Leek, broccoli and herb soup

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Yay! It’s soup weather!

I love soup. So much so that I started a “Soup Club” at our workplace last Winter, and we blogged the recipes on the Opensource Soup blog.

There is nothing more nourishing than eating – and preparing – a beautiful soup. And they don’t have to have a vast number of complex ingredients, or take a long time to make either.

This gorgeous soup recipe is from Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics blog. It has lovely fresh green vegies and herbs in it, so it’s good, good, good for you!

Leek, broccoli and herb soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped (you might want to remove the stringy bits on the outside of the celery before chopping)
  • 2 broccoli heads (stems included), roughly chopped
  • 1 leek halved lengthways and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups homemade vegetable stock (or good quality gluten and dairy free bought vegetable stock)
  • handful mint, coarsely chopped
  • handful parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk (this is optional, but I added it and recommend it)
  • handful slithered almonds and additional parsley to garnish (you can lightly toast the almonds if you like) and ground black pepper if desired.

These roasted tamari pepitas and sunflower seeds also made a delicious vegan garnish. Another good option is grated brasil nut.

Method:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and add the chopped leek, onion and garlic.
  2. Fry over medium to low heat for 5-6 minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add the chopped celery and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped broccoli, then pour the vegetable stock in.
  5. Bring to the boil, then add the chopped mind and parsley, and sea salt to taste.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a blender and add the coconut milk (or add the coconut milk and use a hand held blitzer thingy in the saucepan) and blend the soup to your desired consistency. I like to leave a bit of texture in my soups, but you can blend it smooth if you prefer.
  8. Reheat if required, then ladle into bowls, garnish with the slithered almonds, parsley and pepper.

I hope it warms the cockles of your heart as much as it did mine!

The gorgeous green veggies frying away, they smell divine… yum!

Roasted tamari pepitas and sunflower seeds

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I’m a big snacker.

Apparently when I was little and our neighbours used to take care of me for a day, I would gradually eat my way through a container of dried fruit and nuts that my mum would leave with me (in between playing of course). I think this formed my snacking habit, and love of dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

This snack was recommended to me by my naturopath who admits she finds raw pepitas and sunflower seeds “boring”. I actually like them raw, but I also love tamari, so I love the idea of combining them.

They are great as a savoury snack, or can even be used as a garnish on a curry, or soup such as this leek, broccoli and herb soup.

What is tamari?

Tamari is a Japanese-style soy sauce, usually made wholly from soy beans, so it’s gluten free (whereas “regular” soy sauce often has wheat in it).

Roasted tamari pepitas and sunflower seeds, or “Pimp my pepitas!”

Ingredients:

  • Equal amounts raw pepitas and sunflower seeds, e.g. 1/2 to 1 cup each
  • Tamari

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˙C.
  2. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
  3. Combine the pepitas and sunflower seeds, and spread them over the baking papered tray.
  4. Drizzle the tamari over the seeds. Try to make sure each of the seeds has some tamari on it, but don’t try to coat or soak them. I think I put a tad too much on mine… lucky I love tamari! 🙂
  5. Place the tray in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, check how they are going and smelling. Use an egg slide to turn the seeds over on the tray, and cook for another 5 minutes. The time for these will depend on your oven, so if they smell cooked earlier (you know that delicious roasted nut/seed smell?) then remove them.
  7. Remove from oven once cooked and allow to cool, flipping as required with the egg slide to ensure they don’t stick to the baking paper.
  8. Once cooled, store in an airtight container (if you don’t eat them all first!)

Hazelnut and lemon thyme muffins

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I have gotten used to not having biscuits and cakes as much, but sometimes it’s really nice to have a good (healthy) biscuit or muffin with a coffee or as a snack.

This recipe for hazelnut and lemon thyme muffins is another from the My New Roots Holiday Reader Recipe Challenge PDF download on the My New Roots food blog and was submitted by Courtney.

They also use fresh herbs, which I love! (Just need to find something to do with the rest of the lemon thyme now… any suggestions…?)

Despite the honey, they do have a bit of a savoury edge to them due to the lemon thyme.

Please keep in mind that hazelnut meal is pretty expensive, and this recipe does not make many muffins, so it is a bit of a treat.

Hazelnut and lemon thyme muffins

Makes about 6 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups hazelnut meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder or bicarb soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves (or regular thyme leaves if you can’t find lemon thyme)
  • 2 organic free-range eggs
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, barely warmed (or other oil of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180˙C and line muffin tin holes with squares of baking paper.
  2. Mix the hazelnut meal, salt, baking powder (or bicarb soda), nutmeg, and lemon thyme leaves in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil and honey until they come together in a uniform mixture.
  4. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until they are combined, then scoop the mix into the lined muffin tin, dividing the batter evenly between the 6 muffin holes.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool, or enjoy warm. And you will enjoy them 🙂

Gluten and dairy free “Anzac” biscuits

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Yes I *know* Anzac Day was a while ago… but we were travelling at the time, then were moving house, so I only just got a chance to make these babies.

On a side note, what was memorable was that we were actually travelling from New Zealand back to Australia on Anzac Day, so got to be in both countries on that special day.

While you can make these biscuits at any time of year, Anzac Day really is a good reminder/excuse to make them, and they are so simple and tasty.

I’ve called my recipe “Anzac” biscuits, as to make them dairy and gluten free, they are quite different from regular Anzac biscuits. I also like to add a few extra things in them (and reduce the amount of sugar in them) to make them healthier.

Gluten and dairy free “Anzac” biscuits

Makes approximately 12 biscuits.

I tend to double the below to make a double batch, or I aim for 25, so that I can have 1 to “test” then 2 dozen left.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice flakes
  • 3/4 cup desiccated (or shredded) coconut
  • 1 cup plain gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 1/2 cup Nuttelex
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

I also added to my mix:

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon linseeds

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160˙C and line a baking tray with baking paper (how awesome is baking paper!?)
  2. Combine all dry ingredients together in a bowl EXCEPT bicarb soda (this includes any extras such as the seeds), and form a well in the middle of the dry mix, ready for the syrup mixture.
  3. Combine the Nuttelex and golden syrup in a small saucepan and heat on the stove top until the Nuttelex melts into the golden syrup.
  4. Combine the bicarb soda and boiling water, stir it so it fizzes, and – this is my favourite part – add it to the melted Nuttelex and bicarb soda. Please note, this will make the syrup mixture expand in size, so make sure the saucepan is large enough to accommodate it.
  5. Pour the syrup mixture into the well you made in the dry ingredients and mix all together to form the biscuit mix.
  6. Form the mix into small balls in your hands, and flatten them slightly before placing them on the baking tray.
  7. As the mix is gluten free, they will be slightly crumblier than the glutinous kind, so place them gently and push them back together with your fingers or spoons if required. I like to press the top of mine with a fork, but it is for aesthetics more than anything.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 ish minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and leave to cool on the tray for about 10 minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Again, this is due to them being a bit crumblier. Using an egg flip can make this transfer process easier.

When cool, enjoy them with a hot cuppa.

If you like to add any other ingredients to this mix, please let me know in the comments!

Healthy Foods gluten free recipes app

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A colleague has just been diagnosed as celiac, so I’ve been recommending some resources to her, and it reminded me of this useful gluten free recipes iPhone app by Healthy Foods.

It costs $5.29 in the iTunes store, and while there are a lot of great recipes available for free online (such as the ones on my blog 😉 ), it is much cheaper than a recipe book, and pretty convenient when you’re not sure what to make.

It has some really nifty features as well, such as:

  • The ability to highlight favourites
  • An “Add to shopping list” option that collates ingredients, and can be emailed
  • And the ability to add your own notes against recipes

The recipes also highlight ingredients that you may need to check to ensure they don’t include any pesky gluten (e.g. cornflour).

So far I’ve made:

  • Lamb and parsley rissoles with beetroot salad
  • Lemon chicken

And both were delish!

I actually think it’s a great resource for friends and family as well, who often have the hardest time adjusting to special diets.

If you’ve tried it, or know some other great recipe apps, let me know in the comments!

Interview with gluten and lactose intolerant pro cyclist Joanne Hogan

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Okay. So this isn’t a recipe as all previous posts have been. But it is a great interview with Joanne Hogan, a professional cyclist for the Spanish Woman’s Team, Bizkaia – Durango. She has represented Australia in Europe for the last two years, and is gluten and lactose intolerant.

In this interview, Joanne talks about the difficulties she has finding suitable foods when travelling, and tips for managing her diet in other countries.

She alo includes a number of delicious meal suggestions, and some great ideas for athlete-friendly and pre and post training meals.

Read the interview with Joanne here.

Pumpkin and bacon risotto

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I’ve been *following* Design Files for a while now, but a few months ago a colleague encouraged me to subscribe to it’s daily updates. This has resulted in me salivating every morning, either over the beautiful design examples or delicious looking food suggestions…

Recently I gave it’s Pumpkin and bacon risotto recipe a go.

Risotto and rice-based dishes have always been a great gluten-free alternative for me, that everyone else seems to love as well. They can also easily and deliciously be dairy free and vegetarian (although this one is not vego…)

Strangely the recipe I followed did not mention how much rice was required, or that rice was even an ingredient! So I had to guess on that part, but it worked out okay.

I love making risotto. Even though I have to stay there stirring, stirring, stirring… as long as I’ve got a glass of wine and Twitter access, I’m happy 🙂

As you can tell by my photos, it’s also another late night meal… (I will get a decent camera one day!)

I served it with rocket, pear and roasted walnut salad with reduced balsamic vinegar dressing. Yum.

Pumpkin and bacon risotto

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 900g pumpkin
 (I used Queensland blue, but I think jap or butternut would do just as well)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 
½ teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons savoury herbs (I used fresh rosemary)
  • 
4 rashers of bacon (gluten free)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 100g Nuttelex (well that’s how much I used)

  • 
1 cup of white wine
 (and the rest is available to drink, yay!)
  • 3 ½ cups of warm chicken stock (gluten and dairy free)
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (if you can tolerate it, I use sheep milk pecorino as a non-cow milk substitute, or omit for a totally dairy free dish)

Method:

  1. Peel the pumpkin skin off and chop into cubes. I find it much easier to cut pumpkin at room temperature, or when it’s a tad warm. Also a good potato peeler can be used to peel some pumpkin skins.
  2. Cut the bacon rashers into small squares and add everything to an oiled tray.
  3. Sprinkle the paprika, nutmeg, coriander and savoury over the pumpkin and bacon squares.
  4. Season well with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.
  5. Place into a moderate oven for 30 minutes or until well cooked.
  6. After 15 minutes, turn the pumpkin pieces over to ensure they are roasted evenly.
  7. Meanwhile in a large pot, add a slug of olive oil and the chopped onion.
  8. Let it brown before adding the butter, garlic and rice.
  9. Cook the rice for a minute or so until it’s well coated in the melted butter.
  10. Add a cup of warm stock to the rice and stir continuously.
  11. Once all the rice has absorbed the stock, stir in the wine.
  12. Add the rest of the stock a cup at a time until it is all added, ensuring you’re stirring continuously to prevent the bottom from sticking.
  13. Taste the rice and add some water if it needs further cooking.
  14. Once the rice is cooked, remove from heat and add half the parmesan cheese (if you choose).
  15. Cover the rice and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  16. The pumpkin and bacon should be cooked by this stage; remove the tray from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  17. Serve the rice into a bowl, top it with the roasted pumpkin and bacon and sprinkle with parmesan cheese (if desired).

And enjoy!

As mentioned, I also served this with rocket, pear and roasted walnut salad with reduced balsamic vinegar dressing.

Below: the roasted pumpkin and bacon, and the risotto mixture… mmm.

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