Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Walnut and Sultana Loaf



One of the things I have missed the most after giving up gluten, is the comfort of a delicious fluffy loaf of bread. I have played around with bread recipe's in the past (2 of which you will find on here; Pumpernickel Bread and Spiced Banana and Orange Bread), and think it is important to have a few options, both sweet and savoury, to whip out and whip on to the plate for breakfast, lunch or an in-between meal snack. 

The texture of this loaf is dense and yet fluffy, as if it were the real bread deal. The sultanas are a sweet surprise planted amongst the walnuts, which are a treat in themselves, with an initial crunch that mature into a chewy texture, perfect for a big dollop of our berry compote

This bread is fantastic toasted the next day, and will last you about a week stored in an airtight container in the fridge. And of course it's entirely free from processed sugars, dairy, and gluten, whilst high in natural fibre and protein from the nuts.

Makes 1 Loaf

4 large eggs – separated
1 cup raw cashews – soaked 2 hours
½ cup honey
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup cacao butter – melted
¼ tsp sea salt
cup coconut cream
cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup walnuts – crushed
½ cup sultanas


  1. Line a small loaf tin with waxed baking paper
  2. Preheat oven to 150 °C/300°F
  3. Place the egg yolk into a high-speed food processor and place the egg whites into a separate bowl.
  4. Drain the cashews and place them into the food processor with the honey, vanilla essence, cacao butter, salt and coconut cream.
  5. Process until completely smooth.
  6. Pour the batter into a bowl and mix through the coconut flour mixed with the baking soda.
  7. Mix in the walnuts and sultanas.
  8. With an electric blender whip the egg whites until stiff and then mix through the batter until well combined.
  9. Pour evenly into the lined tin and place into the oven for 45-50 minutes, until the top is browned and the loaf feels firm to the touch.


Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake



This bodacious babe of a treat, will have you stripping off your clothes and running to the water faster than one can say "hakuna mattata". I absolutely cannot stress the importance of water in this recipe. By soaking the cashews in water, prior to sending them into a massacre of whirring blades and crematorial cream, you allow them to give their all, a last hoorah if you will.

What am I talking about, you ask? Well, nature has equipped 'the nut' with a shield of nutritional inhibitors that must be broken down in order for full nutritional potential to be reached. This is done by soaking the nut, as it mirrors the natural process of a juicy atmosphere in which the nuts could settle down, buy a house, a car, and begin to germinate a family of little nut children. Before mortgaging their house and inevitably crashing the car, owing the insurance company thousands and perhaps wondering if it would have been simpler to have just fled the scene...Excuse me.

For those of us that do not have the strongest tummy's, it is absolutely vital to allow our body full access to the enzymes that are on offer. OK I feel the point has been sufficiently pointed to.

This cheesecake does not have a spec of anything cheese-like in it, however the taste is absolutely marvellous! It is extremely creamy, with the cashews and the coconut making the best of friends amongst a lovely zest of lemon that melts in the mouth, prepping the palette superbly for the next bite. The fresh strawberries offer a surprise attack of natural sweetness, and brilliant colour. The base presents itself as a subtle yet strong foundation, it is both crunchy from the nuts, and moistened by the dates. This is getting rude.


Serves 8

Base

1 cup cashews
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup pitted merdjool dates
¼ cup grated coconut
pinch sea salt

Filling

3 cups cashews – soaked overnight
1 tsp vanilla essence
¾ cup honey
1 cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup coconut oil
3 cups (500 g/1 lb) strawberries – diced (reserving 3 strawberries for the center piece and about 6 strawberries for decoration)
  1. Line an 8-inch spring form baking tin with waxed baking paper. 
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the base in a food processor and process until finely chopped. 
  3. With wet hands mold the dough onto the base of the spring form tin and refrigerate until the filling is ready. 
  4. Meanwhile, drain your cashews and place them in a high speed food processor with the vanilla, honey, lime juice and the coconut oil. Process until the mixture is creamy smooth.
  5. Dice the strawberries and gentle fold into the cashew mixture.
  6. Pour evenly into the lined tin and refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
  7. Gently remove the spring form and then the waxed paper. Cut into slices with a hot knife (stick the knife under hot running tap water for a 10 seconds).

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Burrito Rolls



Mexican food is an absolute staple at my house, however in the past I have always struggled with the concept of only being able to eat the insides, in a semi -deconstructed innards vibe. As I would hungrily watch everyone else devour their neat packages of Mexican goodness, I would always be left with something looking not unlike baby food on my plate. The appeal of being told you look youthful doesn't quite transcend into the culinary world I'm afraid.

So here is my solution, a rather good one too. These crepe creatures, are not only free of gluten, dairy and refined sugars, but they are thinner than the average burrito wrap, leaving room in your belly for all of the delicious bean mix and guacamole! And of course, you can play around with the fillings, adding cheese, SCD homemade yogurt or minced meat for those of you that are not dairy free or vegetarian. 

Makes 6

340 g (2 cups) dried kidney beans – soaked overnight
1 Tbs olive oil
120 g (1 cup) onions – finely chopped
1 tsp red chili – minced
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 tsp dried cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground cloves
240 ml (1 cup) tomato puree
salt and pepper

  1. Place kidney beans into medium sized saucepan, cover with water and bring to boil.
  2. Turn down the heat and simmer for up to 2 hours until the beans are soft. 
  3. Drain the water from the beans. 
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion. Sauté until onions are soft and golden.
  5. Add the chili, garlic, cumin, oregano, and cloves and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add the beans and tomato puree and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken. 
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Guacamole
Makes 1 cup

2 avocados
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Scoop out avocado flesh into a food processor, add all the other ingredients and process until desired smoothness. Refrigerate in an airtight jar.

Savory Crepes
Serves 5-6

6 large eggs
1 tsp coconut oil
¼ tsp cayenne
1 tsp dried oregano
1 pinch of salt
1 Tbs coconut cream
3 Tbs coconut flour

  1. Combine the eggs with the coconut oil, cayenne, oregano, salt and whisk until light and frothy. 
  2. Add the sifted coconut flour and combine. The consistency of the batter should be the same as normal crepe batter. It should coat the back of the spoon but be quite thin. 
  3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan on medium heat and pour about ¼ cup of batter into the pan. 
  4. Lift the pan by the handle and roll the batter over the surface of the pan until a nice round crepe is achieved. 
  5. It only takes around one minute for the crepe to brown on one side. Turn it over and brown on the other side.


To Assemble Burrito Rolls
Place some lettuce onto the centre of the crepe and about 3 tablespoons of the beans, 1 tablespoon of Guacamole and some chopped fresh tomatoes and onion into the middle of the crepe. Top off with some coriander.

Fold over one side and roll over. Serve immediately.

Print Friendly and PDF

Apple and Blueberry Crumble



Sometimes, I really do need to take my hat off to myself. The colour spectrum that this humble crumble exists on, is home to all the other magical colours that perhaps only dogs and bees can see. The rich purple berries soak into the apples in the most divine way. Blueberries are also extremely high in natural antioxidants and when cooked, release a superbly sweet flavour. The berries, apples and nip of citrus marry perfectly to create a light yet deliciously depthy syrup.

The crunchy crumble I can liken to some sort of shortbread cookie, perfectly buttery and beautifully balanced against the sweet hot mess of the cooked berries and apples. I've used frozen berries here, as they are a lot cheaper than the fresh type, but equally as tasty and nutritious. 

This dish can be served fresh from the oven for chilly evenings, or cooled in the fridge for a refreshing treat. And of course, it is gluten free, dairy free and free of refined sugars.

Serves 4

Filling

1.350 kg (2 lb 11 oz) Granny Smith apples – peeled, diced and cored
200 g (1 cup) frozen blueberries
1 Tbs fresh orange juice
1 tsp lemon rind - grated
3 Tbs honey

Crumble

100 g (1 cup) almond flour
60 g (¼ cup) cold butter
1 tsp honey

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F
  2. Butter a 20cm/8 inch square baking tin
  3. Place all of the ingredients for the filling, retaining 2 Tbs of honey, in a medium size saucepan and cook covered on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove lid and simmer on high for another 5 minutes.
  5. Use a sieve to drain the fruit juices into a bowl. 
  6. Pour the juice back into the saucepan, adding the remaining tablespoon of honey, and simmer until reduced down by half. Retain this syrup for later. 
  7. Cool the fruit in refrigerator.  
  8. Meanwhile, make the crumble by combining the almond flour, butter and honey in a food processor.
  9. Mix until chunky crumbs are formed. 
  10. Place the crumble in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. 
  11. When the fruit has cooled down, place it into the prepared baking tin and top with the crumble. 
  12. Bake the crumble for 30 minutes or until crumble is golden brown.
  13. Serve warm, topped with a little SCD yogurt and the retained syrup.

Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Osso Buco




This hearty delight is a traditional Italian dish that has found its way to the top of my 'comfort foods' list. Osso Buco is a cut of meat that is kind on the purse and even kinder on the stomach. The rich aromatic herbs offset the tomato based stew beautifully, the perfect companion to a good dry red and a crackling fire.

Do not be deterred by the 12 hour cooking time, the melt in your mouth texture of the meat is matched only by the buttery heart of the marrow. And once you've got all the ingredients in the slow cooker feel free to go about your daily business, it'll bubble away nicely, minding its own business. 

Great served atop my lima bean mash, zucchini pasta or cauliflower rice. And of course, this is completely free of gluten, dairy and sugar.

Serves 6

1.5 kg (3 lb) veal shanks 1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbs butter
60 ml (1⁄4 cup) olive oil
120 g (1 cup) onions – minced 150 g (1 cup) carrots – minced 120 g (1 cup) celery – minced
3 cloves garlic - minced
1 Tbs fresh basil - chopped
1 Tbs fresh rosemary - chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
400 g (2 cups) tomatoes – peeled, chopped
250ml (1 cup) beef stock
250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine

  1. Have the butcher cut the veal shanks into 5 cm /2 inch thick slices 
  2. Rub the salt and pepper into the meat. 
  3. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet. Fry the veal on both sides until brown and crisp (no longer than about 30 seconds) . Set aside. 
  4. In a food processor, mince the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Do not over process. Just blend until all vegetables are finely chopped.
  5. Transfer the vegetables into the heated skillet used previously and cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes. 
  6. Remove from heat and place the vegetables into a slow cooker, adding the meat on top. 
  7. Sprinkle the herbs over the meat and add the tomatoes, beef broth, and wine. 
  8. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 to 12 hours. If using beef shanks instead of veal, cook the osso buco for at least 12 hours. 
  9. Serve with our lima bean mash or cauliflower rice.

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, 14 July 2014

Frittata Provencale



Now here is an eggcellent dish for morning, noon and night. The ingredients tempt a rustic reminiscence of an Italian holiday and warm nights spent with family and friends. The fragrant rosemary melts into the fluffy egg and parmesan base, harmonising the lightness of the egg, with the rich aromas of traditional Italian delights (olives, sundered tomatoes, basil, garlic).

But no gift is complete without an equally as dazzling wrapping. In this instance,  my wrapping comes disguised as a flavour-wave dressing. The fresh sweet zing of the sauce, spilled delicately over the top of the frittata, creates a new dimension of flavour uncommonly found with such a dish. 

All flavours harmonise delightfully, allowing each ingredient to take place centre-stage of the palette, tickling a taste bud or two, before withdrawing to the web of wonderfully woven delights that is this eggy paradise. 

If you would like a dairy-free option, simply leave out the parmesan. Completely free of added sugars, grains, and gluten.

Serves 8

¼ cup olive oil
1 small capsicum - chopped
1 onion – finely chopped
1 clove garlic – finely chopped
¼ cup flat leaf parsley – finely chopped
½ cup fresh basil – finely chopped
12 eggs
½ cup grated parmesan
salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup black olives – sliced
¼ cup sundried tomatoes – chopped
1 tomato – sliced into thin slices
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves

Dressing

2 shallots – chopped
2 tbsp flat leafed parsley – chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F 
  2. Pour half of the olive oil into a heavy bottomed pan and add onion, capsicum and garlic. Cook on medium until the vegetables have softened.
  3. Add the parsley and basil and stir for a few seconds. Turn of the heat and set aside.
  4. Beat the eggs in a bowl, adding the parmesan, salt, pepper, olives and sundried tomatoes.
  5. Add the cooked vegetables and stir. Then pour the mixture back into the pan.
  6. Place the tomatoes slices and rosemary leaves on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, combine all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
  8. Turn off oven and leave the frittata for another 20 minutes.
  9. Serve warm or cold with some of the dressing spooned over the top.

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Lettuce Leaf Rolls



These fresh delights are the perfect meal for the warmer months. For those of us that love finger food, yet dread the glutenous starches that overrun the market-these are your answer, your godsend. I have re-imagined the rice paper roll, with just a hint of San choy bow

You can pack them full of whatever your heart desires, and make for a fun activity for the kids or guests. The innards will spill, and the sauce will drip, but there is absolutely no shame in  scraping and licking the remnants of the rolls fallen glory (think Tacos).

The ingredients are fresh and leave you with an instant happy full feeling. Without any gluten, dairy, sugar, or starches you'll feel light on your toes after these gems. 

Makes 12
110 g (4 oz) chicken thighs
¼ cup water
2 large eggs
1 tbsp water
1 tsp olive oil
110 g (4 oz) smoked salmon
1 medium carrot
1 medium cucumber
1 bunch shallots
1 avocado
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 large head of lettuce

Dipping Sauce

60ml (1/4 cup) water
60ml (1/4 cup) fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 stem lemon grass, pale section only, finely chopped
1 long fresh red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F
  2. Place the chicken and water into a small pot and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  4. In the meantime mix the egg with the water and olive oil and pour into a muffin tin.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Shred the chicken, egg and salmon and set aside in separate piles.
  7. Grate the carrot and cucumber and set aside in separate piles.
  8. Chop the shallots and set aside.
  9. Slice avocado into thin slices and set aside.
  10. Remove the coriander leaves from their stems and set aside.
  11. Remove the heart of the lettuce and gently remove the leaves setting them aside.
  12. Place 2 cups of water into a large pot with strainer (or without is okay too).
  13. Get water to simmering point until steamy. Then place the lettuce leaves inside and steam for 1 minute until they are fully wilted.
  14. Remove immediately from the pot and let them cool on a flat bench.
  15. Assembling the rolls will be a bit of a trial and error operation as each leaf is a different size. Begin by placing a small amount of each ingredient (but only some of either the chicken, egg or salmon) horizontally in the centre of the wilted lettuce leaf.
  16. Bring the lower flap up to cover ingredients. Fold over the ends of each side as if they are hugging the ingredients, and then roll the whole thing up until you have a chubby finger looking package.
  17. To make the sauce place all the ingredients into a blender and blend for a few seconds. Serve with the lettuce leaf rolls.

Print Friendly and PDF