Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing

This Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing is so flavourful. Crisp on top with a beautifully soft yet robust texture you won’t even notice it is vegetarian, let alone gluten-free.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

This is the stuffing recipe that I bring to our festive table every year. My mother-in-law is vegetarian so when Luke and I first started hosting Christmas at our house I put aside my trusted sausagemeat recipe and set about creating a new family favourite that everyone could enjoy.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

I actually prefer this Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing to my sausage version as there is always so much meat on the festive table from the turkey to the ham to the pigs in blankets. The addition of a herby hearty stuffing is exactly the right accompaniment to the rest of the meal.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

I use whole peeled vacuum packed chestnuts to make the stuffing which are so easy to use and are widely available at this time of year. They are also delicious directly from the packet and have a wonderful earthy flavour with a crumbly creamy texture. The chestnuts pair exceedingly well with the rustic notes of the fresh sage and the sweet onions.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

The only bit of faff in this recipe is caramelising the onions at the beginning of the recipe which is necessary to add the soft sweetness to the stuffing. Then all you need to do is mix the onions with the crumbled chestnuts, fresh breadcrumbs and fresh sage. A bit of seasoning, an egg to bind and a splash of double cream for moisture and there you have it. I usually prepare the stuffing a day or two in advance and pack it into an ovenproof dish to keep in the fridge ready for the oven. I don’t cook my stuffing in the bird cavity. Does anyone still do this anymore? But it’s lovely baked in a separate dish to create a crisp topping with the soft stuffing beneath.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

On the big day, after the turkey has been taken out of the oven, the stuffing goes in. It only needs to bake for 20 minutes so doesn’t clog up precious oven space for any length of time. I have also in the past formed stuffing balls with this recipe which also work really well as the surface of the balls get quite crunchy, a perfect contrast to the squishy insides.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

This Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing is like a very low key nut roast and it is certainly meaty enough in texture to be a pretty decent offering for your vegetarian guests at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Served alongside some powerhouse vegetable sides like the cauliflower cheese, which I also make every year, you can ensure everyone is going to be pretty well served at your festivities.

I urge you to give this Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing a try, it is so easy and delicious. If you do make this Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious creation, I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing

This Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing is so flavourful. Crisp on top with a beautifully soft yet robust texture you won’t even notice it is vegetarian.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 158kcal


  • 2 large onions peeled and diced
  • 30 g unsalted butter + 1 teaspoon
  • 180 g whole peeled vacuum packed chestnuts
  • 15 g fresh sage leaves removed
  • 150 g gluten-free sourdough or the best gluten-free bread you can find
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the onions in a saucepan along 30g butter and cook very gently for 30-40 minutes until the onions have caramelized.
  • Tip the onions in a large mixing bowl then set aside whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Place the saucepan back on the heat and add the extra teaspoon of butter to melt. Drop the fresh sage into the saucepan and fry gently until starting to colour then remove and finely chop. Add to the onions.
  • Break up the gluten-free sourdough and place in a food processor along with the chestnuts. Pulse briefly until they are roughly chopped. Then tip into the onions along with the beaten egg, double cream and seasoning.
  • Press the stuffing into an ovenware dish and leave in the fridge overnight to set.
  • Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180°C/170°C fan/gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and crisp.


Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 11.1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1.1mg


These Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts 180 g (Pack of 6) are gorgeous chestnuts, so yummy as a snack and so easy to use for this recipe.

I would be nowhere without my Magimix 4200XL Food Processor – Satin which I bought when I was so jealous of everyone making their own houmous and pestos. That was easily over ten years ago and I use it nearly every day for all manner of kitchen jobs like whipping up dips, nut butters and flours and making breadcrumbs like for this recipe. The Magixmix is an impressive piece of kit which even survived being dropped when we moved into our house (although it did have to have the motor replaced but that wasn’t too expensive). I put all the attachments in the dishwasher and they come out brilliantly clean but it also gives just great results. I love my Magimix and along with my Kitchenaid is the piece of equipment I use most often in my kitchen.

The links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy anything using the links given then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

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Matcha Protein Breakfast Shake

If you’re looking for an energising delicious breakfast shake which is gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan then this Matcha Protein Breakfast Shake has your name all over it. Guaranteed to motivate you and your body.

Matcha Protein Breakfast Shake

I like to think of myself as a pretty easy eater. ‘I will pretty much eat anything’ I will self-righteously declare to all and sundry. But if you dare to serve me breakfast then you’ll generally find I throw a sudden and unpleasant temper tantrum.

You see in my opinion breakfast is the worst. An amalgamation of all my least favourite things to eat; some because I am intolerant – gluten, oats and to a lesser extent dairy and some because I outright think they are heinous devil foods – eggs, mushrooms and baked beans.

So I have this horrid dichotomy of always waking up starving but delaying my body food until a more palatable meal comes my way, say lunch (although I am not averse to having lunch or even dinner for breakfast if I am feeling especially wanton).

The Ultimate Fast Food

Then, as the adverts say, I discovered protein shakes. Not smoothies, with endless helpings of fruit which dive me headlong into a sugar crash before 9am, but a less sweet and more nutrient packed shake.

These take mere moments to prepare, just slam everything into the blender and whizz up, which I then consume whilst feeding Cole, clearing up his breakfast and getting him dressed. They are the ultimate fast food and don’t contain any ingredients that make my body want to heave – which can only be a good thing.

Matcha Protein Breakfast Shake

What ingredients to put in a protein shake

There are so many delicious and healthful choices to include in a protein shake. I prefer to keep mine dairy-free but there are several substitutions you can make here.

  • Avocado – makes the shake deliciously creamy
  • Banana – gives the shake sweetness and thickness
  • Almond butter – excellent source of protein (you can sub with cashew butter)
  • Kale – for our vitamins and iron
  • Chia seeds – more delicious protein
  • Flaxseed – and even more protein
  • Hemp powder – plant based protein powder
  • Matcha – for flavour and calming properties
  • Coconut water – thinning down our thick shake with flavour (you can use tap water)

The result is creamy, refreshing and satisfying. The perfect start to the day.


The star ingredient in this breakfast shake though is the matcha green tea powder which I have been experimenting with as an ingredient, mainly in my baking, for a while now. It has such a unique grassy flavour that becomes quite addictive.

How much Matcha to use

Various brands of matcha have different strengths so if you are unsure how the strength of your matcha holds up to other brands then being by using only 1 teaspoon. Give the shake a try and if it seems a bit light on the delicate earthy grassy notes matcha is renowned for then add another.


Matcha Protein Breakfast Shake

An energising delicious breakfast shake which is gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan. Guaranteed to motivate you and your body.
Prep Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: British
Servings: 1 large shake
Calories: 542kcal


  • blender


  • 1 banana
  • ½ avocado
  • 25 g kale 1 large handful, blanched
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
  • 3 teaspoons hemp protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
  • 250 ml coconut water
  • 3 ice cubes


  • Bung it all in the blender, blitz until smooth and away you go!


  • The recipe specifies to blanch the kale which makes it easier to digest. However, if you don't have the time then you can add it in de-stemmed and raw.
  • You can swap the almond butter for cashew butter or peanut butter to mix up your morning flavours.
  • I use a very high quality grade matcha tea which is a clear bright green colour. The brighter the green the better the tea quality.
  • The finished shake is quite thick. You can thin it down by using more ice cubes and coconut water. If you go down this route then the shake would probably serve 2 people.


Calories: 542kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 287mg | Potassium: 1826mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 2920IU | Vitamin C: 56.3mg | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 4.9mg



Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese doesn’t have to be an inferior version. This cauliflower cheese is rich, creamy, cheesey and infused with roasted garlic, dijon mustard and plenty of white pepper.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board with plates

I’ve tried to steer clear of this subject on my blog since I began it as I didn’t want to have to pigeon hole myself into any particular diet or limit the recipes I wanted to share. However, I’ve realised I’ve been doing myself and you guys a disservice as it seems sometimes that I’ve told half a story. So, throwing two fingers up at my natural inclination to not bore you relentlessly by talking about me me me all the time, I thought sod it, it’s time to over-share.

The subject of gluten is deadly dull, too scientific, too all-encompassing and too been-there-done-that. There are bloggers, food writers, cooks and nutritionists that can talk about it much more eloquently than me. Don’t ask me why gluten is bad, why we were all fine with eating bread 50 years ago and now it’s suddenly poisonous to half the western world or even what gluten actually is, like a well meaning friend asked me the other day. I might have changed the subject rather quickly to talk about Daredevil on Netflix instead.

side shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish on a wooden board

However, today I’m coming clean to tell you about my destructive love affair with gluten and why you’ll find that if you look down my recipe list that perhaps 80% of the recipes on my blog are gluten-free (although steer clear of the biscuits and cakes section if you’re doing that). So as I wang on in these next few paragraphs and you are rolling your eyes at yet more nonsense about how gluten was created by the Devil to contaminate society and destroy us from within, just bear with me. Or just wait for my next post – it will probably involve copious amounts of white flour rendering all my woeful soul bearing here totally irrelevant.

About 10 years ago I felt really unwell. I won’t make more of it than it was but it was affecting my daily life. I felt completely lacklustre with no energy and was constantly sick, I had horrible digestive cramps and unless I ate every few hours I would pretty much collapse. It was odd, I was eating healthy and hearty meals, lots of vegetables, not much sugar. However, come 3pm every day I felt dreadful and I often had to leave work in the middle of the day as I simply couldn’t function. I remember being slumped on the bus on the way home, barely being able to keep my eyes open, feeling awful as I had no idea what was wrong. Naturally I thought I was allergic to work, like any normal twenty-two year old fresh out of university, and was wracked with concern that I was not destined be the dynamic cutting edge TV producer I had dreamed of being but would instead have to dump Luke and marry a millionaire pretty much in order to save my life.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish on a wooden board

I was in and out of the doctors, I had blood tests, allergy tests, thyroid tests. Everything was normal. My GP thought I might be clinically depressed and wrote me a prescription for anti-depressants. I threw it in the bin on the way out and got a new doctor.

At the same time though I had started to see a personal trainer and nutritionist who recommended cutting out gluten from my diet. I didn’t really know much about the gluten-free way of life back then. I had done Atkins like everyone else to lose weight but I didn’t really get the gluten thing. No one was really talking about it. Ha, how times have changed.

However, after a bit of trial and error (I was a bit of a slow student in that regard – what you mean I can’t eat flour tortillas) I gradually began to feel better. It didn’t take long for me to realise that come 3pm I was no longer crying or cramming a chocolate bar in my face to pick myself off the floor. My body ache and sickness had disappeared and with that I was able to be more productive at work and I started running and getting really rather healthy.

The End. I lived happily ever after and never did the big bad Gluten cross my path again, he was banished from my kingdom, Luke and I got married (sorry Mr Millionaire) and we had a wonderful baby boy whom we named Cole.

side shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board

Except real life dictates that there must be an epilogue. And so here it is. Since Cole was born in June last year gluten has made a major comeback for me. Turns out he wasn’t content sitting in the wings any longer but instead wanted a starring role yet again in my life. It hasn’t been just the odd cake or Yorkshire pudding because it’s the weekend but loaves of bread have passed these lips, a slip of the finger on my keyboard and packets of digestives have fallen helplessly into my Ocado shop.

I know I’m not alone when I confess that I have found these first few months of motherhood hard and as is my wont as a food loving, comfort eating, sugar addicted gal I have turned to food to get myself through it. Cake has been my 3am ally, tucked into the sleeves of my nursing chair and nibbled on throughout the night and toast has been my saviour when I’ve skipped another meal due to relentless crying, holding and feeding.

It is only now, 10 months in that I have calmed down enough to confront how sick I have been making myself. It’s not that anything has got any easier. Yes we have more of a routine but that goes out of the window more often that not. I have been getting more sleep but again just because I had a good seven hours uninterrupted last night doesn’t mean that I won’t be up and down every couple of hours tonight. However, for the most part it’s better.

Although, my health and my body have been left a wreck and I need to address the situation.

So having fessed up and outed myself as another one of those faddy diet people I would now like to talk to you about cauliflower cheese. Are you still with me? In the past I have always made cauliflower cheese with a traditional method of using a roux of butter, white flour and milk then adding the cheese. However because of this it has been a rare treat which only reared its delicious cheesy head at high days and holidays. Lately thought I have been whipping up a gluten-free version using only cornflour and milk instead of the roux. It’s so quick! Absolutely perfect as a smash and grab dinner for Cole and a lazy one for the two of us. The difference between the two versions is negligible and certainly one I can live with if it means I can have cauliflower cheese more frequently. It has even passed the Luke test who can be pretty severe in his judgment of gluten-free alternatives.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board

The secret to any decent cheese sauce I think is to use a mix of cheeses, here I’ve gone with mature cheddar for flavour and red Leicester for sweetness and colour, and then a dollop of Dijon mustard which really brings out the cheesiness. I’ve also begun adding roasted garlic into the mix which sounds like a bit of a faff but really all you need to do is pop the garlic cloves in the oven and they roast for 10 minutes as the cauliflower is put on to boil. However, I’m on a bit of a roasted garlic kick at the moment and so I’ve been roasting up whole heads at the weekend for use during my mid-week meals. They add a mellow flavour which gives the sauce depth. The final stir of the crème fraiche in at the end adds richness to the sauce and is completely optional but really why would you not?

Just the cornflour and the milk together is a little bland so the sauce does need these little extras to knock it up to the standard of a traditionally made sauce but it’s not any bother at all. There is no salt in this recipe as all my food is made with Cole in mind these days but you would probably like to add some to taste. It does make life easier when you find these gluten-free hacks that are actually just as delicious and the road back to my optimum self a little more straightforward to navigate.

Since posting this recipe in Autumn 2016, all my recipes going forward are gluten-free but I am still working on converting all the older recipes to gluten-free versions.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board
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5 from 2 votes

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese doesn't have to be an inferior version. This cauliflower cheese is rich, creamy, cheesey and infused with roasted garlic, dijon mustard and plenty of white pepper.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 326kcal


  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • 100 g red Leicester grated (+25g for grating on top)
  • 50 g mature cheddar grated (+25g for grating on the top)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves roasted and pureed
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraiche
  • 15 g ground almonds


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Separate the florets of the cauliflower then place in a large pan of boiling water. Bring up to a gentle simmer, then cook for 10 minutes. Drain and place the florets in an ovenproof dish.
  • In a medium sized saucepan whisk the cornflour into the whole milk then once smooth switch on the heat and bring to a low boil.
  • Sprinkle in the cheese and stir in until melted in.
  • Add the mustard, pepper, garlic cloves and crème fraiche and stir in until it becomes a thick smooth sauce.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower florets then sprinkle on the extra cheese and the ground almonds.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes when the cheese should be bubbling and the almond breadcrumbs turning golden.


Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 440IU | Vitamin C: 69.8mg | Calcium: 434mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

These easy Roasted Aubergine and Courgettes are sprinkled with sumac and tossed with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon before serving. A wonderful vegetable dish which can be eaten hot or as part of a salad buffet.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

This is an excellent standby week night meal which takes moments to prepare. The vegetables don’t even need peeling, just minimal chopping and then 30-40 minutes roasting in the oven.

Aubergines and courgettes are often misunderstood vegetables as they seem difficult to cook correctly. Sometimes with watery or oily results.

However this recipe is so easy and absolutely foolproof that aubergines and courgettes will become your absolute go-to veg choice when you are looking for a quick meal.

courgette and aubergine3

Why this recipe works so brilliantly

  • Minimal prep time so ideal if you need a hands off dinner.
  • The sumac, fresh herbs and lemon balance out the richness of the roasted vegetables.
  • You can make ahead as this dish is just as good eaten at room temperature.
  • Roasted Aubergine and Courgette can accompany a variety of different meals.

If you need more veggie side dishes then why not try:

English Mint Potato Salad
Garlicky Slow Braised Tomato and Aubergine
The Best Homemade Coleslaw

courgette and aubergine

Do you need to salt aubergines?

Yes and no. Years ago aubergines were much more bitter so they required salting to make them more palatable. The bitterness has been bred out of them now though so there is no more need to salt for that purpose. However, aubergines do soak up a lot of oil when cooking so salting them prior to cooking helps the aubergine to absorb less oil.

I’m happy to report though that there is no need to salt the aubergines in this recipe. We are looking for speed here.

TIP:  If you feel the end result is too oily then you can pat the vegetables dry with clean kitchen paper before tossing with the herbs and lemon.

What is Sumac?

Sumac is popular in middle eastern cooking. It has a tart lemony flavour. Lovely sprinkled over salads, grilled meats or vegetables.

Here it adds a tanginess to the roasted vegetables, cutting through the richness of the olive oil.

How to Roast Aubergine and Courgette

There is minimal prep involved here.

  1. Cut each vegetable into 8 wedges, by slicing in half width ways, then cutting the halves length ways twice.
  2. Toss in the olive oil, sumac and salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 30-40 minutes (depending on how large your vegetables were to begin with).
  4. Finally toss with the fresh herbs and lemon.

Roasted aubergine and courgette2

What to serve with Roasted Aubergine and Courgette

  • Lamb Kebabs
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Toss through with pasta for a vegan main dish
  • Serve drizzled with garlicky yoghurt
  • Take to a pot luck for a healthy veggie option

If you make this Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

These easy Roasted Aubergine and Courgettes are sprinkled with sumac and tossed with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon before serving. A wonderful vegetable dish which can be eaten hot or as part of a salad buffet.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 210kcal


  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 courgettes
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon sumac
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 10 g mint leaves roughly chopped
  • 10 g coriander leaves roughly chopped
  • 10 g parsley leaves roughly chopped
  • Wedge of lemon


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
  • Prepare the courgette and aubergine by slicing off the stems. Cut each one in half width ways. Halve each again lengthways and then cut into 16 wedges in total.
  • Place the wedges on a baking tray then toss with the olive oil, sumac and salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes, checking halfway through to give a good mix around.
  • Once the aubergine and courgette are soft, lightly browned and slightly crispy at the corners then remove from the oven.
  • Sprinkle over the fresh herbs, mixing together with a squeeze of lemon.


  • Cut aubergine browns quickly so don’t leave it hanging around the kitchen after you have turned it into wedges.
  • You can enjoy this dish hot from the oven or cooled and served at room temperature.
  • Lovely served with grilled lamb or chicken or tossed through pasta for a vegan option.


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 821mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 734IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2014, but was updated in August of 2019 to make the recipe instructions clearer as well as nutritional information and expert tips.