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Blog

This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes + culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health + happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine + the low down on the Sydney wholefoods scene and beyond...

Filtering by Tag: gluten-free

Gluten-free grain porridge

Becca Crawford

Every now and again I make a creamy rice porridge for breakfast. My kids love it, especially in winter. It’s the perfect winter breakfast comfort food. The recipe below can be used for any type of gluten-free grains but white rice is our favourite. 

Why we should always soak grains before cooking them, and why I choose white rice over brown rice, is all set out in one of my previous blog posts here.

I inject nutrient-density into this porridge by adding in egg yolks, butter and cream, to provide a creamy, nutritious bowl. There is quite a bit of milk added as I like a very milky hydrating porridge as I find grains can be very drying. If this is too much milk for you, simply use 2 instead of 3 cups.  

Base ingredients:

1 cup gluten-free grain such as hulled buckwheat, rice, millet, amaranth or quinoa
3 cups full fat milk, coconut milk or nut milk of choice
¼ cup currants (optional)
2 tablespoons cream
1.5 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
3-5 egg yolks
1 tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp vanilla bean powder

Toppings - any one or more of: 

chopped banana
a handful of fresh berries
a scattering of goji berries
coconut flakes
gluten-free muesli
dusting of raw cacao powder
extra dustings of cinnamon powder or vanilla bean powder
cream or yogurt
a drizzle of honey

Directions:

Soak grains and currants overnight in 2 cups of water in a bowl.  Strain and rinse in filtered water. Transfer to a saucepan and cook in milk of choice covered on a low simmer stirring occasionally until the grains are cooked (completely soft) (approx. 10 mins). Add more liquid if it has all been absorbed. Do not allow to high simmer or boil. 

Turn off heat and stir through the butter or coconut oil, cream, egg yolks, cinnamon powder and vanilla bean powder.

Divide between 3 bowls and serve with any one or more of the suggested toppings.

Serves 3

Variation: instead of cooking the grains in milk cook them in 2 cups of chicken or beef bone broth/stock then once cooked add 1 cup of milk into the saucepan and gently heat. Then add in butter or coconut oil and egg yolks and stir through until well mixed.

Back to the daily school grind....inspiration for school lunch boxes and mornings teas...

soullachamberlain

IMG_7342 The summer holidays have drawn (somewhat regrettably) to a close and now we are diving head first into that (seemingly Groundhog Day) routine of school drop offs, pick ups, and school lunch preparations. For some inspiration on lunch box and morning tea ideas (for school or work) click here to view one of my previous blog posts on this topic. The aim is take-away wholefood that is:

  • super-simple to prepare (usually the day before as school mornings are hectic enough)
  • nutrient-dense
  • gluten-free (and almost always grain-free)
  • sugar-free
  • manufactured oil -free
  • nut-free (as schools are nut-free zones)
  • processed-food-free

Like my business page on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter to receive regular posts on what my little ones are taking with them to school on any given day. I'm keen to hear some of your ideas too!!

Crustless spanakopita (Greek spinach pie filling)

soullachamberlain

Just because I avoid grains (especially gluten containing ones like wheat) doesn't mean that I have to give up all of my old favourite dishes that traditionally call for grains, like pastry-encased spanakopita. I just make, well, certain adjustments to recipes so that they are gluten-free, processed-food free and more nutrient-dense.

For example, I activate buckwheat (which is technically a fruit and not a grain) and process it into flour when making cakes and muffins and when crumbing meat. Lately I had a real hankering for spanakopita - the moist flavoursome pie that I grew up on in my Greek-Cypriot household. Many years ago, when I used to eat more grains (I was once a macrobiotic vegetarian), I used to painstakingly slave all day making the sourdough pastry from scratch that encased the pie filling.

Properly preparing grains (soaking, sprouting or leavening) is a time consuming process for little reward compared to the time and energy invested-  all that effort to make a food (i.e. pastry) that is not particularly nutrient-dense and probably causes more harm to your gut than good. I then started focusing my energy and time on more nutrient-dense foods where I got more nutritional bang for my buck- organ meats, lacto-fermented foods, bone broths, casseroles of pastured meats etc. And I haven't looked back. My health and energy levels soared, my medical bills dropped to almost zero and my children stopped getting sick. This is just part of my journey with food and nutrition. And the journey has been long and arduous at times. Today I find cooking in line with my grain-free nutrient-dense wholefoods philosophy very simple, enjoyable and effortless after many years of practice and refinement. This way of eating doesn't call for much time in the kitchen (what a relief!).

So the long and the short of it is that when I walked into BU Organics last week and saw some luscious bunches of bright green silverbeet, I decided I just had to make a spanakopita after many years of abstinence with just the filling (which in my view is the most delicious -and nutritious- part of a traditional spinach pie anyway). A crustless version is unsurprisingly  super quick and easy to prepare. And it was a real winner with my kids - helping themselves to a second serve is a good sign! It makes for a lovely alternative to steamed greens or salad when serving meat. Leftovers can be eaten cold (eg school/work lunches) or reheated  in the oven. I reheated the last remaining piece for breakfast the following day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch silverbeet or English spinach (or combination of the 2)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 250g cheese (e.g. chopped feta, grated Reggio, grated gruyere, goats curd, quark or any combination of cheeses. I used 50/50 home made cream quark and Reggio)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined salt
  • Cracked pepper

Directions:

Cut stalks from silverbeet leaves. Roughly cut silverbeet leaves and finely cut the stalks. Steam leaves and stalks until soft (should only take a few minutes). Add to large bowl.

Melt butter in large frying pan on low heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown (about 5-10 mins), stirring occasionally. Add to bowl with silverbeet. Add parsley, beaten eggs, cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Mix together to combine all ingredients.

Grease a baking dish with butter and spoon in mixture.

Cook uncovered at 150 degrees Celsius for 60 minutes or until mixture is set and not runny.

Time poor variation: instead of sautéing onions, steam them with silverbeet leaves and add to bowl with 2 tablespoons butter. You can also cook the greens and onions several hours in advance (eg in the morning) and keep them in the fridge in a bowl until you are ready to add remaining ingredients and cook the pie (eg in the evening). This is what I did. As a time poor mum, a meal is sometimes made in a couple of tranches!

Kali Orexi (that's Greek for Good Appetite!)