Gooey Salted Caramel and Coconut Slice

How good is caramel? I love it, and I’m not letting the lack of dairy in our household hold us back! This yummy slice keeps very well in the fridge, and is great for a school lunch box treat (or a hooray! it’s morning tea time treat). I won’t pretend it’s super healthy, but it is super yum!

Ingredients

1/2 cup of dairy free margarine
1 cup of loosely packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of gluten free self raising flour
1/2 cup gluten free plain flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup of soy milk

Salted caramel topping

270ml light coconut milk
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
Pinch of salt

Cream dairy free margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
Fold in sifted flour alternately with milk. Stir in desiccated coconut.

Bake at 180 degrees for 35 minutes (or until cooked).

While slice is cooking, bring coconut milk and brown sugar to the boil, and then simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Add pinch of salt (to taste).

Allow slice to cool. Pour over caramel topping to serve

 

It’s not easy being green… Making all the green things, plus Zucchini Brownies!

We’ve had some big changes this year. First my oldest changed schools. A couple of weeks later, after lots of planning and meetings with her medical team, my middle child was able to join him and started her first year of school. So exciting, and plenty scary, but she is so happy about it.

So now, for the first time in a few years (!) I suddenly have a couple of spare hours during the day when the baby is asleep. As any parent knows, there is no time to waste once the baby is sleeping. It’s off to the studio, cup of tea in hand, and straight to work!

At the moment, I am not sure what direction my work will take. There will definitely be some colouring pages. But mainly, I just need to make all the things, and see what comes out of it. I’m focusing on colour, foliage and florals.

For the past two weeks, it’s been all about leafy greens. I can NEVER work on just one piece, so here’s a snap shot of what I’m making…

Since I’m all about green at the moment, I thought I’d throw in a recipe for our latest family favourite – Zucchini Brownies! I got this idea from a friend (thank you Mel), who swore the zucchini was undetectable, and she was right! I usually replace half the sugar with 1/2 a cup of granulated stevia, or you can just stick to regular sugar.

Zucchini Brownies

2 cups of gluten free self raising flour

1 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of cocoa

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

2 cups of finely grated zucchini

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

1 tablespoon of soy milk

1/2 tsp of salt

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a large bowl
  2. Pour in oil, eggs, and vanilla, and mix until just combined.
  3. Add grated zucchini and stir through
  4. Pour mixture into greased baking tray, and bake at 170 degrees for about 30 minutes.

 

Vegan rice, quinoa and chia balls (gluten free)

 

Gluten, dairy, nut and egg free. Vegan

About 6 months ago, my 8 year old son made the choice to become a vegetarian. In a household that is gluten, dairy, nut and legume free, this presented a few challenges! Together, he and I have worked on a few new recipes that would suit our family, and this one has become a firm favourite!

These rice, chia and quinoa balls are extremely versatile. We’ve made little ones to serve with dipping sauce as canapés, large ones squashed flat to replace burger patties, medium ones to replace meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, or we just eat them with a side salad for dinner. You could also add other vegetables to the mix, like cooked peas or soy beans if they are suitable for your family.

We make a large batch, and the freeze the leftovers. This recipe is enough for about 20 balls.

Ingredients

3 cups of cooked brown rice
1 cup of cooked quinoa
2 carrots
2 zucchinis
2 tsp of salt (it sounds like a lot, but most of this is squeezed away)
3 tablespoons of chia seeds
9 tablespoons of water
1/2 – 1 cup of rice crumbs or other suitable breadcrumb
1 tsp of vegetable based stock powder if desired
Canola or olive oil to shallow fry

Instructions

  1. Finely grate carrots and zucchinis
  2. Sprinkle salt on the grated vegetables, and mix through well with your hands. Allow to sit for 10 minutes
  3. While waiting, combine the chia seeds with the water, and allow to soak.
  4. Squeeze as much of water out of the grated vegetables as possible.
  5. Combine rice, quinoa, chia seeds, vegetables (and stock powder if you choose) in a large bowl. Knead together with your hands until well mixed.
  6. Gradually add bread crumbs, while continuing to mix. You may need a little more bread crumbs, depending on how much water you were able to squeeze out of the vegetables. If you want to add peas or soy beans, add them at this point so they don’t get squashed. Add enough bread crumbs, that you can easily roll the mixture into balls. It will still be a bit sticky.
  7. Roll into roughly tablespoon sized balls.
  8. On medium heat, shallow fry until golden on both sides.

Enjoy!

Gluten free Apple and quinoa porridge

This simple porridge was a staple for me throughout winter, and I’m still enjoying it during spring. As an extra bonus, it makes an excellent second stage baby food.

Apples, vanilla and cinnamon provide natural sweetness. Eating the apples unpeeled and grated in this recipe ensures that the higher amounts of antioxidants and phenolic compounds in the skin of the apple are retained. I use a fine grater if using it for baby food.

I like to have mine with a handful of seeds on top, and possibly a drizzle of honey if I’m in the mood for something sweet, but I skip these if the baby is sharing some.
Ingredients:

1/3 cup of rolled quinoa
1 apple, grated
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 cup of dairy or calcium fortified soy milk (or preferred milk)
1 tbsp of pepita and sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon of honey if desired
Method:

  1. Combine quinoa and milk in a small saucepan. Simmer on medium heat, stirring regularly for 3 min.
  2. Add grated apple and cinnamon and simmer for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Serve sprinkled with seeds, and a drizzle of honey if desired.

 

 

Lemon Biscuits – gluten, dairy, nut and egg free

img_1066Need a quick afternoon pick me up? Try these yummy lemon biscuits with a cup of tea. Super quick and easy!

Ingredients

100g Nuttelex or other dairy free spread
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of caster sugar
Zest of a lemon
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tablespoon of soy or other dairy free milk
1 1/4 cups of gluten free plain flour

Method

Preheat oven to 190 degrees
Beat nuttelex, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
Sift flour and baking powder into nuttelex mixture
Fold in flour with a spatula
Gradually add enough of the milk to create a soft dough that isn’t too sticky. If it starts sticking to your fingers, add a little more flour.
Roll into approximately 15 balls, and flatten into discs
Bake for 8 minutes, until lightly golden