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.

 

 

Apple, Carrot and Oatmeal Bread (gluten free, dairy free and nut free)

I’ve had a few people request this recipe, so here it is! This yummy bread is delicious for breakfast. It makes a great alternative to banana bread for those who are sensitive to Amines. You can vary the sweetness according to taste.

Gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, nut free, can be made soy free and egg free

Ingredients

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
2 green apples, peeled and grated
1/3 cup of melted nuttelex or coconut oil
1 cup of soy milk or other milk substitute
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 eggs (this recipe will work well for egg allergies as it’s quite moist. Substitute your preferred egg replacement)
2 1/2 cups of gluten free Self Raising flour
2/3 cup of wheat free Oats (I use Bobs Red Mill Uncontaminated Oats). Substitute with the same quantity of rolled quinoa if you can’t tolerate oats)
2 teaspoons of gluten free baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/3 cup of brown sugar (optional)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Grease a loaf tin
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. If you’d like a sweeter loaf, add the brown sugar. It is still nice without, for those with less of a sweet tooth.
Beat the two eggs together in a second bowl. Add vanilla, grated carrot and apples, melted nuttelex and milk to the bowl. Mix with a spoon.
Pour wet ingredients into dry, and mix with a spoon.
Pour into a greased loaf tin, and bake for 45-50 minutes. Loaf is cooked when a knife comes out of the centre clean.

This will store for up to a week in the fridge, in an airtight container. I like it best slightly warmed or served at room temperature.