Baked Chicken & Peaches

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Baked Chicken and Peaches

This is a great dish to make in summer when fresh peaches are cheap; I made it recently on a dark Autumn day with the skies full of rain – tinned peaches work just as well and bring a bright note to the day!

It takes very little time too mix up and put in the oven; combine it with some vegetables and instant mashed potatoes for a quick meal that is also toddler / child friendly!

(FYI I buy plain potato flakes from a bulk buy store rather than buying boxed instant mashed potato from the supermarket.)

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (boned & skinned)
  • 1/3c brown sugar
  • 1 peach / 1/3 of a 400g tin of peaches
  • 2 pinches of ground ginger
  • 1 pinch allspice or ground cloves
  • 1/2T lemon juice

Optional

  • Superfine white rice flour or cornflour (corn starch) to make gravy.
  • Potato flakes + boiling water + rice bran oil + salt + almond milk to make mashed potatoes.
  • Broccoli.

Allergies: gluten free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, nut free.

Note: The recipe will also work well for larger amounts just double or triple the ingredients based on the number of chicken breasts you are cooking.

Directions

  1. Take a pyrex baking dish and put in the brown sugar.
  2. Put in the chicken breasts (turning them to coat them in sugar).
  3. Lay slices of peaches over the chicken breasts.
  4. Sprinkle the ground ginger, allspice, and lemon juice over the chicken and peaches.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180’C for approx. 30 minutes. Baste regularly with the chicken juices. Cover in tinfoil if needed.
  6. Optional: After removing the chicken and peaches, whisk in some superfine white rice flour (or cornflour) to make a sweet gravy.
  7. Optional: Serve with steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

Butter bean dip

butter bean dip

Butter bean dip

This is a great way to use up leftover Butter Beans with Butter & Garlic. Serve it with freshly made bread, rice crackers, pita chips etc.

Ingredients

  • Sauteed butter beans with butter (or rice bran oil) & garlic
  • Natural greek yoghurt
  • Lemon juice (or a pinch or citric acid)
  • Optional: fresh herbs like parsley, chives, coriander.
  • Optional: for a Moroccan style dip: add 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp paprika, and garnish with dukkah.

Note: Most of the ingredients for the dip have already been included when you cooked the beans; the flavour of the dip will be impacted by which optional extras you cooked with the beans (i.e. leek, shallots etc.)

Allergies: gluten free, soy free, egg free, nut free, dairy free*.

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix natural greek yoghurt with a teaspoon of lemon juice (or a pinch of citric acid).
  2. Mash the beans.
  3. Mix the bean mash into the yoghurt mix.
  4. The dip is tangy with smokey notes. You can adjust the flavour, if desired, by slowly adding any of the following: lemon juice, olive oil, salt, maple syrup, chilli.
    • Just remember that it’s easy to add more of something but much harder to balance if you put too much of something in!
  5. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve with freshly made bread, rice crackers, pita chips etc.

Tip: You can fork mash these for a rustic blend or pop everything in a food processor to get it smooth.

Butter Bean Dip

Butter Bean Dip (rustic blend)

Butter beans (a baked beans alternative)

Butter beans with butter, leek, and garlic

Butter beans with butter, leek, and garlic. Grated parmesan. Choko noodles.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved baked beans as much as the next kiwi kid, but  the reality is that processed foods these days are often packed full of unnecessary sugar and salt. Hopefully Watties have changed their recipe since this damning article in 2009: “Wattie’s baked beans 420g: Although beans are good for you and packed with fibre, a can of baked beans has almost 30g of sugar. This is a low fat product and high in fibre, but does it require 1890mg of salt and 29g of sugar to make it taste good?”

Processed foods can also be a minefield for allergy families! Additionally, the reason for choosing vegetables like garlic, choko (chayote), leeks, and shallots for this recipe is because they’re low in naturally occuring food chemicals like salicylates, amines, and glutamates which is helpful for sensitive systems.

Don’t worry if you don’t have allergies – I’ve seen people post similar recipes simply because they don’t like baked beans or because butter + garlic can make anything awesome!

Tip: This recipe is also the basis of the easy to make Butter bean dip!

Ingredients

  • 400g tin of butter beans (rinse thoroughly)
    • You can substitute different beans according to taste. Like broad beans, these are quite large and hold up well in a wok without a sauce to simmer in.
  • Butter (or neutral oil, like Rice Bran Oil)
  • Garlic (crushed)
    • You can use garlic granules if you don’t have fresh.
  • Optional: leek (thinly sliced) or shallots (finely diced)
  • Optional: parmesan or grated cheese
  • Optional: cooked bacon (finely chopped)
  • Optional: choko (cheyote) as vegetable noodles.

Allergies: gluten free, dairy free*, soy free, egg free, noodle free.

Directions

  1.  Heat a frying pan (or wok) and melt butter. Lightly saute the garlic and any optional extras like leek or shallots.
    • Be careful not to over cook the garlic or you’ll get a distinctly smokey taste! (she says from experience…)
  2. Add the butter beans and cook until soft. You may need to add some extra butter while they are cooking.
  3. Serve topped with parmesan or tasty cheese if desired.

 

Choko noodles

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
  2. Peel wide strips of the actual vegetable (the length of the choko).
  3. Add some more butter to the pan (after you’ve removed the butter beans) and fry the choko noodles until softened (they should still be slightly firm to the bite; not raw and not falling apart!). They will pick up the remaining garlic from the pan.

 

 

Tamale Pie

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Tamale Pie (gluten free!)

Tamale Pie is delicious! I’d never heard of it until I discovered it in Elizabeth Gordon’s The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook. Apparently it’s a Depression-era dish that’s considered a comfort food in the Southwestern United States. It’s warm, filling, serves a bunch of hungry people (or can be used over several nights), and is conveniently gluten-free. It’s also an awesome and economical dish for those that do eat gluten and just want to try something different from a traditional Shepherd’s Pie.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2c water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2c quick-cooking polenta (fine cornmeal)
  • 350-450g beef mince (ground beef)
    • Or: turkey,  chicken.
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 400g tin of black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 350-450g jar mild salsa
  • 1c grated cheese
    • Use Daiya vegan cheese if you need to be soy & dairy free.
  • Optional: 2nd jar of: salsa, or tomato passata, or basic tomato pasta sauce.
  • Optional: grated carrot, grated zucchini, finely sliced celery.
  • Optional: finely chopped ham or bacon.

Allergies: soy free, gluten free, dairy free*, egg free, nut free.

Note: You’ll see that there are a number of optional ingredients. Personally, I like to add in the extra vegetables so that I have a one dish meal. I also like to add in the extra tomato for flavour (you’ll need to spend more time simmering the mince in order to reduce the extra liquid). The cheese on top helps to flavour the polenta (and is just plain yum); Daiya is apparently affordable in the USA as an allergy-free vegan cheese but it very expensive in New Zealand. If you can’t use cheese, consider adding some light spices to the polenta that is going on top.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C.
  2. Bring the water and salt to the boil in a large pot. When the water is boiling, slowly stir the polenta in and keep stirring to prevent clumping. Stir until smooth and then turn heat to low; cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the polenta from pot and spread half over the bottom of your pie plate or casserole dish.
  4. Heat up your frying pan (or electric wok in my case) and brown your mince; break it up as it cooks. Stir in the cumin, chipotle, and a pinch of salt.
  5. Add the beans + salsa. Also add any additional salsa/pasta sauce and vegetables that you are choosing to use.
  6. Continue cooking over a medium heat.If you are using a minimum of ingredients, you only need to cook until the edges start to bubble.
    • If you have added extra liquid and vegetables then, once the mix has started to bubble, reduce to a low-medium heat until the liquid has reduced and vegetables have started to soften.
  7. Pour the meat mixture on top of the polenta.
  8. Spread the remaining polenta on top. Sprinkle with cheese (if using).
  9. Cook for 20-25 mins at 180’C.
  10. Remove the pie from oven and let it cool for 10-15 mins before serving.
  11. Store lefovers, covered and refridgerated, for up to 3 days.

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Sri Lankan Breakfast Roti

 

Makes 10 helpings. These are warm and savoury; leaving out the onion & chilli they can be paired with jam or a chocolate spread instead.

Ingredients

  • 3c flour
  • 1c cool water
  • 1c dessicated coconut (soaked in water)
  • 1T neutral oil (I like rice bran oil)
  • 1/4c finely chopped onions
  • 1/4c finely chopped chillies (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, oil, and soaked coconut. Add the cup of water slowly until a soft dough forms. If using chilli and onion, add these now. Be careful not to overwork the mixture.
  2. Form the dough into 10 balls of equal size. Gently roll the dough into shape. In an oiled pan, fry in high heat until both sides are brown. Be careful not to overcook (like I did!), it should be soft rather than hard.

Allergens: soy free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Source: M. Tharaneetharan, World Concern, Sri Lanka.

Flavourful Black Beans

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Flavoursome Black Beans on Rice

This is such a wonderful recipe free of all the top 8 allergens that is cheap, quick, and easy to make. It’s fantastic to have as a base recipe that can then be served with rice, tortillas, wraps, empanadas, quesadillas, or to make lunchbox pies.

Ingredients

  • 400g tin of black beans (rinsed)
  • Ham or bacon or pancetta (finely chopped)
    • Check ingredients carefully if you have food allergies, such as soy.
  • 1 diced brown onion
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1T balsamic vinegar
  • 1T coconut amino acids (or soy sauce).

This is the base recipe; it’s delicious as is or you can vary it as desired by adding mince, diced chicken, chilli, peas & corn, celery, etc.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Directions

  1. Brown the onion and garlic in a frying pan.
  2. Add ham, balsamic vinegar, and coconut amino acids.
  3. Add black beans.
  4. Cook until hot. Can be served immediately.
    • If you have the time, lower the heat to minimum and slow cook for 20 minutes. This allows the flavours to simmer and the onion to caramelize.

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Creamy coconut pumpkin curry (dairy free!)

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Pumpkin and Yellow Split Pea Dahl

This delicious Pumpkin and Yellow Split Pea Dahl is creamy, sweet, and lightly spiced. It’s a wonderful balance of flavours, it’s cheap, it’s filling, it’s nutritional, and it’s easy to make. I’ve used a slow cooker for this recipie as it means you can prepare the vegetables ahead of time if you want and then just throw everything in so you can be occupied with other things while it’s cooking. It’s also wonderfully allergy friendly!

Ingredients

  • 60ml neutral oil (I like rice bran oil)
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1/2 chopped pumpkin (flesh only, skin & seeds removed)
  • 2 potatoes, diced.
  • 200g yellow split peas (soaked overnight in water)
  • 1/2c sultanas
  • 3T curry powder
  • 400g can coconut cream

You can substitute the pumpkin for butternut squash or kumara if desired.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, gluten free, egg free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Pumpkin.jpg

For sizing, I used half of this pumpkin.

Directions

  1. Put everything in the slow cooker and mix.
    • I suggest putting in half the can of coconut cream to begin with. You can then decide part-way through cooking if you want to add the other half. It will take longer for the full can to be fully absorbed but it does give a wonderful creamy flavour.
  2. Cook on high for 2-4 hours.
    • I added the second half of the coconut milk after two hours and switched it to warm after four hours.
  3. Eat on it’s own, with flatbread, or with rice. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Egg in a hole

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Eggs in a hole. Such an easy recipe but one I’ve only discovered recently.

Ingredients

  • Egg (can be gluten free bread)
  • Butter (or dairy-free spread)
  • Bread
  • Optional: Salt & Pepper to taste. Chopped chives. Grated cheese.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free*, peanut free, tree nut free.

Directions

  1. Butter the bread and cut a rectangular window out of the middle.
  2. Heat frying pan (or skillet) and pop both pieces of bread in butter side down. Add a little butter into the ‘window’ and wait for it melt.
  3. Crack an egg into the ‘window’.
  4. Let it cook until the egg white has firmed up and then flip. Also flip your little cut out bread.
  5. Cook for a bit longer so the egg white is firm (you may want the yolk runny).
  6. Serve with any seasonings that you want. The cut out bit of bread is delicious and crunchy and can also be dipped into runny egg yolk.

 

The busy mum’s guide to making quick & easy gnocchi

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Potato gnocchi with basil pesto

I’ve never made gnocchi before and was keen to give it a try. I read about ten different recipes / blogs / tips & tricks posts and soon realized that it’s easy to make gnocchi but hard to make good gnocchi. Gnocchi should apparently be light fluffy clouds of joy that practically melt in your mouth rather than dense like they often are. If you’re making them using traditional methods then top tips seem to be: Use russet potatoes (or one’s generally dry & starchy), never use a blender / stick / food processor, use a ricer not a masher, add only just enough flour, and don’t over mix.

My favourite photo-blog by someone truly passionate about gnocchi and experimenting to make perfect gnocchi was by Daniel Gritzer.

This is a cheat’s way of making quick gnocchi for busy mums (apologies to any Italians reading this)! You can also make an egg free version and fry them as a tasty snack!

Ingredients

  • 1c potato flakes
  • Optional: 2 tsp parmesan powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2c boiling water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2c – 3/4c plain flour

Note: Makes dinner for one adult. Double (or increase) recipe as needed. You can also lay gnocchi flat (single layer) and freeze for a couple of months.

Allergies: soy free, gluten free, dairy free, tree nut free, peanut free.

Directions

  1. Put the potato flakes, parmesan, and salt, in a bowl. Add approx. 1/2c boiling water and stir.
    • Normally I’d add about 3/4c water to make mashed potato but adding less water means that you don’t need to add as much flour to balance it out.
  2. Add flour and stir / knead to combine into a dough. The mixture should be smooth, pliable, and not sticky. Don’t over knead.
  3. Roll mixture into 4 balls (or more depending on if you’ve doubled / tripled the recipe etc.).
  4. Using a floured bench, roll each ball out into thumb width ‘wriggly worms’ (as Miss 2 deems them).
  5. Chop them into 1/2″ – 3/4″ pieces.
  6. If you have a gnocchi board then you can use that to do the ridges. I don’t and used the alternative method which is to press and roll them off a fork and indent the back with your thumb.
  7. Bring salted water to the boil in a large wide pot.
  8. Drop in gnocchi in batches (so they’re not touching). They’ll need about 2 minutes to rise to the surface and 1-2 minutes at the top.
  9. Pull out with a slotted spoon.
  10. Serve with sauce.

 

 

Potato Latkes

latkes

Potato Latkes

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
    • I use around 450g per batch.
  • 1 small red sweet onion, finely diced.
    • I have used brown onion as well for more of a hashbrown flavour.
  • 2 eggs, beaten.
  • 3T flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste.
  • Oil (or butter) for frying.
  • Toppings: sour cream & apple sauce.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, gluten free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Directions:

  1. Grate the potato.
    • A food processor is great for this! I have also hand grated. In some countries you can buy bags of frozen pre-shredded potato.
    • Note: if using a food processor for the potato then you can also use it for the onion but remove the potato first.
  2. Squeeze the potato with your hands to remove excess moisture and then pat dry.
  3. Put the potato in a mixing bowl and add onion, eggs, seasonings, and flour. Mixture should be thick and cohesive.
  4. Heat and oil a frying pan and fry batches of potato mix (I use about 2T for each patty).
  5. Fry for several minutes on each side.
  6. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately or keep warm in the oven on an oven tray lined with baking paper.
    • If you want to wait and have everyone eat together then you can brown each side of the latkes on a higher temperature, cook for a slightly shorter time, and then finish them all off in the oven for 5-10 mins.