Category: Recipes
Image

Salmon Bake (for fussy eaters)

salmon bake-1

salmon bake-1-2

My son is a bit over the rustic salmon balls I make, he has this dish once a week to keep the allergy troll away;  high allergy foods need to be given regularly, so you can understand how you can get bored with the same ol’ dish every week.

I came up with a Salmon Bake. This dish is quick and easy and you will most likely have these ingredients in your pantry & fridge.

Salmon Bake Recipe – makes enough for 4-5 small ramekins

  • 1 tin of salmon – I use John West Pink Salmon
  • 1 celery finely chopped
  • 1 garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 zucchini grated
  • 3 florets of broccoli finely chopped
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes chopped into quarters
  • pinch of salt
  • a twist of pepper
  • pinch of dried herbs (or fresh if you have them)
  • tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 cups of macaroni or penne pasta
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs (I just use our regular bread and crumb it in the thermomix)
  • 1/2 cup of dairy free cheese (or dairy cheese if you are lucky enough to be able to eat this!)

Place the celery and garlic in a pan with the olive oil and saute, add the zucchini, salt, pepper and herbs, stir fry until the zucchini is translucent.

Add the broccoli and cherry tomatoes and continue to stir, until they soften, add the salmon (mash it up before adding to pot) and mix.

Add the pasta to the pot and mix through.

Place the mixture in a ramekins (for individual serves) or casserole dish.

For the topping I use a dairy free cheese – Cheesly, but if you are lucky enough you can use parmesan, I mix this through with the breadcrumbs and then top the casserole dish.  I then pop into the oven – on a grill setting for about 5 minutes until the top is golden brown.   Just make sure you make this in advance as it can be quite hot for little mouths.

My son loves this dish, and I  get to pack in a few vegies in addition to the fab omega 3 dose in the salmon.  Would you give this dish a try?

Image

Happy Easter

big chocs unmoulded-5372

big egg front-5379

Above, taking the plunge with large easter moulds…very tricky – I used white chocolate on the detail and chocolate for the rest (all dairy free by Sweet William)

rice choco-5370

I made some rice chocolate using rice puffs and dairy free chocolate – these turned out quite tasty!

strawberry hedgehogs-5366

Strawberry hedgehogs, dipped in white chocolate and chocolate chips (all dairy free by Sweet William)

truffles-5362

Some examples of the white chocolate and chocolate truffles I made, with a few sultanas for garnish.

This year I decided to be a bit more adventurous with the Easter treats for my dairy allergic son; you can see the results above.  For some reason things taste better when they look different to the norm, and when they are packaged in gold foil!

Happy Easter!

Image

Vegan Hot Cross Buns

hot cross -5300

cross section of bun-5303

Last year I made my own version of hot cross buns, but this year I wanted to try something new, after a quick google search I found essjay’s Vegan version.

What I love about essjay’s recipe, is that the buns are light almost like Italian Panettone, and importantly very delicious!  I made a big batch for Easter presents –  for my son’s teachers, it took a bit of work but I wanted to give them something home-made, something special, to show my appreciation for their inclusiveness and understanding of my son’s allergies.

My son’s teacher uses cooking as a tool for literacy and numeracy and he (like most children) is happy to write stories about food.  The head teacher has consulted me along the way and I have used recipes from my blog (very handy!), from gingerbread,  pancakes, muffins and chocolate biscuits – all allergy free.  My son is having a great time at school and he loves being part of all the action, especially cooking and eating!  PS he is having so much fun he hardly notices that he is learning to read and write!

hot cross wrapped-5308

Image

Heatwave Remedy?

zoku with choc topping (1 of 1)

It’s official, we are having a heat wave, 6 days and counting – with temperatures over 38’C (over 100′ F), there is good reason to have air conditioning or to find a hobbit hole and dwell!

My recent kitchen gadget purchase, a Zoku – ice cream maker, has come in handy and I love the way that it takes around 8 minutes to create an ice treat (once you have prepared your mix).

I am also enamoured with new-found ability to create a hard-core chocolate shell for the paddle pop – so now my dairy allergic son gets to enjoy the experience of having a chocolate coated ice cream – he is very happy with that!

I turned to the fabulous Vegan Ice Cream Paradise blog for her chocolate ice cream recipe – it is a winner!  I used my much-loved Valhrona Cocoa – just remember to reduce the amount as it is stronger in taste and complexity.  And I omitted the raspberries, but please feel free to add them back in!  Another tip, with all ice cream making, make sure you place your ice cream maker into the freezer 24-36 hours before you plan to use it, and always make sure your ingredients are chilled before placing into any type of ice cream machine.

You will see in the recipe that it calls for soy creamer, I can’t find this in the store so it is pretty easy to make my own, just check my strawberry ice cream recipe on how to do it.

For the hard chocolate shell, I just use a double boiler and melt some dairy free chocolate with a teaspoon or so of coconut oil – let it cool and then using the Zoku chocolate station, place the frozen paddle pop in, and ta da, chocolate coated ice cream.  It sets instantly so you could eat or place it in the Zoku storage station for eating, later.

And just in case you think I am in love with the Zoku range, well yes I am and I am not even paid to say that!

Image

A special Trifle

trifle complete 2 (1 of 1)

trifle complete (1 of 1)

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in my small part of the planet Trifle is a dessert that is synonymous with Christmas.  My Mother in Law makes a killer trifle.  If you don’t know what’s in a trifle, please let me enlighten you on our version; in a large glass bowl you place a base of sherry soaked jelly roll (sponge cake rolled upon itself with a jam interior), a layer of jelly (jello) with seasonal fruit,  a layer of custard and to top it off,  a fluffy light blanket of cream.  So with every scoop, you need to excavate vertically, carefully, so you obtain a little bit of all of the layers, and it looks like a riot of colour on your plate, very Christmas!

After a large Christmas Eve dinner, I crave trifle, not the plum pudding and brandy butter – although that is also very good.  But as you can imagine here in Western Australia, Christmas Eve temperature is forecasted to be 35’C or 95F – so I crave cold comfort food to cool me down.

Now my little 5 1/2 year old is allergic to almost everything in a trifle except for the jam, jelly and fruit.  Loving a cooking challenge, I set my self the task of creating an allergy free version of my much-loved trifle, safe for him to eat.  I have to thank many a blogger for helping me to accomplish this, so with each step I have acknowledged gratefully these wonderful cooks and chefs for giving me the inspiration and the recipes to make something special for our little guy.

Bobby’s Trifle – Dairy and Egg Free

Jelly Roll

This sponge cake is based on a Fluffy White Cupcake recipe from Shmooed Food; I have used this recipe many a time and it is a wonderful base for birthday cakes and is delicious and moist.  I made this cake in a flat baking tray, I was careful to only half fill it.  When the cake was cooked I used the baking paper to gently roll it – alas it did crack and didn’t do a smooth roll, I quickly wrapped it in cling film in its rolled position and put in the fridge.  For the trifle I just cut a slice and placed it in the bottom of the glass and placed a teaspoon or two of orange juice (to replace the sherry).

sponge cake (1 of 1)

sponge cake with jam (1 of 1)

sponge cake rolled (1 of 1)

Chocolate Custard

The traditional trifle has a vanilla custard, last time I made this it was not such a big hit with my son, who prefers all things chocolate.  So to guarantee a winning combination I made a chocolate custard.  I found a great recipe here by Veggieful.  After making the custard and before putting it in the fridge my boy had a taste, and of course he wanted to eat the rest of the bowl!

Jelly (jello)

jelly and cake (1 of 1)

The easiest part of the dish besides the fresh fruit, I used Aeroplane Jelly –  Raspberry flavour.

Fruit

fruit (1 of 1)fruit in glass (1 of 1)

I used strawberries, blueberries and seedless grapes.

Topping

Typically trifle is gently entombed with fresh cream.  I was contemplating using a whipped coconut cream but thought about the heaviness of this for a little 51/2 year old stomach, so elected to do a shaved white chocolate – thank you Sweet William for making dairy free chocolate!

My son has witnessed the assembly of his trifle and now there is a countdown to eating this dessert as well as Santa’s delivery – “how many more minutes Mum”?!

A special thank you to all the people who inspire me – my son, my husband and my family, bloggers, readers, commentators, likers, face book friends, blog readers, thank you!  I hope you and your family have a safe and happy festive season, Charmaine x

And for my allergy friends – here’s to dreaming and wishing for an allergy free Xmas…..one day soon xxx

Image

Fruit Mince Pies

fruit mince pies (1 of 1)

fruit mince with holly (1 of 1)

Image above: Fruit Mince Pies photographed near our Australian native Holly Shrub (only one red berry on the whole tree!)

I love discovering new recipes, and found a great one for Fruit Mince Pies in the local newspaper, you can find it here. Unfortunately because of the dairy and egg allergies  in our house I could only use this recipe as an inspiration to tweak my version of this Christmas treat.

I also thought I’d try out my new Vegan Shortening recipe – this is very easy to make and does improve your pastry markedly; it’s all about the food chemistry and the incorporation of air.   A must ‘go to’ site is Vegan Baking and the Vegan Butter and Vegan Shortening pages.  I used my mini cup-cake silicone baking tray to set my shortening in the freezer – you can also use an ice cube tray.

I added jam and black strap molasses to the fruit mince and dutch pressed cocoa to the pastry. It turned out very well!

shortening (1 of 1)

Image above: Vegan Shortening (home made)

Fruit Mince Pies
Short Crust Pastry Recipe
1 cup Atta Flour
1/2 plain flour
3 tbsp of chickpea flour (besan flour)
1 tbsp of coconut flour
2 tbsp of dutch pressed cocoa powder
2 tbsp of icing sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
150 grams of Vegan Shortening
2-3 tbsp of iced cold water

In a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients until uniform in appearance, add the shortening and pulse until the mixture starts to look like breadcrumbs, slowly add the cold water and continue to pulse until the mixture forms a dough ball.  Remove from food processor and roll into a ball and wrap in cling film, allow to rest in fridge for at least 1 hour.  After an hour roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper, cut out base of each pie and stars for tops.  I used a mini cup cake baking tin, but you can make whatever size you prefer.

Fruit Mince

  • 200g raisins chopped
  • 200g currants
  • 200g sultanas
  • juice of one orange
  • 1 tsp mixed spices
  • 2 tbsp of black strap molasses brown sugar
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 40g coconut oil melted
  • 50g jam – strawberry

Mix all the ingredients together and place in an air tight container, best to do this first thing in the morning to give the fruit a chance to absorb the liquid.

To make up the fruit mince pies, cut out the base from the pastry, place a spoonful of mince in each pie, garnish with a pastry star and bake in a moderate/hot over around 180’C for around 10 minutes.

If you have any fruit mince over, you can place it in an airtight jar in the fridge for about a week or so.

Image

Sausage Rolls

sausage rolls (1 of 1)
Once in a while back in the day when I was at school, we were allowed to order our lunch, for 50 cents I would by a blue disc, which included a sausage roll, a fruit, a small drink and a cake!  You can’t get that value for 50 cents these days!  Needless to say, I still have a fondness for sausage rolls, and now make them for my son when he goes to birthday parties.

To simplify the process I use sausages from the store and just wrap them in a homemade blanket of pastry. My pastry is very simple and is similar to other short crust pastry recipes just without dairy, you just have to roll it to the thickness you like, I roll mine quite thin.

Short Crust Pastry Dough Recipe

  • 3/4 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of Atta Flour
  • 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of cold non dairy margarine
  • 60 mls of cold water

Just a note you can use the flour you prefer, I like to mix it up a bit and amp up the fibre…but whatever works for you is good!

Place all dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to blend for 10 secs.  Add non-dairy margarine and pulse until the mix resembles bread crumbs, slowly add cold water until a dough ball is formed.

Wrap the dough ball in cling film and rest into the fridge for 1 hour.  Whilst the pastry is resting cook your sausages and allow to cool.

Roll out the dough into 2mm thickness (see below).

sausage rolls dough (1 of 1)

Place the sausage in the pastry and wrap gently, brush with a little olive oil and place in a moderate to hot oven around 200’C for 10-15 minutes.

Once out of the oven, you can cool and enjoy with your favourite ketchup.  If you make a big batch you can freeze them, I tend to not cook the pastry, I just roll the sausage in the uncooked pastry and place it in an air tight bag or container.  I then just defrost the sausage roll and bake in the oven and it is ready to eat.

Image

Strawberry Tart

Image

I needed to make up a party plate for my son’s end of year celebration at school (yes they have already finished….two months of summer holidays!), out of the blue I thought about making a strawberry tart.

I used a sweet short crust pastry for the base (you can find the recipe below) and a shot of custard for the filling; Vegan Custard from JeenasKitchen.

The little details in the tart, included a brushed chocolate tart shell and the garnish was fresh strawberries lightly brushed with some warmed strawberry jam.  Although it may  seem like many elements to this sweet delight, it is pretty easy and I quite enjoyed creating something new.

Vegan Custard

For a change I followed the recipe – no alterations!

Jeena’s recipe is easy to follow, one suggestion is to use a silicone spatula to ensure you get all the lumpy bits out the sides of the saucepan.  I am thinking that next time I will swap the vanilla for cocoa…my son loves chocolate!

To start the process off, you dry mix the sugar and corn flour then you add 100ml of soy and mix well to remove lumps, place over the cook top over a medium heat and stir continuously until it starts to simmer, add the rest of the soy and vanilla, keep over heat and once it starts to thicken, remove the pot from the heat, add the arrowroot and soy milk slurry.   You need to keep stirring, then place into a bowl, and pop the bowl into a water bath to gently and quickly cool it (see below).  Once cooled (but not too much!) cover in cling wrap and place in fridge.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

  • 3/4 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of Atta Flour
  • 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of cold non dairy margarine
  • 60 mls of cold water

Place all dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to blend for 10 secs.  Add non-dairy margarine and pulse until the mix resembles bread crumbs, slowly add cold water until a dough ball is formed; see below.

Wrap the dough ball in cling film and rest into the fridge for 1 hour.  Roll out the dough into 2mm thickness (see below)

Cut the dough using a sharp knife, trace an outline slightly bigger than the tart shells you are using (see below)

Gently press the dough into the base of the tart shell and trim of excess with a sharp knife, if you want to avoid shrinkage you could place the tart shells back into the fridge for 30 minutes and then trim.  Because you will be blind baking the shell, just place a few strategic fork punctures here and there in the base.  Cook in a moderate to hot oven – 200’C for 10-15 minutes.  Mine came out golden and a little bit crisp on the ends, you can adjust the cooking time to get the right look for you.

Now you have the pastry shells and custard ready to go.  All that is left is to brush the pastry shells with chocolate, I used Sweet William – non dairy chocolate.  I used the double boiler method to melt the chocolate and then the back of a teaspoon to paint the shells.

The last element is to wash, dry and trim your strawberries and gently brush them with some warmed strawberry jam.

The party bento box looked pretty awesome…I also did some sausage rolls (next post!), some lolly snakes and Orgran chips…needless to say my little man was pretty pleased with his box of party food!

The bento box is by Nude Food Movers – great for food on the go.

Image

Christmas Cake

I have never attempted a dairy and egg free Christmas Cake, but it was inevitable that I would give this traditional sweet treat a try.  Of course I did my usual google search and I found this wonderful blog by The Hungry Vegan and a delicious recipe for Xmas cake.

For a special, personal present to my son’s teachers this year I made this recipe into little Xmas cakes and boxed them. They looked very ‘Martha Stewart’ like and I have to say I was pretty pleased with them.

The cake is delicious, you wouldn’t know that it was dairy and egg free.  The Teacher’s received the adult’s version, each mini cake, gently infused with a teaspoon of brandy.

I have modified The Hungry Vegan’s recipe to avoid nuts (because of allergies) and I have added a few other personal favourites to the mix, I hope you give this cake a try, it is certainly one that I will be making again.

Allergy Free Christmas Cake

  • 150g Atta flour (wholemeal flour)
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 50g Chickpea Flour
  • 50g Coconut Flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 175g Refined Coconut Oil (liquid form)
  • 175g Sucranet (or light moscavodo sugar)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 150g sultanas
  • 200g raisins
  • 150g dates
  • 1 tblsp black strap molasses (or treacle)
  • 100g glacé cherries, halved
  • grated zest of an orange
  • juice of one orange
  • 1 ripe banana mashed
  • 120ml soya milk
  • 2 tblsps apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tblsp of vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 6 tblsps (90ml) brandy

Method

Preheat the oven to 150’C, grease a 8″ round tin and double line it with grease proof paper on the bottom.  I used large Xmas muffin cases that were already pre-greased (these were only used for the presents not for my son’s cakes).

Place the dried fruits (use what ever combination you would like – just try to match the total quantity of fruit) in a bowl and add the orange juice, orange zest and vanilla extract; mix through and break apart any clumped fruit, set aside.

Warm half of the soy milk and add the vinegar, set aside.  In a separate bowl, place the rest of the soy milk and whisk in the bicarbonate of soda.

Sift all the flours, and salt into one bowl; please note, you don’t have to use my combination of flours – whatever you prefer is fine.

Place the mashed banana and coconut oil into your mixer bowl, mix until uniform.  Add the molasses and sucranet and beat until smooth and uniform. Fold in the flour mixture and add both soy mixtures, gently fold in the fruit mixture, mix into a uniform consistency.

Gently place the mixture into your baking dish or muffin pans and place in the oven.  Bake for 2 hours if using the tin or 50 minutes for the muffin pans – keep a close eye on them – you don’t want a burned cake top!  You can test if the cake is cooked by piercing its middle with a toothpick or wooden skewer, it should come out clean.

To garnish you can use glacé cherries or whatever you fancy.

Happy Baking!

Image

Morning Tea Cookie with ‘tude

I have been hunting around for a morning tea snack for my son, it needed to be high in fibre, low in sugar and fats…and I found a recipe that I loved instantly!  Intro… Nutrition Australia, a great place to find some interesting recipes that are healthy and tasty too!  They had a delicious looking Sultana and Cocoa Cookie Recipe. it looked very nice, two of my son’s favourite ingredients,  surely this would have to be a winner.

As is my way, I have modified the recipe and it was a huge success, we even sent some to school for the Teachers and they gobbled them up and inquired if they could perhaps have 100 more (they are working on numeracy…clearly!).  The best part of this recipe was that it was a lovely ‘hands on’ experience for my son, he loves baking; there is always a reward- just wait 15 minutes!

Sultana and Cocoa Heavenly Cookies

  • Weet-bix crushed
  • 1/2 cup of organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup of Atta flour (Indian wholemeal flour)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of Valrhona Cocoa (if not using dutch pressed cocoa – then up the amount to  4 tablespoons)
  • 1 pinch of salt (iodised)
  • 1 cup of sultanas
  • 50 grams of refined coconut oil
  • 60 ml of hot water
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Place the Weet-bix in a food processor or blender and blitz until its fine in appearance.  Pop the decimated Weet-bix into a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients (excluding the sultanas) and mix well, finally, mix through the sultanas.

Mix the wet ingredients, use only half of the hot water and add to the dry mix in the mixing bowl.  Mix the wet and dry ingredients until a dough ball forms, add more hot water to reach a glossy dough ball consistency; too dry and it will be impossible to roll into walnut size pieces – just add more hot water…slowly please, too wet and you won’t be able to do much with it – don’t despair just add more flour.

Take a spoon full of the mix roll into balls, pop onto a parchment lined baking tray, flatten each cookie gently with a fork.

Bake in a 180’C oven for about 10-15 minutes.

The cookies are delightful, robust in flavour and satisfyingly indulgent….and what’s more they are good for you!  Needless to say I will be making them again and again…

%d bloggers like this: