Gluten Free Lasagne – thanks to Tesco….

  • Gluten Free  Main Meal

With thanks to:Tesco

Serves 6    Prep 25     Cook for  1 hour 10 min



Pre-heat oven to 200°C, 180°C fan, 350°F, gas 4.

Place mince, onion and garlic in a pan and fry,

stirring until the beef is browned with no trace of pink.

Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree, herbs, pepper and wine.

Bring to the boil and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile cook the lasagne in boiling salted water for 3 minutes,

until just pliable.

Drain, rinse in cold water and spread out on a work surface

in a single layer to prevent sticking.

For the sauce, bring the milk to the boil with the onion and bayleaf.

Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes.

Strain the milk and place back in the pan with the butter and flour.

Whisking constantly, bring slowly to the boil and simmer for

5 minutes until thickened and smooth.

In an ovenproof dish, layer the meat mixture, lasagne and sauce.

End with the sauce and sprinkle with the cheese.

Cook in pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes.

Cover with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes before slicing,

so the layers hold their shape.

Meanwhile, lay the cherry tomatoes in a small roasting tin,
drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 20 minutes.   Serve the lasagne with the tomatoes and a watercress salad.





50g (12 oz) lean minced beef (10% fat) – choose free range grass fed rather than lean, tastless, watery mince…

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed

600g tinned chopped tomatoes

2-3tbsp tomato puree

1tsp thyme

1tsp sage

1tsp oregano

1tsp rosemary

Pinch freshly ground pepper

1 glass red wine (125ml)

175g (6oz) Tesco Free From lasagne sheets (12 sheets)

For the Bechamel sauce:

425ml (3/4 pint) semi skimmed milk

1 bay leaf

30g butter

25g (1 oz) gluten free plain flour flourSee the electronic Food and Drink Directory for suitable products.

40g (1½oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated

For the tomatoes:

220g cherry tomatoes on the vine

1tbsp olive oil

Watercress, make a really HUGE bouncy Watercress Salad – YUM!!!!


Jax xx


Gluten-Free Carrot Muffins

Gluten-Free Carrot Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Moist, sweet and subtly spiced, these muffins will become a new favorite.


2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped 1 cup chopped pitted dates 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1/4 cup melted virgin coconut or high-heat sunflower oil 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 3/4 cup amaranth flour or millet flour 3/4 cup ground almond flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or oil with natural cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place carrots and dates in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse and then blend until finely chopped. Add walnuts and pulse to finely chop.  Transfer to a bowl; add oil, eggs and maple syrup, stir to combine completely. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.


Per serving: 240 calories (110 from fat), 13g total fat , 1.5g saturated fat, 35mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 16g sugar), 6g protein   another great recipe – visit their site for more fabulous ideas.  Jax xx

Learn to Cook: Grilled Summer Vegetables

Learn to Cook: Grilled Summer Vegetables

Serves 4

When eggplant, peppers and summer squashes are in season, use a simple cooking method such as grilling to fully enjoy them and benefit from their nutrients.


1 green bell pepper, quartered 1 eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch-thick rounds 1 red bell pepper, quartered 1 yellow squash, cut crosswise on the bias into 1/2 inch-thick slices 1 zucchini, cut crosswise on the bias into 1/2 inch-thick slices 2 tablespoons chopped herbs, such as tarragon, thyme and/or basil 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat grill to high heat. Working in batches, arrange veggies on the grill and cook, flipping once, until tender and just beginning to char, 3 to 5 minutes for the zucchini and squash, 6 to 8 minutes for the peppers and eggplant. Spread out to cool slightly on a large baking sheet.
Roughly chop hot veggies into bite-size pieces and toss with herbs, vinegar, salt and pepper on a large platter. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.


Per serving: 70 calories (5 from fat), 0.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 160mg sodium, 16g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 8g sugar), 3g protein

see whole foods market site for more fabulous recipes…. we especially like the Gluten free ideas and How To Cook entries. Enjoy Jax xx


Basil-Spinach Pesto

Basil-Spinach Pesto

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

This pesto features spinach in addition to the traditional basil and whole olives instead of olive oil. Enjoy it as a dip or spread or as a topping for pasta, rice or quinoa.


2 cups fresh basil leaves 2 cups fresh spinach leaves 1 cup pitted green olives, such as Castelvetrano 1/2 cup walnuts 1/2 cup pine nuts 2 garlic cloves 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill until ready to serve.


Per serving (about 1/4 cup): 140 calories (120 from fat), 14g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 4g total carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 3g protein

Chocolate-Almond Banana Smoothie

Chocolate-Almond Banana Smoothie

Items to add:

  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder


Chocolate-Almond Banana Smoothie

Serves 1

Ripe banana and almond butter give this delicious smoothie body and a light sweetness without the addition of sugar or other refined sweetener. For a sweeter drink, you can add 3 to 4 pitted dates and blend for 1 minute. Using frozen banana makes the drink cold and extra thick, but an unfrozen banana works well too with the addition of an ice cube.


1 banana, sliced and frozen 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond butter 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder


Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve immediately.


Per serving: 280 calories (110 from fat), 13g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 180mg sodium, 38g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 20g sugar), 7g protein

Shrimp and Pineapple over Coconut Rice


Shrimp and Pineapple over Coconut Rice

Seves 4

Try this colorful and flavorful shrimp and vegetable sauté over creamy coconut brown rice. There’s plenty of time to chop, prep and cook shrimp and veggies while the rice cooks.


1 cup canned light coconut milk 1 cup brown basmati rice 1 large shallot, thinly sliced 1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 red bell pepper, diced 3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 cup diced pineapple 3 tablespoons lime juice 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Place coconut milk, 1 cup water and rice in a medium saucepot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 45 to 50 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes then fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add shallot, asparagus and red pepper and cook 3 minutes or until vegetables are beginning to brown, stirring. Stir in 1/4 cup water. Add shrimp, pineapple and lime juice, cover and cook 6 to 7 minutes or until shrimp are just opaque throughout and vegetables are tender, stirring several times. Stir in cilantro and serve over rice.


Per serving: 310 calories (60 from fat), 6g total fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 105mg cholesterol, 490mg sodium, 49g total carbohydrate (5g dietary fiber, 8g sugar), 17g protein


Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4 to 6

Coconut oil helps transform these sweet potatoes into a wonderful side dish accented with a sprinkle of freshly grated lime zest.


2 tablespoons coconut oil 2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon grated lime zest


Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Toss potatoes with oil, salt and pepper together in a large bowl until evenly coated. Spread potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with lime zest.


Per serving: 190 calories (45 from fat), 5g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 330mg sodium, 32g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 10g sugar), 3g protein

Eat Clean – Feel Great !

This is part of an article taken written by a GP who is also a Vet…. He has researched inflammatory response (Pain syndromes, PMS, Parkinsons, Arthritis, MS, Celiac, IBS, Skin disorders, Migraine and Epilepsy etc) to foods for many years, he is well respected and published in the US. Its a bit technical in places – but stick with it… you’ll change the food you buy for your pets too, I hope!!!

Foods rich in glutamate and aspartate:
cause inflammation RESTICT THESE..

1) Grains: Wheat, barley, and oats are highest. Corn and rice are lower than the previous three but higher than potatoes.

2) Dairy Products: All Cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, PARMESAN) are very high. Casein is very concentrated in cheese and is 20% glutamic acid by composition.

3) Beans: Soy, Pinto, lima, black, navy, and lentils

4) Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, etc.

5) Peanuts: Very high, as are cashews, pistachios, and almonds. There are more detailed charts on the site to show exact values for the various nuts. Everything in moderation applies when eating nuts of any kind. So, I do not recommend you reach for nuts when you are really hungry unless you can stop after a few. Nuts are very good for you.. in moderation. For example, seven almonds a day gives you what you need .

6) Diet drinks: Primary source of aspartate (aspartame)

7) Prepared foods, soups: 70% of prepared foods and many soups have MSG

8) Meats: Note- All meats are naturally rich in glutamate and aspartate. Lamb (and eggs) are the lowest, while rabbit and turkey are the highest.
However, I believe that the amount in a normal serving of meat should not be enough to cause problems. I think that it is all of the other “unnatural” sources when combined with the meats that are causing the problems. Again, the main reasons why the “big 4”- gluten (wheat, barley, rye), dairy, soy and corn- are so harmful are, not only are they rich in glutamate, but they do harm to intestinal villi inducing mal-absorption of nutrients and then shower the body with their inflammatory lectins once absorbed by the body. It is the combination of these effects that make the “big 4” so detrimental in seizures.
Meats (and tree nuts) do not have these other harmful effects. But there are individuals whose neurons are so diseased and overly-sensitized to glutamate that their meat protein intake should be restricted to some degree until they and their brains are healthier. I have now had cases of canine epilepsy that required some restriction of animal protein in order to halt their seizures. But this should be a temporary requirement, with a return to normal levels being accomplished once an individual is off the “big 4” long enough.
One of my newest concerns is the presence of glutamate in the flesh of grain-fed animals, especially chickens, turkeys, and cattle. This is s topic of discussion on the celiac forums and we now believe that this is a real concern and could explain why some Celiacs are not responding to elimination diets. Farmed fish are also grain fed.

But, the fact is that 60-70% of the American Diet is wheat and dairy (with heavy emphasis on cheese). This combined with the amount of artificial sweeteners being consumed and the addition of SOY has led this country into an epidemic of pain syndromes, including fibromyalgia. Epilepsy is definitely on the rise in pets and the combination of wheat and soy in pet foods is playing a huge role. I am seeing first time epileptic dogs within three weeks of starting such diets.

Foods lower in glutamate and aspartate:

1) Fruits, berries

2) Vegetables

3) Potatoes

4) Lamb and eggs are relatively low (compared to beef, chicken, turkey) Choose FREE Range meats (non grain fed)

5) Tree nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, macadamias) NOTE: These are relatively low when compared to peanuts and cashews. I have more detailed charts on the site to show exact values. Again, everything in moderation applies when eating nuts of any kind. I do not recommend you reach for nuts when you are really hungry unless you can stop after a few. Nuts are very good for moderation. 7 almonds a day gives you what you need .

So, the GARD (Glutomate Aspartate Restricted Diet) should be mostly lean meats, vegetables, fruits/berries, limited nuts, potatoes, and eggs while also limiting known allergens. My site discusses primary versus secondary food allergens. The good news is that if we stay off the primary ones long enough (dairy, wheat/gluten grains, soy, corn) we may be able to eat the secondary ones again.

Remember: Like sufferers of the many conditions that afflict us, epileptics are obviously on a spectrum of affliction. Spending time on this forum has made this painfully clear, especially after reading about the worst cases. My heart goes out to you all. That being said, I feel certain that, as in the pets, there will be those that will respond to minimal changes in diet and those that will require Herculean efforts in the elimination of the foods above.

Also keep in mind that I have had pets that were seizure-free on these duck and potato diets for 6-12 months but that had a seizure within 6 hours of making a mistake (e.g. stealing a waffle). But, I do feel certain that as they (and people) get farther down the road, they will become more resilient to mistakes. This is in part due to the elimination of the casomorphins and gliadomorphins (from casein and gluten) that take up to a year to be eliminated from the brain.

Most of you know that estrogens are “inflammatory” and sensitize neurons to glutamate (catamenial seizures, PMS).

Progesterones are your friend. They are calming, anti-inflammatory (stronger in some regards than cortisone), and they can help suppress seizures.

Too bad there are not dietary sources of these, right? Yes, that is one of the other problems. These same foods are RICH is estrogen but low in progesterone. Balance is everything, isn’t it?

I have evidence with my clients that being really strict for 3 or 4 weeks with your food choices and then re-introducing foods one at a time – you will notice immediately returning symptoms and – be able to identify the foods that your body doesn’t like. You may decide to avoid the foods that cause your symptoms completely – or cheat just occasionally. Remember we have to have one dirty meal every week!!

I hope this helps – let me know how you get on….

Jax Allen
Program Director

Gluten is Devils Food!!

Sandwich Anyone?

The wheat we eat today is full of gluten – the stuff that makes it sticky; in fact this stuff is often used as a binding agent for postage stamps yum – not. The wheat we consume today is actually bio engineered to contain 90% more gluten than our grandparents ate, and there is less than half the protein in our wheat today versus 50 years ago. Also while on the subject of nutritional value according to a Rutgers university study it now takes 19 ears of corn to equal the nutritional value of one ear of corn grown in the 1940’s!

It’s crazy, the soil our crops is grown in is so depleted that it is entirely dependant on the chemical fertilizers it is given to grow, so it becomes devoid of the essential minerals we need as humans!

So what happens when we eat wheat – well when you consume wheat, the gluten in it swells in your intestinal tract, often constipating you. Then the immune system is activated to attack that very part of the lining of the intestinal tract, causing bloating, wind, maybe diarrhea and nausea – these symptoms should alert you to the fact that your body is rejecting the food you’re putting into it. And also the immune system is not doing its normal job of protecting you from viruses – it’s trying to protect you from what you’re eating, so you’re getting sick easier.

Also, when consumed, wheat is more easily transferred to blood sugar in the body than any other carbohydrate. Dr William Davis, a preventative cardiologist, says “two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar to a higher level than a candy bar does. And then, after about two hours, your blood sugar plunges and you get shaky, your brain feels foggy, you’re hungry. So let’s say you have an English muffin for breakfast. Two hours later you’re starving, so you have a handful of crackers, and then some potato chips, and your blood sugar rises again. That cycle of highs and lows just keeps going throughout the day, so you’re constantly feeling hungry and constantly eating. Dieticians have responded to this by advising that we graze throughout the day, which is just nonsense. If you eliminate wheat from your diet, you’re no longer hungry between meals because you’ve stopped that cycle. You’ve cut out the appetite stimulant, and consequently you lose weight very quickly
So, any one for a sandwich???
Jax© 021011