Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Gluten Free Breakfasts - Muesli

So what's the worst thing about being 'gluten free'? Breakfast!

I've only been wheat free for a few weeks and I think it is the way my body needs to go in the future.

So I am having to re learn things about cooking with gluten free stuff. It will take a while to readjust. The biggest problem I need to overcome is breakfast. I have been using Jamie Oliver's Buck Wheat Pancake recipewhich I really like. I do try to use a variety of fruit and my favourites are pear and blueberry.

Other days it's porridge and a smoothie. But I really like Muesli on hot days, so I have to make my own because I want to save some money as well as know exactly what I am eating. I headed into my local shop The Source Bulk Foods at Mitcham Shopping Centre and found some wonderful produce for my muesli.

I've tried mashing a ripe banana with 2 beaten eggs. Added a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or nutmeg and use this to make pancakes. I add a little coconut oil into my non stick pan and cook them for a minute or two on each side. I load them up with strawberries and blueberries and a dollop of plain yoghurt. Simple and nourishing with few calories.

Every blogger writes "this is the best (whatever) you can find". But honestly in this case the ingredients I have chosen for my Muesli taste amazing together.  I have not had to add any sweetener, except for a few sulphur free figs and a little dried fruit. (in the recipe)

This has turned out to be a  mixture of hard and soft, crunchy and smooth, fruity and nutty. I've played around with lots of ingredients to make the recipe work because  I am sure, like me you don't want to eat a mouthful of 'sawdust' for breakfast.



1 cup puffed amaranth
2 cups puffed buckwheat
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons hemp seeds (Australian hemp)
2 tablespoons linseeds (flax seeds) 
4 sulphur free dried figs, chopped
1/2 cup sultanas
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pepitas
2 cups rolled oats
pinch cinnamon

Mix everything together and place in an air tight container. Serve with milk of your choice, fruit or yoghurt or all of these. You can change the ingredients as much or as little as you fancy. But try and keep the proportions of dried fruit  the same. Remember to give everything a good shake before you tip into a bowl so you get the full range of ingredients.

I hope you enjoy it.

Call back later I am going to road test some Breakfast Muffins.

Apologies for the lack of posts for the last few weeks - one day I will tell you the story of why!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Five Quick Desserts

I hate to post so late during the week, but I like to think that there are some out there who would love to get stuck into some great desserts over the weekend. Enjoy!

If you need some quick desserts that will get you out of trouble when you have little time and people arriving on your doorstep?

My husband loves his desserts, but to be honest I don't have time to be making them every day, and my waistline doesn't need to have anything extra added to it. When there is dessert on offer - I eat it, and because of that I need to try and stick to something reasonably healthy, or just eat fruit, except on special occasions.

I've been stealing playing with recipes from friends and family, internet, my old recipe file and just about everywhere to come up with a few quickies.  These have seen me through a few desperate days when I needed something fast, yet good enough to serve to friends and family.

Luckily, I have a lot of rhubarb in the garden, and it is growing like crazy at this time of year.  Here are a few of my favs, with links to the websites where applicable. I have made all of them as the photos will show, and they are all fast to make and pretty darn healthy. Well, I am stretching that a little......

Roasted Rhubarb- serves 4 

a quantity of rhubarb stalks washed and chopped into large pieces
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 star anise
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup orange juice

Chop up the Rhubarb into small lengths and place it in an oven tray. Mix together the rest of the ingredients and spread this over the rhubarb. Bake in a moderate oven 160º fan forced/180º/350º until soft, around 30 minutes. Remove star anise and serve with custard, ice cream or cream.

Alternatively, you can make this into a Rhubarb Fool. 
Whip a carton  of cream, 300mls until thick and slowly incorporate the rhubarb. Keep some of the juice aside. Now fill up some sundae dishes, glasses or whatever is at hand, dripping the juice over the top. Add a sprig of mint to finish this off. Serve by itself.

Apple - Pastry Roses

I was really impressed with the way these 'Apple Roses' looked - so pretty. This was very fast to make and I only cooked them for 30 minutes.  The only problem I found with the recipe was that after cooking the cream cheese just seemed to disappear. I have replaced cream cheese with Mascarpone and mixed in lemon zest. I found this worked much better. Also cook the apples until they are really soft so they are easier to roll.

You will find the recipe here:  

Raw Chocolate Mousse - 4 serves

2 ripe avocadoes
1/2 cup carob powder
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut milk
pinch salt

Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend together. Empty into a container and place in the fridge for 1 hr. Serve with fresh fruit or by itself. Just increase the quantities if you need to make for more people.

Banana and Raspberry Ice Cream - 4 serves

2 large frozen bananas, peeled
1 cup frozen raspberries/strawberries

Place the bananas and the raspberries in a food processor and pulse until it turns into ice cream. You may need to stop the machine a few times and scrape down the sides. Use immediately or store in the freezer in a sealed container. But remember to take out of the freezer for a good 10 minutes before serving, to allow it to soften. 

Its worth keeping some frozen bananas in the freezer at all times. They are great for smoothies too.  Don't forget to peel and slice them before freezing.Because it's damned hard and messy trying to peel them after they are frozen - believe me I have tried. This is fabulous on a hot day and really as good as any home made ice cream.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Leek, Zucchini and Cheddar Cheese Hand Pies

The last time I made these Leek, Zucchini and Cheddar Cheese Hand Pies, I had a picnic in mind. Preparing to travel from Adelaide to Melbourne via the Overland train, my thoughts as usual were on food. Train food I'd heard, was pretty average which  meant I really needed to pack my own.  I anticipated a glorious picnic on the train and wanted something special to eat.

What an interesting way to experience the countryside from the Adelaide plains, through the hills to the River Murray and out into the rural and farming areas of South Australia and Victoria.

The day started well, cool morning but no rain and the train gathered speed after the hilly bits as we were heading across country at over 100 kms an hour. Compare it to the Bullet Train in Japan and that is a walking pace but it was lovely to see the River Murray from this vantage point as it curls its way down to the sea.

The sun was shining, I was reading "Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins and I settled down to the comfort of the Overland. We passed huge wheat silos, kangaroos and emus, sheep and baby lambs. We glimpsed the runners of the Stawell Gift, Australia's richest foot race and saw other animals and farming implements. It was a truly relaxing time.

And resting in my lunch bag was a box full of these hand pies. Cold of course. But when I opened the lid and the smell wafted out into the train all eyes were suddenly on me. Other passengers noses were in the air, they could smell the aroma coming from my lunch box and they were salivating.

Unfortunately, I didn't have enough to hand around and i felt quite guilty eating them myself because they truly were delicious.

And to avoid the same situation recurring, I've shared my recipe.


To make 10 - 12 pies you will need;

  • Filling
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1.5 - 2 cups of cheddar cheese, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano/marjoram, finely chopped
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • small nob of butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • salt and pepper


I used bought sheets of Pampas Butter Puff Pastry.

This is how you make them:-

I used a medium sized fry pan, added the oil and butter and gently cooked the zucchini, leek and herbs until they were slightly browned.

In a small bowl I added yoghurt and an egg and gave it a quick beat together. I added salt and pepper, flour and cheese and stirred until it was combined.

Once the leek and zucchini are cooked, let them cool a little, then add them to the yoghurt and egg mixture. Now cover and place in the fridge until completely cold. You can do this the day before if it is easier.


Find something round you can used as a template for making circles. I used a mixing bowl that was  5 inches/13 cms in diameter and scored around it with a knife.  My pastry came in sheets and I managed to get 2 circles out of each sheet.

Place a large tablespoon of the mixture in the centre of the pastry circle, wet the edges of the pastry using water and a pastry bush. Now fold the pastry in half and seal the edges with your fingers. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut a small v in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.

Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.

Put the pies on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake at 200ºC/400ºF/6 for 15 - 20 minutes. Eat them piping hot or cool and refrigerate or freeze for later.