Monday, 18 May 2015

Wibbly wobbly jelly

The hardest part of making this dish is sourcing the gelatine sheets!  I buy mine from The Real Food Company in Crewe.  You can also source it from Amazon and even the baking sections of supermarkets (although I would plump for grass fed or organic gelatine, especially if you are making this regularly). 
Making your own jelly is incredibly simple and means you can create something that is yummy but also nutritious and sugar free!  The benefits of gelatine are numerous - it helps to heal the lining of the stomach and is great for nail and hair health. 
I like to use raspberries but any soft fruit will work. If you wish to use pineapple, kiwi, melon or papaya they will need to be cooked into a purée or the enzymes they contain will break down the gelatine. 
I use organic frozen fruit as it is cheaper but fresh would work also. 

If you want to change the quantities below keep a rough ratio of 125 ml liquid to a sheet of gelatine for a soft jelly (served in glass) or 100ml liquid to a sheet of gelatin for a firm jelly that you can turn out of a mould. 


3 sheets of gelatine 
300g frozen fruit 
2 tbsp of honey (more if very sweet toothed!) 


- Place the fruit in a pan with enough water to cover the base 
- Heat gently so that the fruit breaks down - you can help the process with a potato masher! 
- Once the fruit had disintegrated sieve the mixture into a bowl or jug (use a fine sieve so the seeds do not fall through). You can use the back if a spoon to push the mixture down and extract more liquid.
- Add the honey and stir thoroughly 
- Add filtered water until you have 400ml of mixture 
- Place the gelatine sheets in a large shallow dish and cover with water.  Ensure the sheets are kept separate so they can soften properly 
(During this time return the fruit liquid to the pan and heat very gently so that it stays warm as the liquid needs to be over 35 degrees for the mixture to set) 
- After 5 minutes remove the sheets, squeeze them to remove any excess water and add to the mixture 
- Stir thoroughly ensuring the sheets have fully dissolved 
- Pour the mixture into serving glasses (I also like to add a few slices of strawberry or blueberries)
-Refrigerate for a couple of hours until set.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Old skool sausage pasta

This is a dish that reminds me of my husband and I's uni days.  Now though the pasta is gluten free, the sausages are better quality and the table is strewn with toys, not overflowing ashtrays and wine bottles! (Well to be fair there is still wine around!) 

This is a winner for us because my daughter who won't eat sausages on their own enjoys them in this sauce. My son, who would eat sausages for every meal is happy to gobble up the sauce, red pepper and all! 

I make up my own Italian mixed herbs by mixing together equal amounts of dried oregano, thyme, basil, sage and rosemary.  

We use free range or organic all meat sausages from Graig Farm, Devon Rose or Roaming Rooster but any good quality plain banger will do (avoid herbs that will fight with the Italian seasoning!) 

I always make at least two family sized portions at once - simply double up the ingredients below. 

We serve this with brown rice or buckwheat pasta and some buttered green beans on the side. It would also work well on its own with a green salad. 


1 packet of sausages 
1 medium onion, chopped 
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into small pieces 
2 cloves of garlic, crushed 
1 tsp of Italian seasoning 
Olive oil / ghee / lard or beef dripping for cooking 
1/3-1/2 bottle (approx 300ml) of organic passata 
Glass of red wine (optional) 


- Heat a tbsp of oil/fat  in a large pan and add the sausages, cooking for a couple of minutes before turning over so they are browned all over. (If you are cooking more than one portion it is best to cook the sausages in batches)  Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside.
- Lower the heat, add more oil if necessary and add in the onion and red pepper, cooking gently for around ten minutes until soft. During this time cut the sausages into small chunks (around 6 per sausage). I find it easiest to do this with scissors 
- Add the garlic to the pan, stirring frequently to prevent it burning and becoming bitter. After a couple of minutes add the sausage pieces back into the pan and increase the heat 
- Add in the passata, wine and herbs. (If you are adding in wine only use 1/3 of a bottle) 
- Season generously with salt and pepper 
- Once it reaches a vigorous simmer reduce the heat so it is simmering gently and cover. 
- Simmer for around 40 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.