Baked Meatballs (easy to make)

Baked Meatballs

Baked Meatballs & Onion Rings

I haven’t made meatballs in the past; for some reason I thought they would be really tricky to make. I found these to be super easy and have now made them both in passata and oven baked. The two cooking styles create different textures – if you cook in oven they will be drier and denser (good to dip in an accompanying sauce) whereas meatballs cooked in passata they will have a softer, moister mouthfeel. Both ways are great!

This recipe will make a big batch of meatballs so feel free to halve it if desired (or to cook half in oven and half in passata to enjoy both styles!)

Tip: Baked meatballs are really just little round sausages (a great way to market them to toddlers) so they are easy to play around with flavours. Why not try Lamb & Cumin, Chicken & Cranberry, or Pork & Apple instead of the traditional Beef & Onion!

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 150g breadcrumbs / gluten-free breadcrumbs / cooked quinoa
  • 3/4c milk / almond or rice milk
  • 600g beef mince (ground beef)
  • 1 small finely chopped onion
  • Optional: 1/2c parmesan cheese (powder or finely grated)
  • 1T ground chia seeds
  • Salt & pepper
  • Parsley (dried or finely chopped fresh)
  • Chives (dried or finely chopped fresh)
  • Garlic (dried granules or crushed fresh garlic)

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

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C.
  2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk until the liquid has been absorbed.
    • If you’re using cooked quinoa instead: put the quinoa in the mixing bowl for the next step and add the milk after the other ingredients are roughly combined (you may not need to add all the milk).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the meatball ingredients (including the soaked breadcrumbs). Mix until combined. The mixture will be a little sticky but should be thick and not overly wet.
  4. Lightly oil your hands and roll meatballs; I like to do lots of small ones (approx. 2T of meat mix). Sit the rolled meatballs on a sheet of baking paper (on an oven tray).
  5. Bake for 18-25 minutes (or until no longer pink in the middle).
  6. Serve as a snack with a dipping sauce, or serve with pasta sauce and spaghetti, gluten-free pasta, or rice noodles.

Gluten Free Berry Muffins

Gluten Free Berry Muffins

Gluten Free Berry Muffins

I love experimenting with gluten free flours. This is a different recipe again from the gluten free Vanilla Cupcakes and moist Chocolate Cupcakes. I was really stoked as Miss 2 kept asking for more of the mini ones and her playdate didn’t notice they were gluten free!

Like most gluten free baking, these are best served same (or next day); I free flow the rest in the freezer and pull them out as needed.

Ingredients

Group 1

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil (like Rice Bran oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Generous pinch ground cinnamon

Group 2

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup superfine white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo flour (also called chickpea flour)
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1T sweet (glutinous) rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2T Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Other ingredients

  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup frozen berries
    • I recommend raspberries and blueberries.
  • Raw unrefined coconut sugar

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

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C.
  2. Whisk together the ingredients in Group 1. This helps to aerate the mix. You can use a stick blender or I used the food processor (with a plastic mixing attachment, not a metal cutting blade!).
  3. Sift together the ingredients in Group 2.
  4. Mix the combined dry ingredients into the whisked liquid.
  5. Prepare the frozen berries and mix in gently.
    • Raspberries crush really easily into tiny teardrops (which provide a pretty pink speckled effect when baked); blueberries are already a good size; boysenberries are large enough to need cutting in half.
  6. Pour into cupcake / muffin trays.
    • I made 6 large and 12 mini cupcakes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180’C. The mixture will thicken slightly while the oven heats.
    • The mix will appear very runny compared to a gluten mix – the rice flour and cornstarch will cause it to thicken as it cooks.
  8. Bake at 180’c for approx. 25-35 mins or until cooked.
    • I found the mini muffins took 25 mins and the normal ones took 35 mins.

 

Icing 

I liked these with dusted with coconut sugar. I pulled them out of the oven after approx. 15 minutes (once they had risen), dusted with coconut sugar, and then placed back in the oven to finish baking.

I also have recipes for other icings that don’t use any artificial colours, glycerin, additives etc.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing (allergy friendly)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This is a great frosting to use with Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes, the Crazy One Dish Chocolate Cake, or the Chocolate Irish Potato Cake (vegan).

Ingredients

  • 115g softened butter, or allergy friendly spread like Nuttelex
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 – 3 Tbsp milk (dairy, rice, or coconut)
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp espresso powder

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

Directions

  1. Whip the butter.
  2. Sift in 1 cup icing sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Add the vanilla and milk.
  3. Beat until smooth.
  4. Slowly beat in the rest of the icing sugar to give a good consistency for frosting.

Moist & delicious Chocolate Cupcakes (gluten free!)

I love chocolate. I’ve posted a few chocolate recipes like the Crazy One Dish Chocolate Cake and the Chocolate Irish Potato Cake, and I’ve posted some make-from-scratch gluten free recipes like the Vanilla Cupcakes and the all natural pink berry flavoured icing. I wanted to play around in the kitchen with some different gluten free ingredients and make a wonderfully chocolatey and moist cupcake that also wouldn’t be packed with sugar – I prefer to balance my cakes so there’s more chocolate flavour in the cake and then extra sweetness in the (optional) icing. Miss 2 loved these with all natural peppermint icing or the Chocolate Buttercream icing (dairy free).

Ingredients

Group 1

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil (like Rice Bran oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Generous pinch ground cinnamon

Group 2

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

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C.
  2. Whisk together the ingredients in Group 1. This helps to aerate the mix. You can use a stick blender or I used the food processor (with a plastic mixing attachment, not a metal cutting blade!).
  3. Sift together the ingredients in Group 2.
  4. Mix the combined dry ingredients into the whisked liquid.
  5. Pour into cupcake cases (makes about a dozen). Bake at 180’c for approx. 25-30 mins or until cooked.
  6. Allow to cool before icing. (We liked combining these with an all natural peppermint icing!).

 

Icing 

The icings that I use don’t have any artificial colours, glycerin, additives etc.

Gluten Free Pina Colada Cookies

Gluten Free Pina Colada Cookies

Gluten Free Pina Colada Cookies!

These Gluten Free Pina Colada cookies (UK/USA)  are a light fluffy cookie that I don’t think most people realize are gluten free when eating them! They use the Gluten Free Vanilla Cookie recipe as a base but the variations make this a moister cookie (as well as tasting of the sunny tropics). These are very welcome to add a bit of sunshine to a cold winter day and also make a great tropical treat for birthday parties!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup superfine white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup Healtheries Gluten Free Bread Mix
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter or allergy-free spread (i.e. Nuttelex)
  • 1 egg (whisked) or egg replacement.
  • 2 Tbsp greek yoghurt / coconut yoghurt / coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/4 cup pineapple (crushed and drained)

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

Directions

  1. Cream the ‘butter’ and sugar. Mix in the egg.
  2. Mix in the rice flour, GF bread mix, baking powder. baking soda, yoghurt, coconut, and pineapple.
  3. Spoon out onto lightly oiled baking tray and flatten slightly.
  4. Bake at 180’C for approx. 15-20 mins (or until golden brown).

Makes approximately 12 cookies.

Note: There are several reasons that I choose to use the Healtheries Gluten Free Bread Mix instead of the Healtheries Gluten Free Baking Mix.

I prefer to use guar gum in my recipes and avoid xanthan gum; the latter is artificially derived and is often grown on an allergenic base (such as corn, soy, or wheat).

I like to control the rising agents in my baking so that I can tailor them to each recipe.

Frugality! The Bread Mix can be used to make both Gluten Free Bread and Gluten Free Baking whereas their Baking Mix can only be used for baking.

Candied Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds

Candied Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds

Candied Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds

I love this recipe! It’s a fantastic candied treat that’s great for parties and for holidays. If you have food allergies in the family, it’s also a great recipe to pass to grandparents who want to spoil the kids! It’s also ideal to take to kindergarten parties and pot lucks as it’s free of all major allergens!

Don’t be put off by the idea of pumpkin seeds – these are nothing like the raw ones that you get in salads. These are as different as corn is after it’s popped and are sweet, salty, and crunchy like M&Ms. They are dangerously addictive and are great eaten straight, sprinkled on fruit crumble, or on top of ice cream.

Ingredients

In the oven:

  • 2c pumpkin seeds
  • 2 1/2T sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 3T water
  • Oil for roasting dish

Caramel sauce

  • 1 1/2T allergy-free spread (i.e. Nuttelex) / butter
  • 2 1/2T brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

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

Note: If nut allergies are not a concern,this recipe will also work well with peanuts, cashews, and almonds.

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180’C and lightly oil a baking dish (I used a silicon flan / pie dish).
  2. Mix all of the oven ingredients together and pour into the baking dish. Note: the water is important because it helps the spices to stick to the pumpkin seeds (and the seeds will absorb the water a little as they puff up during cooking).
  3. Bake the pumpkin seeds for 20-25 mins until golden and crunchy.
  4. Once the pumpkin seeds are cooked, mix the caramel sauce ingredients together in a pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the ingredients have melted and turned a deep golden brown.
  5. Mix the caramel sauce and pumpkin seeds together until well coated. Spread on a tray and allow to  cool.

Blood Orange Icing (a.k.a. how to make pretty pink icing without using artificial colours)

Gluten Free Cupcakes with all natural pink icing

Gluten Free Cupcakes with all natural pink icing

My daughter is sensitive to red food colouring – as are many kids! For some reason New Zealand still allows artificial food colouring agents to be sold here that are banned in many parts of Europe. I’ve been doing more research (as you might have noticed from the post on why to be cautious about annatto as a colouring agent) and am experimenting with natural food colours.

One way to make pink icing is to use beetroot juice but I’m not a big fan of beetroot so instead decided to make a Blood Orange icing that has a beautifully delicate berry flavour and uses fruit tea!

The secret ingredient to this icing mix is Blood Orange fruit tea which uses a mix of

  • Hibiscus
  • Apple
  • Rosehips
  • Natural Flavouring
  • Stevia
  • Orange Peel

Not only do you get to make icing but you can also make yourself a cuppa in the process. Incidentally, this tea is also lovely cold, with sparkling water, or in fruit punch. You could also experiment with other fruit teas (like Blueberry & Blackcurrant) to make other colours.

Ingredients

  • 50g Butter or allergy free spread (i.e. Nuttelex)
  • 1c icing sugar
  • Blood Orange tea bag
  • Hot water

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

Directions

  1. In a mug steep the Blood Orange tea bag in a small amount of boiling water (i.e. about 50 ml). Allow it to cool and it should have a concentrated deep red colour.
  2. Cream the butter and icing sugar.
  3. Slowly add the (cooled) blood-orange-water to the mix until you have the colour and consistency that you desire. (Add more icing sugar if needed).
  4. Ice your cupcakes (like these Gluten Free cupcakes!)

Note: You can also make this with just icing sugar and the Blood Orange mix to make a darker colour.

 

Gluten Free Cupcakes

Gluten Free Cupcakes with all natural pink icing

Gluten Free Cupcakes with all natural pink icing

I love experimenting with gluten free baking! As well as this vanilla cupcake recipe, I also have different recipes for chocolate cupcakes and berry muffins.

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1c superfine white rice flour
  • 1T glutinous rice flour (also marketed as ‘sweet rice flour’)
  • 1/2 fine cornmeal (polenta) – use finely milled.
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3c neutral oil (i.e. Rice Bran Oil)
  • 1 egg (or egg replacer)
  • Vanilla
  • 2/3c water

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

Makes 8-10 cupcakes.

Directions

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  2. Whisk the egg (or egg replacer) until fluffy and pour in.
  3. Add the oil and vanilla. Mix.
  4. Slowly pour the water in while mixing.
  5. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at 180’C for approx. 25 mins until golden.
  6. Allow to cool and ice. I used a Blood Orange icing with no artificial colours!

 

Tip: My current preferred method for cooking cupcakes is to fill a large cake tin with silicon cupcake cases (so that they are touching). This helps them to keep their shape and is super easy to get in and out of the oven.

 

Icing 

The icings that I use don’t have any artificial colours, glycerin, additives etc.

Breaded Fried Chicken Nuggets (gluten free)

Gluten free breading mix.jpg

Gluten free breaded kumara chips & fried chicken

This is a quick and easy meal to use up leftovers from a roast chicken! It’s easy to make kumara fries or zucchini chips at the same time as the chicken nuggets; serve with salad.

Tip: Remember that you can also use the juices from the chicken to make a beautiful pumpkin soup!

Ingredients

  • Emulsifier (choose one of the following)
    • Egg (whisked)
    • 1/3c coconut milk + 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 1/3c rice milk + 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • Neutral oil.
    • I like rice bran oil personally and it has the advantage of a high smoke point.

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

Directions

  1. Whisk up your choice of emulsifier in one bowl.
  2. Pour your breading mix into a second bowl.
  3. Dip each piece of chicken into the wet mix and then coat it in the dry mix.
  4. Cook in batches in a neutral oil until golden and crisp. This took about 8-10 mins.
    • Don’t worry if you don’t have a deep fryer; I did a shallow/medium fry in the electric wok! Alternatively, bake in a preheated oven, @ 180’C, until golden and crisp. Turn once during baking.

Easy Butterscotch Pudding (Gluten free!)

Easy butterscotch pudding.jpg

Easy butterscotch pudding

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 1c fine white rice flour / 1c plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum (or xanthan gum) / *not needed if using gluten containing flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2c sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4c neutral oil (I used rice bran oil) / 60g margarine (i.e. Nuttelex) / 60g butter
  • 1/2c water / milk of choice (i.e. almond milk)
  • egg replacement i.e. 1T ground linseed + 3T warm water / 1 egg, whisked

Sauce

  • 1/2c brown sugar
  • 1c boiling water

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

NOTE: This is a delicious and easy self-saucing pudding that can be made free of all major allergens. I’ve included options so that you can tailor it to your needs; i.e. I made my batch gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and included the egg. You can also tailor the sugar to meet your sweet tooth; i.e. you can use less sugar in the sponge (and just have the sweet sauce), or make less sauce, or dissolve maple syrup in boiling water for the sauce.

I was thrilled when Mum sent this to me – gluten free and doesn’t require mixing several types of flour together! It’s also versatile; you could add cooking cocoa to the sponge and sauce to make this a chocolate pudding, or serve with spiced stewed apple, or with warm custard etc.

Mum mixed and cooked hers in a Pyrex dish; I cooked mine in five ceramic ramekins. It occurs to me that this would be a great gluten free option to serve at kids parties (especially winter birthdays!). It’s easy to make individual serves (if you don’t have enough ramekins consider using the large silicon muffin trays) and then kids could add to them with with things like custard, sliced fruit, fruit sauces, ice-cream, marshmellows, lemon curd, chocolate hazelnut spread etc.

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
    • Choose whether you want to cook this in a single dish (i.e. Pyrex bowl) or individual serves; if the first option, you can mix it up in the dish it will be cooked in.
  2. Pour into cooking dish or ramekins.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Slowly pour on boiling water (you may want to pour over the back of a spoon to help disperse it more gently).
  4. Cook in pre-heated oven at 180’C. Takes approx. 25 mins in ramekins or 35-40 mins in pudding bowl.