Cranberry & Cardamom Scones

Traveling always feels somewhat of a challenge to fodmappers and restricted eaters. I always plan ahead and pack a few snacks (or half a suitcase full), however much to my delight, my ability to eat outside my comfort zone truly astonished me on my recent travels.

Maybe it was the beautiful sea air in Portugal or the bustling markets of Marrakech but I found myself doing things I would never have imagined I could or would! Like eating tinned fish, cooked onion and a lot of bread goods, amidst of a lot of vino drinking. To most, these few things don’t sound like much, but to a strict (at times fussy) fodmapper they were a big deal and made the trip that much more delicious!!... Believe it or not, I had never even tried canned tuna until I arrived in Portugal, a city where tinned seafood is a prized delicacy, and for good reason.

It was there I fell more in love with seafood than I thought possible, even the tinned stuff, which I ate almost daily! Then there was Morocco, where one cannot just request no onion, no garlic as many of meals are pre-prepared and cooked for hours and hours. This meant I inevitably had to eat onion if I wanted to experience Moroccan cuisine (and not starve). So tagines and bastilla I ate a plenty, with no variations (because that would be rude, right!?). But luckily for me, in these Moroccan dishes onion wasn’t over-used and it was always cooked down until it almost disintegrated.

What astonished me the most on my travels was not my brazen disgraced for the usual rules of the FODMAP diet, but that my belly stayed in pretty good shape.

And (very surprisingly) my stomach didn't mind even the pastries and bread I allowed myself to indulge in! For someone who always has a healthy breakfast (and is gluten intolerant mind you), I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so many pastries and bread goods for breakfast in my life. Again, I'm looking at Morocco here! I'm honestly not sure why I coped so well overseas. Maybe it's that I was super relaxed and my digestion was in tip top working order but I personally put it down to the type of flour that must be used in Moroccan cooking, because seriously I was in awe at my ability to chow down a piece of bread with not even the slightest bloating. If only I could get some of that action here!!

As you can probably tell, and if you followed my travels on Instagram you would know, my trip was centred around eating. Needless to say, getting back into my healthy eating routine was top of mind on my return. But I also wanted to keep some of these fun new habits rolling! I mean, who doesn’t want to eat baked goods everyday! With freshly baked Pasteis De Nata (Portuguese Tarts) and Moroccan bread no longer at my disposal, a few things had to be done to fill the void of those beautiful baked delicacies…

This is where my delicious, easy, healthy-ish, friendly and freezable scones come into play. They are the perfect baked good to settle a craving, and fill that Europe-sized hole in my life post travel. They're also inspired by my new SodaStream! That’s right these scones are made not with lemonade and cream (can't have that now I'm back on home soil and on the healthy eating bandwagon). Instead, they're made with soda water and milk, now that’s nifty!

When SodaStream approached me to try out their new SodaStream Power, I of course jumped at the opportunity. I have long swooned at my friend Maddie's SodaStream and her ability to make me sparkling water at the drop of a hat. It seriously excites me and soda water is, of course, so much more fun than plain old tap water! But little did I know the added benefits of having sparkling water on tap, also meant I could now easily and conveniently whip up a batch of scones when ever I got a travel inspired longing for a freshly baked treat. So now whenever a craving kicks in, I can brew myself a cold glass of sparkling water to sip on and whip up some delicious scones. This SodaStream really could not have come into my life at a better time :)

Cranberry & Cardamom Scones
Makes 8 large scones

2 cups, plus extra for dusting, organic spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Good pinch of salt
75 grams unsalted butter, cubed
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
Zest of half an orange
1/4 cup milk of choice
3/4 cup soda water (made with my SodaStream)
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 200C and prepare a tray with baking paper and a good dusting of flour. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre, and add rice malt syrup, orange zest, milk and soda water into the well, and gently mix to combine. Add the cranberries, and continue to mix until it forms a nice soft dough. Dust with a bit of extra flour and place the dough on to the tray. Pat the dough into a 2cm thick circle, and use a large knife to cut the circle into 8 scones (don't separate them until after they've baked). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

I love these served warm with a lathering of butter, or a little jam and yoghurt :)


Stuffed Capsicums

There’s so much going on at the moment, and not in a bad, crazy, hectic way for a change. Well things are a little hectic, but I guess that’s just the way I roll. But what’s different about this hectic time in my life you may ask. Well, I am starting a new job, I am working on a new and exciting project with Mel from The Fructose Friendly Chef (check it out: A Friendly Gathering) and I am about to embark on a 6 week Euro trip. Fair to say, I’m pretty darn excited, particularly for the latter. Hello sunny UK, Portugal, Spain and Morocco!

The change in job however comes with mixed emotions and bittersweet feelings of change and farewells. It's been an almost 5 year journey at the one workplace, which is apparently a long time for us Gen Y kids. It felt that way too, with all the farewells. But it is amazing how it takes change like this to appreciate just how many awesome people I have met along the way and the seriously good friends I have made. All the same, I'm excited for my next adventure to begin...

Anyway, that's enough about my life for one post. It's business (dinner) time! Now capsicums have long been one of my favourite vegetables. But not in all the ways. Capsicums have to be cooked really well for me to like them. I have a slight fondness for sweet raw capsicum every now and then, but when it comes to cooked capsicum, it has to be cooked! This mentality sure enough has come from mum’s Italian cooking. Whether it’s her charred capsicums, peeled and kept in oil and vinegar, or her classic ‘potatoes and peppers’, the capsicums are always soft, silky and delicious. So you will certainly notice my stuffed capsicums are not short on oven time. The longer I have, the better, to get the capsicums soft and delicious, and the top of the rice super crispy! I love these stuffed capsicums and hope you will too.

Keep in touch while I'm away by following my Instagram and Facebook :)

Stuffed Capsicums
Makes 4

1 cup white rice
4 red capsicums
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 zucchini, grated
1 tsp ground cumin
250g premium beef mince
1/2 tsp dried oregano
A few sprigs of fresh parsley, diced
Chili flakes
Salt & pepper
200g canned crushed tomato
2 tbsp water
2 eggs
80g feta, cubed
1-2 tbsp grated Parmesan

Cook rice in a small saucepan with 1.5 cups of water and set aside. Prepare capsicums by carving off the tops and removing the seeds from the inside. Preheat oven to 200C and prepare a baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil.

Heat a fry-pan on medium heat, lightly toast pine nuts and set aside. Using the same fry-pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and fry the grated zucchini for a few minutes. Increase to high heat, add the cumin, oregano, chili flakes, parsley, salt, pepper and beef mince and fry until browned. Add tomato and water and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid has almost dried out. Allow to cool slightly, then mix together with the rice, followed by the eggs, feta and Parmesan.

Firmly stuff the capsicums and squish the lids on top. Place on the tray and bake for 45-60 minutes. I like to add chopped veggies like carrot and zucchini to the tray about half way through the cooking time to add to the meal.


Low FODMAP | gluten free | fructose friendly | sugar free

Double Walnut Muffins

Last weekend I made my big debut presenting and cooking all things low FODMAP and delicious. Sure I’ve done numerous presentations over my time, from school to uni to work, and ranging from marketing case study presentations, business planning presentations, training presentations, presentations about myself etc etc, BUT never have I had the opportunity to present on my one true passion, food!

Within minutes of meeting new people, they in one way or another discover my love for food. I often surprise myself just how quickly I manage to subconsciously turn any conversation into a discussion about food. We could be talking about the latest technical challenges being faced by businesses - then suddenly I'm somehow divulging my favourite tiramisu recipe (this actually happened only days ago). So in January when I received an email asking me to speak and cook at The Natural and Organic Supershow to be held in Melbourne, it wasn’t a question of if, it was a clear and simple YES. Yes, I would most definitely like to talk about food to people who love food. Yes, I would love to cook one of my favourite low FODMAP recipes for a group of fellow foodies!

So when the Supershow finally came around last weekend, I was filled with excitement along with plenty of nerves. I was nervous that no one except Robbie and my supportive family would be sitting in the audience while I presented. Boy, was I wrong. I was not only overwhelmed by my amazing family and friends who came along to support me, but also the many of other friendly faces who came to watch and listen to my FODMAP friendly presentations. It was awesome!

So a really big thank you to everyone who came along, watched, listened, ate and asked questions! You deserve a big batch of delicious muffins. Speaking of which, these Double Walnut Muffins are almost as awesome as you guys. They are soft and delicious with a sweet and chewy topping, perfect with a cuppa. Of course, they are also low FODMAP, gluten free and fructose friendly!

PS. I wish you all a very happy Easter, full of good times, good company and amazing food. Click here for more Easter inspiration ;)

Double Walnut Muffins
Makes 12

100g plain gluten free flour
100g walnut meal (*see note below to make your own)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

80 g unsalted butter
1/3 cup rice malt syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 egg (also works without an egg)
1/2 cup natural yoghurt of choice

25g unsalted butter
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp rice malt syrup

Preheat oven to 170C and line a muffin tray. Combine flour, walnut meal*, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, vanilla and rice malt syrup until fluffy. Whisk in the egg, followed by the dry ingredients, until combined. Fold the yoghurt through the mixture. Fill each muffin about 3/4 full and make the topping.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and allow to bubble until fragrant and browning, taking care not to burn the butter. Remove from heat and stir the remaining ingredients through. Evenly spoon the topping on the muffins and place in the oven for 20 minutes.


*Note: To make your own walnut meal, add the specified amount, in this case 100 grams of walnuts to a food processor. Pulse until the walnuts resemble fine and fluffy bread crumbs, and they are ready to use.

Low FODMAP | gluten free | fructose friendly | low lactose

The Natural & Organic Supershow - Event Offer!

Are you passionate about living a healthy lifestyle? Are you searching for delicious, healthy and clean products with pure and simple ingredients?You’ll love The Natural & Organic Supershow - bringing you responsible businesses that create great products full of goodness and free from artificial nasties that make healthy living achievable, sustainable and fun for you and your family.Immerse yourself in exciting lives demos with some of Australia’s most-loved food, health and wellness personalities; learn from the experts; and discover, try and shop for paleo, vegan, vegetarian, free-froms, natural nutrition, and allergy-friendly products.
When: Saturday, March 12th - Monday, March 14th 2016 
Where: The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is at 2 Clarendon Street South Wharf, Victoria. 

This may seem like an unusual post from me and I'm sorry if I leave you wondering where the new recipe is! But as this is super exciting news for me, I can't help but share it with you, my lovely readers. I have been invited to present and cook at The Natural and Organic Supershow in Melbourne, alongside a list of amazing food, health and wellness experts, chefs and cooks. Check out the website here to see what's on, and read below to find out what I'll be doing. I'd really love your support and to see you there on one (or all) of the days, so come along and be sure to say hello :)

  •   The FREE FROM Kitchen - I'll be sharing the kitchen with brilliant chefs like Lee Holmes of Supercharged Food, and demonstrating one of Friendly Little Kitchen's most popular low FODMAP recipes! 
    • Saturday 1pm.

  •   Allergy Living Seminars - Has your world been turned upside down by a food intolerance diagnosis? Then this talk is for you. I'll be talking about how to navigate some of the trickiest personal, social and logistical issues from my experience with fructose malabsorption, lactose intolerance and following a low FODMAP diet.
    • Saturday 2.30pm, Sunday 12pm, Monday 1.15pm.

Follow this link to purchase 2 for 1 tickets using the promo code KITCHEN. 
And download the full program here.
Can't wait to see you there!

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