Coconut and Cranberry Balls


In the days before healthy bliss balls, I can remember my Mum making a version of these, raisins instead of cranberries and dipped in chocolate. 

This recipe makes 25 balls. They are small but trust me, you don’t want them too big, these are rich sweeties!

Ingredients

110g butter

150g icing sugar

80g desiccated coconut

130g cranberries

25g 70% coco solids chocolate

Method

In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar.

Add the cranberries and coconut and pulse until combined.

Form into balls and place, spaced out, on a piece of baking parchment.

Now melt the chocolate, I cheat and melt it carefully in the microwave.

Take teaspoons of the chocolate and drizzle over the balls.

Allow to cool and then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Swedish Meatballs With Gravy

The challenge was set by my youngest son to come up with a gluten free meatball just like Ikea’s and apparently these are winners. To make them completely authentic I serve them with mashed potato, some green Veg and a dollop of Ikea’s finest lingonberry jam!

The quantity is big but I always think that when you are going to the effort to make meatballs you should always make extra for the freezer, your hands are dirty anyway!

This recipe makes 90 meatballs with sauce and that’s enough to feed 18!!!!!

Freeze the excess in foil trays or ziplock bags with the sauce on them for a quick defrost and bake dinner another night.

Ingredients

MEATBALLS

1kg minced beef

1kg minced pork

150mls milk

60g fresh gluten free breadcrumbs

2 onions, peeled and grated

2 teaspoon dried thyme, ground in a mortar and pestle

3 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons oil

GRAVY

100g butter

6 tablespoons gluten free plain flour

1 tablespoon tomato paste

500mls red wine

1.5 litres beef stock

50mls gluten free Worcestershire sauce

275mls cream

Salt and pepper

Method

Combine the beef, pork, milk, breadcrumbs, onion, thyme, salt and pepper. Use your hands to ensure that it is totally mixed.

Set aside in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Form the meat into small balls, set aside on a third baking tray.

Heat a large frying pan, I use a 32cm pan, this is a BIG quantity, over a high heat, add the oil and once hot start frying the meatballs in batches. Cook until coloured all over and then using a slotted spoon, remove and pop them onto the prepared baking trays lined with baking parchment.

Once all of the meatballs are sealed and on the trays slide into the oven and bake for 10 minutes until cooked through.

While the meatballs are cooking make the gravy.

Add the butter to the frying pan, once melted add the flour and tomato paste, cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, scraping all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan.

Now add the wine and stock, whisk over a medium heat for 7 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and cream, heat through.

Remove the meatballs from the oven and either add them to the gravy or place in a serving dish and pour over the gravy. Serve hot.

 At this stage I use foil trays for the meatballs going in the freezer, pour over the gravy, chill and freeze.

Gluten Free Donuts

Unfortunately, these don’t last long in our house!

Quick to make, baked not fried and leftovers, if you have any, freeze well.

Makes 18 donuts.

Ingredients

75g Greek yogurt

3 eggs, beaten

125mls oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

110g gluten free plain flour

80g ground almonds/ almond meal

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

200g caster sugar

Icing sugar to dust

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Centigrade.

Butter the donut tins very well.

Combine the yogurt, eggs, oil and vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the flour, almond meal, baking powder and sugar.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold in.

Pour the batter into an icing bag or a large plastic bag. If using a bag, cut the corner off to create a piping bag.

Squeeze the batter out into each individual ring, no more than a third filled.

Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes.

Allow to cool a little in the tin before tipping out onto a baking rack.

Dust with a little icing sugar and serve.

The Real Deal Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets


A ridiculously long name for these but it so fits the bill!

It might sound like a large quantity in this recipe but honestly, make at least a kilo of these! They don’t last so, to tell the truth, I use a couple of kilos of chicken, bake and freeze the leftovers, they freeze brilliantly for a quick dinner another night and can be gently reheated from frozen, too easy!

The bread that I use is a bit of a heavy wet loaf so by whizzing it with the polenta you get a lighter crumb rather than wet globby balls! 

And remember, use the heels and crusts of the loaf, it adds a little colour and saves any waste of what is always an expensive ingredient here in Australia.

Makes 42-50 depending on size.

Ingredients

450g gluten free bread

160g polenta

1 teaspoon mixed herbs

1kg minced chicken

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1&1/2 teaspoons salt

Pepper

2 eggs

40mls milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Line three baking sheets with baking parchment.

In a food processor, whizz the bread and polenta until you have fine breadcrumbs. 

In a large bowl or on a tray, combine the chicken, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and 280g of the breadcrumb mix.

Whisk the egg and milk in a bowl.

Add the mixed herbs to the breadcrumbs, mix well.

Take small amounts of the mince mix, form into a nugget shape or rough circle, dip in the egg and then in the reserved breadcrumbs to cover.

Lay the raw nugget onto the prepared tray and repeat with the remaining mix until it is all used up.

Bake in batches for 17-20 minutes, you might need to swap the trays half way through to get an even bake.

Serve hot.

Chocolate And Peanut Butter Brownies

Gluten free decadence here! 

If you don’t do peanut butter chips you can happily swap them for chocolate chips of omit them completely, this recipe will still work.

Makes 16 pieces.

Ingredients

125g butter

125g 70% coco solids chocolate

330g caster sugar

115g ground almonds/almond meal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

100g peanut butter or chic chips plus extra for topping

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade. Grease and line the base and sides of an 18cm square cake tin.

Melt the butter and chocolate, using a bowl over a pan of water or I just do it carefully in the microwave.

Weigh out the sugar, almonds and baking powder in a large bowl.

Whisk the eggs in another bowl and whisk in the vanilla extract.

Now, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold them in.

Spoon the batter into the lined tin, sprinkle over a few more chips and bake for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool a little in the tin before removing.

Chicken Wings With Ras El Hanout

Ras el Hanout is one of my favourite spices at the moment, a combination of coriander, paprika, cumin, rosebuds, caraway, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom and cayenne.

It gives this recipe a wonderful flavour and buying a premixed jar of spice mix saves me mixing my own!

Leftovers, if you have any, are a hit in my boys lunch boxes.

You can marinade the ingredients up to 24 hours ahead of time.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

2kg chicken wings, tips removed

150mls Greek yogurt

6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons Ras El Hanout

Salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Combine all of the ingredients.

Divide the wings between the trays and bake for 30 minutes, baste the wings with the pan juices and return to the oven for a further 45-50 minutes, basting as much or as little as you like.

I like to let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving and you can sprinkle over pomegranate or coriander.

Mexican Peanuts


With no added fat, these little peanuts pack a punch, especially if you add more cayenne. As these were made as a nibble for one of my youngest sons party they are less spicy to suit the younger taste buds!

Ingredients

375g raw peanuts

4 limes, juiced

1 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoons garlic powder

A pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

Method

Preheat your oven to 110 degrees centigrade. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Pour the nuts onto the prepared tray and bake for 30 minutes.

While the nuts cook, mix the lime juice, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.

After the thirty minute bake, tip the nuts into the lime mix and tip back onto the tray with the baking parchment still on it.

Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool before serving.

Feeding a hungry family!