Chocolate Chocolate chip biscuits – low FODMAP

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There is nothing wrong with occasional treats like this in any diet. The Dietitians Association of Australian recommends against sugar-free diets and in fact says that sugar should comprise 10% of your daily energy needs!

Ingredients

  • 125gm/1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or Cointreau (!)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup white rice flour (depending on how wet the mixture is – I used 1 cup)
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 3 tsp gluten free baking powder (baking powder results in a more tender biscuit)
  • 1 tsp Xanthan gum (this gives a cakey soft inside)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cocoa (cocoa in large quantities is a FODMAP so leave out if chocolate is a problem for you)
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate drops

You can replace 1/2 cup of the brown rice flour with an equal quantity of tapioca flour for an even softer texture.

Method

Heat oven to 180°C/350°F. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and beat again until well incorporated.  Add the vanilla or Cointreau and mix in.

Sift all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Thoroughly mix the wet ingredients with the dry until a stiff dough forms. Add the chocolate drops and mix in.

Dough ready for the oven...
Dough ready for the oven…

Line two baking trays with baking paper.  Roll the mixture into balls about the size of a ping pong ball and place on the trays. These biscuits do not spread much, so flatten them to the size that you want your finished biscuits to be.

Straight out of the oven!
Straight out of the oven!

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Cool on the trays for a few minutes until they harden, and then on a wire rack until they cool completely. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week (if they last that long!!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe adapted from Suzanne Perazzini – www.strandsofmylife.com

 

 

Lemon and Roast Pumpkin Risotto with Duck

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As long as the pumpkin is kept to a small serving per portion in this risotto, it is a delicious accompaniment to roast duck as the lemon and sage is a nice foil for the fattiness of the duck.

Ingredients (for two people)

Lemon Risotto with Roast Duck
Lemon Risotto with Roast Duck

3 handfuls of arborio rice
1 litre of low FODMAP chicken stock (from powder or liquid) or try mine
a 1/3 glass white wine
a few sprigs of lemon thyme (or alternatively some dried lemon myrtle)
a dash of Cobram Estate lemon flavoured Olive oil
a dash of Cobram Estate garlic flavoured Olive oil
1/2 butternut pumpkin cut into cubes and roasted on an oven tray with a little garlic oil
a few fresh sage leaves – some cut up and three or four left whole
two pre-roasted duck Marylands – Luv a Duck in Australian sells these in the supermarket
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan or Pecorino (to grate over the top)

Method

Roast the pumpkin and let cool.

1 hour before you want to eat, place the duck marylands in a small dish in a preheated 180C oven and add a little extra chicken stock to that included in the pack.

Fry the rice gently in the flavoured garlic oil until translucent. Add the wine and cook off. Add the lemon thyme, the chopped sage leaves and two ladles of chicken stock. (You do not need to heat the chicken stock.) Keep adding chicken stock and stirring gently until the rice, when tasted, is almost cooked.

At this stage, add the pumpkin and gently stir it through the risotto. You can fry the sage leaves in some butter in a separate pan to make the crisp and use them as a garnish, or add them whole to the risotto at this stage. Keep stirring gently, adding a little more stock until the rice is cooked, but not mushy. Dress with the lemon flavoured olive oil to taste. It’s strong, so only use a little! Check for salt and pepper and add as needed.

Plate into two serves, garnish with the cooked sage leaves if used, and some fresh parmesan or pecorino. Place a roasted duck maryland on each plate.

A delicious combination of lemony sage risotto and rich duck. Yum!

Low FODMAP chicken stock

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Cooking low FODMAP Chicken Stock
Reducing low FODMAP Chicken Stock

 

 

Low FODMAP Chicken Stock

  • 3 chicken carcasses
  • 2 large carrots roughly chopped
  • 1 parsnip chopped
  • green tops of 1 bunch of spring onions roughly chopped
  • 3 large or 4 small bay leaves
  • 2 springs of thyme
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 8 peppercorns
  • water to cover ingredients in large pot

Place all the ingredients in a large pot with a lid and place on a low heat. Cook gently for an hour or so to release the flavour of all ingredients. Then boil  more rapidly to reduce the water by about a third. Do not add salt as this can be added more accurately to any dish you make with the stock.

Let it cool and then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Place the bowl in the fridge for 12 hours and cover with cling film. This is to allow the fat to rise to the surface. You can then remove this with paper towel or a spoon.

Use the stock in recipes such as the fennel risotto (with duck or chicken), or as the basis for a delicious full flavoured chicken soup!

You can freeze leftover stock in ice-cube trays and, when frozen, remove into zip-lock bags in the freezer to use in small quantities – very convenient!

 

Fennel and Chicken Risotto

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This is a white Milanese style risotto and provides some much needed fibre which can be lacking in a FODMAP diet. It provides for 2 small servings, so double the quantities if you are feeling a little hungrier!

Ingredients
(for 2 people)

  • 1/2 bulb of fennel, top cut off, cored and sliced into pieces
  • 3 handfuls of arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic oil (try Cobram Estate’s garlic flavoured oil)
  • 1/3 glass white wine
  • 1 litre low FODMAP Chicken stock (see my recipe)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprig of thyme
  • handful of green beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 chicken breast or 4 chicken tenderloins cut into chunks
  • ground black pepper
  • salt
  • parmesan cheese (in a block)

Method

Fry the rice in the garlic oil in a cast iron or other heavy based pan (with sides) for a minute or

Stirring the risotto
Stirring the risotto

two. Add the white wine, bay leaf and thyme and allow the wine to cook off as you stir the rice. Add the sliced fennel and the low FODMAP chicken stock, a ladle full at a time. (You do not need to heat it.) Keep stirring gently and keep on a low heat as you do not want the chicken you add later to become tough.  This is not a race!

Once you have added two or three ladles

Adding the chicken
Adding the chicken

of stock add the chicken pieces. Keep stirring and adding stock until the rice is almost cooked. At this point add the green beans. I do not add them early as I do not want them to be grey but a lovely bright green!

 

 

You may need to add a little more or a little less stock depending on the exact amount of rice you started with.  Taste the rice. It should be just cooked and not mushy.  Pull out the bay leaves and thyme stalk.

The finished risotto in the pan
The finished risotto in the pan

Season with salt and pepper to taste at this point. Once the rice is just cooked, turn off the heat and add the chopped fronds from the top of the fennel and portion into two bowls. Grate fresh parmesan over the top.

 

 

 

Kale and Walnut Pesto – low FODMAP

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This is an extremely tasty and well tolerated addition to the traditional basil and garlic pesto taught to me by my friend Lauren. All quantities are approximate!

Ingredients – amended as of 12/08/15

I bunch of washed Kale leaves (stripped from their tough stems)
1 – 1&1/2 cup Walnuts or a mix of Walnuts and Almonds
1/2- 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Slosh of garlic infused olive oil (here in Australia I use Cobram Estate’s product)
1 tsp salt
Ground black pepper
1/4 -1/2 cup  lemon juice (juice from 4 small lemons)
100g pecorino or parmesan cheese, in small chunks or grated

Method

Stuff the kale and salt into the bowl of a large food processor. Process until finely chopped.

Adding the walnuts to the chopped kale
Adding the walnuts to the chopped kale

Add the rest of the ingredients and process until a paste forms. If the paste does not form a fairly smooth consistency that can be spooned into a dish, add more olive oil and/or lemon juice to suit your taste. This pesto should be quite lively and the lemon should be a dominant flavour.

When you are happy with the consistency, you will have a LARGE bowl of pesto. You can use this on gluten free pasta, as a dip, on sandwiches, to mix with gluten free breadcrumbs as a stuffing and for many other uses. I mainly use mine on pasta and as a dip with gluten free crackers (in moderation).

Kale Pesto frozen in glass container
Kale Pesto frozen in glass container

To keep it fresh place the amount you will use in the next two or three days in a bowl
in the refrigerator covered with olive oil and then with cling film. I freeze the rest in little containers – just enough for one recipe so I always have some on hand!  Here is some that I have frozen….

While nuts should only be eaten in moderation on a low FODMAP diet (excluding pistachios and cashews which should be avoided entirely), the amount of nuts and hard cheese per serving here should not pose a problem. If you find the pesto too “nut rich” and/or the cheese is a problem, you can always reduce the nuts, omit the cheese and just make a lemony kale and olive oil sauce/paste in the same way: or  simply add more kale. 

Defrosted Kale Pesto
Defrosted Kale Pesto

Gluten free Raspberry Coconut Tea-cake (also low FODMAP)

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A delicious, easy and quick cake for afternoon tea! As I noted in the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, there is nothing wrong with occasional treats like this in any diet. The Dieticians’ Association of Australia recommends against sugar-free diets and in fact says that sugar should comprise 10% of your daily energy needs! So enjoy a piece of cake now and then….

Finished Coconut Raspberry CakeFinished Coconut Raspberry Cake
Finished Coconut Raspberry Cake

Ingredients:

125g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup gluten free flour (or use a mix of rice flour, potato flour and tapioca flour – see NB below)
1 heaped tablespoon coconut flour
3/4 cup lactose free milk (or rice or soy milk. If using soy milk it must be made from soy isolate as whole bean soy milk is not low FODMAP)
3 tsp gluten free baking flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Method:

Preheat oven to 200C. Line a round 23cm baking tin and grease the sides. This does not need to be a very deep tin as this is not a large cake!

Cream butter and sugar and add vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Add the

Adding the coconut flour and milk
Adding the coconut flour and milk

flour and baking powder and beat slowly at first and then on high for 1-2 minutes.  Add the coconut flour and 3/4 cup milk. Again beat them in gradually and then beat for another 1-2 minutes on high. Add all the milk even if it seems too much as coconut flour is very absorbent. You should have a smooth batter that is not runny but drops easily from a spatula.

Spoon into the lined tin and smooth the

Placing the raspberries on top
Placing the raspberries on top

mixture flat. Scatter raspberries on top or make a nice pattern as I have done! Press them slightly into the batter (they will sink slightly as the cake cooks.) Cook for 35-40 minutes until golden brown or
until a skewer when inserted comes out clean. Cool in tin until lukewarm and invert on to a towel or rack, place a serving plate on the base and flip cake the right way up.

Dust with gluten free icing sugar if you wish. Serve warm. Lovely with a cup of tea!

NB. If using a mix of your own flours, use a ratio of one cup of fine rice flour to 1/3 cup potato flour and 1/3 cup tapioca flour. Add 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum if you have some. Mix together using a whisk and sieve to mix several times.

Triple Layer Chocolate Caramel (date) Peanut Slice

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This is my attempt at making a more healthy version of chocolate caramel slice (my favourite slice as a child). Since condensed milk is off the menu, as is lots of chocolate, I thought a no-bake, almost gluten-free version, full of nuts with just a little sweetness would be a healthier, lower GI option. See what you think!

Layer 1

1.5 cups rolled oats
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup (you could also use golden syrup)

Process together in a powerful  food processor until it forms a homogenous mass or ball. Spread over the base over a square cake tin lined with baking paper. Use the back of a spoon to get a thin even layer. Put in freezer as you prepare the next layer.tin

Layer 2

700g – 1kg medjool dates, pipped and cut into pieces

Medjool Dates
Medjool Dates

1- 1.5 cups boiling water
4 – 6 pinches gingerbread spice or powdered ginger

Stone the dates and cut into pieces. Put into a dish and add the boiling water. Mash down with a fork and leave to soften. Stir and try to combine the water and dates. Add the spice. Process in a food processor if needed to make a date paste.Get the first layer out of the freezer and spread this date paste over the first layer but don’t go right to the edges. Place back in the freezer.

Layer 3

3/4 jar of Mayvers chocolate peanut butter (or use regular nut butter and up the cocoa and walnuts)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons of cocoa

some raw ingredients
some raw ingredients

1/4 cup brown rice syrup (you could also use golden syrup)

Process all ingredients until a sticky crumb forms. Ad more walnuts or rice syrup if the mixture is too dry. Crumble this mixture over the first two layers and then gently push down with a spoon or your hands to cover the date layer and stick it together. But don’t let the date layer squeeze through!  Refrigerate.

When completely cold, cut into (very) small squares. This is a high protein, high (good) fats snack that will fill you up. It is only suitable for a low FODMAP diet in small  quantities due to the large amount of nuts and some dried fruit and not everybody will be able to tolerate it. It is yum though!

Chocolate Caramel (Date) Slice
Chocolate Caramel (Date) Slice