Monday, 27 February 2012

A little savoury goodness

I had one hanging off my leg, one shouting to me from the toilet and one heading out the door to school.. kids that is.. I had to think on my feet.. baking before 8.00am.. obscene.. but when the mood strikes..

Sometimes it's all about convenience and the good people at Melinda's gluten free goodies have it all figured out.  With a great range of gluten free savoury and sweet pre-mixes you can't go wrong.

Road testing Wholesome Sundried Tomato & Spinach Muffins  premix this morning.

Melinda's is an Australian based company that delivers what it promises and all from the convenience of a box.  With choices that range from crackers to flour, slices, muffins & cakes it's great gear to have in the pantry.

You'll find them in Woolworths, Coles, selected IGA stores and online.

..and the verdict.. delicious and they make your house smell fantastic!

Ok so this wasn't quite what Abbey & Ben were looking for when they spied a cake like creation in a paper case emerge from the oven (I had a tough time explaining what business savoury had in a patty case) but who cares.. more for me :)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Coffee Anyone?

Raspberry & Coconut Cupcake
I have discovered that one of my loves as an adult person is coffee.  I'm no coffee buff by any stretch but I do appreciate a good cup of Joe.. and so it was quite to my delight that we discovered Yahava (pronounced "Jah-ha-va") Koffee Works Swan Valley right on our doorstep.

What a find.  This funky little coffee mecca is my new favourite morning tea haunt and it comes with gluten free yummies.  On the day of our visit they had freshly baked raspberry & coconut and orange & almond cupcakes winking at me from the cabinet.  One of each? Why not! and the verdict.. delicious.  They also have gluten free cookies by Spotted Cow available.

Coffee was superb, cake was delicious and company was.. meh.. Ha! just kidding Garrick, don't get your knickers in a twist.

Yahava also have quality teas available and a great little gift section which has all sorts of coffee & tea paraphernalia and quirky little knick-knacks that will have you lingering longer.

Roasting 7 days a week and with a brilliant 'Roast 'N' Post' service there is no excuse not to indulge.

Open daily 9am-5pm
Located at 4572 West Swan Rd, Swan Valley

and for you South Westers..
Cnr Bussell Hwy & Rosa Brook Rd, Margaret River

Thursday, 23 February 2012


Garrick and I were in downtown Mt Lawley yesterday - one of the trendy boutique and 'be-seen' cafe district suburbs of Perth.  There are some superb eateries here and Grill'd is no exception. 

Grill'd is not new, it has been around for a while now but for those of you gluten fighters who haven't ventured in to this bodacious burger bar, you had best get a move on.

These guys focus on quality, fresh local ingredients, steering away from the mass production and over processed we see so much of these days. With a menu that is extensive and smells that stimulate the olfactory senses it makes decision making a difficult task.

After selecting your gluten free bun, the choice is abundant. Just avoid the following ingredients and you are one step closer to burger euphoria:

· veggie pattie                                                                                                    
· chickpea pattie
· sweet chilli mayo
· satay sauce
· croutons

Oh and the chips are gluten free!

The staff member that served us was really switched on. After a chat about preparation, she kindly offered to prepare the burger out the back, away from the main prep area & not in the same toaster as other breads so as to avoid any cross-contamination issues.   **There is a 'may contain traces' statement on the menu board so obviously use common sense here. The golden rule here is - if in doubt, then leave it out.
With locations in most states and 5 here in Perth, there's bound to be one closeby.

So if you've got a hankering for a tasty burger, get on down to Grill'd. You'll be glad you did.

Check out their website

Monday, 20 February 2012

Banana Cake

I had several bananas in the fruit bowl looking very ordinary indeed, everyone had given them the cold shoulder and Garrick had given me the usual drum up about wasting food yet no-one wanted to eat them.. What to do?? An oldie but a goodie, Banana Bread or Banana Cake as it is referred to in this recipe, saved the day.

This recipe is from the Coeliac Society Gluten Free Recipe Book (2nd Edition)

125g (1/2 cup) softened butter                             
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon bicarb. soda
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
2-3 ripe bananas
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
400g (2 cups) GF self-raising flour

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a large loaf tin.
  1. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, beating well after each addition.
  2. Add bicarb. soda to milk.
  3. Mash bananas and add to milk mixture.
  4. Add banana mixture to egg mixture and beat until well combined.  Add vanilla.
  5. Fold in the sifted flour.  Stir until all the ingredients are just combined.  Spoon into prepared tin and smooth surface.  
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.  Cool in tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Houghtons Cafe

Called in to Houghtons Cafe (Houghtons Wines) this morning.  Living in the Swan Valley has its perks.  Superb wines, beautiful surrounds and great places to eat!

Houghtons doesn't disappoint where gluten free is concerned - providing a number of gluten free options including gluten free bread & crackers.  Although the children's menu and chips contain gluten, the staff at Houghtons are happy to talk to you beforehand to agree on a menu and prices for a child's pack catered to dietary requirements.

From Chilli mussels to sumptuous salads I am sure there is something to appeal to the most discerning diner.  Items that are gluten free change from menu to menu.

Although just a coffee and cake today I can assure you I will return at a later date to sample the wonderful menu.

Located at Dale Rd, Middle Swan
Houghton Cafe is open from 10am - 4pm (lunch service 11am to 3pm)
(excluding Christmas Day, New Year's Day & Good Friday)

Friday, 17 February 2012

Mia Freedman's Enough of the Sweet Talk

A clever article written by columnist Mia Freedman

I just have to say that some of these "people" make me crazy.  They are making the coeliacs and gluten intolerants of the world look bad.  I mean if Abbey and I could eat gluten, let me tell you.. we would be first in line in the donut queue..

Chicken Stir Fry

Everyone loves a good stir-fry...

1 & 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
500g chicken cut into strips
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
1 large brown onion cut into wedges
1 head of broccoli cut into florets
1 red capsicum cut into thin slices
1 long red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
2 tablespoons GF oyster sauce
small tin of water chestnut slices
2 cups bean sprouts
2 cups snow peas
tin of baby corn or fresh if available

Heat a wok or suitable pan over high heat until hot. Add 2 teaspoons oil. Add half the chicken. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 2 teaspoons oil and remaining chicken.

Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to wok. Add garlic, ginger, onion and chilli. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add capsicum, broccoli, snow peas, corn, water chestnust and lastly bean sprouts and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.

Return chicken to wok with GF oyster sauce. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until combined. Serve with steamed rice.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Gloria Jean's Coffees

We called in to Gloria Jean's Coffees at Harbour Town this morning.  My intention was to grab a takeaway coffee and run (I wasn't expecting to find anything gluten free available) but I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of gluten free snacks on offer, so we sat in.

Abbey & Ben (my youngest) each tucked into a cute little gluten free daisy biscuit (labelled gluten free) and I enjoyed a White Choc & Cranberry Bliss cookie by Kez's (a company that have numerous gluten free yummies).

Needless to say nothing really touched the sides.. oh and the coffee was good too..

Gloria Jean's Coffees Australia have a nutritional information section under "Our Products"  on their website which details any allergens and is quite a good reference point.

With stores all over Perth and some country areas there's bound to be one near you.  Check them out.

Rice Salad

My sister-in-law does THE BEST rice salad and recently divulged the recipe.

Thanks Simone - too good not to share..

1 cup brown rice
6 spring onions
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1/3 cup currants
60g roasted sunflower seeds
3 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
6 Tablespoons GF soy sauce

(I find using the Family pack of microwave rice works well and saves heaps of time)

Chop spring onions finely
Transfer rice to a bowl , while still warm add the spring onions and remaining ingredients

Soy Sauce Dressing
3/4 cup sunflower oil
4 Tablespoons GF soy sauce
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt & Pepper

Put all in a screw topped jar - shake well to blend

* Personally, I think GF soy sauce is a little on the salty side so I don't add as much as the recipe states.  I would suggest to start with one tablespoon and then add to taste.  This is a recipe that has been converted to gluten free.  You don't need to use all the dressing anyway as there is quite a lot.  Again, easy does it when adding the dressing - adjust to taste.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Triple Chocolate Biscuit Recipe

It seems fitting that the first recipe I post be this one as it was the first official gluten free 'recipe' I road tested. It was given to me by a kind lady I met in Bundaberg Qld who has a little boy that is also Coeliac. Thanks Sandra.

It is quite full-on in the sugar department but my view is everyone deserves a little treat now and again.. and again.. and again.. (ha ha) 'everything in moderation'. Enjoy!

125g butter                                                               
1/3 cup peanut butter (smooth)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup cocoa (optional)
1/4 cup GF plain flour
1 cup GF self raising flour
250g choc bits

Cream butter, sugar and peanut butter
Add egg, cocoa and flours
Stir in choc bits
Cook in a moderate oven (18- degrees Celsius) for
approx 15-20 mins

Friday, 10 February 2012

Livwell Bread Rolls & Pitta Breads

ALL coeliacs or gluten intolerant persons will tell you that gluten free bread is 'generally' pretty ordinary to say the least..

In early December 2011 I discovered 2 new products in the bakery aisle of my local supermarket.

What was I doing in the bakery aisle you may well ask.. lost perhaps.. dazed and confused by the vast array of gluten laden delights displayed before me.. and there they were.. beckoning almost..

A packet of 4 individually wrapped small white bread rolls that actually looked like REAL bread rolls and nearby a packet of 4 white pitta breads. GLUTEN FREE. Hallelujah! I couldn't wait to get home and tell all and sundry about my find.

The bread rolls taste great. I find the bread rolls are at their optimum if zapped in the microwave on full power (as recommended on the packaging) for 10-15 seconds and then filled with whatever gluten free gastronomical delight that takes your fancy. They look and taste very similar to real bread. Abbey takes one to kindy every day for lunch and just blends in with all the other kids. It's so important for little people to feel part of the crowd.

I made the mistake of trying to fill the pitta bread without heating first, resulting in a crumbled mess. It is recommended to place under a preheated grill for 1-2 minutes, turning once to warm and produce a pocket. I think the pitta bread would also be great as a naan substitute when having a curry. Worth experimenting.

I found both products in Coles. I was advised in December that the bread rolls were available nationally from Coles and pitta breads only at selected stores. Check them out.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Sakata Paws

Whilst wandering through the aisles of our local supermarket recently, I stumbled across a new product that is worth mentioning.

SAKATA is not a new name when it comes to gluten free products but they have brought out single serve packs of their rice cracker snacks called "Paws" - each cracker in the shape of a little paw.

There are no artificial colours flavours or preservatives, have no added MSG have less than 6% fat and best of all are GLUTEN FREE.

They come in packs of 6 single serves, have 2 flavours - Original and Pizza Supreme and get the official thumbs up from Abbey.

Look out for them.  Great for lunchboxes.          

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Alternative Bites

We visited Alternative Bites yesterday for lunch. I love going there. Despite the fact that EVERYTHING on the menu is gluten free, the food actually tastes great and there is so much to choose from.

They offer everything from great coffee, delicious cakes, pies & sausage rolls, burgers, quiches, salads to toasted sandwiches, foccacias and hot chips.

Alternative Bites is located at Winthrop Village Shopping Centre, Somerville Blvd, Winthrop