Tasty baked tofu.

Tofu 1

I’ve been a bit ambivalent about meat lately…like most things, I go through stages with it, but right now it’s just not really on my culinary radar.  I’m still having the occasional bit of fish, and a slice of bacon every now and then (because, well…bacon), but for the most part i’m happy with a predominantly plant-based diet.

I spent most of my 20s eating either a pescatarian or vegetarian diet, and even a couple of years as a strict vegan…I guess you could say that these were my ‘formative cooking years’, so my diet mostly came of age foccused on plant foods.  As a consequence, I had a steep learning curve figuring out how to cook meat in my 30s!

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Magical carrots.

Carrot Tart

Carrots are pretty amazing little nutritional powerhouses.  Packed with beta-carotene (which gives them their vibrant orange colour), they’re fantastically antioxidant, and have a list of health benefits as long as your arm.  In western herbal tradition, carrots have been variously used as a treatment for night blindness, whooping cough, and cancerous tumours – to name but a few things – and researchers are now isolating various compounds in them that have indeed proven to be beneficial for some of the many ailments they’ve been used to treat over hundreds, if not thousands, of years.  I love it when science catches up with folklore 🙂

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Gluten free pastry.

Pastry Case 2

I think for anyone relatively new to the gluten free world, the thought of making pastry becomes filled with a certain dread…so many recipes, so little success.  Just like GF bread recipes, there are many out there that claim to be ‘the best ever’ and i’m certain some of them must be great, but sometimes it tires me looking at all the steps involved, and all the arcane ingredients I must source in order to make it.

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Noodles for dinner.

Zucchini Noodles

But not just any noodles…yes i’m finally trying out zucchini noodles, and they are GOOD.

I know the best veggie noodles are made with a spiralizer, so a while ago I bought a hand-held one on eBay…well you know that saying about ‘you get what you pay for’, it certainly proved true in this case.  My $3.47 plus free postage proved a waste of time and money because it was worse than useless, and my fancy piece of green plastic ended up in the bin, but not before mangling one of my zucchinis in the process!

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Zucchini madness.

Zucchini

I absolutely love zucchinis – they’re so versatile.  Which is a good thing too because once those babies get going in the garden, they go MAD.  This year, i’m trying to keep ontop of them, partly by making sure I pick some of them while they’re still small and attached to the flowers, and partly by remembering that if you turn your back on them for just a second, they’ll have exploded into veritable monsters before your very eyes – so once they start reaching a resonable size, I pick them there and then.

I’ve been collecting a little cache of go-to zucchini recipes over the past few years, so the backlog doesn’t get out of hand.  I think this was part of what made me wait so long to pick the beetroots last year – I simply didn’t know what to do with so many of them!  Now i’ve realised that having a few reliable, delicious recipes to hand for all the anticipated garden bounty is definitely the way to go – and this recipe for gluten free zucchini fritters is one of that collection.

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Easy iced chai.

Iced Chai 1a

I love chai tea, but it can be a time consuming process to make it properly.  And in the hot weather we’ve been having, an iced version has naturally been on my mind!  I wondered if there was an easy way to make it and have it available for on-the-spot consumption, whenever the fancy takes me, so the other night I started fiddling around with the idea of a ready-made base I could just add the final touches to.

I’m not going to pretend this recipe is rocket surgery (ha)…really it’s just cold brewed tea with sweetener, but sometimes it’s the dead simple ideas that make the most glorious experiences, right?  This recipe makes about 6-8 glasses of delicious iced chai….mmmm…I think I need one now 🙂

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Granola love.

Granola 3

Since committing to going gluten-free in 2016 (you can read why here), i’ve had a grain free granola on my kitchen radar.  I like to use it as a sprinkle on my fruit salad and smoothies, and it works equally well as a muffin topping, as a crust for your fruit crumble, or as a little crunchy boost to your breakfast pancakes…the list goes on really.  You can even eat it on its own, as a snack – it’s pretty versatile!

I was a bit worried that a grain free version would lose some of that decadent mouth feel that regular granola has, but rest easy folks – after a little tweaking, this one turned out perfectly.  I had it this morning with sliced peach, banana and plain greek yoghurt for breakfast, and it was HEAVEN.  I also used it on my delicious dinner smoothie, which you can find here…seriously, I think you should make some.  STAT.

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