Sunday, 30 August 2015

Eggciting News!

I've had to take a little break from blogging and recipe writing as I fractured my thumb and wrist last month. I've now graduated from the cast to a brace but it's still a little too tricky to cook when it's on my dominant hand.  

I have some egg-citing news though, which is why I have popped in today. Miss E had an egg challenge this week. At first she did not want to go anywhere near the egg! Which means I did my job in giving her awareness about her allergies but it also meant we had to fight her to eat it. I ended up bribing her with stickers and she gave in and ate it. Then I stood there, feeling like every second was lasting an hour, waiting, waiting, waiting for a reaction. Having seen her react in a a matter of minutes in the past, it was so hard to stop myself from freaking out but.... No anaphylaxis or serious reaction!!! WOOOOHOOOO! I can't eggs-aggerate how egg-stremely egg-static we are about this egg-citing news!!!!! 

 This is Miss E's I can't believe it face!

She did get some slight redness in her cheeks, so as a precaution she is only allowed egg in baked goods at the moment and they will retest in the future. It's still a major step forward for us. I love love love eggs and we hadn't even been allowed to have them in the house since 2011. It was an occasion that needed photographic evidence! 

I have some recipes that are ready to go for blog posts, I just need to be able to make them and take photos before posting! Hopefully my physio gives me clearance for some brace free time next week. 

Happy Cooking!
Jasmine x

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Lunch Boxes

Lunch Boxes! The lunch box is something many parents dread. I, on the other hand, love packing lunch boxes! I've decided to make this post one that I will develop over time, adding links to new recipes as I share them. So this is the first revision and definitely a work in progress. First, lets kick off with explaining what I decide to put in each morning. 

I always include both vegetables and fruit. We always have at least one fruit and one raw vegetable. I also hide veggies in lots of the dishes I make.
 How much of each depends on what is on the menu for breakfast and dinner that day, what I have in the fridge and most of all what Miss E wants to eat. I know many families have an eat what you are given rule, but at lunch time I like to give an option. When I'm not there to encourage her to eat it, I think giving her choice also helps. We went through a stage where she refused to eat anything at Kindy! It turned out that it was because another child had commented on how different her lunches are to everyone else. I have seen that almost all of her classmates have a sandwich made with white bread, sugar loaded yoghurt or custards and muesli bars. These are not foods she can have, nor food I would pack for her. We had a big talk about nourishing her body with foods that make her feel strong, healthy and focussed. It worked and she's back to clearing out her lunch box every day.

I know that most kids won't be happy if you suddenly send them with meatballs, 1/2 an avocado and a salad instead of a sandwich etc. If you want to make the switch, talk about it with your kids and then make the change gradually. What we pack now is definitely not the same as what we would pack when we first started!

A thermos is the best thing I invested in when it comes to lunches! It makes it so easy to pack an allergy friendly sandwich-free lunch. If you don't already have a kids thermos you should definitely look into it!

Here is a list of things that are always a hit when I pack them!


  • Chicken wraps. I fry off chicken strips and then pop them in a wrap with avocado, lettuce, carrot and cucumber. I squeeze a little lemon juice on the avocado to stop it from going brown.
  • Mini Pizza made with a chickpea flat bread base. I top with lactose free or vegan cheese, ham, bacon, pineapple, veggies, etc. Whatever I have in the cupboard. (You can freeze the flat bread in advance and defrost then top when you are ready to use them)
  • Tuna-not-mornay (Tuna mornay that uses cauliflower puree as the sauce. Recipe is coming)
  • Oven Baked Chicken Bites (I make a big batch and freeze them. For lunch boxes I like to make fun shapes using cookie cutters.)
  • Cooked sausage mixed with pasta and steamed veggies 
  • "Sandwich" using rice thins. I top with ham and salads.


  • Salad (I know most kids won't eat a salad! I like to jazz it up using cutters to make fancy shapes to make it more enticing)
  • Half an avocado. (This is Miss E's favourite. I drizzle it with lemon juice to stop it from going brown)
  • Homemade garlic wedges. Really easy! I use crushed garlic and olive oil (or garlic infused oil) and brush it onto mountain bread. Cut into triangles and bake for 5 - 10 minutes


  • Rice crackers or pretzels with lactose-free or vegan cheese, ham and cucumber rounds
  • Fruit/Fruit Salad
  • Veggie sticks with guacamole or hummus
  • Dried dates, apricots or sultanas


  • Chia Pudding
  • Chocolate cake with hidden veggies (recipe coming)
  • Jelly made with veggie juice (this is super easy! Recipe coming)

More Ideas Coming Soon!

Oven Baked Chicken Bites

These never last long when I make them. They are delicious, quick and easy. Bonus hidden veggies and minimal dishes! Perfect for lunch boxes. I make a triple batch every couple months and freeze them for lunches and snacks. 

I start by chucking all the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Yep, just one bowl! I grate the carrot and zucchini straight in to avoid mess. Sometimes I jazz the recipe up a bit (haha, get it? I'm Jazz and I fancy it up? Moving on). I add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast, some onion flakes, paprika, oats, quinoa flakes or whatever takes my fancy. The base recipe is very kid friendly but there is no reason you can't change it to suit more adult tastes. 

Once it's all in the bowl, I wet my hands a little and then combine the mixture really well with my hands. If it's a little damp, I add some extra rice flour. It should stick together and form a rough ball when it's mixed enough. It does not make for an attractive picture but once it's cooked it sure is tasty.

Then I shape it into whatever shape I want. Usually I just do rough rounds but sometimes I get a little fancy and use small cookie cutters to shape them. Miss E's favourite is the teddy shape. I also sometimes roll them in some oats or quinoa flakes. The girls don't like that so much but I like that added bite.

I whack them in the oven, turn them when they are almost done and pop them back in for 5 minutes.

They should be lightly browned by then, so I take them out. Then I try to stop the swarm of seagulls kids from eating them all before I even get a chance to take them off the tray. 


500g chicken mince

1/3 cup finely grated carrot
1/3 cup finely grated zucchini
3 tablespoons rice flour (1-2 tablespoons extra may be needed)
2 garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well with your hands. It should come together and hold a loose ball shape. It should be wet and sticky, but if the mixture is too wet, add a little more rice flour at a time until desired consistency is reached.

3. Shape into desired shape and place on prepared baking tray.

4. Bake for 12-14 minutes, turn and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve.


  • Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. 
  • Roll in oats or quinoa flakes.
  • Add herbs and spices. Paprika, chives or spring onion are my favourites.

Happy cooking!
Jasmine x

Apple and Blueberry Squares

I don't have many photos of the steps to this because I just got busy baking and totally forgot! Whoops! It's very simple though and if you have any questions you can let me know here or on Facebook and I can help you out. 

Recently I paid 99¢ for a 4kg bag of organic apples! Most of them were perfectly fine to use, just a little marked on the outside, like most organic fruit. I used most of them to make my own apple sauce. I left the sauce fairly chunky which is why in the recipe I state you can use apple sauce or stewed apples. I have tried both and the results are equally nice. Stewed apples do leave you with some little surprise apple pieces though. 

When I make it, I start by sifting my flours to remove any lumps. Coconut flour in particular is terrible for having big clumps. Then I add the wet ingredients and work quickly to combine it all. It's important to work quickly when using coconut flour as it like to suck up all the moisture. 

Then add the blueberries and mix gently just to incorporate them. Don't over mix or you will end up with a weird blue/grey cake! I spread it out evenly into a smallish loaf pan, about 20cm and sprinkle with cinnamon. I whack it in the oven for 45ish minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. I cool it in the pan and then slice it into squares. A single batch makes 10 squares. It's important to let it completely cool before slicing. Then I immediately start making another batch because this one is already gone.


1 cup gluten free self raising flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup apple sauce or fresh stewed apples crushed with a fork
3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
3 tablespoons milk or milk substitute
1/2 cup blueberries. (Fresh or frozen)
Cinnamon for sprinkling on top (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 20cm loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Sift flours into a large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and working quickly mix until combined.
3. Add blueberries and gently fold until just mixed through. Do not over mix.
4. Spread mixture evenly into loaf pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
5. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan. 

6. Once cool, remove from tin, remove baking paper and cut into squares.


  • You can make a double batch and freeze squares individually wrapped and placed in an air tight container. Great for lunch boxes, just grab one out the night before to defrost.
  • You can cut them in half and serve with jam and cream. A little naughty but delicious. 
  • You can try other berries or even a mixture.
So what do you think? If you give it a go, make sure you let me know how you go.
Happy Cooking!

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta

This is my go to I can't be bothered dinner. It's easy peasy. Tim even cooks it without a recipe. It does use cream (lactose free in our house), so is not a dairy free recipe. 

I first made this dish by accident when I was pregnant with Miss E. Instead of tipping a jar of tomato sauce into the chicken and bacon mix, I tipped in cream that was meant to be used for another dish entirely. Whoops! I blame crazy pregnancy hormones for this delicious dish, although maybe I should take the credit for myself.

Tonight we had this pasta. I love the fun colours it adds to the finished dish. The girls call it rainbow pasta.

The biggest part of this dish is preparing the meat before you start but once that's done it comes together really fast. I didn't include the directions for getting pasta cooked in the recipe but I'll outline my timeline here. I get a pot for pasta on while I dice the chicken and bacon. We use smoked bacon because Tim is mad for it. Are there many men that aren't mad for bacon? Once the meat is diced, I fry off garlic in a fry pan. Sometimes I skip the garlic, it's not a big deal, the garlic just gives a nice flavour. I then chuck in the meat to fry it off until lightly browned and the chicken is cooked through. Usually the water for pasta is ready during this time. I salt the water, chuck the pasta in and let that cook. 

Everything is almost ready at this point. I add cream, salt, pepper and any herbs I'm adding. I cook it off until the cream has thickened nicely. Sometimes this only takes a few minutes, sometimes 10 minutes. Just watch it and wait for it to thicken enough for you. I like to take it off the heat just before it's thick enough, as it will continue to thicken. If it is too thick, you can add more cream and mix it through. While the sauce is thickening, my pasta is usually ready.

Once the pasta and sauce are both ready, add the strained pasta to the sauce and gently mix it around. That's it! We like to serve it with steamed veg and homemade garlic bread on the side, but you could also just have a big bowl of pasta.

I would say it serves 4, but if you have a husband who, like mine, would eat the entire pot, you may want to add more cream to make it go further. As you can see, we never have any left!

5-6 cups cooked pasta
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or another safe oil)
2 garlic cloves
500g chicken breast diced
200g bacon diced
300ml cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon chives (optional)

1. Melt coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Crush garlic and fry off in oil until just starting to brown.
2. Add chicken and bacon. Cook until lightly browned and chicken is cooked through. Stir intermittently to ensure even cooking.
3. Add cream, salt, pepper and chives and stir well. Allow cream to thicken, stirring occasionally.
4. When cream has thickened, remove from heat and stir pasta through sauce. Serve.


  • I like to make a double batch to use in lunch boxes the following day. Sometime I will cook a 1/4 recipe and just do a single serve for Miss E to take to Kindy in her Thermos.
Happy Cooking!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Chickpea Flat Bread

I have a little flat bread obsession at the moment. It all started with me digging out this recipe from the back of my recipe folder a couple weeks ago. I don't even know where the original recipe came from but I've done some tweaking along the way. This recipe is a hit in our house, particularly the garlic variation. If you really dislike the taste of chickpeas, this may not be for you but we really do love it! I took soooo many photos when I was whipping these little morsels of deliciousness up, so I apologise in advance for the crazy number of photos.

I started with sifting the chickpea flour. It often has a whole lot of lumps in it, so I use the back of a spoon to break those up. 

I add in the water and whisk, whisk, whisk until there are no lumps left.

Then I add in the oil and whisk some more!

Now is the creative part. I add any fancy-pants flavourings I want to add. The favourite in our house is salt, pepper and fresh garlic. 

I mix that all up gently, no whisking this time. Then I cover it with a tea towel and let it sit on the bench for a minimum of 30 minutes. Sometimes I make it up in the morning to use that night. The longer it's left, the lighter and fluffier the end result. 

Ta-Da! This is what the mixture looks like after sitting on the bench for 4 hours. There is a bubbly layer on the top that I just whisk right back into the main mix. 

I heat up a skillet/frypan (whatever you call yours). I prefer not to use non-stick pans but for this I find non-stick saves me the headache of having to avoid sticking in my stainless steel pans. Every recipe I have ever seen says to use oil but I actually cook mine in a dry pan! Whichever you choose is up to you.

At this point I turn around and see the Miss M had poured a whole lot of mixture on the floor and is dipping her fingers in and eating it! So instead of making 6 flat bread we only ended up with 5. 

When the bubbles forming on the top of the flat-bread start to pop it's time to flip it. I cook until browned and then transfer it into the oven set on the lowest temperature possible to keep them warm. Alternatively, you can pile on a plate and cover with a tea towel.  Then keep on following that process of cooking each one until you have about 6 yummy chickpea flat bread (or in my case 5!). We served ours with lamb meatballs and salad.


2 cups toasted chickpea flour (besan)

1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons oil (we used olive oil)
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Sift flour into bowl. Add water and whisk until smooth.
2. Add oil, salt and pepper. Whisk. 
3. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for anywhere between 30 minutes and 12 hours. The longer you leave it the fluffier your flat bread will be.
4. Heat small frying pan/skillet on a medium high heat**. Once hot, pour in enough batter for one flat bread.
5. Cook until the top is no longer runny, flip and then cook for another 1 - 2 minutes.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with remaining batter, Serve.


  • Add 2 - 3 cloves or garlic at step 2 for a garlic version.
  • After cooking use it like a pizza base! Lightly top with tomato sauce (or another safe sauce) and your regular pizza toppings.
** You can use a little oil in the pan. I have found coconut, grape seed or avocado oils work best. Olive oil made the flat bread stick to the pan. 

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Brown Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is my favourite winter dessert, however Tim has never been a fan. Since adding more things to our list of foods we have to avoid, it was something we didn't even consider making. Then one night when I was feeling a bit down, Tim whipped one up using just 4 ingredients! Say what?! Much healthier than the original recipe, and tasty too. Since then I've done some tweaking and found a balance I like and some variations. If brown rice is not your thing, you can substitute for white rice but you will need to adjust cooking time to suit. 

I like to soak my brown rice in water for 12-24 hours before cooking, changing the water part way through. This step is not essential, you can just rinse it really well before you start to cook with it. If you do soak it, your rice will absorb liquid a little better but it's not going to ruin your dish if you don't soak your rice. In fact, I didn't even add that step into the actual recipe. 

After soaking or rinsing the rice, I put it in a medium saucepan with the milk/milk substitute. I give it a quick stir to evenly distribute the rice. Then I bring it to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes. I know you are not meant to peek at rice as it cooks but as I use milk/milk substitute instead of water, I don't want it to scorch so I do stir it a couple times while it cooks. The length of time varies depending on the rice you use. Even different brands of brown rice have different cooking times and white rice takes significantly less time to cook. I have had some brand take up to an hour to cook and others only 25 minutes. You will know it's ready when almost all the liquid has been absorbed.

Once the rice is cooked, I remove it from the heat, add whichever sweetener we are using (pure maple syrup is most popular in our house), some extra milk if it's a little too dry and some vanilla powder. At this point I return it to the heat for just a minute or two and then it's all done.... unless you want to jazz it up a bit with one of our variations or make your own!


2 cups brown rice (soaked and/or rinsed)
4 cups safe milk (rice, coconut, almond, dairy etc.) plus extra 2 tablespoons (optional)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup, honey or brown rice syrup.
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Place rice and milk in a medium saucepan. Mix to distribute rice evenly. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.
2. Reduce heat and cover. Stirring infrequently, simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until almost all liquid has been absorbed. (cooking may take much longer depending on the variety of rice used)
3. Remove from heat, add sweetener and vanilla bean powder. If dry, add a little extra milk.
4. Return to heat for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Serve.


  • Blueberry: Add blueberries at step 3. This works best with honey as the sweetener.
  • Coconut and Lime: Using coconut milk option, add 2 teaspoons of lime zest at step 3. Top with toasted coconut and a little lime zest. 
  • Cinnamon and Honey: Using honey as the sweetener, replace vanilla with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Drizzle with honey or sprinkle with cinnamon to serve. 
  • Chocolate Rice Pudding: Before beginning add 2-3 tablespoons of cacao powder to a 1/3 of a cup of milk, whisk well. Combine with rice and remaining milk. Follow directions as normal. You may wish to add a little more sweetener to counteract the bitterness of the cacao. 

So what do you think? If you give it a go make sure to let me know how it turns out! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week.

Happy Cooking!
Jasmine x