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slacko

Ok, I know I have been slack at this blog thing. Apologies.

So my cooking level has slowed due to the social scene picking back up again, after weeks of a big lull – no wonder I am tired!

This evening I cooked a very interesting meal which I was introduced to by my flatmate. Chicken with a garlic, sun-dried tomato and cream sauce and served with rocket. Of course I forgot to take a photo so will re-blog about this recipe when I make it again.

Basically, cook diced chicken (breast/thigh) and onion in a pan with 2 cloves of crushed garlic. Cook through and add finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes and sufficient cream to make a sauce. Cook down until thick, serve with rice (or pasta for those non gf eaters) and top with a splashing of rocket.

Yummo!!!

I have been searching through for some recipes on the internet to cook when I am on leave from work. I am visiting another gf eater so we can trial them together with plenty of spare time to walk off the results of eating loads of sweets.

I had excess ricotta in my fridge at the time so you will notice a bit of a trend.

My list of recipes to try sometime over the next few weeks:

GF pear and lemon ricotta tart

GF Passionfruit and Lemon Polenta Biscuits

GF Berry and Hazelnut Friands

GF Ricotta and Rocket Gnocchi

GF Almond and Date Cake

GF Chocolate Ricotta Cake

These, I had made in the past and would like to share the recipe. I did substitue for GF self raising flour.

Banana and Ricotta Fritters

I have noticed my step-mum eating these quite often and thought I should give them a try. Not my cup of tea after all as i found them quite bland and tasteless – but, I do like strong flavours. The rest of the ladies in the office did enjoy my left overs.

Happy eating!

With me being out 4 nights this week, I had to make some smart choices; it is so easy to digress when it looks so good.

Wednesday I ate out at a pub so Steak, Chips and Salad it was – turns out the Steak was awful so the Chips and Salad did the trick. Nothing like a cheap steak to ruin your night, I fixed it though with a few glasses of red.

Thursday was a night out an Asian Fusion restaurant and we had a banquet – there was more food than anyone could possibly imagine. From the Banquet, the only thing I couldn’t eat was the Chilli Salt Squid, which I don’t really like anyway – I am ok with not eating it.

All matched with an Appletini, loads of red wine, an Asian style Lemoncello and a Cognac to finish. Needless to say, I don’t I could have stomached another thing, liquid or not.

Friday I was a bit dusty so I laid of the drink until after work. There was wine on offer at lunch but I resisted! It was off to the pub for some dinner and drinks whilst watching the footy. At the back of the pub there is a Thai restaurant. I find Thai easy to stick clear of gluten – chicken and cashew nut is the default when I can’t be bothered to think.

Saturday was a trip to Newtown for drinks with a few girlfriends and the next table were eating Nachos. I was inspired by the way it was presented and wanted to try it for myself. Note to self: awesome dinner for Sunday when I can’t be bothered cooking.

I went out for a birthday dinner to a cute little Lebanese restaurant in North Sydney, the waitresses were very accommodating. To all who eat a gluten free diet, I highly recommend it. We had a table of 12 and they were committed to educating us (There was one other gf eater at the table) in what we could and couldn’t eat, and providing substitutes for everything. 8 courses followed by an awesome Turkish Delight – I don’t think I have ever had a better Turkish Delight.

I followed up on the interesting Nachos for dinner on Sunday. It is very similar to the Nachos I normally make but tonight I added diced tomato and capsicum on top with the standard Avocado and sprinkled some smoked paprika to finish it off. There are many gluten free corn chips options available.

I think I have have topped the stakes in Nachos making!

What better start to a weekend than coffee and toast? It is the start of every weekend for me. That’s ok, lucky I like it and I had some good company to enjoy it with. Eating breakfast out can be a difficult task to master. Apart from having eggs with tomato and bacon and no bread it doesn’t leave much. Luckily the place we went had a gluten free bread option – I opted for toast with jam.

After spending a few hours at the shops with a friend, I headed home for a late lunch of swiss cheese, rice crackers, strawberries and pear. It is one of my favourite late lunch options when you really don’t need to eat too much, as dinner is only just around the corner. I did all my fresh food shopping; fruit and vegetables and meat, I visited both the butcher and the chicken shop. I find it much easier to eat well when I have a few options at the ready. However, I did forget to pick up a few ingredients to use my slow cooker for the first time this year.

I’ll be sure to pick them up Monday night and give the slow cooker it’s first go on Tuesday. I am planning on making Beef with Mushroom and Red Wine casserole.

For dinner, I went with another old favourite; Chicken Mignon with Roast Vegetables. My Aunty introduced me to a cute new vegetable a few weeks ago and I finally found it in the fruit shop, Baby Eggplant. I treated it as I would cooking a normal Eggplant cut up, 45 mins on 180 degrees.  It proved to be a nice tasting dinner which make you warm.

I have found the best way to eat is to have an every ready supply of fresh produce – I am less tempted then to order take away or to skip dinner all together.

In reference to a previous post, I did remember another easy to find breakfast option. Again it is a cereal, which I bore of easily – Food for Health, The Gluten Free Muesli.  It can be found in both Woolworths and Coles.

All I can say is; lucky I am not Italian.

Dessert comfort food.

Something difficult as a gluten free, low dairy eater to come across. Most comfort foods involved flour or dairy; apple crumble, dumplings, pudding, chocolate, ice cream. None of these taste so good with gluten free flour, neither do any of the gluten free versions that you can buy.

I headed out for lunch today and had a little bit of a bread – I mainly ate the insides of an Israelian pita pocket filled with falafel, salad, salsa, guacamole, corn chips and cheese. I walked back into the office to find that our lovely manager had gone for a visit to the bakery to sweeten us all up, it has been insanely busy at work of late. Vanilla slices, huge profiteroles and a cake were all sitting on my desk….. I resisted!

Dinner tonight was steak with some left over roast vegetables from earlier in the week. I have been using Master Foods Moroccan Seasoning to add some interest and flavour without any fuss. It is quite salty so I decided to add it to the roast vegetables before I reheated them in the oven. No salt required on the steak.

All went down nicely with a glass of Rolling Cabernet Merlot.

mother’s day

After a big food day yesterday I decided to lay off the treats a bit today….. that was until I went to have lunch with the family. I should have known better, right?

After a small breakfast of the Buckwheat toast with Vegemite and a hot chocolate while walking around Kirrbilli Markets, I knew that wasn’t going to be the end of it. As per usual, there was enough food to sink a ship – thanks to my aunt and uncle who are both great cooks and always ensure they cater to everyone’s needs, likes and dislikes.

Lunch consisted of BBQ Chicken marinated in olive oil, marjoram and another herb which I cannot remember with every vegetable roasted or steamed.

Roasted baby eggplants, zucchini, carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, potato and capsicum served with steamed cauliflower and boiled beans with cooked off onion. All very yummy and as always, perhaps I ate too much.

Shortly after, this was followed by home made baclava, cheese, crackers and fruit. I opted to eat the good bits (custard and passionfruit icing) of the left over vanilla slice from yesterday so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat a piece of the baclava; which others went back for seconds – must have been good.

My aunt decided to make a joke infront of her husband, she asked him to make scones. He is the famous scone maker in the family; I don’t know how he does it but he manages to get them so light and fluffy. I indulged in one with some Wanker’s butter and a dollop of Honk’s Triple Berry Jam  and a nice cup of tea in a lovely tea set.  I feel ok, perhaps it is the fact I haven’t had anything naughty in a while.

Dinner needless to say has been thrown out the window. I was planning to have roast potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato, capsicum, zucchini and onion with a piece of rolled and roasted beef but firstly I could not fit anything more in and it was also to be a repeat of lunch – maybe next time I should call ahead and check what the Djemal menu will be, although I always come home feeling that I won’t need to eat again for a week.

today

Buckwheat toast (warmed up bread) with butter and Vegemite is a regular weekend breakfast. As mentioned previously, Buckwheat bread has a smokey flavour and so I only like it with Vegemite or as a savoury sandwich option. I buy my bread at a health food shop in QVB but it is by Naturis. For anyone in NSW, you can call them and they will help you to find your nearest stockist and will let you know which day of the week they deliver to the store.

For lunch I had some of the Curry Vegetable Soup I made earlier in the week. I wasn’t strict with the recipe, plenty of more vegies went in and I omitted the corn and squash. It made quite a lot, plenty of leftovers to freeze as a lazy lunch option.

I was struggling to think about dinner and was really hoping for some red meat considering I haven’t eaten any for a while. Laziness of a chilly afternoon and being wrapped up in a warm doona took over and so Stuffed Mushrooms it was!

Still full of iron and quick and simple – an easy option when you get home late from work and simply can-not-be-bothered. Quite often I stuff them with cooked off cherry tomatoes, onion and garlic with some steamed rice thrown in at the end and some parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Always goes down well with a glass/bottle of red, whatever pleases you. They are more filling than expected, don’t say you haven’t been told.

After thinking over the last few days of many gf food options, I wanted to try some pancakes made from the gluten free bread mix I buy. After speaking with some other gf shoppers, we have agreed it is the best ready-available option. To half a bag of the mix I added:

1 egg

1 cup of ricotta cheese

1 tbls of castor sugar

1 cup of water

Let it sit in the fridge whilst I recovered from a full belly of mushrooms.

Cooked as per normal pancakes, I served it with thawed and heated frozen mixed berries with 1 tablespoon of honey and it turned out something like this:

Next time I will ensure I have fresh Strawberries available as I find frozen mixed berries sour and I prefer to eat fresh produce. A little more Ricotta and Honey wouldn’t go astray.

NO more food needed today, although I will go to bed full and sated.

After learning the hard way of what eating foods which I am intolerant to can do in only a short period of time, I am back to eating a full gluten free diet – well trying to.

I browse the internet often for new and exciting recipes but am often disappointed by the inclusion of awful tasting alternatives to the real thing! Namely; buckwheat, rice flour or tapioca – all of which have different tastes and I find it affects the flavour greatly.

For me, breakfast is the hardest meal of the day to substitute as I also have an acute dairy intolerance. I have found that I can only have 1 small serving a day so I need to pre-plan my requirements.

Coffee or food?

Being intolerant to both gluten and diary, my options are limited greatly. I also like to eat at work, when I am settling in, reading my abundance of overnight emails. Eggs are always suggested, I have taken this into consideration and I feel that my colleagues wouldn’t appreciate egg smelling out the office first thing and I am also not all that fussed on eating egg, let alone everyday.

Gluten free bread is very sweet, only good with jam and expensive, buckwheat bread has a smokey taste and is only really a savoury option and well, gluten free cereals with or without milk (Dependant on my need for coffee) – you can forget it.

Fruit it is!