For those of you who know me, you know I love cooking, but as much as I love cooking, I also hate to write (or follow) recipes. To me, a recipe is more of a guideline and I rarely make something exactly the same twice. Having said all that, these are far to yummy not to share, and I did manage to explain to my sister in law how to make them, so I cant be that bad :)
You will need;
Cooked Cold Quinoa
1-2 cups grated Cheddar Cheese
Finely chopped Spring Onion
Adjust your quantities as needed, no need to be precise. For this batch I used around 3dl (uncooked) quinoa.
Put your Quinoa in a mixing bowl, add your finely chopped Spring Onion. I love a lot of Spring Onion, but the kids don't, adjust to suit your family. Add 1 large egg or 2 small eggs (for slightly lower fat, add more egg and less cheese), stir with a fork, don't over stir as you don't want to break the quinoa. Add the cheese and stir again.
Pop spoon fulls of your quinoa mix in your well oiled muffin tin, press down once they are all full, you want it to lump together nicely, if it seems crumbly, don't worry, once the cheese melts in the oven it all glues together.
Pop it in the oven, 175 degrees Celsius until the Quinoa cups take on a light brown crispy colour at the edges. (The ones in the image below were in the oven for a few minutes to long, take them out before they look like that unless you like them super crispy!)
All done! These cups keep for a few days in the fridge and are perfect for lunch boxes!
-by Linda Forster
This recipe is a lie, so I must apologise, its not actually a recipe at all, just an idea.
Pancakes are a staple food in our kids lunch boxes, both kids ALWAYS finish their lunch when I send them.
But heres the thing, I don't make them, I cheat and I use a mix. I figure I make at least 95% of our food from scratch so a bit of cheating every now and then is a treat. I either use Basco Pancake mix from Spinneys, or Freedom Pancake mix from Gluten Free supermarket. If you don't want to cheat, you can use Orgran self raising flour or Melindas self raising flour (both have the recipe on the bag).
The good thing about Basco or Freedom Pancakes is that you just fry the ones you need, the rest of the mix keeps in its jug in the fridge for a few days. If you want, you can even fry them the night before and keep them in the fridge, usually if I do this I just pretend its bread and pop butter and cheese on them. If fried on the day I serve them as above and send fruit or berries to go along.
Hope the kids enjoy :)
-by Linda Forster
Ok fine. Its not really Pancake bread. Its Eggy Bread, or French toast. But the smallest doesn't like egg, so if I call it eggy bread she wont eat it. Pancake bread however, she will wolf down, as will the older child.
Pancake bread is a fab way to send crumbly gluten free bread to school without it crumbling. And its better then bread, its pancake bread! Right..?
Sliced bread (the one in the picture is the Pan Carre Toast
from Gluten Free supermarket, but you can use any gluten free bread)
sugar & cinnamon
splash of milk
oil or butter for frying
-Whisk the egg with some milk (about one table spoons worth) in a shallow bowl with a fork.
-Add a pinch of salt
-If you are feeling nice, add a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of sugar
-Soak bread in egg mix
-Fry soaked-in-egg-bread in a frying pan with some butter or oil, you need to make sure the egg is cooked, but it really is very fast.
Put on plate to cook slightly and then pack to lunch box. TADAAA! (it really is that easy to be your kids hero for the day)
-by Linda Forster
As promised I am going to share some of my staple lunch box items over the next few weeks. I just have to remember to take pictures when I make them! :)
Im not so much in to measuring ingredients, I tend to just chuck things in and hope for the best, but I will try my hardest to give correct quantities.
In my top ten tips for a gluten free lunch box
I mentioned my muffin tin, so it is only fitting that my first lunch box recipe uses it :)
I have two kids so I made 12 omelettes, if you have just 1 child and wont be eating any yourself, just adjust the recipe as needed. A bigger child will easily eat 2 of these. The mini omelettes will keep nicely in a box (with lid) in the fridge for 5 days, I make a batch on Saturday evening to last the week.
You will need;
a splash of milk (around two table spoons worth)
2 boiled potatoes
half an onion (if you are making these for adults you can use more onion)
oil for the pan and for frying.
Turn your oven on before you start. I use a fan assisted oven and I keep it on 175*c
-Spray or brush your muffin tin with oil.
-Cut your onion in to fine squares, for adults you can use rings, but my kids aren't to keen on onion so I like to make it small, it gives nice flavour and they wont even notice its there!
-gently fry the onion and put it to the side
-cut your potatoes into small squares
-fry the potatoes, you want just a little bit of colour, don't go crazy
-In a bowl, crack your eggs and whisk it together with the milk. I use very little milk, just enough to make it easier to whisk. Add a pinch of salt.
-divide the egg mix in the muffin tin, the eggs will rise so each 'cup' shouldn't be more then half full.
-divide your cubed potato between the cups until all potato is used up
-divide your onion in to each cup until all onion is used up
Pop it all in the oven. Your mini omelettes are done when they are all 'set' and have a bit of colour to them. Takes 20-25mins or so (you can bake them for less time, but if they are to runny they will not keep for 5 days as they will release to much moisture and get soggy).
-by Linda Forster
This little dish is part condiment and part salad. It is often served alongside grilled meats, providing a sharp and tangy contrast to the rich meat flavour.
2 large sweet onions (If you are using a sharper onion, not to worry. The salt mellows out the sharpness of the onion.
Salt to taste (As the salt is one of the only 3 ingredients in the dish, you really should use a good quality sea salt or Himalayan salt.)
3 to 4 heaping tablespoons sumac
1. Cut the onions in half and then thinly slice the halves, so that you have onion threads.
2. Add the salt and taste. Let the onion and salt sit for a few minutes, so that the salt mellows out and softens the onion. It is optional to give the onion a quick rinse from the salt at this point. It’s best to add the salt in small increments, until you achieve the desired salinity.
3. Add the sumac and mix through.
-by Diana Ghazzawi
Kifta (or kafta, kefta, kofta, or kufta, depending on your dialect and spelling preferences), is a basic Arab recipe that is eaten, in its simplest form, either grilled, broiled, baked, or fried. Additionally, the same kifta mixture is used in dozens of more complex dishes which include vegetables and/or sauces.
Once you have this basic recipe down (and it truly is very simple), you have the basis of quite a few other dishes.
If you’re baking, broiling, or grilling the kifta, as I did here, you’ll want an 80% to 85% lean beef, so that it stays moist. If you will be using the kifta in a dish that requires a sauce or other similar preparation, you may want to go for a leaner mix, so that the sauce isn’t overwhelmed by the fat that will come out of the meat.
As is often the case, the amounts of these ingredients aren’t set in stone. You can adjust the amount of spice or vegetable to your liking.
2 pounds or 1 kilo ground beef (or ground lamb)
1 large onion
1 medium-sized bunch of parsley
1 tablespoon (approximately) salt (preferably a good quality sea salt or crushed Himalayan salt)
3 to 4 tablespoons Arab seven-spice mixture (or, if you can’t find it, the same amount of ground allspice)
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1. Dice the onion into fairly small pieces.
2. Mince the washed parsley leaves.
3. Combine all the ingredients together. Mix well, but don’t overmix, as the meat will get tough if you do so.
4. Decide how you want to shape it, finger-like pieces being the most common shape. Of course, you can make the kifta into meatballs, small hamburgers, or even spread the entire mix into a pan and slice it into squares after baking.
5. Cook your kifta! Again, times and temperatures depend on the method, but obviously, grill, bake, or fry until cooked through.
-by Diana Ghazzawi
Baba ghanouj, also called mutabbal beitinjan (or, properly, bathinjan), is so easy to find in Arab restaurants in the Middle East and abroad, it’s practically become a cliché. But there is a reason it’s so ubiquitous: it’s delicious! It’s hard to resist the combination of sharp garlic, earthy tahini, fragrantly smoky eggplant, and bright lemon juice.
First, the name. “Baba ghanouj” (as it should be spelled; no “ganoush” or “ghanoush” which are not real words), roughly means “dad is spoiled,” or “dad is coy,” or, even, “dad is mildly flirtatious.” Who is this dad? No one knows. Perhaps it’s the person being lovingly spoiled when served this tasty dish. Or perhaps it refers to the eggplant itself, often given a place of honor (“the father,” if you will) among vegetables in Arab cuisine. Its other name, mutabbal beitinjan, is so much more straightforward: it simply means dressed or marinated eggplant (beitinjan or bathinjan means eggplant). Though, to a lesser extent and depending on where you are eating this dish, each of these names can refer to a similarly dressed eggplant dish that doesn’t include tahini. But for our purposes, it’s baba ghanouj. Onward....
Second, I’m including measurements, but they mean little in this case. Why? Though this dish always has the same 6 or 7 ingredients, each person usually has preferences on how their baba ghanouj should taste. I like mine well-balanced, but garlicky and with a good dose of tahini. Others prefer a more lemony version or like a lot of the tart pomegranate syrup. And so on. You must taste and adjust to your liking as you go. You may even want to use a little less garlic or tahini (and thus less lemon, which is used to balance the tahini) than I prescribe here, and add more in increments until it’s to your liking.
3 large eggplants, with shiny, tight skins
3/4 cup tahini
1/2 to 3/4 cup lemon juice
6-8 cloves garlic
salt to taste
extra virgin olive oil
optional: pomegranate syrup (also called pomegranate molasses) *Note: Use a product that is 100% pomegranate, and not doctored with glucose or other substances.
optional: pomegranate arils and/or chopped parsley for garnish
1. Using a fork, poke some holes in your eggplants. Place them on a baking sheet or in a pan lined with aluminum foil (which will make clean-up so much easier). Setting the pan either on the lowest oven rack, or even on the actual “floor” of the oven, and roast them at about 375 degrees F. They should cook through until soft, but also should char a bit and caramelize. Flip them midway through cooking for maximum caramelization. Alternatively, you can grill them (directly, without use of a pan or foil) on your charcoal or gas grill, achieving the same result. When the eggplant has cooked, let it cool to room temperature.
2. Once cooled, use a spoon to scoop out the eggplant from its skin. See those darker parts nearest to the skin? Those have the best flavor; make sure to include every last bit of them.
3. Combine the tahini and lemon juice. Any time you combine an acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar) with tahini, it will first “break,” looking like it’s curdling; you’ve done nothing wrong. Some more stirring will yield a smooth, medium thick paste. You’ll have to taste to see if you like the balance of lemon and tahini, and adjust as necessary. Crush the garlic and add it to the tahini mixture.
4. Combine the tahini with the eggplant and season with salt to taste. You can also add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and/or a couple tablespoons of pomegranate syrup. Again, taste the baba ghanouj and adjust it to your liking.
5. Top with the pomegranate arils, parsley, and a good amount of the olive oil.
-by Diana Ghazzawi
1lb broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
1/4 cup whole almonds
2 tablespoons black and/or white sesame seeds
In a dry skillet over medium low heat, toast the almonds until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Shake the pan regularly while toasting to avoid burning on one side. Take off the heat and let cool. Chop and set aside.
Steam the broccoli florets for a few minutes, until barely tender. Turn them into a bowl of ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
In a small pan, whisk together tahini, olive oil, salt and garlic (if chosen). Whisk in hot water little by little to reach the desired consistency. I like mine similar to the consistency of mayonnaise.
Transfer broccoli to serving bowl. Gently stir in the tahini dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped almonds. Best served at room temperature or cold.
-by Anja Schwerin
You will need for the cake:
- 130g butter
- 110g icing sugar
- 6 egg yolk
- 130g good quality dark chocolate melted
- 6 egg white (whipped hard)
- 130g ground cashew nut
For the icing:
- 1/2 cup water
- 110g icing sugar
- 150g good quality dark chocolate
- 60g butter
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 200g apricot jam
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and melt the chocolate.
2. Mix well the butter with the icing sugar, than put the egg yolks one buy one, stir until smooth and light yellow. Add the melted chocolate.
3. Put the whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture, and add the cashew nuts while constantly stirring. Put the mixture in the papered baking pan and bake it for 45 minutes. (I use a smaller form to make my cake higher)
Let the cake cool before you cut horizontally
4. Grease both side with warm apricot jam, put the two half together and coat with the jam. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. Melt the chocolate with the other ingredients and icing the cake. Refrigerate 1 hour.
6. Serve with whipped cream.
-by Beatrix Szarka
These brownies are vegan (dairy and egg free), gluten free, and also packed with natural soy protein, healthy fats and Omega 3s. If anything, you could almost say they were healthy!
Gluten Free Vegan Super-Brownies
2 tbs ground flaxseed (linseed)
1/4 cup strong espresso (optionally, replace with water)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup natural soy protein
1/2 cup organic cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup organic unsweetened soy milk
Preheat an oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a baking tray or super-long loaf pan with baking paper.
Mix linseeds and espresso in a small bowl and set aside. Sift dry ingredients (except sugar) into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl, adding in the soaked flaxseed, before mixing in to the dry ingredients. Mix it all until combined, then spread it onto the baking paper, before placing in the oven and baking for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out 'just' clean (I actually like mine a touch undercooked.
-by Kristy-Lee Biggs