Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Sweet, Sweet Prunes

A few weekends back, our dance team went dancing in Bundaberg. Seven of us were billeted together and our hosts made us feel very welcome (we even had choccies on our pillow!). In the morning we were treated to a breakfast feast complete with prunes to go on our yogurt. I’m not the biggest prune fan, but these tasted amazing. Natasha shared her recipe with us – an old favourite from South Africa.
I made this for something sweet today ūüôā The photo looks gross, but that’s a whole lotta sweet goodness in that pot right there!

Natasha’s Prunes
500g prunes
3/4 cup water
2/3 cup vinegar
1/2 cup or less of sugar (I used a few drops of Stevia instead)
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon (organic has 3x more flavour!)

Boil everything in a pot on the stove for 15 minutes with the lid on. Leave overnight.

Sugar-Free, Starch-Free and a bit Dairy-Free

I have been ‘free’ of all these for over 2 months now and I feel so much better for it! For sweetness I am using Stevia, which is a natural plant sweetener. I will go back to using honey, Agave and Rapadura in a few weeks but for now I am happy without.

During this time, I noticed that one of my favourite blogs ‘Quirky Cooking’, which my friend Laura introduced me to, was creating dairy-free, grain-free and sugar-free recipes in a bid to get rid of the colds and sicknesses her family were experiencing. ¬†Her recipes are always delicious, but one of my favourites was her ‘Grain Free Sultana Spice Bread’. I like to heat it up and put some butter on it (which I make in my Tilly Thermomix – told you I was a bit dairy-free…there are some things a girl can’t live without, mainly milk in my coffee!).

So here is the recipe which is made using a Thermomix, but if you don’t have one you can easily adjust. You can find the original recipe¬†here¬†at Quirky Cooking.

1. Grind up in Thermomix on speed 8 for 10 seconds:  200g raw almonds

2. Add the pecans and chop on speed 5 for 6 seconds: 120g raw pecans (or use hazelnuts for a low salicylate version)
   Remove the ground nuts to a bowl and set aside.

3. Place in the Thermomix bowl the following ingredients, and mix on speed 6 for 10 seconds:
Р60g coconut butter
Р1 apple, quartered (no need to peel)
Р5 large (or 4 very large) free range eggs
Р50g macadamia oil (or grapeseed, or other light oil)
Р1 tbspn lemon juice (or 2 tsp apple cider vinegar)
– 3/4 tsp bicarb soda
– pinch of fine sea salt
– 1 Tblspn ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp ground nutmeg
– 1 tsp ground ginger
– 50g raw honey (optional) – I left this out


4. Scrape down sides and add the ground nuts back in to the mixture, with the sultanas, and mix for a few more seconds on speed 6: 100g sultanas

5. Pour into the lined tin and bake at 160 degrees¬†for¬†an hour or so, until risen and browned; a skewer poked down into the centre of the bread will come out clean when it’s ready.

6. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes before removing carefully from the tin. Pull it up with the paper so you don’t break it. It will firm up as it cools.

Note: If you won’t use it within a day or two, it can be sliced thinly, frozen in loose layers, then when completely frozen, wrapped and kept frozen to use a slice at a time.

The Best Breakfast In My World

The delicious breakfast!

I shouldn’t eat cereal and I shouldn’t eat toast. As a matter of fact, I shouldn’t eat any food with gluten in it. Breakfast was becoming boring, unless it was eggs of some sort, and the gluten-free bread still gave me tummy issues.

My friend shared this recipe with me for a delicious and healthy breakfast and I can certainly say that I am hooked!

C’s Brekky

Mix together: rice bran, puffed rice, puffed millet, fresh banana, goji berries, almonds, dried blueberries, sultanas, honey , a good trail mix, grapes, etc.¬† I add some chia seeds and a tablespoon of natural yogurt (Chris’s Greek Style Yogurt is my favourite!), then you pour some juice over it, instead of milk (I am using the Mango and Apple juice and my friend likes pineapple).

Stringy Pasta Phobia?

I see a bit of an unplanned pattern happening for my favourite food five-post series – Poached Eggs, Potatoes, Pasta…what’s next?! It is totally unintentional. I absolutely, whole heartedly, love pasta.¬† In particular, the tomato kind.¬† It will always have a place in my kitchen.¬† Even when I was a little girl, it was high on my list of yummy din dins. It is so filling and versatile and makes me feel like I have had a good dose of real, hearty food.¬† It is easy to cook, it is cheap, most people like it, you can add so many things to it,¬† you make a big batch of it for lunches and other lazy dinners, and everyone usually has some pasta hanging out in their pantry – along with some sauce. Surely?

When my husband and I started dating 12 years ago, he came over for his first ever meal at my parents place. In true Burchill style we had pasta for dinner. I just assumed that my new, hot boyfriend would LOVE pasta just like me….I mean who doesn’t right?¬† Not until much later, my now-husband tells me that he will never forget that first meal with my folks.¬† Sitting there at the dinner table, with a meal that he knew he couldn’t wrangle with the common fork/spoon technique most of us are talented with. He never really ate that much pasta growing up, and therefore sat at the table and watched us eat, while trying his best to copy without it going everywhere.

Early days in our relationship

Nowadays when I make pasta, I usually forgo the messiest types (string spaghetti) for my hubby’s comfort, and head more towards the penne, shells or spirals.¬† Tastes all the same to me, so who cares. Keeps everyone feeling coordinated at the dinner table.¬† I have had to make the switch from normal pasta to Gluten Free pasta after I discovered how sick gluten can make me.¬† We both actually prefer the taste of the GF stuff. I came across this recipe some time last year, tore it our of the mag and pasted it into my recipe scrapbook.¬† I cooked it for the first time tonight and it was perfecto!¬† Approvals all round.¬† It was that easy that you only dirty one saucepan and a stirrer as you cook the entire thing in one pot.¬† This gave me time to sip a glass of red and rock out to some Roxette tunes playing in the background.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g beef mince (I like to use lamb mince)
  • 400g pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (I use over 1 cup of mushies cause we love them!)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup¬† water (I used about 1 cup all up as I put in more pasta)
  • 1 1/2 cup small pasta (I like using the Gluten Free Penne pasta)
  • chopped parsley (from our garden!)
  • grated parmesan to serve (I just used light Tasty cheese)
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan on high.  Saute onion for 2-3 minutes until tender.
  2. Add mince. Brown well, breaking up with the back of a spoon as it cooks. Stir in the sauce, mushrooms, wine and water. Bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce heat. Stir in pasta. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until pasta is tender. Season to taste. Serve immediately topped with parsley and parmesan, if liked.

I know it is a crazy idea to COOK a meal during such hot, sticky, humid weather that we have been having this past week.  We grabbed our pasta, and had a picnic together on the floor of the living room with the air conditioner on full!

In case you want to listen to some Roxette as you cook this meal, here you go –