Gluten-Free 1

The Green Veggie Tart

The Green Veggie Tart

Everything about this veggie tart is a good thing.

I'm excited about making it AND eating it, so I thought I'd better share.

It may be vegetarian, it may be gluten-free and it may be green, but by golly it's good.

Spinach Bread !

Spinach Bread !

Did you know you can buy bread mixes in a box at the supermarket?  Apparently, they're made for our convenience.  

Seriously?!  

A box filed with fake ingredients and loads of sugar, designed to make us feel like we're bakers.  That we're filling our bodies with goodness just because we've switched the oven on.  I like to think we're a little smarter than they give us credit for.  I like to think I am.....well, at least occasionally.

Okey dokey, I've had my rant, so now to a quick bread recipe THAT IS packed full of nutrition and nothing fake in sight.

Simple Basic Granola!

I'm sharing with you today a super simple basic granola recipe that you can adapt with anything you might find hiding in your pantry.  The perfect recipe to use up any of those pesky little bits of nuts and seeds left lying around..  Feel free to use any nuts and seeds you have on hand, or even oats (or quinoa flakes if you want to keep it gluten free).  You could even add your favourtie dried fruits to the mix, but remember that these will add sugar (and fructose).

Personally I'm not a cereal eater (apart from a piping hot bowl of porridge), and the granola I see sitting on supermarket shelves, shouting out the word "health" often make me laugh out loud as the ingredients listed on the back will more often than not show they're chock full of sugars (and often more than one type), not to mention filled with bad fats and preservatives.

Never fear with this recipe, it keeps for a few weeks in an airtight container and you'll be filling your body up on so many vitamins and minerals it will be singing from the rooftop.  That's not even including the benefits  coconut oil will be doing to your immune system at the same time (see more about coconut oil here)

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Coconut Granola

(gluten, fructose and refined-sugar free)

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2 cups of mixed nuts and seeds (I used a combination of pepitas, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds and chia seeds) | large handful of coconut flakes | 2 tbsp cacao nibs | 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon | good pinch sea salt + good grind of pepper | 2 tbsp coconut oil | 1 tbsp rice malt syrup | 1 tsp vanilla extract

 

  1. Preheat oven to 160C (325F).
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Combine the coconut oil, rice malt syrup and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and gently heat until liquefied. Pour liquid over the dry ingredients and toss to coat. Spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until golden, stirring the mixture about every 15 minutes to make sure it is evenly baked.
  4. Let the granola cool completely  (it will become crunchier as it sits) and when completely cool, store in an airtight container for a few weeks.  
  5. Serve with your choice of yoghurt, milk and/or fruit.

 

Serves 4

Days filled with glorious custard . . .

Days filled with glorious custard . . .

Imagine how glorious your day would be if custard was part of it.  Thick, creamy custard studded with tiny sweet vanilla seeds and subtle lemonyness (look the other way if your an English nerd).  Custard that allows your shoulders to drop with each slow and deliberate stir of the wooden spoon.  Custard that contains organic and fresh ingredients and none of that naughty refined sugar, gluten or fructose.  

Mmmmm....just imagine.....

A New Year + Breakfast

Two words to wrap up my 2014.....roller coaster!

It's been a busy and amazing year with lots of wonderful memories and new friends having been made.  However, it's also been a difficult year filled with change and learning to live outside my comfort zone.  It's been a year that has included laughter and tears at work, magical travels through France, to moving house and packing up my treasured possessions.  I've coped.  I'm pretty lucky and a little tough.

The one thing I haven't forgotten to do this year is treat myself.  I'm pretty bloody good at it.  And one of my all time favourite treats to give to myself is a delicious and lazy breakfast.  With a big pot of early grey, of course.....

 

Ricotta and Lemon Hotcakes

(gluten and refined sugar free)

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170g fresh ricotta | 1 organic egg, separated | 4 tbsp buckwheat | zest and juice of a lemon | pinch of sea salt | butter for cooking

 

  1. In one bowl whisk together egg yolk, ricotta, lemon juice and zest, sea salt and buckwheat.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the egg white until light and fluffy, then fold gently through the egg yolk/ricotta mixture.  The mixture will be fairly thick, so thin out a little with more lemon juice (or a little milk or coconut milk).
  3. Heat a frying pan over medium heat with a knob of butter.  Drop tablespoons full of mixture into the pan and allow to brown lightly for a few minutes.  Flip over and flatten down slightly, browning for another few minutes.
  4. Serve with the berry sauce (recipe below) and a good dollop of yoghurt.

 

Berry Sauce

1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries of your choice | 1 tbsp rice malt syrup (or pure maple syrup or raw honey)

  1. Combine berries and syrup over low heat for approximately 15 minutes until soft and syrupy.

Please don't mistake these little hotcakes as sweet pancakes, because they're not, and in fact they would be lovely with a ribbon of smoked salmon curled on top with a dollop of creme fraiche and dill.  They're light, fluffy and mild in flavour with a lovely hint of lemon and a creamy texture from the ricotta.  It's the toppings you chose that will dictate sweet or savoury.

They also freeze really well and can be popped straight into the toaster when needed (perhaps smothered in butter??)  

Oh la la.