Category Archives: Lunch Box Ideas

Chickpea Fritters

Chickpea Fritters (1)

These chickpea fritters are cheap to make, vegetable based and easy to assemble.

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Cakes


500 g orange sweet potato, peeled, coarsely chopped

1 x 400 g chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 brown onion, finely chopped

½ cup chopped fresh coriander

2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan

2 tablespoons gluten free plain flour

Extra finely grated parmesan cheese to coat

Olive oil spray

Mixed lettuce leaves to serve

Sweet chilli sauce to serve


Cook the sweet potato in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender.  Drain, return to pan and mash until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl. Place in fridge for 30 minutes to cool.

Mash chickpeas or process chickpeas in another bowl.

Combine the chickpeas, onion, coriander, parmesan and flour to the sweet potato. Season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture into 10 portions and shape each into a patty.

Preheat oven to 180 C.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place extra parmesan on a plate and press patties lightly into the parmesan to coat.

Place on the lined tray and spray patties with olive oil.

Bake in oven, turning once, for 30 minutes or until golden.

Serve with lettuce and sweet chilli sauce


Corn, Zucchini and Chickpea Fritters


400 g chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup reduced fat milk

2 eggs

¾ cup gluten free self-raising flour

1 large zucchini, grated

310 g can corn kernals, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons  chopped mint leaves

3 green onions, thinly sliced

Olive oil cooking spray

Salad leaves and tomato chutney to serve.


Process chickpeas until roughly chopped.  Whisk milk and eggs in a jug.

Place flour in a bowl.  Gradually add milk mixture to flour, whisking until smooth.

Stir in chickpeas, zucchini, corn, mint and onion.

Spray a large frying pan with oil.  Heat over medium-high heat.

Add ¼ cup mixture to pan.  Spread slightly with a spatula. Repeat to make 3 more in the pan.

Cook for 2 – 3 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through.  Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm.

Repeat with remaining mixture to make 12 fritters.

Serve with salad and chutney.


Gluten Free Crackers

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Finding a store bought cracker has been an  elusive quest for my gf teenager.  Many of the store bought crackers are heavily flavoured with cheese and have way too many seeds for my son’s liking.  We buy Schar crackers and Glutino Bagel chips but if you are looking to make your own crackers, then here are a few suggestions:

1. Parmesan and Seed Biscuits

A recipe from the team at Yum Gluten Free


175 g gf flour

85 g butter

1 egg yolk, mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water

1 egg, beaten

3 tablespoons grated parmesan

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

sea salt


Put flour and butter into a food processor and whizz until fine.  Sprinkle the egg and water mixture on top and pulse again until the mixture starts to come together.  Tip the mixture onto a board and gently squeezes the pastry into a ball, adding more water if it feels dry.

Heat oven to 190 C. Roll the pastry into a large rectangle, 20 x 30 cm.  Brush sheet with beaten egg and cut in half width-ways.  Sprinkle one half with parmesan and the other with sesame seeds.  Lightly roll them with a rolling pin to press cheese and seeds in. If you like your biscuits a little salty, then sprinkle and press sea salt flakes onto biscuits.

Cut each half into 12 – 15 sticks.  Arrange on a baking tray and chill for 10 minutes.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown.

2. Gluten Free Parmesan Crackers

A recipe from the SBS Food recipes archive, this is a lovely combination of almond meal and parmesan

3. Gluten Free Crackers made with buckwheat and flaxseed meal

4. Cheddar Crackers with a big cheesy flavour




Potato and Chorizo Fritters

potato and chorizo fritters

Potato and Chorizo Fritters



500 g Carisma potatoes, peeled, grated and squeezed to remove liquid

100 g chorizo sausage finely chopped

1 tsp chopped rosemary

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 egg, lightly whisked

2 tablespoons gluten free plain flour

Jar aioli




Combine potato, chorizo, rosemary, garlic, egg and flour. Season to taste.

Heat a large non-stick frypan over medium heat.  Cook ¼ cupfuls of mixture for 4 – 5 minutes, until golden.

Turn and cook other side for 3 – 4 minutes, until golden and crisp.


Serve with salad leaves and aioli.

(Coles December 2013 Magazine)

New GF Bread on the Shelves

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Great to see another gluten free bread on the supermarket shelves.  Woolworths Supermarket is stocking Abbott’s Village Bakery Gluten Free Bread. Available is two varieties: Mixed Seed and Soy &Linseed, the bread is soft and opens up a few more options for gluten free eaters.  My gf son however is still the ‘white bread’ kind of guy but I am told that one day, he will make the transition to seeded breads and a whole range of other foods that he currently had decided is ‘not to his liking’.

This bread is soft, it is not dense nor heavy and it makes a great sandwich.

Abbots Village Sandwich.jpg

Change it Up



I am always on the look out for ways to up-style family favourites and while Spaghetti Bolognese    Pie and Mexican Lasagna are not new,these recipes torn out a Woolworths Fresh Food Magazine, reminded me of simple ways to change up old recipes. If you want to be more adventurous then you will find that Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson also have a few creative variations on this theme.

Spaghetti Bolognese Pie =  cooked gluten free spaghetti combined with 2 whisked eggs and 1/2 cup grated parmesan which has been pressed into the base and sides of a greased pie dish +your favourite spaghetti bolognese sauce layered over spaghetti base + topped with whisked egg and 1/2 cup smooth ricotta + topped with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella + bake for 30 minutes

Mexican Lasagna  = (gluten free corn tortillas + Mexican meat sauce+salsa + grated cheese) layered into a greased round pan + top with tortilla and grated cheese + bake for 30 – 40 minutes

GF Snacks and Treats

What are the popular gluten free snacks in my house?

If you would have asked me this question three years ago or three months ago, I might have given you a different answer.  There are many reasons for a change in eating patterns and habits but gluten free eaters are like the mainstream eaters, they like to have a change.

Gluten free eating is restrictive by its very nature and so an important lesson this mother has learnt is that you have to vary what snacks you have on offer in the house.

So this month Carman’s Greek Yoghurt and Blueberry Bars are disappearing quickly out of the cupboard.  Liked by gluten free and non gluten free eaters alike.

Frugo’s had lost ground in my house for a few months, but they are popular again as a ‘grab a packet while heading out the door’ snack.

Mini Snickers and Turkish Delights have also come back into vogue.  It might be that they have been a  recent ‘special’ and therefore cheaper or it might be because I have a weakness for Turkish Delight and I’ll use any excuse to have them in the snack basket.

Menz Gluten Free Honeycomb available in The Reject Shop and Coles is a handy item to know about.  With few chocolate products gluten free or without a warning statement about gluten, this one is worthwhile knowing about.  A friend will be having her two grandaughters (both coeliac)  visit over the school holidays, so I made sure I put an extra packet in my shopping trolley so that she would have a gluten free treat for them.


Salad Dressings

Salad Dressings (2)


Make a statement with your salad dressings.

No need to buy expensive store bought dressings as without too much effort fridge and pantry ingredients can be used to jazz up your salad.

Lemon and Chive

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Zest of lemon

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

Red Wine and Mustard

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic crushed

2 teaspoons seeded mustard

Thai Citrus and Chilli Dressing

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 teaspoons caster sugar

1 teaspoon fish sauce

Smashed Tomato Dressing

200 g cherry tomatoes

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

6 tablespoons olive oil
Place tomatoes, basil, garlic and lemon juice in a food processer and whizzed until combined.  Slowly add olive oil while motor is running.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Honey, Herb, Orange and Balsamic Dressing

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon clear runny honey

1 tablespoon orange juice

2 teaspoons chopped mint

Mustard Mayonnaise

Equal parts of mayonnaise, seeded mustard and white vinegar

Thai Chilli Dressing

½ cup lime juice

2 teaspoon fish sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 large chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

Continental Dressing

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice (can substitute balsamic vinegar)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Asian Dressing

½  teaspoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon caster sugar

¼ cup white vinegar

Slaw Dressing

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup light sour cream

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

Honey Soy Dressing

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoons honey

2 teaspoons caster sugar

¼ teaspoon sesame oil

Balsamic and Mustard Dressing

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar


Gluten Free in Brisbane

Somehow, without even meaning to, my eyes seek out the words ‘gluten free’.  And this was no different on a recent quick trip to Brisbane.

So here is a small sample of ‘gluten free’ in Brisbane.

All Real Food is convenience breakfast and lunch options in a refrigerated vending machine.  I spotted one in the ‘Wintergarden’ on the Queen Street Mall, just outside a health centre.  Fresh juices, wraps, salads, breakfast cereals are all presented in a jar with gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and paleo options. Go to their website to find their other seven locations around Brisbane.

Noosa Choc

Noosa Chocolate Factory have two stores on Adelaide Street and we are enjoying the Peanut Crunch and Peanut Brittle brought home.  There is a range of chocolate coated products which are in the main gluten freee: strawberries, hazelnuts, sultanas, ginger.  All products are 100% palm oil free and 100% vegan.


Snag Stand in Queens Plaza not only promotes 100% gluten free sausages but also gluten free buns (extra $).  Check their website for additional stores in Queensland, Canberra and New South Wales.  With Spicy Cheese Kransky, Spicy Spanish Chorizo, Toulouse and Australian Fare sausages a sample of what is on offer, these are tempting indeed.

Soul Origin

Soul Origin  is also in Queens Plaza and offers a range of clearly labelled gluten free salads. Stores can be found in New South Wales, Canberra and Queensland. Some choices are Bean Medley, Tuna and Avocado, Chicken and Steamed Vegetables, Lentil.

Schar Pizza

Schar Pizza Bases are not available in Townsville so we always visit the Greenslopes IGA to grab a few boxes.  There are two in a box and they are a good quality pizza base ie they aren’t thin like cardboard nor do they crack and break.  The store generally has a great range of gluten free products.  The pizzas are also brought back to Townsville whenever we have family visiting from Brisbane.

Melting Moments

House of Biskota was a newly seen gluten free biscuit range found at the Rock N Roll Marketplace on Logan Road at Stones Corner.  With a little TLC on the flight home,  the GF Almond Crescents and GF Melting Moments are being enjoyed by all.

A big thank you to my local co-ordinator for  Coeliac Queensland who has supplied the Townsville group  with this link : The Ultimate Gluten Free Guide to Brisbane  Just one of the many reasons to be a member of your state’s Coeliac Australia Branch.





Zucchini and Ricotta Bake


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If my ‘foodie’ adult son gives me a compliment, then I know I have done well. And Matthew gave me the thumbs up on this dish. This one is a definite winner for family gatherings especially when you have guests who eat gluten free or who are vegetarian.


6 zucchini, trimmed and grated (750g)

2 teaspoons salt

250 g fresh ricotta

1 ½ cups grated tasty cheese

1 bunch chives

4 eggs, whisked

½ cup gluten free self raising flour

250 g punnet cherry tomatoes (halved)


Preheat oven to 180 C fan forced.  Grease a 26 x 16 cm ceramic baking dish.

Put zucchini into a colander and sprinkle with salt.  Leave to stand for 15 minutes.  Using your hands squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible, then place in a large bowl.

Add ricotta, 1 cup of cheese, chives and eggs and flour.  Stir until combined.

Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Place tomato halves, cut side down, on cheese.

Place dish in oven and cook for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

Leave stand for 10 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving.

(from Woolworths Fresh: Recipe Development by Dixie Elliott)


Chocolate Rainbow Slice

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This recipe called out to me to make it.  I had gluten free Weet Bix stored in the freezer as I didn’t use the full packet for Rum Balls at Christmas.  I had a handful of ‘Little Gems’ tucked away waiting to be used. And the rest of the ingredients are standard pantry items.

The recipe was a ‘gluten’ recipe but with minor substitutions and adjustments eg gluten free Weet Bix, gluten free Cocoa powder, gluten free icing sugar and gluten free decorations, the rest was easy.


12 gluten free Weet Bix, crushed*

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

200 g butter, melted

1 egg, lightly beaten

colourful gluten free sprinkles, confetti, decorations

2 1/4 cups gf icing sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

30 g  butter, finely chopped allow to soften

1/4 cup boiling water


Preheat oven to moderate, 180 C (160C fan forced).  Line with baking paper, a 18 x 28 cm slice pan.

In a bowl, combine crushed weet bix, sugar, coconut and cocoa. Mix well.

Add butter and egg and mix until combined.

Press mixture firmly into pan.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until firm to touch.

In a bowl, sift icing sugar and cocoa.  Add butter, then boiling water and stir until smooth.

Using a bread and butter knife (non serrated edge blade), spread icing over warm slice.  Sprinkle with decorations.  Chill 2 hours or until firm before cutting into squares or rectangles. Store in an airtight container.

* I am not sure exactly how many Weet Bix I used as I had crushed and stored them before freezing and forgot to label the number in the freezer bag.  If mixture is too wet, add another Weet Bix.

(from Woman’s Day …. Preparation: Domenica Reddje)

Rainbow Chocolate Slice