Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mango & Passionfruit Jam



So with summer almost here, a lot of the beautiful summer fruit is in season now.  Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of mango as a fruit - but in this jam, it tastes absolutely divine.  Give it a go - it's very easy to make!

Ingredients (makes about 500ml):
- Flesh from 2 mangoes, roughly chopped
- Pulp from 3 passionfruit
- 1 green apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 200g raw sugar (or rapadura)
- Juice from half a lemon

Method:
Add all ingredients to a pot and simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring often.  Test on a cold plate to see if the jam is set.  If not, cook for an extra 10 minutes at a time, testing the jam after each 10 minute block.  Pour into sterilised jars when done. 

I cooked mine in the Thermomix by adding all the ingredients into the TM bowl and cooking 30min/100deg/sp1, testing the jam and cooking for another 30 minutes before the jam was set.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spaghetti Carbonara



One of the things I really miss since finding out about my food intolerances is dairy... Thankfully it's only mild intolerance so I can tolerate having a small amount of dairy on occasion.  You can make this recipe dairy free by substituting the cream with non-dairy milk but I saw some Barambah organic cream at my local health food store, so decided to make this recipe with dairy cream and have my once in a blue moon dose of dairy!

Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 onion  
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 rashers nitrate free bacon
- 2 tbsp ghee (or other cooking fat)
- 300g free range chicken thigh fillets, cubed
- 2 tbsp gluten free cornflour
- 100g mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup preservative free white wine (I used Happs brand)
- 1/2 cup water or stock (I used chicken bone broth)
- 1 cup cream or milk of choice
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Sea salt and pepper to taste

To serve: cooked spaghetti (we used wholemeal spelt) and cheese (we used Blue River sheep's milk cheddar)

Method:
1. Melt cooking fat in a pot on medium heat.  Add finely chopped garlic, diced onion and diced bacon.  Cook stirring for a few minutes until starting to brown a little.

(Thermomix: add garlic, onion and bacon to bowl.  Chop 3sec/sp5.  Add cooking fat and cook 2min/100deg/sp1)

2.  Add chicken and cornflour and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes.

(Thermomix: add chicken and cornflour and cook 3min/100deg/rev+sp1)

3.  Add mushrooms, wine, stock/water, cream/milk and stir to combine.  Turn down the heat to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.

(Thermomix: add mushrooms, wine, stock/water, cream/milk and cook 10min/100deg/rev+sp1)

4.  Season with salt and pepper and stir through parsley.  Serve.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mick's Grain Free Brekky - My Fave Ever!



So those of you with a Thermomix will recognise this recipe as CADA (coconut, apple, dates, almonds) but this is my hubby's take on it to make it just the way I like it!  I came home from my pilates class this morning and this is what he made for me for brekky - the flavours of CADA with just the 4 ingredients are pretty amazing - but the addition of our little tweaks to the recipe takes it to a whole new level!  Best of all, it takes barely any time to prepare this deliciously nutritious brekky!  To make more serves, just increase the ingredients to however many serves you would like to make.

Ingredients (serves 1):
- 1/2 apple or pear, quartered
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup raw almonds (or other nuts)
- 1/4 cup organic desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon

To serve - milk (I used almond milk), fresh fruit (cherries, strawberries and blueberries in mine)

Method:
Pulse all ingredients in food processor or Thermomix until finely chopped and serve with milk and topped with fruit!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Spicy Mince with Veggies and Brown Rice



This is a great weeknight dinner and super nutritious.  It reminds me a bit of chilli con carne.  In fact that's exactly what I tell my kids it is because chilli con carne is their latest obsession and if I say those words, they are sure to eat it!  We especially love it with brown rice - just ensure you've soaked the brown rice for a few hours prior to cooking to aid with digestibility... soaking also lessens the cooking time of the rice! 

Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp cooking fat (I used duck fat)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- 500g beef mince (grassfed if possible)
- Assorted diced veggies - I used 1 carrot, 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels, 1/2 cup soaked chickpeas, 1/2 cup diced red cabbage
- 100g tomato puree
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water or stock (I used chicken bone broth)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste

- To serve - brown rice, soaked for a few hours and then cooked as per packet directions (I used about 300g) and also some sliced avocado

Method:
1.  Cook diced onion, garlic and cooking fat on medium heat until softened.  Add spices and cook, stirring until fragrant.

(Thermomix: add halved onion and garlic clove.  Chop 5sec/sp5.  Add cooking fat and cook 2min/100deg/sp1.  Add spices and cook 1min/100deg/sp1)

2.  Add mince and cook, stirring, until browned.

(Thermomix: add mince and cook 3min/100deg/rev+sp1)

3.  Add remaining ingredients except parsley and bring to the boil.  Turn down the heat to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.   Stir through parsley.

(Thermomix: add remaining ingredients except parsley and cook 10min/100deg/rev+sp1.  Stir through parsley)

4.  Meanwhile, cook brown rice as per packet directions.  I cooked mine in the Thermomix - fill the bowl to 1L mark, put soaked and rinsed brown rice into the rice basket and cook 30min/Varoma/sp4.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Strawberry Jam



I have never made my own jam much because the last time that I made it, I cooked it way too long and it turned into a solid blob!  So now I have plucked up the courage to give it another go and it turned out really good!  I thought I would start with your standard strawberry jam.  It has a bit of a tangy flavour to it because I didn't add anywhere near as much sugar as what most jam recipes tend to use.  Plus using rapadura makes it that bit more healthy.  Next time I want to try making jam with summer fruit so stay tuned for that!

Ingredients (makes about 400ml):
- 500g strawberries, washed, hulled and roughly chopped
- 1 green apple, peeled, cored, roughly chopped
- 1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthways
- Juice of half a lemon
- 200g rapadura sugar

Method:

Add all ingredients to a saucepan.  Bring to the boil and reduce heat to simmer for around 40 minutes, stirring often.  Check to see if the jam is set (put a small blob of jam onto a cold plate - when set, it will be thick in consistency and not move much when the plate is tilted).  If not set, cook for another 10 minutes at a time and check again.  I cooked mine a total of 60 minutes.  Pour into a sterilised jar and store in the fridge.

If you have a Thermomix, you can cook your jam on 100deg/sp2 (with rice basket on top of the lid instead of the MC) following the instructions above.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Peaches & Cashew Cream Cake



This blog looks like it's becoming a bit more of a dessert blog than anything else lately!  I'm going to have to ramp up some savoury recipes soon I think just to balance things out a little.  In  the meantime, here is a recipe for a yummy, no-bake, super easy cake recipe that is dairy free and grain free.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Base:
- 1 cup organic desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 5 fresh Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp coconut oil

Cashew cream layer:
- 2.5 cups cashews, soaked in water for 4 hours and then drained, rinsed
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- Squeeze of lemon or lime juice

Peach jelly layer:
- 425g can peaches in juice, pureed
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1.5 tbsp additive free gelatin powder (I used Great Lakes brand which I bought online)

Method:
1.  Grease a springform tin with coconut oil.

2.  Make base layer.  Combine all base ingredients in Thermomix or food processor and process until finely chopped (5sec/sp6 in Thermomix).  Tip into prepared cake tin and press down evenly.  Refrigerate while you make the next layer.

3.  Make cashew cream.  Combine all cashew cream ingredients in Thermomix or high speed blender and blend until smooth (2min/sp6 in Thermomix), stopping and scraping down the sides a couple of times.  Pour into the cake tin onto the base.  Smooth out and refrigerate for 2 hours until the cashew cream layer is firm.

4.  Make peach jelly.  Dissolve the gelatin in the hot water.  Add pureed peaches and stir well.  Add cold water and stir well to combine.  Pour into the cake tin on top of the cashew cream layer.  Refrigerate until set.  Serve.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chocolate Fondants



So initially I tried to make these fondants white chocolate, dairy free and gluten free.... however... that didn't quite work out as planned!  So I tried again and made them with cacao powder and with spelt flour which is a lot more predictable, I find, than gluten free flour.  And they worked a treat!  However of course spelt isn't gluten free.  Anyway they turned out great - you can tell just by looking at the photo can't you? 

Ingredients (makes 4):
* You will need 4 ramekins, each approximately 1 cup capacity
- 3/4 cup cacao butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2/3 cup rapadura sugar
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 2  large free range eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup spelt flour

Method:

1.  Grease the ramekins with coconut oil and lightly dust with spelt flour

2.  Melt together on low heat the cacao butter, coconut oil, and rapadura sugar.  Take off the heat.

(Thermomix: add cacao butter, coconut oil and rapadura sugar to TM bowl and melt 4min/70deg/sp2)

3.  Whisk in the cacao powder, one tablespoonful at a time and also add the vanilla.
(Thermomix: with blades running on speed 3, add the cacao powder, one tablespoonful at a time through the hole in the lid and then the vanilla)

4.   Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.

(Thermomix: with the blades running on speed 3, add the eggs one at a time)

5.   Whisk in the spelt flour, one tablespoonful at a time.  

(Thermomix: with the blades running on speed 3, add the spelt flour one tablespoonful at a time)

6.  Pour the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins.  Refrigerate for 1 hour. 
7.  Preheat oven to 190 degrees.  Bake the fondants for around 10 minutes.  Take out of the oven and loosen by running a sharp knife around the edges of each ramekin (take care not to burn your fingers - be sure to use an oven mitt!).  Turn out onto plates to serve.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Strawberry & Coconut Custard



I have been madly studying for exams so stress levels are high, cooking time to try new recipes is lacking and as a result, my blogging has also been pretty infrequent!  I'm not quite finished with exams just yet but thought I would get a quick and easy blog in while I can this weekend!  Here is a super easy custard recipe that kids and adults will love.  It is dairy free, gluten free and of course additive free.  Not to mention naturally sweetened.  Once cooked, I separated the custard out into 4 little containers that my kids will get in their lunchboxes this week.

Ingredients (makes about 1L):
- 250g punnet strawberries, washed and hulled (puree if not using Thermomix)
- 400ml coconut cream
- 200ml water
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 free range eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tbsp gluten-free cornflour (I used organic to ensure it is non GM)

Method:

Dissolve the cornflour in a little water and pop all the ingredients into a saucepan on low heat, whisking constantly for a few minutes until the mixture thickens a little.  The custard will thicken more as it cools.

OR

If using Thermomix, add strawberries and pulse a couple of times to chop.  Add remaining ingredients and cook for 7min/90deg/sp4.