ABC Mousse with orange and wheatgrass

Les' tweaked avocado mousse

ABC (Avocado, Banana, Chocolate) Mousse with orange and wheatgrass

Well, I have to admit, my all-time favourite chocolate mousse is Quirky Cooking’s raw chocolate mousse/semi-freddo, but I only tend to make it as a special treat now.  Instead, and given the virtues of the very versatile, creamy, Vitamin E rich and good fat containing avocado, I like to make a mousse with this and use fresh fruit to sweeten, rather than dried fruit with its concentrated sugars.

Wheatgrass has also popped up on my radar a few times of late, but it’s usually in smoothie recipes.  I don’t really ‘do’ smoothies.  However, on spying a wheatgrass smoothie recipe in the March 2015 issue of the Thermieliving magazine, I looked at a couple of the ingredients (banana and orange), and started thinking, ‘hmm, add some cocoa/cacao powder), combined with an avocado, and you have yourself a nice mousse’!  Thus, the inspiration for this recipe.  I didn’t add any further sweetener for the first couple of tries.  I liked it, Mr MaMT ate it without complaint, Miss 13yo liked it,  but Mr 16yo didn’t.  However, on the latter occasion, I added about 6 drops of stevia liquid (which I picked up in Oz a few years ago and is rapidly nearing its use-by date now) and, et voila, it gave it the perfect lift!  Otherwise, you could just add some rice or maple syrup for that extra edge.  If you’re not nut-free, a tablespoon of nut butter also goes down quite well.

Breakfast or dessert?  Here it is:

Add to the TM bowl and whizz up for 10 seconds / speed 9:

  • A handful or about 100g small ice cubes
  • Zest of an orange (peeled off using a veggie peeler, avoiding the white pith)

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add and whizz up 10 seconds / speed 9:

  • The flesh of the orange used earlier – peel it, discarding the white pith – about 150g
  • 1 average sized banana (about 100g)
  • 1 large or 2 small avocados (about 250g)
  • 30g cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder (or extract, if that’s all you have)
  • 2 tbs wheatgrass powder (ensure the packaging is labelled gluten free)
  • 6 drops stevia liquid* OR rice/maple syrup to personal taste – start with 1 tbs and add to desired sweetness range
  • 1 tbs nut butter (optional)

Scrape down the sides and continue blending for another 30 seconds or more, using the TM spatula to assist, until smooth and creamy.

Serve in small ramekins (makes 6-8 portions) and decorate with desiccated coconut, or chopped nuts, if not nut free.

You won’t need more than one serving, as it’s very filling!

stevia

*2-3 drops of stevia liquid is approximately the sweetness of 1 tsp sugar

Stevia price

Not cheap, but you don’t need much of it. I’ve had this 30ml bottle on the go for 18 months!

 

 

Savoury flapjacks for lunch and/or snacks

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It was such a joy to come across a gluten free cafe last month when we accompanied Mr MaMT on one of his business trips, during the hols.    The owner of the cafe was a nutritional therapist and told us that she liked to put together a healthy, nutrient dense lunch menu at reasonable prices – which was just what we needed when we were on our travels!
Anyway, this savoury flapjack is inspired by the ‘seed jack’ Miss 13yo chose with her large plate of chopped salads, and it’s now something I regularly make and add to my 16yo boy’s lunchbox for a protein punch.  Plus I tell him the zinc from the seeds will help his hormonal skin! 😉.  Miss 13yo might take a slice for her lunch with some side salad and Mr MaMT and I also enjoy a slice with our lunch-time soup, as opposed to the usual bread … Very versatile!
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Mill 10 seconds/ speed 9:
  • 200g mixed seeds (I use a mixture of pumpkin/ sunflower / chia / linseed / sesame)
Set aside.
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Add to bowl and chop 3-5 seconds / speed 6:
  • 200g strong (organic) cheddar, cut into 1cm cubes.  (On one occasion, I even used up some halloumi as no-one would eat it otherwise)
Set aside with the seeds
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Add and give them 3-4 turbo blasts until neatly chopped:
  • 200g roughly chopped mixed veggies (I use cabbage, onion and carrot)
Add and mix 10 seconds/ reverse / speed 4:
  • 2 eggs
  • Ground seeds
  • ‘Grated’ cheese
  • 1 tsp GF baking powder (opt)
  • Mixed herbs of choice
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (opt)
Give the mix a manual stir with the TM spatula, if necessary, then pop into a greaseproof lined 25 x 20 cm tin (approx) and bake 20 minutes / 200 degs
Remove from tin with the baking paper and once cooled a little, cut into 8 rectangular portions.
Refrigerate or freeze and add to your kids’ lunchboxes, as required.

Chunky Pork and Veggie Chilli

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A chunky pork chilli, inspired by this recipe recently.  I’ve added and taken away, tweaked to Thermie standard and absolutely loved every minute I was eating it!  Went down well with the rest of the family too …

Add and chop 3 seconds / speed 7:

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1 red pepper/capsicum, quartered
  • 1 fresh red chilli (or use 1/2 tsp chilli powder with the other dry spices)
  • 2 garlic cloves

Add and cook 5 minutes / 100 degs / reverse / speed 1:

  • 500g pork fillet, free range if poss, diced into 2cm cubes
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

Add and cook 15 minutes / 100 degs / reverse / speed 1:

  • 400g can chopped tomatoes*
  • 400g can chick peas, drained and rinsed*
  • 250g sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1-2cm cubes
  • 40g tomato paste
  • 1 tbs stock paste
  • 20g balsamic vinegar

Add and cook 5 minutes / 100 degs / reverse / speed 1:

  • 400g can of kidney beans, (or other beans of choice) drained and rinsed

Taste and add further seasoning, if required.

Serve with brown/white basmati or cauliflower rice and a side salad.  Very hearty!

Alternatively, you could serve up with corn chips or cornbread.

Tips:

* My family are pretty fussy when it comes to lots of chunky veggies in a dish and Mr MaMT won’t look a chick-pea in the eye, in its natural state, so I tend to whizz up a can of plum tomatoes and chick peas before I start and just set aside to add later with the sweet potato etc.

Cheat’s Gluten Free Loaf

Cheat's gluten free bread (2)-001

While looking through some cut-outs from old copies of the Australian Coeliac mag, I came across a GF bread recipe using Orgran plain flour.  Even though I can order this blend as part of Mr MaMT’s UK GF prescription every few months, I don’t like using it for baking personally, as I find it renders too dry a, and sometimes rubbery, baked product.  However,  I thought I’d put it to the test in this bread recipe!  I refer to it as cheating, as I feel naughty not milling my own grains to make a flour blend. 😋  Anyway, I tweaked around, thermified and came up with this, with a very nice result:

Add to the TM bowl and heat 3 minutes / 37 degs / speed 2:

  • 450g water
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 40g olive oil

Add and mix for a few seconds / speed 3:

  • 1 egg

Add and blend 5 seconds / speed 5:

  • 500g pack Orgran plain flour*
  • 1 generous tsp sea salt

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add and then knead 2 minutes:

  • 20g mixed seeds (I use sunflower and pumpkin)

 

The mix will be like a stiff cake batter – scrape into a grease-proof lined 1kg bread tin and place in a warm spot for 20-30 minutes to rise.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 220 degs f/f.

Bake for 10 minutes then turn down the oven to 180 degs and bake for a further 35 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and slice.  Best eaten fresh, but still okay for a day or two after, wrapped up.  Freeze any remainder – lovely toasted. 😍


* available in the UK on prescription (if Coeliac registered) or from health food stores, or in Australia, of course, from Coles, Woolies etc

Spicy Cabbage Salad

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I can’t get enough of chopped salads at the moment; my favourite being the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook Beetroot and Carrot Salad.  However, for a bit of a change, I thought I’d try the EDC Chinese-Style Cabbage Salad, with my own slant on it (basically, based on what I had in my fridge/pantry).  Indeed, I took it along to a barbecue last week and it was a surprisingly good hit!  Surprisingly so, because I thought it would be too hot for most.  The combination of the ginger and chilli makes for a real fiery kick, so be careful with your spicy generosity and maybe use less chilli or just a few chilli flakes to taste instead, unless, of course, you like having your socks blown off! 😉

Add to TM bowl and chop speed 7 / 2-3 seconds:

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1-2 cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

Add to bowl and mix speed 4 / 5 seconds:

  • 1/2 red chilli (to taste) – or just use some mild chilli flakes if you don’t want it so hot
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 10g sesame seeds
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 10g maple or brown rice syrup
  • 30g apple cider vinegar
  • 50g tamari
  • Squirt of lemon juice

Now add to the bowl and chop speed 5 / 6 seconds with the aid of the spatula:

  • 300g cabbage (I used savoy) OR broccoli, roughly cut up
  • 1 large red capsicum/pepper, quartered

If necessary, scrape down the sides and repeat, ensuring the cabbage is evenly chopped.

Pop into a serving bowl and scatter with some coriander leaves, if you have some!  Goes well with some snags or Beefroot Burgers.

Crusty Hi-Fibre Artisan Bread – FREE FROM gluten, dairy, egg, sugar, nuts and xanthan gum

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Okay, this is a tweaked version of Quirky Cooking’s gluten free artisan bread from her book.  I only prove for about 30 minutes, as we’re not keen on the strong yeast taste I’ve found from proving for longer and/or refrigerating.  If you also want a yeast-free version, see tips at bottom of this post.  Any more ‘free froms’?  I think I’ve just about covered the main ones!

Here goes:

Boil the kettle (not for a cuppa at this stage – time for that when the dough is proving!)

Mill for 30 seconds / speed 9:

  • 30g chia seeds

Tip the chia seeds in a medium sized heat-proof glass bowl, pop on top of the TM bowl with lid in place and measure into the glass bowl:

  • 90g boiling water

Give it a stir to mix in all of the chia flour and leave to ‘gel’ for 5 minutes on the bench-top.

Meanwhile, add to the TM bowl and mill 1 minute / speed 9:

  • 150g brown rice

Set aside

Add to the TM bowl and mill 1 minute / speed 9:

  • 110g sorghum / jowar / juwar seeds (or use the ready-made flour, both available from Indian stores) – see benefits of jowar here

Add to the bowl and sift for 6 seconds / speed 6:

  • 150g freshly ground brown rice flour, from earlier
  • 190g tapioca flour/starch (you can mill your own from the pearls, but they’re never as fine)
  • 2 tbs (about 25g) psyllium powder*
  • 1.5-2 tsp salt (according to taste)

Add to the TM bowl and mix 15 seconds / speed 6, assisting along with the spatula:

  • 120g chia gel
  • 30g olive oil
  • 340g warm water (if you have a couple of bowls, you could weigh and heat separately for 2-3 minutes / 37 deg)
  • 1 tbs dried yeast

The dough should be reasonably stiff to work with by hand, without the addition of extra flour to knead it.

  • Turn the bowl upside down and release the base and blade onto a piece of greaseproof.
  • Scrape the residual dough from the blade and from the inside of the bowl.
  • Now coat the palms of your hands with some olive oil and lightly knead the dough, smoothing and shaping into a ball as you go.
  • Transfer the ball of dough with the greaseproof into a square, (about 20x20cm, BUT 15cm x 15cm x 8cm is even better) and cover with glad-wrap, then pop into the dehydrator for 30 minutes or so at 40 degs.  Equally, you can do this in your oven.
  • Pre-heat oven to 220degs, fan-forced (if using your oven to prove, just switch it directly up from 40 degs to 220 degs, ensuring you remove the glad-wrap first!!).
  • Place some boiling water in a separate baking tray/pyrex onto the bottom shelf.  This creates steam and helps form a good crust.
  • Once the dough has risen, bake in the oven for 60 minutes.  I suggest also covering with foil for the last 20-30 minutes to prevent any burning of the crust (this seems to happen on one side of my oven???).  Next time, I’m going to try covering in a foil ‘tent’ and baking like this for all but the last 10 minutes.
  • Check that it’s cooked by tapping the bottom – it should be browned and sound hollow.  If you think it needs a bit longer, turn it over and allow to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Cool on a wire rack, covered with a clean tea towel to trap the steam and to help soften the crust a little.
  • Once fully cooled, it should slice very nicely!

ImageTips:

  • You can buy psyllium husks (and jowar/juwar seeds) from an Indian store.  I grind a job-lot (ie 100-200g at a time) for 1 minute / speed 9 and pop into a storage jar to use as required.  I’ve been doing this, courtesy of Clever Cook’s great tip in her Paleo e-book!.  I go through quite alot of psyllium, as I try and use less xanthan gum now.  Price-wise, there’s probably not a great deal in it, as I find I have to use more psyllium powder to xanthan gum ratio, but psyllium is a good binder and a more natural product that contains soluble fibre.  Xanthan is purely a binder/emulsifier/thickener, produced as a result of a chemical/fermentation process in a lab environment … If you have time, here’s a great video to watch about psyllium.
  • If you need a yeast free version, substitute the yeast for 1.5 tsp each of bicarb of soda and citric acid.  No need to prove – just bake straight-away.  I have previously made a tweaked yeast-free version, but with baking powder.  However, I think the afore-mentioned combo works better.

Carrot Cake Scones

Carrot cake scones with chia jam and yoghurt1-001

Here’s a gluten free scone with a zesty twist!   This was inspired by a recipe card that arrived with my milk delivery last week and I immediately set about making it gluten free, low fructose friendly and, of course, thermified!   My tribe were gobbling them up like – well – hot scones, so I ended up making a batch four days on the trot!

On the fourth go, I used Orgran plain GF flour, but found I had to add another 100g water, as the dough was too stiff.   This may have been a little too much water, as I then had to use silicone cup forms, as it was harder to shape them as stand-alone scones.   Indeed, with my own ground flour mix, there is no need for any extra props, other than a baking sheet and some greaseproof paper.   I didn’t use xanthan gum either, as the Orgran already contains gum.

They’re best eaten warm on the day – which is quite easy to do, although they’re still good the next day (you could always freshen up in the ‘varoma’ for 5 minutes, or zap in the microwave if you use one.

So, here’s the recipe …

Pre-heat oven to 190 f/f or 200deg non f/f

Thoroughly wash/soak a whole mandarin/satsuma (I soak in hot water and a splash of ACV for 10 minutes).

Mill speed 9 / 1 minute:

  • 210g rice (you can use a blend of brown/white, mixed with buckwheat, quinoa seeds (dry roast first on varoma / 10 mins / speed 1) or you could use some chick-pea flour in the next step, if you wish
  • 30g tapioca (or use tapioca flour in the next step)

Sift together speed 6 / 6 seconds:

  • The 240g Rice/tapioca flour mix
  • 60g potato starch
  • 3 tsp (15g) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp mixed spice

Set aside in another bowl or use a second TM bowl for the next bit.

Whizz up speed 7 / 3 seconds:

  • 1 mandarin/satsuma, quartered, topped and tailed
  • 100-120g carrot, cut into coins

Scrape and repeat for 2-3 seconds.

Add and whizz up speed 6 / 5 seconds:

  • 2 eggs
  • 50g olive oil
  • 20-30g brown rice syrup

Scrape sides and lid down.

Insert butterfly whisk.
Blend 2 mins / speed 3, mc inverted, if possible, to allow some air in, but to keep spitting to a minimum

Remove butterfly and scrape down the sides of the bowl and lid.

Add and whizz up speed 5 / 10 seconds:

  • The flour and spice mix (roughly 340g)

Scrape down, add, then set to closed lid and knead / 30 seconds:

  • 50g raisins or chopped apricots

Spoon out 6 or 7 large blobs (or 9 -10 medium blobs) of dough onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Shape and smooth out the tops and sides with the back of a dessert spoon rinsed in water.  Suggest you have a glass or cup of water at the side of where you’re working and keep dipping the spoon in after smoothing each scone piece.

Bake for 15 minutes or so / 190 f/f or 200 non f/f. 

Serve warm with sugar free chia jam.  I use this one – without the honey – and cashew cream, or for a totally nut free ‘Devonshire Tea’, use coconut cream (you could make your own – see the Quirky Cookbook, if you have one).

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