Monday, 30 November -0001

I can’t eat this … or that…

Got an intolerant guest coming to dinner? A new book reveals how to feed the allergy-prone with food delicious enough for everyone to enjoy.

Written by Carolyn Hart

Whether or not you take the line that wide-spread food intolerances are the end result of a nation that has allowed its children to become faddy and ill-disciplined, it’s still annoying to have to provide different food for those who can’t eat dairy, or wheat or nuts. It’s pretty bad to be the person unable to do the eating, too… and Pippa Kendrick, author of a new book called The Intolerant Gourmet, was one of those who couldn’t. She was diagnosed with a multiple collection of food allergies while still at university, but rather than giving up the unequal struggle and dining off mung beans, goat’s milk and quinoa for the rest of her life, she fought back and launched first website and now, this book.

It’s subtitled ‘delicious allergy-friendly recipes everyone can enjoy’ and immediately nails its colours to the mast by not organising the ensuing collection of recipes under allergy, but under seasons – dinner for your faddy guest is, therefore, no longer defined by her allergy; it can be something seasonal and delicious instead and consumed by her fellow guests too, none of whom will feel short-changed.

That seems better already. Eating things like chicken and apricot tagine, chocolate nut brownies and jam tarts in spring, pork satay skewers, chorizo chickpea and spinach salad and Bakewell tart in summer, stuffed aubergines and plum and nut crunch in autumn, and baked apple and mustard ham, and vegetable lasagne and treacle tart in the winter, makes everyone feel just like a normal person. But all these recipes are also free from wheat, gluten, yeast, egg, dairy and soya. The exception is nuts, which Kendrick finds ‘provide vital texture and flavour, but,’ she adds, ‘less than a third of these recipes contain nuts and these are clearly marked with a wealth of choice for
those wishing to avoid them.’

Kendrick’s hope is that, armed with this book, you can produce food on a daily basis that should please all diners regardless of whether they’re food intolerant or not. She thinks that ‘within a short space of time, preparing intolerance-friendly meals will become second nature’. Who knows, it might make everyone feel healthier too…

Below is a taster of Pippa Kendrick’s recipes.

The Intolerant Gourmet by Pippa Kendrick is published by HarperCollins, priced £20.

Winter squash and chestnut bake

Serves 4 (contains nuts)
  • 100g pine nuts, dry-fried for
  • 3-4 minutes
  • 50g dairy-free margarine
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • Leaves from 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 butternut squash, halved, deseeded, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, cut into halves or quarters
  • 250ml oat cream
  • 200g cooked, peeled chestnuts
  • Small bunch of curly-leaf parsley

Grind the fried pine nuts in a food processor. Heat the margarine and olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the garlic, onion and thyme, season and sauté over a low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the butternut squash, turn up the heat slightly and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins. Add the chestnut mushrooms and mix in thoroughly. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Add the oat cream and chestnuts to the pan, season. Bring the pan to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon the squash and mushroom mixture into an ovenproof dish, sprinkle over the pine nuts. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until bubbling and golden on top. Sprinkle over the parsley and serve.



Chicken with orange, fennel and olives

Serves 4
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Grated zest of one orange, and juice of ½ an orange
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 fennel bulbs, cut widthways and sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 100g pitted black olives
  • 1 small bunch curly-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Combine 1 tbsp of the olive oil and the orange juice in a bowl and season with salt and
pepper. Score each chicken breast diagonally three times. Place in the orange marinade, making sure each piece is thoroughly coated, and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

In a large ovenproof dish or roasting tin, combine the onion, fennel, garlic, orange zest and olives with the remaining olive oil. Mix thoroughly, season with salt and pepper and place in the oven to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, place the chicken breasts on top of the fennel and onions, season with salt and pepper and return to the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot on a bed of basmati rice.



Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
  • 100g sunflower spread, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g gluten-free, self-raising flour
  • 125ml agave syrup
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g shelled pecan nuts
  • 2 heaped tsp egg replacer (eg, Orgran) whisked with
  • 4 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp warm water

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.

Put the bananas into a food processor with the sunflower spread, flour, agave syrup, cinnamon, pecan nuts and egg
replacer mixture. Mix in the bicarbonate of soda with the warm water and mix until you have a thick, creamy batter.

Pour the batter into a loaf tin, levelling the top with a spatula and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until risen,
golden brown and firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, and turn on to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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