Layered Almond, Custard, Chocolate and Toffee Cake

March 31, 2021

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

We took a drive to IKEA to get some more storage containers. Their restaurant and food market have few gluten-free items except for two almond cakes imported from Sweden and made with almond flour. Of course, I bought them as an indulgence and then made my own with whole ingredients.

The base of this cake is my master almond cake recipe, then custard, toffee pieces and a chocolate glaze.

Gluten-Free Almond Cake Base
Naturally gluten-free, easily dairy-free, and paleo. All the buzz words but still delicious.


  • 3/4 stick (3oz) very soft butter (to make dairy-free, substitute coconut oil or Earth Balance butter)
  • 3/4 cup ordinary sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 and 3/4 cup of almond meal/flour slightly rounded
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • no xantham gum needed


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/ 170°C.
  2. Place all ingredients in a 4 cup (1 liter) mixing bowl and beat until well blended and fluffy, around 2 minutes. The mix will go lighter in color as you beat it.
  3. Grease and flour two round 9 inch cake pans.
  4. Spread in cake mix.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 15–20 minutes until well-risen, golden-brown, and set but still soft in the middle. The texture should be similar to rolls of almond paste when cut, but cooked throughout.
  6. Remove from oven, immediately run a thin spatula around the inside of the pans, wait 5 minutes, and then turn out to cool. If you leave cake longer, then sugar in cake will stick to the sides of the pan.


Custard Filling

  • 1 packet of 4 portion Jello instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 and 3/4 cup whole milk or your favorite substitute (to make dairy-free, try coconut milk)

Follow instructions on the Jello packet. Let chill for a few hours, or until it is set.



  • ½ cup cream (or a dairy-free sub)
  • ½ cup chocolate

Melt chocolate in cream until totally smooth. Refrigerate for several hours.



  1. Put one 9 inch cake on a serving plate and spread with half of the chilled custard.
  2. Place the second cake on top and spread with remaining half of the custard.
  3. If serving soon, sprinkle with toffee. After one day, the toffee starts dissolving. The original recipe had toffee pieces covered in chocolate so they would stay hard. I used Heath bar milk chocolate toffee bits, which are labeled gluten free. Make your own toffee if you need it to be dairy-free.
  4. Remove chocolate glaze from fridge, stir and slowly persuade it to cover the top of the custard and toffee and drip down the sides. Don’t dump it in one blob or custard and toffee will heavily roll over sides.
  5. Finish by sprinkling with more toffee. I used Trader Joe’s English toffee bits, which are labeled gluten-free. They are little logs of toffee covered in chocolate and nut sprinkles that stay hard.


About Chef Oonagh Williams

I have written a monthly recipe column for Beyond Celiac since January 2011. I have a Culinary Arts degree as well as celiac disease and other food allergies, so I know food and live this way daily. Remember that most real food is naturally gluten-free until manufacturers mess around with it, and only baking really needs changing. Real food is now being called clean eating.

Obviously talks and appearances are currently canceled, but you can connect with me on Facebook at Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh or on LinkedIn. I’ve just filmed recipes at home for New Hampshire’s ABC WMUR’s Cooks Corner and they are being aired. I am also being included in the nationwide library database of online presenters.

For new recipes and lots of advice, my e-cookbook Delicious Gluten-Free Cooking is only $20 and available to download at It has tips, full-color photos, and recipes like grandma’s comfort soup, shrimp and crab bisque, English trifle, buffalo chicken, tiramisu, dinner party fare, and more. Follow the link to see the table of contents and thumbnail photos of the full-size photos in the e-book.


Raspberry Wine Glazed Ham

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

This recipe was originally from Lithuanian Heritage magazine.

A few years ago, I discovered Carando ham, labeled gluten-free, fully cooked, sliced, spiral boneless brown sugar and spice ham (not salty, sweet or spice) normally $3.99 or $4.99 per lb, in my local Market Basket with long refrigerated shelf life. But before Easter this year, my local Market Basket was selling this ham for $1.99/lb dated to mid May. Remove red foil cover and netting. Hold plastic vacuum wrapped ham over sink, cut open, drain off juices and then I put it in large Ziploc bag on a dinner plate in the fridge. I find that if you separate the spiral slices and immerse them in raspberry wine glaze and refrigerate for 1-2 days, they really absorb the flavor of raspberry, wine and butter.  Then gently reheat in sauce to serve. Ham will darken in color from raspberries, remember raspberry glaze will stain a white tablecloth. I use this ham in so many recipes.

Gluten-Free Raspberry Wine Glazed Ham
also known as kumpis su vyno ir aviečių glajum in Lithuanian


  • Boneless spiral ham, I normally buy a 3-4 lb ham for just us and other recipes
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or sherry – I used Fetzer Gewűrtztraminer
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice – genuine lemon
  • 2 teaspoons gf cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Juniper berries, Elsbeth, a German lady from my Lithuanian cooking demos, suggested adding 3 crushed Juniper berries (I buy juniper berries from Penzey’s –Nationwide mail order or stores) and one whole clove to deepen flavor as you make glaze, just remove them before you serve

Roughly three times quantity, so more glaze for soaking slices of spiral cut, rather than just glazing whole ham:

  • 12 oz jar of seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 oz butter
  • 3/4 c wine
  • ¼ c lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 325*. Place whole boneless spiral ham in a deep serving dish, If you are leaving the spiral ham whole.
  2. In a small saucepan, blend wine and lemon juice with cornstarch.
  3. Add about half the jam. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the remaining jam and butter. Heat and stir until butter and jam are melted.
  4. Brush ham with the raspberry glaze. Bake in 325 * oven until glaze is bubbling and browning without burning- 30-40 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the ham. It needs to be cooked or reheated to 140*. Spoon any remaining glaze over ham. With a spiral cut ham in one piece, you can ‘persuade’ the glaze to drizzle down between slices.

Remove from oven, let stand 15 minutes before serving. You can really taste the butter so don’t leave it out.  Or just gently reheat in glaze/sauce.

Other options:

  • I used to mix dark brown sugar and spicy brown mustard and use it as a finishing glaze when I cooked the old style ham, that you soaked, drained then cooked in water before finishing in oven.
  • Mix orange marmalade (cheapest works), orange zest, concentrated orange juice and a mustard like Koops Arizona heat, labeled gluten free -bell peppers and jalapeňo, sweet spicy.
  • Peach preserves, peach or apple juice and hot pepper jelly.
  • Chopped pineapple and juice, with pepper jelly or mustard or just brown sugar.
  • Free up oven space and place in slow cooker for 4-5 hours on low, basting hourly.
  • Quickly reheat in instant pot if you are comfortable with instant pot.  Unfortunately there are too many conflicting timings for reheating cooked ham. Remember it is cooked ham, not raw.  Personally, recipes that tell you if after cooking in instant pot, natural pressure release, checking temperature, it’s not ready, and then having to reheat ham for more time in instant pot is annoying.

One Skillet Chicken Sausage & Sweet Potato Hash

March 28, 2021

Recipe courtesy of Jones Dairy Farm

Enjoy an easy-to-make, one-skillet meal that includes many wholesome, better-for-you ingredients like all-natural chicken sausage, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, apple cider vinegar and more.

This recipe is made with Jones Golden Brown® Chicken Links.

Gluten-Free One Skillet Chicken Sausage & Sweet Potato Hash


  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 2 (5 oz packages) Jones Dairy Farm Golden Brown Sausage Links, sliced into coins
  • 2 sweet potatoes, raw, shredded or finely diced in a food processor
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces shredded Gouda cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 6 eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 ˚F and heat oil in a large cast iron or other oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions and sauté for approximately 3 minutes, until soft and translucent.
  3. Add garlic, peppers, and mushrooms, and sauté an additional 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add chicken sausage and cook another 2-3 minutes, to warm through.
  5. Add shredded or diced sweet potatoes and sauté, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until softened.  If necessary, you can add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan to keep veggies from sticking.
  6. Stir in half the parsley, both cheeses, and apple cider vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  7. Make 6 shallow “nests” spaced evenly around the skillet (I did 5 around the outside and 1 in the middle), and crack an egg into each spot.
  8. Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes, or until the eggs are “set” to your preference.
  9. Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and parsley for garnish.
  10. Serve hot from the oven.

Slow Cooker Brisket Tacos

March 3, 2021

Recipe courtesy of our sponsor Mikey’s

This recipe is the perfect set and forget it type of meal. It’s kid-friendly, loaded with flavor, and will make your weeknights easier and tastier.


Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Brisket Tacos
Makes 4 servings


  • 3 lbs. beef brisket flat
  • 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (32 ounce) carton beef broth
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package Mikey’s Super Greens Tortillas
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 8 ounces goat cheese or dairy-free cheese


  1. Place the brisket in the slow cooker along with the crushed tomatoes,
    beef broth, onion, carrots, salt and pepper.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours or until soft and tender.
  3. Heat Mikey’s Super Greens Tortillas according to the directions on the
  4. Shred the brisket with two forks and fill the tortillas.
  5. Top with avocado and goat cheese. Enjoy!

Fifteen Bean Sausage Soup

March 2, 2021

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

With the bitter cold throughout the country, hot warming soup, full of protein is a very sensible idea.

Watch me make this on NH’s ABC WMUR TV.

Please remember that if you are not used to beans and fiber, I describe it as having tummy rumbles and your tummy being in overdrive. This is what fiber does to your body until it becomes used to high fiber.

Gluten-Free Fifteen Bean Soup with Sausage

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2” or so dice
  • 2 large stalks of celery, washed, quartered lengthways and cut into 1/2” slices
  • 2-4 sausages from 12 oz bag of 4 Al Fresco, gluten-free, cooked chicken sweet smoky bbq, sausage,  quartered lengthways and cut into ½ “ slices
  • 8 cups gluten-free chicken or beef stock
  • Stock concentrate to taste
  • 1 x 20 oz/1+1/4 lb bag of gluten-free 15 beans soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ c gluten-free tomato ketchup
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp Penzey Arizona seasoning or Smoked Paprika, just a nice bite of heat, not hot. Optional, and can be left out if you are using a slightly spicy sausage
  • 2 freshly roasted red peppers, pureed.  Once you have tasted freshly roasted red peppers you won’t go back to acidic tasting, bought jars. Optional.
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water to thicken, optional as my husband likes it slightly thickened.


  1. In large stock pot cook onions in olive oil until starting to brown. Add carrot and celery, sausage, and let gently cook for about 5 minutes without burning.
  2. Add beans, stock, spices, tomato ketchup, bay leaves, Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook covered for about one hour until beans are tender. Remember to taste several different beans as sizes vary and so does cooking time. Dried beans that have sat in cupboard take longer to cook to tenderness. Hurst’s web site says to not soak beans, cook in slow cooker on high for 5 hours or low for 7 hours. I haven’t tried that.  Cold weather it’s warming to have pot simmering on stove.  I have also soaked the beans overnight, drained and rinsed and then cooked them with rest of ingredients in my electric/digital pressure cooker with 5 cups, 40 fl oz fresh water for 15 minutes. Then npr.
  3. Add pureed red peppers and cornstarch mix, bring back to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve.

I have written a monthly recipe column for Beyond Celiac since January 2011. Remember I have a Culinary Arts degree as well as celiac disease and other food allergies so I know food and live this way daily.

Obviously, talks and appearances are currently canceled, but you can connect with me on FB at Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh. I’ve just filmed recipes at home for NH’s ABC WMUR’s Cooks Corner and they are being aired. I am also being included in the nationwide library database of online presenters.

You can find Chef Oonagh Williams at Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh on FB, web or LinkedIn. Remember most real food is naturally gluten-free until manufacturers ‘mess’ around with it and only baking really needs changing. Real food is now being called clean eating.

For new recipes and lots of advice, my Delicious Gluten-Free e-cookbook only $20 available to download at, tips, recipes ranging from Grandma’s comfort soup to dinner party fare, full color photos, follow link for list of contents and thumbnail photos of full size photos in ebook.


Irish Cream Tiramisu Cupcakes

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

I normally make my Tiramisu in an 8×8 pan, with coffee and Kahlua syrup and even more Kahlua in the mascarpone layer. Then, a murder mystery book mentioned tiramisu cupcakes and I thought, why not? I then decided to make them with Irish Cream liqueur for St. Patrick’s Day, tinted green, but not containing mint or pistachio. Why does everyone think green means mint or pistachio? Mine were green for an everything-green party, and they were devoured. People didn’t care that they were gluten-free.

Note: If you Google is Bailey’s gluten-free, they tell you to ask your doctor if you can drink Bailey’s.  If you google is Carolan’s gluten free, they say they are gluten-free. Your decision.

Irish Cream is not very strong so only a mild but delicious flavor. The same quantity of Kahlua or Rum packs a punch.

If you use a different gluten-free flour, then you need to weigh the flour, since cup measurements vary per gluten-free flour blend. King Arthur gluten-free flour is strong so would be less cup measure, regular Pamela’s is a soft blend and might need more.

Watch me make these cupcakes on New Hampshire’s ABC WMUR Cooks Corner:

Gluten-Free Irish Cream Tiramisu Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes


1 x recipe for ladyfingers:

  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • ¼ c, ¾ oz, 25 g powdered/icing/confectioners sugar
  • ¼ c, 2oz, 60g,  granulated sugar – superfine if you have it, or grind granulated a bit finer in food processor.  But it works with ordinary granulated sugar.
  • Scant ½ c, 1+1/2 oz, 45 g, my gf flour or cornstarch(cornflour in UK) (I use ½ c less 1 Tbsp)
  • On air I said ¼ c of KAF gf flour and substitute probably same ¼ c for KAF wheat flour as kaf is a stronger flour.
  • ½ tsp (3ml) gf vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp (3 ml) gf baking powder
  • No xanthan gum needed


  • ¾ c (180 ml, 6 fl oz)  very strong coffee or 1 tbsp (15 ml) instant coffee to ¾ c hot water
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar or to taste
  • ¼ c  (60ml) Irish cream liqueur
  • Mix together until sugar dissolves.


  • 1lb (500g) mascarpone cheese – don’t substitute regular cream cheese, it just doesn’t taste the same.
  • 2 c (480ml) heavy cream
  • ¼ c (60ml) powdered sugar
  • ¼ c (60ml) Irish Cream liqueur


  1. Preheat oven to 375*F
  2. In totally grease free bowl whisk egg whites until they are stiff. Add half of the granulated sugar and whisk until stiff again. Fold in remaining half of granulated sugar.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt until thick and creamy and lighter colored. About 4 minutes. The color will not be the normal vibrant yellow to start due to browning color caused by vanilla extract. If you have vanilla sugar you could use that instead. Also the color will not be as creamy white once whisked due to browning color caused by vanilla extract.
  4. Gently fold egg yolk mix into egg white mix, taking care not to deflate. Use a large stainless steel spoon and fold in figure of eight motion. Do not over mix since you will be adding flour mix.
  5. Mix together flour and baking powder and sift (preferably but not always possible with some gf flour mixes) onto egg mix and gently fold in, scrape down sides gently with spatula and reach to bottom of bowl with spatula so everything is mixed in, but still keeping fluffiness. This is not a time to beat vigorously.
  6. Line a 12 cup muffin/cupcake pan with paper liners. Evenly divide batter among paper cases, reaches about 2/3 full.
  7. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes. They won’t rise a lot, don’t really dome and will be a light golden color. It doesn’t matter if you overcook them slightly since you will be pouring coffee syrup onto them which moistens..
  8. Remove from oven. Pour about 1+1/2 tablespoons of Irish Cream syrup onto each cupcake. There is very little space between top of cupcake and edge of paper liner, so dribble syrup.
  9. Once cupcakes are cold. Whip cream, powdered sugar and Irish cream until nearly stiff. Then add Mascarpone cream and whip together until stiff enough to pipe. Pipe on top of cupcakes and dust with cocoa. Green food coloring optional.
  10. Refrigerate until ready to serve.




Crustless Apple and Sausage Quiche: A  Healthier Quiche Option

February 2, 2021

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

By Chef Oonagh Williams
Award-Winning Gluten-Free Chef

I love quiche, but I dislike having to make crust for the bottom so I started making crustless quiches. If you use traditional ingredients of 4 eggs, 1 cup cream, 1 cup cheese plus other ingredients, it is definitely high in fat and calories. I am sharing this recipe during the COVID-19 pandemic and a close girlfriend and I will spend hours on the phone talking and food is always part of the conversation. This quiche is based on a recipe she told me about, from a nutritionist. It uses a mix of whole eggs and liquid egg substitute which I often do in other recipes. I don’t care for the taste or texture of just egg substitute. Evaporated milk takes the place of heavy cream. This is one of the recipes I recently taped at home for New Hampshire’s ABC WMUR Cook’s Corner. At the time of sharing this recipe with you it has not aired but be on the lookout for it in the near future!


  • One medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped. I use Gala, Fuji, or Braeburn apples. The original recipe said Granny Smith.
  • 2 tsp oil. I use avocado or almond. Olive oil if you trust the source. 
  • 5 oz can of evaporated milk. Evaporated milk adds the rich creaminess of cream without the same calories. 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute to replace 2 whole eggs, making the equivalent of 4 eggs in total. Check the label as not all are labeled gluten-free and some contain onion, garlic, bell peppers which made my pancakes taste really strange the first time I made that mistake. Whoops.
  • 3/4 cup or 3 oz of strong cheese. 
  • 1 packet of Al Fresco apple and maple sausage, fully cooked chicken sausage.
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard, optional. I don’t add the mustard but my friend thinks it adds a great flavor.
  • 1/4 tsp dried rubbed sage, optional. I often don’t add sage.
  • 1/2 tsp salt, pepper

How to Cook

  1. Cook onion and apple with oil together in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for a few minutes, until soft. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut sausage into thin slices and stir it into the onion mix. The original recipe fries the sausage, I thought it made sausage harder. How you cook it is up to you.
  3. Stir in evaporated milk which will cool the mix.
  4. Then add eggs and egg substitute and mix well.
  5. Stir in cheese and some salt and pepper. Mustard and sage if you want.
  6. Pour into a greased, deep 9” pie plate.  I tend to use a skillet that size as it’s deeper.
  7. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. Quiche will puff slightly and will be set but creamy in the center. The original recipe cooked at 400 for 25–30 minutes. I always cook quiches at 350 to keep them creamy.
  8. Remove from the oven, leave to set for about 5 minutes and serve. I prefer quiches warm, not hot.

Make variations with corn, bell pepper, crab, broccoli, spinach, different cheeses, but using the same 2 whole eggs, ½ cup egg substitute and 5 oz can of evaporated milk. 

You can find Chef Oonagh Williams at Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook, LinkedIn or her website. Chef Oonagh has a culinary arts degree, celiac disease and other food allergies. Remember most real food is naturally gluten-free until manufacturers ‘mess’ around with it and only baking really needs changing.


Corn Puff Toffee Treat

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

I personally call this recipe “Christmas Crack” due to it being so addictive! The original recipe used Kix puff corn. I had searched for Kix but my local market didn’t carry it. I searched online but too many people had said they reacted to Kix; it was also not labeled gluten-free. Ingredients are simply puffed corn, oil and salt-baked to a very light, crispy, quite boring cereal.  In previous years, I had bought a huge red bag of caramel corn drizzled with white and dark chocolate from Costco but this is seasonal and not easily found throughout the year. 

So this is my easily prepared, homemade version. Spoil your Valentine or family during February! It will last a few weeks if stored in Ziploc bags.

In my experience, it gets eaten within a week. It’s so addicting!


  • 1 bag of puffed corn of your choosing. Kix puffed corn is popular but it isn’t certified gluten-free. 
  • 1 cup (8 oz) butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cups light brown sugar – I didn’t pack the sugar so it was (we thought) less sweet than a commercial bag of caramel corn and we preferred it.
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup – corn syrup is not the same as high fructose corn syrup. In the UK, I would use Lyle’s Golden Syrup which is what we always used for toffee, steamed puddings etc. It’s tasty and not made from corn, but cane sugar. It is available in some regular grocery stores.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ to 1 cup of chopped pecans -optional
  • Chocolate chips – optional

How to Cook

  1. Combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan. (I used an 8-quart stock pan as it makes a lot and needs space to stir in the corn.)  Heat till melted. 
  2. Add in baking soda, I whisked it in so no lumps of baking soda, mixture foam up.
  3. I added puffed corn with pecans to a large stockpot containing butter mix. Stir really well, there’s a lot, the sauce is sticky and uncooperative. 
  4. I lined the jelly roll pan with foil, others recommended using a turkey roaster.  Place in a 250° oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  A turkey roasting pan would be far easier to stir as it’s deep compared to a jelly roll pan, but persevere. It stays soft until almost the end of cooking and really crisps up when cold. Let cool, then break apart and enjoy!!  My husband remarked on how crispy it was.  
  5. I sprinkled white chocolate chips and some heath bar chocolate chips on top. You can also melt and drizzle white and semi-sweet chocolate over the top.

This recipe almost filled 2 large Ziploc bags. It makes a lot!

You can find Chef Oonagh Williams at Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook, LinkedIn or her website. Chef Oonagh has a culinary arts degree, celiac disease and other food allergies. Remember most real food is naturally gluten-free until manufacturers ‘mess’ around with it and only baking really needs changing.


Spanish Style Quinoa

January 6, 2021

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Spanish Style Quinoa

Spanish rice is well known in many households. I make this dish using quinoa as a substitute to get more flavor and more nutrition from the added ingredients. For my plain cooked quinoa recipe, click here.


  1. 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  2. 1 x 12 oz (375g/ 4 sausages) packet Al Fresco ready cooked, gluten-free, sweet and smoky barbecue chicken sausages. Cut in half lengthwise and cut into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces.  Nice bit of heat but not lethal.
  3. 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  4. 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  5. 1 medium zucchini (courgette), quartered lengthwise and cut into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces.
  6. 1 medium yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into ½ inch pieces.
  7. ½ red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 1-2 inch squares (2.5-5 cm) (you can use green or yellow peppers, I just use red for sweeter flavor and different color)
  8. 4 large mushrooms, cleaned, halved and sliced

How To Cook

  1. Heat oil in a skillet big enough for the sausages, vegetables and cooked quinoa. 
  2. Add onions and cook over medium heat until they start softening.
  3. Add sausage to the pan and cook until they look a bit browned.  Be careful not to overcook and burn the onions.
  4. Add zucchini, squash, garlic and red pepper, cook until as soft or crisp as you like. 
  5. Add mushrooms and cook for additional 1-2 minutes.
  6. Stir in cooked quinoa, turn off heat and leave to sit, covered, for a few minutes while flavors blend.

My husband likes chopped cashews and some feta cheese on top of this recipe. Think of making this without the sausages but with nuts and any cheese for a meatless Monday or any other day. Tailor it to be suitable for vegetarians and vegans without cheese or meat stock. This recipe is great reheated so don’t be afraid to make extras. 

Use any selection of vegetables, try different cooked sausages, but remember that many raw and cooked sausages are not gluten-free and that far too many butchers do not know different words for gluten and far too frequently these sausages do not clearly say if they contain gluten. Rusk is a common ingredient in sausages and is not gluten-free. Al Fresco makes a wide range of cooked and raw gluten-free sausages and they are basically naturally gluten-free. For spiciness they also make a sausage with jalapeno and one called buffalo. Jones Dairy Farm makes sausages, bacon, ham, sausage meat labeled gluten free. So use whichever sausage you can buy or can eat.  We don’t like a lot of spicy heat so this sausage was just right for us. Al Fresco has spinach and feta, sun dried tomato, buffalo, jalapeño (both of those I find give heat but not much flavor).  Al Fresco makes a small chicken, apple, maple breakfast sausage which we enjoy with pancakes, waffles etc, but we find the regular size sausage is too sweet for us for Dinner. I’ve also added cut up sun dried tomatoes and fresh baby spinach in the past. 


You can find Chef Oonagh Williams at Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook, LinkedIn or her website. Chef Oonagh has a culinary arts degree, celiac disease and other food allergies. Remember most real food is naturally gluten-free until manufacturers ‘mess’ around with it and only baking really needs changing.


Perfect Quinoa

January 5, 2021

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

By Chef Oonagh Williams, Award-Winning Gluten-Free Chef

I like to cook raw quinoa as a rice substitute. I find it easy to cook a batch of quinoa in water and store it in the fridge in large-capacity glass Ball canning jars but with plastic screw top lids. I can use the stored, plain cooked quinoa for breakfast quinoa (pictured above), Spanish rice quinoa, quinoa rice salad, and countless other recipes. Quinoa is high in protein and fiber and contains essential amino acids important to a healthy diet. I enjoy eating cooked quinoa mixed with vanilla yogurt, fresh fruit in season or dried fruit and nuts for breakfast. The protein keeps me going and with fresh strawberries, nectarines etc. it tastes like an indulgent treat!

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and most bags I have seen state organic. There is no difference between white, black or red quinoa. 

I always rinse my raw quinoa in a fine sieve, that I bought after my son was diagnosed with celiac disease. Quinoa is so tiny it will fall through a regular sieve/colander. Even though some packets of quinoa will tell you it has been pre rinsed, I still do a good rinse to be safe. I simply place the quinoa in the sieve and run cold water through it for a few minutes while gently rubbing the grains.  

How to Cook
There are lots of fussy methods for preparing quinoa, I’ve actually tried them all but prefer the simplest method. See below.

  1. Place 1 cup of raw quinoa and 2 cups of cold water, chicken or beef stock in a saucepan together. 
  2. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer, set a timer and cook for 10 minutes.  
  3. Turn the heat off, leave the pan on the same hot burner to allow residual heat in the pot to continue cooking the quinoa for another 5 minutes. By the way, this does work on an induction burner. There’s no need to stir or lift the cover on the pan during the cooking process, but remember to remove the pan from the burner and remove the lid at the end of the 5 minutes ‘sitting’ time.  

Makes 3 cups of cooked quinoa. You might find that you prefer the quinoa to be softer.  So add a bit more water for cooking and also let it sit a bit longer to get the consistency you prefer. I also find that if you have quinoa that has sat in the cupboard a bit longer, then it has dried out more and needs more water and cooking – same as dried beans. 

You can find Chef Oonagh Williams at Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook, LinkedIn or her website. Chef Oonagh has a culinary arts degree, celiac disease and other food allergies. Remember most real food is naturally gluten-free until manufacturers ‘mess’ around with it and only baking really needs changing.



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