Mackerel Pate

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Making a pate can be quite cumbersome. This is a shot-cut version. A very nice and salty appetiser. Dairy free. Can be served on toast, on cucumber slices or on crips bread (I have included a link to a precious recipe for this).

100 g smoked mackerel
75 ml mayonnaise
3 tsp Dijon mustard
50 ml finely chopped gherkins
Salt and pepper

Recipe for Gluten free crips bread

1. Place mackerel, mayonnaise and mustard in mixer and blend until smooth.
2. Add the chopped gherkins. Season.
3. Using a piping bag (with a nozzle large enough to accommodate the gherkin pieces), pipe onto gluten free crisp bread. Decorate with parsley.

Artichoke and Zaatar Dips

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Delicious dips! Perfect as a filling afternoon snack or as a fun appetizer. If you like the citrus flavoured Zaatar, please have a look at the Zaatar spiced quinoa that I posted a few weeks ago. The Artichoke Dip is a true classic and the Zaatar Dip goes especially well with the apple sticks.

Cut up carrot and apple sticks

Artichoke Dip:
400 g canned artichoke hearts
100 ml pine nuts
1 crushed garlic clove
1 large bunch of basil
100 ml grated parmesan cheese (can be substituted with ½ – 1 tbsp nutritional yeast and some more artichoke hearts)
100 ml olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Spicy Zaatar Dip:
Juice from 1 lemon
400 g canned cannellini beans
2 tbsp zaatar
1 tbsp chili flakes
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Blend the dips in a food processor until smooth.
2. Drizzle some oil over the Spicy Zaatar Dip.
3. Serve with apple and carrot sticks.

Aubergine Bites

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This dish can be made into small appetizer bites, or, served as a large “pizza”. If you want to make it vegetarian, substitute the anchovies with sliced shiitake mushroom marinated in 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp tamari soy sauce, 1 tsp olive oil, dash of salt.

Either you buy a ready-made puff pastry (Schaer sells frozen “Millefoglie”) or you use this recipe to make your own, simplified version:

350 g gluten free, non self-rising flour (about 600 ml)
150 g butter
½ tsp salt
150 ml sour cream
1 tbsp cold water
Process flour, salt and butter in mixer until crumbly dough. Add the sour cream and mix, then add the water. Refrigerate 30 minutes for easier handling.

100 g parmesan cheese, grated

2 aubergines
Olive oil

5 onions, sliced
Olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
100 g canned fillets of anchovies, cut into slivers (or your own, marinated shiitake mushrooms)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
50 g chopped black olives
50 g chopped marinated, sundried tomatoes

1. Make (or buy) the puff pastry.
2. Slice the aubergine, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven at 215 C for 25 minutes, turning once. When done, cut each slice into slivers
3. Slice the onion thinly, sauté with the garlic in some olive oil until soft. Add the salt, sugar and thyme and gently fry the onion another 10 minutes.
4. Roll the dough out to about 1 cm thickness. With a cookie cutter, make small rounds of the dough. On each round, sprinkle some parmesan, add some caramelized onion and aubergines. Finish by topping with a small sliver of anchovy. Lightly drizzle with red wine vinegar. OR, just cover an oven tray with the dough (on baking parchment) and spread the toppings over the dough base. After it is baked, cut into squares.
5. Bake in oven at 225C for 20 minutes.
6. When baked, decorate with olives and tomatoes.

Veggie Rolls

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Such a great appetizer! Healthy, fresh and very tasty. Perfect finger food. Just make sure the stuffing is cut into small pieces and won’t poke holes into the rice paper. I do not deep fry my rolls but eat them fresh or bake them in the oven.

Makes about 12 rolls.

1 carrot
1/3 fennel bulb
1 small red pepper
½ courgette (zucchini)
1 stalk lemon grass
½ red chili, seeds removed
1-2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce

Bean sprouts
Rice paper for spring rolls
Sweet chili sauce (either make you own – see this link, a great sauce but NOT low food map – or buy the Go-Tan brand which IS low fodmap)

1. Remove the outer layers of the lemon grass and cut the inside finely
2. Finely chop the red chili
3. Cut all remaining vegetables (except for the bean sprouts) into fine sticks and gently fry in a little oil.
4. Season with ginger and soy sauce and taste.
5. Add the bean sprouts and quickly stir fry for another minute.
6. Soak the rice paper in hot water for a maximum of 10 seconds. Take out and place flat on a plastic cutting board or ceramic plate (the rice paper might stick if using a wood cutting board)
7. Place a line of vegetables on the rice paper and into a roll. Start them roll by folding a small piece over the ingredients, then fold in the sides to lock the filling in, lastly, roll the remainder of the paper.
8. The rolls are ready to eat as they are, or you may want to brush (or spray) them with oil and bake them slightly in the oven (about 10 minutes on 180C)
9. Serve with the sweet chili sauce

Chevre Dip

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Delicious to serve as a dip with crackers/raw cut up vegetables or as a sauce together with your meal (salmon, meat, vegetables…).

100 g chevre
100 ml crème fraiche
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper
½ pomegranate, seeds

1. Soften the pomegranate by squeezing/rolling the fruit between your hands. Cut in half and squeeze out the seeds into a bowl.
2. Mix the crème fraiche and the chevre with a fork. Add the onion, then the spices.
3. Stir in most of the seeds from the pomegranate but leave some for the decoration.

The Tomato Soup

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Quick and delicious! One of my favourites. Creamy and as spicy as you’d like. Can be made dairy free and low fodmap if you leave out the crème fraiche topping or just substitute it. (Low fodmap: you can use some tofu cream cheese whipped up with some rice milk to make it smooth, use lactose free creme fraiche or use some soy based sour cream – if based on soy protein, not whole beans).

Serves 6
800 g chopped tomatoes
500 ml coconut milk
1 tsp Sambal Oelek or other chili paste
300 ml water
2 cubes vegetable stock (fodmap friendly)
Salt, if needed

100 ml Crème fraiche
Chili flakes

  1. Add all ingredients (except crème fraiche and chili flakes) and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  2. With a handheld blender, mix into a smooth soup.
  3. Add some salt if needed.
  4. Whisk the crème fraiche.
  5. Serve with chili flakes on top and a dollop of whipped crème fraiche.

Baked Spinach Dip

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This recipe is adapted from a Georgia (US) recipe. The versatile dip can be used as a sauce (e.g. with smoked salmon) or as a dip with nachos, vegetables or bread. Why not try the Gluten Free Crisp Bread with it?


Serves 15 as an appetizer

1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
Rape seed oil
500 g frozen, chopped spinach
1-2 tsp sambal oelek or other chili paste (or a few drops of Tabasco)
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
150 g cheddar cheese, grated
100 g Philadelphia cream cheese
3-4 tbsp quark or crème fraiche
Chili flakes

Nachos or vegetables for dipping

  1. Oven at 200C
  2. In a large pan, fry the onion and garlic in a bit of oil
  3. Add the spinach, continue to fry until the liquid is gone
  4. Add the spice (sambal oelek, chili or tabasco), salt and the vinegar
  5. Add the cheese and crème fraiche. Stir until heated.
  6. Pour into oven proof dish (possibly several individual serving dishes).
  7. Sprinkle with chili flakes.
  8. Bake in oven 15-20 minutes.

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Grilled Aubergine with Crab Appetiser

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A festive starter and so easy to make. As well as being guten free it is a dairy free and low fodmap dish.

Makes 5-6

1 Aubergines, sliced lengthwise
Olive oil
Crab – 120 g
2 tbsp chopped dill
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
A pinch of cayenne pepper

  1. Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil and fry until golden brown on both sides.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Place of spoonful of mix on each aubergine slice and fold.

Pepper and Courgette Starter

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Light and fresh, possibly with a hint of garlic. Don’t overcook the vegetables, keep them crunchy. This is a low foodmap recipe.
Serves 6
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange pepper, thinly sliced
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
4 Courgettes, cut into strand with a spiral slicer
Oil for frying (you may use garlic infused oil)
Salt, lemon pepper
Almonds, flaked and toasted (max 10 g per person)
Baby spinach

  1. Mix the peppers with some lemon juice, set aside.
  2. Stir fry the courgettes in the oil over high heat, add the peppers and fry another minute. Season with salt and lemon pepper.
  3. Line small molds with clingfilm and turn onto a bed of spinach on a servingplate.
  4. Decorate with the toasted almonds.

Baked Avocado

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I love to make this dish with avocados but you can make it with other vegetables too.


Serves 4
2 avocados, halved with stone and peel removed
150 g Mozzarella, diced
25 g walnuts on small pieces
75 g grilled peppers, cut into pieces (I sometimes roast my own with olive oil and garlic, sometimes I buy the ready-made)
Basil leaves, shredded
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
(chilli flakes or Tabasco if you want it a bit spicier)
4 gem lettuce leaves

  1. Oven at 200 C
  2. Cut off a bit of the round bottom of the avocado to make a steadier stand. Put the cut off piece in the hole where the stone used to be. Place the avocados on greased baking sheet.
  3. Mix all remaining ingredients together.
  4. Spoon the mixture on top of the avocados.
  5. Baked until the mozzarella has melted and started to brown (15-20 minutes).
  6. Serve on a piece of gem lettuce.

Stuffed Aubergine with Roasted Balsamic Red Pepper Sauce

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Serves 4
Stuffed aubergine:
3 small aubergines
1 small courgettes (as “skinny” as possible)
5-6 large mushrooms
3 medium size tomatoes
(Concerning the size of the vegetables above, they should fit into the aubergine you’ll be serving in – see photo).
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Parsley, chopped

Red Pepper Sauce:
2 Red Peppers, in pieces
4 medium size tomatoes, in pieces
1 red onion, in pieces
1 garlic clove, crushed
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3-5 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

1 cucumber (or an extra aubergine) to serve the sauce in.


  1. Oven at 200C
  2. Place all vegetables in oven proof shallow dish, drizzle with oil and vinegar. Season.
  3. Rost in oven for 45 min, until soft
  4. Let cool slightly, then, using handheld blender, mix in a saucepan
  5. Reheat and serve


  1. Oven at 150C
  2. Slice the 2 aubergines lengthwise. Cut crisscross in the flesh, drizzle with oil and sprinkle some salt on top. Bake in oven with skin side down for 40 min. Carve the flesh out of the aubergine taking care not to damage the skin.
  3. Chop the carved out flesh and sauté in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Slice the courgettes and mushrooms. Saute in a pan.
  5. Slice the tomatoes.
  6. Assembly the stuffed aubergines by placing some aubergine flesh in the bottom of the empty aubergine skin, then layer the slices of courgette, mushroom and tomato on top. Bake in 150C oven for about 25 minutes.

Assembly on a plate:

  1. Place the stuffed aubergines on a plate, decorate with some chopped parsley.
  2. From a cucumber (or an aubergine), cut thick slices and remove seeds and some of the flesh, leaving a large hollow ring. Place on the plate.
  3. Spoon some of the sauce into the cucumber ring. Pour the remaining sauce into serving saucer.

Spiced Artichoke Hearts Dip

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To be served as a nibble with crisps. Or really with anything you might like. Can be used as a wonderful spread on canapés, a cold sauce with a tuna steak and in many other ways. Should be stored refrigerated with a tight cling film wrapping.

1 can of artichoke hearts (300 g)
30 ml lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
30 ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
5 large basil leaves
(some chili for a bit of heat)

Crisps or vegetables to go with the dip

  1. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Chill

Aubergine Rolls with Chanterelles and Pine Nuts

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These Aubergine Rolls are easy to make and can be filled with many different kinds of stuffing. They may be served hot or cold.

Serves 4

2 aubergines
Olive oil to fry in

Pine nuts, toasted (in oven or in a dry pan) for the stuffing
Pine nuts, toasted, for decorations
Crème Fraiche
Salt and pepper

  1. Slice the aubergines quite thin (5 mm)
  2. Fry in oil until golden brown
  3. To absorb some of the oil, place on paper towels
  4. In a separate pan, fry the chanterelles
  5. Add some crème fraiche and let cook for a 1-2 minutes.
  6. Season
  7. Add the pine nuts to the chanterelle mix.
  8. At one end of an aubergine slice, place a small spoonful of chanterelle mix, then roll it up. Do the same for all the slices.
  9. Serve on plates and decorate with pine nuts.

Russian Buckwheat Blini

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Amazingly good and traditionally gluten free. The Russian kitchen does not use wheat flower in this dish but uses buckwheat instead, which makes for richer blini with a fuller taste. Buckwheat does not, inspite of its name, contain any wheat. It is actually a relative to rhubarb.

Serves 4

50 g butter
15 g fresh yeast (or 5 g dry yeast)
75 ml milk
75 ml cream
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
100 ml buckwheat flour
50 ml corn starch

Butter to fry in

50 g Lumpfish Caviar
200 ml crème fraiche
½ red onion, finely chopped

  1. Melt the butter and let cool.
  2. In a bowl, combine yeast, milk, cream, egg yolk and the melted butter.
  3. Combine the flour and corn starch with some salt and add to cream mixture.
  4. Let stand, rise, in warm place for about 90 minutes.
  5. Whisk the egg white into stiff foam and fold into the cream mixture just before frying.
  6. Using a spoon, drop small amounts of batter to a heated pan and flatten them slightly with the spoon.
  7. Turn once when gold brown.

Serve with the onion, crème fraiche and lumpfish caviar.

Fresh and Fruity Vegetable Starter

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This starter takes a while to prepare since everything must be cut into really fine pieces. Quite time consuming but definitely worth it! The flavours will come out much stronger and also mix better with eachother.

Serve as part of a dinner with:
Main course – Chilli Crab Cakes and Rosemary Courgette Spaghetti
Dessert – Sweet and Sour Sauce with Strawberries and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Serves 4

3 large tomatoes, discard seeds and chop
½ medium size cucumber, discard seeds and chop
½ large red onion, chopped
3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
½ ripe mango, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped

3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil

Season with ground coriander, salt and pepper
(OPTIONAL – Smoked Salmon Slices)

  • Mix all finely chopped ingredients together
  • Season
  • Add the oil and juice

Serving options:

  • In a glass
  • Using a ring mold, shape on the serving plate
  • Fill a rolled up slice of smoked salmon.

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