Anzac Biscuits – Gluten and Dairy free

It’s Anzac Day tomorrow. This morning the children and I talked about Anzac Day, what it means, and their great grandfathers who fought in WWII. We made some ANZAC biscuits to commemorate the day. We can’t be strictly traditional, because of the gluten and dairy. These come pretty close though! They are so yummy, I’m now wondering why I always wait for ANZAC Day to make them!

Ingredients

1 and 3/4 cups of Gluten Free Plain Flour

1/2 cup of desiccated coconut

3/4 cup of wheat free Oats (or suggested alternatives*)

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/3 cup of brown sugar

2/3 cup of Nuttelex or coconut oil

2 tablespoons of golden syrup

1 tablespoon of soy milk (or other milk substitute)

*Just a quick note about Oats – I buy Bob Red Mills Wheat Free Oats. There’s a bit of contention about whether oats are safe on a gluten free diet. My specialist and dietician have given me the okay to eat them. If you are unsure about whether they are safe for you, just replace them with the same quantity of rolled quinoa flakes or gluten free cornflakes.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, desiccated coconut baking powder and oats.

Melt the nuttelex in a smaller bowl, and stir in the golden syrup while it is still warm. Stir through the milk.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients.

Stir with a large spoon until combined. Roll into balls of roughly a tablespoon in size. Squash until they are about a centimetre thick.

Bake for 10 minutes. Biscuits will be crunchier as they cool down.

Enjoy with a good strong cup of tea!

Creativity, making things, and Chocolate Chip Cookies! (Gluten, dairy and nut free, of course)

imageI’ve been a busy bee lately. Multiple crafty projects, a watercolour painting of my daughter (as a mermaid, because she lurves them), an embroidery of my son, an oil painting for my neighbour, designing a new kitchen (I’m so EXCITED)…

Floral Bouquet, work in progress
Floral Bouquet, work in progress

Do you ever feel like your head is swirling with ideas, and you can’t get them out fast enough?

Creativity is a funny thing. I often find it comes in giant bursts. The ideas come rushing out, I start on multiple projects, and struggle to finsh things, because I’m so eager to start the next project. My family can always tell when I’m in a creative burst, because of the mess. I run out of space in my studio, and things start to make their way out to the lounge room, then the dining table… Sorry family!

Leo dreaming
Leo dreaming
Vintage Kimono Silk Birds
Vintage Kimono Silk Birds
Even the window is getting covered in my "works in progress"
Even the window is getting covered in my “works in progress”

 

To help tackle my lack of focus (or being focused on too many things), I’ve been writing lots of to do lists. They aren’t particularly ordered. More like automatic writing, because there’s just so many ideas I want to get down, before I burst. There is something so satisfying about to do lists. Writing one out, no matter how jumbled, always makes me feel like I’m starting to achieve stuff. Invariably, because I’ve got it all out on paper, things start to happen. I start to work my way through the list, ticking things off. And then cleaning ip the mess, as each project gets resolved…

It’s amazing what you can achieve if you have a list to work with!

Naturally, all this productive stuff requires sustenance…

Yum
Yum

 

These cookies are quick and easy to make. I often take them to birthday parties, so my children can eat something sweet when the cake comes out. They are also great for the school lunchbox.

Easy Peasy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups of gluten free plain flour
250g nuttelex
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
1 cup of caster sugar
Half a cup of the Chocolate of your choice. We use Sweet Williams, or Plamil dark chocolate.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Beat Nuttelex, vanilla essence and sugar together until light and fluffy. Using a spatula, stir through flour and baking powder, and then knead gently into a soft dough. If it feels a bit sticky, add another tablespoon of flour. You should be able to roll the dough in your hands without it sticking all over you. Mix through desired chocolate. I use about half a cup, chopped up.

Roll into balls, then squash a bit flat. Makes about 20 cookies.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until they just start to turn golden. If you like them crunchy, leave them for a couple more minutes.

They will last in an airtight container for about a week.

 

Virtuous Vegetable Soup – gluten and dairy free

I love cake. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with cake recipes, and have been eating a lot of it! So in the name of balance, it’s time for something a bit healthier.

This vegetable soup is a staple at my place. Wholesome, nourishing, and a good way to reset if you’ve been overindulging (did I mention cake?).

Gluten, dairy, soy, egg and nut free.

Ingredients

2 carrots
1 leek
3 stalks of celery
1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
1 big bunch of cavolo nero or kale, stalks removed, then roughly chopped
1 tin of borlotti beans (you can use pre soaked dried ones if you like, but I can’t be bothered most of the time)
3 zucchini finely diced
1 chunk of fresh turmeric
1 clove of garlic
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of vegetable stock powder or you can use a sprinkle of sea salt if you prefer
2 litres of water
Some chopped pancetta or bacon if you can’t stand the thought of being meat free for dinner (dear husband, I’m looking at you!)
Dried Chilli flakes
Squeeze of lemon

Instructions

Finely dice carrots, celery and leek. Place in a large pot, with olive oil. Simmer on low heat, until they start to caramelise.

image

Add quinoa, turmeric, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, water and stock powder/salt. If you have other veggies in the fridge that need to be used, you can throw them in too. Simmer on low heat, covered for about 20 minutes. Add the cavolo nero or kale, and simmer, lid on, for another 5 minutes.

image

If adding pancetta or bacon, finely slice, and then pan fry until crispy. Sprinkle on top of your bowl. I serve mine with a little dried chilli, and a squeeze of lemon.

Now that you’ve had a virtuous dinner, go and eat some more cake…

image

 

Rasberry and Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Mango Sauce

I love tapioca. It has such a strange, but comforting, gooey texture. It’s lovely warm, as a porridge, or if you chill it, it sets, a bit like jelly. Best of all, it’s very simple to make!

Today’s version is cold, because today is revoltingly humid (come on sydney, enough already! Summer is OVER!).

Ingredients

1/2 cup of tapioca pearls

1 375g tin of light coconut cream

1 1/2 cups of water

1 tablespoon of the sweetener of your choice (I used stevia, but maple syrup or sugar works)

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1/2 cup of fresh raspberries

1 large ripe mango

half a lime

 

Preparation

  • Place tapioca, coconut cream, water and vanilla into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then cook on low heat, gently stirring, for about 20 min (pearls will be clear when cooked). Remove from heat, and stir through sweetener and raspberries. The raspberries will fall apart and turn the pudding pink. (This is important, according to my 3 year old).
  • Chop the mango flesh and place it in the blender, with a good squeeze of lime. Blend until smooth.
  • Alternate layers of pudding and sauce in a jar or ramekin. Chill for at least an hour.
  • Enjoy

I actually prefer this for breakfast, but let’s face it, anytime is good for pudding!image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiced Orange and Coconut Cake

It’s a rainy cold day in Sydney today. A perfect day for baking! We had some friends over today, and one of their children also has allergies. Children with allergies often miss out on sweet treats, so I always try to make something safe and yummy, that everyone can enjoy.

Back in our pre allergy days, I used to love orange and almond cake. Deliciously orangey and moist, with a lovely density from the almonds, I’ve been trying to come up with an alternative for a while.

I first made this cake for our New Years celebration, and tried to cater for all of our families allergies. (There are a LOT of different allergies amongst the children). Baking egg free can be a bit tricky. Puréed fruit, a little extra oil, and some extra baking powder, works as a excellent substitute for egg. This cake is deliciously moist, with a lovely, very slightly bitter, orange flavour.

You’ll need a large bowl, wooden spoon, measuring cups/spoons and blender or stick blender.

Prep time: 1 hour 10 minutes (allow extra time for the cake to cool before icing)

Cooking time: 50 min

Gluten, dairy, nut, soy, legume and egg free. Vegan.

 

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups of gluten free self raising flour
  • 2/3 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of allspice
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable or coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • dairy free spread for greasing loaf tin

 

Drizzle Icing

  • 2/3 cup of icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh orange juice
  • zest of one orange

 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
  • Place orange in a sauce pan, and cover with water. Bring to the boil, and simmer for one hour.
  • In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and dried spices. Stir in brown sugar and shredded coconut.
  • remove whole cooked orange, and cut in half. Remove seeds, and put in the blender. Add in oil, coconut milk, vanilla essence, orange water and blend until smooth.
  • Make a well in dry ingredients, pour in wet ingredients, and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  • Pour into greased loaf tin, and bake for 45 – 50 minutes, at 170 degrees. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Mix icing sugar with orange juice, orange blossom water and zest. Drizzle over cooled cake.

 

 

image