Basic Bikkies In A Hurry – 2 ways!

So – the food landscape looks pretty different at the moment.

People are panicking, the shelves are bare in many shops and we are all a little unsure about what lies ahead.

Well to start – please take a deep breath. Let’s try to keep calm. Wash your hands well, stay away from others if you’re at all unwell and keep an eye out for reputable updates.

And please – be kind. Be patient and take care of those who are vulnerable or isolated.

It terms of food – let’s get back to basics!

Here are some simple bikkies you can make for lunchboxes or afternoon tea, in a hurry, with your pantry basics. Plus they fit vegans and most food allergies too!

There is a vanilla almond version and a choc muesli version

The basic recipe for both starts with:

  • 125g butter/plant based butter
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar (if you’re a sweet tooth you can boost this to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 egg OR 1 quantity of egg replacer

Preheat your oven to 180C

Allow the butter to soften to room temperature.

Whisk into the butter the sugar and egg until smooth and well combined.

For the vanilla almond version, now add in:

  • 1.5 cups plain flour (OR 1 1/4 cups GF flour and 1 tsp psyllium)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (OR seed meal)*
  • 1.5 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Fold all dry ingredients into the butter mixture until well combined into a stiff dough.

*1/2 cup of roughly crushed cornflakes works well here too.

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For the choc muesli version, now:

Place 1/2 cup rolled oats (OR shredded coconut) and 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds into a blender/processor/nutribullet etc and blitz into a coarse flour.

Then, to the butter mix, add:

  • 1 1/3 cups plain flour (OR 1 cup plus a flat tbsp GF flour and 1 tsp psyllium)
  • 1.5 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 rounded tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • the ground oat mix
  • a handful of diced dried fruit (sultanas, cranberries, dates, apples all work well)

Fold all dry ingredients into the butter mixture until well combined into a stiff dough.

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For both versions of the bikkies, once you have the stiff dough, use a teaspoon of dough to form small balls.

Lay on a lined baking sheet and press down gently. Leave some room for spreading.

Cook for about 15 minutes, or until well risen and golden. They will be soft to touch when you remove from the oven but will harden as they cool on the tray.

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Each batch makes about 18-20. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to a week

 

 

Simple Mushroom Soup

You already know how much I love soup!

With Mr 11 having just got his braces on, I have had a weekend of making soft food … and soup certainly made the list!

As well as being quick and inexpensive to make, nutritious and filling, allergy friendly and comforting – it is also very kind to sore mouths!

  • 1 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 1 brown onion
  • 4 medium sticks celery
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 450g mushrooms (I like portobello)
  • 1 tsp each fresh chopped rosemary and thyme
  • 1 tbsp (40g) tahini (or seed butter to keep it sesame free)
  • 1/2 cup (40g) nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp pink flaked salt
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1.2L boiling water

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Heat oil in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add in finely diced onion  and cook for 2 minutes. Add in finely diced celery and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or starting to soften and get a little colour.

Add in finely diced carrots and combine well. Add in herbs plus salt and pepper, stir well and cook over medium heat for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are golden.

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Slice and add in the mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally for a further 5 minutes until mushroom are reducing and releasing their liquid.

Add the chopped zucchini to the saucepan and then the boiling water. I start with 1.2L and then add more if it’s needed.

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Bring to a gentle and simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes or until the carrot squashes easily with the back of your stirring spoon. If it still crunchy then you won’t get a smoothly blended soup.

Add in the tahini and nutritional yeast, stir, and then use an immersion stick blender to blend until smooth.

Add in more water and blend again if it is too thick.

Taste test and add a little more salt if required. Serve hot.

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Delicious …. but I just can’t make it pretty!

Serves 6.

If macros are important to you – here are the details per serve:

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Enjoy

J x

Baked Cauliflower, Broccoli, Miso ‘Bread’

I think will be a recipe that divides you!

I adore it and my husband is totally won over (despite the way he looked at me when I first told him about it!). But I think it might be the worst thing he’s ever heard of, according to my dad!

Where will you sit I wonder? Are you game to give it a try?!

Lots of people choose not to eat traditional bread, because they are wary of carbohydrate levels, or their bodies don’t respond well through either allergies or intolerances.

Me? I love bread. I don’t eat it often, but when I do, I relish it! Seeded sourdough rye is my favourite!!! Especially with avo ….yuum!

So why this recipe then? Well I have seen recipes around for wraps or bread sticks or pizza bases using cauliflower (like this one …  but too much dairy for us) and you know that I LOVE anything that involves cauliflower!

I love to include a variety of veggies in our meals and since there is more and more information around about the potential benefits of fermented food, I’ve been playing more with Miso paste.

I think it’s quite possible that the outrageous health and healing claims that abound about the miracle properties of fermented food could be over-stretching it! But it does seem likely that there is certainly some health benefit to these foods. Since, due to allergies, cabbage is right out for us (no kimchi or sauerkraut here!), yoghurt and miso are our go-to ferments.

The recipe isn’t going to replace your morning toast but it is a great option if you need a naan bread type option for curries or if you want to change up your lunches a bit.

  • 350g cauliflower
  • 150g broccoli
  • 1/2 cup (20g) Nutritional yeast
  • 40g white miso paste
  • 2 medium eggs

Wash the cauliflower and broccoli and let it drain before patting it dry – you don’t want any extra moisture in this recipe.

Put it in to the food processor/blender/thermo machine and process until fine (Speed 4, 10 seconds, scrape down and repeat)

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Add in the nutritional yeast and miso and process again until the miso is well combined (Speed, 4, 6 seconds)

While the machine is still processing add in the 2 eggs through the top chute and continue to process.

It won’t initially look like enough egg … but keep processing (on Speed 4 or 5) for a little longer – it will come together!

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Spread the mixture out onto a large, lined baking tray. It needs to be even and fairly thin spread – about 3 to 4mm thick. Then place in to a preheated 180C oven

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Cook for about 20 minutes before removing from the oven and gently scoring into 8 pieces – this make it much easier to flip and helps with even cooking.

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Flip the pieces over and return to oven for a further 10 minutes. Until golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on tray for 10 minutes.

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Serve warm or cold.

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Our favourite way to eat it is slightly warm, and layered with a bit of tinned salmon or topped with some avocado and tomato. Yum!

If you aren’t using this all straight away, it does not freeze well, but it does keep well in the fridge for a couple of days – place some kitchen paper in the air tight container to help absorb any moisture and then reheat gently.

**If you don’t have a food processor, or similar: Grate the veg as finely as you can, mix the yeast and miso well, then whisk the eggs well before adding in and keep stirring until you bring it all together

If Macros are important to you, here are the details for 1 slice, that is 1/8th of the recipe:

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Enjoy …. and let me know if you were brave enough to try!!

 

J

Egg Wraps

A couple of months ago I saw Dr Michael Mosely’s idea of using what is essentially a very thin spread omelette base to use as a substitute for a grain based wrap.

Pretty cool if you need to avoid gluten (several of us). Or if you need to keep an eye on your carbohydrate intake (Me thanks to PCOS).

Except 1 single egg wasn’t really enough for a meal for my husband or I so, to make a more filling option that gives a decent vegetarian source of protein with your meal … this is how we make ours:

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • pinch flaked pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian style herbs, or 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
  • optional: small spray of olive oil

Whisk the eggs together, then add in all the other ingredients and whisk again until well combined and frothy.

If you’re not sure about how non-stick your frying pan is, then give it a little spray of olive oil and set to a medium heat.

Pour in the egg mix and swirl around the pan until it is evenly distributed over the whole base.

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Allow to cook gently for about a minute, then test that the side of the egg are well cooked, slide a spatula underneath to the centre and then flip it over to briefly cook the other side.

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Remove from heat and lay on plate. Eat warm or cold.

Treat it like a normal wheat based wrap – We fill ours with a variety of salad and it keeps us full of ages – plus … it’s really delicious!

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You can make several in advance and store them in the fridge for a couple of days – lay a paper towel between each one for storage.

Enjoy!

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If Macros are important to you … are are the details for just the wrap – you will need to account for your own fillings:

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Pear, Pomegranate & Date Overnight Oats

Every year in January our extended family gathers at the beach for breakfast to remember my Grandad on his birthday.

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It’s always a bring and share affair; fruit, savoury muffins, bacon and eggs, pancakes … And I’m pretty well not allowed to attend without bringing some form of fruity overnight oats.

This is the one I took this year.

It’s a super simple way to make a delicious, filling, summer breakfast when you are short on time in the mornings (ok – so every morning then?!).

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large very ripe green pear, grated
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • 6 medjool dates, quarted
  • Small handful of dry roasted almonds (or sunflower seeds), roughly chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp each pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds
  • Several mint leaves, torn

Place the oats, milk and cinnamon in a bowl and mix together. Cover and place in the fridge over night, or for at least 2 hours.

In the morning, fluff up the oats with a fork, then grate the pear and stir it though.

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Top with the fruit, nuts and seeds and then mint and serve.

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Add a spoon of your favourite yoghurt (dairy, soy or coconut) if you’d like too.

Serves 8

Enjoy 🙂

Fragrant Stewed Apples (and the best ever apple sauce!)

Such simple comfort food!

We often wind up making this recipe when the apples (or pears!) we’ve bought are really floury or soft but we don’t want them to go to waste. My biggest little one is very excited whenever this recipe appears. He has Oral Allergy Syndrome and reacts quite badly to raw apple, but cooked he can handle it!!

Like most of my recipes I take the simple (lazy?!) option!

As well as taking less time, leaving  the skin on the fruit is terrific for the added fibre and nutrients. Very simple, and you don’t need to add any extra sweeteners.

  • 6 apples (whichever kind you like)
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/4 cup water

Thermal Cooker Method: Core and slice the apples, place them in the machine, sprinkle over cinnamon and cloves. Then use a peeler to remove the yellow layer only of the lemon. Add the strips to the top of the apples.

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Add in the water and set for 15 minutes, speed 1, ST.

Stove top method: place all of the ingredients into a large sauce pan, cook, stirring frequently, with the lid on in between stirring. Will take about 15-20 minutes on the stove.

If you want a sweeter fruit desert, add in a handful of sultanas during the last few minutes of cooking.

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Place in an air tight container in the fridge and use for up to a week. Remove the peel and cloves before serving.

If you want a most delicious, fragrant, thick apple sauce instead, follow the same steps as above, then remove the lemon rind and either transfer to a blender or set a speed 4 for 15 seconds, scrape down and repeat.

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How can I use stewed apples?

  • Eat them on their own!
  • Mix it with yoghurt for breakfast or dessert
  • Use it as a topping for your soaked overnight oats
  • Add it to your cereal
  • Add in some roasted, crunchy nuts and have it for an afternoon ‘pick-me-up’
  • Serve it as a side to a soft tea cake

And the sauce?

  • Perfect if you’re doing baby food
  • Mix it through yoghurt
  • Use it as an egg or sugar replacer in cakes and baking (check out my Apple, Pumpkin and Oat muffins, or my Maple Cinnamon Weet-bix slice)
  • Use it with you next pork roast or pulled pork burgers.
  • Freeze it in ice cube trays so you can grab it out at short notice
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Delicious with yoghurt for dessert!

Enjoy 🙂

Cauliflower fritters

I love having a few different breakfast options, especially ones that help me to get in my veggies! These gorgeous fritters are gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, a good source of fibre and protein and just 2 of them contains over 90% of the RDI calcium intake for woman 😲 and just quietly … They’re really yummy too 🤤 Mr 11 stole 2 before I even had them all on the plate!

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  • 430g cauliflower
  • 2 packed cups spinach
  • 2 medium sticks celery
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup almond meal OR any flour of choice
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped herbs – thyme and rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried garlic flakes
  • 1 tsp pink salt flakes
  • a few grinds of pepper
  • olive oil to fry

Finely chop and steam the cauliflower until it is soft. Drain any water, transfer to a large bowl and mash – don’t go so far as to puree it!

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Finely chop your spinach and celery, add to the cauliflower mix and fold together until combined.

Mix together all dry ingredients, including herbs and add to the veggie mix. Fold together until combined.

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Whisk the eggs together and then add to the veggie mix. Fold though until well combined.

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This bit gets a little messy …. use a good handful of the mixture to form a patty and then place in to a lightly oiled, medium heat frying pan.

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Cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown and then turn to cook the other side for another 3 minutes.

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Makes 8-10 depending on the size of your patty. Today I made 9.

They are delicious warm, or cold and they keep for a couple for days in the fridge so you can gently reheat them in the microwave for breakfast on the go or even a filling lunch at work.

Eat them on their own, dip them in some natural yoghurt …. or my personal preference is to stack them and top them with some creamy avocado and cherry tomatoes! Yum!

I haven’t tried making these ones egg free yet – but next time I’ll have a go at binding them with tofu and then I’ll update! In the mean time if you need an egg free veggie patty –these are delicious!

Enjoy 🙂