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.

Enjoy!


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

Topping
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.

Enjoy!

*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!


Lemon Cake with Basil & Greek Yoghurt Icing

lemon cake yoghurt icing

lemon cake yoghurt icing

I hope you had a great break and an amazing start to the New Year. Since I last posted a lot has happened. I’ve settled into my new home, there’s been Christmas and New Year celebrations and the abundance of eating that goes along with such occasions, my big 25th birthday, and I went on my first non-school, non-music festival camping trip! It sure has been an eventful and fun month, and the best part, I still managed to wind down a little, and get in some baking along the way…

lemon cake
gluten free lemon cakeThe lemon tree at mum and dad’s house is the inspiration for this cake. The lemon tree has been there, in the same spot by the side of the house, for as long as I can remember, and I’m sure for a few years before my time. It is always full of deliciously sweet lemons, the best lemons you can get (I’m not biased I promise). There was a year or two there where we weren’t sure if the lemon tree would make it, but with lots of love and care, it came out the other side, with more lemons than ever. 
low fodmap lemon cake
lemon cake yoghurt icing
So when cake making day came around, I popped over to mum and dad’s, knowing all too well that there’d be an abundance of lemons for the taking (don't worry I didn't neglect the homegrown tomatoes or zucchini either). 

It didn't take me long to turn those lemons into this amazing gluten free lemon cake! And to finish it off, I couldn't resist adding a lovely lemony yoghurt icing with fresh basil from our garden for an extra kick of flavour - thanks to Robbie's gardening skills. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how soft and delicious the cake turned out. Seriously, gluten free flour is a fickle friend - I just never know if it wants to play nice! But in this recipe, it plays very nicely. Nice enough that many non-gluten-free-friends, family, work colleagues and all other people I fed it to, couldn’t tell the difference. That’s always a win - a gluten free, low FODMAP, fructose friendly, and (without the icing) low sugar and lactose free, cake that everybody loves :)

Lemon Cake with Basil & Greek Yoghurt Icing

gluten free low fodmap cake

Lemon Cake with Basil & Greek Yoghurt Icing
Makes a 2-layer cake

2 cups gluten free flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy milk (or milk of choice)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup lemon juice
Rind of 1 lemon


Basil & Greek Yoghurt Icing (optional)
1 cup Greek yoghurt (or yoghurt of choice)
1/2 cup gluten free icing sugar
4-6 basil leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon rind


Preheat oven to 180C and line two 8-9 inch round cake tins. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk sugar and eggs together for 5 minutes until thick and pale. Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients to egg mixture and whisk on low. Once combined, gradually add oil mixture. Divide cake mixture into the two tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow cakes to cool.

Stir the icing ingredients together. Spread icing on top of the first layer, place the second layer on top, and spread the rest of the icing on. Refrigerate any leftovers.


Enjoy!


Low FODMAP | gluten free | fructose friendly | lactose free
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