Yum Thai Chicken Curry

Nut free, wheat free, gluten free, dairy free

IMG_5488FOR each parent of a child with food allergies there is some food, some childhood favourite or adult obsession, that in more maudlin moments they wish their little one could one day try. For my husband that vetoed dish is curry.

There is very little my husband loves more than a curry. Let’s put it like this: on my hen night, my sister roped him in to help compile a ‘Mr & Mrs’-style quiz. What would be his perfect night out? she asked, as thoughts of moonlit strolls and romantic trysts floated around my head.

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Crispy chicken bits

(Wheat free, gluten free, egg free, optional dairy free)

IMG_4378MY BID to recreate the chicken in matzo meal I loved as a child – minus the wheat and egg. Cut into goujons, chunky nuggets or a mini escalope it’s a great dish served warm and just as tasty doled out cold the next day for a picnic-style meal.

Ingredients

One pack chicken breast fillets

Orgran corn crispy crumbs (basically just baked maize breadcrumbs)

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Sort-of-Moroccan-style meaty lamb stew

Wheat free, gluten free, egg free, nut free, dairy free

WITH AUTUMN’S crisp chill setting in, and Sid landing his first attack of the snuffles in months, I decided it was high time we concocted a good warming stew to see us through the winter.

To be frank, the only thing that gives this Moroccan-style stew its Moroccan style is the apricots and sultanas. Most genuine Moroccan recipes call for all manner of banned substances, from almonds to cumin seeds. Although I can’t be sure that cumin is out for us, given nuts and sesame are vetoed I’m erring on the side of caution and waiting to test all seeds at the hospital before adding them to our repertoire.

This recipe doesn’t need a huge amount of prep but it does require about an hour’s bubbling on the stove to give it proper depth and richness. I made up a huge batch to freeze in individual portions, thinking I’ll defrost them overnight as needed and then heat in a mini casserole dish in the oven before serving. Continue reading “Sort-of-Moroccan-style meaty lamb stew”

Juicy lamb sausages

Egg free, wheat free, gluten free, nut free, (optional: dairy free)

ALL THOUGHTS of raising a veggie child flew straight out of the window when Sid turned out to be allergic to virtually all of my staples (eggs, wheat, pulses, nuts, hummus), the little bugger.

In all honesty, I’d never seriously considered bringing him up a vegetarian as my husband’s a meat eater and I have to confess to very fond memories of all my childhood meaty meals. After all, I’m half Roman on my Dad’s side and Jewish with an Irish-English bent on my Mum’s so how could I not have happy recollections of everything from salami to salt beef, steak ‘n’ kidney pie, roast pork with all the crackling (non-practising Jewish, all right?), even, I’m afraid, a bit of the old vitello tonnato. My veggie ways are all about the animal thing, not the taste thing.

So while I’m squeamish about handling raw meat and leave most of the handiwork on that front to my husband, I’m very happy to introduce Sidney to as many tasty foods as we safely can.

These lamb sausages were pilfered and adapted from a baby-led weaning cookbook and they have a few bonuses: they’re stuffed with veg, they freeze well and can be steamed back to juicy life (I’m told) in no time; plus they make great portable finger food as well as a hearty complement to a traditional meat and two veg dinner.

The original recipe, if I remember rightly, includes peas but, since they’re out for us, I use courgette, leek and, depending what’s in the fridge, a little cheddar or parmesan for added oomph. They’re just as good dairy free, though.

Ingredients

250g minced lamb

1 medium leek, finely chopped

2 courgettes, finely chopped

Ground black pepper to taste

Fresh herbs to taste (optional)

Handful grated parmesan (check the ingredients label to ensure there is no egg – the similar Grana Padano cheeses tend to include it) or cheddar

Olive oil to grease pan

Baking tray

Mixing bowl

Method

Steam or sauté the courgettes and leeks in a little olive oil until soft (you could add some finely chopped garlic and onion, too). Plop the lamb mince in a bowl and mix well with the cooked veg. Season with black pepper, add chopped fresh herbs if you fancy – mint’s a good one – and stir again.

Let the veg cool down before taking small handfuls of the mixture and forming little sausages. You could turn them into meatballs, or flat patties, but a sausage is particularly good for younger babies to grip. If the mix is sticky, you could dust your hands first with some wheat free, gluten free flour, but I’ve never found this to be necessary.

Place the sausages on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Ideally, if you have the time, stick them in the fridge for an hour or so before baking – this lets them firm up nicely.

Bake in a 200˚C oven for around 25 minutes to half an hour. You’ll know they’re cooked when they’re browned on the outside and no longer pink when you cut through one.

Perfect served fresh and hot, or cold the next day. I always freeze a batch for future use. Let them cool before layering them between sheets of baking paper in a foil carton and freezing. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then steam in a colander over a pan for 30 to 45 minutes until piping hot. Yum (apparently).