Roast Chicken – French Country Style

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I love two things about this meal. Firstly, it is very rustic and reminds me of a wonderful French summer I shared with some dear French friends in Brittany. Secondly, it is so quick and simple! I can’t remember where I read about putting a lemon inside the cavity of the chicken when roasting, but since I have tried it, I have never roasted a chicken any other way. The lemon makes the chicken deliciously succulent and flavoursome. We have this meal weekly, and I can then make a weekly batch of our chicken bone broth.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 lemon (holes pricked with a sharp knife all around the lemon – this allows the flavour to be released)
  • Margarine
  • Spray oil (I used rice-bran oil)
  • Salt & pepper (I use Himalayan salt)
  • Fresh herbs (I used rosemary, sage & tarragon)
  • Mixed root vegetables (I used carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and butternut pumpkin)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • Your choice of a side of green vegetables to serve (peas, green beans, broccoli, buk choy, etc)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Spray the roasting tin or casserole with oil
  3. Insert the pre-picked lemon into the chest cavity of the chicken and fold the skin over the opening to secure the lemon
  4. Place chicken in the middle of the casserole dish
  5. Place chunks of margarine over the chicken (see first picture – I used 5 chunks)
  6. Salt and pepper the chicken
  7. Chop the root vegetables and arrange around the chicken
  8. Chop onion into crescents and arrange with the root vegetables
  9. Add garlic to the casserole
  10. Spray vegetables with spray oil
  11. Sprinkle herbs, salt & pepper over the vegetables
  12. Roast in oven for 1 1/2hrs – 2hrs
  13. Serve with a side of steamed green vegetables. I cover the chicken with any juices from the casserole
  14. After the meal I strip the chicken carcass and use any leftover chicken and/or roasted vegetables to make sushi, or add to salads, etc. I then use the carcass and any leftover onion and garlic pieces to add to my bone broth (see previous recipe)

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 for your family’s sensitivities.

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Sausage Casserole

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This is one of my favourite meals . It is so quick and hearty and makes great left-overs in a salad or as a spare ready meal. I used to add a splash of balsamic vinegar to it but now leave that out for my very sensitive children- you could easily add some when you splash the olive oil over the casserole before it goes in the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 6-10 Sausages (whatever sausages suit your diet)
  • 1 can of chick peas (rinsed and drained) [I buy organic with no preservatives]
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes [I buy organic with no preservatives]
  • 1 red onion chopped into moon crescents
  • 3 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 2 sweet potatoes [chopped into rough 2cm cubes and pre-steamed]
  • Salt  & pepper to taste [I use Himalayan salt]
  • A sprinkle of dried herbs of your choice [I used Oregano]
  • A splash of olive oil over the dish once assembled
  • Baby leaf spinach
  • Basmati rice

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Spray the casserole dish with a spray oil [I used rice-bran oil]
  3. Separate sausages and place in the casserole
  4. Add to the casserole: chopped tomato, chick peas, sweet potato, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, dried herbs and olive oil.
  5. Mix together and place in the oven for 45 min-1 hour
  6. Cook rice
  7. Serve the casserole on a bed of rice and baby spinach leaves

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 for your family’s sensitivities.

BBQ Glazed Drumsticks & Quinoa Salad

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So, it’s still midweek and I wanted to mix things up a bit and try something new… but I wanted it to be quick and easy. I decided to use my BBQ sauce (from a previous blog post) as a glaze and then made up a quinoa salad that I thought would work alongside it – et voila! My husband was a bit surprised to come home to such a delicious looking meal that was totally new. We were pleasantly surprised with how yummy it was and this will definitely become one of our regular go-to meals.

This Quantity serves 4 people

Ingredients:

  • Chicken legs (8-10)
  • BBQ sauce (‘Dark Sauce’ from my blog)
  • Sweet potato (I used 4)
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1/2 red capsicum
  • Several handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1-2 green apples (I used 1)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper (I use Himalayan Salt)
  • Spray oil

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Spray a casserole dish with oil (I used rice-bran oil)
  3. Place the chicken legs in the dish and then coat them in the BBQ sauce
  4. Peel and roughly chop the sweet potato into 2cm cubes
  5. Arrange the sweet potato around the chicken legs. Spray them with the spray oil and give them a dusting of salt and pepper
  6. Bake in the oven for 45min-1 hour
  7. Meanwhile, assemble the salad and dressing so when the meat and sweet potatoes are cooked it can be dished up.
  8. For the dressing: add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper to a jar and shake well. This will make more dressing than you will need. You could halve the amount if you wanted to; I like to make up a jar of it so I can keep it in the fridge for my next salads during the week.
  9. For the salad: cover the base of a salad bowl in baby spinach leaves. Add the red capsicum (I sliced them length ways, then halved them). I cooked the quinoa next (I used the absorption method on the stove top and just followed the instructions on the packet). I chopped the apple just before serving and then added the quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes. Give it all a toss together and either drizzle over the salad dressing or allow people to add their own dressing.
  10. Serve the chicken legs and salad together for a light but filling meal.

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 for your family’s sensitivities.

A Cup of Tea and Warm Scones? Yes Please!

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I’ve been gluten free a long time now – even before we had kids. I always got very excited if we went for a coffee somewhere and they served gluten free scones – it literally made my day! I was always to afraid to make my own…but now I have no choice. If I don’t make them, then we don’t get to enjoy them together as a family. I have trialed these scones a few times now, most recently this morning when some friends came for morning tea. I didn’t get them quite right so I re-baked this afternoon and voila – they are ready to share.

Ingredients:

  • 200g white rice flour
  • 100g tapioca/arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 60g margarine
  • 150ml rice milk (or whatever milk is suitable for your dietary needs)
  • 2 eggs made with egg replacer (2 tsp no-egg powder + 4 Tbs rice milk)
  • 1 tsp honey

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and give a light spray with oil (I used rice-bran oil)
  3. Place dry ingredients into a mixing bowl (I added the no-egg powder to the dry mix)
  4. Add margarine to the mixing bowl and rub the margarine and flour mixture through your fingers (like you would when you make shortbread). Rub until the margarine and flour mixture are fully mixed together
  5. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture. Add the milk and honey (remembering the extra milk to make up the eggs = 4 Tbs). I don’t want to confuse you with the two different milk additions but if eggs are suitable for your family then you can add them with the milk. If eggs as not suitable, however, then add the egg replacer powder in step 3 and then add the extra milk quantity to make up the 2 eggs at this stage.
  6. Stir together and let the flour absorb the milk. It should be a light, fluffy, but slightly slopping and sticky mixture now. If you feel the mixture is too sloppy then add a Tb of rice flour at a time until it seems like a light fluffy batter (the less you stir the lighter and fluffier the scones will be)
  7. Use a tablespoon to scoop a scone sized amount of mixture out of the bowl and drop it onto the baking tray
  8. Bake for 15 minutes
  9. Cool on wire rack
  10. Serve with margarine and jam…and a cup of tea!

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 for your family’s sensitivities.

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.

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.