Tag Archives: Gluten Free

Aunty Sandra’s Pasta made a little more healthy for the kids!

IMG_2966OMG, I’m exhausted.  I have just made spelt rolls testing out the Callington Mill flour now available from my new website www.paleoprovidore.com (they are lovely), made my new version of what the kids know as “Aunty Sandra’s Pasta” by special request for miss 6 and lamb shanks in the oven for us!  Now to make something for the lunchboxes for the morning…I think I’ll make my chocolate cake!

I thought I would quickly share the pasta recipe because it is so quick and easy and ALL kids seem to like it from 5 year olds through to teenagers.  I will give you the original recipe plus my “healthified” one!

Aunty Sandra’s Pasta Original Recipe

250g spiral/macaroni/tube pasta of choice

1 tin condensed tomato soup (I think it was a 400/420g tin)

6 bacon rashers

1/2-1 onion

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp. oil of choice


Cook pasta and remove from saucepan to drain.

Put saucepan back on the stove.

Add oil.

When hot, fry off onion, garlic and bacon.

When soft, add tomato soup and pasta.

Heat through, and serve with cheese if desired.

I sometimes would put in a casserole dish and grate cheese on top – pop in the oven to brown!

My “healthified” version

250g gluten free pasta – macaroni or spirals

200g Organic Passata

6 rashers organic bacon

2-3 spring onions

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon organic maple syrup

1 good pinch salt

1 tbsp. oil of choice


Put pasta on to cook.

In another saucepan fry off spring onions, garlic and bacon, then add passata.

Let it simmer while the pasta is cooking.

When pasta is done, drain.

Put back into the saucepan and add the tomato mixture.

Serve with or without cheese.

Miss 6 hasn’t even realised I’ve changed the recipe and requested it for dinner again tonight!!!  Miss 12 and Mr 19 may be a different story though!


Paleo Quiche – Gluten, grain and dairy free, low fodmap, fructose friendly!

etc 1285

As promised here is my quiche recipe. It is a rough guide as to what I used as it was just a trial that worked really well!


1 1/2 – 2 cups Almond Meal
1 egg white
1 full egg (or you could use 2 egg whites)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Mix ingredients together until they have a pastry like consistency.
Next time I would do this in the Thermomix – mix the ingredients for about 5-6 seconds on speed 5 and then kneed for about 1 minute.

Roll out between two sheets of baking paper.
Put into a greased quiche dish.
Prick the bottom of the pastry.
Blind bake for about 10 minutes or until it has only just started to colour.


About 6 eggs
Then add whatever bits you have in the fridge. I added:
1 tomato diced
Greens of about 6 spring onions, finely chopped
ham/bacon (about equivalent to 6 rashers of bacon)
2 tablespoons coconut yoghurt
Approx 100g baby spinach leaves finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together.
Pour into the “pastry case”.
Cook at 180 degrees until set in the centre.

Hope you enjoy it! We had leftovers cold and heated in the microwave – both worked well! Bron x

My quick Friday night dinner…Chicken Curry!

Chicken Curry

Just a quick post in response to a request for my chicken curry recipe. This is only a rough guess as to what I did as I didn’t measure anything (sorry!)

So here it goes…

The Red Curry Paste recipe is in the Thermomix Everyday Cooking for the Family book. The paste could be done manually by cooking off the seeds etc on the stove and grinding them with a pestle and mortar or simply by using powdered spices and a food processor.

Red Curry Paste

8 teaspoons Coriander Seeds

8 fresh red chillies quartered

6 cm fresh ginger peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons paprika

1 clove of garlic (10 if you don’t have IBS/none if you can’t tolerate garlic)

Juice and zest of 4 limes (I peel the zest of with a potato peeler)

4 lemon grass stalks cut into 2 cm lengths

100g garlic infused olive oil (or plain olive oil if you’re using 10 cloves garlic)


Put coriander seeds into the TM bowl for 6 minutes on 100 degrees celcius speed 2 (or cook on the stove).

Tip seeds onto a plate and allow the seeds and TM bowl to cool, then put them back in and grind on speed 10 until fine (or grind in a pestle and mortar).

Add chillies, ginger, paprika, garlic, lime juice and zest and the lemon grass to TM bowl (or put all of the above ingredients into a food processor/blender).

Mince on speed 9.

Scrape down the sides as every now and then.

When mixture is beginning to form a paste, add some oil through the lid.

Turn the TM down to speed 3 and continue to pour the remaining oil slowly onto the lid with the MC in place.

When all of the oil is incorporated your paste is done! Pop it into an airtight container in the fridge and it will last a few weeks. It can also be frozen.

Curry Chicken


1 kg chicken thighs thinly sliced

2 cups vegetables diced/ chopped, you can use anything that is in the fridge – I used carrots, broccolini, capsicum, pumpkin.

1 tablespoon curry paste (for a mild curry add or reduce to taste)

1 tin coconut milk (I used AYAM premium as it only has coconut and water in it!)

1 tin coconut cream/ 100g Monika pure creamed coconut and some water (I filled the coconut milk tin with water)

2 star anise

6 cardamom pods

2 Kaffir lime leaves

1-2 tablespoons fish sauce

Bunch fresh coriander

1 tablespoon olive oil (I used garlic infused)


Heat a wok or large saucepan on medium heat with the olive oil.

Fry off the curry paste stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes until there are beautiful aromas of curry paste (don’t let it burn!!!)

Add the coconut milk and stir until boiling.

Add the vegetables, star anise, kaffir lime leaves and cardamom (I think technically the cardamom should be fried off with the curry paste) and reduce the heat a bit and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken and the water and simmer until cooked (about 10 minutes or so depending on how big you cut the chicken).

Add the fish sauce to taste.

Garnish with coriander.

Can be served with rice/cauliflower rice etc.  I serve plain yoghurt with the curry for the younger children in our family.  You can add some garlic/garlic infused olive oil and diced cucumber to this if you wish.

I hope you enjoy it x

A hearty, rich winter warmer…slow cooked Oxtail, chorizo and red wine stew.

037Last week I ordered some oxtail from our local butcher. I’ve never cooked it before so it sat in the fridge for a couple of days before I finally decided that I needed to do something with it.

It was a dreary winter’s day, so perfect for a warming winter stew.  I got on to Taste.com.au and searched for some recipe inspiration. Oxtail, chorizo and red wine stew came up and had some good reviews. I had all of the ingredients in the cupboard (except for the truss tomatoes to roast), so promptly set about making this dish, and boy was I glad I did!


2kg oxtail pieces

1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil or garlic infused olive oil

1 onion or 3-4 spring onions (green only for low FODMAP) roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves finely chopped (I used 1 garlic clove as I can tolerate that but omit if sensitive)

3-4 carrots, roughly chopped

2 chorizo, chopped

1 tsp smoked paprika (pimenton)

Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange

1 bay leaf

2 rosemary sprigs

2 cups (500ml) red wine

2 x 400g cans whole peeled tomatoes (I actually used 1 tin + passata)

3 cups (750ml) beef stock

16 cherry truss tomatoes (the only thing I didn’t have!)

Mashed potato, to serve

Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish


023Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Tie a piece of kitchen string around each oxtail piece so the meat holds on the bone.

Place oxtail in a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes to remove impurities.

Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a large flameproof casserole over medium heat.

030Add onion, garlic, carrot and chorizo, then cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until vegetables soften slightly.

Stir in paprika, orange zest, bay leaf and 1 rosemary sprig. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add wine, canned tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil, then add the oxtail. Cover with the lid and bake in the oven for 3 hours.

Place cherry tomatoes and leaves from the remaining rosemary sprig on a baking tray. Toss with remaining 3 tbs olive oil, season, then place tray in the oven with the oxtail for a further 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened and the meat is meltingly tender.

Remove the kitchen string from the oxtail pieces, season sauce to taste with salt and pepper, then serve on mash with roasted tomatoes and parsley.

Absolutely delicious and a real winter warmer on these dreary, rainy wintery days…roast lamb tonight!!!

My husband’s favourite…honey nut bars

Ballantyne-386On the weekend it was our 6th wedding anniversary.   Wow, how time flies when you’re having fun!

As you know we love to travel, so quite fittingly, we got married at the Hilton Hawaiian Village with just a few members of our family present.  The hotel and venue were fantastic.  We were able to have our hair and makeup done, get married, go to a Hawaiian dancing display complete with fireworks, and have dinner all on site!  All  of our photos were taken either in the grounds and on Waikiki Beach.  The hotel  is a very popular wedding venue for international guests and as such they have their own wedding planner and chapel.


Anyway, on Saturday my gorgeous husband bought me a beautiful bouquet of red roses and lilies.  We celebrated at our favourite restaurant in Launceston (Stillwater) which was also the venue where we had our wedding ‘party’ a few months after the ceremony (sorry guys no review this time).

I know you’re all wondering how the honey nut bars fit it…well they are my husband’s favourite nut bar recipe (out of all of them I’ve tried so far!), so I thought I would make them for him that day!  The recipe I use is inspired by The Nourishing Gourmet.  I use her measurements as a guide and see what inspires me from my pantry options. So let your creativity go wild and see what flavours you can concoct! Here’s what I put in them this time…

Honey nut bars

Preheat oven to 180 celcius (350 Fahrenheit) and line a 18cm x 28cm baking tray with baking paper.

Put the following into the bowl of the Thermomix or a food processor and grind into coarse nut flour (approx. 10-20 seconds speed 7) being careful not to let it turn into nut butter!

1/2 cup cashews

1 cup of pepitas

1 cup of almonds

Remove from the bowl and set aside (If not using a Thermomix, put into a medium size mixing bowl).

Put into the bowl of the Thermomix (or into a small saucepan).

1/2 cup of honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

Melt for approx. 3 minutes on 80 degrees speed 1.

Add the crushed nuts back into the Thermomix bowl then add

1/2 cup of sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pepitas

1/2 cup of craisins (omit if reducing Fructose)

1/4 cup currants (omit if reducing Fructose)

1/4 cup shredded/desiccated coconut (I added an extra 1/4 cup of coconut and omitted above fruit )

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix on reverse speed 2 until well combined, you may need to stop and scrape down the sides several times (or add the above ingredients and the melted oil/honey and mix well with the crushed nuts).

Press well into the tin.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until it is lightly browned on top.

I usually cut down the middle and then into the desired sizes while it is still warm and leave it in the tin until cold.

Transfer to an airtight container.

Enjoy x

My favourite breakfast or dessert – Chia pudding

chia puddingThe other night at dinner my friends were quizzing me about my new diet! Now let me say upfront that I am not on a “diet” as such and am not advocating any particular diet, I am just interested in staying fit and healthy. A huge part of that is being careful about what you put into your body. I have always maintained, a fairly constant weight, except whilst pregnant of course. I guess I was just blessed with a fast metabolism. Those who know me would flip if they thought I was dieting to lose weight, as I am probably on the lighter side of normal! So, I suppose you would say I have altered the way I am eating to attain optimal health! I think I am heading in the right direction and like most things, it is a work in progress.

I have always eaten what most people would consider to be a pretty healthy diet. I’ve never been a fan of bread or milk. Whilst most mothers would pack their children a quick Vegemite sandwich and send them off to school, my poor mum was requested to make me a salad. In my day, they would provide milk to all of the school children except me, who was exempt and would have an orange juice instead!

My husband has a background in science and as such feels the need to base everything on research rather than just blindly following the latest trends. For some time now, he has been looking at the Paleo diet and the research to back it. Most of it seems pretty much like common sense, but there are some areas that we still haven’t found enough evidence to change what we currently do. Whilst conducting our research we have found various versions of the Paleo diet. Typically there are those who advocate a diet that is high is saturated fats such as coconut, olive oil and animal fat and others who advocate a low fat diet. In case you’re wondering, we lean towards the low fat version, but do eat some coconut cream, milk and oil on occasions.

I can’t say that we are fully Paleo, as there are other dietary restrictions that also dictate what we/I can eat.  For example, while most people following the Paleo diet would probably drink almond milk, it is high in oligos which I react to (it is a FODMAP) so I drink rice milk. I probably should add that I exercise about 5 days per week, so I figure my rice (and the odd bit of potato) intake counts as what Dr Sharon Carson calls the “athletes carb option”. While we had been eating low fructose for some time we have now dropped cane sugar out of our diet completely.

This was prompted by a few things going on around us. One of which was a local orthopaedic surgeon, Gary Fettke, who has set about to raise awareness of the perils of fructose by starting a Facebook Page and website called No Fructose. He has some great information about fructose and weight loss, for those who are interested, on his site!

At around the same time one of my friends who is battling cancer quit sugar. Whether by coincidence or not, and with a bit of help from chemotherapy as well, she currently has no cancer growing in her body. While I didn’t feel the need to read about how to go about quitting sugar, I know others do. There is a great book out by a fellow Australian Sarah Wilson called I Quit Sugar. She also has recipe books out and a great blog. There are links to these on my website.  Me being me likes to experiment with food, so I thought it would be a good idea if I cut sugar out as well and helped my friend to find products that would suit her and to adapt recipes so she didn’t feel like she was missing out on the good things in life, but without the fructose! In the mean time my husband did his research and found that there are links between fructose and cancer and that there isn’t really a beneficial use for fructose in the body. There are a whole gamut of health conditions that it’s thought that fructose contributes to. You can read more about that on the No Fructose website!

Anyway, back to our dinner conversation. I listed the things that I don’t eat which include dairy, grains, cane sugar, legumes and some fruits and vegetables. The girls wanted to know exactly what I did eat as they didn’t think there was much left! That day was a really bad example as I had been busy so only had a bit of coconut yoghurt for breakfast and some snack foods (nuts and fruit) during the day. So I thought I would share with you all a yummy breakfast that I found and adapted so that my friend could eat it, and it doesn’t contain any cane sugar!

I adapted the recipe from the very talented Alkaline Sisters. You need to make it the night before if you’re eating it for breakfast…it only takes a minute to make and is so worth it! No cooking required, and it’s really easy to take travelling with you.


3 tablespoons chia seeds (black, white or a mixture is fine)

1 cup milk (I use rice milk, but use any kind you like)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice (I sometimes use nutmeg instead)

1/8 teaspoon cardamon

1 teaspoon sugar free vanilla essence/extract or 1/2- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped and mixed in with the spices – also add the pod for extra flavour.


Measure the chia seeds into a container. I use a glass container with a good seal.

Add spices and milk and mix very well.

Put in the fridge and in the morning your breakfast is ready to serve with fruit, nuts or whatever takes your fancy!

Ocean trout served with creamed spinach and a tropical salsa


When I was a child I lived in Western Samoa, a group of little islands in the Pacific. It was a time that created amazing memories and impressions that will last for the rest of my life. I lived at a tourist attraction, Piula Cave pool, and met people from all over the world on a daily basis. I swam through caves and snorkelled on coral reefs that were the colours of the rainbow.

We lived in a fabulous “missionary” house that had a central courtyard in which a bunch of bananas was always hanging. Our veranda was surrounded with paw paw trees. We had huge mango trees, guavas, lime, avocados, pineapples and coconut trees. I quickly made friends with local families and was always welcomed into their homes to eat their amazing food.

The other day I was at our local green grocer’s where I saw very green bananas. In Samoa, green bananas were a staple in their diet as a vegetable. I went home and did a test run! That night I was also cooking ocean trout, which I served with a salsa. It immediately made me think of a more tropical version, which is what i cooked tonight, and yes it was a winner! So here it is, Ocean trout with (coconut) creamed spinach and a tropical salsa! The spinach is inspired by a local Samoan dish called palusami. It is traditionally made with taro leaves and baked in an umu (ground oven) This recipe serves 2.

Creamed spinach


150 g baby spinach leaves

1 x 270 ml can coconut milk

6 spring onions (green only for low FODMAP)

1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil

Salt and pepper


Heat a small saucepan on medium heat.

Add olive oil.

When hot, fry off the spring onions until just wilted.

Add spinach leaves and coconut milk and season.

Simmer for about 5 minutes or until spinach leaves are wilted.

Ocean trout with tropical salsa


1/4 pawpaw diced

1 small tomato diced

6 spring onions (green only for low FODMAP)

1 small bunch coriander leaves finely chopped

1/4 red capsicum diced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 lime juiced

2 fillets ocean trout (I like middle pieces of the fillet)

1 tablespoon garlic infused oil


Mix all the fruit and vegetables in a small bowl and add balsamic vinegar and lime juice.

Combine ingredients well and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat frypan with oil on medium high heat.

Panfry trout for a few minutes on each side, until cooked to your liking.

To serve, divide the creamed spinach between the bowls/plates.

Place the trout on top.

Spoon generous amounts of tropical salsa over the trout and serve immediately.

I hope you enjoy my culinary journey back to the islands!