Going gluten-free is easy!

One of my most popular posts is Can I eat 1422? , it seems there are a lot of people out there looking for answers about what exactly is in their food.  Lots of you drop by searching for information like I did, about whether your food additives are gluten-free and many are finding your way here just to find out more about food additives in general. The fact that my humble little blog gets so much traffic as a result of this post is proof enough that there is not a lot of easily accessible information out there to help us understand what is in our food.

As I’ve said in earlier posts, I started reading labels on food packets because I have to. I need to find all the tricky little traces of gluten hidden in additives, thickeners and colouring. However, I have put quite a few gluten-free items back on the shelf simply because they were full of rubbish.

I guess my advice for how to avoid getting confused by what is in your food is the same advice I would give to those feeling overwhelmed about going gluten free: get back to basics. Start with your base ingredients and build from there; fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and suitable grains are a good place to start. Get back to cooking from scratch, make your own sauces, marinades and pastes and use fresh instead of frozen or canned. You’ll not only be saving lots of money but will also cut back on all of those added salts and sugars. I guess the more you can avoid buying foods with labels on them, the less time you need to spend deciphering them.

Baked Eggs with Halloumi

Happy New Year!  Thanks to all my followers, visitors and guests for helping me grow my blog this year.  Happy to have so many visitors from all over the world looking for information, recipes and all things gluten-free.

We’re going to start the new year off with a dish perfect for the morning after a big night. This dish combines lots of my favourite ingredients, chorizo, halloumi, eggs and baked beans; guaranteed to get the blood pumping (or arteries clogging) on a slow moving morning.

You’ll need all the above ingredients, lets not get too hung up on amounts.  Lightly fry some chorizo and place in individual sized pans.  Add about 1/2 a cup of baked beans – view my home-cooked recipe here. Crack two eggs on the top and place in the oven on 175 degrees until the eggs are done to your liking. While the dish is in the oven fry up some halloumi and place on top of the eggs and back into the oven for about 3 minutes.

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This was a big breakfast, but some mornings just call for it. I am sure there are a million variations to this recipe.  You could go vegetarian and omit the chorizo, I am also keen to try something with mushrooms and cheese.  I’ll keep you posted.

Nut bars!

With some time off over the holidays, I finally get to try some news recipes and I’ve been meaning to experiment with an energy bar for some time. I wanted them to be tasty, relatively healthy and oat free I think this little experiment worked out well.

2 cups mixed nuts

1/2 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup honey

Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl to combine.

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Add honey and mix until all ingredients are coated.  Press out into a tray lined with baking paper.

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Bake in a 170 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes then gently flip over onto a cooling rack.  Once it it completely cooled cut into bars.

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To be honest these were a little sticky and I had to refrigerate them.  It has been very humid here, but I think next time I would add slightly less honey and cook for longer.  Still tasted great though.

Chorizo and Potato Frittata

My chorizo and potato frittata is a really nice breakfast, brunch or weekend lunch one-pan dish.

2 small chorizos (GF of course)

4 eggs – lightly beaten

1/2 capsicum – sliced

2 small chat potatoes – pre cooked

1/4 cup cheese

spring onion

1 teaspoon olive oil

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Heat oil in pan, add the capsicum and chorizo and cook through.  Add the pre-cooked potato (a great use for left-over potatoes)  and cook until browned.

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Pour in the eggs and turn down the heat.  Cook slowly on the stove-top for about 3-4 minutes.

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Top with the cheese and spring onions and place in a hot oven (about 220 degrees) until the egg is cooked through and sets. Don’t forget to use a pan with a metal handle!

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Falafel in a box

I have not yet ventured into homemade falafels, instead I have found a ready made mix that does the trick.  The easy to follow instructions that call for the addition of water and a simple oven or deep-fry option (I shallow fry with rice bran oil) really have made me lazy to try this all from scratch.

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I made beef koftas , grilled some halloumi, tomato and egg plant and served this with natural yogurt and babaganoush for a recent get together with friends. Easy!

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