GF Kitchen Start Up

My gf son is leaving home and  moving into shared accommodation.

Actually, KJ is moving 2000 km south to Melbourne to continue his university studies.

So what words of advice do I have for him.

GF Start Up (1).JPG

How can I assist him to make the transition from a fridge and pantry always stocked with gluten free options to being totally independent and gluten free.

How do I guide him in keeping his food preparation area gluten free safe.

My hope is that he has learnt from my example. He is more than gluten free aware and “learning by osmosis” appears to work best for all my sons and my expectation is that lessons on gluten free have been learnt this way as well.

Much is up to him: the grocery shopping, cooking, living in a new environment, making his own way.

So while I am letting go,  and letting him go, I  have applied the principles of KISS to my list of 10 items for his Start Up GF Kitchen

  1. Bar Fridge – only if space allows, but a great way to keep specific foods safe and avoid cross-contamination eg jam, peanut butter, tomato paste, margarine
  2. Sandwich Press and Baking Paper
  3. Stick blender or smoothie bullet
  4. Bread board and knife – better safe than sorry.  NB for KJ -if sharing a kitchen with a vegetarian or vegan, then buy coloured boards for beef and chicken.
  5. Crepe Maker or a crepe skillet
  6. Zip lock bags and Marking Pen
  7. Good quality kitchen containers for fridge, freezer and pantry use.
  8. Microwave Rice Cooker
  9. ‘Always a Mum’ Gluten Free Cookbooks plus a folder jammed full of information about gluten free Melbourne, Coeliac Australia membership access, Restaurant cards,  shopping list
  10. Toaster – no need to explain


Banana Muffins

Sunday Morning Banana Muffins

Ice Cream Made Easy

ice cream


no-churn ice cream 4 ways is a recipe although I have only made Espresso and Raspberry Honeycomb.  The other two flavours are Choc-Cherry and Peach Amaretto.

If you are looking for inspiration for more gluten free recipes, try a gluten free search at .

No Churn Ice Cream


600ml thickened cream

1 can 395 sweetened condensed milk


Using electric beaters, whisk cream and condensed milk until soft peaks forms.

Divide mixture in half and place in 2 airtight containers.

Stir flavours into each container.

Freeze overnight until firm.


2 tablespoons coffee granules, dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water

2 tablespoons coffee liqueur

Chocolate coated coffee beans to serve

Raspberry Honeycomb

1 cup raspberries, plus extra to serve

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup crushed honeycomb, plus extra to serve


Roasted Vegetable Quinoa

quinoa (1)

Summer = Salads

This recipe is very flexible and can be eaten as a warm or  cold salad.

Add a small can of tuna, sliced poached chicken, left over roast: the variations are limitless.


400 g pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1.5 cm cubes

200 g sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes

1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks

3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced into four pieces

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon coriander ground

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 cup quinoa

1/4 cup pepitas and sunflower seeds

handful baby spinach

fresh coriander to garnish


Preheat oven to 180C fan forced.

In a large bowl, combine vegetables, oil, ground coriander and cumin seeds and toss to coat.

Line an oven tray with baking paper and spread vegetables onto tray.  Place tray in oven and cook vegetables until golden and tender (30 – 40 minutes)

Dry roast the pepitas and sunflower seeds.

Prepare quinoa according to instructions on packet (rinse quinoa, place quinoa and 1  cup of water in small saucepan and bring to boil.  Simmer for 12 – 15 minutes or until water has evaporated and quinoa is al dente).

Combine quinoa and roasted vegetables and nuts.

Serve on a bed of spinach and top with fresh coriander.

Carbonara Pasta Bake


There was an article in the local paper on the weekend about a food stylist who talked of  being scared of soups and I totally understand what she means.

For me, any food that is in the palette of brown or cream, definitely is a ‘too hard’ challenge for this amateur.  Making spaghetti bolognaise look good requires a super human effort and a professional photographer.

But tonight, my son asked for Carbonara Pasta Bake and so here it is: a simple tasty recipe and a not so professional photo shoot…..


300 g dried gluten free pasta (I use Barilla Gluten Free Elbows)

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

6 slices prosciutto, chopped (or use bacon or chorizo or ham)

4 eggs, lightly beaten

300 ml reduced fat thickened cream

3 green onions, thinly slices

¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Mixed salad leaves, to serve



Preheat oven to 180 C fan forced. Lightly grease a 5 cm deep ovenproof dish or a disposable alfoil tray.

Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water, following packet instructions, until tender.  Drain and return to pan.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium – high heat.  Add garlic and prosciutto.  Cook stirring for 3 – 4 minutes or until prosciutto is crisp.

Add prosciutto mixture to pasta.

Add eggs, cream and onion and ½ cup cheese.  Toss to combine.

Transfer to prepared dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover with foil.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove foil.  Bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with salad.

Hawaiian Pork and Pineapple Tacos

Hawaiian Pork Tacos (2)

Tacos with a Twist


440 g can pineapple pieces in juice, drained and juice reserved

1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves and extra for garnish

1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small brown onion, finely chopped

500 g pork mince

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

8 mini gluten free corn tortillas or 8 lettuce leaf cups or 4 gluten free taco shells


Finely dice pineapple.  Combine pineapple, chilli and coriander in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook until softened.

Add garlic.  Cook until fragrant.

Add the pork mince and cook for 5 – 10 minutes until cooked through.

Add sugar, tomato sauce, soy sauce and pineapple juice and cook for 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.

Warm tortillas or tacos or separate lettuce leaf cups.

Assemble: pork mince, pineapple salsa and garnish with coriander.

(November 2015 : super food ideas)

Tandoori Chicken



500 g chicken thighs cut in half or chicken drumsticks

½ cup plain yoghurt or Greek-style yoghurt

3 tablespoons Tandoori paste


Heat oven to 200 C.

Cut 2 – 3 slits in chicken and place in bowl with yoghurt and tandori paste.  Rub marinade all over the chicken and then cover and marinade in fridge for 2 – 4 hours.

Remove chicken from oven and place on oiled baking wire rack placed over an oven tray lined with baking paper.

Remove chicken from marinade and place on wire rack.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until cooked.

Serve with a combination of the following:

Coconut and coriander rice : cook one cup of basmati rice according to your preferred method (microwave or absorption method).  When cooked, stir in ½ cup toasted desiccated coconut and ¼ cup finely chopped coriander leaves.

Raita: Place 1 Lebanese cucumber which has been deseeded and finely chopped in a bowl with ½ juiced lemon and 2/3 cup yoghurt.  Mix to combine.

Salsa: combine 1 small finely chopped red onion, 1 Lebanese cucumber peeled, deseeded and finely chopped, 2 Roma tomatoes chopped and 2 tablespoons of lime juice in a bowl and stir to combine.

Pappadums: prepare according to instructions on pack


Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatball (2)

Variations on a theme, these Italian Meatball recipes can be accompanied by a salad, can be used for Spaghetti and Meatballs, can be skewered for a starter or bbq, can be turned into a Meatball Sub.

Italian Chicken Meatballs


500 g chicken mince or beef

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 garlic cloves, crushed

½ cup fresh gf breadcrumbs

1 tbs finely chopped basil

1 tsp finely grated lemon rind

¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated

¼ cup gf plain flour

1 tbs spoon olive oil


Combine mince, egg, garlic, breadcrumbs, basil, lemon rind, olives and parmesan in a bowl.

Place flour on a plate.

Shape tablespoon size balls and roll in flour to lightly coat.

Heat olive oil in frying pan on medium high. Add meatballs.  Cook and brown and turn meatballs.

Serve with salad.

(Claire Brookman, Courier Mail 6 March 2014)


Meatball Pesto Salad


1 ½ tbs olive oil

1 onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic crushed

2 bacon rashers, finely chopped

500 g chicken mince

½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a non stick frypan.  Add onion, garlic and bacon stirringly occasionally over high heat until onion is soft.

Transfer to large bowl and cool for 10 minutes.

Add chicken mince and parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper. Mix well then roll into tablespoons sized balls.

Heat remaining oil in the frypan and cook meatballs turning occasionally until browned and cooked through.

Serve with a salad and just before serving drizzle store bought 150 g basil pesto which has been mixed with  2 tablespoon of boiling water to soften the pesto.

New Idea “Little Italy” Barbara Northwood.

Rainbow Cake



Q: How do you please a 19 year old?  

A: Make him the birthday cake of his choice.

Rainbow cake

T’was the day before Christmas and I had planned to make a raspberry and white chocolate birthday cake for my gf son’s birthday.  After all, that is what he asked for last year.

A family crisis had me  behind schedule but prepared, that is  until I asked KJ “What type of cake do you want for your birthday?”

Rainbow Cake was not the answer I had pre-empted but up to the challenge I flipped through a few gf cookbooks and found a Butter Cake recipe in Women’s Weekly Gluten Free Cookbook. Deliciously Nell from I Need a Feed also has a recipe for butter cake.

Using all my artistic skills, I dolloped tri coloured spoonfuls of cake mixture and then used another palette of colours for the decorations.

2015 Kieran Bday Cake (1)

For those family members whose tastes are not attuned to gluten free cake without chocolate or almond meal or hazelnut meal or orange or lemon; ingredients which make gluten free more palatable, the texture and taste of the cake was noticeably different for them.

For gluten free-ers, the cake was moist and overwhelmingly colourful. And on the day, eaten by all.

Rainbow Cake KJ (1)

Q: How do you make a 19 year old smile on his birthday?

A: Make him a rainbow cake :) 


200 g butter, softened

2 1/4 cups (300 g) gluten free self-raising flour

1 cup (220g) caster sugar

1/2 cup (125 ml) milk

2 eggs

2 egg whites


Preheat oven to 180 C (160C fan forced).  Grease and line a 20 – 25 cm spring form cake tin.

Beat butter in a medium bowl with electric mixer until changed to a paler colour.  Sift flour and 1/4 cup of sugar together.  Use half the flour mixture and beat into butter until combined.  Repeat using other half of flour mix.

In another bowl, beat eggs and egg whites until thick and creamy.  Gradually add the remaining sugar (3/4 cup), one tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar dissolves between additions.  Gradually pour egg mixture into flour mixture with motor running on a low speed, until just combined.

Spread mixture into cake tin and bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.  Rest cake in tin for 15 minutes for turning out onto wire rack to cool.

Ice and decorate when cake is cooled.


Jase’s Gluten Free Pizzas

Pizza Jase's

New packaging, new sizes and new to Coles.

Perfect to have on hand in the freezer for those just in case moments.

The small size Ham and Pineapple is a welcome stand by snack or quick bite.

Buckwheat Blinis

Blinis (2)

For something different, these buckwheat blinis make great canapés.

Serve with pesto or smoked salmon, the options are endless.


160ml milk

20 g butter

150g buckwheat flour, sifted

4 g (1/2 sachet) dry instant yeast

1 teaspoon caster sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 egg, separated



Place milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium to low heat.  Heat until butter just melts and mixture is warm.

In a bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt.  Make a well in the middle.  Lightly beat egg yolk and add to flour mixture.  Gradually add warmed milk mixture, whisking constantly to form a smooth thick batter.  Cover and stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until mixture has doubled in size.

In a small bowl, whisk egg white until firm peaks form.  Gently fold through flour mixture.

Heat crepe maker to medium heat.  Brush with a little extra melted butter.

Using 1 tablespoon of batter per blini, cook blini until golden and cooked through.

Blinis (1)


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