Category Archives: Salads and Vegetables

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.


Green Salad with Vinaigrette Sauce




This is one of my mother’s recipe, recently revived by my sister Terese.  Today we keep a fridge full of bottles: sauces, marinades, dressings and condiments but back in the day, my mother made things from scratch.  Maybe we all should try to go back the simple way of cooking without all the additives and preservatives.


Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 1 large sprig of parsley
  • 1 large spring onion chopped
  • 2 tbs sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil.


Combine all ingredients for sauce in a blender and blend for 3 to 4 mins until creamy, pour into a jug, cover and chill for 25 to 30 min. Makes 3/4 cup.


Ingredients for Salad:

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 250 gr (1/2 lb) whole frozen beans
  • boiling hot water
  • 125 gr (1/4 lb thick bacon
  • 1 medium white chopped onion
  • chopped parsley


Get ingredients for salad and in separate pans of boiling water, cook potatoes and beans for 12 to 15 min. Drain potatoes, peel and slice thickly and set aside to cool. Drain beans and set aside also to cool. Meanwhile cut the bacon into small chunks and cook in pan until crisp. Lift out and drain. Heap the beans into the centre of a salad bowl and arrange potato slices around the edge. Scatter bacon and chopped onion on top. Drizzle vinaigrette sauce over the vegetables and cover and chill for 20 to 25 min. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


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


Zucchini and Ricotta.JPG


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)


Kalamata Olive Sprinkle

Olive sprinkles (1)



 I had a sprinkle of Dried Black Olive Seasoning on a restaurant entrée recently and thought ‘how interesting’ and ‘why hasn’t anyone thought of this before’.

Well maybe it is not a new concept, just a new experience for me, but this extra level of texture and flavour to my salad, has lingered on my palate.


2 cups Kalamata Olives, pitted


Place olives in a food processor and process.

Spread paste thinly onto baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake in 200 C (180C fan forced) until olives are dried (30 – 40 minutes).  Use a fork to break up olives during baking time.

Use as a sprinkle over pasta, salads or incorporate into a cracker dough.


Recipe Ideas – Woolworths Fresh

Woolworths Fresh April 2016


Like most gluten free shoppers, I shop around: Woolworths, IGA, Coles, organic shops depending upon what specific gluten free product I am looking for. Shopping at Woolworths yesterday, I picked up a copy of their April 2016 Fresh.

Well done to Woolworths for their Fresh April 2016 Free in-store magazine. Supporting Coeliac Awareness Week this edition of Fresh has a two page spread on gluten-free living highlighting  gluten free products available in-store.

But the good news for gluten free-ers does not stop there.  Not only does the magazine contain tagged gluten free recipes, there is also a number of other recipes that are either gluten free by ingredient or can be gluten free with a few quick substitutions.

If you are looking for inspiration, then pick up a copy of Fresh Issue 119 April 16 to find these recipes mentioned below:

Gluten Free

Banana Pancakes page 102

Chocolate Cake page 104

Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns page 89

Gluten Free by Ingredient

Asian-Style Mandarin Chicken page 10

Vegetable Tortilla page 14

Marinated Lamb Steaks with Roasted Vegetables page 19

Hash Brown Quiche page 28

Buckwheat Crepes with Poached Apple and Pear page 54

Baked Sweet Potatoes, Avocado and Feta page 62

Passionfruit Possetts page 72

Sticky Sesame Prawns with Zingy Rice Noodle Salad page 82

Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Avo Crunch Salad with Balsamic Beets and Broccolini page 82

Ham and Rockmelon Bites page 93

Ham Caprese Skewers page 93

Gluten Free with Substitutions

Fettuccine Alfredo with Mushrooms page 16

Smashed Avocado & Feta page 34

Brunch Salad page 54

Classic Minestrone page 57

Mexican Chicken Chilli page 58

Prawn and Zucchini Spaghetti page 58

Broad Bean, Fennel, Chilli and lemon Risotto with Prawns page 61

Sicilian Meatballs Al Forno page 61

Papaya and Lime Cheesecake page 73

Rosemary and Garlic Lamb with Root Veg Mash page 84

Hot Cross Bun Toppers page 88





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.

Chicken Wings and Drumstick Glazes

Chicken Wings (2)

Chicken Wings and Drumsticks are  versatile  with all glazes easy to prepare.

Perfect as a starter at a bbq gathering or as a meal when combined with a salad*.

Sweet Chilli

1/3 cup soy sauce (gf)

¼ cup sweet chilli sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

3 cm ginger, peeled and finely grated

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Sticky Orange

2/3 cup orange marmalade or plum jam

2 teaspoons dijon mustard (gf)

¼ cup chicken stock

2 cloves garlic, crushed

BBQ Chilli

½ cup tomato chutney

1 lime juice and finely grated rind

1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce

Sticky and Sweet

½ cup apricot conserve

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (gf)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (gf)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Maple Glaze

2/3 cup tomato sauce

1 tablespoon gf soy

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Vietnamese Glaze

2 spring onions, bruised and chopped

2 stalks lemon grass, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 tablespoon honey

½ teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons vegetable oil


Combine ingredients and marinade chicken wings or drumsticks for 2 – 4 hours.

For glazes with jams, combine ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until smooth.

Place chicken on baking rack (sprayed with oil) over an oven tray lined with baking paper or a disposable alfoil tray.  Every 10 minutes brush chicken before turning, with marinade. Cook in 180 C oven for 40 – 50 minutes.

*Seeded Apple Slaw 

Combine in a bowl : 1 1/2  cups finely shredded cabbage, 1 apple grated, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (gf) 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds, 2 tablespoons pepitas

Mango Chutney

Mango Chutney 1

sweet and tart and piquant

It is mango time of year again and while I am a staunch advocate that the only way to have a mango is fresh and cold, I thought I would have a go at making a mango chutney.

Mango chutneys are my father’s domain and over the years he has made hundreds of bottles giving most of them away.  But age catches up with one’s parents and so I thought I would make this recipe on his behalf.


3 just ripe mangoes, peeled, stoned and coarsely chopped (if you listen to the old timers, the common mangoes make the best chutneys because the fruit is much more fibrous)

2 brown onions, coarsely chopped

1 cup (250 ml) apple cider vinegar

2 cups (440g )white sugar (or you could use jam setting sugar)

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon ground coriander


Sterile jars and lids and allow to dry.

Place all ingredients in a large heavy based saucepan.

Bring to boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally (be careful not to break up mango chunks) for 1 hour or until mixture thickens.  Remove from heat.

Carefully divide hot chutney between sterilised jars and seal.  Turn jars upside down for 2 minutes.  Turn upright and set aside to cool completely.