Ultimate comfort food – home made smoky baked beans, cornbread muffins and the best GF brownies EVER

Because I haven’t been very well lately, I’ve found myself craving real comfort foods. Of course, it’s all the badass carb-heavy stuff that my boot camp instructor would have kittens over, but sometimes you need to do it. And there are some veggies in there…..honest!

Even though baked beans are usually gluten free, I’m not a big fan of them. I find the tomato sauce too sweet – in fact I find it all a bit sweet and a bit bland. So I decided to have a go at making my own version, with a smoky spicy twist, and made some yummy cornbread muffins with cheese and chilli and coriander to go with them.

Smoky baked beans (I added chorizo to them for an extra kick, but they would be equally yummy without if you’re veggie or on a budget)

1 tin haricot beans (you could buy them dried, but they will need soaking overnight before cooking, and then boiling/simmering in fresh water for about an hour before using)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses or treacle
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp gluten free Worcester sauce
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
50g chopped chorizo sausage (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Fry the chorizo in a pan to release the flavours for a few minutes and set aside.
Drain the beans. Put in a medium saucepan along with the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Once at boiling point, turn down to a simmer, and add the molasses. Stir well until dissolved. Add paprika, chilli, herbs, Worcester sauce and Tabasco, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Add the chorizo if using, along with the oil in the pan that will have been released when the chorizo was fried. Simmer on a low heat for 15-20 mins.
Hint: Tastes even better the next day if left overnight!

The cornbread muffins were actually a recipe that was on the back of the pack of polenta that I bought, and I thought they would make a nice change from rice or jacket potato to go with my beans.

Cheesy Spiced Cornbread Muffins

140g fine cornmeal/polenta
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 egg
70g grated mature cheddar cheese
220ml natural yogurt (I didn’t have any yogurt in my fridge, so I used unsweetened rice milk and it worked fine)
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp salt

It’s as easy as combine everything in a bowl and mix well. I used my trusty Kenwood Chef, but if you don’t have a mixer or food processor, just get stuck in with a wooden spoon. The mixture will look pretty sloppy, but cornmeal really does absorb a LOT of liquid, so stick with it.
The recipe makes 10 muffins – divide the mix between 10 muffin cases and bake at 200/180 fan or Gas 5 for 20 mins. Enjoy!

To make this recipe completely dairy free, you could omit the cheese or use dairy free cheese in place of the cheddar. If you don’t like coriander, you could use flat leaf parsley instead.

The result:

beans and cornbread

A yummy and comforting lunch with a smoky, spicy kick. And not too much effort either!

The next recipe I’ve been meaning to post about (ok, rave about) on here is the Holy Grail of gluten free brownie recipes. I haven’t had much luck with brownies, either finding they turn out too dry or too sticky, but these were absolutely heavenly-perfect. I like my brownies crisp on the outside and squidgy in the middle, and these didn’t disappoint. No wonder the reviews were 5-star. Thank you, Tesco Real Food for making my week! Needless to say these didn’t last very long.

These are not a diet food, be warned……dark chocolate, butter, and sugar make these a definite occasional treat, but if you need a reliable recipe for chocolatey goodness that pretty much everyone is guaranteed to love, make these. You won’t regret it. Seriously.

You can find the recipe here. Instead of chopping up the remaining dark chocolate to sprinkle on top, I used white chocolate chips for a bit of variety, and the result was…..well you can see for yourself….

I wonder who's taken a cheeky slice....

I wonder who’s taken a cheeky slice….

Having had my helping of cosy comfort food for this week, I’m off to go make a salad.





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