I blog information, news and recipes about gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, alcohol-free and vegan cooking. Right now I've been working on an exciting project where I avoid refined sugar and create recipes using a range of healthier alternatives.

Happy cooking!

ps. ask all guests if they have an allergy (because the recipes use some unusual combinations and they may not expect to find citrus and soya in the chocolate cake, for example).
pps.if you are cooking for someone with an allergy, please read my allergy page first.

Mandarin and thyme rice salad

You know what it's like when you want a satisfying, yet summery salad but you don't want to spend ages roasting vegetables or whatever? Well try this – it's dead easy to make and the unusual mix of flavours are lovely on a summer’s day – perfect for a barbecue or picnic.

Serves 4 as a side

Small mugful of rice
1 300g tin of mandarin oranges in juice, drained.
1 handful fresh thyme
1 handful hazelnuts
1tbsp olive oil
2tbsp orange juice (you can use the juice from the tin)

Put the mugful of rice in a saucepan and then use the same mug to measure two mugfuls of boiling water. Place a lid of the pan and put on a medium heat until all the water has been absorbed (this will take about  10–15 minutes, depending on the type of rice and gives a perfect result).
While the rice cools, chop the nuts and thyme (remove any woody stalky bits). Add the mandarin oranges, nuts, thyme, oil and juice to the cooled rice and stir with a fork, chopping up the oranges as you do so. Delicious – and even better the next day, which is a bonus if you want to do it in advance.