This will seem like a really boring blog post but I am secretly so excited about this new product made by Easy Bakers. You can make anything Bakerish out of this mix. I have used it to make pizza bases for the boy’s lunches because I was spending $6.95 on pre-made gluten free supermarket pizza bases. Yes. Each! That is expensive pizza! With this Easy Bakers mix I can make eight gluten free pizza bases for around $5.80. That’s just 73 cents each. I make all the bases and then freeze them until needed for school lunches.
I recently had a lovely day out with my friend Jamie. He found the day spa so I was assigned the task of tracking down what has to be the coolest space in Brunswick, East Elevation. It is a coffee shop, yes, but also a chocolate factory. Who would have thought?
Of course we had to try their hot chocolates, so I chose the chilli-choc version. It was perfectly hot, perfectly not-too-sweet and perfectly creamy. (Pictured below. Image from The Ultimate Hot Chocolate)
I tried the The Otway Pork Belly & Roasted Pears w/ Lentils, Cherry Tomatoes & Radicchio Salad. It was at the recommendation of the waiter and I thought it was divine. Jamie enjoyed Smoked Free Range Chicken and Wild Rice Salad.
The atmosphere here is warm but edgy-cool. The floor staff are extremely helpful and engaged and happy to be consulted on choices. The space is cavernous but filled with warm wood and industrial chic. Would I go back? Short answer? I already have.
351 Lygon Street
Brunswick east 3057
(Kitchen closes one hour before cafe)
+61 3 9381 5575
+61 3 9380 4915
1 cup sushi rice
1 1/2 cups cold water
4 tablespoons sushi vinegar
Gluten free Teriyaki Sauce
1 chicken breast, cut into about 4 portions and marinated in teriyaki sauce to cover, overnight
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 seaweed sushi sheets
1/2 an avocado, sliced into 8 long slices
Soy sauce, to dip
Bring rice to a boil in the 1 1/2 cups water. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for around 12 minutes, until rice is soft. Spread rice on a large plate to cool and sprinkle with sushi vinegar. Heat sesame oil in a non stick fry pan and cook drained (reserve the marinade) chicken for around 6 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for around three minutes. Place lid over cooking chicken for one extra minute. Cut thickest piece of chicken to check it is cooked through. Place cooked chicken on a dish, then pour the teryaki marinade into the pan and reduce the liquid until it is thick and syrupy. Return the chicken to the pan and coat it in the teriyaki syrup. Lay out 1/4 of the rice on a seaweed sheet, shiny side down, on to a sushi rolling bamboo mat. Cut the chicken pieces into half or thirds and lay it across the rice. Add two avocado strips. Using the rolling mat, begin to roll the sushi tightly, pressing in the initial bulk, then continuing to roll the length of the seaweed sheet. Some people moisten the edge of the sheet to secure the edge but, to be honest, these just don’t last long enough to get too fancy about things in our house.
This method of cooking the chicken ensures it is tender and succulent. It might sound as though the process is very intense, but I promise these hand rolls are easy peasy and always meet with the approval of my teens.
Jess, Fi and Tim at POD (Post Industrial Design) are extremely serious about their food. They are forever plotting and planning and conspiring about the next big recipe. And guys? They are doing it for us! You gotta love them. And you gotta love their food. There should be total respect for their creative process, not just their amazing marriages of flavour, and the wonderfully warm atmosphere of the cafe itself. The coffee is great. As was my Breakfast Greens Salad, with goat’s cheese, thick cut bacon, poached egg and gluten free toast.
While you are there, wander through Mary’s shop and discover a range of new products, including my new favourite, Otto and Spike scarves.
1/2 cup Buckwheat Flour
1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
1/2 cup lactose free milk
2 teaspoons melted margarine (I use Nuttelex)
1 teaspoon cane sugar
Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Add another dob of Nuttelex into a heavy based frying pan and melt. Add pancake mix – all for a biggie or half for two normal sized pancakes. Fry until the popped bubbles which form in the batter stay open. Flip the pancake and fry for a further minute. Serve with more melted margarine and maple syrup.
My son loves these and they are so simple to make. He has now been Low FODMAPs for over three weeks and is feeling significantly better.
Another low FODMAPS recipe for teens. My son loved this wrap and it could easily travel as a school lunch idea. There are Low FODMAPS wraps on the market and in Australia they are beginning to bear the following new identifying symbol:
For our wrap though, we used gluten free – just means my son and I can have the same food, yeah?
1 chicken breast fillet, cut into bite-sized chunks
1-2 tablespoons maize cornflour
2 crumbled Massel “7’s” chicken stock cubes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried smokey paprika
Garlic infused olive oil
Butter lettuce, shredded or torn
Grated hard yellow cheese
I added a hot chilli sauce to mine (check labels)
Whole egg mayonnaise (Milk/lactose free. Read labels!)
Low FODMAPS or gluten free wrap
Place cornflour, stock cubes, thyme and smokey paprika in a freezer bag and shake to mix. Add the chicken chunks. Shake to coat the chicken in the spice mix. Heat the garlic infused oil in a heavy based frypan and fry the chicken until golden brown. Put the lid on the pan for the last minute of cooking to ensure the chicken is cooked through. Lay out the mayo, cheese, lettuce, tomato and chicken onto your wrap of choice. So, so yummy.
Your best low FODMAPS friends:
First, I must apologise for my online absence. When my work gets busy I tend not to blog. But so much has been happening. One of those things is, my youngest has been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I shouldn’t be surprised as all these auto immune diseases run rampant in my family. Fructose, gluten, IBS, diabetes, etc.
The process of treating IBS begins with a 3 – 6 week strictly controlled diet, where the problem sugars are avoided. No apple, pear (these seem to be on every ingredients label!), onion, garlic (also on every label), wheat, lactose, etc. etc. and then, after 3 – 6 weeks, a slow process of reintroducing each sugar group can begin to find which group is the problem. This “Can’t Eat Nothin'” diet is also known as the Low FODMAPS diet.
So what the heck can you feed a hungry teen when it seems like he can’t eat anything?
EVERYTHING FREE PIZZA
Gluten free pizza base
1 tablespoon of tomato paste mixed with 1 teaspoon of mixed Italian herbs
1 teaspoon of garlic infused olive oil (no actual garlic is allowed in this diet)
10 spring onions, green part only, chopped finely
1 piece of speck, 3mm thick, chopped into fine strips
Grated hard yellow cheese
Spread the tomato paste mixture over the pizza base. Gently fry the spring onion and speck in the garlic infused oil. Once wilted, sprinkle over the pizza base. Add the grated cheese and bake for around 15 minutes in a medium oven. The boys wanted more but it was just an experiment. Sad face.
Dan’s rating: 8 out of 10
Demitri’s rating: 8 1/2 out of 10