Mexican Salad & the best Gluten-Free Sponge

So I take back what I said yesterday about spring being round the corner. After a day of greyness and freezing sleety rain, it’s clear that we’re still in the middle of winter. 

There couldn’t be a better day then, to go to a friend’s house (Sundari who lives two doors up), and eat the best gluten-free sponge (lovely and lemony and light), that I’ve ever had. I tend to avoid cakes and biscuits altogether because gluten-free things can often be crumbly and sawdust-like. Not so with this wonderful fatless sponge with lemon icing soaked through it. Here’s a pic of what remained after we’d all had a fat slab with a cup of vanilla chai tea: 

Here is the link for the recipe. The flour was substituted with Dove’s Gluten Free Self Raising Flour. 

For tea, after a cold, dark walk home from teaching drama, we had jacket potatoes with a Mexican salad. We had a tin of black beans lurking in the cupboard and this recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s book It’s All Good was a good way to use them up.


  • Half tin of black beans, drained & rinsed
  • Half tin of sweetcorn, drained
  • 2 baby gem lettuces, shredded
  • Cherry toms, cut in quarters
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • Avocado, chopped
  • Handful of coriander, chopped

Arrange on a large dish. 

Gwyneth suggests a complicated dressing involving sheep’s milk yogurt. As I didn’t have any to hand(!), I made a dressing with the following. Quantities are not exact:

  • Mayola (dairy-free mayo), big squeeze
  • Olive oil, big glug
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Salt, pinch of
  • Tsp honey

A very delicious salad which Daisy had seconds of. Ollie just had the avocado and tomatoes. Something good must’ve been in it because it suddenly gave me the strength to pick up these two chimps at the same time: Goodnight from us. X

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