In the last couple of years food had become a big pain in the neck (and other places too.)
It's been difficult to adjust. It's been expensive. It's been hard work and it's been dull.
It seems the gluten is still an issue but now so is fat. Goodbye butter, donuts, quiche, chocolate, croissants, crisps, pain au chocolats, sausages, bacon, sausage rolls, pork, lamb, beef, biscuits, cake, peanut butter, hash browns, fish and chips, cheese straws... Ugh, I feel sick just writing all of that.
Hello fat free marshmallows! I'm sick of these already. I've had three or four a day for a few days and ugh, I never want to see another marshmallow as long as I live. It's not a successful chocolate substitute. Never will be.
When I first realised my problems were food related M rose to the challenge and cooked amazing meals using less than amazing ingredients. Gram flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, you know who you are! We are now at the stage where it might just be possible to go back to making just one meal per evening that everyone can eat. So last night, having done the rounds of Sainburys with my reading glasses permanently on to read all the labels we decided upon Quorn mince for shepherds pie. Can't go far wrong with vegetables, potato and ahem, mince. At least that's what we told the kids. Near the end of the meal we asked their verdict on the basis that M had left out a bit of oil for browning the meat. E said she didn't like the celery and J said that the carrots were too crunchy but then went on to have seconds. A riproaring success I think! Sssh, don't tell them it was Quorn.
Not only did the Quorn experience surprise me but E actually asked to taste one of my 'healthy' flapjacks. I used an American recipe which I copied down for our recipe box but haven't bookmarked on my iPad. It makes a good, moist, tasty flapjack that would be incredibly easy to adapt. You could add nuts, chocolate chips maybe, dates.
Chop up two large or three small eating apples (peel if you prefer, but I didn't) and heat in a pan with a little water and a squirt of lemon juice.
When it becomes a liquid pulp remove from the heat and add a cup of raisins.
When the raisins swell a little with the moisture then stir in a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Now stir in two cups of oats making sure they are all covered with the apple mixture and leave to stand for five minutes. (This makes sure the oats absorb the flavours).
At this stage I wasn't convinced it would all hold together and since I'm not avoiding sugar (just cutting it down a little) I squirted a tablespoon of golden syrup in. I'm not sure it made much of a difference to the final thing to be honest.
Press down into a grease proof paper lined baking dish and bake until golden brown. Mine took about twenty minutes on 170. My flapjacks were about an inch thick.
Children might not like the apple peel which does tend to separate from the apple during cooking. I like it with peel because it gives a bit of texture.
The original recipe was given without the golden syrup and I reckon that would work just as well, making it a low fat and low sugar flapjack. I used to make something similar with banana but E doesn't like banana so these will probably be made weekly from now on!