After a long break, I am finally back! I am no longer following the RPAH elimination diet but I do continue to avoid soy, dairy and gluten. It is definitely hard to keep up the diet but I try still try to cook most of my meals so at least I can keep track of my intake of certain food groups that I know aren’t the best for me. My skin has gotten a lot better since then as I have been placed on some oral medication which has been extremely effective. The recipes I write from now on will all be gluten free but will not always follow the RPAH elimination diet. I’ll always try to give suggestions to keep it RPAH elimination diet friendly.
It is Spring in Australia and the zucchini has been very cheap. One week Aldi had 500g packs for 79c! I bought a little too much so I had a lot to use up before they went bad. I came across a zucchini brownie recipe which I thought I could make a gluten-free version and with carob instead of cocoa (cocoa is super high in amines). The brownies turned out pretty well, so much so that I converted my boyfriend to carob! He likes to zap them in the microwave to warm them and then cover it with coconut yoghurt and fresh blueberries.
1 cup caster sugar (up to 1 1/2 cups if it is not sweet enough for you)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 small zucchinis, grated
3-5 tablespoons water
Handful of chopped raw cashews
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line your baking tin with baking paper.
Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Ensure that the bicarbonate soda is not in clumps or it will taste horrible when you bite into one.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and add all the wet ingredients and grated zucchini and mix well with a spoon/spatula. It is a very dry batter, practically a dough so just make sure that there are no dry spots. For my batch, I needed 5 tablespoons water. Let it stand for 5-10 mins to let the dough soak up some of the zucchini moisture.
Transfer to the baking tin and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the chopped cashews on top and bake for approx. 30 mins depending on your oven. Use a skewer to check it is cooked, it should come out clean when ready.
Let it cool on a cooling rack before cutting them into pieces. It makes about 16 small brownies.
Dad just bought another box of pears at the market for $2! I know, it is a bit crazy isn’t it? Now we have a surplus of pears and I literally just finished making a batch of pear roll ups and I am stocked up on all my sauces… Too many pears and they are all ripening really fast! I decided to try make an apple pie but just substitute out the apple and put pears in instead. It worked out pretty well! I am not great with following recipes so I winged it this time around but here is the gist of it. I took a recipe for the pastry from the Taste.com.au website which was a plus because I could skip using the egg whites which is what my boyfriend thinks makes his hands itchy.
125g nuttelex, chilled and cubed (I used butter for this one)
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk
A bit less than 1/4 cup cold water
8-9 small ripe pears (or enough to fill your pastry), peeled, cored and diced.
1/2 teaspoon of citric acid (adjust to taste)
Place flours, sugar and nuttelex in a food processor. Pulse for a bit and then blend on low till it resembles bread crumbs. You might need to stop and mix up the flour at the bottom.
Add the egg yolk and water and process till it forms a dough.
Take it out and knead into a ball and then wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes till firm.
Peel your pears and dice. If they are really ripe and soft like mine, then dice into larger cubes so they don’t turn into mush. If they are still a little firm still then go smaller so they can cook a bit when you bake the pie. If you have the type of pears that are hard then you will need to dice and then cook them on the stove till they are tender, just add a touch of water into the saucepan to avoid burning.
Add the citric acid to the pears and mix well.
When the dough is cooled take 2/3 of the mix and roll it out between two sheets of baking paper till it is about an inch bigger than your tart tin. Peel off the paper every now and again to avoid deep cracks and fix cracks as you go.
When it is big enough roll it onto your rolling pin and roll it on top of your tin. Push it in and fix up the edges.
Put the pear mix into the pastry shell, don’t put any of the juice at the bottom to avoid a soggy pastry.
Now roll out the last 1/3 of the dough cut into thin strips with a knife of a pizza cutter and criss-cross them on the top of the pie. Apply pressure to stick the dough together at intersections and the edge of the pastry.
If you want, you can brush the top of the pastry with the egg white or melted butter. I skipped this so it didn’t brown as much.
Bake in the oven at 180°C for 40-45 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
Allow to cool and serve warm!
Serve with some vanilla custard or whipped cream. If we had Rice Dream ice cream, that would be perfect… Or maybe you could dust with some powdered sugar.
My parents and I found it tasted exactly like apple pie! Hope you enjoy it!
Who would have thunk that you could do a dairy free (and failsafe) version of caramel! I gave this recipe a shot and it turned out pretty good! It definitely lacks that creamy smoothness that cream or cow’s milk would give but hey when you gotta be dairy free you can’t really complain right? The original recipe came from here but when I gave it a go it took a lot longer than described, probably around 45mins cooking time.
1 1/4 cups rice milk (I have used Aldi and homemade, or you can try any other milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Take your milk and heat up for 1-2 minutes in the microwave till it is warm. It doesn’t need to be hot hot.
Place the sugar in a wide pot so it makes a thin layer and place on medium heat.
Give the sugar at least 5 minutes to heat up and then you will notice it will start to liquefy. Agitate it around so that crystallised sugar can hit the pot and also liquify. If it is browning too fast turn down the heat a bit.
Once all the sugar is liquefied and the colour has developed to a nice caramel brown then grab your milk and pour it into the pot of liquid sugar. This will produce heaps of steam so stand back and keep stirring.
The milk is cool the sugar so it will become quite hard and separate from the liquid. Don’t worry, keep it on heat whilst stirring (you may want to increase the fire a bit since it cooled down) and it will eventually dissolve.
Once it has dissolved you can simmer the sauce till the desired consistency. For a runny and pourable sauce I simmered for close to 30 minutes. It looks quite thin because of the heat but once it cools it became thicker (I checked by taking less than a teaspoon out and cooling it on a plate to see the consistency). For a hard sauce suitable for a glaze I reduced it till it was thick whilst it was still hot (close to 45 mins).
When you have the right consistency then pour it into a jar and keep it in the fridge.
I have used this sauce on pancakes, mixed with icing sugar to make a doughnut glaze and in trifle. The possibilities are endless!
Whoever came up with pancakes is a genius! I love hot breakfasts because I grew up with my mumma fixing up epic meals to keep me going through the day at school. Breakfast pho anyone? Seriously, I got noodles for breakkie many a time. All my asian friends be jelly. Pancakes are so easy to make, but I’ll be honest you do have to get up a few minutes earlier to prep but if you are super lazy like moi then you prep it the night before and zap them in the microwave to heat them up. I did when I was travelling around America. Too easy my friends so no excuses.
1 cup GF self-raising flour (I use a soy free blend from Aldi)
1 tablespoon sugar (white sugar if you going failsafe)
1 cup rice milk (or you can substitute any other milk)
Extra baking powder (optional)
Oil or butter/nuttelex to fry
Place the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. If you only have plain flour then add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to make it self raising. Some flour blends don’t rise very much so you can add a little more baking powder to help it along, something along the lines of 1/2-1 teaspoon.
Make a little well in the middle and add the egg and most of the milk and start whisking the liquid around and dragging in little bits of flour at the interface of the liquid and flour as you go. If you go and mix the whole lot in one go then you most likely get lumps so just be patient go slow from inside out and you will save time later trying to get lumps out.
Check the consistency once its smooth, you are looking for a thick-ish pancake batter. Add a bit more milk if it is too thick. Add a bit more flour if you need to thicken a watery batter. My pancake batter usually takes just a tad under 1 cup. If it is too thin it will spread too much in the pan and won’t be thick and fluffy.
On medium heat, pop a bit of oil or nuttelex/butter in a pan and pour some batter on to the size you want. Smaller is easier to flip. When bubbles start to form and it is solid enough to slide around the pan then its ready to flip. Then cook till golden.
For a failsafe option I have it with some golden syrup or dairy free caramel sauce with some pears. Have it any way you like it though! Below I had them when I was doing an amine challenge so I had dark chocolate and bananas. Needless to say I flared like cray so I won’t be doing that ever again! If you can get you hands on Rice Dream ice cream, it is the BEST (also send me a message of where you got it because I can’t find it in Australia)!!!
Pear upside-down cake is a staple in my diet now. It provides the sugar my body so craves now that there is no fruit in my diet (except for pears!). This recipe is an altered, RPAH elimination friendly (failsafe) version of the original I found here. The cake has a nice dense texture to it and is not too sweet which works well with both canned and fresh pears.
Pear upside-down cake
Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, failsafe
1/3 cup of brown sugar (not raw sugar)
2 pears (fresh or canned)
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cups of GF self raising flour (soy free)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 160°C fan forced, 180°C convection oven. Line a cake tin with baking paper. If it is not waxy then you will also need to grease the pan.
Slice the pear into 1/8ths and line them in the bottom of the baking pan in the design of your choice.
In a small saucepan melt over low heat 50g nuttelex and 1/3 cup of brown sugar until sugar is dissolved. Then pour over the pears in the cake tin.
In a mixing bowl, cream together 150g nuttelex and 1 cup brown sugar with an electric beater.
Crack an egg in and beat. Repeat for the next two eggs.
Using a spatula mix in the flour and baking powder, making sure there are no lumps.
Transfer cake mix into the cake tin over the pears and sauce. Even it out and give it a few taps to get rid of air pockets. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Let it cool for a few minutes before turning it over onto a serving plate.
If you like a bit more fruit try cutting the pears into 1/6ths (probably 3 pears). You could easily substitute in other allowed fruits at the top for something different and serve with some ice cream or vanilla custard.
To kick off the new year I’d like to share a super “chocolatey” recipe for vegan carob brownies. These brownies are super moist and taste like you used cocoa powder for it. I haven’t quite nailed the chewy brownie texture but its still pretty good, kinda like a steamed cake, but hey if you are like me on this elimination diet, anything that is different is welcomed with open arms.
When I make this I usually have it with my boyfriend so I have substituted out the milk as the rice milk I have is from Aldi and he previously has reacted to their soy milk. My boyfriend also has issues with egg which is why I looked for a vegan recipe. Turns out if you want dairy free and egg free just add “vegan” to the search engine and you will be bombarded with options!
Without further a-do, this recipe was altered from this original one here, if you don’t have as much restrictions as I do.
1 cup GF flour (I use Aldi’s, it is soy free and the cheapest I have found)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup carob powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil (or other allowed oil)
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Grease and line a brownie tray with baking paper, although some of the better quality paper doesn’t need grease so I use some water to stick it to the tray until the brownie mix goes in.
Pre-heat the oven to 175°C.
Place all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, carob powder, baking powder and salt) in a mixing bowl and give it a quick mix.
Add the wet ingredients (oil, water, maple syrup and vanilla extract) and mix till all incorporated and is smooth. The best way is to make a well in the middle of the flour mix and put all the wet ingredients in there and slowly stir so the flour gets pulled in bit at a time. This method reduces lumps and saves you time in the long run. The consistency should be like cake batter.
Bake at 175°C for 15-20 minutes and have a check with a skewer. It will come out clean when it is ready. My oven is not fan forced and the temperature gauge is off so I always need to bake it longer than stated, just go with the flow of your oven.
Allow to cool a bit before turning it out and slicing it.
Sprinkle with carob powder or icing sugar to serve.
You can substitute some of the water with a milk of your choice, I’d say start with half the amount of water stated here and see how that goes first. If you can have cocoa then you can substitute that in instead of carob, but you might want to increase the amount of brown sugar to 3/4 cups as cocoa is not sweet like carob powder. You can also substitute the oil with coconut oil.