Vanilla Almond Pikelets (Hotcakes)

Light and fluffy pikelets (or you might know them as hotcakes?!)  –  are a very popular weekend breakfast in our house.

These ones are so light, fluffy and fragrant that they get absolutely demolished …. by all 6 of us!

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (half wholemeal) OR 1 1/3 cups plain GF flour mix
  • 1/2 cup almond meal OR a seed meal mix
  • 2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk, OR other milk of choice
  • 30g light olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba (liquid drained from can of chick peas) OR 1 whole egg OR 1 medium, overripe banana, well mashed
  • Optional- 1 tbsp coconut sugar or maple syrup*
  • Optional – 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • toppings of choice to serve
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (optional)

*We don’t add any sweetener when we use a ripe banana in the mix, but taste test and adjust according to your preference.

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In a large bowl whisk together all of your dry ingredients (Speed 4, 10 seconds). Then set aside.

Mix together the oil, milk and vanilla and whisk until well combined. If you are using the maple syrup, aquafaba, banana or an egg, add in at this step. (Blend all together on speed 5 for 8 secs)

Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and whisk well to combine. (Speed 4, 10 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

Fold through the blueberries (Use speed 3 for 15 seconds), if using. Vanilla, almonds and blueberries go so well together!

Pour the batter into a hot, lightly greased frying pan, wait until bubbles appear on the surface, then flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.

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Add your topping of choice and serve warm.

These ones also freeze and defrost really well. I tend to make a double batch and then freeze 2 together, sandwich style, with vegan butter or sunflower seed butter in the middle for an easy, low mess snack -perfect for lunchboxes!

 

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Enjoy … We sure do!

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For Easter we have tuned our pikelets in to bunny butts! So cute as they run away!

A bigger one for the body and 2 smaller ones for the feet – decorate with your imagination.

We like Bananas, dates and seed butter as a great combo, or if you’re a serious sweet tooth, whipped cream and dark chocolate!

Doughnut muffins

They were a really easy (and VERY popular!) school holiday treat to bake with the kids, and I have done my best to make it a little healthier than the original, which you can find here.

See below the recipe for a gluten free Coeliac friendly version, an option with a healthy boost and mini doughnuts.

Also see below the recipe for how to make mini baked doughnuts with this recipe.

  • 200g spelt flour (half wholemeal)
  • 90g coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 egg worth of egg replacer (OR 3 tbsp aquafaba OR 1 whole egg)
  • 1.5 tsp GF baking powder
  • 65g light olive oil/tasteless coconut oil, melted
  • 240g milk of choice
  • Melted Nuttelex/Vegan butter to top
  • extra coconut sugar and spice to top (mix in a 10:1 ratio)

In a large bowl place the flour, sugar, salt, spice, egg replacer and baking powder. Use a whisk to combine the dry mix. (Speed 4, 8 seconds)

In a separate smaller bowl whisk together the oil and milk. Add in aquafaba or whole egg at this point if using. (If using a thermal cooker, add the liquids to the dry mix here)

Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and whisk vigorously to combine mix until smooth. (Speed 4, 8 seconds)

Place into lined muffin pans and bake in a preheated 180C oven for about 20 minutes.

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As soon as you remove the muffins from the oven, brush them with melted Nuttelex and sprinkle with a mix of sugar and spice.

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Makes 12 …. did not last long in my very busy, hungry house!! Now I make double batches and freeze 😉

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Enjoy!!!!!

To make these Coeliac friendly replace the spelt flour with 1 1/4 cup of a gluten free flour mix plus 1 tsp psyllium.

For a healthier, more filling version, I replace 50g of the spelt flour with 50g of nut/seed meal. I also replace the oil with a very well mashed medium overripe banana. I also like add in an optional 1 tbsp of hemp seeds.

To make these into mini doughnuts you need an appropriate tin, very well greased.

Place the mixture into a piping bag and pipe the mixture into the tin.

Cooking a moderate oven for about 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack.

For a spiced doughnut, brush the tops with a melted vegan butter and sprinkle with the same sugar and spice mix as above.

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For an iced doughnut, melt some dark chocolate of choice, then drop the doughnuts into it and then sprinkle with your choice of decorations. We use the Hoppers 100s & 1000.

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Enjoy!

Salsa Chicken

This is now a long term family favourite in our house!

It was adapted from a recipe on the Slow Cooker site I belonged to, called ‘My Slow Cooker Recipes!!!’. *Check out the notes at the bottom of the recipe of you want a stove top version.

  • 6 large chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 2 tbsp Mexican Seasoning
  • Mexican salsa (2/3 of this quantity)2-July 2013 117
  • 1 x 420g tin corn kernels, drained*
  • 1 x 420g tin  kidney beans, drained
  • 1 x 420g tin black beans, drained
  • 1 bag plain corn chips
  • Grated Cheese of choice, optional
  • 1 tbsp coconut cream (use the solid part at the top of the tin), optional
  • 1 400g tin refried beans, optional**

*If you don’t wish to eat the corn, replace it with equal quantities of extra beans.

**The refried beans are great if you are using this dish in any kind of wrap as it makes the sauce thicker.

Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Sprinkle over the seasoning, then add the salsa and all of the beans.

Replace lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

If you are using corn, stir it through about an hour before the end.

Just before serving, stir though the coconut cream if you want a creamier sauce.

Serve on a bed of corn chips and sprinkle with a cheese that fits your diet.

(If you are avoiding corn chips, I have really enjoyed a scoop of the meat and veg mix topped with 1/2 a sliced ripe avocado and a sprinkle of fresh coriander). Or serve on wild rice.

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This makes a large batch, enough for about 8 adult sized meals. I freeze the left over half of the chicken mix and it defrosts really well.

If you don’t want as much spice, use the mild version of taco salsa.

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*Stove top method: Place chicken in a hot oiled pan (preferably use a pan with a lid). Brown one side then sprinkle over the seasoning, brown the second for a further 2 minutes and then cover with the salsa.

Place lid on the pan and simmer very gently for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken and dice.

Place the corn and beans in the hot salsa mix, stir through and return the lid, cooking for 2 minutes before returning the diced chicken to the pan and mixing through.

Stir through the coconut cream if desired.

Enjoy 🙂

P.S you can change this one up a bit by using gravy beef in place of the chicken.

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The no corn option with added refried beans makes a great filling for Burritos, Enchiladas and Tacos!

What’s in Jessie’s kitchen?

This post is to help give you an idea of the kinds of things you might need/want in your kitchen if you are a family with multiple food allergies who is looking for what you CAN eat!

After a horrible mouse plague when we lived in the desert (we’d sometimes kill more than 20 in a night inside!!), my husband agreed that everything needed to be airtight – so you can check my fridge and pantry out below:

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Nuttelex: We use Nuttlelex (a vegan butter) for the dairy free option. But we try and keep it to a minimum. A separate knife is always used here.

Butter: Plain butter without additives for the non dairy free.

Milks: Full cream cows milk for Peter and the boys, and Ellie and I use mostly oat milk but also rice and almond milk, depending on what it is we’re cooking/drinking.

Yoghurts: Homemade dairy and homemade soy.

Eggs: 5 of the 6 of us can eat eggs now (YAY!). These mostly come from friend’s chooks.

Cheese: Dairy Cheese and Bio Cheese

Dates: Medjool dates – I buy them in bulk as they are the base for soooo many things we make.

Dips and spreads: Cream Cheese (soy and dairy), sunflower seed butter& hummus,

Herbs/Spices: minced garlic, ginger and chilli, coconut aminos

We always have loads of fruit and vegetables on hand for easy snacks.

Frozen stuff: I am lucky enough to have a big freezer. It is spilt in to 6 labelled drawers (yes, I’m a massive nerd!).

Drawer 1: Breads and scrolls, pizzas and savoury muffins. These are in zip lock bags, to pull out easily for lunch-boxes.

Drawer 2: Baked goods and sauces. These are all the cakes, muffins, pikelets, frozen pastry or raw pie crusts etc. Also home-made gravies (in reusable squeezey pouches), jars of salsa, apple sauce and tablespoons of aquafaba.

Drawer 3: Meat. I buy for a month at a time based on our menu and portion it out and label it before freezing.

Drawer 4: Pre-made meals. I cook in bulk and freeze the left overs.

Drawer 5: Frozen fruits, herbs. Peeled, overripe bananas, peeled and seeded avocados and mangoes, berries, and extra herbs from my garden.

Drawer 6: Frozen Veg – peas, corn, spinach, green beans etc.

In the pantry we have:

Flours: Lots of different kinds but we largely use spelt or a GF mix. 20151023_212005

Sweeteners: Honey, maple syrup, golden syrup, rice malt syrup, coconut sugar, also icing sugar for cakes.

Carbohydrates: We use mostly brown or wild rice, but also quinoa, corn cous cous and a mix of GF pasta, spaghetti and Slim Pasta.

No egg: an egg replacer made by Orgran

Cereals: Mostly we have porridge made with plain rolled oats, but we also make our own muesli (with a mix of seeds and dried fruits) and have some Freedom Foods cereals (at the moment we have the Rice Puffs). Also rolled quinoa and polenta. Plus GF weetbix and Oat bran flakes.

Condiments etc: salt and pepper, spices (galore!), tomato, bbq, (homemade) sweet chilli sauce and coconut aminos. We use balsamic, red wine, white and apple cider vinegars, Massel stock powder (chicken, beef and vegetable style). The oil we use is mostly olive oil but also occasionally coconut oil or rice bran. I make my own Mexican Spice mix and French Onion Soup mix. Nutritional yeast features heavily too.

Spreads: Honey/maple syrup, vegemite and of course there is always a huge jar of Sunflower Seed Butter

Dried fruits: Sultanas apricots and prunes are the staples.

For baking: GF baking powder, bi-carb, glucose syrup, vanilla bean paste, cocoa/cacao.

Seeds and nuts: the regular seeds are sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds. Our regular morning tea snacks are a mixture of almonds that I dry roast, dried chick peas and dried broad beans, as well as a small sprinkling of dried fruit. In winter we have a soup mix that I make up with red lentils, yellow and green split peas and barley. Safe nuts in our house are almonds and walnuts.

Crackers and biscuits: Multi-grain rice/quinoa squares, and wholegrain sa-ka-ta rice crackers. Biscuits are normally home-made but we keep a back up packet of Macro’s ginger nuts too.

Tins: Beans and legumes, coconut cream and milk, bbq baked beans. Crushed tomatoes. Tins of salmon.

Special treats: Organ makes a good custard powder. Mini marshmallows or Sweet William chocolate or choc chips, also FreeFrom Cake mix is often on standby. Popcorn kernels – so cheap and easy!!

If they are available, for all that I buy, I tend to go for organic, preservative free and Australian grown/made where ever possible.

 

Tasty Tacos

I have never been a mince fan … and my family and friends harass me constantly for it. ‘ But it’s just so versatile’, ‘what if I just grind up a steak for you?’. There’s just something about the texture that makes me feel all squeamish.

Anyway, it turns out that I have a husband and children who adore Mexican food … hello minced meat.

Since our diet is already restricted, I figured that I needed to try and learn to eat mince so that there were some more options open to us – I find I can manage it when it is in a largely veggie based meal like this one, or in our bolognese.

Tacos are are MASSIVE WINNER in our house so we hope you enjoy them too!

**If you are after a vegan option for your tacos – check out below the main recipe for how we make the switch.

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My veggie loving little sous chef

  • 400g mince (beef, turkey or chicken)
  • 2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 finely diced brown onion
  • 1 400g tin brown lentils, drained and rinsed
  • Taco Shells
  • 1 large jar Mexican salsa
  • 2 tbsp Mexican Seasoning
  • 1 fist sized piece of pumpkin
  • Toppings – spinach, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, corn, cheese etc etc

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion til soft. Add the mince and brown.

Then add the seasoning and salsa. Then add the lentils and mix well.

Finely grate the pumpkin.

Add the pumpkin to the meat mix and stir to combine.

Bring to a gentle simmer for about 20 mins until the meat is cooked and the veggies are soft..

Heat Taco shells according to pack directions and while they are heating, prepare all salad ingredients.

Serve with mince mix at the bottom, salad next and sprinkle of the cheese your diet allows. It’s a great ‘make-your-own’ meal for the kids too.

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**The Vegan option:

Omit the minced meat and add in 300g of finely diced firm mushrooms, use them at the same place in the recipe as the mince goes.

Then when you are adding in the lentils, add 1 more additional tin of drained and rinsed lentils.

Make sure you use a suitable plant based cheese – and that’s it! Super easy and very tasty!

This recipe makes enough meat mix for 2 family dinners for us – we freeze the other half in an air tight container – perfect for when you neeeeed tacos next time 😉

Extra Tip: If you need or want to go grain free – then using large lettuce leaves as your taco cup works really well, and you still get a lovely crunch (and messy hands!). This is also a good option if you are soy free as I’ve yet to find pre made shells without soy.

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Enjoy 🙂

(Not so) Fried Rice

‘The best dinner in the whole world of ever time’ …. This is how Will describes my fried rice.  So nice when you get something right!!

This is a fairly regular feature on our menu because; it’s a meal that everyone loves, is easy to make, can be easily adjusted to cater for allergies, you can make most of it in advance, you can make it in bulk, it freezes well for emergency dinners later on and it is a muuuuch healthier option than the Fried Rice you’d get in a restaurant! What is not to love?!

  • 2 cups brown rice*
  • 4 cups of finely chopped veggies (peas, corn, carrots and bean shoots are our regulars)
  • 200g sliced mushrooms
  • 3-4 diced chicken thighs
  • 6 rashers short cut bacon, diced
  • finely grated, fresh ginger, to taste
  • 1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (Massel for a store bought variety)

We have recently been increasing the veg to 6 cups and leaving out the chicken, to make this a cheaper meal. To make it a completely vegan meal we simply leave out the meat and double the mushrooms.

*We prefer to eat Brown rice, but if your family prefers white, go with Basmati.

 

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The night before (if possible, but even a couple of hours before is ok), cook the rice so that it is just tender, rinse and drain it well, then spread it out evenly in a baking dish and refrigerate.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion, chicken and bacon and cook for a few minutes. Then add the ginger and aminos. Cook until the chicken is browned, then add in the sliced mushrooms. Continue to cook, stirring, until the chicken is cooked through.

Separately, steam veggies and keep aside.

Just before dinner (if you’ve made up to this point in advance), reheat meat in the frying pan, add rice,  stock and warm over low heat for a couple of minutes. Stir in meat, mushrooms and veggies.

If your diet allows, you could also mix through some fried and chopped up egg.

It takes a few minutes to all warm through. This quantity easily makes 2 meals for all 6 of us.

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Chicken Risotto

My kids aren’t terrific at eating pieces of meat, so meals that have everything mixed in together usually go down well – and this risotto is no exception. It gets scoffed down by everyone – in fact, after a torturous few months it was the very first meal that my Harry ate when he was 9 months old!

It’s easy to make and easy to adapt with whatever veg you have left and lastly (and possibly best of all!) it sticks together well, so it stays on spoons when little people are learning to feed themselves 😉

See below the recipe for the vegan option

  • 5 cups chicken stock (for an instant variety I use ‘Massel’ stock powder)
  • 70g nuttelex/vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or about 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 cups steamed veggies (green beans and corn or pumpkin and broccoli are popular combinations in our house, but you can use whatever your family enjoys)
  • Approx 300g coarsely chopped cooked chicken.

Bring the stock to boil in a saucepan

In a large frying pan, melt the butter and oil and cook onion, garlic and thyme, stirring until onion is soft.

Add rice and stir for about 1 minute, ensuring the rice in coated with the herb mix.

Add approx 1/2 cup of stock at a time and stir consistently over a low/medium heat until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy and just tender.

Remove from heat and stir through the chicken and veggies. Serve immediately. Feeds 5-6 adults.

If your diet allows it, you could also stir though 80g of finely grated parmesan cheese before the chicken. Or use 1/4 cup of Nutritional Yeast for a cheesey flavouring.

For a vegan option for this dish, remove the chicken and use 2-3 cups of sliced button mushrooms. Don’t wait until the end to add them in though. Add them to the meal about 2 minutes after the onion and garlic go into the pan.

Total cooking time will be about 25-30mins.

I’m not sure about your house, but in mine, the half hour before dinner is filled with bathing, dressing and wrangling 3 hungry little people, so standing in front of the stove for 30 mins doesn’t work very well!

So I’ve experimented a bit and I’ve found that an hour or 2 before dinner, when I have a bit more time, I can follow all steps through until there is about 1- 1 1/2 cups of stock remaining in the saucepan. Turn off both pans and leave them covered. Then just before dinner, bring the stock to the boil and put the risotto on a low heat and finish adding the stock before following the final steps.

This one isn’t really suitable for freezing. If you do have leftovers, you could reheat it the next day, but add a bit of stock (a couple of tbsps) before you zap it.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!