Monthly Archives: March 2013

Gluten-free pumpkin & feta muffins

With the new year’s health regime underway I decided to try my hand at savoury muffins instead of buying those oh so delicious sweet muffins readily available at any cafe. I will confess here that I’m no baker, and yes, making muffins to me is baking (I have never baked a cake…); the most my oven gets used for is pasta bakes, roast veggies and pizzas.

So after trawling the internet in search of inspiration, I came across one from martha goes green that didn’t send me running to the bakers to sample their wares! I adapted the recipe to be gluten-free and made a few minor modifications to suit my needs, and the end result tasted pretty good if I do say so myself. I’ll definitely be ‘baking’ again.

For a healthy lunch, serve with a broad bean, asparagus and quinoa salad.

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Gluten-free pumpkin & feta muffins

Makes 6 jumbo muffins

Ingredients

300g diced pumpkin

2 tbsp oil

50g diced feta

40g baby spinach

1/4 cup chopped parsley

30g sunflower seeds

20g grated parmesan

3 tsp whole grain mustard

2 cups gluten-free plain flour

3 eggs

175ml milk

2 tsp baking powder

1tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

1. Toss pumpkin in olive oil, salt and pepper and then bake in an oven preheated to 200°C. Bake for 25 minutes until soft and then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

2. To the mixing bowl add: feta, spinach, parsley, sunflower seeds, parmesan and mustard and combine with the pumpkin.

3. Beat the eggs with the milk and add to the pumpkin mixture.

4. Sift the flour, baking powder and cayenne into the mixture, and add salt and pepper.

5. Fold the mixture to combine all the ingredients.

6. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tray.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 200°C.

8. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

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Gluten-free granola

In an attempt to make up for some of the excesses that I put my body through over the festive season I took on FebFast like a woman possessed. As well as excluding alcohol, milk, cheese, refined sugar and caffeine from my diet, I also decided to go gluten free! Yikes! It was tough to start with but I got into it after a few days and the only thing I really craved throughout was coffee…

gluten free, gluten-free, granola, breakfast, berries

Gluten-free granola with berries

It was during this time that I really realised the importance of a good breakfast. My breakfast of choice for FebFast was homemade gluten-free granola with natural yogurt, bananas and fresh berries. Not being a coeliac I did include gluten-free oats in my granola as I wasn’t concerned about contamination, though the oats I bought were labelled ‘gluten free, uncontaminated’.

I’ve never made my own granola or muesli before so this was a first for me – I looked at a few recipes online to get some ideas and then took on the challenge. It turned out to be so delicious that I’ve just made another batch. I am a bit concerned about what I’m going to do once summer’s really over and I can’t get fresh berries any longer…

gluten free, gluten-free, granola, breakfast

Gluten-free granola

Gluten-free granola
Ingredients
3 cups gluten-free oats
1 cup puffed rice
1 cup puffed quinoa
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup linseeds
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup sultanas
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup peanut butter (pure)
¾ cup coconut oil (melted)
80 mL agave nectar
Coconut flakes

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 160 Celsius.
2. Line two large baking sheets with paper.
3. Combine all the dry ingredients (not the coconut flakes) in a large mixing bowl.
4. Combine the coconut oil, peanut butter and agave nectar in a small pan and whisk until smooth. You can add a couple of pinches of salt if you like.
5. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture and combine to coat.
6. Spread the mixture out on the baking trays and place in the oven.
7. Bake for 20 minutes stirring once after 10 minutes.
8. After 20 minutes stir through the coconut flakes and bake for another 10 minutes (it may take less time depending on your oven just make sure that the coconut flakes don’t burn).
9. Remove the trays from the oven and allow the granola to cool before storing in an airtight container.
10. Eat with banana, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and natural yogurt!


Quinoa & black bean salad

I discovered a delicious and healthy summer salad that’s full of protein and really easy to make. Mexican food seems to be the new big thing in Sydney at the moment, so I thought I’d get on the bandwagon with this Mexican-inspired salad.

As I’ve previously mentioned I tend not to measure ingredients unless I’m following a complicated recipe, so if you try this just go with your own instinct.

quinoa, mexican, salad

Mexican style quinoa & black bean salad

Salad

Quinoa (cooked as per packet instructions) – I’ve used white quinoa here but I prefer the red variety

Black beans/Kidney beans

Cucumber

Red capsicum/pepper

Tomatoes

Avocado

Coriander

 

Dressing

Olive oil

Lime juice

Garlic crushed

Chipotle chilli finely chopped/Cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

Caster sugar – just a pinch

 

All you have to get this on the plate is combine the salad ingredients in a big bowl, mix the dressing and pour over the salad. To add a bit of crunch to this dish I serve it with corn chips.