Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Menu Plan

This weeks menu as follows:

Tuesday - Tacos  {I recently found masa flour and tried making corn tortillas, they were so easy!  I served these with homemade salsa and guacamole.  I found we don't miss the cheese if we have guacamole.  To make the guacamole I just mash an avacado, sprinkle in some salt, lemon juice, cumin, and garlic powder.  It's probably not true guacamole, but it's simple and we love it!}

Wednesday - Pizza

Thursday - Leftover Christmas Ham, Roast Potatoes, Steamed Carrots and Broccoli

Friday - Butter Chicken, Roast Cauliflower and Broccoli {I use a seasoning packet for this, and substitute coconut oil for the butter and coconut cream for the heavy cream.}

Saturday - Greek Chicken, Potatoes, Tossed Salad

Sunday - Sandwiches

Monday - Lasagna and Broccoli {I use homemade pasta and a vegan moxerella sauce.}

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Who doesn't love pizza?  Before going Gluten Free, we made pizza nearly every Friday night.  Then I became pregnant and couldn't stand the smell of homemade pizza (weird, huh?).  So that tradition stopped for about 9 months.  It wasn't long before we started it up again.  When my daughter had to stop eating gluten and dairy, we stopped until I found a suitable pizza base recipe.  While it's not like the traditional gluten variety, we have come to enjoy it.  We haven't gone back to our pizza every Friday night tradition, but we do enjoy it on occasion. 

Because of all the food issues around here, I end up making one round pizza and then making another batch of dough and making 4 or 5 smaller bases for the little ones.  Our daughter has all the toppings we have minus the cheese.  Our son can't have nightshades, so we usually just give him one of the small bases to eat and then I set aside some of the cooked sausage for him to eat and cook him some other veges to go along with it.  This works for now as he is only 2, but as he gets older we'll probably have to figure something else out for him.  I'm told hummus is a nice alternative to the tomato based sauce.  Have you ever tried it?

Gluten Free Pizza Base
(*This makes enough dough for 1 round base)
2/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon yeast
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
2 teaspoons guar gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1.  Dissolve sugar in water.  Sprinkle yeast over the top of the water and leave to proof for 5 minutes. 
2.  Add remaining ingredients and mix for 3 minutes.  (I use a hand mixer and use the dough attachments for it.  I've found the dough a bit too thick for the regular beaters.)
3.  Using a spatula, scrap dough out onto a pizza pan lined with baking paper (trust me, use the baking paper).  Using your hands and some more tapioca starch pat the crust out onto the pizza pan.
4.  Let rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.
5.  Bake for 8 minutes at 210 degrees C.
6.  Top with your favourite sauce and toppings and bake again for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Now, I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to pizza sauce.  I don't like most of the store bought varieties that are available here.  My uncle (well, I think my aunt did most of the work) used to make a lot pizza sauce and share it with my family.  He passed on his recipe and I've tweaked it a bit to suit us. 

Pizza Sauce
(*Yields about 2 cups of sauce)
1 400 gram tin of whole tomatoes in juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 + 1/4 teaspoons dried mixed herbs (or Italian herbs)
1 + 1/2 Tablespoons dried oregano
3 Tablespoons oil

1. Pour tomatoes into blender.  Fill tin with water and pour into blender.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend together.
2. Pour into saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer for up to 2 hours.  Stir occasionally to make sure it's not burning on the bottom.  It will reduce down quite a lot.

Now comes the really yummy part, putting your toppings on.  For this pizza I used pork sausage, mushrooms, capsicums, and a mix of mild cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.  I like to saute the capsicums and mushrooms for just a few minutes before adding them to the pizza base.

Several years ago I was given this recipe for sausage seasoning from another family that was here in New Zealand.  It is our go-to for American-style sausage.

Sausage Seasoning
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I only use about 1/3 teaspoon for a more mild version)
3 Tablespoons salt
1/2 Tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 Tablespoon dried sage

Mix all together and store in an air tight container.  Shake well before each use.  Use 1 Tablespoon of spice mix per kilogram of minced pork.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Meal Plan 1 December - 7 December

Only 24 days until Christmas!  My 5 year old is getting so excited.  I'm getting excited, too.  This is the first year since moving to New Zealand that I actually "feel" in the Christmas mood.  I grew up in the Northern Hemisphere so Christmas meant lots of snow and cold.  It's only taken 9 years, but I'm getting there! 

Anyway, I haven't done this in a while, but here is my meal plan for our evening meals this week.

Tuesday - Buffalo Chicken Casserole with Asparagus {my family doesn't eat very spicy food, so I substitute barbeque sauce for the hot sauce.  I also just use rice bran oil instead of olive oil.}

Wednesday - Satay Chicken and Rice

Thursday - Going out! 

Friday - Chicken, Mushroom, and Bacon Pasta with Broccoli

Saturday - We are having a teen activity at our house, so we will probably end up having a barbeque

Sunday - Sandwiches with Hummus and Vegetables

Monday - Korean Beef and Rice

I know I failed miserably last time I said this, but I will TRY to get recipes up as I cook this week. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Apple & Carrot Muffins

Well, actually a cross between a cupcake and a muffin.  There is just something so cute about mini muffins.  My children love them.  Ok, so I love them too.  This recipe is based off of the carrot cake recipe in the Betty Crocker cookbook.  I really, really like carrot cake.  Our wedding cake was carrot cake.  I've had carrot cake for many of my birthday cakes.  The great thing about this recipe was that it was made with oil, so it was already dairy free.  I just had to figure out how to make it gluten free and with less sugar.  The sweeter type of apple you use, the sweeter your muffins will be.

(for some reason there are 2 apples in this picture, but I only ever use one)

1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 Tablespoon tapioca starch (arrowroot)
3 Tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 large carrot - grated
1 medium apple - grated

1.  Mix honey, oil, and eggs in a large bowl until blended.  Stir for 1 minute.  (Do this by hand-trust me, they turn out better) 
2.  Stir in remaining ingredients except carrot and apple.  Stir by hand again for 1 minute.
3.  Fold in carrot and apple.
4.  Spoon into muffin tins.  (This recipe yields 24 mini muffins)
5.  Bake at 180 degrees C for 12 - 15 minutes. 

Yummmmmmm . . . 

Satay Chicken

I had never had this dish before moving to New Zealand.  When we moved here I was introduced to Thai food.  I'm not sure if this is authentic, but we have a Thai restaurant that we love and satay chicken is one of our favourite dishes from there.  This is not exactly like they serve at the restaurant, but we really enjoy it.  My daughter calls it "Peanut Butter Chicken."  My husband, who doesn't even like peanut butter, is a huge fan of this dish.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

I had planned on taking pictures of this dish when I made it this week, but we had company over for tea that night and I ran out of time to take pictures before it all got eaten.  One batch of this is enough for our family of 2 adults and 2 children, plus leftovers for lunch the next day.

Satay Chicken (a.k.a. Peanut Butter Chicken)
400 grams (or about that amount) boneless/skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tablespoon oil
500 grams frozen stir-fry veges* (See note below)
1 batch satay sauce (recipe below)

Heat oil in wok (a frying pan works too) over medium-high heat.  Stir-fry chicken in oil.  Add frozen vegetables and stir-fry for 7 minutes.  Pour over satay sauce and bring to the boil.  Stir often.  Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thickened-about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom.  Also, keep an eye on it because it can get thick really quick.  Serve over rice of choice.  We really like short grain rice, but jasmine rice is nice too.

Satay Sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground corriander
3 Tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
1 - 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar (you can use brown sugar)
1 - 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 - 2 Tablespoons soy sauce 
1/8 teaspoon ground chili powder** (if you like it spicy, feel free to add more)
1 to 1 1/2 cups coconut cream

Mix all together in blender.  Start with the smallest amount of each ingredient and add more to get a balance of sweet, sour, and salty.

*You can just use fresh veges, but if you are using broccoli and/or cauliflower I would steam them for a short time first unless you like them quite crunchy.  If using carrots, make sure to cut them into thin strips or steam them a bit first.

**Chili powder here is incredibly spicier than the kind you buy in the States.  I found this out the hard way.  :)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Schnitzel von Crumb

Tonight's tea was crumbed schnitzel with mashed potatoes, roast carrots, and roast broccoli.  My 5 year old daughter came in and asked what was for tea.  After I told her, she replied, "Yum! Schnitzel von Crumb!"  A few minutes later my husband asked the same question, I gave him the same answer, and he replied just like my daughter did!  So, Schnitzel von Crumb it is!

Schnitzel is a very thin cut of beef.  This is a really simple dish that tastes delicious!

To start with you need breadcrumbs.  I simply toasted some of my homemade bread . . .

Broke the bread into small pieces and put it in the blender . . . 

Then blended until I had fine crumbs.
I then mixed in some dried mixed herbs and salt.

Next, break an egg into a bowl and whisk with a little milk (I used coconut cream)
You are going to dip the meat into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs.

It should look like this when you're finished dipping all the pieces.

To cook, heat the oven to 230 degrees C.  Put some coconut oil (or butter) into a glass baking dish and put in the oven to melt.  Once the coconut oil is melted place your crumbed meat in the dish and put in the preheated oven. Bake for 5 minutes.  Flip the meat over and bake for 4 minutes more.  Because the meat is so thin it cooks very quickly.  You don't want it to turn to leather!  Serve with your favourite vegetables.  To make dairy free mashed potatoes I use coconut oil instead of butter and coconut cream instead of milk.  Because we weren't having gravy, I seasoned the potatoes with dried mixed herbs, garlic powder, and salt.  Even my daughter who doesn't like mashed potatoes will eat them like this.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


I love bread!  I love sandwiches!  When I found out that it was best for me to stay away from gluten, bread was the only thing that I missed.  We can buy really delicious gluten-free bread here in New Zealand, but at $7 a loaf (a very small loaf) it's not something we buy very often.  I tried several recipes before this one and after a bit a tweaking, this is our go-to bread recipe.  I love this bread!  We recently had friends over for tea and I made this bread and served it.  The husband ate quite a few slices before he found out it was gluten free and he was shocked.  It's not quite the same a regular bread, but we love it!  So here is our recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free bread (it's so simple a 4-year-old can make it!).  This bread is amazing for sandwiches the first day you make it.  After that it's still delicious, if you toast it.  This recipe makes one loaf.  We've starting doubling the recipe and it still turns out great!

1 1/2 Tablespoons sweetener (we use honey)
1/2 Tablespoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup + 2 1/2 Tablespoons white rice flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch (also called arrowroot)
1/4 cup corn flour (cornstarch)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons oil
2 large eggs
1/2 Tablespoon guar gum

First, dissolve sweetener in warm water and sprinkle the yeast over the top.  Let stand to dissolve yeast.

While the yeast is doing it's thing, measure out your dry ingredients into a bowl.

Next, mix your eggs and oil into another bowl.

After the yeast has dissolved, pour in your dry ingredients.

Add your wet ingredients.

 Give the ingredients a bit of a mix by hand.

 Put the bowl on the mixer stand (you can also use a hand-held electric mixer).

Turn the mixer to medium speed and mix for 3 minutes.

Pour dough into bread pan lined with baking paper (I helped with this bit).

Smooth down the top with wet fingers.

Clean up your mess while you leave the dough to rise for one hour.

After the dough has risen for one hour, bake for 25 minutes in an oven preheated to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F for all you Yankees).  Now, behold the finished product!

Slice and enjoy!