Beef and Quinoa Spicy Dinner Salad

This is another one dish dinner salad, it’s a bit free form so the amounts are up to you.  I cook about 1/4 cup of quinoa and sprinkle it with a Mexican chilli powder blend as it cools.  Place this on a bed of baby spinach, add sweet corn, kidney beans and some slightly grilled cherry tomatoes. Then cook some beef, slice thinly and place on top of the salad. Add avocado, corriander and jalapenos.  For a dressing I just drizzle on some lime juice and olive oil.

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This dish is so good.  Even Henry was sniffing around the BBQ as I was cooking.

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No Henry! This is not for you!

93 bottles of cider…

Now that the weather is warming up it’s time to get back into the cider tasting.  I’ve avoided the berry type ciders for a while, worried that they might be too sickly sweet.  This apple, blackcurrant, cranberry cider, however, was pleasantly surprising; sweet but not sickly, sharp but not tart. I’m going to add it to my ‘yes’ list.

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Spicy Thai Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup is great in winter, but it can be a bit bland.  Try this Thai variation to spice things up a bit.

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2 Tbsp red curry paste

1tbsp olive oil

1 onion -chopped

1 large pumpkin – chopped

2 cups chicken stock

200ml coconut milk

1 teaspoon dried coriander leaves

salt and pepper to taste

Fry the curry paste, olive oil and onions in a pan until the onions are soft.  Transfer into a large soup pot and add, pumpkin and the chicken stock and simmer until the pumpkin is soft.  Blend all ingredients with a stick blender.  Add coconut milk, coriander and salt and pepper and simmer for another 30 minutes.  Serve with gluten-free buttered toast.

Kale Chips

A work colleague of mine mentioned how impressed she was with her homemade kale chips.  I thought I’d give them a go too. They are really easy.  Simply remove the stalks of the kale, chop into smallish pieces, coat with a little olive oil and salt and pop into the oven (190 degrees) for about 15 minutes.   I used garlic salt for the second batch – I might add a little chilli powder next time I think.

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An easy to make high fibre, low calorie, crunchy, salty snack.

Gluten-Free is not the new black!

There are a lot of food trends around at the moment, raw foods, whole foods, organic food, the paleo diet, sugar free, wheat free etc etc. For whatever reason, it seems you can’t go out anywhere these days without someone having specific food issues.

So what is now so commonplace is of course the subject of backlash. Those who have specific dietary needs are all lumped together. They are artichoke dip making hipsters or mung bean eating hippies or fitness freak yuppies who spend $11 on a bottle of coconut water, all choosing to follow a trend because Gwyneth does it or the woman from that reality show lost tons of weight or it’s all women’s magazines seem to write about.

Gluten-Free eating is not a choice for a lot of people. It keeps us healthy, it stops us from feeling sick and unbelievably tired and it prevents the body from attacking itself.   For many of us it has been a long, painful and frustrating journey to figure out that the simple act of removing gluten could change your life.

So before you roll your eyes at people that eat gluten free, stop and think, be kind – maybe it’s not a choice.

Crispy Gluten-Free Onion Rings

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This batter makes really light and crispy onion rings.

1 large onion – sliced in rings

1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour

1/2 cup rice flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup soda water

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 cup rice bran oil

salt and pepper to taste

Mix the flour, baking soda and slowly add the soda water until you have a nice consistency. Add the garlic salt and onions and shallow fry in the rice bran oil.  Place on paper towel and add salt and pepper.

I imagine this batter would be good with all sorts of other things.  I’m actually considering replacing the soda water with a cider and making a beer-less beer battered fish.  I’ll keep you posted.

 

94 bottles of cider…

I think I’m starting to lose perspective on this cider tasting thing.  Either I’m getting used to the beer taste of ciders or the ciders are getting better.  I’m just not sure anymore – but I’m going to press on anyway.

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This one here I am going to give the very thorough review of: OK.  It’s just OK.  A bit too much like a bitter beer for my taste, but tasty enough to keep on persisting.  The problem was the size.  The 500ml size was a bit much to get through, cider just doesn’t get better the warmer it gets now, does it?