Recipes, scones/muffins

Savoury Muffins with cheese, courgette and olive

Still going strong with the courgettes. Sorry about that. I can understand if you’re sick of them. But these are really good, promise, I worked on them tirelessly to get them right!

Oh, and I finally got kitchen scales. (How cute are they?) So you’ll start seeing a lot more recipes by weight. This is actually heaps better for gluten free recipes, since if you have to substitute a flour (be careful with this, it’s tricky stuff), you should ideally do it by weight instead of measure.

4-window-muffins

Ingredients

  • 100 grams sorghum flour
  • 100 grams potato starch
  • 80 grams chickpea flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 50 ml vegetable oil (I used macadamia, this is not necessary)
  • 175 ml almond or other milk
  • 300 grams shredded courgettes
  • 50 grams red capsicum, chopped
  • 50 grams chopped dried olives (green or black, take your pick)
  • 60 grams grated strong-flavoured cheese
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh italian parsley/oregano

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Sift flours, baking powder, guar gum, and cumin into a big bowl. Add the sugar and salt and mix well.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork or a beater. Stir in milk and the vegetable oil and mix well.
  4. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir to mix well.
  5. Add the courgettes, olives, capsicum. Lightly stir.
  6. Add the cheese. Lightly stir.
  7. Add parsley and oregano. Lightly stir.
  8. Divide evenly in a greased and floured muffin tray filling it at least 3/4 full. Feel free to put a fine slice of cheese on top for extra yum.
  9. Cook in the oven for about 25 mins until it’s golden. You can test if the muffins are already cooked by sticking in a toothpick and if it comes out clean then it’s cooked.
  10. Remove from the oven leave it on the tray for about ten minutes and then transfer on a wire rack to cook properly. Or eat warm if you want, it’s your party. Just let them sit for a while in the tray, they keep cooking a little.
Vegan variation:

I haven’t tried this, but I think you could replace the cheese with grated potato. You could fry it too if you were feeling frisky. Probably a little extra salt would work too. I’ll try it soon and report back — I’m a bit muffined out at the moment. I’d probably recommend flaxseed as your egg replacer here (unless you use a fancy store-bought one).

Flaxseed egg replacer:

Stir 1 tablespoon of ground linseed/flaxseed (fresh is best!) into 3 tablespoons of warm water, and sit for a few minutes and let it froth up. This is equivalent to 1 egg — but you need to add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for each egg you replace with this for leavening.

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Recipes, salad

Courgette Lentil Salad

3-window-courgette-lentil-salad

If you’re finding all the fresh herbs in my recipes a bit tricky and possibly expensive here’s a protip: start a garden! Herbs are easy to grow and SUPER good for you. Also they make everything delicious. Parsley and mint in particular are so easy to grow they’re basically weeds.

If you’re in the southern hemisphere and you are a gardener, you’re possibly looking for things to use courgettes and radishes in at the moment so this one’s for you especially!

Happy New Year everyone!

Ingredients

  • 3 courgettes (one of mine was yellow)
  • 1/4 c toasted sesame seeds
  • some sage leaves
  • 1/2 c Le Puy/French lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 radishes
  • 3-4 large handfuls of flat leaf parsley
  • 3-4 large handfuls of baby silverbeet/chard (or spinach)
  • 5-6 large mint sprigs
  • 1 T umeboshi vinegar (can substitute red wine vinegar but it won’t taste quite the same)
  • 1 T olive oil (or a nut oil)
  • lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Slice courgettes on an angle (about 1 cm thick).
  2. Heat a pan to high heat and fry until browned, flip and take out of the pan. I like to use coconut oil, but you can use something else (so long as it’s not olive oil). This shouldn’t take long, because you’re just searing the flesh leaving the courgettes fairly firm.
  3. Put cooked courgettes aside to cool down, and fry your sage in the same oil until browned and crispy.
  4. If your sesame seeds aren’t toasted, put them on a tray and into a preheated oven at 140 degrees C for around 15-20 mins. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
  5. Put your lentils in a small pot with water, bay leaves and the thyme and cook on a medium heat for around 20 mins. When they are cooked, remove from heat, take out thyme and bay leaves and discard, drain and add olive oil and umeboshi vinegar. Put aside to cool.
  6. Slice red onion and radishes reasonably thinly. Place into a large bowl.
  7. Roughly chop your herbs (parsley, chard, mint) and add to bowl, along with your sesame seeds.
  8. When your lentils are cool, add these too, along with the now-cool courgettes and sage.
  9. Squeeze some lemon juice (one lemon should be enough if it’s juicy) and add some salt and freshly ground pepper.
  10. Refrigerate for a while if you like, but not too long or the herbs will go droopy.
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Favourite Foods, Only in New Zealand

More on store-bought bread

Why hello there.

I wanted to say a little more about store-bought loaves, because I’ve been trialling a few more since I last wrote about it, and I have some new contenders in the best GF bread competition I run in my head. And I wanted to talk a little more about Phoenix Breads, since I so cruelly maligned their loaves for being too teeny.

Phoenix

As I mentioned, have a good range of products, from focaccia to breadcrumbs, croissants and pizza bases. Supposedly they have a pastry you can buy in a block too, though I don’t think I’ve seen it anywhere. My favourite things they make though are still in the loaf category; the coconut bread, the walnut and linseed and the tomato and olive. Give the coconut a try – it’s soft enough for a sandwich, a little sweet and ridiculously delicious with egg and spinach.

Flaveur Breads

Based in Mount Maunganui, I recommend their Gluten Free Seeded Sourdough to anyone who likes a nice grainy toast bread and doesn’t mind slicing DIY — they spent three months developing this bread and it shows. I also found their customer service to be excellent, when we had an over-proved loaf (a rarity I assure you), they emailed us back within hours on a sunday night and provided replacement credit at the store we’d bought it from. The bread is really a treat, so if you’re around Auckland or Tauranga, give it a whirl. It’s available in Auckland at Harvest Wholefoods, around $10 a loaf. A low gluten option that’s worth a try too if you’re wheat free but can stand other gluten-bearing grains is the Rye and Spelt Sourdough. The prices on the website will differ from the price you’ll pay in Auckland due to the price of postage I assume.

Bread and Butter Bakery

If you’re in the Auckland area, Bread and Butter Bakery do a great GF loaf. They use a lot of buckwheat flour, loads of linseed, and no sugar, eggs or dairy. Nice little bakeries too, although it will be a test of your willpower walking into a bakery that only sells one gluten free product. $10, so pretty standard, and again one you have to slice yourself, but a nice grainy toastbread nonetheless.

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Recipes, scones/muffins

Herbed potato scones with chilli

I dunno about you guys, but I find it’s really hard to find gluten free treats that are savoury instead of sweet. So I spend most of my baking life inventing savoury gluten free muffins (more on that later). Here’s something I whipped up today as a test — I’d been wanting to try using mashed potato as a baking ingredient for a while. I think the results are pretty special actually.

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Ingredients

  • 2/3 c Sorghum flour
  • 1/3 c potato starch
  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t guar gum
  • 2 t brown or black mustard seeds
  • 1 small — medium onion, red or brown
  • approx. 3 handfuls of chopped courgette (I used a mix of yellow and green, chopped about 1/2 cm)
  • about 1/2 c thawed out frozen spinach
  • about 2 handfuls total fresh parsley, thyme, sage and oregano
  • 6-8 pickled chillies (I used red ones, you should use your discretion on the chilli)
  • 1 c mashed potato
  • 2 thoroughly mixed eggs (you could use an egg replacer of your choosing)
  • 1 T chilli jam

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.
  2. Peel potato and cut into large-ish pieces (about 5 cm). Steam for around 15-20 minutes until cooked, then mash and place out of the way to cool.
  3. Roughly dice onion, cut courgette into smallish pieces. Cook on a low heat on your stovetop for about the same length of time as potato. When it’s brownish and lightly caramalised, take off stove top and place somewhere to cool.
  4. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  5. Whisk 2 eggs in a separate small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Wash and roughly chop all your herbs and chili.
  7. Get cool mash and onion/courgette mix, mix with egg, thawed spinach, herbs and chili. Add chili jam and salt and pepper.
  8. Mix with dry ingredients. Add up to a half cup of water if necessary. Dough will be firm but a little sticky.
  9. Knead lightly on a clean floured surface. Form rounds and cut to desired size. (Around 2 cm thick, 5cm round.)
  10. Arrange on greased and floured baking tray. Brush with milk if you desire.
  11. Bake around 10-15 minutes.
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breakfast foods, Favourite Foods, Recipes

Vanilla-Maple Buckwheat Granola

So are you finding breakfast the most difficult meal of the day? I missed muesli a lot when I first became gluten free — and in NZ it’s very difficult to find gluten free oats, so I decided granola was the way to go. You can eat it dry, or as a snack, or with milk or yoghurt. It’s delicious, and this recipe, which a little sugary, is fairly nutritious too with all the seeds and nuts (things that in my diet I tend not to get enough of). It’s fairly economical, because you don’t need to eat a lot to feel full, buckwheat being a fairly protein-rich kinda guy. So it should last you a while, if you can stop yourself from chowing down on it all the time!

3-window-granola

Preparation time: 15 minutes if you have all your ingredients ready

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of roasted buckwheat groats (kasha)
    • I made my own kasha by rinsing the raw buckwheat groats (they’ll be greenish), and then frying them in a pan on a medium heat carefully for about 5-10 minutes (more if your’re doing a large amount, though I recommend only a few cups at a time), stirring regularly.
  • 1 cup almonds/hazelnuts/brazilnuts/walnuts (I like a mix – chop ’em if they’re too big)
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I like cranberries and/or apple bits)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice bran oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey, maple or agave syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160C/360F.
  2. Carefully oil/butter a baking sheet. I also dusted mine with some brown rice flour to try to stop the inevitable stick. Do not use baking paper unless you’re prepared to spend a long time picking bits of paper off your buckwheat later.
  3. In a large bowl, combine your kasha, seeds, nuts, fruit, and coconut.
  4. In a small pot, gently heat all wet ingredients for a few minutes.
  5. Let it cool a minute, then pour over dry ingredients and stir until well coated.
  6. Transfer mixture onto baking sheet and spread out in single layer. This is a bit tricky as some of your nuts (hazelnuts esp) will want to go rolling away. Keep those bad boys under control!
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until it’s started to turn golden and crunchy.
  8. Let cool completely before storing in airtight container.
  9. If the granola still feels a little wet, let cool. Then bake in the oven at lowest temperature for another 5-10 minutes.

Variations on the recipe:

You can substitute other seeds/nuts/dried fruit if you like, and use some whole quinoa and millet can also be used in the place of some of the buckwheat.

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Favourite Foods, Only in New Zealand

Vogels Gluten Free Bread

Stop the press. These guys have recently launched new and improved recipes for all their gluten-free breads. They are now (in my humble opinion) the best, and best value, gf breads in your standard supermarket. At $8.50 a loaf, they’re not exactly cheap, but cheaper than Loaf’s Gluten Free Seeded Loaf, which is right around the $10 mark (you can get that at Nosh guys), and a bit heavy for anything but toast.

The other kind of exciting thing about these Vogels breads are they’re normal sized instead of tiny. Personally, I’m pretty over having eggs-on-toast where the eggs are bigger than the toast. And have you ever tried to make a sandwich with Phoenix bread? Don’t get me wrong, Phoenix, your bread is delicious, but it’s teeny. (Having said that, thanks for the focaccia bread, and the bread rolls etc. It’s nice to know you’re trying.)

My favourite is the Sunflower and Red Quinoa. I also like the 6 Seed, but didn’t get too excited about the Chia and Toasted Sesame since it wasn’t quite grainy enough for my tastes.

Yes, you can use it for a sandwich as well as toast, and it doesn’t have the texture of wood. It has the texture of a light, grainy cloud. Actually, that doesn’t sound that appealing. Just … it’s good alright?

On a final note, best bread I’ve ever had goes to Sol Breads in Brisbane, Australia for their Gluten Free Megagrain Loaf. It was something else.

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Recipes, scones/muffins

Cheese and Spinach Scones

Scones

Serves: 12
Preparation time: 15 minutes or less

Note: This recipe is adapted from here — as I didn’t have enough milk, I topped my milk up with cream, so mine was really a 50/50 cream/milk mix.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ potato starch (could probably sub tapioca starch at a stretch)
  • 2 teaspoons guar gum
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons cream

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine cheese, spinach, onion and pepper.
  3. Mix flours, starches, gums, powders and salt in a separate bowl.
  4. Add flour mix to cheese etc, then mix in milk and cream. Add a little extra milk if required.
  5. Knead lightly on a floured bread board, flatten dough out to about 2 cm thickness and
  6. cut into 5 cm rounds.
  7. Place on a well-greased and floured tray, brush with milk and bake for approximately
  8. 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.
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