News

Recipe ideas for gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan & diabetic Christmas guests

christmas-581754_640

Christmas dinner is traditionally an indulgent no-holds barred feast where we fill our plates as high as possible with all kinds of wondrous treats. However, when cooking for someone with a particular dietary requirement you need to be careful with exactly what you serve as some of your guests may have specific needs. Here we will provide some guidelines as well as a selection of recipes so you can serve an enjoyable meal for everyone without upsetting your guests or endangering their health.

Gluten free

Diving in at the deep-end with gluten-free diets, gluten-free can be one of the most confusing types of dietary requirements any time of the year – not just at Christmas. Luckily many supermarkets now stock celiac-friendly products in their ‘free-from’ sections. This means that you can get hold of things like gluten-free oatcakes for your cheese & biscuits, gluten-free bread for your bread sauce and other trimmings – just look for the gluten-free symbol.

You’ll also find that there aren’t too many issues with the meat side of your dishes. Fresh, straight from the farm turkey is usually fine. But, you should try and avoid self-basting turkeys which often include protein injections and other additional flavourings which may include wheat strains.

Gluten free recipes:

Smoked Salmon & Avocado Terrines (BBC Good Food)

Guinea Fowl with Roast Chestnuts (BBC Good Food)

Cranberry, Maple & Pecan pudding (BBC Good Food)

 

Vegetarian diet

Whether for religious reasons, health, or ethical choices vegetarians choose to abstain from eating any meat, fish or seafood. While that puts the traditional turkey main and prawn cocktail starters firmly out of bounds, there are still plenty of tasty dishes to choose from using vegetables. You can usually also find a number of ‘mock-meat’ products on the shelves in supermarkets made by brands like Linda Mccartney and Quorn.

Vegetarian recipes:

Caper Tartar (Demuths)

Butternut Squash & Stilton Filo Pie (Tesco Real Food)

Elderberry & Almond Pie (BBC Good Food)

 

Vegan diet

The vegan diet is similar to the vegetarian diet. Like vegetarians Vegans don’t eat meat or fish but they also exclude any food or drink that is derived from animals such as milk, egg, honey or cheese. While this might sound restrictive it’s a good test of your abilities as a cook. You should still be able to put together a delicious Christmas dinner using combinations of grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits and replacements like tofu, soy and mock meat. Just be sure to check any processed food to make sure there are no meat or dairy ingredients lurking.

Vegan recipes:

Baby Artichoke Bruschetta (Jamie Oliver)

Jackfruit Pot Pie (OneGreenPlanet)

Cherry & Almond Vegan Brownies (BBC Good Food

 

Diabetic diet

Christmas is normally the time of year where we relax our healthy eating principles and decide to indulge. However, for people with health conditions like diabetes there is a risk that eating lots of rich foods can make them very ill. If you are serving food for diabetic guests then be sure to tell them in advance what you plan to cook as this will allow them to manage their diabetes on the day and how much insulin they may need to take. You should also be sure to have plenty of water and bread on hand so that if they feel their blood sugar dropping they can take action.

Diabetic recipes:

Cheesy Sweet Potato & Zucchini Bites (Slimming Eats)

Herb-crusted, Boneless Leg of Pork (Diabetic Gourmet)

Christmas pudding (Diabetes UK)

Stovax Eco Design Compliant

Whilst browsing through the Stovax website, watch out for the following symbol. 


Heralding a new era of ultra-green technology, Stovax Ecodesign wood burning and multi-fuel stoves and fires feature advanced combustion systems that burn so cleanly they are compliant with future 2022 flue gas emission and thermal efficiency standards.
Designed to meet or exceed Ecodesign standards, Stovax’s compliant stoves and fires ensure substances present in smoke emissions such as Carbon Monoxide (CO), nitrous oxides (NOX), organic gaseous compounds (OGC) and particulates (PM) are minimised – making them some of the most eco-friendly stoves in the world.
The future of solid-fuel heating, Ecodesign stoves and fires offer an even greener heating choice than standard appliances, without sacrificing flame visuals or heat output.

The Inconvenient Truth or The Misinformed Reader?

How many of you read the following article in the Daily Mail this Saturday?  Did it get you wondering whether looking into having a wood burner installed was the right thing to do?  Has it scaremongered  you away from purchasing that wood burner  you have always wished for?   Perhaps you should be playing it safe and choosing an electric stove instead or perhaps just placing a ghastly dried flower arrangement in your fireplace opening?

STOP!  Don't Panic!

That’s why we at W & H Supplies are here!  To help give you the complete picture, the vast options that are there waiting for you.... and yes!  You can still safely have that wood burner you always wanted thanks to the expert manufacturers that we have the pleasure of being your sole, expert dealer for.

So firstly, the link to the Daily Mail article: Mail Online

And now time for a few ideas!  These are just some of our suggestions - we can of course discuss far more with you face to face in the showroom, looking through brochures, showing you working product whilst drinking a nice cup of coffee in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

1.  The Stovax Elise.  


Stovax has always strived to create products that minimise environmental impact. Their advanced clean burning stoves and fires have been the result of over 34 years of experience and development, with the majority of their products designed to operate in smoke control areas.

But producing DEFRA exempt appliances is only the beginning. The real challenge is to create environmentally friendly products that not only comply with local restrictions, but also pave the way for a global, sustainable future. With this in mind, Stovax have developed the Elise as a fully compliant Eco-Design fire – way ahead of the 2022 mandatory EU particulate emission levels. Not content just to achieve the proposed emission reductions, Stovax have created an ultra-green fire that goes far beyond them.

Featuring an advanced combustion system, the Elise is able to reduce particulate emissions to an absolute minimum, making it one of the most environmentally friendly fires on the market.


2.  The Chesney Milan 4 Passive


The Milan 4 Series Passive incorporates all the usual features that have come to be associated with a Chesney's stove, offering an efficiency rating of 80%, smoke exempt status and outstanding build and design quality.  Additionally, the Milan can be installed in unusually close proximity to combustible material enabling its use in situations where other stoves cannot be used.

The performance, efficiency and versatility that the Milan 4 Series Passive stove offers is further enhanced by an entirely unique feature. The growing requirement for efficient energy conservation in new house building is well documented and in response to this both house builders and buyers are exploring the air tight option. Building regulations now prescribe that new build houses must achieve air permeability of no more than 5 cubic metres. The Milan 4 Passive makes a unique contribution to this process as it is the only stove independently tested that can be safely installed in an air tight environment.

Using a dedicated external air supply to the stove, fresh air is automatically introduced to create a curtain of air that seals the stove chamber when the door is opened for re-fuelling. In independent tests the stove door remained open for up to three minutes and during this period emissions of only 2 parts per million of carbon monoxide were recorded. By contrast when re-fuelling of a conventional stove takes place carbon monoxide emissions into the room are completely unchecked.


As an alternative to these wood fired suggestions (and just two of many wood burning, low emission, clean burn appliances that we have to offer you), why not take a look at gas?  If you don’t have mains gas why not take a look at LPG?  Either 19kg or 47kg bottles on a hard standing will suffice to run a very realistic looking log effect gas fired stove.


Creating a centrepiece in your home has never been easier with a Gazco gas stove.

Inspired by its solid fuel counterpart, their selection of contemporary and traditionally styled gas stoves are available in a range of colours, sizes and either log or coal effects.

No chimney?  Don't worry, Gazco offer most of their stoves as a balanced flue option so as long as you have an outside wall, you can have a beautiful Gazco stove as your focal point.

These highly efficient gas stoves are available as manual control or can be upgraded to remote control versions giving you maximum enjoyment at the touch of a button.







ESSE gas stoves are hand-built in Britain and offer many features such as impressive energy efficiency, sophisticated styling, quality and craftsmanship second to none.

ESSE Stoves are available with remote control , just sit back and relax whilst lighting your stove from the comfort of your chair!

ESSE also offer a range of flueless gas stoves.  Using catalytic technology - giving 100% efficiency

Whichever style you choose, you’ll enjoy a realistic log effect and flame pattern that gives the look and feel of a contemporary woodburner.


The Daily Mail are correct in saying that wood burners can be bad for the environment; old wood burners using old technology, new wood burners fitted incorrectly, any wood burner used wrongly - they are all bad for the environment.  If you really want a wood burner because you want to enjoy the flames, you don’t want a lot of trouble trying to light it and use it, you want to help the environment and you don’t want to “add to an ever thickening cloud of smog” as reported by the Daily Mail, then don’t cut corners, buy a HETAS Approved Appliance, buy a Clean Burn appliance, ask what the emissions are, burn the proper fuel and always use the appliance as it has been intended and as per the manufacturers instructions.

We, here at W & H Supplies are proud to be a HETAS Approved Retailer as well as a HETAS Approved Installer, we can give you all of the information that you require to help you make an informed purchase so come in and see one of our experienced sales staff.


Don’t forget, we are GasSafeRegistered too - with a huge array of gas fires and stoves on live display - we can talk you through all of your options, whether you require LPG or don’t have a chimney - our experienced sales staff are sure to have something that will suit your situation!

New AGA Dartmouth Blue Colour


Blues - particularly denim hues - are big news at the moment, with many trend consultants predicting they will be hot shades for 2017.  However, it's a huge coincidence that AGA have chosen a beautiful rich blue as their latest colour.

AGA cookers are well known for their longevity, so when AGA choose new colours for their range they do so not on the basis of what's great for now but on what we will still love just as much in years or decades to come.

AGA's new shade - Dartmouth Blue - is just one of those shades:  contemporary but classic and designed not to date, it looks fantastic in a host of settings, including wood and high gloss kitchens.

AGA have called it Dartmouth Blue because it is that beautiful shade you see when the sea meets the sky.  Dartmouth is also one of AGA's favourite coastal towns.

The new colour is available on the AGA Total Control - which can be on when you need it and off when you don't, and the AGA Dual Control, which has the ovens that are on all the time and hot plates you can switch on and off as you need them.  Each comes in 3 and 5 oven models with the option of an integrated module.

The compact AGA City 60 is also available in Dartmouth Blue and - at just 60cm wide - is ideal for smaller kitchens.

Every AGA cooker is manufactured by skilled craftsmen and every one of the 15 stunning colours in AGA's collection is achieved through multiple coats of vitreous enamel.  It is this process that helps provide the depth of colour and the stunning finish for which the AGA cooker is renowned.








Sale on AGA Christmas Cookware


Come in store now and find the perfect cookware for your range cooker.  AGA pans are designed specifically for cast iron hotplates and straight to oven cooking, fast boiling and oven stacking.  Cook directly on hotplates with the magic of Bake-O-Glide, use it to line oven trays - you can even buy cut to size Bake-O-Glide to suit AGA hot plates and line cake tins!



We have all manner of Christmas cookware on special offer, some lovely gifts for that special person in your life and essentials for your Christmas day cooking.

This year's cookware feature some beautiful designs and are available in store now, look out for the seasonal pheasant textiles, not only offering style to your kitchen but the very best in protection, featuring AGAs unique steam and grease barrier.





Christmas Pudding Recipe

I have to say that I always follow the same recipe and my Christmas Pudding never fails to impress.  It's not a heavy Christmas pudding and not too rich.  When I make my Christmas pudding mixture I always make enough for two, one for this year and one for next, and the one I keep is always the best one!

I have the wonderful Delia to thank for my Christmas Pudding recipe, I shan't tell any porkies here and pretend that it is my own recipe!  Every pudding comes out differently of course though!  So, thank you Delia, here is the wonderful recipe and ingredients list.  I have also added in how to make the gluten free version.



Traditional Christmas Pudding

METHOD

This recipe makes 1 x 2 pint Christmas Pudding

Begin the day before you want to steam the pudding
Take your largest, roomiest mixing bowl - ("no kidding - you need a really huge one!") and start by putting in the suet and breadcrumbs, spices and sugar.  Mix these ingredients thoroughly together, then gradually mix in all of the dried fruit, peel and nuts, followed by the apple and the grated orange and lemon zests.  Don't forget to tick everything off as you go to make sure that nothing gets left out ("especially if this is your first time!")

Next, in a smaller basin, measure out the rum, barley wine and stout, then add the eggs and beat these thoroughly together ("nope - this isn't a curious hangover cure!").  Next pour this over all the other ingredients and begin to mix very thoroughly.  It's not traditional together all the family round, especially the children, and invite everyone to have a really good stir and make a wish! 

The mixture should have a fairly sloppy consistency - that is, it should fall instantly from the spoon when this is tapped on the side of the bowl - if you think it needs a bit more liquid then add a drop more stout!

Cover the bowl and leave overnight.

Next day stir in the sifted flour quite thoroughly, then pack the mixture into the lightly greased basin, cover it with a double layer of baking parchment and a sheet of foil and tie it securely with string.  It's also a good idea to tie a pice of string across the top to make a handle.  Place the pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan filled with simmering water and steam the pudding for 8 hours.

Do make sure that you keep a regular eye on the water underneath and top it up with boiling water straight from the kettle about halfway through the time.  When the pudding is steamed, let it get quite cold, then remove the baking parchment and foil and replace them with some fresh ones, again make a string handle for easy manoeuvring.

Now your Christmas Pudding is ready for Christmas Day - Keep it in a cool place and away from light.  Under the bed or in an unheated spare room is ideal.

Christmas Day Preparation

Fill a saucepan quite full of boiling water and put it on the heat, when it comes back to the boil again place a steamer on top of the pan and turn it down to a gentle simmer.  Put the Christmas Pudding in the steamer, cover and steam for 2 hours and 15 minutes.  You will need to check the water from time to time and may be top it up with boiling water from the kettle.  When you are ready to serve the Pudding, remove it from the steamer, remove all of its wrapping and slide a palette knife all around the Pudding, then turning it out onto a warmed plate.  Garnish it with a suitably sized sprig of holly on top.  Warm some brandy in a ladle over direct heat, and as soon as the brandy is hot ask someone to turn the flame off and set light to the brandy with a long match.  Don't pour the brandy over the pudding until you reach the table, and then slowly pour the brandy all over the pudding and watch as the flames roll down the sides and across the top of your Christmas Pudding whilst listening to your well earned cheers and rewarding claps!

Serve with traditional brandy or rum butter and sauce - or even good old custard!

To make this recipe just replace the breadcrumbs, suet and flour with Gluten-free versions. Replace the Stout and Barley Wine with the same amount of Sherry.  You will require a pinch of baking powder added to the Gluten-free white flour.

INGREDIENTS

110g Shredded Suet
25g Whole Candied Peel, finely chopped
25g Whole Almonds (skin on is OK)
1 Small Cooking Apple, cored and finely chopped
Grated Zest 1/2 Large Navel Orange
Grated Zest 1/2 Large Lemon
2 Tablespoons Rum
50g Self Raising Flour
110g Breadcrumbs (White)
1 Level Teaspoon Ground Mixed Spice
1/4 Level Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
Good Pinch of Cinnamon
225g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
110g Sultanas
110g Raisins
275g Currants

And if it doesn't quite go to plan? Well at least these little fellas will keep you smiling!






Stir Up Sunday

 💭 So, what is this Stir Up Sunday all about then? 💭

So here it is, it all started back in the Victorian times when it wasn't just poor old mum in the Kitchen - oh no!  Everyone got stuck in and took it in turns to stir the Christmas Pudding mix, in fact there were 3 rounds, and on each round you made a wish and out of your 3 wishes 1 would come true.   If you had servants they would take part too! 🎄  

Stir Up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent and the closest to St Andrews Day.  The opening words of the Book of Common Prayer, read on this Sunday at Church are
'Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord'
And so the tradition stands that this is the day we all get together in the Kitchen and Stir Up our Christmas Pudding  🌟


Keep following our blogs for more interesting
Christmas facts, hints, tips and yummy recipes!

  • "From start to finish the level of workmanship and service was exceptional, very impressed."
  • "Very professional and polite. No mess or fuss. Excellent work, well done! Highly recommend his company."
  • "They were great, they told me what they were doing all the time and very polite. I would recommend."
  • "The 3 man team who carried out the work were profession, helpful and polite. It was a pleasure having them in our house."

Follow us on...

 W&H Supplies Checkatrade Reviews