Intro

What's WIDE CIRCLE COOKING about?
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.

BOOK REVIEW: The Vegan Cookbook by Adele McConnell


I've just finished eating some delicious Mexican bean soup, one of the featured recipes in a beautiful new book, The Vegan Cookbook.
Author Adele McConnell is a renowned blogger on vegiehead.com and high profile vegan (she has released several eBooks, runs cooking classes and has also set up the YouTube Vegie Head channel, where fellow foodies can watch her inspiring, easy‐to-­follow cookery demonstrations online).

I was definitely impressed by Adele's book – it looks beautiful, with great presentation and stunning lifestyle photography, immediately raising it above many other vegan cookbooks. As an added bonus there are several gluten-free recipes as well. 
There is a informative section at the front in which runs through the benefits of a plant-based diet, as well as tips on how to boost nutrient intake. Adele has also considered different diets, with labels for those recipes that are suitable for raw food diets or those that need to avoid certain ingredients eg. soya, gluten, seeds or added sugar (the symbols were slightly baffling, but luckily the words are actually written underneath as well so there is no confusion).
The title might be simple, but Adele has thought carefully about the flavour combinations, taking her inspiration from around the globe. The recipes vary from the basic (almond milk; watermelon and orange salad) to the more complicated (tempura pumpkin stacks with ginger dressing; red lentil & beetroot burgers). I loved the chilli peanut and coconut soup and the tea-poached prunes, which used Earl Grey tea and orange juice to pep up what can otherwise be a slightly dull dried fruit.
My verdict overall was that I thought this was a valuable and inspiring addition to the genre.

If this sounds like your thing, you can buy the book here: http://www.nourishbooks.com/shop/vegan-cookbook-adele-mcconnell


THE VEGAN COOKBOOK – Adele McConnell
Hardback | £14.99 | 9781848991040
Published in the UK March 2014 by Watkins Publishing 

Finding the best in FreeFrom Food


I have recently returned from the FreeFrom Food Awards, where I was lucky enough to be invited as a judge. It was a great way to spend a considerably damp and blustery morning, in the company of very interesting people and a feast of different products. Unfortunately we didn’t have a lot of time to chat as there was work to be done!
It really was heartening to see how many entries there were and manufacturers had clearly spent a great deal of effort in order to create delicious, moreish products suitable for one or more ‘free-from’ dietary requirements. Some of these were highly processed, but others had an elegant simplicity to their ingredient lists that was much appreciated. 
In the 'food on the go' section, for instance, it was great to see not only sandwiches, but also pork pies, samosas, crisps and snack packs with dips. In the sweet section, there were some really good energy bars packed with nutrients that tasted great, as well as cakes, biscuits and more 'nibbly' items.
I’m obviously not allowed to reveal too much yet… but I will say that there were very well deserved winners and you can rest assured we have approved them for tastiness! The results will be announced in March.