I made these gluten free sweet potato flatbreads over the weekend and I’ll definitely be making them again! I usually just buy the ready made ones from the supermarket and they were my go to for making a quick lunch. Last week however, I realised they now contain quinoa flour and I can’t tolerate any amount of it. It’s a stomach nightmare and no superfood for me!

So there I am wondering how I’m going to get over them and I think ‘I know, I’ll just make my own ones’. It’s great because there isn’t too many ingredients these gluten free sweet potato flatbreads plus they’re easier and quicker to make than you might imagine. They also happily keep for a few days, I kept them wrapped in tinfoil and toasted them each day.

Ingredients…

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato, diced
  • 120g of Gluten Free plain flour
  • 120g of tapioca flour or cornflour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

How To…

  •  Place your diced sweet potato in a medium saucepan, add water and boil until tender. Drain them and let cool.
  • When completely cooled mash them until pureed or do it in a blender.
  • Then transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, mixing/kneading until you have a dough.
  • Take the dough and divide into around 5 balls. Then on a floured surface roll out each ball, around 1/2 cm thickness.
  •  Heat a non-stick skillet to a medium-high heat. Place a flatbread in the pan and cook for few minutes or until bubbles start to show. Flip, then cook for another few minutes on the second side. There should be some brown spots on each side and cooked through.
  • They’re ready to eat straight away warm or let them cool and them wrap them tight and keep them for a few days.
gluten free sweet potato flatbreads

This dairy and gluten free vegetable bake is a great way of using up any leftover veg that’s in the fridge. It’s also easy to make and since I’ve discovered coconut milk is the best way of making any sort of white sauce I’m loving it.

So for my vegetable bake I had some left over cauliflower florets, mushrooms and, as always in my fridge, a bag of kale (good for the iron levels!).

Dairy and gluten free vegetable bake

Dairy And Gluten Free Vegetable Bake

Ingredients…

  • 100g of gluten free pasta
  • Handful of mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • Small handful of kale, shredded
  • 1/2 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Grated dairy Free cheese (around 1/2 cup, I like to use violife cheddar or mozzarella)
  • 400ml light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp dairy free butter
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

How To…

  • Firstly, cook your gluten free pasta in a pan for boiling water until it’s al dente, it should take around 10 minutes. Take it off the heat, drain and set aside.
  • Next melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the cornflour. Gradually pour in the coconut milk, stirring constantly. Return the pan to the heat and add in as much grated dairy free cheese as you like, still stirring. I prefer around a 1/2 cup of cheese so it’s not overly cheesy. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cheese has melted in.
  • Add all the veg into your oven proof dish along with your pasta, sprinkle the chili flakes through and season with some pepper if you wish. 
  • Add your cheese sauce to the dish and mix through.
  • Place in a pre heated oven at 180ºC (fan oven) and bake for 20 mins.
Dairy and gluten free vegetable bake

This sweet saffron and cardamom rice is a version of desi which is eaten by Buddhists on the first morning of the new year to symbolize their hopes for a new cycle. I studied buddhism at school and even went on school trip to stay at a buddhist retreat. It’s stayed with me all this time along with the mix of traditional food we ate when we were there. 

I love this rice dish, it has such flavour and its great as an accompaniment to any other dish. I often just have it with some roasted vegetables or chicken because the flavour of the rice speaks for itself. Apart from it tasting great, cardamom and saffron are fantastic healing foods especially for aiding memory retention. Just what’s needed if you’re having a coeliac memory fog day! It also enhances a self of wellbeing which is what I need at the moment.

Sweet Saffron And Cardamom Rice

Sweet Saffron And Cardamom Rice Ingredients…

  • 150g of Jasmine or Basmati Rice
  • Around a 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 4 tbsp’s of coconut milk
  • A pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 tbsp of coconut sugar (or unrefined brown sugar)
  • 2 tbsp’s of dairy free butter, melted
  • 1 tsp of crushed cardamom pods
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp’s flaked almonds

How To…

  • I rinse my rice first and then let it soak in cool water for 30 mins, you can skip this step if you want to eat quicker!
  • Drain the rice and place it in a pan with around 300ml of water and the cinnamon stick and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for 10-12 mins.
  • Meanwhile place the coconut milk, orange zest and saffron in another pan and warm them gently on a low heat. Add the melted butter and sugar and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  • Then add the cardamom pods and let it all infuse for 2-3 minutes still on a low heat.
  • When the rice is cooked, drain any excess water and put the rice back in the pan. Add the coconut milk combo and mix together, cooking over a low heat for around 2 minutes until the flavours are mixed through. It’s then ready to serve.
Sweet Saffron And Cardamom Rice In Bowl

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about rejection and I don’t just mean the big rejections we’ve all faced at some point but the everyday rejections that go with modern day life.

For me I got to a point yesterday where I just felt like it had been a week of it. Not even let downs, to me it was rejection. What’s the difference? I think rejection feels stronger, let downs are easily brushed off, then again maybe it’s to do with where your headspace is. If you are feeling low already do we take it more as rejection then? I think I do and the reason being that when I rationally think about each one, I doubt it was actual rejection however it just built up to feel like it. For instance… not getting the response I wanted about more freelance work (it was still a response), being told I’m no longer getting the heart operation I’ve been waiting for (my medication is enough so why bother about an op) and the guy I was chatting to online suddenly doesn’t answer back (there’s plenty more fish in the online sea!). Each one has some sort of rational explanation but our lives are filled with so many of these smaller rejections that I wonder if we ever just become unsusceptible to it or do they actually build up over time and affect us more. Somewhere in our sub conscious is it actually affecting our confidence, self belief and mental health.

rejection

For me the feeling of rejection started when I was young, I have many theories as to why but it is definitely something I’ve always struggled with. Again, I logically know it wasn’t that most of the time but it’s how it felt and when you are young it’s hard to know how to change your mindset and flip it into the positive. Let’s face it we didn’t talk about that back then. I think my association with that feeling has effected my relationships and friendships, not leaving them when they’re no good because even though I would be making the choice it somehow still felt like I was being rejected through failure. So I stayed with that friendship or relationship even though they were a negative in my life. In fact in the past 5 years I have struggled with a friendship where we went from being close to them drifting in and out of my life when it suited them. My initial feeling, for quite some time, was that of ‘why am I being rejected’ and so I was hard on myself and it got me down every time. Then I had to take a step back and realise, this is nothing to do with me, this is not being rejected, I’m doing nothing wrong.

Now in life we face small rejections on a regular basis especially online; not enough likes, not enough followers and not matching as you continuously swipe right. Also, as it gets tougher to get jobs look how much we have to try and brush it off when we spend hours applying for different positions only to never hear back or get a generic ‘You’ve not been successful’ email. It’s even harder when you’ve got to the interview stage, built it up in your head because you ‘need to have the positive mindset going into it’ and then after sometimes weeks of waiting get told there was someone better. Every month for the past year I have worked with different young people who are trying to get their foot in the door of the industry they want to work in and it’s tough when you hear how much they try and how they have to very quickly learn to deal with that constant rejection when they just want to start their career. Similarly I know the feeling as a freelancer when you’re seeking new work.

Rejection Fed up and happy

Now in life we face small rejections on a regular basis especially online; not enough likes, not enough followers and not matching as you continuously swipe right. Also, as it gets tougher to get jobs look how much we have to try and brush it off when we spend hours applying for different positions only to never hear back or get a generic ‘You’ve not been successful’ email. It’s even harder when you’ve got to the interview stage, built it up in your head because you ‘need to have the positive mindset going into it’ and then after sometimes weeks of waiting get told there was someone better. Every month for the past year I have worked with different young people who are trying to get their foot in the door of the industry they want to work in and it’s tough when you hear how much they try and how they have to very quickly learn to deal with that constant rejection when they just want to start their career. Similarly I know the feeling as a freelancer when you’re seeking new work.

So is this modern day rejection just something we become immune to over time? Maybe for some but I don’t think I will. There is no doubt I’ve learned how to deal with it, sometimes I can just say ‘whatever’ and move on instantly but other times I need a day or even two before I can regain my focus and carry on regardless. I suppose it depends on how much of our mind we gave to it in the first place. 

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This Gluten Free Flourless Peanut Butter and Banana Cake started off as a bit of an experiment, I had a recipe for a flourless chocolate and almond cake but I wanted to make something different for my friend coming round, so in my cupboard was a jar of banana peanut butter from Jakes Boost. Peanut butter cake, that might be amazing if it works! Luckily it did work and it does taste delicious! It has a lovely gooey middle and it is so moreish.

Gluten Free Flourless Peanut Butter and Banana Cake Recipe 

Ingredients

  • 200g of dairy free butter
  • 200g of natural peanut butter
  • 1 large banana, finally sliced
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 150g of unrefined sugar
  • 250g of ground almonds
  • 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum
  • 60g of dairy free white chocolate
  • pinch of sea salt or himalayan salt

How To

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160º Fan/Gas 4) and line your cake tin.
  2. Put the butter and peanut butter into a small pan and eat slowly over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking it into smaller pieces to melt them together. Then add your banana and mush it in until smooth.
  3. Put the eggs and sugar into a large bowl and whisk them well until they are light and fluffy. Keep whisking while you pour in the melted peanut butter mixture.
  4. Then fold in the ground almonds along with a pinch of salt until you have a smooth batter.
  5. Pour the mixture into your cake tin and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. To test after 30 minutes insert a skewer into the middle of the cake, it won’t come out completely clean as it’s meant to be slightly gooey in the middle but you shouldn’t see any raw mixture. If you do then return to the oven for another 5 mins.
  6. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool down.
  7. To make the white chocolate sauce for the top, just melt your dairy free white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. 
  8. You can pour the white chocolate over the cake once the cake has cooled down and then let the chocolate set. Or serve your gluten free flourless peanut butter and banana cake and white chocolate sauce separately letting everyone put it over their own slice of cake while the cake and sauce are hot. yum!
Gluten Free Flourless Peanut Butter Cake

The other day one of my closest friends told me I was the most together person she knows and I don’t give myself enough credit for it. An absolute compliment I know, but to be honest I was left a bit speechless by it. Why? because it’s made me wonder if I’m very good at hiding what is often happening on the inside.

I’m not even really sure what being a ‘together person’ means, I would have thought it symbolises someone who has their life sorted and if that’s the case then I wouldn’t say that’s me. I’m happy with life now but I still have areas I need to sort. However maybe that is just it, the fact that I’m happy with life and myself while believing the rest will sort itself out in good time.

When I think back then compared to my past then yes I am definitely a together person now. My 20’s were spent in a toxic relationship and the first part of my 30’s was a life of stress, feeling unappreciated and drama. That then turned into a period of loneliness, depression and not having a clue where life was heading. Each time I was lucky enough to know I needed to do something to change the situation, from leaving behind a job I loved to taking time out to find me again or having the courage to get a life coach when I felt I was in a dark well and couldn’t get out. Don’t get me wrong it was difficult and took a lot of work but I’ve been able to get there.

Together Person

It’s because of all this that I would never consider myself that ‘together person’, despite having a life I now like. I still get times when I’m low, when my anxiety is back or my shyness has taken over again. The difference now is that I’ve learned my coping mechanisms and I’m willing to push myself out of my comfort zone in a bid to overcome the crippling shyness that has plagued my life… well apart from when I can’t even make conversation with the guy I like because the above takes over! But I’m working on it!

Getting to a point in life where you’ve made enough changes to feel happy, calm and look forward to the future is a joy. It isn’t necessarily an easy process and I still have moments of doubt and self loathing but overall I’ve become strong, independent and laid back enough to deal with different situations and if that means I’m a together person then good.

My 30 something life, it’s been an adventure. Well that’s the positive spin I now look at it with. Turning 30 never bothered me, however, 31 was a disaster. Heartbreak and heading home after a night out to watch the last ever episode of SATC to cry with the hope that one day I would have my own Mr Big to save me. (Yeah I know wrong attitude, I don’t need a man to save me but it took me a few more years to figure that one out!)

My next 30 something milestone was the middle years, when I decided I needed a change of direction. After spending my whole working life in radio and becoming a successful producer I was ready to give it up. the early mornings of a breakfast show finally catch up with you and I was feeling the effects of working in an all male environment. I was starting to fall out of love with radio and I felt less and less creative. I knew I needed to go because I didn’t want to turn completely against something that had been a big part of my life since the days of excitement as a teenager when the Radio 1 roadshow was in town.

I turned to my other lifetime passion…. fashion, studied fashion styling and became the oldest intern in town to get some experience behind me. but turns out the grass wasn’t greener after all. The fashion world isn’t the friendliest of places but as well as styling I picked up other production work. The problem was, I started to miss radio. I’m not a person who believes in regrets but I spent a lot of time wondering if I’d made a rash decision when I turned down a radio job to follow this path.

The thing is you can only ever go forward, through the dark times, the tough times and happy times. Eventually it turns out right, you just have to hang on in there. What I have now is a job I never thought I would do but that I love, using everything I’ve learned along the way to pass on to others. Along with that I have a mind full of memories and an array of stories to tell. No my life isn’t 100% sorted, I still have things I want to come into my world but I’m happy and I feel complete within myself.

30 something katy did what

Strangely, meaty meatballs isn’t something I’m mad about but I decided to make some gluten free vegan meatballs and I absolutely love them! To me they have so much more flavour and a better vibe about them. 

A coeliac symptom I’d started to get was constant aching bones and joints, some days the fatigue made me feel like I couldn’t even get out my bed. After doing some research I decided to cut down on meat in my diet and for me I’ve found it’s made a massive difference. I’ve not had anywhere near the same aches and I’ve probably only had meat twice in 6 weeks. 

Back to the gluten free vegan meatballs though, I served them with my homemade tomato sauce and gluten free spaghetti but rice is great too. If you have any left over they’re great the next day heated up on a wrap with a bit of salad and mayo.

Ingredients…

• 1 Aubergine, roughly chopped

• 1 small onion, roughly chopped

• 1 tbsp of olive oil

• 3 slices of gluten free bread, made into breadcrumbs

• A handful of pitted olives

• 1/2 red chilli

• 1/2 tbsp of rosemary

• Juice of 1/2 a lemon

• Handful of spinach, roughly chopped

• Pinch of salt and pepper

How To…

• Cook the aubergine, onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large pan until soft and starting to colour, should be around 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the them cool slightly.

• In a food bender add the cooked mixture along with the gluten-free breadcrumbs, olives, chilli, lemon juice, spinach and rosemary along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend the mix in a food processor until it all comes together, and make sure to taste.

• Shape into balls. I get about 10 from the mix. Then bake the meatballs for about 10-12 minutes in an oven pre heated to 180º(Fan), or until browned.

gluten-free-vegan-meatballs

So about me… I’m Katy, 30 something, producer, blogger, one time stylist, coeliac and over-thinker who’s battling shyness. Starting this blog has been something I’ve thought about for a long time, I’ve always loved writing and telling my stories but sometimes building the confidence to put yourself out there is the hardest part. For several years now I’ve had a gluten and dairy free food blog (katycookedwhat.com check it out if you want) but now I want to talk about more than just food.     

hello about me

A Bit More About Me…

My 30’s have been the unexpected. I had a good job as a radio producer which I left, deciding I needed to do something else. I did the whole taking time out to ‘find myself’ but it turns out it’s quite an expensive process!  So I became a fashion stylist, worked in Paris, came back to Scotland and then moved to London to work in production. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side but it was an experience and it’s given me a lifetime of memories. 

I wise man once said to me as long ‘as you’re happy that’s the main thing in life as long as you’re happy’. These are words I decided to follow and now I’m lucky enough to do a job I’m passionate about, passing on what knowledge I have to young creatives who want to work in the world of media.

With me, there’s always a something happening… funny, random or just feeling anxious and wondering about where life is headed. Being in your 30’s doesn’t always mean your life is sorted.