The fact star turned singer chats to Katie Wright as she launches her first cookbook.

After successful The X-Issue: Superstar on the finish of 2019 and touchdown a cope with Simon Cowell’s document label, Megan McKenna was on the point of taking her singing profession to the subsequent stage. However then the pandemic hit.

So as a substitute of following a musical path, the 29-year-old received busy within the kitchen as a substitute. She shared cooking movies together with her 2.4m Instagram followers, and located her gluten-free recipes struck a chord.

Identified with coeliac illness – the place your immune system assaults your personal tissues while you eat gluten – and a wheat allergy in her teenagers, McKenna is aware of the stigma that may include a gluten-free food regimen.

“Folks robotically assume you’re fussy. They’re like, ‘Oh, you’re simply one in all them, you’re simply gluten-free’. However no, really, it could actually make me actually, actually in poor health”.

“The guide isn’t only for allergy individuals,” she insists. “A few of the recipes within the guide are naturally gluten-free anyway. That’s simply how I cook dinner.”

Pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup recipe


(Makes 12)

450g gluten-free self-raising flour

2 eggs

300ml semi-skimmed milk

Olive oil, for frying

For the bacon:

1tbsp olive oil

1 x 200g pack streaky bacon

Maple syrup for drizzling

Strawberries, for garnish (optionally available)


1. Put your flour, eggs and milk into a big bowl and whisk till clean.

2. Place one tablespoon of olive oil in a big non-stick pan over a low warmth. When scorching, add one heaped tablespoon of your pancake batter and swirl it right into a small circle about 5 millimetres thick. Relying on the scale of the pan, add one other one or two spoonfuls in the identical manner. The circles look skinny, however they are going to rise, don’t you are concerned!

3. Flip the warmth as much as medium and cook dinner for about one minute on both sides, till fluffed up and flippantly speckled brown. You’ll know once they’re prepared.

4. Switch the pancakes to a plate and hold heat whilst you make as many extra pancakes as you may with the remaining batter. Keep in mind to warmth a spoonful of oil for every batch.

5. For the bacon, warmth your olive oil in a frying pan over a medium warmth. When scorching, add your bacon and cook dinner for six to seven minutes, turning as wanted.

6. As soon as golden and crisp, drain on kitchen paper, then serve on high of your fluffy pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup. If you wish to be additional fancy, minimize up some strawberries and add them too.

Parmesan risotto with garlic prawns recipe


(Serves 4)

750ml gluten-free hen inventory

60g unsalted butter

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, 2 crushed, 2 finely chopped

240g carnaroli rice

125ml dry white wine

150g Parmesan cheese, grated

4tbsp double cream

Zest of two lemons

Juice of half a lemon

Olive oil, for frying

2 chicken’s eye chillies, deseeded and finely sliced

12 giant uncooked peeled prawns, deveined

Sea salt flakes and black pepper

Lemon wedges, to serve


1. Pour your inventory right into a saucepan, carry to a simmer and hold heat. Place half your butter in a separate saucepan over a medium warmth. When melted, add your onion and cook dinner for 4 minutes, till barely softened.

2. Add your crushed garlic and cook dinner for one minute.

3. Stir in your rice and one teaspoon of salt and cook dinner for about three minutes, stirring typically, till the grains begin to turn into translucent. It’s actually essential to maintain stirring, so your rice doesn’t stick!

4. Add your white wine and stir for about two minutes, till the pan is sort of dry.

5. Add a cupful of your heat inventory and proceed cooking and stirring till a lot of the liquid is absorbed; this may take about 4 minutes.

6. Proceed including the inventory a cup at a time, permitting every addition to be nearly totally absorbed earlier than including the subsequent. When all of the inventory has been used, the risotto ought to be moist however not free, with al dente grains.

7. Take the pan off the warmth and stir in your Parmesan, cream, lemon zest and half the lemon juice, one teaspoon of pepper and your remaining butter. Style and season with additional salt for those who like.

8. Place two tablespoons of olive oil in a big pan over a low warmth, add your chillies and chopped garlic and go away to infused for one to 2 minutes.

9. Add your prawns and cook dinner till they’re good and pink; about three to 4 minutes ought to do it.

10. Serve your risotto in shallow bowls and high with the prawns, ensuring to go away any extra oil within the pan. Squeeze over the remaining lemon juice and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the chillies over the prawns and add a wedge of lemon on the facet of the bowl with the risotto.

Chocolate brownie recipe


(Makes 12)

170g unsalted butter, at room temperature

200g caster sugar

90g brown sugar

3 giant eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

3tbsp chocolate and hazelnut unfold

70g gluten-free self-raising flour

40g cocoa powder

100g white chocolate, damaged into small items


1. Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan, gasoline mark 6). Line the underside and sides of a deep 30 x 20 centimetre baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

2. Place your butter in a big bowl, add your two sugars and whisk collectively till clean and creamy.

3. Add your eggs one after the other, beating effectively between every addition. Now whisk in your vanilla extract and chocolate unfold.

4. Sift in your flour and cocoa powder, then fold in with a spoon till fully mixed.

5. Lastly, fold in your white chocolate items.

6. Pour your brownie combination into the ready tray and clean the floor.

7. Bake for 50 minutes, decreasing the warmth to 180°C (160°C fan, gasoline mark 4) after 20 minutes.

8. Put aside to chill earlier than chopping into items and serving.

Can You Make That Gluten-Free? by Megan McKenna is revealed by Hamlyn, priced £20. Pictures by Louise Hagger. Accessible now.

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