News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free

News, recipes, information and helpful tips for living gluten free

  • Category Archives: Snacks

  • Gluten Free Polenta Bites

    Hello sunshine! Spring is here and in Melbourne it’s time to party. If you need inspiration for gluten free snacks to serve at your gathering, try these golden gluten free polenta bites.  I love polenta, it is so versatile and delicious when served this way especially if you have quite a few mouths to feed! The polenta base can be made in advance, then cut to size and served on the day with your favourite topping.

    200g yellow polenta
    1 litre stock (vegetable or chicken)
    75g parmesan, finely grated
    5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
    Pinch salt

    Bring stock to the boil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add polenta in a steady stream, stirring constantly until mixture returns to the boil.  Cook over low heat, stirring regularly, for 20 minutes, or until mixture is thick. Remove from heat and stir through grated parmesan and fresh thyme. Taste and add salt if required, season with black pepper. Pour into a 30cm x 20cm slice tray, lined with baking paper. Smooth the top and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool slightly then refrigerate till firm. Cut into 2cm x 5cm pieces to make 60 bites!

    Options: Shallow fry polenta in vegetable oil to make polenta chips, dusted with sea salt and fresh thyme leaves. BBQ polenta and top with marinated vegetables, or some feta softened with lemon juice and finished with black olives. Roast polenta, as recipe below.

    Polenta bites with roasted haloumi and prosciutto
    180g haloumi
    12 slices prosciutto
    Makes 24 bites: Heat oven to 180℃. Slice haloumi in half lengthways, then working down the length, cut 12 pieces from each half.  Depending on how long your strips of prosciutto are, cut into two or three pieces widthways. Place haloumi on polenta and wrap in prosciutto. Place on oven tray lined with baking paper and roast for 10 minutes until prosciutto is crisp. Serve scattered with some fresh thyme leaves. Polenta bites can also be made without prosciutto if preferred. Simply top the polenta with a slice of haloumi and roast. Serve with small strips of marinated capsicum.

  • Gluten Free Eggplant and Walnut Dip

    My summer eggplant bushes may still be in the seedling stage, but I’m hoping they’ll produce lots of juicy Lebanese eggplants when the time is right. I love eggplant, or aubergine – in dips, chips, pickles and salads. This dip is light and delicious, it doesn’t contain tahini and is not quite Baba ghanoush but similar in taste. It may be best to ask the resident BBQ guru in your life to assist, if barbecues are not your thing. Serve with your favourite GF flat bread, corn chips or biscuits.

    1 large eggplant
    50g walnut pieces
    1 large clove garlic, crushed
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
    Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
    Good pinch salt
    Ground black pepper
    Gluten free flatbread to serve

    Wipe eggplant with a damp cloth to clean surface. Use barbecue or stovetop gas burner to blacken the whole eggplant, so the fruit will develop its distinctive smoky flavour. Continue cooking until flesh is soft and cooked through, placing in the oven for 10 minutes at 180° if necessary to achieve this. Set aside to cool, then gently remove skin and discard.
    Roughly chop eggplant and place in food processor with walnuts, crushed garlic, lemon juice, creme fraiche and parsley. Blend until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.
    Delicious served with a drizzle of best quality olive oil, garnished with fresh parsley or coriander and  gluten free flatbread, warmed on the barbecue.

    Follow recipe to prepare eggplant, then place all ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix 5 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula and repeat 5 sec/speed 5, or until desired consistency is reached.

  • Gluten Free Sweet Potato Fritters

    It’s Father’s Day in Australia this Sunday, and what better way to start the day than with a delicious home cooked breakfast. These tasty gluten free sweet potato fritters are easy to make. If you prefer, you can cook a batch in advance and simply re-heat to serve with your favourite toppings. Not just for breakfast, these tasty morsels make a great vegetarian lunch or light meal with some quinoa and salad on the side. Happy Father’s Day dads!

    400g (approx.) fresh sweet potato, grated
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    ⅓ cup gluten free plain flour
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    Salt, ground black pepper
    Vegetable oil for cooking

    In a medium size bowl combine grated sweet potato, parsley and eggs. Add flour and cumin and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
    Heat a small amount of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add ½ tablespoons of fritter mixture to pan, gently pressing flat with the back of spoon. Fry a few minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Lower temperature if the fritters are browning too much. Drain on absorbent paper then place in the oven for 10 minutes to ensure fritters are cooked through.
    If you prefer a larger, round fritter you can cook mixture in a greased egg ring. Fry on one side, then carefully remove the egg ring and flip to cook the other side.
    Serve with your choice of eggs, bacon, avocado, feta, wilted spinach …. or for lunch with quinoa and salad. 

  • Easy Gluten Free Pancakes

    We love pancakes at our place. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to whip up these delicious gluten free pancakes. This simple recipe will deliver a lovely pancake for your favourite toppings. Use less milk for a thicker American-style pancake, or more milk for a crepe consistency. You can do as my Mum does and make the batter the day before you need to cook, ready to feed hungry grandchildren the next day. Make pikelets out of any left-over batter for a lunchbox treat, or to enjoy any time.

    200g gluten free plain flour
    1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
    Pinch salt
    40g caster sugar
    2 eggs, at room temperature
    275ml milk
    20g butter, melted

    Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine using a hand whisk. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly whisk eggs and milk. Add to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter. Whisk to a smooth batter. Set aside for 10 minutes. You can add more milk to loosen batter for a thinner, crepe style pancake if desired.

    Using medium heat, warm some vegetable oil or butter in a non-stick frypan. Pour batter to desired size. Cook pancake on one side until bubbles appear. Flip and cook the other side until cooked through. Be careful not to burn! Serve with your favourite topping.


  • Gluten Free Pumpkin Fritters

    Not all kids like pumpkin, but mine love these gluten free pumpkin fritters. We tested recipes during the recent school holidays and decided on this version, flavoured with cumin and chickpeas. I’m very happy to add that they are now on the request list for school lunches! They also make a great light vegetarian meal served with salad.

    350g butternut pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
    400g can chickpeas
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1 small onion, finely diced
    1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
    2 tablespoons fresh coriander, leaves picked
    3 tablespoons plain gluten free flour
    Salt & ground black pepper
    Olive oil

    Cook pumpkin in salted water until soft. Drain well, mash and set aside.
    Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan. Add onion and stir over low heat until soft. Add cumin and stir for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat.
    Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add half to a large bowl and mash until smooth. Add pumpkin, onion, egg, flour, coriander and remaining chickpeas. Combine well and season with salt and pepper.
    Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add ½ tablespoons of fritter mixture to pan, gently pressing flat with the back of spoon. Fry a few minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Drain on absorbent paper. Delicious served warm with a little natural yoghurt flavoured with ½ garlic clove and squeeze of lemon. If saving for lunches, keep chilled in an airtight container for three days.  Makes approx 25 fritters.


  • gluten free madeleines with caramel sauce

    Reading Shannon Bennett’s guide to Paris, inspired this gluten free version of classic French petite madeleine cakes. They are very simple to make, but may require the purchase of a madeleine tin to create the distinctive shell shaped cakes. This version can be served fresh from the oven with caramel dipping sauce on the side. If you prefer to keep it simple and less sweet, add the zest of one lemon to the cake mix and go without the caramel sauce.

    130 grams butter
    120 grams caster sugar
    3 eggs, at room temperature
    1 tablespoon honey
    120 grams gluten free plain flour
    60 grams ground almonds
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon xanthan gum

    Gently melt butter and set aside to cool. Using an electric mixer whisk sugar, eggs and honey 3-4 mins until pale and frothy.
    Gently stir in almonds, using a wooden spoon. Fold in sifted flour, baking powder and xanthan gum. Gradually stir in the melted butter until the batter is smooth. Cover bowl and refrigerate batter for one hour. The batter can be left overnight if desired.
    Heat oven to 180℃. Grease a madeleine tin, (I used a  mini-madeleine tin), alternatively use a mini muffin tin. Place small spoonfuls of batter in the shell shaped moulds and bake for 8 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with caramel dipping sauce. Madeleine cakes are best eaten on the day they are made, but will keep for a few days in an airtight container.

    Simple Caramel Sauce
    ½ cup caster sugar
    1 cup pouring cream

    Place the sugar in a heavy based saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar begins to dissolve. Cook without stirring until sugar melts and a deep caramel forms.  Give the saucepan a gentle shake to encourage the sugar to melt. If you have ‘hot spots’ where the sugar is browning more quickly, move the position of the saucepan around over the heat, giving it a gentle shake. Remove from heat.
    In another saucepan heat the cream until almost boiling, then carefully pour into the caramel, stirring quickly. Take care as the mixture will spit.
    Return mixture to heat and stir until a lovely smooth consistency.  Serve sauce in a side bowl to accompany madeleines, or cool to room temperature. The caramel sauce will keep for a week and is delicious with ice-cream, or other sweet treats.

  • Gluten Free Corn and Rice Cakes

    Lunchbox Lovelies…

    Our gluten free corn and rice cakes are a tasty addition to our lunchbox recipe collection.  The savoury cakes are delicious and it’s a great way to use leftover rice. This is the base recipe, you can add other vegetables, bacon or cheese to taste. You may want to double the recipe as they are so moreish.

    1 cup cooked rice
    1 cob of cooked corn, kernels removed
    1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
    3 eggs, lightly beaten
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
    Salt and ground pepper
    6 mini tomatoes, cut in half

    Preheat oven to 170° C.
    Place cooked rice (cooled), corn kernels, cheese, eggs and parsley in a large bowl and mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Grease a muffin tray and spoon tablespoons of mixture into muffin holes (I use ¼ cup size muffin holes for this recipe). Place a slice of tomato on top of each cake. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cake is cooked when tested with a skewer. Makes 12 savoury cakes.

  • Gluten Free Zucchini Bites

    Lunchbox Lovelies

    Zucchini is abundant at the moment and these tasty bites are perfect for the back to school/work lunchbox. If this summer squash happens to be on your kids’ banned veggies list, you may need to apply some wordplay when you hear the inevitable… “What’s the green stuff?”
    You could try calling them “yummy cheesy savoury bites.” Or do as the Brits do, and refer to the key ingredient as courgette. As in, little green courgette bitesFar more palatable. In my case, the addition of haloumi cheese won my little people over… but if the mint and haloumi are a flavour experience too far for your crew, substitute cheddar cheese and parsley. If you prefer, the dish can be made as a slice, see below.

    2 small zucchini, (approx 300g), grated
    1 large carrot, grated
    1 cup gluten free self raising flour, sifted
    180g haloumi cheese, grated
    5 eggs, lightly beaten
    ½ teaspoon cummin
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
    Salt and pepper

    Preheat oven to 170° C.
    Place zucchini, carrot, cheese, cumin and flour in a large bowl and mix to combine. Stir in the eggs, olive oil and mint, then season with salt and pepper. Use just a pinch of salt, as haloumi can be salty.
    For Zucchini Bites:  Grease a muffin tray and spoon tablespoons of batter into holes (I use ¼ cup size muffin holes for this recipe).  Bake for 20 minutes until set and slightly browned.
    For Zucchini Slice: Spoon batter into a lined baking tray approx 20cm x 20cm and bake for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing. Can be reheated if desired, or enjoyed at room temperature.

  • Gluten Free Corn Cakes

    Lunchbox Lovelies…

    Back to work or school after summer holidays?  If you need inspiration for your gluten free lunchbox, try these delicious GF corn cakes.  They are a staple in our house for lunches, or as a canapé topped with avocado or smoked salmon. In this version I’ve used continental parsley, but you can use coriander instead if you prefer, or add a few spring onions, or chilli to the batter for extra oomph!

    2 cobs of corn, (approx 280g)
    ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    3 eggs, lightly beaten
    ½ cup gluten free flour
    Salt, ground black pepper

    Using a steamer, cook the corn on the cobs until tender. Allow to cool a little, then remove the kernels from the corn and combine with cayenne, parsley and eggs in a large bowl.  Add the gluten free flour and season with salt and pepper, mix well.

    Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add tablespoons of corn cake batter and fry a few minutes on each side until golden. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve at room temperature topped with sour cream and smoked salmon, or salad. If saving for lunches, keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three days.  Makes approx. 20 corncakes.


  • Gluten Free Chia Pizza

    We have a new favourite pizza! The base is thin and crispy (just the way we like it) with a delicious nutty flavour thanks to the addition of chia seeds, pepitas and pine nuts.  It is very quick and easy to make and you can add your own topping – we’ve gone with a classic Margherita for this version.

    Chia Pizza Base
    ½ cup chia seeds
    ½ cup buckwheat flour, sifted
    ½ cup rice flour, sifted
    2 teaspoons dried oregano
    1 tablespoon pine nuts, chopped
    2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds), chopped
    1½ cups of water
    1 teaspoon sea salt

    Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and combine using a hand whisk. Gently add water and whisk until mixture starts to thicken. The mixture will appear quite wet and runny (see below). Leave mixture to thicken for 20 minutes, while you prepare the pizza topping.

    Preheat the oven to 180℃ and place two baking trays or pizza stones in the oven to heat up. The chia pizza mixture should have a thicker consistency, but won’t resemble a traditional firm ball of dough. Spoon half the mixture onto a piece of baking paper that is the size of your baking tray. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mixture into a round shape about 1cm thick and 26cm in diameter (see below). If tiny ‘holes’ appear, just smooth over with the mixture. Repeat process with the remaining pizza dough and second sheet of baking paper.

    Spoon Margherita sauce onto pizza base and scatter with mozzarella cheese. Carefully place baking paper and pizza onto the hot oven tray or pizza stone. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the crust is firm and slightly browned. To serve, drizzle with a little olive oil and scatter with remaining basil leaves.

    Margherita Sauce
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    2 large garlic cloves, crushed
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    500ml tomato passata (puree), or 400g can tomatoes, crushed
    6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, plus extra leaves for garnish
    Few springs of fresh thyme
    Mozzarella cheese, sliced into rounds

    Gently heat the olive oil in a heavy base frypan. Add the onion, garlic and thyme leaves and stir over low heat until onion is translucent. Add the passata or tomatoes and finely chopped basil. Continue to cook over low heat until sauce reduces and thickens a little. Set aside.

     Gluten Free Chia Pizza Mix 

    Chia Pizza Base


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