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?

 

Slow-cooker Shredded BBQ Beef

Yep…those winter slow cooker recipes just keep on coming.  This BBQ Beef recipe is not too spicy, it’s easy to cook a large portion so plenty for left overs to fill the freezer.

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1.5 kg piece of rump or blade roast

1 onion finely chopped

400g tin tomato

2 x 400g tin kidney beans

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon mustard

1 tablespoon chilli powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Mexican seasoning

salt and pepper

Cut the beef into four pieces. Mix the Mexican seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper and chilli powder and rub onto the beef pieces and place in slow cooker.  Combine tin tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, onion, brown sugar and pour into slow cooker. Cook for 8 hours on low.  An hour before you are ready to eat remove,  beef pieces and shred using two forks.  Replace beef into the slow cooker and add the kidney beans.

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Great in tacos, burritos or on nachos.

Happy Birthday to me!

It’s just over a year since I started this blog and I have to tell you I’m quite proud of how it’s going. Initially I started it to store some of my own recipe experimentations for later reference and to share recipes with friends and family that requested them. I also wanted to write a gluten-free blog that didn’t focus on the complaining, woe is me attitude that some blogs thrive on.

I’ve found contributing to this blog enjoyable and not a chore. I love cooking and trying new recipes and fortunately I also love eating. I never considered myself a creative writer and certainly (as you can no doubt tell) a particularly talented or enthusiastic photographer, but I think I’ve found myself a creative outlet.

Sure I could’ve baked a gluten-free cake for the occasion and posted some blurry pictures of it, but I didn’t – and actually after the two donut gloriousness that was last weekend, foregoing the cake might be wise.

So thank you all that drop by here. I get quite excited visiting my site stats and knowing my blog is steadily growing. Thanks to those that follow, subscribe and comment. Thanks to those that request recipes to be added to my blog. Thanks to those who know a cousin/friend/colleague who needs to eat gluten-free and refer them here. Thanks to those of you that stumbled on my page after various searches on food related topics. I hope you’ve all found something useful here and drop by again.

Sweet Sweet Gluten-Free Donuts

If I was craftier with the words I’d write some sort of ballad or ode to the gluten-free donuts I have just recently experienced.  Can you love a donut?  Could I compare the donut to a summer’s day?  I think you get the idea.

My gluten-free tale is a little boring – but long story short; I figured out I had a problem with wheat about 10 years ago and while cutting this out of my diet helped, something was still a little off.  I finally had an official diagnosis for celiac disease about 2 years ago.  Needless to say a decade ago the gluten-free options were not as good as they are now,  I had to cut out many favouries, and all the the strange things I missed the most, crumpets, hot-cross buns and fresh cinnamon donuts have now all re-entered my life. Crumpets are now easy enough to manage with handy do-it-yourself kits now available, gluten-free hot cross buns are now readily found at most supermarkets during the Easter holiday period and now after this past weekend I have finally stumbled across fresh cinnamon donuts.

We ventured out with some friends to the Eat Street Markets at Portside here in Brisbane.  A great concept where old ship containers along Hamilton Wharf are turned into various international and gourmet food outlets.  There’s live music and lots of cosy little places to sit; a nice evening in this ‘bitter’ Brisbane winter we’re having.  As we entered the venue the first thing I saw was a shiny sign saying Gluten-Free Donuts!  I really almost shed a tear right then.  They were awesome – like real, actual donuts.  Not the dense, frozen sad ones you occasionally see at the bottom of the freezers in the health food shops, but actual fresh, piping hot, greasy, tasty, sweet donuts.

Thanks to these guys who are the behind these glorious treats.

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My gluten eating friends claim they are better than regular donuts. High praise indeed!

 

I’m not ashamed to say I had two straight away…

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Slow-cooker gluten-free baked beans

Further to my earlier rant about the additives in canned baked beans, I decided to make my own.  They were so delicious and easy to make I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier.  We have quite a large slow-cooker so I made heaps and have quite a few portions left-over in the freezer.

3 cups (dried) cannellni beans

1 ham hock

half an onion – chopped finely

1/4 cup tomato sauce

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon mustard

1 cup water – reserved from bean soaking

There are various ways to prepare/cook/soak the beans, but lets not get bogged down in those details – I chose the boil, soak, rinse, boil again method. I then placed all ingredients (except the tomato sauce) into the slow cooker and left it to do its thing for 10 hours.  I prepared this the night before so we could wake up to tasty, fresh, natural homemade beans in the morning.  1 hour before you are ready to eat take the ham hock out, remove the bone and fat and finely chop the meat and add back into the slow-cooker.  Add the tomato sauce and stir through.  The maple syrup and brown sugar compliment the salty ham flavour – these really are a new favourite.  Serve on gluten-free buttered toast.

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This is really a hearty dish and will keep you full right through until lunch time.