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.

Danish cucumber salad

If you, like me, generally find cucumbers to be a bit pointless - just water with a skin - then this recipe will make you think again! It's dead simple and incredibly tasty, and of course vegan and wheat-free. Even better, it can be made the day before you need it (and in fact it's better if you do).

Serves 4

Half a cucumber
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp boiling water
1 tbsp sugar

Slice the cucumber as thin as you possibly can - obviously you can do this with a knife, but you can also use the slicing bit of a box grater or even a mandolin if you have one. In a cup mix the boiling water and sugar together and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon juice, stir again and then pour over the cucumber slices. This can be eaten straightaway, but marinading it overnight is also a great idea.

Perfect rice

There's nothing worse than soggy rice, but getting it your rice spot on is easier than you might think! All you need is twice the amount of water as you have rice, a saucepan with a lid, and away you go!

Serves 4 (generously)

2 mugs of rice
6 mugs boiling water

Measure the rice into your pan and then wash by filling the pan with water, swooshing it all about and then straining the water out. Add the mugfuls of boiling water and a lid. Put the pan on a high heat, but monitor it - when the water begins bubbling, turn the heat right down to, say, level 2. Leave it cooking for about 12-15 minutes (depending on the type of rice) - you know it's done when all the liquid has been absorbed. See, I told you it was easy!

Gingerbread men

Who knows why the concept of a small man-shaped biscuit is so appealing? But it is! Here's my gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and vegan gingerbread man. What could be nicer? And kids love them...

Makes about 20

75g buckwheat flour
50g cornflour
50g non-dairy margarine (eg Pure)
25g caster sugar
50g Demerara sugar
1tbsp golden syrup
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tbsp water

Oven at 150C. Mix all the ingredients (except the water) together in a food processor or by chopping at it finely with a knife until you get what looks like crumbs. Add the water and knead together by hand to form a dough. You may need a tiny bit more water or a little more cornflour to get the right consistency, which should be soft but not sticky.
Roll out to 3mm (use cornflour to stop the dough sticking) and then cut into your men or whatever other shape you fancy. If you’re using currants to decorate, push them in now (though at the risk of them burning - you can also glue them on with icing after the biscuits have cooked). Place on an oiled baking tray and bake for 20–25 minutes until golden. Let them cool a little before attempting removal from the tray and, once, cool, ice with a thick icing sugar and water mix.