Browsing Tag:

gluten-free

Dinner

Rootatouille

Roasted Root Vegetable Ratatouille with Nomato Sauce

We’ve been on Chef Steps again (one of my husbands favourite websites!)  after making the appletouille which was a huge hit I wanted to make something that was AIP compliant but also the whole family could enjoy.

As anyone on AIP knows you have to cut out all nightshades, which means no tomato sauce, so we’ve come up with our own version which is just as delicious.

Roasted Root Vegetable Ratatouille with Nomato Sauce

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients

  • 3 equally round beetroots
  • 3 zucchini
  • 3 purple sweet potatoes
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp pink salt
  • Olive oil as required

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 135oC

2

Peel the carrots, beetroots, purple sweet potato and zucchini’s

3

In a stock pot or similar, put all the end cuts including carrot peel and zucchini tops

4

Roughly cut onions and garlic cloves and put them into the stock pot

5

Add olive oil, salt and cook for 15-20 mins until softened

6

Using a mandolin and slice all the vegetables to approx. 2mm

7

Once cooked, place into a blender adding additional olive oil as required and blend until smooth puree (salt to taste)

8

Using the sauce line the bottom of a hard bottom skillet or enamel cast iron pan with lid with just enough to cover

9

Take your sliced vegetables and place them together and lay them around the pan in a circular pattern, one vegetable slice after each other

10

Cover with lid or parchment paper if no lid and bake for 90 mins

11

Remove and top with thyme and fresh parsley and extra olive oil if required

Notes

Try to find vegetables of similar size and shape

Healthy Treats

Appletouille

Appletouille

Another recipe inspired from Chef Steps.  This Appletouille definitely falls into the healthy treat variety!

Gluten and Dairy-free.

Eat with a dollop of yoghurt or ‘nice cream’, so good!

Appletouille

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • Apples (enough to fit chosen skillet)⠀
  • Coconut cream - 135ml ⠀
  • Coconut sugar - 1 tablespoon⠀
  • Cinnamon ⠀

Instructions

1

Use a mandolin and finally slice apples⠀

2

In a skillet (we used 8") you're going to use, place sugar and coconut cream and bring to the boil and remove from heat ⠀

3

Sprinkle with cinnamon ⠀

4

Lay sliced apples around skillet and baked for around 25 minutes at 135oC⠀

 

Appletouille

Lifestyle

Interview: Skye Abrahams of Packed

Packed Lunch

Founded by Mum of three boys Skye Abrahams, Packed is a Melbourne business supplying real food lunchboxes to children in pre-school to grade 3.

Launching in February, Packed only uses the best quality local produce and organic wherever possible.  A new menu is prepared each term based on seasonal ingredients and no additives, preservatives or refined sugar are ever used.

I caught up with Skye recently to find out more about herself and Packed.

How did the idea for Packed come about?

Packed has come about as a combination of a life-long passion for health and food, and noticing a gap in the market for truly healthy, sustainable lunchboxes. Packed will target Melbourne schools that either don’t have a tuckshop, or only have unhealthy options. I hear many parents complaining about the greasy corner milkbar without a single gluten free option and not a vegetable in sight. Parents deserve a day or two off the lunchbox treadmill, and the quality of their children’s lunches shouldn’t have to suffer in order to achieve this.

Will you be offering special dietary requirement options?

Yes! All our lunches are refined sugar free and free from additives including preservatives, colours and flavours. We also have plenty of gluten and dairy free options available.

Skye Abrahams

Skye Abrahams

What does “sustainability” mean to Packed and why should parents care?

I really didn’t want to create a take away option that put a further strain on the environment. We’re early days at Packed, so we’re currently operating using Greenmark compostable packaging, but the plan is to operate using a fleet of stainless steel lunchboxes that we collect and wash each day from school (watch this space!). Parents are more time poor than ever before, with many families having both parents working. It’s easy to see why readily packaged foods are so popular. I want to provide a convenient option that eliminates packaging entirely. Many schools are promoting “nude food”, so it’s great to be able to supply a lunch that is in line with this philosophy.

What’s your approach to feeding a growing family?

In a nutshell: Just eat real food. I have overcome some serious fussy eating in our family (think plain carbs only). I find consistently offering a broad, healthy, colourful spread of food and discussing the benefits of various food with the children has really helped broaden their palate. We also talk about the detrimental affects too much sugar and “fake food” full of numbers can have on our body. I notice behavioural side effects following high amounts of sugar and especially artificial colours, so I always use that as an opportunity to talk about how that food made them feel. I don’t like to demonise any food, so I try not to get too uptight about what the boys might eat at a party or a friend’s house, but educating them on the benefits of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins and having these foods at the centre of their diet is my mandate.Guac

What’s your boys favourite lunch?

They all have different favourites! The older two love fresh fruit, especially berries. I craved raspberries during pregnancy and it’s easy to see where that came from! I caught one of them trading pocket money for the youngest’s left over egg and lettuce sandwich, so that is evidently a current fave! My youngest loves a hot meal, so in the cooler months I send leftovers in a thermos for him. I’m hoping to be out at schools with a pot of warm soup as part of our “Packed” lunch service in the winter months!

What’s the one food you couldn’t live without?

Another tricky one! I’m going to say avocado. How good are avocados?! Fortunately, all three of my boys like avocado, so that is a super easy lunch if I’m short on time. So full of vitamins and healthy fats to fill them up. I remember travelling overseas when my youngest had just started solids. Not wanting to rely on packet food, but not having access to a kitchen, bubs enjoyed many a mashed avo, mashed banana, natural yoghurt, or squashed peach!

To find out more about Packed click here

 

Skye's Simple Guacamole

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe haas avocados
  • 1 lime, peeled
  • 1/4 red onion (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt

Instructions

1

Thermomix or food processor:

2

Add all ingredients & mix 5 secs speed 5.

3

Top with chopped coriander if you're a fan

4

Otherwise mash avos with a fork, juice lime & stir through the rest

5

Serve with tacos, or as an after school snack with veggie sticks

Lifestyle

Well Nourished – Georgia Harding Interview

Well Nourished

I would like to give a very warm welcome to the lovely Georgia Harding from Well Nourished.  Georgia is a Naturopath with over 20 years experience living in sunny Queensland with her two  lovely children and husband.

As a background, I stumbled across Georgia, via her Well Nourished Lunchbox Facebook group (which has amassed a huge following!) and swiftly purchased her Well Nourished Lunchbox e-book which has now become a firm favourite in our household.

Fun question to start with! What was the last book you read?

Con Iggulden Conqueror Series – a series of five books that basically tell the life story of Genghis Khan, they were brilliant. The most fascinating part for me is learning how the Mongols survived trekking the harshest climate consuming mostly milk (from their horses and goats), dried meat and root vegetables (while they lasted) and when desperate, they nicked an artery and drank the blood of their mares. Even the heaviest reads come back to food for me – ha ha!

What was your inspiration for starting Well Nourished?

Definitely my kids. I really wanted to help families to feed their kids well. The predictions for the long term health and wellbeing of this generation is pretty dire. Starting my website was my way of sharing my experience as a Naturopath and my passion for making whole foods utterly delicious to make a difference.

How have your own health problems shaped the way you eat?

I’ve always eaten pretty well, I was very lucky to be raised by a very health conscious mum. I’ve been seriously ill twice in my lifetime and I suppose this has actually forced me to look beyond food to heal. On both occasions stress, unresolved grief and pushing myself beyond reasonable limits contributed a lot to my health decline. Eating well comes very naturally, I love cooking – but managing my stress, putting myself first occasionally is a work in progress!

Has your philosophy on food changed since having children?

I suppose I’ve been forced to loosen up a bit. I found with my first child I was very strict around food which was okay when she was little but when she began school and socialising with other kids I had to back of a lot in order for her to develop a healthy relationship with food. Kids are human, it’s normal for them to want what others have so I feed my family very well when I’m in charge, but at parties and sleep overs, they make their own choices (with my guidance and ongoing food education of course). When they don’t make good choices, we talk about how they feel and now my daughter is 12 (and has gorged herself on junk plenty of times) she is now very aware of how food makes her feel and I’m so proud of how she is able to make very healthy choices these days. Paves the way for her being able to self regulate as an adult.

What top 3 tips would you give to families looking to transition to a more wholesome way of eating?

  1. Start slowly, choose one meal or food group and focus on that. Fill your pantry and fridge with mostly whole foods so there is less temptation to choose processed meals and snacks.
  2. Talk to your kids (and spouse) about the importance of making changes and how eating whole food helps their body and brain to be stronger, smarter etc;
  3. Get them involved, ask for their feedback and support. Encourage them to help you when shopping and cooking – kids who feel they have had some involvement in their meal are way more likely to eat it.  

What advice would you give to parents whose children have food intolerances/allergies but are going through a fussy eating stage?

All kids will go through a fussy stage at some point. It’s important to never give in to it and substitute a healthy whole food with nutritionally void food (because ‘something is better than nothing’). I understand that it is tough, but in my experience preventing food fussiness is easier than reversing it and if you give in once, your kids learn that they choose (where as you choose what and when, they choose how much). I have a whole library of information and strategies written on this topic which I’m hoping to release this year.

What’s your go-to family meal?

We eat such a varied diet – the upside of having a compulsively creative cook in charge!! If I’m feeling lazy though it will be some kind of simply cooked protein and a big salad.

What exciting things have you got lined up in 2017?

My website is in the process of being rebranded and rebuilt. I’m also developing an online library (of mostly podcasts) to help busy parents to raise food loving kids (and banish food fussiness). I’ve teamed up with a fabulous psychotherapist to share this fabulous info with loads of actionable strategies to really get kids eating and loving whole foods like my own do. Also a small pictorial cookbook of easy, whole food recipes that even little kids can cook from. Busy year!!

Take 10% off ‘The Well Nourished Lunchbox’ eBook until the end of February with the code ‘NEWYEAR’ at checkout (normally $24.95). 

Please note as an affiliate of Well Nourished I will receive a small commission from the sale of each e-book that is made via my website.  This helps to cover some of the running costs with maintaining my blog and also go towards some of Gracie’s medical expenses.  

Three-ingredient-chocolate-brownie1-980x600

THREE INGREDIENT BROWNIE

Print Recipe
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 medium sized, very ripe bananas (2 cups approx.)*
  • 250g (1 cup) nut butter (any kind you like, such as peanut butter, almond butter, hazelnut butter etc;)
  • 60g (½ cup) cacao powder (you can use less if you prefer a less intense chocolate flavour)

Instructions

1

Preheat your oven to 180℃ and line a small brownie tin with baking paper.

2

Mix all of the ingredients together in a powerful blender or food processor (Thermomix, 15sec, speed 5).

3

Pour into the lined tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until firm to touch.

4

Allow to cool and slice into squares. These can be frozen for up to a month.

Notes

*The more ripe the bananas, the sweeter these will be. As there are no other sweeteners ripe bananas are a must.

Dinner

Overnight Lamb

Overnight Lamb

I’m a one pot wonder kind of girl so this recipe really hits the spot, even better you can cook it slowly while you sleep!  It’s extremely tender because it’s slow cooked on a low temperature for 12-13 hours and is covered to prevent evaporation and drying out.

 

Overnight Lamb

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: 12 hours

Ingredients

  • 2kg Leg of Lamb
  • Coconut Milk (enough to cover piece of meat)
  • Small pinch of saffron

Instructions

1

Pre-heat oven to 110c

2

In a heavy oven-proof pot place some saffron

3

Trim excess fat off lamb, but leave some

4

Place leg of lamb in the pan and cover with coconut milk

5

Cover with baking paper, foil and then lid

6

Place in oven for 12-13 hours

Notes

Tip: Use the leftover coconut milk, to make coconut rice.

Health

Healthy Eating on a budget

This year my husband and I are trying get back on track financially.  Last year we had a few hiccups so 2017 for us is getting back on our feet and trying to work towards setting some kind of budget to work with.  We’re a single income family which has taken some adjustment, especially for myself the past couple of years.

Flowers

Daddy bought his girls some flowers

Looking through all our bills it’s pretty clear that one of our largest spends is on food (as well as supplements – don’t get me started on those costs!).  We tend to shop at various places to get different things and it all adds up, $50 here and $100 there…you end up losing track of what you’ve spent until you get a huge credit card bill at the end of the month.

Flemington Markets

Flemington Markets

As Grace and I have different but similar special dietary requirements at the moment, the main thing that we all eat A LOT of is vegetables and fruit, like ridiculous amounts!

So a couple of nights ago my husband said that he would get up early regardless of how many times Grace woke up throughout the night and leave around 5am on Saturday morning to go and shop at Flemington Markets! Well Grace must have a sixth sense as she woke up three times during the night and only wanted Daddy!!

So my tired husband arrived home a couple of hours later, high on caffeine buzzing about all the amazing produce he had bought for $146!! It took a good couple of hours to sort through and put away in the fridge and pantry, but we didn’t mind.  I’m 100% certain if we had bought all this at the shops it would have cost double the price.

Was it worth it?  Totally!  Yes it took more time and my husband had to get up extremely early but the savings were incredible and justified. Eating healthily and continuing to be able to do so is a priority of our family, so we will definitely be making this a regular occurrence.

Would love to hear if anyone else regularly shops at their local Markets, do you make large savings?  Is the produce better quality?

For more information on Flemington Markets, click here.

Flowers

 

 

 

Dinner

Quick home-made tomato sauce

My husband bought a tray of lovely heirloom tomatoes from Flemington Markets.  Some of them were already pretty over ripe so we decided to make a quick and easy tomato sauce which can be used as the base for many other delicious meals.

Even better it’s cheap to make, you can control the sodium levels and no refined sugar like the majority of store bought sauces contain.

Quick home-made tomato sauce

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes of your choice (enough to fill up a baking tray)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Dry Oregano
  • 3 Cloves of garlic
  • Fresh Parsley (optional)

Instructions

1

Pre-heat oven to 180C

2

Slice tomatoes in half. On a lined baking tray place tomatoes cut side up

3

Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, oregano and drizzle with olive oil

4

Place whole cloves of garlic throughout tray

5

Bake for approx 25 minutes, until tomatoes look roasted

6

Remove tomatoes and garlic from tray and place in blender, add fresh parsley stem and all

7

Blend to consistency of choice

Notes

Freeze in batches to make easy weekday meals

Breakfast

Stewed Fruit with Quinoa flakes, Nuts & Seeds

Stewed Fruit

So simple and so delicious!

I like to make this and top it with Coconut Yoghurt for Gracie, but you could use it for topping on pancakes and ice-cream as well.

The smell when it comes out the oven is so delicious, it’s mouth-watering!

I like to add Quinoa flakes, nuts and seeds to add more nutritional weight to her breakfast.

Quinoa is a grain-like seed.  It’s one of the only known grains that provides all the essential amino acids needed by the human body.

Pepitas are extremely nutritious, they’re high in protein and a good source of as magnesium, manganese, copper and iron.

 

 

Stewed Fruit with Quinoa flakes, Nuts & Seeds

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 over ripe nectaries
  • Handful of strawberries
  • Half a cup of macadamias
  • Half a cup of pepitas seeds
  • Vanilla essence
  • Coconut oil
  • Grounded cinnamon

Instructions

1

Pre-heat oven to 180C

2

Chop the fruit up roughly and place in oven proof dish

3

Blitz nuts and seeds in food processor and mix with fruit

4

Cover the fruit, nut and seeds with coconut oil, mix well and sprinkle cinnamon on top

5

Pop in the oven for approx 10 minutes and once the fruit has soften, sprinkle Quinoa flakes and mix well for another 10 minutes

Notes

Change up your fruit, nuts and seeds to your preference and to meet special dietary requirements.

Breakfast

Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding

Delicious and nutritious – I know that rhymes!  Chia puddings are so simple and versatile to make.  I like to add a nut butter layer with a dollop of Coconut Yoghurt with ours.

Chia seeds are amazing!  They contain a very high concentration of ‘Omega 3’ fatty acid and they’re high in protein and dietary fibre!

Below is a basic recipe for making one of Gracie’s favourite breakfasts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHIA PUDDING

 

Chia Pudding

Print Recipe
Serves: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup

Instructions

1

For a smooth pudding I blitz all the ingredients together in a blender and pour into a cup. Otherwise blitz everything up apart from the chia seeds for more texture.

2

Can be left overnight to set or a couple of hours

Notes

Can omit or add more sweetener. Mix up with different fruits. Add cinnamon.

Lunch

Italian Chickpea Pancake – Farinata

chickpea pancake

My husband loves making these, they have a delicious soft and custardy texture.

You do need to prepare these a few hours in advance, but the actual cooking time is around 10-15 minutes.  The beauty of this recipe is that it’s a one bowl wonder.

We sourced this recipe from Serious Eats , where my husband spends A LOT of time scanning for new ideas!  He loves their scientific approach to cooking food.

Italian Chickpea Pancake - Farinata

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250 grams finely ground chickpea (Besan) flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 660 grams water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Picked rosemary leaves, for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

1

In a mixing bowl, combine chickpea flour and salt. Gradually add water, whisking constantly, until a smooth, thin batter forms. Let stand, covered, at least 4 and up to a maximum of 8 hours

2

Preheat oven to 280C and position oven rack in second position from top. If you have a pizza stone or sheet pan, set it on the rack (it will help crisp the farinata from below, but isn't required).

3

Pour olive oil into well-seasoned large cast iron skillet and swirl to fully coat bottom in an even layer. Using a spoon, scrape any foam from surface of batter and discard. Stir batter to mix well, then pour into skillet. Stir gently to swirl oil on top of batter

4

Season all over with black pepper and sprinkle with rosemary leaves, if using.

5

Change oven setting to grill. Set skillet on pizza stone or sheet pan or on the oven rack if not using a stone, and cook until farinata has just set, no longer jiggles, and is browned all over, about 11 minutes. If your grill cycles off, you can prop the oven door open with a utensil to keep it on the whole time.

6

Let farinata cool slightly until set. Eat warm or at room temperature.

Notes

We used a 8" cast iron pan.

Italian chickpea pancake. Dairy, Gluten & Egg-free