Everyone has their own variation of this recipe so just remember to make it as plain or exciting as the tastes of your guests.
This is my plain version sure to please teenagers who don’t like too many vegetables in their fried rice.
3 tablespoons peanut oil
3 cups jasmine rice
1 onion diced finely
3 rashers bacon, diced
300 g chicken breast sliced finely or 300 g left over roast chicken
1 carrot grated
3 shallots sliced on angle
50 g slivered almonds toasted
Handful of frozen corn and peas
Salt and pepper to taste
2 – 4 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
Prepare 3 cups jasmine rice as per cooking instructions for rice cooker.
Beat eggs with 1 tablespoon of water and pour mixture into a non stick pan and fry until cooked. Cool and dice.
Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in large fry pan and then add onion and cook until soft. Add in bacon and chicken and fry until brown.
Add in rice and 1 ½ tablespoons oil. Stir to incorporate all ingredients.
Add in carrot, diced egg, peas and corn and stir.
Season with soy sauce and salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Serve rice with a sprinkling of shallots and almonds.
NB Other additions: finely sliced capsicum, celery finely sliced on an angle, cooked prawns, small pieces of broccolini.
No proving time makes this an easy quick loaf.
200 g gluten free white flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons gf baking powder
284 ml buttermilk (or milk with a squeeze of lemon)
2 teaspoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons olive oil
50 g sundried tomatoes chopped
30 g green olives sliced
Heat oven to 180 C (160 C fan forced)
Mix the sifted flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, puree and oil.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry mix and then add tomatoes and olives.
Oil a 900 g loaf tin and pour in mixture.
Bake for 50 – 60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Turn out onto wire rack until cool.
I put together a cookbook of family favourite gluten free recipes for my son as a Christmas gift and found that it was going to take longer than I thought . Unfortunately a number of our family favourites have never been committed to paper before. It is literally, a pinch of this, a bit of that and measurements are all to do with the feel of things and sometimes the ingredients on hand. I hope I have got it right and that this recipe translates into a tasty pasta sauce.
1 pkt San Remo Spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion diced finely
1 stick celery diced finely
3 cloves garlic diced finely
2 rashers bacon diced
150 g tomato paste
500 g minced beef
100 ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in large fry pan.
Add olive oil and butter until melted. Add in onion and cook until soft.
Add in bacon and celery until bacon is browned then add in garlic.
Add mince a little at a time until browned. Stir in tomato paste and chicken stock and seasoning to taste.
Bring to boil and then reduce and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.
Boil pot of boiling water and cook spaghetti until tender and drain.
Combine meat sauce with spaghetti and stir until spaghetti is coated in sauce.
NB Use penne pasta to make pasta bake: layer penne, mince, cheese, penne, mince and cheese and cook in oven for 30 minutes.
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…..
- 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 ….
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Another Mexican favourite for our household.
Beef and Marinade
700 g tender beef steak (rump or sirloin) cut into strips
½ lime, juiced
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
Large pinch of chili powder
Large pinch of cumin ground
Large pinch of paprika
Olive oil for frying
1 – 2 avocados diced and tossed with juice from ½ lime
125 ml sour cream
Tomato Salsa (4 ripe tomatoes diced, 2 shallots sliced finely, 1 red chili finely diced, 3 tablespoons coriander chopped, salt and pepper to taste)
1. Combine steak strips, garlic, lime, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oil, salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Assemble the tomato salsa.
3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Cook the beef mixture in batches and stir fry over high heat until browned and just cooked through.
4. Serve with heated tortillas, salsa, avocado and sour cream.
This is so much wrong and confusing information about gluten free and coeliac disease that it really does make it hard for coeliac disease sufferers to feel comfortable about eating out. I hear from many young adults that they find it embarrassing and awkward to go to a cafe and try to explain things to the wait staff. While others just don’t eat out as it is not worth the risk of eating contaminated food.
I recently had the opportunity to clarify a few misconceptions as a friend who is also a cafe owner asked for some advice. Here are my penned thoughts…
Open Letter to Cafes and Restaurants
There are two reasons why people eat gluten free: as a lifestyle option and as a medical necessity.
People who are diagnosed with coeliac disease must eat gluten free as a medical necessity. “A person with coeliac disease should not consume any gluten. A strict gluten free diet must be followed at all times.” (Coeliac Australia)
Gluten is contained in wheat, barley, rye, oats and their derivatives (spelt, milo, malt, couscous). An easy way to remember this is BROW.
It is a common misconception that some coeliacs are more sensitive to gluten than others. Please don’t say to customers “it all depends upon how sensitive you are” because there is no degree of sensitivity, only degrees of allergic reaction.
If a customer asks questions regarding gluten free options at the café, please don’t be defensive or dismissive. If you don’t know the answers to their questions, then ask the manager and/or the chef.
Coeliacs really do need to know if the icing sugar has wheat in it or if the gluten free bread is toasted in the same toaster used for wheat/gluten breads. And if a customer asks if the gf slice was handled by the same tongs as the other cakes, then they are not being fussy or picky or difficult, they are asking what they need to ask. The customer can then make an informed decision regarding their order.
Coeliac sufferers do not take risks as even a little bit of gluten is not okay.
“Can just one crumb of bread hurt a coeliac?
Yes. 1/100 of a slice of bread is enough to cause damage to the small bowel of a person with coeliac disease. A crumb may also make a person with coeliac disease physically sick.” (Coeliac Australia)
What does this mean for your café?
Be honest. And make a determination about who you can cater for.
It could be that you can only cater for customers following a gluten free diet as a life style option.
And that for customers following a gluten free diet as a medical necessity, your kitchen is unable to 100% guarantee the meal to be gluten free due to possible contamination issues.
But most importantly, be honest to your customers
because honesty is preferable to them eating contaminated food and suffering.
Life is good and life without gluten is… the new normal .
In the beginning, and every coeliac disease sufferer can tell you at least the month and year of the beginning of their gluten free life, the transition to a gluten free diet is chaotic.
There is no one easy one-size fits all collection of recipes.
There are no guidelines to warn you about how the transition will affect you emotionally, socially and mentally.
There is no simple list of packaged gf products that the individual will ‘like’.
There is no longer the luxury of only shopping at one supermarket.
It is said that “time is a great healer” and this is certainly true for coeliac disease sufferers.
Time does heal your body because gluten free food is your medicine.
Time does heal your soul as you centre your life around this major life changing shift.
And in time, you master your gluten free life and you find that your life is not defined by coeliac disease.
What have I learnt!
It is three years since by teenage son was diagnosed with coeliac disease and two years since I launched my blog so what has the last three years taught me as a gluten free cook.
1. Be creative
2. Be resourceful
3. Experiment with colour and texture
4. Make food interesting and enticing and colourful
5. Insist on honesty when trying new food and as a blogger write with integrity and always acknowledge the owners and sources of recipes you use
I clearly remember our first gluten free cookbook with unappetising photos of food all in shades of beige, off white, light brown and white. I thought, how am I going to sell gluten free food if it all looks so boring and colourless.
I clearly remember the unpleasant smell of our first store bought gluten free meat pies. I tried to lie my way through how tasty the pie was, but this lasted less than 2 minutes. From that point forward if my son rejected food on taste, look, texture or smell, then I listened and acknowledged his need to take control of his gf food preferences.
And I clearly remember the emotional roller coaster ride of those first 18 months to 2 years.
I have learnt that community is integral to a coeliac disease sufferer. Family, friends, teachers, doctors, bloggers, cookbook writers…
I am grateful to the many people who support my son and his gluten free diet and those friends, family members and bloggers who continue to provide me with new gf recipes to try.
Life is good and life without gluten is… the new normal .
Teamed with Glutino Bagel Chips or home made Corn Chips, this Basil Pesto is worth the effort.
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.
If you are looking for inspiration for the 500 g mince you have on hand, then give this recipe a try.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
2.5 cm ginger finely grated
500 g pork mince
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons gf soy sauce
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon kaffir lime leaves
10 cherry tomaotes diced
2 tablespoons coriander chopped
Salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallots and ginger and stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the pork and continue stir frying until golden brown.
- Add in the fish sauce, soy sauce, curry paste and lime leaves and stir fry for a further 2 minutes on high heat.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in coriander and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve on a bed of rice vermicelli noodles or serve in a lettuce cup.
Tomorrow is 100 years since the Australian and New Zealand armed forces landed at Gallipoli. As part of the commemoration is an amazing display of hand crafted poppies in Federation Square in Melbourne. What started out as a call for 5 000 poppies to be made is now a field of 250 000 poppies.
Lest we forget.
ANZAC Biscuits and Slices…an ongoing tradition…
Oats are traditional to an Anzac biscuit recipe, but I substituted quinoa flakes in this recipe and the result was still delicious. Flaked almonds is another substitute.
1 cup GF self raising flour, sifted
130 g melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
30 g melted unsalted butter
1 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup golden syrup
1 can (380 g) caramel filling
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Place the flour and desiccated coconut, sugar and 120 g butter in a bowl and stir until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the base of a 20 cm x 30 cm tin lined with baking paper.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Place the shredded coconut, quinoa flakes, golden syrup and 30 g butter in a bowl and mix to combine.
Spread the caramel over the cooled base and spoon over the cococunt and flakes topping.
Bake for a further 20 – 25 minutes or until golden.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.