Posts Tagged ‘gluten free’

7 days in a (not so perfect), perfect kitchen.

Monday, August 11th, 2014

DAY  ONE - Fulfil the task of making bulk muesli for your customers (this week, that meant 5kg of muesli). In between bakes, leave the house to install public artworks. Cool muesli by letting it sit on your dining table and allow it to wait patiently to be packaged. Meanwhile, you hear the sweet voices of your beautiful customers haunt you in your sleep – Elisa, do you have any muesli, I have run out and need more! (I know, I feel terrible).


DAY TWO – Wake with tired eyes and head out for your early morning run with the dog. As you hop out of the car to go work, realise that you completely forgot that it was your husbands birthday. Feel the full fright and horror come over you, and then attempt to console yourself by telling yourself  that ‘he isn’t even big on birthday’s anyway.’ That afternoon, switch to super-human mode and rush to the shops to buy and prepare his very rare and favourite – bbq ribs, phone a couple of friends to come around, make an epic LOADED WITH SUGAR, BUTTER and CHOCOLATE brownie and serve it with ice-cream. (I think I recovered, only just).


DAY THREE- Hurry home from work to attend a farewell bbq for a very dear and sweet friend. With an exhausted and heavy heart, go home and package 5kg of muesli. There is no time, for bedtime.


DAY FOUR - Dinner happened, I think? At 8.30. It was a three cheese and spinach omelette – at last, comfort.


DAY FIVE- Take your man out for a dinner date. For the first time ever, at the pub you choose to dine at, there is and 20 person long line up and an hour and thirty minute wait on food. Suck it up and wait anyway. The local Barramundi was worth it.


DAY SIX- Drink coffee and eat breakfast of papaya, macadamia, coconut and yogurt – the only relatively nutritious food you consume all day. Everything else comes out of a packet because you were to busy enjoying the outdoors, fishing. Get home late because your boat gets beached at low tide and then hurry to catch a movie, Transformers 4 – ‘Cause that’s what wives do when they forget their lovers birthday earlier that week. Dinner was interesting. I think there were M&M’s involved, oh, and a delicious serving of gluten free pasta with spinach, homegrown tomatoes and goats feta at 10.30pm.


DAY SEVEN – Rush home from work to teach a friend how to make sauerkraut – my favourite part. Complete the day by buying a bucketload of silver-beet on the way to the park for a late afternoon barbecue with friends. Steak and salad for me, leftovers for the pup. The day is officially over when my loaf of sourdough is ready to proof in the fridge overnight.


Somewhere in amongst those days, I found a moment to make this warm, veggie noodle salad – I really don’t remember when that moment happened.




200g cooked rice stick noodles

1/2 small red cabbage, finely shredded

1 small sweet potato

1 long red chilli

1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

a few sprigs of fresh mint


For the dressing 

2 tbls toasted sesame seeds

2 tbsl tamari

2 tsp sesame oil

1 thumb ginger – grated

1 tsp mirin

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar


Combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well.


Preheat oven and roast sweet potato cubes until golden brown and crunchy. Meanwhile toss cabbage in a heated wok with sesame oil until almost tender. Add the rice noodles and a little more sesame oil if required.


When ready to assemble, combine sweet potato and noodles together and mix the sesame ginger dressing through whilst still warm. Garnish with fresh mint and cucumber slices.






Two of my favourites

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

I won’t bother denying it.


I LOVE roast chicken. The soft juicy meat and the salty, crispy skin – best.


I equally adore roast pumpkin. Sweet flesh and caramelised crunchy edges – skin and all.


This recipe is weekly staple.


Half a chook (the other becomes soup) and half a pumpkin, cuddling in a roasting tray together, releasing their deliciousness to create the most perfectly nutritious and satisfying meal.


I have so many variations for flavouring a roast chook, this one however, tops the list for me at the moment. The key ingredient is my mother in-laws homemade za’atar. Fragrant toasted sesame combined with dried herbs. You can get your hands on a great pre-made one  here




1/2 free range/organic chicken

1/2 pumpkin

3 cloves garlic

1/2 tbsp sweet paprika

3 tbsp za’atar

4 knobs organic butter

olive oil


Cut the chicken into 3-4 pieces and place in roasting tray with chunky-cut pumpkin. Smash the garlic cloves and place them whole into the roasting tray. Salt the chicken generously and then add the paprika, za’atar and olive oil over the chicken and pumpkin. Slide the knobs of butter under the skin on each of the chicken pieces.

Cook in a preheated oven on low heat (140/150 degrees) for 60-70min.


Best teamed with a delicious fattoush salad or steamed greens.





This is for you, you starry eyed tahini lover!

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

There are two types of people in this world.


Those who are absolutely devoted lovers of tahini ie. those who keep a jar at their bedside table for emergency cravings – YES, once a ‘hini lover, cravings are INESCAPABLE!. And those who think that tahini is quite possibly the most horrific ‘paste’ on earth. I use the word horrific because ‘utterly horrified’ is the only way to describe a tahini hater’s expression if you just so happen to mention the word in front of them. I won’t get into the traumatic experience of witnessing a tahini hater accidentally taste something with tahini in it – I’m no horror novelist!


Not so long ago now, through a little perseverance (no, it wasn’t love at first taste for me and ol’ mate ‘hini) I became an obsessed lover of the thick, oily, pain-in-the-ass-to-get-out-of-the-jar creamy stuff. It began with a teaspoon here and there or a dollop on my morning porridge that soon enough creepishly morphed into a full blown love affair (which I’m almost certain, rattles the heck my man). You see, until I came across the ‘hini loving lady Jess Cox(whom, might I add is an absolute food genius!) I really was limiting my use of tahini to one dish – hummus.


Oh, how the gates to ‘hini freedom have opened!


Tahini, in my world, now goes on everything, most days, multiple times a day. I hold you accountable for this, Jess


So if you happen to be sitting on the fence between lover or hater, here are ten super enticing health reasons why you should fully commit to ‘hini love and embrace this beautiful and rewarding relationship wholeheartedly. And if you are already on my (lover) side, check out Jess’s great recipe and make your own amazing tahini!


Once your convinced and you get around to making this incredibly  D-LICIOUS cauliflower salad, you will never look back and forever be mesmerised by your new love, ‘hini.




Inspired by a recipe in Ottolenghi’s, Jerusalem.


1 head cauliflower

2 small eshalots or a about four spring onions

400ml sunflower oil


2-3 tbsp tahini

2 tbsp water

juice of 1 lemon

zest of half lemon

1/2 tsp Sumac (optional)

1 tsp pomegranate molasses + extra for drizzling

handful of parsley and mint


Roughly chop cauliflower into medium florets and slice eshalots. Heat sunflower oil in a large saucepan. Once it has come up to heat (test by placing the handle of a wooden spoon in oil and if it bubbles, its ready) carefully place cauliflower florets into the oil. Fry in small batches until golden brown all over. Remove from oil and place in a colander or on some paper towel to drain excess oil. Salt immediately.

Prepare tahini dressing in a bowl by combining tahini, lemon juice and zest, parsley, mint, water and pomegranate molasses. Mix well until smooth and creamy. Adjust according to taste with extra lemon or salt if necessary.

Add the fried cauliflower and eshalots to the tahini dressing and gently combine until all ingredients are coated.

Serve at room temperature with an extra drizzle of pomegranate molasses on top and toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts for added crunch!


Breakfast Bowl Love

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

So. I sat there this morning, for the first time in a long time, and really enjoyed my breakfast. Like so much so that I was pretty much smiling the whole way through. In quite a serious tone, I said outa loud “this is the best breakfast I have had in a long time” and my man turned to me and said, you should write that in your post – he really must have sensed the significance of the moment. So here we have it. The most most delicious breakie I have had in ages!


Sweet, spiced, warming, filling, cosy and all things cuddly in a bowl.


Rice pudding always takes me back to waking up in my childhood home and walking downstairs to the kitchen to find three bowls of sutliach (Macedonian rice pudding). Warm, steaming and topped with cacao. My gran’s timing would be so spot on that the sutliach would always, without fail, be at perfect eating temperature as soon as we were ready to eat. Totally spoilt, right?


Until today, I had never attempted to make rice pudding. Probably because I didn’t want to ruin or detract from my previous pudding life experiences. This was my first time and will thankfully NOT be my last – the possibilities are endless!


This recipe is somewhat different to my grans (I’m pretty sure she would not approve of coconut milk or almond milk or any other milk ‘alternative’ for that matter.) But here it is, a beautiful, healthy vegan rice pudding that gives you a giant cuddle first thing in the morn.




For the pears

2 medium sized ripe but firm Packham pears

2 cups water

2 heaped tbsp raw honey

seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean pod or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste


For the Rice 

1 cup medium grain rice ( I used half aborio, half medium grain cause thats all i had!)

1 cup coconut milk + 1 cup water OR 2 cups Coconut Rice Milk  (plus extra if needed to achieve desired consistency)


For the Macadamia Crunch

3/4 cup macadamia nuts (roughly chopped)

1 cup shredded coconut (golden toasted)

1 tbsp coconut oil or macadamia oil

1-2 tbsp honey (taste for desired sweetness)

1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon


Peel, deseed and cut pears in half. Bring water, honey and vanilla to the boil in a small saucepan and place the pears in the pot to cook gently until tender (about 15min).

In a separate saucepan, place rinsed rice and coconut milk/water and bring to the boil. Gently simmer until cooked to your desired consistency – adding extra water or milk if needed.

Meanwhile, place chopped macadamias, coconut, cinnamon and coconut oil in a pan and toast over a gentle heat. Add honey and continue to cook until caramelised and golden.

Assemble rice, sliced poached pear on plate or in a bowl and top with macadamia crunch.

Eat it. Real quick. Cause it will be that good you won’t be able to stop!

Serves 3


PS. this could totally be a luscious dessert as well. Just up the honey and spice!


A sweet comeback

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Well, that took me a while.


It’s only been a FEW MONTHS since I last shared my kitchen with you. Please, you must forgive me.  I promise my world has been a spinning a little too fast lately.


[enter] emails, flights, sickness, product packaging design, recipe testing (promptly followed by taste testing!), cooking, puppy training, husband loving… I’ll stop there.


I know, no excuses, right?


Let me make it up to you – with cake!


I created this cake out of desperation. I desperately needed cake. The taste of sweet buttery goodness, accompanied by a few moments of silence and calm between me and that slice.  A kind of comfort I’m certain is  rooted in my beautiful Mum’s kitchen and the countless incredible baked creations that were had there.


There is so much more that I have to share with you soon. Like the wonderful experiences I had traveling through the snowy mountains of Japan – including the delicious food that I ate and created there, the creation and local launch of my new brand Real Kitsch’n Co. and of course, the recipes that I have been trialling and tasting in my kitchen for you to make at home!


All of that will come in good time. So to tie you over until then, make this cake. And then make it again, like I did ’cause it was so good.




For the plums

5 medium sized very ripe plums (leave out on bench to ripen for a few days)

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 sprig rosmary

splash of boiling water


Deseed and thinly slice plums (about 5ml thick). Place in a bowl with maple syrup. In a seperate cup/bowl, pour a little boiling water over the rosemary and allow to infuse for a few minutes. Then add whole rosemary sprig and a dash of the water to the plums and set aside.


For the cake

1.5 cups gluten free self raising flour

1 cup almond meal

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda (bi-carb soda)

75g butter

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

zest of 1 lemon

2/3 cup milk kefir or buttermilk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20cm springform baking tray with baking paper.

Place flour, almond meal, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and stir together.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, coconut oil and maple syrup until pale and creamy (approx 4-5min), adding the lemon zest and vanilla towards the end. Then add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is well incorporated into the mix, followed by the kefir or buttermilk. Slowly add the flour combination (half cup at a time) to the wet mixture until just combined. Continue to fold flour through by hand if necessary. Pour mixture into prepared cake tin.

Arrange plums atop the mixture, allowing them to slightly overlap like fallen dominos, until the whole cake it covered.

Cook for 20min at 180 degrees, then turn oven down to 160-170 degrees and allow to cook for a further 40min.

Allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack.




“Summer of Salad” Kale, Quiona and Lentil

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

So, the world has gone crazy for kale. Seriously crazy.


And rightly so. This hearty green (or purple) stuff is loaded with so much goodness it’s impossible to ignore that its curly foliage has become the most sought after veggie in the supermarket.


Kale is super good for you because it:


- contains more iron than red meat (per calorie)

- more calcium than milk

- 10% more Vitamin C than spinach

- is great for your eyes, skin, heart, weight loss, cholesterol and bone health


But the ingredient I really want to highlight in this recipe is the humble lentil!


We eat bucket loads of lentils in our home, (which is fitting because 5kg of them were recently delivered to my door from these awesome guysat Honest to Goodness Sydney). I attribute our love for the little earthy beads to the peasant style recipes we grew up eating in our family homes, recipes I’m certain were created eons ago. And although we, and I do, should always (to a certain degree) stay true to these faultless recipes that have been handed down, sometimes you just have to mix it up.


That’s where this recipe comes in. And there is good reason for it.


Eating and nutrition is all about balance. I’m sure when my grandmother used to soak and stir her lentils she wasn’t thinking of the percentage of protein per serve, whether it was going to slow or spike blood sugar levels, let alone know what a complex carbohydrate was!


Luckily (and sometimes unfortunately much to our own misuse) we are so well informed about nutritional value in foods and how and when we should eat to get the most out of our food.


So to get right into it, here are a few good reasons to be eating lentils, especially this Kale, Quinoa and Lentil Salad. Its purposefully designed to be a completely nutritionally balanced meal – absolutely free of dairy, meat or eggs (yes, vegan) that will ensure you stay satisfied and nourished.


1. Lentils ARE a great source of protein, but do not contain all nine essential amino acids that are required to make a complete protein.


2. Quinoa, on the other hand IS a complete protein, however contains much less total protein when compared to lentils and other sources of animal protein.


3. It is when you couple lentils WITH quinoa that you are able to create a nutritionally complete meal. That which is lacking in the complete protein of the lentils is completed by the essential amino acids of the quinoa and therefore results in a high protein plant based meal.


4. Mix in some greens and apple cider vinegar for improved digestion. Yes, lentils can be a little heavy on the digestive system. However, apple cider vinegar stimulates the digestive enzymes in your belly, hence making it easier for our stomachs to breakdown and digest food!


5. This meal is perfect for slow energy release, stabilizing healthy blood sugar levels and keeping you full! It’s because its stacked with complex carbs, heaps of fibre and alkalising ingredients!




1 bunch kale (green or purple)

1.5 cups lentils (soaked, cooked and drained)*

1.5 cups cooked qunioa

2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

extra virgin olive oil

apple cider vinegar

pink Himalayan salt


toasted slivered almonds


Wash and loosely tear up kale, discarding the stalks or saving them for juicing!

Place in a heated pan and cover with a lid for a few minutes until wilted.

Add in about 2 tbsp of olive oil (making sure pan is on low heat) and sliced garlic, followed by the lentils and quinoa.

Combine well and allow to sauté until heated through and fragrant.

Now add about 2-3 tablespoons (depending on your taste) of apple cider and season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with olive oil and top with toasted almonds.

*Alternatively use organic canned lentils, rinsed well.


“Summer of Salad” Tangy Tahini Slaw

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

When deciding which of my favourite salads I would be sharing with you during this months Summer of Salad series there was no doubt in my mind that my new found obsession – cabbage + tahini would be top of the list.


But, lets be honest, cabbage is not the most desirable vegetable you come across at your local farmers market and is clearly not in a hurry to win any veggie beauty contests. And really, who hasn’t had a serious cabbage recipe fail that has been enough to turn you off eating it for life!


So, in order to give the humble cabbage a fair go in your kitchen, I take full responsibility to a) enlighten you as to why you should be eating this seriously nutritious vegetable and b) give you a simple and delicious recipe that will change your view of cabbage forever. Here it goes.


5 reasons why you should be eating (raw) cabbage now!


1. Cancer fighting goodness – this cruciferous vegetable is riddled with antioxidants, making it a super free-radical (chemicals that cause cell damage in the body) fighter!


2. Fibre - definitely one of the most important components of a wholesome and healthy diet. Cabbage contains heaps of fibre, both soluble and insoluble. This means that not only do you get the benefit of feeling fuller for longer as a result of slowed digestion and lowered blood sugar levels (soluble), but also ensures your bowel is toxin free by moving things along  smoothly and regularly (insoluble).


3. Anti-inflammatory. Yup, cabbage is packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients that assist in ridding your body from any unwanted (and sometimes unnoticed) inflammation.


4. Brain boosting vitamins – Found in cabbage (especially purple) is the often forgotten vitaman K. Vitamin K boosts mental function and concentration and defends against neural degenerative diseases like Alzheimers and dementia.


5. Keeps your blood and heart happy- Cabbage is naturally high in folate (part of the B vitamin group), it’s most necessary function being to support the your body’s production of red blood cells. Strong blood = strong heart!





1/2 small cabbage or 1/4 large – shredded

1 carrot – peeled into ribbons

1/2 red capsicum – sliced

small bunch kale – roughly chopped

2-3 heaped tbsp tahini

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use less if you like)

pink Himalayan salt  and pepper to taste



Toasted sunflower seeds and pepitas

handful of beans or chickpeas


Place cabbage, capsicum, carrot and Kale in a bowl.

To make dressing, combine olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until well emulsified.

Pour dressing onto salad and toss well until veggies are well coated. If you can wait (I never can) allow to sit for a few minutes to soften.

Top with chopped parsley and toasted seeds or beans.



Spinach, leek and white bean Summer soup

Thursday, November 21st, 2013



Summer soup.


Because I think soup is super important all year ’round.


In our home we eat soup at least two to three times a week. Yes even when its hot; it’s always hot.


Soup makes you feel cozy and loved up on the inside. It slides down into your belly with a warmth only the kindest cuddle from a loved one could emulate.


I made this soup a few weeks ago for the first time. Just one spoonful of this humble and honest soup put the biggest smile on the face of my loved ones.


I’m certain it will do the same for you.










2 leeks

2 cloves garlic

2 stalks celery

2 white banana peppers (optional)

3 large potatoes (I used Royal Blue)

2 x 400g cans organic white beans/cannellini beans

1 bunch silver beat spinach

1.5-2L chicken stock/broth (or vegetable stock to make recipe vegan/vegetarian)

dash of apple cider vinigar

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil


Place chopped leek into a large pot with a little olive oil. Cook down until softened and fragrant, adding a little more olive oil if needed. Add chopped garlic, celery and peppers and sauté  for 3-5min. Then add the diced potatoes and continue to cook for 5min. Pour in chicken/vegetable stock and apple cider vinegar . Start with 1.5 L, adding more depending on how watery you like your soup. Bring soup to the the boil and then turn down and allow to simmer until potatoes have softened and cooked through. Stir through rinsed white beans and chopped spinach.  Allow to cook for a further 5-10min – depending on how you like you spinach cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with fresh parsley or chives.

Serves 6







’cause I giveafork about the fish in the sea

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

I first came across the wonderful work the crew over at SUSTAINABLE TABLE were doing through their book, Sustainable Table. It arrived in my letterbox as a gift from my beautiful friend Bec just a couple of months ago.


Let’s just say, I was hooked right away. I spent the whole afternoon with my eyes glued to the pages, reading inspirational stories and recipes by the extraordinary people featured in the book. Equally extraordinary, however not so inspiring, were the frightening statistics and information bites I came across in the book regarding the implications of our current food production and consumption behaviours.


Did you know, that while a billion people starve, we waste enough food to feed three billion! In Australia alone, it is estimated that we waste $5.2 billion worth of food each year!! That’s just crazy.


The main themes at the core of this great not-for-profit organisation are


– To buy local and organic where possible

– Support ethically and sustainably farmed meat and seafood

– Eat mainly vegetarian

– Waste not, want not


And I bet you just read through those points and thought to yourself, yeah, Ok Elisa, perhaps in an ideal world where I could ‘afford’ all organic meat, have the ‘time’ to grow my own veggies and ‘satisfy’ my dietary needs with only vegetarian meals it would be possible, but that’s not my reality.


You see, the problem is that we keep turning a blind eye to our reality. And as a result, in this day and age we still have the majority of the 300,000 female breeding pigs being kept continually pregnant inside confined sheds until their body cannot take any more, nearly half a billion chickens continuing to be housed in factory farms in Australia every year and we just keep swallowing a heap of poisonous chemical and pesticides along with the steamed broccoli on our plate at dinner time.


But the good news is, is that it doesn’t have to remain this way. If we, in our daily lives, begin to make even the slightest change with what we eat, buy and waste, and educate ourselves and each other about what we can do to make a difference, I have no doubt in my mind that we will reap the rewards this beautiful planet has to offer today and into the future.


This year, the Sustainable Tables’ fundraising campaign  focus was on conserving the ocean and raising awareness about sustainable seafood and how we as consumers can make smarter, more ethical choices when we visit our local fishery. It involved hosting a dinner party for family and friends with the main ingredient being sustainable seafood.


How genius!


Greatly disappointed by the fact I was going to be away on a trip back to my home town (staying with my parents) during the dates of the fundraiser, I quickly urged my mother to email her friends and invite them to dinner so that I could host a Give a Fork party from her kitchen!


And so I did. Eight guests arrived at the door as though on set and filming for My Kitchen Rules (appropriately so, as there were a few My Kitchen Rules like near disasters in the kitchen!).


The Menu

Sydney Rock Oysters

Smoked Rainbow Trout with quark and chive canapé

Roasted capsicum and feta canapé


Grilled King Prawns with chilli lime dressing served with rocket and avocado


Baked Flathead fillets with tomato and fennel sauce served on garlic cannelleni beans mash, smashed roast potato and steamed green beans


Pavlova with vanilla cream and berries

Flourless chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream


It was a delicious evening. Late, long, tiring, but ridiculously delicious.


I must send out a great big thanks to Sustainable Table for their awesome free host pack that was jam packed with info for my guests and for their wonderful work for encouraging people to jump on board and Give a Fork!


For more information on how you can make a difference by consciously choosing the fish you buy and eat click here.



Chili Ginger Pork with Quinoa

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Your likely to assume that I am the designated cook at my place. And your right. It means that I cook ALL the time (plus more) bar the once every few months my other half decides to have a go in the kitchen.


Last Sunday he had a go, and it was awesome.


The opportunistic event came about as we had just arrived home from an evening walk. I was cranky, sad, irritable to no end and just not interested in eating, (um, hello, where are you exercise induced endorphins?) which of course is a very rare occurrence for me. I sulked around the house for a while, pretended to do some ironing and spent a good twenty-five minutes in the shower daydreaming.


The evening wasn’t meant to unfold this way – sending my inner control freak absolutely berserk. I had planned to cook dinner after being inspired by Bill Granger’s new book Everyday Asian – an impulse ‘buy the book because of the colours on it’s cover’ addition to my cook book collection. But unfortunately it just wasn’t going to happen. Sorry, Bill.


Good news is though, that after realising I was nowhere to be found in or near the kitchen, my man decided to get in and get cooking.




(All of a sudden, starving).


FYI, in the kitchen he is:

– the ultimate prep’er. Everything is ready and sliced, diced and measured before he starts cooking. (I have NEVER ever done this)

– a world class recipe follower. (Again, NEVER have I done this)

– a firm believer in salt and isn’t afraid to use it (At least we agree here)

– the slowest cook ever (I could probably cook the same dish three times over in the time it takes him to cook it once. It’s painful)

– the perfect flavour enhancer (no comment)


However, the most important part of all that you should know is that there is one rule that I MUST abide by when he steps into the kitchen. It goes a little something like “stay out and refrain from helping, suggesting or offering your advice, unless asked”. In other words, shut up and get out cause your annoying.


Clearly, I found this very difficult to handle the first few times he cooked and it usually resulted in a mid-cooking resignation whereby I would have to step in and complete the abandoned meal. Not. Cool.


Let’s just say, I have since learnt how to stay out and mind my own business and it is finally working for us. Its how this meal was created.


I kept to myself and he cooked a beautiful meal with love and care and I could taste it in every mouthful.




(recipe adapted from Bill Grangers  Bill’s Everyday Asian, Classic Stir-fried chicken with basil)


1 cup quinoa

2 cups water (or chicken/vegetable stock)

600 g pork mince

2 tbsp seasame oil (plus more seasme or olive oil if needed)

4 large cloves garlic

1 large thumb ginger

2 long red chilli

a handful of fresh basil

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce or tamari

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

150g snow peas


Place well rinsed quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups water/stock. Allow to simmer slowly until all the liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, grind the roughly chopped garlic, ginger and chillies with a mortar and pestle until a paste has formed (some of the chilli will remain in pieces). Set paste aside. In a heated pan add 1 tbsp of sesame oil and the pork mince. Fry for about 5-8min or until almost fully cooked, making sure all the meat is broken into small chunks. Then add the chilli garlic paste, pepper and 1 tbsp of sesame oil and stir through until well mixed and fragrant. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and rice wine vinegar, sliced snow peas and basil leaves and stir fry for about 2-3min (if too dry, add a couple of extra tbsp oil).

Serves 3-4