Mushroom melt burgers

Mushroom melt burgers

Mushroom melt burgers

Grilled mushrooms with melted cheese make a quick and easy vegetarian meal.

Ingredients

  • Portobello mushrooms (or similar big fleshy mushrooms)
  • Piquant easy-melt cheese (like goat cheese or blue cheese)
  • Fresh salad ingredients (like sliced tomato, grated carrot, baby spinach, lettuce, sliced beetroot, watercress, mungbeans, sliced cucumber).
  • Hamburger bun, brioche bun, gluten-free wrap or bun.

Cheese

If goat cheese seems too…well, goaty, consider a goat-buffalo cheese blend. Similarly, if blue cheese seems too strong consider a creamy mild blue cheese. Alternatively, use a strong tasty or colby cheese + grated parmesan and mozzarella!

For dairy free / soy free / vegan cheese consider: Daiya or Angel Food

Burger buns

If allergies aren’t an issue, there a range of burger buns to choose from, or go up-scale and use a brioche bun. For gluten-free (or soy free) then you may want to use a gluten free bun or wrap. You can also skip the bun (and substitute rice or beans) and tell your child (or yourself) that you’re simply having a super fancy ‘deconstructed’ burger.

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

Directions

  1. Prepare your salad ingredients.
  2. Grill the mushrooms and cheese.
  3. Assemble your burger. Add dressings (like sauces and mustard) if desired.

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)

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.

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.

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.

Sweet cornbread muffins

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Cornbread muffin

Note: I only wanted to make a small batch so this makes 5-6 muffins, double the recipe to make more.

Ingredients (Dairy or Dairy Free)

  • 1/2c yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2c plain flour
  • 1/2T Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2T Brown sugar
  • 2T liquid honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3c milk*
    • I used coconut milk.
  • 1/4c butter*
    • I used rice bran oil.

These turned out beautifully; they were quite sweet with 2T brown sugar & 2T liquid honey. I wouldn’t have known they were dairy free. They were light, fluffy, and delicious warm & cold. Made 5 muffins.

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

Ingredients (Dairy Free & Egg Free)

  • 3/4c yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4c plain flour
  • 1/2T Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2T liquid honey
  • 1T ground linseed soaked in 3T warm water
  • 1/2c – 3/4c coconut milk.
  • 1/4c rice bran oil.

With this batch I was aiming to increase the size of the mix, replace the egg and reduce the sugar. I find, in general, that linseed works well as an egg replacer but you may need a little more liquid. These still turned out well although not quite as fluffy as the first batch. Makes 6 muffins.

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

Directions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients together.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry and mix till combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Put mixture into muffin trays. Bake at 180’C for 15-20 mins until golden brown.

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.

 

 

How to make quick & easy fried gnocchi (a.k.a. rapid roastini)

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Pan fried quick & easy gnocchi – so much yum!

So I was trying to make gnocchi for the first time this afternoon and decided to make a mini batch that excluded egg. I could tell (from the many blogs / tips & tricks / recipes that I’d read prior) that this batch would not make good gnocchi. It was much denser then the first batch that I’d made. On the other hand, being a frugal mumma means experimenting in the kitchen so I proceeded to roll it out and make little gnocchi. I was pretty sure that they were just the right texture to pan fry and they turned out as a delicious gluten-free snack that Miss 2 thought was delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1/2c potato flakes
  • 1 tsp parmesan powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp smoked garlic salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4c boiling water
  • 1/4c plain flour

Note: This makes a snack for one adult (to share between adult & toddler) just multiple the ingredients by the number of serves you want to make.

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

Directions

  1. Put the potato flakes, parmesan, garlic salt, and onion powder in a bowl. Add approx. 1/4c boiling water and stir.
  2. Add flour and stir / knead to combine into a thick dough. The mixture should be smooth, thick, and not sticky. Don’t over knead.
  3. Roll mixture into 2 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. Heat a frying pan and cover the bottom in a thin layer of oil (I use rice bran). Once the oil is hot drop in the gnocchi.
  8. It only takes 1-2 mins to fry them on each side (you can turn using silicon tongs or a spatula).
  9. Place them on a paper towel and lightly pat off the oil.
  10. Serve with chili mayo or your choice of dips.

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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.

Smashed avocado (easy avocado dip)


This is an easy dip to make that is great to eat outside in the garden paired with home made crackers.

Ingredients

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1T lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Note: This is an easy recipe to scale to the number of people you’re serving. If you’re using a small avocado then change the olive oil & lemon juice from a Tablespoon (15ml) to a dessert spoon (10ml).

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

Directions

  1. Scoop out the avocado with a spoon.
  2. Smash up with a fork.
  3. Mix in olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.

 

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free.