All posts tagged: gluten free

Thai coconut mussel and kumara chowder

This post was made possible thanks to Trident. To win a year’s supply of Trident products including their popular chilli sauces, noodles, coconut cream and milk, upload a photo of your own sweet chilli creation to their Facebook page here. Need a recipe to inspire you? Read on… Back when I was a poor uni student, I indulged in mussels as a culinary upgrade from instant noodles. I would steam a kilo of mussels in a pot, add a little sweet chill sauce and coconut cream and serve with bread to mop up the juices. It was a treat. Delicious. Affordable. Minimal effort. Sweet chilli sauce goes so well with mussels and ever since, I’ve kept sweet chilli sauce on hand as a pantry staple. NZ green-lipped mussels are giant compared to other mussels. Some are as large as my hand…though I admit, I have quite small hands. Because they are so big, they have enough strength to hold tightly to their beards making them hard to pull out. My hack is to remove the …

Gluten free Feijoa Muffins

Just over two years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. At the beginning, I looked for nutritional answers as I didn’t want to be relying on medication just to be normal. Some people said that gluten free was the answer so I went gluten free. I ate gluten free pasta, gluten free bread, gluten free bagels. I didn’t like them. Luckily I prefer rice and rice noodles over gluten alternatives. I also tried gluten free baking. I inherited a bunch of gluten free flours from my mum who tried gluten free baking but had lost interest. Then I also lost interest. I count my blessings that going gluten free had no measurable benefit to my health. I’ve been off medication for 8 months and feeling great. Still, having a gluten free recipe up your sleeve can be handy. I’ve made these muffins with berries and bananas before and my friend announced that gluten free or not, they were the best muffins he ever tasted. That’s quite a proclamation. Feijoa season Since it’s feijoa …

Our Growing Edge – May 2016 Intro

May edition of Our Growing Edge is hosted by Joana from My Gut Feeling. The theme this month is “Allergy friendly recipes”.   We all know someone with a food allergy and the restaurant and cafe industry are increasingly catering to food allergies too. I love cooking for other people and sometimes this includes allergy friendly recipes. I am lucky that we don’t have any food allergies in our household, but I have dabbled in some gluten free baking after I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease a few years back. Gluten free seems to be fairly common and cafes around here usually stock at least one gluten free option, while dairy free, nut free and egg free can usually be arranged after speaking to the chef. Vegan isn’t a diet or way of life I personally follow but I have cooked vegan meals in the past which are both egg and dairy free. It’s good to have a recipe or two up your sleeve for those occasions. Hopefully this round up will inspire us to try some new recipes. Some …

Baked butter & maple figs

  The following post is part of a series of recipes celebrating figs. This is a simple recipe, great for dinner parties as you can get the figs prepped ahead of time and then pop them in the oven for 10 minutes shortly after dinner. I’ve written this recipe for 2 people, but it’s easy to multiply for more, just allow 2-3 figs per person. I was happy with 2 figs but my sweet tooth friends preferred 3. This recipe is gluten free. Most ice creams are gluten free but if serving with ice cream, double check the ingredients list. Greek yogurt is gluten free so that’s a safe option. Baked butter & maple figs (with yogurt or ice cream) Serves 2 for dessert Ingredients 6 figs Maple syrup 2 slivers of butter Greek yogurt or ice cream to serve Preparation Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, cut a cross in the top of each fig, and place on the sheet. Insert a sliver of butter into each fig and …

Figs with soft goats cheese and balsamic syrup

The following post is part of a series of recipes celebrating figs which are currently in season.  I visited Sabato in Mt Eden for advice on cheeses to go with figs. There were a few recommendations but I was sold on the value of the Pico Affinė, a soft goat’s camembert with a yellow rind from France. You could substitute this for chèvre or regular cow’s camembert. This recipe is gluten free, refined sugar free and vegetarian. Out of the four dishes at our four course fig feast, this dish was my favourite. Please check out my tips at the end of the recipe for alternate options.  = Figs with soft goats cheese and balsamic syrup Makes 20 pieces Ingredients 10 figs, halved 2 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons honey 100 grams (3½ oz) soft goats cheese Preparation Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). Melt butter in a sauce pan and add balsamic and honey. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes until syrup is thickened. Line a baking sheet with parchment …

Diving into fish tacos

  Warning: May contain innuendos. I love fish tacos. I dream of staying near the coast in Mexico and gorging on fresh fish tacos every day. We’ve enjoyed tacos at home a few times, specifically pulled pork tacos so when we received some lovely fillets from our delivery last week, I figured it was time to explore the fish taco at home. I’d never made them before, but it seemed pretty straightforward to me. I just made up the process as I went along. The perfect fish taco has a good balance of fish, salad and condiments. I hate a dry taco. Saucy tacos FTW! My preference is soft shell tacos, specifically corn tortillas. I first tried Tio Pablo’s corn tortillas last year when I was going through a gluten free phase, but turns out, I prefer the flavour of corn tortillas over flour tortillas. I used tarakihi fillets, but any medium white fish will do. Snapper, red gurnard, or trevally would also be suitable. Other types of fish such as flounder, turbot or salmon would probably be amazing. Feel free …

Jubilee Rice

First world problems: Too many cashew nuts. It all started off around National Nut Day when I had heaps of cashew nuts sent to me. I made a delicious Coriander and Cashew Pesto and Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts which were both winners, but I wanted to try something else.

Clean Eating in Auckland

IMPORTANT: This article was published in 2014. Details may have changed.  I love dining out, but it can be hard to make healthy choices when dining out so I often view dining out as a chance to indulge in rich foods. It doesn’t have to be this way! Luckily, there are a few places in Auckland who are making huge effort to offer delicious healthy options. What I also love about these places is they can be great inspiration for cooking at home too. Most of these offerings are easy to recreate at home using fresh ingredients. I’m not a health nut, but with my health issues this year, I’ve been looking at what I eat more and focusing on clean eating and whole foods.

Fig and Gorgonzola Rounds

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage us to try new food related things. Phuong from My Kitchen of Love is the host for this month’s event. If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join.   Orleans I’ve been obsessed with New Orleans since I was an angsty teenager. Long, long before I had any interest in food, I fell in love with the people, the French influence, the mystery  and the vampires. I blame Anne Rice novels. I’ve yet to visit New Orleans but it is number 100 on my bucket list. When I “grew up” and my interest for food developed, my obsession with New Orleans deepened. At the start of March, on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras celebration day in New Orleans) my friends and I converged on the newish Auckland restaurant, bar, speakeasy, smoky blues and jazz club called Orleans, in Britomart. Traditionally the day of debauchery before Lent starts, Fat Tuesday is all about living large with …

Make Tzatziki

Have you heard of Tzatziki? Tzatziki is a thick yogurt and cucumber dip that works with range of dishes. It’s cooling and lovely and surprisingly easy to make. Tzatziki has been on my foodie bucket list for a long time. I put it on there because The Koala was obsessed with Delisio Greek Tzatziki flavoured chips. He’s since moved on but the Tzatziki remained on my list. Had I known how easy and versatile it was to make, I probably wouldn’t have waited all these years. Below is a recipe for Tzatziki and a bonus 2 recipes that complement it. Tzatziki Recipe adapted from Nici Wicke’s recipe here. Makes about 2 cups Ingredients 1 cup Greek yogurt* 1 cup grated cucumber, squeezed of excess liquid ½ teaspoon salt 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 tablespoon chopped mint 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon lemon juice Preparation Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Chill prior to use and stir before serving. Use as a dipping sauce, a side …

The Last Summer Barbecue

I have been meaning to share this post for a while. When I was first diagnosed with Graves’ Disease at the end of summer, I did a lot of reading about what to eat. Being able to take control of something, even if it’s just diet made me feel less helpless about my health issues. Eating whole foods has been one positive change I’ve been making, dining out I usually make an exception but at festivals, where things like hot dog on a stick and greasy chips rule, it can be difficult to find something suitable to eat. A bunch of friends and I went to see The Opensouls reunion show mid-March at Phoenix Fest at Nixon Park, Kingsland. Back in 2007 and 2008, Phoenix Fest was just around the corner from our flat and a group of us would shake our asses off at the park and return home for further festivities. Phoenix Fest was on hiatus for 6 or so years and came back this year with a reunion show. How fitting! A …

Cumin Hash Browns

The Koala’s favourite brunch spot in Auckland is a local cafe in Sandringham called Okra. Even though they have changed hands (staff bought out the owners), much of their menu is the same and their big breakfast which includes a cumin spiced hash brown has been consistently good for a decade. Okra’s hash brown is a mashed and fried variety but I have grated these as it is quicker than mashing. Hash browns are a great gluten-free toast alternative for breakfast and since I’m watching my gluten intake, we had these babies instead of toast. This is my interpretation of Okra’s cumin hash browns. This recipe makes 2 good sized hash browns but can easily be double or tripled if you have more hungry mouths. Cumin Hash Browns Makes 2 Ingredients 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 medium potato 2 tablespoons oil for frying   Preparation In a bowl, beat egg and add the cumin, parmesan and seasonings. Peel and grate …

A Healthier Meal Plan

We are getting this The Honesty Box delivered every week now. For $39.40 including delivery to Auckland central, our F&V small is 8kg (sometimes 10kg) of fresh fruit and vegetables. Shared between The Koala and I, this needs careful planning to eat everything before the next box arrives. I’ve been testing out gluten-free recipes and I think avoiding processed food is good practice regardless of my health concerns. I’m seeing an Endocrinologist (for the first time) today and hopefully there will be time to discuss diet and Graves Disease with him. I’m fairly adamant at this stage I want to try medication and diet only before than permanent options like surgery or radiation. If possible, I’d like to stay away from radiation. It’s starting to get cooler but since we’re still receiving salad ingredients, we shall eat salad this week. Here’s a guide to what we’re eating this week: BREAKFAST Avocado and tomato on toast Banana and peanut butter smoothie Cumin hash brown with a fried egg and grilled tomatoes Fruit and vege juice and soft boiled eggs Rice noodle soup …

Eggplant Misocheese recipe by Bunny Eats Design

Do Something With Eggplant Part 2: Eggplant Misocheese

A couple of years ago I tried to conquer my most loathed vegetable: the eggplant. The slimy fruit of nobody, I never thought I could like it. I grilled it and paired it with orzo salad and we ate it for dinner one night. The Koala left most of his eggplant on his plate. He wasn’t a fan either. I thought I had cooked it correctly but the evidence was clear. Eggplant 1, Genie 0. Your comments told me that I should give eggplant another chance (at some stage). Let’s call that experiment Part 1. Two years later, I have a different view on eggplant. Let’s call this Part 2. A few weeks ago, a group of us dined at Nishiki in Freeman’s Bay. I was delagated the pleasure of ordering for all (one of my favourite pastimes). One of Nishiki’s best dishes is the Bei-naso Misocheese (eggplant miso cheese) and I ordered 3 for the table. $9NZ for half an eggplant may seem steep but if you’ve ever tasted it, you’ll agree that it is …

Heads and wings

Dear reader, I have fallen in love with some weird fish bits. Creamy, fatty, sweet, savoury and undeniably moreish. They are wings. Salmon wings. Salmon wings (also known as salmon collars) are one of those budget cuts that will probably become too popular (like pork belly, beef brisket and lamb shanks) and see a price increase. Get them while they are still cheap! If you have never had salmon wings before, think of them as ribs or buffalo wings of the sea. You may get your hands dirty but it’s worth it. One day I was just ambling through my local supermarket, minding my own business when I spied a tray with 2 large salmon heads. I didn’t expect to see salmon wings at the supermarket. I’ve never cooked with salmon wings but I’d seen a few blogs mention them before so I grabbed them instantly. The salmon heads cost about $2.22NZ ($1.84US) each and had plenty of eating on them. If you are not confident with fish bones or are serving less adventurous eaters, …

Make Onigiri

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage us to try new food related things. Louise from Crumbs and Corkscrews is the host for this month’s event. If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join. Yesterday, I re-watched the movie Spirited Away at Silo Cinema. Silo Cinema is a free, weekly open-air-cinema in downtown Auckland at Silo Park. Right on the water’s edge looking across the harbour bridge, with the moon in view, movies are projected onto a big unused silo. Aucklanders bring blankets, snacks, tipple, friends or family for a cheap night out. Magic. I’m a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli (pronounced jee-blee or ji-bu-ri). His animations are rich in imagination, characters, colour and often sumptuous food scenes. Watching Spirited Away  reminded me once again why I put onigiri on my foodie bucket list. Onigiri or rice balls are portable, cheap, filling and can be thought of as Japanese soul food. Unlike sushi, which are made by highly trained sushi chefs, rice …

Duck Liver, Cognac and Sage Pâté

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage us to try new food related things. Leah from Sharing The Food We Love is the host for this month’s event. If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join. ‘Gnac Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone! It’s a great season for eating and drinking. Let’s begin with a little shout out to Cognac. The Koala and I have been enjoying Cognac since winter. At 40% alc/vol it’s a serious tipple but goes down smooth as silk. I also love how low maintenance it is. Just pour and enjoy. No ice, no mixer, no fluff and cheaper than I would have guessed. With Cognac in the house, I wanted to do something else with it this month and perusing my foodie bucket list, I found just the thing. Years ago, I was a little obsessed with liver after I read about the super rat science experiment: “A group of scientists that have been …

The Koala’s Taters

The aioli I made today paired wonderfully with hot smoked salmon, roast broccoli spears and The Koala’s special potatoes. Our kitchen is mostly my domain, but The Koala has a few recipes up his sleeve, one of them being these fried potatoes. These potatoes are easy to make and uses very few ingredients. We usually have these with steak or fish and the crunchy outer gives way to a fluffy interior. Koala’s Taters (The Koala’s special recipe) Serves 2 Ingredients 3 medium potatoes 1 cup cooking oil Salt Preparation In a medium saucepan, bring 1 litre of water to the boil. Peel the potatoes, leaving whole. Once water is boiled, add potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and once cool enough to handle, cut into 1.5 to 2cm (about 3/4″) thick slices. Heat 1 cup cooking oil in a deep skillet or a saute pan. Once oil is hot, using tongs carefully add potato slices to the oil in a single layer. Fry for 10-15 minutes until golden, turning once. Remove potato slices …

Stinky horizons

I’ve met a some friendly, slightly unhinged goats in my life. I have a fondness and respect for them. Pictured above is a friendly nannie goat and I at a friend’s family farm. Good times. But I have always been terrified of goats cheese. It is too pungent for my taste and if you are Chinese, you may know the word “Soh”. “Soh” refers to a despised goat/sheep smell, not exactly endearing. A couple of years ago, I realised that goats cheese was tolerable as an ingredient. Like any pungent food, like anchovies, fish sauce, even garlic, on their own, they can be overwhelming – but paired with other, gentler foods, they can be wonderful. I mean, I love using fish sauce but I wouldn’t knock back a shot of Golden Boy’s smelly brew. Always looking to expand my growing edge, to broaden my stinky horizons, I decided to take the beaded lady by the horns and cook something with goats cheese for the first time. No stock risotto I’ve opened Pandora’s box and it …

Flirting with a Russian ballerina

I’ve always been scared of making pavlova. The crisp but delicate shell and frothy interior threatening to any non-baker. The fancy Russian ballerina name doesn’t help any either. What is it trying to be exactly? Any kind of baking that is more science than art is taboo to me but I was determined to give it a whirl. I put it on my bucket list at the start of summer and I’m glad that I got to conquer it. I was never been a huge fan of pavlova. It is a national treasure here in New Zealand and the dessert kiwis think of fondly in summer. A pavlova melts in the mouth like a cloud and doesn’t require any chewing, just a quick inspection in the mouth to get the flavour and and down it goes. Made mostly from egg whites and sugar, it lacks…substance. After reading many recipes, I settled on Nessie’s recipe from Baking Equals Love. Nessie is a fellow kiwi and an accomplished baker, only recently blogged about her first pavlova. I …