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National Allergy Awareness Week

National Allergy Awareness Week

Richard Oliver – Food Development Chef

Running from Monday 23rd April to Sunday 29th April 2018, the week is designed to raise awareness for people living with allergies. Why? You say, because in the UK alone, it is estimated that around two million people (1-2% of adults and 5-8% of children) have a food allergy and they deserve recognition!

Did you know: food allergies and food intolerances are definitely NOT the same!

Here’s how you can tell the difference:

A food allergy =  Is a reaction from your immune system (your body’s defense against infection) – your immune system mistakenly treats proteins found in food as a threat.

A food intolerance = Doesn’t involve your immune system – there is no allergic reaction, and it is never life-threatening.

Allergic reactions can make people very ill and can sometimes lead to death. However, there is no cure for food allergy. The only way someone can avoid getting ill is to make sure they don’t eat the foods they’re allergic to. If you work with food, it is important to take food allergy seriously. With the new rules, you have a legal responsibility to provide the correct allergen information about the ingredients that is in the food you make or serve, to your customer.


Sticky Miso Roasted Aubergine with Coconut Cauliflower Rice and Pickled Cucumber

1- For a quick pickle, slice the cucumber into thin rounds.

2 – For the pickling solution combine a mix of rice wine vinegar, grated ginger, finely sliced shallot,  good pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt, pour over the cucumbers and allow to infuse.

3 – To make the glaze mix miso, mirin with some rice vinegar and a splash of water.  Slice the aubergine into quarters length ways and pre-roast in a hot oven but don’t fully cook.

4 – Remove from the oven and brush some the glaze over the aubergine and place on a hot grill, continue to add the remaining glaze during grilling, and cook until tender.

5 – lightly cook the cauliflower rice in a pan with a little water just enough to take the rawness away then add some rice wine vinegar a touch of sugar and pinch of salt and some  grated fresh coconut .

6 – Serve the aubergine on top of the cauliflower rice and place the cucumber on the side.

7 – Finish with a fine shred of spring onion, slices of red chilli and chopped fresh coriander and a squeeze of fresh lime.


Scrambled Tofu with Potato, Kale, and Shitake Hash

1 – For this recipe use a firm tofu, Drain the liquid and place on one side until required.

2 – At this time of year I would use Jersey royals and slice into rounds. Blanch these in salted boiling water until just cooked, drain and leave to cool.

3 – Then in another pan take come chopped kale and fry in a little rapeseed oil with some chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Once cooked place this in a colander to drain any excess water.

4 – In a large frying pan place some oil and heat, add the blanched potato, season and cook until the potato is golden brown. Next you will need to cook some sliced shitake mushrooms with some shredded spring onion, at this point if you like a little heat you can add some sliced red chilli or a pinch of cayenne pepper.

5 – Add your potatoes and the kale into your mushroom mix and fry it all together.

6 – To finish take the drained tofu and crumble into a pan with a little oil, some paprika and finely chopped red onion. Cook of 3 -4 minutes until well mixed and hot.

7 – Place your hash mix onto a plate and finish by adding your tofu which will sit nicely on to of some grilled sour dough or toasted gluten free bread


Dairy Free Tofu, Chocolate Mousse with Espresso Syrup and Coconut

This is so simple but really delivers and ticks the dairy-free box!

1 – Take a 300g block of silken tofu, drain the liquid and place in a food processor.

2 – In a separate bowl melt 350g of good quality chocolate.

3 – Once this is melted but not too hot, turn on the food processor and begin to blend the tofu.

4 – Slowly add the melted chocolate to the tofu and a few drops of vanilla and continue blending until it is incorporated evenly.

5 – Transfer this to a bowl and refrigerate until required (min 1 hour).


To make the syrup:

1 – Reduce 200ml of coffee with 200g of sugar and simmer until it thickens.

2 – Once this has cooled you can layer spoons of the mousse in to a glass with the espresso syrup and some freshly shaved coconut.

3 – You can always enhance this further by adding fruit compotes such as cherry or strawberry.

4 – Alternatively lightly grill some strawberry halves and present these on a plate with some quenelles of the chocolate mousse, black pepper popcorn and drizzle with the syrup.