A salad obsession.

Salad Obsession Full Size

Apologies for the slightly wanky shot above…I was making a joke to some friends about how this was my ‘work Christmas party’ this year…sitting on my back porch with a lovely frosty glass of rose and a bowl of this salad I am ABSOLUTELY OBSESSED with, with my feet up and surveying the garden in the midday sunshine.  Doesn’t get more festive than that!

This salad had its genesis in a visit to a cafe in Northcote, the name of which escapes me i’m afraid.  I think because I was too preoccupied with literally forensically pulling apart my lunch mate’s meal, filing away all the different components so I could reproduce my version at home.  I was having serious food envy, so I wasn’t going to let this salad pass me by – I was determined to recreate it for myself.  Here is my version of that meal, which is guaranteed to please your tastebuds, as well as being chock full of healthful goodness and hipster credibility.

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The best fruit salad in the world.

FS in Progress

I’ve always hated fruit salad.  It’s never really been my thing…but like most foods I was subjected to, growing up in 1970s Queensland, i’ve found much of my like or dislike was influenced by the lack of skill or finesse with which it was prepared.  Because, let’s face it…the culinary arts weren’t exactly well developed at that time, and especially not in that place.  Queensland was kind of a cultural dead-zone back then, so gourmet fare generally consisted of something like a mixed grill for ‘tea’, with desserts like jelly and cream, jam roly-poly or apple crumble, if you were lucky.  And that was eating out!  Home fare was far more pedestrian, with the only flavourings anywhere in sight coming courtesy of lashings of salt, pepper (the powdered kind) and tomato sauce.

Good times.

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Breakfast re-jigged.

Cauli Breakfast

So in keeping with the new year theme of going gluten free, i’ve ditched the toast and made some of these delicious cauliflower and spinach ‘flatbreads’ to hold my favourite toppings.  They’re baked then frozen for later use, but I hit my first hurdle trying to figure out how to prepare them after taking them out of the freezer…I tried microwaving but it got a bit mushy, which kind of defeats the purpose…I ended up eating it with a knife and fork and while it tasted DELICIOUS, I want something I can pick up or roll up and pop into my mouth, for maximum convenience.  Next time, i’ll try dry frying one and see how that works 🙂

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Breaking up is hard to do.

So ironically enough, this follows on from my post about the yummy banana bread…one i’m definitely going to have to make GF only in future.  Yes…i’m one of those tiresome people, or at least, i’m going to have to become one.

Bear with me here.

To explain: i’ve known for a while now that gluten is a bit of an issue for me.  And not in the trendy, affected way that so many these days have embraced, ostensibly for the sake of their health and/or waistline, but mostly as an accessory to their hipster credibility.  Sadly it is the latter sort of negative connotation toward being GF that has contributed to me ignoring the issue for so long.

The backstory here is that over the past two years, i’ve been diagnosed with both colitis and fructose malabsorbtion, the former of which my doctor was only interested in medicating me for (and which didn’t do much anyway, so I quit taking his drugs fairly early in the piece) and the latter of which I was supposed to start following a low FODMAP diet for.  Have you ever looked at that diet?  I saw onions and garlic on the ‘can’t eat’ list and thought, fuck that…because seriously, that’s just ridiculous.  I am not cutting those things out of my diet.  I didn’t really look further than that, but maybe I should have, in restrospect.

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Post-Christmas baking.

Banana Bread 1

Today I realised I had a bunch of bananas going off a lot quicker than I had bargained for, due to the extreme heat we’ve been having.  I usually freeze these to use in smoothies, but standing in the kitchen in my pj’s this morning, I decided some of them had to be used to make banana bread.

I love banana bread, but like most cakes and other sweet treats, only make it very occasionally.  Mostly because I live alone, so i’m the only one around to eat it!  So as much as I love baking, I have to contain myself to doing it every now and then, for moderation’s sake.

I have two quite different ‘favourite’ banana bread recipes.  One is quite sweet and cakey – very much a traditional cafe style banana bread.  The other is a bit more ‘rustic’, and not so sweet – and has the advantage of being very easy to make.  I don’t have to drag the mixer out or do anything complicated – it’s pretty much a two-bowl affair, and easy to clean up.  This is the one I made today…sooooo yummy!

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