Ingredient: sweet potato
Savoury Dishes

Meat and sweet potato pie – gluten, dairy and nightshade free comfort food

Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life

What is your ultimate comfort food?

We’ve been having some lovely sunny autumnal days, but the mornings and evenings are getting cooler and I don’t know if it’s that, or if I’ve felt tired this week, but I really fancied some comfort food and only one thing would do – PIE.

Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life

The dinners of my childhood years tended to be made up of meat with vegetables and potatoes and then fish on a Friday. Occasionally they would include some form of pie, be it Shepherd’s pie, with the classic mashed potato topping, or meat and potato pie with a pastry crust. Those were my favourite dinners and I’ve been reminiscing recently about that sort of comfort food. They may not have been fancy dinners, but they were tasty and balanced and in my house, there was never much waste.

Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life

As much as I love pastry though (being a Northerner and all, it’s a given), the older you get, the less likely it is to agree with you. Whether it’s the gluten or the fat content (if it’s made with a shortening ingredient such as lard), this does not help if you have stomach acid issues or IBS. The good thing is, a gluten free pastry doesn’t seem to be as heavy on the stomach, or leave you with that heartburn feeling. That’s what I’ve certainly found anyway.

I made this lovely meat and potato pie the other day and it went down very well with the family, so I thought I would share it with you. It’s made with gluten and dairy free pastry and the filling is gluten, dairy and nightshade free. As it stands, it is a tasty pie, but if you don’t need to eliminate any of those things, I’m going to give options at the end for what you can add as an alternative. You see when I cook, I have to adapt my recipes to make them suitable for all the family. Whilst I spend time converting them to be free from this and that, you can just as easily ‘un convert’ them for your own needs.

Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe and it evokes some childhood memories of your own. Food can do that, which is what I love about it. Ask me any memory and you can guarantee it will include some anecdote or other about food. When it comes to meat and potato pie, I’m instantly taken back to days spent with my nanna and granddad during school holidays, sitting in their tiny kitchen, with the oven door kept slightly ajar for extra warmth.

Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life
Meat and sweet potato pie
Print Recipe
A gluten, dairy and nightshade free version of the classic meat and potato pie
Servings
4-5
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings
4-5
Cook Time
1 hour
Meat and sweet potato pie - gluten, dairy and nightshade free - A Free From Life
Meat and sweet potato pie
Print Recipe
A gluten, dairy and nightshade free version of the classic meat and potato pie
Servings
4-5
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings
4-5
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200/gas 6/fan 180
  2. Make the pastry first: Mix together the gram flour, sorghum flour and tapioca starch, rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add the water and bring together to form a dough. Wrap in a large piece of clingfilm and put in the fridge.
  3. Chop the onion, carrots and sweet potato into small chunks and dry fry for 5-10 minutes. Add the mince and continue to fry until it has browned.
  4. Add the nutritional yeast and marmite and stir in to the mixture before adding the 150 ml of water.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick, until the vegetables are softened and most of the water has been absorbed into the mixture.
  6. Whilst the vegetables and meat are cooking, roll out the pastry: Take two thirds and put the other third back in the fridge.
  7. IMPORTANT NOTE: gluten free pastry is very 'short', which means it will easily crumble. The best and easiest way to handle it, is to roll out between a folded over sheet of clingfilm so it doesn't stick to either the work surface or the rolling pin.
  8. Flatten your large piece of clingfilm on your work surface and put the dough roughly in the middle, folding the other half over the top of the dough. Now roll out, occasionally measuring against your pie dish. When big enough, peel back the top side of the clingfilm and lift up the rolled out pastry, carefully inverting it into the greased pie dish. Once placed in the dish, peel back the bottom layer of clingfilm and you can cut away any of the sides if they are too long.
  9. Don't worry if your pastry doesn't quite fit. Use your fingers to stretch it out and add extra pieces if it's too short. It doesn't need to be perfect.
  10. Once the mince and vegetables are cooked and the water has mostly absorbed in to the mixture, add it to the pastry case.
  11. Roll out the rest of the pastry in the clingfilm as before and place it on top of the mince and vegetable mixture to close your pie. Use your thumbs to press the lid of the pastry together with the edges of the case. Pierce with a fork several times and brush with a little dairy free milk.
  12. Put the pie in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, by which time, the pastry should be nice and browned.
Recipe Notes

Recipe notes:

  • If you want to make this recipe more FODMAP friendly - add a stick of celery instead of the onion.
  • If you don't have an issue with nightshades - feel free to use an ordinary white potato instead of sweet potato.
  • If you don't have an issue with gluten - add 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce and 1 tbsp plain flour, instead of the nutritional yeast.
  • You can use plain flour instead of the gram, sorghum and tapioca starch mix, when making your pastry (in the same total amount).
  • You can also use butter instead of margarine for making the pastry, or half butter, half animal or vegetable shortening.

 

Linking up with Free From Fridays.

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Savoury Dishes

Sweet Potato and Chestnut Gnocchi – #glutenfree #nightshadefree

Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life

I love Italian food and in particular it’s versatility. Having said that, I can only buy gluten free pasta these days and being nightshade intolerant, I’m limited to tomato free sauces. Then for a change the other day, I bought some gnocchi for my daughters and served it up with a cheese sauce. I was so envious. Those little potato dumplings, so simple and yet so satisfying, are beyond my reach now.

That doesn’t mean to say that I can’t become inventive and make my own though does it? Avoiding potatoes isn’t a big deal when you can use sweet potatoes instead, I thought. Not related in the slightest, means that sweet potatoes are a perfect substitution for ordinary white potatoes for anyone following a nightshade free diet.

So, I had the idea of trying out sweet potato in a gnocchi recipe and then I wondered what to use as a replacement for the flour in order to make it gluten free too. I don’t use rice flour and I thought that buckwheat and chickpea flour might be too strong in flavour and would clash with the sweetness of the potato. Then I stumbled across chestnut flour. Having never used it before I was intrigued and the idea of chestnut and sweet potato together seemed like a good combination to me, so off I went.

Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life

I wasn’t wrong on the flavour choices. These little dumplings, together with homemade pesto, made a truly scrumptious dinner that satisfied my craving for gnocchi. They were so simple to make and are a great alternative to pasta too.

Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life

 

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Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life
Sweet Potato and Chestnut Gnocchi
Print Recipe
A sweet and nutty combination to give little gnocchi dumplings that are bursting with flavour
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life
Sweet Potato and Chestnut Gnocchi
Print Recipe
A sweet and nutty combination to give little gnocchi dumplings that are bursting with flavour
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Add a good pinch of salt to the mashed sweet potato
  2. Beat the eggs, then add to the mash, followed by the flour
  3. Mix to form a smooth dough
  4. Cover a surface with the flour
  5. Take half of the dough and roll into a sausage shape, about 2 cm in diameter. Then cut into 2 cm pieces and set to one side
  6. Repeat with the other half
  7. Add to a pan of boiling salted water and cook for around 5 minutes, or until the gnocchi floats to the top
  8. Remove from the pan and serve with a sauce of your choice
Recipe Notes

I served this gnocchi with homemade pesto, along with some mozzarella pearls (for my non-dairy free girls). Grate over some dairy free or lactose free cheese (if you can tolerate this).

Homemade pesto - A Free From Life

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Baking

Chocolate Cake with Beetroot and Sweet Potato

Chocolate cake with beetroot and sweet potato - A Free From Life

We grow beetroot every year and thanks to my two younger children and their generosity when sowing the seeds, we have a lot of it. That’s not so bad because I make batches of nomato sauce to freeze and I love roasted beetroot, but I needed another way of using it, one that the kids would eat too.

I’ve made chocolate beetroot cake before, but I hadn’t made it gluten free. It was also quite dry and earthy and got the thumbs down from my taste testers. This recipe, on the other hand, was well received and so I can add it to my collection of cake recipes that include vegetables (I also have a chocolate courgette cake recipe and a courgette and carrot loaf).

Chocolate cake with beetroot and sweet potato - A Free From Life

Using ground almonds instead of flour means that this recipe is not only gluten free, it’s grain free too. The fat from the almonds keeps the cake moist and with the addition of the sweet potato and beetroot, it’s dense and more like a pudding than a light sponge. Using the sweet potato keeps the sugar levels down too.

Chocolate cake with beetroot and sweet potato - A Free From Life
Chocolate Cake with Beetroot and Sweet Potato
Print Recipe
A dense, moist chocolate cake, with a deep, rich, red interior.
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Chocolate cake with beetroot and sweet potato - A Free From Life
Chocolate Cake with Beetroot and Sweet Potato
Print Recipe
A dense, moist chocolate cake, with a deep, rich, red interior.
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix the cacao with the boiling water to form a paste
  2. Add the vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture, then add the grated beetroot and stir together
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the almonds, bicarbonate of soda and salt
  4. In a third bowl, whisk together the sugar, sweet potatoes, olive oil and eggs
  5. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg and sugar mix and continue to whisk
  6. Finally, add the dry ingredients and mix to make sure all is fully incorporated
  7. Pour into a greased 9 inch springform tin and bake at gas 3/170° for 50 minutes to 1 hour. When a toothpick or skewer comes out clean, the cake is done.
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