Christmas Eve tear and share Low FODMAP

Christmas eve is a time to start the celebrations but it is often very busy wrapping presents, last minute gift purchasing and perishable food shopping. I would usually do my food shopping perhaps a day before Christmas Eve as the supermarkets can be just too busy for me. However, every year I plan to have it all finished by Christmas eve and I have never achieved my goals. So, if you are entertaining guests you perhaps might need a stunning dish that’s easy to prepare? The pastry can be made earlier and frozen and then all the preparation is in rolling out the pastry and decorating the top. Which means chopping vegetables and grating cheese – what could be easier?

Ingredients

  • 200g Plain flour
  • 150g Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 50mls water
  • Salt
  • Flour to roll out the pastry
  • 100g cheese
  • 2 Heritage carrots purple and orange (or standard ones will do just fine!)
  • 1 small parsnip
  • 30g pine nuts
  • Spray oil

Method

  • Sieve flour, Baking powder, xanthan gum and salt into a bowl, mix.
  • Weigh out the butter and divide into three.
  • Rub 1/3 of the butter into the flour and then add the water.
  • Bring the ingredients together and roll into a rectangle, mark out into three sections – to the bottom 2/3 and add blobs of butter to the dough.
  • Bring the bottom 1/3 of the pastry over the middle third and then fold over the top third. Rotate a quarter turn, roll and repeat the above at least three times.
  • Rest for 30 minutes before use. Or freeze at this stage if planning to use the pastry later.
  • Roll out the pastry into an oblong and score around the edges with a sharp knife taking care not to score through.
  • Where you are planning to place the vegetables prick the pastry with a fork.
  • Grate the cheese and sprinkle over the pastry.
  • Wash and slice the carrot and parsnips thinly.
  • Arrange the carrots on the pastry and spray with oil.
  • Cook in an oven at 220 degrees C or gas mark seven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Five minutes before the end of the cooking time sprinkle the pastry with pine nuts.
  • Serve.

Chestnut pies – an alternative to mince pies (low FODMAP)

Mince pies are quintessentially Christmas. Normally mince pies have a large amount of dried fruit which can cause problems for people with fructose malabsorption if enough are eaten, plus they are made from pastry, a source of fructans. This is the reason I decided to develop a nut based pie instead and chestnut was just the right choice (along side the fact I had 1/2 tin of chestnut puree left from the previous recipe!) I am probably going all out to trash the traditional mince pie – but needs must!

Again this is a Christmas recipe and not one necessarily for health – the addition of lard really should be part of a true shortcrust pastry, the recipe standard is 1/2 fat to flour and 1/2 lard to butter/margarine. The lard in the pastry is also traditional in mince pie but usually added as suet to the filling. This recipe is made a rich shortcrust with the addition of an egg and the sugar. A recipe for a treat occasionally and when else can you have a treat except Christmas?

Ingredients

  • Pie filling
  • 50g Candied Ginger
  • ½ Can chestnut puree
  • ¼ teaspoon Vanilla
  • 40g pecan nuts
  • ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Pastry
  • 200g gluten free plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 50g margarine
  • 50g Lard
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg beaten for egg wash

Method

  • Sieve the flour into a bowl add the xanthan gum and mix well.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Cut the margarine and lard into small pieces and add to the flour.
  • Rub the fat into the flour until it forms a small crumb.
  • Add the egg and bring the crumb together into a pastry – you may need to add a small amount of water if it is too dry but be cautious – you can always add more but you can’t remove too much!
  • Chill the pastry whilst you make the filling.
  • Chop pecan nuts and add the filling ingredients into a pan and warm through till blended well, chill.
  • Roll out the pastry and cut out the pie bases and tops
  • To a well oiled pie tin add the pastry base, some filling (don’t overfill) and then add the top and glaze with beaten egg wash (it will not brown without this addition.
  • Cook at gas mark 6/200 degrees C for 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve with sprinkled icing sugar.

Chestnut and herb stuffing

Is it too soon to be thinking of Christmas? It’s hardly past Halloween and Bonfire night but if you are like me and make your food for Christmas then perhaps we do need to start. I love chestnuts, and they are suitable for the Low FODMAP diet. Although I have used bacon and butter – with a small change to these ingredients the recipe and removing the bacon, the recipe can also be made suitable for vegans, plus it is rich enough to form the centre dish for a vegan Christmas.
As I was writing this recipe it reminded me of the song ‘Are you going to Scarborough fair – parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme’ I had inadvertently used this reverent combination in the recipe. I love this song; it’s a traditional ballad, a melancholy tale of loss and the impossible demands of love steeped in the legend of herbs anthropomorphic emotional properties. Being a scientist at heart, I don’t generally ascribe to flowers or herbs changing someone’s emotions however I am, I think, also a romantic too to some extent – so I can recognise and appreciate the sentimentality of the song. Can you be both? I think so.
This stuffing is not necessarily a healthy recipe, but Christmas is a time where a treat is allowed, it is a time to cook for friends and relatives and flavour is essential.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tin (200g) of chestnut puree
  • 10 Walnuts
  • 3 Sprigs thyme
  • 130g Grated celeriac
  • 100g Gluten-free bread
  • 1 Sprig of rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons of parsley
  • 20g Sage
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 90g Streaky dry cure bacon
  • 100g cooked whole chestnuts
  • 40g butter
  • Seasoning

Method

  • Grate the celeriac
  • Chop the walnuts, whole chestnuts and herbs
  • Grate the lemon rind
  • Using a loaf tin lined with butter and the bacon rind – allow the rashers to drape over the edge – long enough so the slices can be folded back over the loaf when the tin is full.
  • Warm the oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the celeriac, fry for five minutes then add the chestnut puree. Add the chopped nuts, herbs lemon rind and seasoning and mix well till combined.
  • When combined spoon the mix into the loaf tin till full, then fold over the rest of the bacon rashers to cover the top of the loaf.
  • Place the loaf tin in a tray of water to prevent the sides from burning and cook on the central shelf for 10 minutes.
  • Serves 6-8.

An alternative low fodmap Christmas cake

If you have fructose malabsorption and/or fructans malabsorption and you are really missing a Christmas celebration cake – look no further. Christmas cake is exceptional – like the Wedding cake, but in recent years the heavy fruit cake has gone out of favour somewhat. It is also not really suitable for the low fodmap diet despite only a small slice being recommended, being packed with dried fruit and made using wheat flour. This alternative has ingredients that provide a Christmas taste and is packed full of flavour.

This is a spiced whiskey ginger and chestnut cake

Ingredients

225g Dairy free margarine

340g Dark muscovado sugar

2 eggs (or 40g egg alternative if you have an egg allergy)

240g Self-raising gluten free flour

100g Chestnut flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 Teaspoons of nutmeg

1 1/2 Teaspoons of ground cloves

2 Teaspoons of ground cinnamon

2 Teaspoons of ginger

100g of crystallised ginger pieces

Method

Weigh out the dry ingredients and sieve them well into a bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar in another bowl. Add the eggs to a measuring jug and beat them with a fork, then slowly add the egg to the wet mix while beating.

If the mix looks slightly curdled (grainy) than add a tablespoon of flour to the wet ingredients and continue to mix it well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix and stir them in using a metal spoon and a cutting and folding action, to not lose the air you have already added.

Chop up the ginger pieces finely and add to the mix. 

Place the mix into a greased 18cm cake tin.

Cook in an oven for 2 hours at gas mark 4 or 180 degrees C or until a cake skewer comes out of the mix clean (the surface of the cake was dry, and this might give a false  reading with the skewer, ensure you pierce the surface with a wider hole to allow wet mix to come out.)

I soaked the cake with whiskey to give it an added depth of flavour!

Vegan Pate – Christmas starter Low Fodmap

This is a spiced vegan pate starter – a really nice way to begin Christmas lunch. It has lots of seasonal flavours to remind you of the traditional Christmas. Being very easy to make it will take no time at all for you to prepare. Entertaining guests can be challenging so this dish can be prepared in advance and refrigerated till the 25th or perhaps used as a nice supper dish on the 24th if you prefer.

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Ingredients

100g pecan nuts

1/2 preserved lemon

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice

1 teaspoon of oil

4-5 sage leaves

150g roasted peppers (you can purchase these ready prepared from most supermarkets)

100g gluten-free breadcrumbs

season to taste

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Method

Cover the pecan nuts with boiling water and leave to soak for a few hours till soft .

Add the oil to a pan and fry the spice a little to release the flavour.

Then add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend well.

Serve with toasted gluten free bread

Serves 4-5

Chocolate coated peppermint snow peaks – low fodmap Christmas recipes

Just the ticket for giving out to friends who come caroling.

 

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Ingredients

4 egg whites

200g castor sugar

Pinch of cream of tartar

400g of mint dark chocolate

3-4 drops of peppermint flavouring.

Method

Add the egg whites to a bowl and add the peppermint, cream of tartar and whisk, when they are forming peaks add half the castor sugar and whisk till they form stiff peaks.

Add the rest of the castor sugar, mix and then spoon out into a Teflon baking sheet.

Cook for 1 1/2 hours at gas mark 1/4 or 107  degrees C

Cool

Melt the chocolate and cover the surface of the meringue and allow to set.

Makes around 12.