I Love Broth!

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I have been wanting to get into bone broth for a long time…I have made the step, and, I can safely say…I love it! We tend to have a roast chicken once a week in our house and have a nice roast meal out of it; we also make a bonus meal of sushi. It is so nice to then look forward to a whole pot of bone broth made from the bones of the roasted chicken.

I have been freezing the broth in different containers:

  • Mugs- for a quick pick me up instead of a coffee
  • Starter dishes- that can be defrosted and heated as a starter or soup for lunch (adding extra meat or veg into it to pad it out)
  • Jar- to use as stock or to defrost and drink/eat

For something different this week, I made a lamb bone broth that was very hearty and yummy too. I have booked a place on a fermented foods and broth making workshop next month and I look forward to learning more and sharing more ideas with you about these foods. My main motivation with wanting to learn more about fermented foods and broths is that my daughter is so reactive to things I haven’t been able to find a suitable pro-biotic. Even the pro-biotics that should be okay still seem to make her react, so, I am hopeful that I can get some digestive system goodies into her in other ways.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken bones of a whole roast chicken, plus any left-over juices, etc (or to make it a lamb bone broth the bone from a roast leg of lamb)
  • 4 carrots washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 brown onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2-3 smashed garlic cloves
  • 4 celery stalks washed and roughly chopped
  • Any other extra vegetables that you want to add (e.g. I save the ends of Buk Choy, or if baby leaf spinach is starting to go off I freeze it and then add to this)
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • Ground salt (I use Himalayan salt)
  • 4-6 litres of water (depending on how big your largest saucepan is)
  • Bunch of fresh herbs (like rosemary,  thyme, and sage)

Method:

  1. Add everything into a large saucepan
  2. Place the lid on and cook over a medium to low heat for 4 hours
  3. Strain through a fine strainer and serve or store in fridge or freezer (depending on what you intend to use it for)

If you give this recipe a try please let me know how it turns out, I’m happy to troubleshoot or discuss how you could substitute these ingredients if some of the ones I’ve used aren’t suitable to your family’s sensitivities.

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Cottage Pie

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We have Cottage Pie once a week. It can easily become a Shepard’s Pie if you use lamb mince instead of the beef. It is such a great meal that works well for left overs or frozen ready meals. My daughter has not been wanting cooked carrot recently so we just had it with peas this time and had the carrots steamed on the side and served the pie on a bed of baby spinach. It is a great meal as you can load it up with lots of vegetables and adapt it to suit different likes and dietary requirements.

Ingredients:

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1kg potatoes
  • 375-500ml stock
  • 1-2 tbs tapioca flour
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • Ground pepper
  • 1-2 clove garlic (minced)
  • Oregano (or other safe dried herbs)
  • 1 onion
  • Margarine (up to 3 Tbs)
  • Suitable milk (as much as needed to make a creamy mash potato)

Method:

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes so these can steam (microwave or stove top) while the beef mixture cooks.
  2. Finely dice onion and mince garlic
  3. Heat oil of choice in frying pan (I used spray rice-bran oil)
  4. Add onions to the pan and soften/brown. Add garlic for 1 min before adding beef mince.
  5. Fry beef mince until cooked
  6. Grate carrot or finely chop (depending on your preference). Add to pan, cover and steam for a few minutes
  7. Add frozen peas and stir
  8. Add tapioca flour and coat the beef mixture (I added about 1 Tb this time)
  9. Add stock (I added about 500 ml this time)
  10. Simmer until desired consistency. Add more stock or tapioca flour to achieve a nice gravy sauce consistency so the pie isn’t too dry. A tip if adding flour after the liquid is added, mix flour with a small amount of water to make a paste before adding it.
  11.  Drain and mash potatoes, add margarine (I used about 3 Tbs) and milk (coconut milk or rice milk) until a creamy mash has been achieved
  12. Add beef mixture to a casserole dish, layer and spread mashed potato over the top. I used a fork to scrape a texture on the top of the pie – I find this makes the pie top brown and flavor nicely.
  13. Bake for 45 minutes
  14. Serve with steamed vegetables or a side salad
  15. This recipe is great portioned up and frozen as ready meals. I make sure I send one each day to my daughter’s daycare as her hot meal of the day.

If you give this recipe a try please let me know how it turns out, I’m happy to troubleshoot or discuss how you could substitute these ingredients if some of the ones I’ve used aren’t suitable to your family’s sensitivities.

Mid-Week Italian Inspired

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So it was the middle of the week last night, but I fancied trying a new dish! I have found that since we have been on an allergy diet we haven’t eaten as many Italian foods – usually there is so much wheat and dairy involved! But I am doing more research into  Italian dishes that could be adapted. I was interested to learn that the Cannellini bean in Italian foods originated in Tuscany; so this dish is inspired by that region of Italy. I adapted several recipes to make this safe and still yummy – the husband gave it 9/10. I served this meal with basmati rice, but it would work with quinoa or pasta as well. It was nice with some green vegetables on the side, we had Buk Choy (just lightly steamed), but green beans, steamed asparagus or broccolli would work nicely too. I have saved some leftovers to add to salads. I’m looking forward to adapting more Italian recipes in the future.

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 can of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of stock (I used frozen chicken stock that was very hearty)
  • 1 red capsicum (sliced)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (of substitute with suitable dried herbs)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (of substitute with suitable dried herbs)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper (I use Himalayan salt)
  • 1 Tb arrowroot/tapioca flour and enough water to make it into a paste (to use if the sauce needs thickening)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Add the cannellini beans, chopped tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, capsicum and stock to the roasting pan
  3. Place chicken thighs in the roasting pan
  4. Drizzle the chicken thighs with olive oil, then sprinkle the herbs, salt and pepper, and lemon rind on them
  5. Add extra herbs and garlic to the bean mixture if desired
  6. Cook for 45 minutes
  7. I thickened my sauce with the arrowroot flour and water mixture
  8. I served this meal with steamed basmati rice and lightly steamed Buk Choy

If you give this recipe a try please let me know how it turns out, I’m happy to troubleshoot or discuss how you could substitute these ingredients if some of the ones I’ve used aren’t suitable to your family’s sensitivities.

Saturday Night Burgers

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It was burger night in our house tonight and EVERYONE was happy! I had to whip up the BBQ sauce first (Please see that recipe before beginning this one) but then the meal was very quick and easy. We tend to serve our burger patties in lettuce cups (iceberg works best for this), with a side salad, and either a jacket potato, hot chips or crisps/chips.

Ingredients:

  •  500g beef mince
  • 1/4 cup rice crumbs
  • 1 egg replaced (I mixed 1 portion of  ‘no-egg’)
  • 1 Tb of my BBQ sauce (see other post)
  • A sprinkle of garlic granules and onion flakes
  • A sprinkle of suitable dried herbs (oregano is safe for us all so I used that)
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I use Himalayan salt)

Method:

  1. Place mince and all ingredients into a mixing bowl (I mix up the ‘no-egg’ before adding to the mix)
  2. Using your clean hands, mix all the mixture together until well combined
  3. Divide the mixture up into six medium sized portions
  4. Form a ball with each portion and mould it into a pattie shape
  5. Place the patties on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (I find this helps them retain their shape during cooking)
  6. Cook the patties in an oiled frying pan, electric frying pan, or on the BBQ
  7. Serve with a drizzle of the BBQ sauce
  8. Refrigerate any leftover patties – they are great as leftovers or chopped up cold in salads the next day

If you give this recipe a try please let me know how it turns out, I’m happy to troubleshoot or discuss how you could substitute these ingredients if some of the ones I’ve used aren’t suitable to your family’s sensitivities.

BBQ Sauce – ‘Dark Sauce’

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I was devastated when I realised corn was in EVERYTHING!!!! I don’t want our family to miss out on all the yummy sauces in the world, so I have set myself a challenge to gradually make them all suitable. This is my daughter’s favourite to go with sausages or burgers. It is a BBQ sauce but she has taken to calling it the ‘Dark Sauce’ – the name has stuck. I had to make up a batch of this sauce today as our stock in the fridge had run dry. I was planning on making burgers for dinner and always add some sauce into them to make them extra delicious. I will blog the burgers next…

Ingredients:

  • 200g tomato paste
  • 1 Tb coconut oil
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs Molasses
  • ½ cup golden syrup (or honey or maple syrup)
  • A sprinkle of ground salt (I use Himalayan salt)
  • A sprinkle of garlic and onion powder

Method:

  1. Melt coconut oil in a medium size saucepan
  2. Add remaining ingredients
  3. Stir over a medium to low heat for 7-10 minutes (until it is the thickness you would like it)
  4. Store in a glass jar or bottle. I use a passata bottle as it has a wide enough neck to be able to scrape out the end of the sauce but still be able to pour like a sauce bottle
  5. Store in the fridge

If you give this recipe a try please let me know how it turns out, I’m happy to troubleshoot or discuss how you could substitute these ingredients if some of the ones I’ve used aren’t suitable to your family’s sensitivities.

Shortbread

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My stock of shortbread has run out in the freezer – DISASTER!! I used my last ones as a base for a free-from cheesecake (which I can share the recipe for) and now, we have friends coming over for coffee tomorrow and no quick snacks to whip out for the adults and the kids, too. So, today, the daughter and I had a baking session. We made one batch of regular shortbread, which she calls ‘the yellow ones’ and a chocolate version – which is her favourite…one poor mermaid biscuit barely made it to be fully cooled before being gobbled up!

I’m always collecting new biscuit cutters to make our biscuits stay interesting, despite us making them so often. I got the northern hemisphere animals cutters from Ikea last Christmas and they have been a huge hit. The magical, sea, horse, and fairy ones I have collected locally from cake decorating shops and homeware shops. My son has trains, cars and planes as his preferred shapes…but I think this ‘Room on the Broom’ style magic wand will entice him. Let me know how you get on with the recipe. I’m sure other flours such as buckwheat and millet could be used instead of the rice flours; also, if tapioca is a problem then perhaps try potato flour.

Ingredients:

  • 100g white rice flour
  • 100g brown rice flour
  • 80g tapioca flour/arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 185g suitable margarine
  • Some raw sugar to sprinkle over the biscuits before baking

Method:

  1. Line baking tray with baking paper & spray with oil (rice bran oil or olive oil – be sure to check they are allergen free)
  2. Add sifted flour, guar gum and sugar into a large bowl and stir through                                                                                           – Optional extra (put 1-2 Tablespoons of Cacao powder into the flour mix to make chocolate shortbread – my daughter loves this variety)
  3. Add margarine and rub through with your fingers until mixture can be squeezed together to form a ball (adjust with a sprinkle more flour if too sticky)
  4. Flour a chopping board or pastry mat with a sprinkle of white rice flour
  5. I use my fingers and palms to push this mixture out flat onto a floured soft plastic chopping board. Cut out desired shapes and place on tray for baking.                                                                                                                                                                   – Optional extra – sprinkle with raw sugar before baking if you desire sugar coated biscuits
  1. Bake in oven (180 degrees Celsius fan forced) for 12 – 15 minutes (depending on how small you cut your biscuits, smaller shapes will cook quicker)
  2. Leave to cool of the tray for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish the cooling process (if you move them too quickly they can break)
  3. Store in airtight containers. These biscuits freeze well and make a great addition to a spontaneous coffee afternoon or lunchboxes.

If you give this recipe a try please let me know how it turns out, I’m happy to troubleshoot or discuss how you could substitute these ingredients if some of the ones I’ve used aren’t suitable to your family’s sensitivities.