Gluten Free Pizza Bases




Teenagers love their pizzas and while there are a variety of gluten free pizza bases out their in the supermarkets, I came across Julian’s Gluten Free Pizza Base recently.

Found in the fridge section of Woolworths Supermarket it makes a good pizza.  As my son says, “it doesn’t fall apart and it doesn’t feel like cardboard”.


Ossi Di Morte  – Dead Man’s Bones


This recipe belongs to Nonna Fu Fu my Aunty Dora’s mother who came to Australia from Italy in 1936. Made to look like gnarly bones, traditionally this is a biscuit made for All Souls’ Day, though some of you know this as Halloween.  I have found many Italian recipes for Dead Man’s Bones but all use almond meal.  Using the whole nuts, makes this recipes unique and special.


4 egg whites

2 cups caster sugar

6 ozs Marsala

4 cups almonds (2 cups whole and 2 cups sliced in half)

1 sifter plain flour (start with 4 cups gluten free flour plus extra added as needed)


Preheat oven 150C fan forced. Line three baking trays with baking paper.

Beat egg white and sugar until glossy.

Add and fold through the Marsala, almonds and flour. You might need to add extra flour 1/4 to 1/2 cup to make the dough workable but not stiff.

Line bench with baking paper. Place one half of dough onto paper and with hands and fingers, spread out into a rectangle of about 20 x 30 cm. Try to move almonds in between dough.

Cut into stripes.  Cut smaller pieces of 7 cm. Remove from paper using the blade of a knife and lay onto baking tray. You might need to pat with flour or flatten out dough between nuts with your fingers. You want the dough to be thinner than the nuts.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden. Rest on trays for 5 minutes before transferring and cooling on racks.

Repeat with rest of dough.

There are many recipes for Ossi di Morte but most use almond meal and therefore you don’t get the gnarly look as you do when whole nuts are used.

Eleanora Balwin shares her Nonna’s Piemonte recipe on Aglio Plio e Peperoncino which is the closest recipe I have found to Nonna Fu Fu’s.

Potato Waffles aka Hash Browns




Okay, so it is basically a Hash Brown shaped into waffles but as an alternative to toast with your breakfast, you can have change with a Savoury Waffle.

Great concept.

Found in Coles and Woolworths in the frozen section.

They are made with potatoes, potato granules, canola oil, salt, potato starch, thickener (464) white pepper.


Chorizo Macaroni N Cheese

Macaroni N Cheese



2 cups gf fresh chorizo

¼ cup sundried tomato, chopped

20 g butter

20 g gluten free cornflour

375 g (1 ½ cups) milk

200 g cheddar cheese, grated plus extra to top

¼ teaspoon mustard powder (or 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard)


250 g gluten free pasta (macaroni, spirals, penne, shells)


Preheat oven to 180C.

Remove skins from chorizo and break up or cut into small pieces.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in frying pan and cook the sausage, breaking up as you go.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter and then stir in the flour to create a smooth butter flour mix.  Slowly add the milk a tablespoon at a time stirring to create a smooth sauce.  Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly to ensure no lumps. Stir in the cheese and mustard powder and bring back to a gentle simmer. Continue simmering on low heat for about 4 minutes or until smooth and thick.


Cook the pasta according to the instructions.


Add the pasta, cooked sausage and sundried tomatoes to the cheese sauce.  Stir to combine and transfer to a baking dish.  Sprinkle with the extra cheese and bake for 20 minutes until bubbling and cheese has melted.

Serve hot.


The Gluten Free Scallywag Magazine 2013-2014

Texas Chicken Wing Nibbles



Found in the supermarket recently were these Texan Chicken Wing Nibbles. Perfect for a Sunday lunch served with a salad or a Footie night snack.

Spicy and sticky and full of flavour, a great standby for the freezer.



Coconut Flan


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3 eggs, lightly beaten

395 g an sweetened condensed milk

1 cup (250ml) milk, warmed slightly

1/23 cup (125 g) shredded coconut

Caramel Sauce

1 cup (220g) sugar

1/2 cup(125ml) water

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 21cm x 10cm (base measurement) loaf pan or rectangular pyrex dish.


Caramel Sauce: Combine the sugar and water in a small pan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.  Bring to boil and cook uncovered until a deep caramel colour.  Remove from heat and pour immediately into prepared pan.

Combine eggs, condensed milk and milk in a large bowl.  Stir in coconut.  Pour mixture into loaf pan.

Place loaf pan into a medium baking dish.  Pour enough boiling water into the baking dish until it comes halfway up the sides of the pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until set and browned lightly.  Remove loaf pan from baking dish and cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

To serve, turn flan out onto a rectangular serving plate and top with fresh fruit.

Taken from Australian Women’s Weekly and submitted by Rebecca Clay, Kallangur, Queensland.

Gluten Free Packet Cakes

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In the beginning, I found gluten free baking very confronting.  I had always prided myself in baking my own cakes and slices.  I wanted my sons to know that people really do make meals and cakes from scratch.  I wanted my sons to know that pasta sauce doesn’t come out of a bottle.  I wanted my sons to appreciate family favourites and the stories behind these recipes.

So when I started gluten free baking I resisted making a packet cake.  I was stubborn and thought that I wanted to do things my way… the old fashioned way.  So I baked my way through hundreds of recipes which I found both frustrating and calming.

But what I have accepted is that there is nothing wrong with a gluten free packet cake.  You can dress it up with layering of cream and strawberries.  You can decorate it with sprinkles. You can make it into decorative cupcakes.  The possibilities are endless.  For even more decadent recipes just go to Betty Crocker’s website.

I was speaking with a local restaurateur recently about his predominately gluten free menu and asking about the gluten free bread served with the soup.  We talked a lot about gluten free and then he produced a Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Gluten Free Cake Mix from under the counter…his standby gluten free cake for when a ‘booking’ asks if he can do a gluten free dessert cake for a special celebration.

I keep a packet mix in the cupboard. It is my standby for the ‘just in case’  times when I have run out of plain flour or almond meal or special ingredients.

Lesson to myself is: it is okay to use a packet cake mix.

Spanish Roasted Tomato, Chorizo and Chickpea Soup

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You know you are in Spain when the buffet breakfast showcases salami, chorizo and jambon. Our first breakfast in Madrid made me forget (very quickly) my  standard yoghurt and fruit breakfast as I quickly filled my plate with tasty morsels of pork products.  Many years ago, I was told by cousins that they “the Spanish” use everything from the pig.  This accounts for Paella recipes calling for pig’s ear.  On that holiday 29 years ago Terese, my sister ordered a pork menu item… at least we could translate the word ‘pork’. What she didn’t realise was that she had ordered Pork Cheek – still on the jaw so once she ate the tender meat, a row of teeth appeared.

This soup recipe is not so confronting but chorizo, chickpeas, paprika, tomatoes and capsicums combine to make a  hearty Spanish Style soup.


1 teaspoon olive oil

2 chorizo sausages, cut into 1 cm pieces

1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 litre chicken stock

1 cup water

400 g can chickpeas, drained

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Gluten free bread to serve

Roasted vegetables

500 g Roma tomatoes, halved lengthways

2 red capsicums, quartered and deseeded

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Roasted vegetables : combine all ingredients in a roasting dish and cook in a very hot oven (240C) for about 25 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly and then chop coarsely.
  2. While vegetables are roasting, in a large stockpot, heat oil and then add chorizo. Cook, stirring for about 3 minutes or until golden.  Add onion and paprika.  Cook, stirring for a further 5 minutes or until onions are soft.
  3. Add roasted vegetables to stockpot together with stock, water, chickpeas and vinegar. Bring to boil.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

(New Idea: from the New Idea Test Kitchen)

Beef Stroganoff



Like most classic recipes there are many variations of Beef Stroganoff. Below is a simple version because I really only have to buy in  mushrooms and rump steak as all the other ingredients are generally in my pantry or fridge.


1 tablespoon olive oil

600 g rump steak, thinly sliced

20 g butter

1 large brown onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

200 g button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/2 – 1 tablespoon paprika

1 cup sour cream (can reduce to 1/2 cup)

½ cup beef stock

2 tablespoons gf Worcestershire sauce (Spring Valley or Beerenberg)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Gf fettuccine and chopped parsley to serve (I find the strands of GF fettuccine can glug together so I use gf spaghetti or gf elbows or serve it on a bed of rice)


Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook beef in batches for 2 – 3 minutes or until browned.  Transfer to bowl.

Melt butter in pan with pan juices.  Add onion and garlic and cook stirring for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add mushrooms.  Cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

Add paprika, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.  Add sour cream and stock.  Cook, stirring, over low heat for 2 minutes or until combined.  Return beef and beef juices  to pan.  Stir to combine and beef is heated through.

Served with fettuccini tossed with chopped parsley.

Open Letter to Dietitians – Gluten Free



Newly diagnosed – then you will referred to a dietitian to help you will your transition to gluten free. From experience, I would like to offer a few words of advice for dietitians consulting with those new to coeliac disease.

To the Dietitian supporting a newly diagnosed Coeliac disease sufferer…..

  1. Know a little about your client  and be prepared – the dietitian we visited bumbled his way through his notes mumbling that he wasn’t quite sure the condition my son was referred to him for but as he was a teenager and was referred to by a gastroenterologist then it was most likely one of two conditions. The fact that he knew my son was a teenager and the specialist who referred him meant that he did in fact receive the referral and should have been prepared but ….
  2. Remember that one size does not fit all– have age specific literature at hand – our dietitian showed us a pamphlet, said he only had one copy and would post a copy in the mail.  The pamphlet we received was actually targeted for those aged 6 – 10 year old and was not the one we had been shown. My son was 15 years old. Be mindful that a client with coeliac disease is different to a client who is going ‘gluten free’ for other reasons. Be mindful that an 80 year old eats and cooks differently to a 20 year old uni student.  Be mindful that emotionally a 55 year old will deal with a diagnosis differently to a 10 year old.
  3. Acknowledge that you have two clients in your room – the parent and the child.  Both have specific and very different needs.  Address the primary client – the person with coeliac disease. Our experience saw my son largely ignored with little attempt to engage him in conversation or ask questions of him.  My son felt alienated as was clear by his body language as he pulled the hoodie of his jacket over his head and slumped down into the chair. A friend had the dietitian eye her other child  and launch into the urgent need for him to also be screened. In an instant my friend had two insecure children and she felt even more overwhelmed than she did before her visit.
  4. Acknowledge that in the short to medium term the journey is difficult and confronting and time consuming – Never say “but there are some many products you can buy these days that are gluten free” or “a gluten free is relatively easy to adjust to if you make a few little changes” or ‘there is a whole aisle of gluten free products in the supermarket”.
  5. Speak from Experience – purchase a range of gluten free products and taste test them. Have a staff taste test. Have a family taste test.   Experience for yourself how disgusting ‘Aussie Mite’ tastes or maybe have one of your own children taste test for you and get their honest feed back.  Try some of the gluten free biscuits and experience how different the texture and taste is.  Try a sandwich using gluten free bread to see how well it handles. Have a go at baking gluten free bread and experience how different the texture is. And please please don’t suggest to a teenager gluten free weetbix – taste it and see what I mean.
  6. Be Realistic – Is it really realistic to send a teenager off to school with a can of baked beans and a fork and expect them to sit with their friends on the school oval and eat cold baked beans for lunch?  This suggestion we were given was wrong on so many levels and certainly did not take into account how different the teenager with coeliac disease is already feeling and at a time when teenagers don’t want to be conspicuous, the dietitian was suggesting the teenager make themselves even more conspicuous. This suggestion was not one of transition and small changes but a total shift from what used to be “normal”. It was like telling someone they need to fly to the moon to get a cup of water.
  7. Support the guidelines of Coeliac Queensland – A friend told me that the dietitian said that it was okay to eat products with the statement ‘may contain gluten’.  FYI – Coeliac Queensland’s statement is : ‘It is also important to avoid cross contamination by avoiding products with statements such as ‘may contain gluten’.  More importantly, it is one thing as an adult with coeliac disease to ‘take risks’ but it is another thing for a parent of a child to encourage their child to ‘take risks’.  As the parent, we have a duty of care to teach our children about the importance of their need to be ‘gluten free forever’.  We have a duty of care to teach our children to take responsibility for their life long gluten free diet and therefore we should NEVER EVER encourage our children to take risks. We must teach them so much about their new gluten free lifestyle and ‘taking risks’ is certainly not one of those lessons.  An adult coeliac who takes a risk can then honestly evaluate if they suffer from the possible contamination.  A parent encouraging their child to take a risk cannot honestly evaluate the possible side effects of contamination.  More importantly for a sufferer of coeliac disease who is asymptomatic then how can they judge whether their health is being compromised other than another round of blood tests and gastrostrophy.
  8. Don’t Give False Hope aka Don’t Give False Information – My friend  told me that Allens Red Frogs were okay because the dietitian told her daughter that she could eat them.  My response was that I was 99% sure Red Frogs contain wheat, because if  they didn’t,  then I would have a jar full of them at home.  I also do acknowledge that over time companies do change recipes and that possibly this had happened with Red Frogs. However: Ingredients of Red Frogs: Glucose Syrup (Wheat or Corn), Cane Sugar, Thickener (1401 or 1420) (Wheat), Gelatine, Food Acid (Citric Acid), Flavour, Colours (120, 122). When one consults Coeliac Australia’s Ingredients List it identifies 1400-1450 (wheat): meaning that the thickener in Red Frogs contains gluten and is therefore a ‘no go’ item.
  9. Don’t Confuse – It is all well and good telling  someone about Teff and Quinoa and Sorghum and Millet and Buckwheat as a way of communicating that there is a range of grain options out there that are gluten free, but when the newly diagnosed is struggling with restrictions and major changes to their lifestyle and diet, then they are not going to want to experiment with ‘new’ produce.  One really needs to be a confident cook to branch out, especially in the beginning.  Don’t say: if you like your porridge then you can cook quinoa porridge.  This is not a substitute in any shape or form; it might be trendy, but it is most definitely not palatable.
  10. Set Your Client up for Success and Confidence – Additionally to the advice and guidelines and list you provide your client with,  tap into another valuable resource: other coeliac disease sufferers or mothers of children with coeliac disease.  It might be worthwhile contacting your local Coeliac Support group for some grass roots advice: easy and simple recipes, tried and tested handy hints, a list of realistic and acceptable lunch box suggestions, seeing if there are members with whom you could pair your client eg another mother of a teenager, another adult who has Type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease.

My son’s experience at his dietitian’s appointment will most likely mean that he will never again visit a dietitian. He felt alienated, he felt ignored and he realised that ‘the experts’ really don’t understand how frightening and confronting a diagnosis is. Unfortunately, this is not the outcome I wanted for my son.  I wanted my son to be guided and supported and should in the future he need advice about his diet, then he would have no qualms about booking another appointment with a dietitian.

Please also take time to undertake a little self-evalutation and put yourself in the client’s shoes and walk around in them for a week or a day or for just a lunch and try to see their gluten free journey through their eyes.


A Mum of a teenager with coeliac disease

gluten free preparedness clarity REALISTIC

honesty PERCEPTIVENESS coeliac disease