With supermarkets dedicating aisles to ingredients for those suffering with food allergies and intolerances, the range of delicious foods available, make cooking a wide variety of healthy meals easy and nutritious. When a gluten-free diet is prescribed, learning to remove all traces of gluten from your cooking is essential for your health. Changing the focus of food can be daunting but there are so many delicious goods on offer as well as those foods that are naturally gluten free for example, fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, meats and poultry. Gluten free cookery can be made exciting and can be incorporated into a family routine with just a little thought. This month’s recipe will feed everyone at the table. It’s wholesome, fresh and full of the vitamins and nutrients needed to keep your insides content.
Baked Mediterranean Vegetables
These make a delicious meal or can be used as a side with grilled fish or chicken. One of my favourite ways of serving these is with a whole roast chicken that has been stuffed with lemons, oranges and fresh basil and oregano. It’s a Mediterranean feast that is full of colour and nutrition.
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 very large tomatoes
2 courgettes, I green and 1 yellow
6 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2½ tbsp tomato purée
400g/14oz gluten free rice, rinsed
250ml/9fl oz vegetable stock
A handful of chopped fresh herbs such as flat leaf parsley, mint or basil
⅛ tsp chilli flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3.
2. Prepare the vegetables to be stuffed by cutting off the tops and scooping out all of the seeds inside. Keep the tops for lids. Scoop out the flesh of the courgettes and aubergine so they appear like mini boats in shape. Keep this to one side with the insides of the tomatoes.
3. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic and onion until they are soft, then add the vegetables flesh with the tomato puree and cook until all the ingredients are softened, this should take about 8-10 minutes.
4. Add the rice and 150ml/5floz of the vegetable stock into the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Season and add the chilli flakes.
5. Place the prepared vegetable boats onto an oven proof dish and heap in the rice mixture, place the lids on top and drizzle with oil6. Pour the remaining stock into the dish and cover with foil. Then bake for an hour, remove the foil and continue cooking for another 15- minutes or so until the vegetables and the rice are cooked through.
6. I have added various cheeses on top of the rice before cooking for the last 15 minutes. This works well if you are a vegetarian or if you have this dish as a main meal with salad. They can be served from the oven or cold. Both are equally as delicious.
Harry Price is a freelance writer and artist from a small coastal town on the south coast. In his spare time, he loves to walk by the sea with his 3 dogs, using his surroundings as inspiration for his work.