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The Garden House 67, Woodchester Road Dorridge Solihull Birmingham and West Midlands B93 8EL

Wheat free Cornbread with Roasted Sweet Red Peppers & Goats’ Cheese

This sweet and salty bread has a lovely nutty texture from the polenta and tastes at its best eaten warm. Works well with a Jambalaya, a signature dish from the American Deep South, fried chicken and pinto beans, a hearty roasted roots soup made with sweet potatoes, squash, carrots etc to accentuate the subtle sweetness, baked ham…. This recipe serves 12.

Ingredients:

  • 250g instant polenta
  • 80g white spelt flour
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 x 300ml tubs of sour cream
  • 100g soft goats cheese log
  • 170g drained roasted peppers from a jar or fresh that have been roasted and left to cool, cut into strips
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Melt the butter in a deep oven proof baking dish 20cm x 30cm.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the polenta, spelt flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sea salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, eggs and soured cream.
  • Swirl the cooled butter around the baking dish to coat all the sides before pouring it in a steady stream into the liquid mixture, whisking to combine. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pan and smooth the top. Arrange cut rounds of goats’ cheese and strips of peppers on top and scatter over the red chilli. Bake for 35-40 minutes until set and golden. Cover loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes if it is beginning to burn. Allow to cool slightly before serving warm.

Goats cheese contains calcium and for some lactose sensitive people more easily tolerated than cheese made from cows milk.

Red peppers contain more than 200% of your daily vitamin C intake, are a great source of B6 and folate, potassium, copper, manganese and are packed with antioxidants. The red colour comes from carotenoids concentrated in the flesh with benefits to include improved immune function, protection from sun damage, better communication between cells. They are low in calories and extremely versatile when planning meals.

Chillies are very high in all the same nutrients as bell peppers and have an important function in wound healing, immune function, fighting inflammation and digestive tract health. This may sound counter intuitive but the capsaicin in peppers actually acts as an anti-irritant.