Category Archives: Salads and Vegetables

Satay Chicken Drumettes

Satay Wings (2)

Easy to prepare, cook and assemble, this is an enjoyable summer’s meal full of flavour and colour.


750 g chicken drumettes

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

500 g kumara, peeled, sliced

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 cucumber sliced

1 tomato, cut into wedges

2 eggs, hard boiled

100 g snow peas, sliced

Satay Sauce

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup kecap manis (or use gf soy sauce)

2 tablespoons lime juice


Score thickest parts of chicken drumettes.  In a large bowl, combine chicken, oil, juice and spiced and mix well until chicken is coated and marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to hot, 200c.

Place kumara on oven tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with additional oil.  Bake until cooked. Remove from oven.

Place chicken drumettes on trays lined with baking paper and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden and skin is crisp.

In a saucepan, whisk peanut butter, coconut milk, kecap manis (gf soy sauce) and simmer for 2 minutes.  Stir in lime juice.

Arrange on a platter the kumara, cucumber, tomato, halved boiled eggs and snow peas.  Place chicken drumettes in centre of platter and serve with a drizzle of satay sauce.

(recipe from New Idea magazine 2015)

Buttermilk Onion Rings

Usually, I do all the recipe spotting, but it was my gf son who found this recipe for Buttermilk Onion Rings  and asked “how difficult is it to convert it to gluten free?”  To which the answer was “should be easy”.

And easy it is….

Onion Rings


3/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup gf plain flour

1/2 cup gf cornflour

1 large brown onion, sliced into 3mm thick rings and separated

Canola oil for deep frying


Using a deep fryer* is best but you can also use a large heavy saucepan half filled with oil on medium-high heat.

Place buttermilk in a bowl.

Place flours in a flat dish, stir to mix the two flours and season with salt and pepper (you can add paprika).

Work in batches. Toss onion rings in the flour mixture and then dip the rings into the buttermilk and let excess drip from rings before returning to flour.

Fry onion rings in batches for 3 minutes or until golden.  Remove and transfer to paper towel.  Season lightly with sea salt.

There is a  bacon ailoi in the recipe which is very tempting indeed.

*Deep Fryer – If you have kitchen cupboard space then I suggest a deep fryer as I find  the temperature is more controlled than in a saucepan on the stove.  I use it for Ricotta Dumplings, Sweet Potato Chips, our alternative to KFC 



Teamed with Glutino Bagel Chips or home made Corn Chips,  this Basil Pesto is worth the effort.


1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leavesPesto

50 g pine nuts, toasted

50 g parmesan cheese, grated

2 cloves garlic, peeled

125 ml olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Ground black pepper and sea salt to taste


Place all ingredients into the chopper bowl of your stick blender and process until smooth.

Macadamia Hummus

Love the idea of using macadamia nuts as an addition to a hummus recipe.

macadamia hummus

The hummus recipe is one of the “Trio of dips Australian style” with the  Macadamia Pesto and Macadamia Tapenade recipes on my to make list.

Moreish Macadamia Hummus

In a food processor, process and purée the following ingredients:

1/2 cup macadamias, roasted

2 cups chickpeas, drained

2 tablespoons macadamia oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons water ( I used liquid reserved from drained chickpeas)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

10 medium basil leaves

salt and pepper to taste

Salad Ideas

Salads are essential to summer. Our summer is enduring, hot and humid and so I look for ways to change up our traditional lettuce salad.

Two Mexican inspired salads from delicious February 2015 are simple and easy and makes for a colourful lunch.

Black Bean Salad

Mexican Black Bean Salad

Corn Kernels, canned – drained

Black beans, canned – rinsed and drained

Coriander – leaves removed from stem

Small tomatoes (grape, cherry, mini) – halved

Avocado – sliced

Cos lettuce – shredded

Corn tortillas – sliced into 2 cm strips, tossed lightly in oil and baked in oven until crisp

Sour cream and sweet chilli sauce

Lime wedges – for serving

Brunch Salad

Brunch Salad

Cos lettuce – leaves washed and separated

Corn on the cob – char grilled then cut away from cob

Baby spinach leaves

Avocado – sliced

Streaky bacon – crispy fried

Corn chips

Sour Cream dressing: sour cream, lemon, salt and pepper

Layer and combine on a serving platter and drizzle dressing.

A little bit of France

One of my passions is family history and through my research I have connected with many wonderful people and shared photos and stories and details relating to our common ancestors.


Rocamadour, France

One line of research brought me in contact with Aurore and Fernand and their little part of south-west France: Villebrumier.  They have welcomed us into their home and we have shared many wonderful meals at their table.  We love their passion for food and wine and the tradition of long lunches with seven courses.

In Australia we tend to eat to fill our bodies and there is little formality surrounding meals. We eat to live.  For the French and the Catalans and the Italians, food is an integral part of the seasons, food is entwined with traditions and food is meant to be talked about and savoured. Europeans live to eat.

Aurores Salad


Aurore’s Salad


3 hard boiled eggs, halved

1 tin aspargus spears, drained

handful of black olives, pitted

1/2 punnet cherry or grape or small heirloom tomatoes, halved

salt and pepper to taste

oil and vinegar to taste


Plate, season and serve.

Haloumi Salads : A couple of options

Before you think that my teenager actually eats salads, I must own up: I make salads because I know my son will eat possibly one ingredient in the bowl and I hope one day he might venture out and actually eat the green and red things on the plate as well.

I do know that in a push, when there is nothing else to eat, KJ will eat salad greens, but they are definitely not his first preference.

He does like haloumi so here are a couple of his liked haloumi recipes:


Pan Fried Haloumi with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme


2 x 180 g pkts haloumi, drained

1 tablespoon olive oil

Zest from 1 lemon (use a vegetable peeler)

2 garlic cloves, sliced

6 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Serve with lemon wedges and rustic gluten free bread


Cut haloumi into 12 rectangular pieces.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the lemon zest, garlic and thyme stirring for 2 minutes to develop the flavours.

Add the haloumi to the pan and cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden.

Drizzle with lemon juice and transfer to a large serving plate.

Season with pepper and serve immediately with sliced bread and lemon wedges.


Haloumi and Pomegranate Salad


Cos lettuce

Mini cucumbers

Pomegranate seeds

Haloumi cheese  (pan fry sliced haloumi)

Dressing: 2 tabs honey, 2 tabs lemon, 2 tabs olive oil,  1 tabs oregano leaves chopped, sea salt flakes and pepper. Whisk in bowl and drizzle over salad.

Heirloom Tomato and Haloumi Salad


140 ml olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tablespoons shiraz vinegar or red wine vinegar

50 g unsalted butter, 2 garlic cloves, crushed and 4 sliced and cubed gluten free multigrain bread (to make croutons or use Glutino Bagel Chips)

250 g haloumi, sliced, pan fried

500 g mixed heirloom tomatoes sliced (or use a colourful variety of tomatoes)

1 cup rocket, baby spinach and basil leaves


Whisk 1/3 cup oil, garlic and vinegar together in a bowl, season and set aside.

To make croutons, heat 2 tabs oil and butter in a frypan over medium heat.  Cooked bread for 4 minutes until crips.  Add garlic and remaining 1 tabs oil and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.  Drain on paper towel.  Cool.

In a serving bowl or platter, combine croutons, dressing and remaining ingredients.

(Delicious Dec 14/Jan 15)

Christmas Cabbage Salad

For Matthew

My adult son rang me recently and asked me for Grandma’s Cabbage Salad Recipe to which I answered cabbage, eggs and potatoes.  It wasn’t the answer he wanted.

Because this salad is a family recipe, it has always been made by taste, sight and feel.  There is no written recipe and you just know when you have enough potatoes or eggs or vinegar.  The owner of the recipe is dubious: is it Aunty Matilda’s recipe or Grandma Ines’s recipe.

After much discussion among the family, we are still unsure but its origin is most likely the area of Italy from where their families originate – Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Hopefully these quantities will work!

200 g finely shredded cabbage

Cabbage Salad 2

4 eggs hard boiled

4 potatoes boiled

¼ finely diced red onion (optional)

1 – ½ tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

Cube potatoes and cut eggs into 8 pieces.

Combine in a bowl with cabbage.

Add oil and vinegar and combine ingredients with hands. Don’t be gentle as you want the potatoes and eggs to break and coat the cabbage.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Taste the salad, as you might need to add more vinegar depending upon taste.

The volume of this salad will reduce down as the vinegar is absorbed by the cabbage.

Cabbage Salad 4

And this salad will once again grace my family’s Christmas lunch table, just as it has since before my memory.

A Handful of Olives

Olive Bread

You either love olives or you don’t but for our family, olives are one of life’s necessities.  I remember my second youngest son’s first birthday party.  He hovered over the plate of cheese, salami and stuffed olives and much to the horror of a family friend he happily shoved fistfuls of tasty morsels into his mouth.

For bread making, I use packet mixes and one of them is from Springhill Farm: the Real Bread Mix.  You can use this packet to make an olive bread and I have had good results.  Not a confident bread maker, I make gluten free bread out of necessity and as I don’t have pantry space to keep multiple flours to blend myself,  I find Laucke and Springhill Farm my best ‘go to’ bread mixes. Laucke has a focaccia recipe using the Easy Bakers Gluten Free Bread Mix but use more than 1 tablespoon of olives… olives are definitely not optional in our household as the recipe states.

Another great olive recipe:

Olive Tapenade

250 g black olives

1 cup parsley

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon capers (drained or if using salted capers, wash capers thoroughly)

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

Add ingredients to a food processor or bowl of a stick blender and blend until you reach your desired consistency.


Sunday Corn

Sunday Corn

The concept for this dish comes from a very, very  mediocre dish from my boarding school days.  While the dish served up at boarding school only had a hint of bacon and the sauce was quite watery, two of my sisters and I later developed our own version of “Sunday Corn”.

Most of our family dishes start with a samfaina which is a stock standard base for many meals : olive oil, onions, garlic, capsicums, tomatoes, bacon, chicken stock. From this base, you can launch out and add meat, vegetables, rice… the options are limited only by your imagination.

Sunday Corn


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 large onion, finely diced

1/2 red capsicum, diced

2 rashers bacon, finely diced

2 clove garlic, finely chopped

1  tablespoons tomato paste

1 can tomatoes diced

1 tablespoon sherry

1 teaspoon chicken stock powder

1 can corn, drained

Salt and pepper to season



Heat olive oil and butter in a medium frying pan.

Add onion and bacon and fry until onion softens.

Add capsicum and garlic and fry for 2 – 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock powder and a tablespoon sherry.

Stir and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until sauce is reduced.

Add corn simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.


Serve on toast or as a side to a meal.