Monday, 2 November 2009

Gluten Free Menu swap round up

This week I agreed to host the gluten free menu swap and I chose dried fruit as my ingredient. We use a lot of dried fruit and even more so this time of year.

This year I plan to make both Christmas cake and Christmas pudding from scratch using traditional recipes adapted to be gluten free. The recipes I plan to use are so full of dried fruit that the flour is really an after though. For those that don't know what Christmas pudding is think if a sort of steamed version of a very dark, very rich fruit filled fruit cake.. Both Christmas cake and Christmas pudding in this country are nearly back in colour and very full of fruit and often pumped full of alcohol for a couple of months if you follow the traditional recipes.

Here are a couple of Mrs Beeton's Christmas pudding recipes, note the large amount of fruit compared to flour and breadcrumbs, the recipe I am thinking of using has no flour at all just some bread or cake crumbs.

The dried fruit we probably use the most is sultanas which I believe Americans either don't have or call by a different name (Edit - Heather says they are often called golden raisins in the US). They are between currants and raisins in size and quite sweet and pale in colour compared to both the others. We also have dried apricots, pears, peaches, bananas, prunes, currants, a couple of types of raisins in the cupboard and probably a couple more I've forgotten.

We snack on them, add them to cereal, cakes, vegetable and tomato sauce to go with pasta and several more dishes including a really nice chicken and apricot Moroccan dish Tom cooks.

This weeks menu

I've also listed my menu this week on Menu Plan Monday on organised Junkie.

Monday - Lamb chops, chips and whatever we feel like at the time.

Tuesday - Fish pie with sweet potato topping (didn't do last week, didn't even buy the fish !)

Wednesday - Polenta terrine which I also failed to get round to last week.

Thursday - Sausage and mash

Friday - Quinoa, dried fruit and chickpeas with spiced chicken..

Pumpkin tealoaf (with sultanas) - mostly to use up the inside of the pumpkin from Halloween.
Pear pie and/or cake
I now have the urge to try converting Coventry god cakes as well which would mean repeating the puff pastry.. they are basically puff pastry filled with mincemeat.. or maybe Eccles cakes which have a dried fruit filling, similar but different.... argg I should never have picked dried fruit now I've remembered lots of recipes I want to try and convert!!.

Other menus

Kimberly from Gluten free is life sounds like she has had a rough ride recently but at least she likes my ingredient choice. Her menu sounds very nice indeed.

Heather from Celiac Family is making pupusas again which I'd never heard of till she posted about them and this week she has added an link with more information. She describes this week and quick and easy but it still sounds very tasty.

Manda from Asparagus Thin warns about snacking to much on dried fruit as she rightly points out they have a lot of sugar all be it natural rather than refined. She has some very intriguing sounding dishes I wish my menu sounded so interesting and I'd love to know what Risotto Nero is or how to make Curried Sweet Potato Salad, Japanese Style.

Over at Angela's Kitchen  as usual there is a hectic schedual and a great sounding menu plus lots of baking to refill the freezer. Her ground beef freezer plan sound a really good idea and as I'm trying to buy more from the local butcher and less from the supermarket I may try it next time he does a special on mince.

Trishtator over at Gluten Free in Salt Lake City has a picture up of her street which shows that autumn seems at about the same stage here and there. Her menu sounds great and I will be checking back to see here cinnamon apple muffins recipe later this week.


  1. We do have sultanas in the US, but they are often called golden raisins.

    Here's my menu for the week:

  2. Great menu and Christmas cake! My family does more Swedish traditions for Christmas, but I am always in love with the idea of the flaming christmas pudding and hard sauce in all the Christmas tales... mmmm...

    We use dried fruit in so many things, snacks, apricot quinoa pilaf, muffins, etc...

    Thank you for hosting! My post is up:

  3. Thanks for hosting!

    Here's my link

  4. Ooooh, sultanas. We do like golden raisins at this house. Your menu sounds delightful. Thanks for hosting!

    Here's my menu this week: