe suggested that theirs came out slightly dry. If you don't want as much sauce as we had, you can always stick to the original recipe.

We're definitely meat lovers and every dinner normally comes with a hunk of it on the side of the plate, but we found that we didn't actually miss the meat in this recipe.  It's on the list to be made again, I can see this becoming a firm favourite in our household.

You can find the recipe we used here.


Gluten Free Crumpets

I noticed gluten free crumpets a couple of weeks ago and have been looking for an opportunity to make these. They're something that I love and I am looking for a cheaper alternative and also a way to cut out as much processed food as I possibly can. You can buy the Livwell crumpets for £1.98 (based on prices from asda.com on 25/03/13).

I was pretty pleased with the outcome of these crumpets and think they weren't bad for a first attempt. The texture was pretty close to a standard crumpet you'd buy in the shop and I think with a bit more practice, I could perfect them a little. 

I was also surprised at how little effort it took to make these and how little time to get the ingredients ready. They did have a bit of standing time, but this just means that you can get on with other things for a couple of hours while you get them ready.

The recipe calls for crumpet rings, but if like me you don't have any then you can use a tuna can and take off both sides with a tin opener. You can also get away with using the small tins of beans. They made for a pretty good substitute I think, if not entirely perfect.

They were lovely, toasted with some butter on and cheese melted over the top. A success in my book, so I will definitely be trying to make these again. You can find the recipe that I used here.

What's your favourite topping on your crumpet?


Meal Plan 24/03/13 - 29/03/13

This week we have five meals planned, I've decided to put down what we're having today as well in this menu as for us this came into the same budget. On one of the days, we will be having leftovers from one of the meals (there are only 2 of us, so we tend to have quite a few leftovers!). We normally leave 1 or 2 days without planned meals, as this helps us use up all of the leftovers in fridge / freezer.

All of the meals will be gluten free and we've made an effort to incorporate more vegetables into our diet. I do admit that the toad in the hole is a bit of a treat, but it's something that I've not had since going gluten free so I'm really looking forward to it.

I have some bananas that need using up and I have leftover nutella, so I think we'll have some of this as a light after dinner treat on sunday after our roast chicken dinner.

Meal Plan for 24/03/13 - 29/03/13

Roast chicken dinner with vegetables (runner beans, carrots, broccoli and roast potatoes)

Baked potatoes with tuna, sweetcorn and cottage cheese (I prefer cottage cheese with chives, but the boyfriend likes it with pineapple)

Gluten free Toad in the hole

Home made gnocchi with tenderstem broccoli in a creamy parmesan sauce

Vegetarian cottage pie with chestnuts and mushrooms

Leftovers (Cottage pie, Toad in the hole or Gnocchi)

The shopping list for this, verified on asda.com on 24/03/13 is as follows:

4 x Princes Tuna Chunks - £3.00
Cottage Cheese with chives £1.00
Cottage cheese with pineapple - £1.00
2 x 350 g mature lake district cheese - £4.00 (these are on offer)*
Butchers Selection Gluten Free sausages (8) £3.50 (or £1.80 per pack)**
Maris Piper Potatoes (2.5 kg) - £2.40
Parsnips (loose - 275 g) - £0.41
Asda jumbo baking potatoes - £1.50
Butchers Selection Whole Chicken Extra Tasty - £4.51
Onions (3 or 4 per pack) - £0.85
Swede - £0.68 (I think this was based on £1.00 per kg, this was pre packaged)
Runner Beans (160 g) - £1.00
Extra special tenderstem broccoli - £2.00
Creme Fraiche (300 ml) - £1.10
Shallots (450 g) - £1.00
Carrots 500 g - £0.50 (or you can get loose carrots)
Asda Jumbo Mushrooms (250 g ) - £1.15
Chestnut Mushrooms (250 g) - £1.00
Chestnuts (200 g) - £1.47
Marmite (125 g ) - £1.43
Clover (500 g) - £2.00
|Creative Cooks Mixed Mushrooms (Dried Oyster, Shitake and Porcini Mushrooms) - £1.98 ***

Total Price - £37.28 (Updated price as of 26/03/13)

* We will not use both of these, but as it will keep we will save this for next week. You can also freeze cheese.
** We will be freezing one of the packs of sausages, for use at a later date

*** Updated on 26/03/13 as we realised that we had forgotten these

We do already have some items in our cupboard such as flour, sweetcorn and parmesan.