quinoa tabbouleh

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This gluten-free (and guilt free!) alternative to the much loved traditional Greek dish is just as moreish as the couscous version. The fragrant, fresh herbs are such a wonderful assault on the senses in preparation. The quantities here made enough as an accompaniment at a dinner party or a weeks worth of lunches for one! I even went so far as to exclude the oil…and if you’re so inclined, give it a try.

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  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked (see notes)
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, chopped finely (frucmal friends take note: only the dark green part!)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

To prepare the quinoa, place 1 cup (200g) uncooked and 600ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat, then bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well and leave to cool.

Place the quinoa in a bowl.

Half the tomatoes and scoop the pulp from the tomato over the quinoa.

Chop the tomato flesh finely and spread over quinoa. Refrigerate for an hour.

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Combine the quinoa and tomato mixture in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for later. Too easy!

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two sweet nut balls

spirulina & sesame balls

Ok, before you run away – don’t freak out at the colour of these. I promise they won’t burst into tiny green alien goop balls in your stomach. Spirulina is a rich vegetable protein and high in vitamins which make it a great addition to any diet, though particularly for vegetarians, and (look out: fun fact ahead…) is apparently used by NASA as astronaut food! So as that dark green cloud settles over the rest of your ingredients (and down your front, and on the bench, and under your nails) just remember, you’re entering a space age where everything radiates a little brighter and a little stronger. This is the new norm.

  • 1 tblsp spirulina powder
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup mixed raw nuts, crushed
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds or linseeds
  • 1/2 jar or 7 tblsp almond or cashew spread/paste
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 tsp stevia granules
  • extra sesame seeds for coating

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coconut & almond balls

While they look less like alien fodder, these little balls of bliss could be described as ‘out of this world’. Proof: I took a full batch of these to work and between six, these little beauties were devoured. So make sure you cover all your bases and leave some extras at home in the fridge because once you offer these up over morning tea, trust me on this – you’re going home empty handed.

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup mixed raw nuts, crushed
  • 1/2 jar or 7 tblsp almond or cashew spread/paste
  • 3 tblsp tahini
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp stevia granules
  • extra sesame seeds or crushed nuts for coating

Alternatives and additional extras (measurements may vary to taste/consistency):

  • 1/4 cup psyllium husks
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs or cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 1 tblsp rice malt syrup (instead of stevia)

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until combined. Set aside a small dish containing the extra crushed nuts or sesame seeds.

Roll a tablespoonful of the mixture into a ball in the palm of your hands. Roll each ball in the dish of nuts or sesame seeds until they are covered all over.

Place the balls on a tray or plate lined with grease proof paper. Keep refrigerated so that they stay firm, but perhaps pull them out half an hour before you serve them up so that they soften slightly before everyone pounces.

Makes 14-16.

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choc nut balls

choc nut balls

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WARNING: PROCEED CAREFULLY – HIGHLY ADDICTIVE

Inspired by Sarah Wilson’s chocolate nut balls and Nora (Gedgaudas)’s nut balls, come these tasty morsels of nutrient-dense goodness. I have had to impose a strict rationing on these as I’ve caught myself on more than one occasion jolting back to the quiet stillness of my kitchen from some far-off delightful planet, to find one hand scratching around on the bottom of that once abundant jar of chocolatey balls, clutching it fiercely to my chest with the other, licking and smacking my coco-nutty lips in wonder. Only when I realise the gluttonous beast has defeated my feeble mind again do I sadly replace the empty jar back in its rightful place. The belly ache that comes later from much too much nutty coconut bliss is almost like the war cry of the beast – and I know we shall meet again on the battle field. One day…soon.

  • 1/2 jar nut spread (preferably almond, but whatever takes your fancy)
  • 2 1/2 cups raw mixed nuts, crushed roughly (my mortar and pestle get a work out here!) or chopped in a food processor
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 stick salted butter, softened (or a couple of tblsp of non-dairy Nuttelex, melted)
  • 4-5 tblsp coconut oil, melted or unsweetened powdered/crushed vanilla beans
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Optional extras (measurements to taste/consistency)

  • almond meal
  • LSA
  • chia and/or sesame seeds
  • psyllium husks
  • stevia
  • cacao nibs
  • protein powder (Sarah Wilson suggests 180 Natural Protein Superfood which already contains most of these extras – without all the undesirable ones on top!)
  • goji berries

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and adjust the dry-wet levels by adding any extras – if you have too much liquid, chia seeds and psyllium are great for soaking up any excess and helping to hold these babies together.
Roll little handfuls of the mixture into bite size balls and place on a tray or plate lined with baking paper. Refrigerate for an hour until they are firm. These will keep for a few weeks (if your gluttonous beast doesn’t come to visit first) but keep refrigerated to be sure they don’t soften or melt. They’ll travel with you pretty easily but just be aware to keep them wrapped in grease proof paper or transported in a cool bag (or similar) if they can’t be in a fridge for an extended period of time.

Makes around 24 balls.

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spirulina + sesame balls
coconut + almond balls

no crust no fuss quiche

This has become a staple in our ‘sensitive’ home. Inspired by Lee Holmes’ crustless quiche, this one has all the bases covered on the ‘feel good’ front. My gluten-free, dairy-intolerant housemate and fructose free me love baking up a big batch of this for the week ahead. It happily travels with us to work, it’s comfortably waiting when we stumble through the door at the end of a long day…and peps us up with a belly full of warmth after a morning at the gym. We’ve been known to mix up the veggie selection, add bacon, sliced chicken or a tin chilli tuna for a carnivorous alternative or mix and match herbs and spices. But one thing’s for sure, we keep on coming back for more.

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  • 8 eggs
  • 125ml almond milk (or milk alternative)
  • 2 tblsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional – cheesey flavouring for the non-dairy, or alternatively add your favourite baking cheese)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sautéed chopped mixed vegetables (we love garlic, spinach/kale, zucchini, red capsicum, cherry tomatoes, pumpkin/sweet potato as a good combo…and I like to mix up the oils in the sautéing to include sesame, coconut or olive)

We also love..

  • A sprinkle of paprika
  • Tsp or two of chilli paste or chopped fresh red chilli

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and grease a 22cm diameter pie dish. I tend to lay grease proof paper for easy removal later.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in the milk and yeast flakes. Scatter the veggies (and meat, if using) in the pie dish and pour the egg mixture over the top.

Bake for 25-30mins or until it is set in the middle and the top has lightly browned.

Serves 4.