Friday, October 31, 2008

Dammit! I contaminated us all!!!!

And would you believe it only took One Single Litre of Soy Milk to do it?

I have learned, yet again, to read EVERYTHING. Even read it twice. Freedom Foods, which makes so many foods we can usually eat, makes Soy Milk which contains gluten.

I did wonder why I was itchy as hell. And why Bridie's "output" was a little pale.

I guess you live and learn....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Tomato Pizza - A new challenge

With Bridie reacting to all things Fructose, we've had to avoid tomatoes a bit. But with Torin begging for pizza, I've had to put my thinking cap on. Now there are other ways of avoiding putting tomato on your pizza. Pizza Bianca uses dairy, such as sour cream, but we're dairy free. Some pizzas have pesto (which generally also contains dairy in the form of parmesan cheese) but my basil is yet to grow. It has little tiny shoots but it'll be a while yet.
And I wanted RED! Sweet and red....So this is what I did:

Roasted Capsicum and Garlic Pizza Sauce
2 large red capsicums, de-seeded and quartered
1 whole bulb of garlic

Place capsicum skin side down on tray. Place whole garlic bulb on tray. Roast in oven preheated to 180c for 30 minutes. When soft the garlic will jump out of his skin with a gentle squeeze. Pop the garlic cloves and capsicuim in a food processor and whizz until chopped. There's your sauce!

For the base we used this recipe except we used White Wings GF flour this time and a little more water.
We topped it with chopped mushrooms and soy cheese, 20 minutes in the oven (190 C) and it was great!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Semi Free-form Kangaroo Meat Pies.

Yay! I managed to get meal prepared for the October challenge Vittoria is hosting.

There is one disadvantage to being Australian and it's culinary. Our country doesn't have a long history, unless you consider the Aboriginal people. And, sadly, a lot of their history is lost, or handed down by word of mouth. The other difficulty was that they lived on the land and we kind of use kitchens to prepare meals.
So I thought about this for a long, long time until I could find a way to bring all of Australia to the table.

There is nothing more Aussie than a meat pie. Granted Australia is not the only country who eats meat pies, but ask any Australian what is an "Aussie" food, in amongst the Vegemite and beer, someone will mention meat pies.
But that alone, wasn't Indigenous enough for my liking. So I figured no other country has Kangaroos! We're going to whip up a Kangaroo meat pie to die for! On top of that, it's gluten and dairy free!

For the pastry, I again used Maggie Beer's Gluten Free pastry recipe. As usual, I replaced the butter with Nuttelex dairy free spread. I have called them "semi free-form" because I did use pie dishes but I rolled the pastry out to a larger size and just kind of gathered and tucked the extra over to form the tops. I filled each with my delicious kangaroo filling and baked in the oven (220 C) for 20 minutes.

Kangaroo Pie Filling
(makes about 4 small pies)
400 grams kangaroo steak, cubed
1 tablespoon rice bran oil
1 Massel Easy Onion cube
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 cup vegetable stock, hot
1 tablespoon cornflour

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Brown off the meat and stir in the sage. Crumble in onion cube and add hot stock. Pop lid on and lower the heat, allowing to simmer for 30 minutes. (This is a good time to roll out the pastry).
Remove the lid, stir and add cornflour. Turn the heat up and stir from time to time until a gravy has formed from the liquid. Then it's ready!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

'Go ahead honey, it's gluten Free!' October Challenge - Indigenous foods.

Yay my first challenge!
This month Vittoria is hosting the "Go ahead honey, it's gluten free" challenge and her twist was we are to use ingredients indigenous to our region and country.

I've also been menu planning. I've been extremely unmotivated lately and I am pretty sure the kids are no longer ok with eating fried rice twice a week.

So stay tuned because I am working on some ideas.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Funky Town.

I'm feeling a bit blerk with the blogging thing.

Cooking is getting waaaaay too boring to blog. The good news is that now I've removed fructose, dairy AND gluten Bridie seems to be better. Her excema is clearing and she is now having no tummy troubles (without going into graphic detail).
So now that she's not having tummy issues, she wants to start toilet training. That started today. So I had one little picannini running about all rudey nudey all day long.
Toilet training tally today:
Wee: 3 on the carpet, 1 on the bathroom floor, 2 outside!
Poo: 1 on the carpet.

Now poo on the carpet would normally freak me out due to her previous consistency issues. But this was a normal poo and the mess was easily remedied.

So bear with me while I master our newly restricted shopping list, and I'll see if I can come up with something exciting!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Potato and Lentil Patties with Satay Sauce.

I am SO utterly bored with food right now. And to top it off, tonight we were GOING to have meat. But alas! I forgot to take it out of the freezer so last minute eeeek! what shall we have for dinner!!!

So time to scan the pantry (yes, it's becoming a habit) and I spot potatoes and lentils. Then I *sigh* because how utterly boring can you get? Resigned to my fate of cooking the most boring dinner in the entire universe, I wander over to tidy up the bench from lunchtime and spot the peanut butter.

And then one of those weird little light bulbs appeared above my head. LOL!

Potato and Lentil Patties

4 medium potatoes, cooked, mashed and cooled
1 cup red lentils, cooked in two cups water
2 tablespoons No Egg beaten into 1/4 cup cold water
OR 1-2 eggs lightly beaten

Scrunch it all together. Form into patties and shallow fry. Easy!

Satay Sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 large tablespoon oil (I use rice bran oil)
1 generous teaspoon ground coriander]
1 clove garlic, crushed

Pop the lot in a small pan. Stir until mixed and runny.

I am grateful it is Friday. I plan to ignore the dishes and put my feet up!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

When rice cakes are good.

Inspired by Vittoria's "Beyond Rice Cakes" post, I've been pondering the different ways one could make rice cakes interesting.Years ago, before any knowledge of coeliacs disease, I would go through stages of living on rice cakes in the name of weight loss. But really, after a while they do tend to taste like polystyrene. They are boring.

I have to say, rice thins have made a difference. Less blandness, easier to disguise with a nice topping/filling. It's also good to see corn thins or rice and corn. Makes it taste a little less "white".

Now Torin is more than happy to eat Rice cakes with peanut butter until the cows come home. But I am certainly not. I get bored with food VERY easily. So the following are things I top or fill my boring old rice cakes with to make life a little "sexier".

* Tofutti "Better than cream cheese" and smoked salmon. Open sandwich style. Sometimes with a little dill.
* Home made hommus, spread thickly
* Fresh mashed avocado
* Home made dip - pumpkin, basil and chickpea
*Apricot jam and chopped walnuts
* Ham, mustard and cheese (although the cheese we buy is soy cheese, but that's only for dairy free folk)
* Grilled eggplant and tahini
* Mashed, cooked kidney beans and salsa
* Mayonaisse/Salad cream and shredded chicken
* Sundried tomato and grated cheese
*Cream cheese (or replacement) and jam
* Tuna, mayo and chopped celery
* Cream cheese and sultanas
*Peanut butter and chopped celery

Now that's all we have had so far. And it's certainly not boring or dull. You just have to know that the rice cake is just replacing the bread. And the bread didn't "make" the sandwich. Then lunchtime gets all Zen. *wink*

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

GF Banana Pikelets for Baby!

I had to share this recipe. The little kids had it for lunch. It lasted about 4.7 seconds. I even had a bite (which is a big thing for me because I loathe banana) and they were good! Really good! Very quick and easy too.

GF Banana Pikelets
One large banana, mashed
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup GF flour

Stir banana and orange juice together. Beat in flour (I used a handmixer and it took no time at all).
Drop spoonfulls into a hot frying pan. Fry until brown on each side. Allow to cool and serve.

This made 7 wee little pikelets. See photo below so you get what I mean.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pasta Spirals with Creamy Tofu Sauce.

I'm still on a mission to eat less meat. I'm also wanting to ensure the children have an adequate intake of iron and calcium. So the perfect food seemed to be Tofu! And my evil plan was to turn it into something the kids would eat. We've had it in the past in dishes such as stir-fries, but they always seem to spot it and leave it aside. I don't even think it's because they don't like the taste. I just think it looked weird.

So tonight I tried a different (and successful) tactic.

Pasta Spirals with Creamy Tofu Sauce.
375 gram block or organic tofu
1 cup soy milk
2 garlic cloves, crushed
12 button mushrooms, sliced
12 baby spinach leaves
Oregano and basil

Pop Tofu into a blender with the milk. Blitz until creamy. In a small amount of oil, gently fry the mushrooms, garlic and spinach. When soft, pour the tofu mix in and stir through. Add as much or as little oregano and basil as you like. Serve over cooked pasta spirals.

I have to point out something too. For some reason, the tofu mixture takes a while to heat up. So do check it's really nice and warm before serving. It doesn't seem to retain the heat very well and cools quickly. I CAN say, however, that it makes a great nutritious baby food. Edan was very impressed!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Grilled Eggplant and Vegetable Nachos.

We're back into routine! Hooray! After driving Torin to school, the littlies and I went to the green grocers. And Bridie was allowed to choose a vegetable and she chose a rather massive, shiny eggplant. So I thought about what I could do with it all the way home.

I used to LOVE grilled eggplant on foccacia in the days before coeliacs. So that was the obvious choice. So I sliced it into slabs about 1 centimetre thick and grilled it in the griddle. I found the pan had to be well oiled or the eggplant tended to just char. It cooks quite quickly though, so then I put it aside and did some more wondering.

I'm trying to cut down on our meat consumption. It's not environmentally friendly. It's not a VITAL part of our diet. And it's expensive. I can buy so much more food from the greengrocers if we just skip the meat. So with this in mind I did some fridge and pantry gazing (I seem to do that a lot, hey?) and decided I COULD do vegetarian nachos. I could even do VEGAN nachos! And the bonus is the preparation time can be broken down into steps (see, I've already grilled the eggplant) and assembled when you're ready to cook and serve.

Grilled Eggplant and Vegetable Nachos.
1 large eggplant, sliced and grilled
1 medium zucchini, grated
1 medium carrot, grated
1 handful baby spinach leaves
1 tin of kidney beans, washed and drained
1 packet Burrito seasoning
1/4 cup water
A little oil
1 packet corn chips
Grated cheese (Ours is still Vegan. We use Vegan soy cheese)

Place zucchini, carrot, spinach leaves and kidney beans in a saucepan with a dash of oil. Cook over low heat until tender. Add seasoning and water and stir though. Once thick, put aside.

Preheat oven to 180C. Scatter corn chips over an oven tray. On top of that, place circles or strips of grilled eggplant. Then make a layer of your seasoned vegetable and bean mix. Top with cheese and bake for 20 minutes.
Enjoy :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bacon and Baby Spinach stuffed Mushrooms.

I'm running out of ideas. I needed to try something new. I have found myself stuck in a kitchen rut.

Bridie has hit the "Oh I am two and I can't possibly eat anything you serve me" stage. Thankfully, Torin missed that stage but he's now on the "I am sooooo very hungry Mummy, I want MORE" stage. So we seem to be eating piles of rice, anything that can be squished into patties or croquettes, mountains of pasta and corn tacos, tortillas and chips by the shipping container.

So I wanted something different. And I took my time today cruising around the fruit and veg. shop and saw these awesome big fat field mushrooms. And they spoke to me. They did, honest. They told me to get stuffed.
So I had my revenge!

Bacon & Baby Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms.
(For each serve you will need...)
1 enormous mushroom (think Alice in Wonderland)
1 loose handful of baby spinach leaves
1 rasher of bacon
1 clove of garlic, crushed
A little grated cheese

Preheat oven to 180C.
In a saucepan, heat a little oil and cook the bacon and crushed garlic. Throw in the spinach leaves and warm through.
Wipe the mushroom clean and place on an oven tray, top down. You could remove the stem if you wish but I didn't bother.
Fill the mushrooms hat with the bacon/garlic/spinach mixture and grate a little cheese on top. (We use Delre Mini-chol Soy Cheese -it's vegan!)
Place in oven for 20 minutes.
Laugh like a maniac for getting revenge on those ill-mannered mushrooms.
Serve. We eat small. Maybe it's an entree. Could also be a side-dish? It could even be a breakfast!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mother Hubbard's Fried Rice.

School holidays do my head in. I'm normally pretty organised and have my routine down pat. Monday is shopping day. But last Monday I drove to Melbourne so Torin could stay with his Nana for the week. Which meant no time for shopping. Then when I did shop, I bought less because Torin wasn't here. It's amazing how much a break in the mundane routine can work against you though.

This afternoon, I was wondering what to cook for dinner. I knew I had some gluten free sausages but they were frozen! So a meat free dish was on the menu. A quick browse through the fridge and pantry (and having a read of Dixiebelle's blog) made me decide on Fried Rice.
Mind you, Dixiebelle's is a little more gourmet. But Edan is finally starting to enjoy solids so this is very basic.

Fried Rice
1 Ear of corn, kernels shaved off
1 bunch pak choy, finely sliced
1 large carrot, julienned
1/2 cup frozen peas (preferably local but mine were from New Zealand)
1 cup of rice, cooked
2 eggs (whisked lightly)
soy sauce
oil for cooking

I heat the wok up and then make a mini omelette from the eggs. I then remove that and put aside for garnish.
Than add the vegetables and stir fry. Add the rice and stir everything through. Cover and lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Uncover, drizzle soy sauce over and stir through. Serve, topped with strips of cooked egg.

I just want to say Hi!

Ok. I've been watching the FEEDJIT Tracker and I've noticed there are readers from all over the place!

Now I know a few people that read and comment.
donna - I know in real life ;)
Vittoria - Often leaves comments and I stalk her blog!
Some of you I know from Essential Baby (well a lot of you since the link is in my signature).
But some of you are strangers.

So Hi! Here's your chance to say hello :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sweet Potato and Tuna Patties.

These were so unbelievably good. Honestly, I'm normally pretty *meh* about food. But these patties hit the spot and were so easy!

Sweet Potato and Tuna Patties.
1 large sweet potato (peeled, cooked, mashed and cooled)
1 bunch Pak Choy (sliced finely)
1 425 gram tin of tuna in olive oil
1 egg
Cornflour to coat.

Mix sweet potato, tuna, pak choy and egg until combined. Scoop up fistfulls (the mixture is quite "wet"). Coat in cornflour and gently fry until browned on each side. These could probaly also be done in the oven if you preferred.

The kids loved them! Always a plus ;)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chicken and Corn Risotto.

It appears that Miss Bridie may have fructose malabsorption on top of Coeliacs! So I've had to revise my weekly shopping list.

So I decide this week we'd get a few things we don't usually get. Ears of corn was one of those things.

Chicken and Corn Risotto
1 cup arborio rice
1 chicken breast
1 ear of corn
4 cups warm vegetable stock.
Oil (for cooking)

I used the same method as I used for the Garlic Chicken Risotto but made a few changes.
I used half as much rice, but the same amount of stock. This is because I shaved the kernels of corn of the ears and added them to the risotto after the second cup of stock. This gave them a nice cooking time and allowed the risotto to have a true corn flavour.