Monday, May 25, 2009

Avocado Topping for a Dairy Free Pizza

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When you love pizza and you can't have cheese, life is tough! But thank goodness I found this recipe for a creamy avocado pizza topping in 'Rejuvenate Your Life' by Serene Allison (which I've slightly altered). It is so delicious, even my kids love it and come back begging for more. Yay! So for all you dairy-free pizza lovers out there - here's one for you! (By the way, you don't have to be dairy free to love it. And it's great as a dip too.)

I also like to sprinkle macadamia 'cheese' on top - you can find that recipe here in this post.

1. First, make and cook your pizza bases - I usually make either a yeast spelt crust, or a yeast-free scone dough crust, or a gluten free crust. (The gluten free crust can be made with 2 tsp baking powder instead of yeast, if you want it to be yeast free.)  You can even make a raw, dehyrdrated crust if you like.

2. While they're cooling, make the topping. In your Thermomix, mince the garlic on speed 7 for 3 seconds, then add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth & fluffy:
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 large avocados
- 4 tblspns raw almond butter (or you can just chuck in a couple of handfuls of roasted or raw almonds and a tablespoon of olive oil if you don't have any almond butter made up already)
- 2 tblspns Tamari
- a small piece of fresh chilli (optional)
- handful of fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- sea salt to taste
- juice of 1 lemon 

3. Spread a good, thick layer on each pizza base, and top with some or all of the following:
- sun dried tomato strips
- kalamata olives
- green olives
- raw capsicum strips or pieces
- roasted red capsicum or eggplant
- diced fresh tomato or cherry tomato halves
- chopped fresh herbs (chives, lemon balm, oregano, basil)
- drizzle of fresh lemon juice (opt.)

I like to put all the toppings into separate bowls and let everyone choose their own toppings - the kids enjoy eating this way.  Warning: you will have garlic breath afterwards, but it will be completely worth it!!!  :D

Orange Almond Cake (gluten free)

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Gluten Free Orange Almond Cake

I'm not sure what I love most about this cake - the delightful smell that permeates the whole house while it cooks, or the soft, moist texture, or the tangy-sweet orange flavour! 

My friend Nancy tends to cut steps out of recipes like I do, and she never boils the oranges for the 'Boiled Orange and Almond' cake in the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook - why bother boiling oranges for 40 minutes when it's fresher and just as yummy this way? Not to mention MUCH quicker!! So I started making it her way too, just adding a few more 'tweaks' along the way to reduce the sugar, and make it a healthier version of the original.

This is a cake that everyone will enjoy, whether they're used to eating gluten free or not. It is also dairy free, contains no fat, and is naturally sweetened! You can use two oranges, or an orange and a lime, orange and lemon... whatever combination you like. If you use lemon-lime, you will need to increase the Rapadura and/or stevia a little.

1. Grind almonds in Thermomix for 10 secs speed 8:
- 250g (8.8 oz) raw almonds, skin on

2. Add oranges (limes/lemons) and grind another 20 secs speed 8:
- 2 oranges, preferably organic (or 1 orange, 1 lime/lemon) washed, thick ends sliced off, quartered and de-seeded

3. Add following ingredients and mix for 30 secs on speed 5:
- 6 eggs
- 100g Rapadura
- 1/2 tsp stevia liquid concentrate or powder
- 1 tsp ground lemon myrtle

4. Mix in baking powder just until combined (5 secs speed 5):
- 1 tsp baking powder

5. Pour mixture into a large, lined, rectangular baking dish (should be about 2 cm (1 inch) deep); or two round cake tins; or you could use some mini Bundt tins like I did - they're so cute!

6. Bake at 190 degrees C (370 degrees F) for about 30 mins, until browned and knife inserted comes out clean. If you like, drizzle with orange/lemon syrup.

Orange/Lemon Syrup:
- Juice an orange or lemon, pour juice into Thermomix bowl, add 30g Rapadura for orange syrup, or 60g for lemon syrup, and cook at 100 degrees for 2 minutes, speed 2. Drizzle over cake and serve warm.

Menu Plan Monday - May 25th

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Hi everyone... haven't gotten around to a menu plan for a couple of weeks, been so busy! (Which of course is the time when you really should be planning!) Tonight I'm determined to spend some time organizing my week, so menu planning first! We are going completely dairy free for six months, so no butter or cheese. (Trying to get rid of allergies, and dairy seems to affect us the most.) Some recipes have variations in them, some are written in menu plan.

For more menu plans, and links to lots of recipes, go to Menu Plan Monday on!

Here's the plan... if there's a recipe you want and you can't find, let me know and I'll post it!

Monday: (lunch) Homemade spelt tortillas with homemade mayonnaise & tuna / roast lamb & sauce; (dinner) Potato wedges, carrot sticks & pan-fried fish fingers (homemade, coated in spelt flour).

Tuesday: (lunch) Vege soup (Thermomix!) with spelt bread; (dinner) Garlic-beef & vege stir fry with mung bean noodles.

Wednesday: (lunch) Salmon patties (tinned salmon with the juices blended with spelt flour, coated in spelt crumbs, shallow fried in coconut oil) & salad; (dinner) Shepherd's pie (made with leftover roast lamb & veges, Thermomix gravy and Thermomix mashed potato), with salad.

Thursday: (lunch) Soltero de Queso (without the feta - using tempeh instead); (dinner) Crockpot Mexican Blackbean & Sausage Soup.

Friday: (lunch) Leftovers with spelt bread rolls; (dinner) Dairy-free pizza (spelt crust, tasty avocado topping, plus raw veges).

Saturday: (lunch) Thermomix demo for people with food allergies! Here's the menu:

- Lemon sorbet (lemon zest, lemon juice, egg white, Rapadura & stevia or xylitol, ice)

- Hummus (garlic, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt & pepper) with wholegrain rice crackers

- Cashew spread/dip (cashews, polenta, water, salt) with vege sticks

- Spelt bread rolls (freshly ground spelt grain, white spelt flour, yeast, salt, rapadura, olive oil, water, sesame seeds) with cashew spread or butter

- Beetroot salad (see recipe)

- Vege juice (carrot, celery, apple, beetroot, ice, water)

- Mushroom risotto (garlic, mushrooms, white wine, vege stock concentrate, arborio rice, water)

- Chocolate-nut pudding (freshly ground brown rice & almonds/hazelnuts, water, eggs, cocoa, rapadura)

- Vanilla dairy free pudding (freshly ground rice, soy milk, xylitol, vanilla, eggs)

(dinner) Chilli con carne (quick Thermomix meal!) on corn chips with salad.

Sunday: (lunch) Roast & veges; (dinner) leftovers/spelt bread.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Carob Cake with Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Icing

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Hi everyone - I'm finally getting around to posting a recipe! We're actually on holiday at the beach, which is why I've been so slack. This cake can be made with either cocoa or carob (use a little more if cocoa). There's also a couple of suggestions for sweeteners - if you've never heard of Rapadura, see here. I sometimes use butter, sometimes olive oil, sometimes coconut oil - you can substitute it for whatever you usually use. You can make it either with spelt or gluten free flour (or wheat of course, but I don't use wheat).

I use grams for most of my measurements (because the Thermomix has a built in scale, and that's how you cook with it), so I've converted them to ounces as well, but not to cups - sorry!

The icing (frosting) is really yummy, and so healthy! If you can't have soy, maybe you know of another type of carob buttons you could use. I've suggested a recipe for homemade soy-free carob chips here (with comments).

If you'd like some carob 'candy' recipes, my friend Angie has a website with some: there's Carob Candy Squares, Carob Sesame Balls, Carob Fruit Candy (contains milk powder, but you could substitute with soy milk powder), and Carob Clusters. Yum!

Happy baking!

Carob Cake
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Grease / line a 20cm square pan or small ring tin.

2. Melt butter/coconut oil (Thermomix: 2 mins, 60 degrees, speed 4):
- 120g (4.25 oz) butter (or oil)

3. Mix together all ingredients (including melted butter/coconut oil) in Thermomix or food processor for 30 seconds (speed 5 in Thermomix, med-high speed in food processor):
- 100g (3.5 oz) rice-almond milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g (5.3 oz) spelt flour (or 120g (4.2 oz) gluten-free flour)
- 4 level tsp baking powder
- 30g (1 oz or about 3 heaped Tablespoons) carob powder
- 100g (3.5 oz) raw honey or 120g (4.2 oz) Rapadura or 60g (2 oz) Rapadura + pinch of Stevia powder

4. Pour into cake tin and bake in centre of oven for 25 - 30 mins, or until knife inserted in cake comes out clean.

5. Eat warm, dusted with powdered Rapadura, or cool and top with carob icing.

Carob Icing (Frosting)
(based on one from the Fit for Life Cookbook, Marilyn Diamond)

1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and warm over med-low heat while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon (or Thermomix - 2 mins, 60 degrees, speed 2).
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter
- 1/2 cup carob chips
- 1/4 cup honey (or rice malt syrup)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

2. Drizzle and spread over cake - it will get firm as it cools.

If you have some left, you can keep it in the fridge and spread it on toast - it's yummy! Try adding crushed hazelnuts for a healthy substitute for Nutella!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Corn & Potato Chowder with Chorizo Sausage

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Slow Cooker or Stovetop Method
Serves 6-8

1. Make a batch of white sauce - mine is here: dairy-free white sauce 

2. Add and stir in for 10 sec/speed 4:
2 Tbsp chicken or vege stock concentrate
1 cup corn kernels
2 Tbsp savoury yeast flakes (opt)
1 tsp coconut sugar or Rapadura

3. Pour sauce into slow cooker or a heavy based pot on the stove and add:
2 cups water (or more if you want it soupier)
5 potatoes, cubed (or a mixture of English potatoes and orange sweet potatoes)
2-3 carrots, sliced
500g frozen corn
3-5 *chorizo sausages, thinly sliced
 1 bag baby spinach leaves (or a couple of cups)

4. Cook in slow cooker on low for 8-10 hrs, or high for about 4 hrs; or in pot on stove for about an hour, stirring as needed. Season to taste.

Thermomix Method

Make sauce in Thermomix as above, then add 500g water, and 3 thinly sliced chorizo sausages to bowl.

Add some of the cubed potato and carrot to bowl, until level of soup reaches the 2 litre mark.

Place the rest of the veges (except spinach) in the Varoma dish and place in position on the bowl.

Cook 25 mins/Varoma temp/rev/speed 1. Check if veges are cooked, and if not cook a further 5 mins.

Pour soup into a large dish (at least 3 litres) or divide between two Thermoservers, and stir in steamed veges and baby spinach. Season to taste.

* If you can't find chorizo sausages without heaps of additives and would like to make your own, try this recipe:

Chorizo Sausages
(This is Gluten-free Girl's recipe adapted for the Thermomix. For the original, see here.)

1. Drop garlic in bowl & mince for 3 seconds on speed 7:
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled

2. Add meat to bowl & mince for 8-15 seconds on speed 7 until desired consistency.
- 500g (1 pound) cubed pork or turkey

3. Add, and mix for 20 seconds on speed 5 (use more or less, to taste):
- 2 teaspoons chilli powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon each sea salt and cracked black pepper

4. Make a tiny taster of the sausage. Bring a sauté pan to high heat. Pour in a splash of oil. Put the tiny sausage patty in the hot oil. Cook, and taste, to check the seasonings. Adjust accordingly.

5. Roll into small sausages or patties and cook as above.

Menu Plan Monday - May 4th

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Hi everyone - here I am trying to type with a bandaged finger... not easy... I keep coming up with words like 'bafnkrl' which I have to erase and try again! Never mind...

Well, our favourite meals last week were meatloaf with steamed veges and red sauce (all made at the same time in the Thermomix - took about 30 mins to cook, and was delicious!) and a rolled roast (made with this recipe) & mashed potatoes. (We made the potatoes in the Thermomix, and they were so fluffy and yummy - and enough for a good serving each for nine people!) I'm hoping to get some more recipes posted soon- got plenty of ideas, just got to find the time! For more menu planning ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday at

Monday: (lunch) Leftover roast beef & onion gravy on baked potatoes; (dinner) Vege pasta sauce with rice macaroni.

Tuesday: (lunch) Seafood fried rice; (dinner) tomato noodle soup & spelt toast.

Wednesday: (lunch) Thermomix Varoma demo (using two Thermomixes) - lemon sorbet, cashew/basil pesto & rice crackers, spelt bread rolls, Chinese style salad, pumpkin soup, chicken & cashews (with rice, steamed veges, & coconut curry sauce), and banana-macadamia-carob ice-cream! (who wants to come?!); (dinner - still got to cook for the family!) Hamburgers (homemade with spelt buns) & potato wedges.

Thursday: (lunch) Tuna salad wraps (with spelt tortillas); (dinner) Thermomix meatloaf & steamed veges, with mushroom sauce.

Friday: (lunch) Baked potatoes (English & sweet) with leftover mushroom sauce; (dinner) Fish (coated in cornmeal & pan-fried), mashed potatoes & steamed veges.

Saturday: (lunch) Tuna pasta (Thermomix); (dinner) Thermomix demo and BBQ (homemade Spanish chorizo sausages) with friends.

Sunday: (lunch) Crockpot potato & corn chowder (with leftover sausages if there are any!); (dinner) Who knows? off on a holiday! Yay!
I'll be posting the recipe for the potato corn chowder soon - it's one of favourites!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Food Photos

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I've been so busy that I haven't kept up with my posts the last couple of weeks... I was planning to sit down tonight and post all the recipes I've taken photos of this week, but I've cut my finger peeling carrots, so it's all wrapped up in a bulky bandage and it's very awkward to type, so here's the photos, and hopefully I'll be able to type up the recipes soon!

Spelt Carob Cake - this may look wicked, but it's very healthy! I sweeten it with either Rapadura, or a mixture of Rapadura & stevia, or honey. (Can of course be made with cocoa.) The icing is NAS carob buds melted with a little butter, honey & rice milk - it goes kind of hard as it cools, which is perfect for icing. You can also add crushed hazelnuts and use it for a toast spread instead of Nutella!

Corn & Bean Patties - we have these for breakfast or lunch. They're made of ground up cannelini beans, spelt flour, eggs, fresh corn, shallots... yum!

Homemade spelt bread, with homemade butter! (All made in the Thermomix.)

Ministrone (made in Thermomix) & Spelt toast - a very quick lunch! (About 20 mins from go to whoah!)

That's all for now - this finger is annoying me so I think I'll stop! Back soon, I hope!

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