Sharing – A Box Full of…

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Today marks the second year anniversary of the launch of “gluten free and the Australian teenager”, so I thought it was appropriate that I revisit my first blog:

Sharing – A Box Full of….

My intentions and focus are still the same as it was two years ago:

to share ….

recipes, handy hints, experiences,  travel tips, eating out advice, products, shortcuts, taste tests

and all that goes with a gluten free lifestyle.

During my two years of blogging:

I have amassed an amazing number of recipes and narrowed down many gluten free products accepted  by my teenager’s tastebuds

I have put together a recipe book with family favourites for my KJ, for when he leaves home

I have become a better cook because I have been forced to experiment with different ingredients.

And I have witnessed  my gf son become comfortable with his gluten free lifestyle and be confident in making good and safe choices when away from home.

To celebrate this anniversary I will share a recipe I found in a magazine at a doctor’s surgery and which I had photocopied for me by the receptionist.

White Wings Gluten Free Melt-and-Mix Chocolate Cake Recipe

Ingredients

250 g butter, melted

3/4 cup cocoa, sifted

1 1/3 cups (295g) caster sugar

3 eggs,lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups (180g) almond meal

1 1/2 cups (225g) gluten free self-raising flour, sifted

3/4 cup (180ml) milk

250 g dark chocolate, broken in pieces

1/2 cup (125ml) single pouring cream

70 g butter, cubed

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.  Grease and line a 22 cm round cake tin.

In a large bowl, place butter, cocoa, sugar, eggs, almond meal, flour and milk and whisk until combined.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour or cooked when tested with a skewer.

Allow to cool completely in the tin.

To make the chocolate fudge icing, place the chocolate, cream and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside to cook completely.

Beat the cooled icing with electric beaters until thick and fluffy and spread over cake with a palette knife to serve.

Enjoy!

A few sweet items

Macs Cookies Menz Honeycomb Peanut Brittle

A gluten free shopper is ALWAYS on the lookout for a ‘new’ product and with a few minutes to spare today before an appointment, I had a quick browse of The Reject Shop in Stockland Townsville.

The Menz Honeycomb is available in caramel, milk chocolate and dark chocolate making decisions difficult.

The Mac’s shortbread and biscuits had been discussed on Coeliac Qld facebook page, but this was the first time I had seen the product in the shops.

Also available are Candy Corner Chocolate Coated Peanuts and Chocolate Coated Sultanas.

At $2 to $3, these are priced to please any gluten free shopper.

Grain Free Quiche Base

Quiche Base

A perfect alternative to a pastry base especially if you are short on time

Ingredients

150 g almond meal

150 g parmesan cheese grated

1 large egg

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Method

In a bowl combine ground almonds, grated cheese and salt.

Beat egg and add to mixture until well combined.

Press mixture into base of quiche dish.

Bake in 170 C oven for 12 -15 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool.

ADD your favourite quiche mixture, return to 180 C oven and bake for a further 20 – 25 minutes.

Go to http://fabulouslyfreefrom.wordpress.com for more exciting gluten free recipes

What has three years taught this gluten free cook!

Life is good and life without gluten is… the new normal .

GF Food (1)

In the beginning, and every coeliac disease sufferer can tell you at least the month and year of the beginning of their gluten free life, the transition to a gluten free diet is chaotic.

There is no one easy one-size fits all collection of recipes.

There are no guidelines to warn you about how the transition will affect you emotionally, socially and mentally.

There is no simple list of packaged gf products that the individual will ‘like’.

There is no longer the luxury of only shopping at one supermarket.

It is said that “time is a great healer” and this is certainly true for coeliac disease sufferers.

Time does heal your body because gluten free food is your medicine.

Time does heal your soul as you centre your life around this major life changing shift.

And in time, you master your gluten free life and you find that your life is not defined by coeliac disease.

What have I learnt!

It is three years since by teenage son was diagnosed with coeliac disease and two years since I launched my blog so what has the last three years taught me as a gluten free cook.

1.  Be creative

Colour Serve

2. Be resourceful

Colour

3. Experiment with colour and texture

Colour and Texture

4.  Make food interesting and enticing and colourful

Peanut Cookies and

5. Insist on  honesty when trying new food and as a blogger write with integrity and always acknowledge the owners and sources of recipes you use

Good without glutenSweet TreatsTaste Gluten Free

Reflections

I clearly remember our first gluten free cookbook with unappetising photos of food all in shades of beige, off white, light brown and white. I thought, how am I going to sell gluten free food if it all looks so boring and colourless.

I clearly remember the unpleasant smell of our first store bought gluten free meat pies. I tried to lie my way through how tasty the pie was, but this lasted less than 2 minutes.  From that point forward if my son rejected food on taste, look, texture or smell, then I listened and acknowledged his need to take control of his gf food preferences.

And I clearly remember the emotional roller coaster ride of those first 18 months to 2 years.

Community

I have learnt that community is integral to a coeliac disease sufferer. Family,  friends, teachers, doctors, bloggers, cookbook writers…

I am grateful to the many people who support my son and his gluten free diet and those friends, family members and bloggers who continue to provide me with new gf recipes to try.

Life is good and life without gluten is… the new normal .

Pesto

 

Teamed with Glutino Bagel Chips or home made Corn Chips,  this Basil Pesto is worth the effort.

Ingredients

1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leavesPesto

50 g pine nuts, toasted

50 g parmesan cheese, grated

2 cloves garlic, peeled

125 ml olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Method

Place all ingredients into the chopper bowl of your stick blender and process until smooth.

Spicy Fried Minced Pork

If you are looking for inspiration for the 500 g mince you have on hand, then give this recipe a try.

IngredientsSpicy Fried Minced Pork

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 shallots, finely chopped

2.5 cm ginger finely grated

500 g pork mince

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons gf soy sauce

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

1 tablespoon kaffir lime leaves

10 cherry tomaotes diced

2 tablespoons coriander chopped

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic, shallots and ginger and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the pork and continue stir frying until golden brown.
  3. Add in the fish sauce, soy sauce, curry paste and lime leaves and stir fry for a further 2 minutes on high heat.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in coriander and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve on a bed of rice vermicelli noodles or serve in a lettuce cup.

A Little Bit of History – Coeliac Disease

celiac

‘Knowing that you are a coeliac disease sufferer is much more empowering and healthier than not knowing and being seen as a malingerer’

My mother gave me a book recently and said that there was some information for me in it, about coeliac disease.  It is about natural healing and naturopathy and she said that I might it useful.

The second and third sentences in the article on Celiac Disease are interesting :  “It (Celiac Spruce) is characterized by a congenital inability to absorb fats which are split up. With careful diet up to the age of six, normal function may develop by excluding all fats.”

Mention is made of a diet of gluten free cereals and a  ‘brown rice gruel or porridge to which has been added raw carrot juice’ and that white flour products are on the taboo list.

The book was first published in 1952 so maybe I can overlook most of what the writer says.

But I got to thinking about exactly when Coeliac Disease was first discussed and identified which lead me from one google search to another.

An interesting and comprehensive article by Dr Guandalini from University of Chicago Celiac Centre gives the history.

All I can say is that remarkable progress has been made in the  twentieth and twenty first centuries and that knowing that you are a coeliac disease sufferer is much more empowering and healthier than not knowing and being seen as a malingerer.

Cheesecake Brownies

Cheesecake Brownie

I just can’t get my sons to eat any form of baking with the word cheesecake in the title or the words cream cheese in the ingredient list.  In their opinion, there is a problem with putting a savoury albeit a cheese into a sweet dish.  So I look for occasions to make cheesecake recipes such as a recent morning tea I attended.

Here are two cheesecake brownie recipes worth mentioning: Decadent Cheesecake Brownies : I keep on going back to  the gluten free scallywag for recipe inspirations and should Jasmine publish a Volume 4 Magazine/Recipe Book, I will be quick to place my order.  Love her Chorizo Macaroni N Cheese, Raspberry Carob Nib Teacake and her Raspberry Melting Moments.

CSR Cheesecake Brownies : CSR is my go to gluten free icing sugar and you can find many versatile baking recipes on their website.

Avia’s Bean Soup

Avias Bean Soup (1)

My five year old granddaughter is visiting for a few days and so I am busy preparing some of her favourites:

ricotta gnocchi, riche quiches, banana muffins and Avia’s Bean Soup.

The better prepared my meals are, the more time I have with my granddaughter.

Avia’s Bean Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

1 leek, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

¼ cup tomato paste

200 g speck, finely sliced

2 chorizo, sliced

6 cups chicken stock

1 – 2 cups water

1 x 420 g cans cannellini beans, drained

100 g sweet potato, finely diced or shredded

200 g green cabbage, finely shredded

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Heat oil in a large stockpot.  Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, leek and sweet potato.  Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.

Add paste and stir for 1 minute.

Add speck, chorizo, stock and enough water to cover the ingredients.

Bring to boil, cover and simmer stirring occasionally for about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Add  beans and cabbage.  Cook stirring for about 5 minutes or until cabbage is wilted.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with crusty gluten free bread.

Macadamia Hummus

Love the idea of using macadamia nuts as an addition to a hummus recipe.

macadamia hummus

The hummus recipe is one of the “Trio of dips Australian style” with the  Macadamia Pesto and Macadamia Tapenade recipes on my to make list.

Moreish Macadamia Hummus

In a food processor, process and purée the following ingredients:

1/2 cup macadamias, roasted

2 cups chickpeas, drained

2 tablespoons macadamia oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons water ( I used liquid reserved from drained chickpeas)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

10 medium basil leaves

salt and pepper to taste

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