Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | gluten free | vegan

Mornings are hard. Let’s all acknowledge that and move on because I have found the solution: make a breakfast that you can’t wait to leap out of bed to eat! Cue my latest, and greatest, granola recipe: Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola! Get those bowls and spoons ready folks!Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI got very excited in a health food store the other day. I’m sad to report that this happens quite often, and not just in health food stores. The abundance of awesome new ingredients to try in a different grocery store has me busting into rhyme, and the taste of the first sweet summer peaches can induce worrisome dancing. If you’ve been around me and food, you have seen some manifestation of the excitement that comes from me finding something tasty or new. Anyway, what had me excited this particular afternoon was the discovery of buckwheat flakes! As in, buckwheat kernels that have been rolled into wholesome oat-like flakes, but not oats! As soon as I had a box in my hot little hands I just knew that I wanted them to feature in a new granola recipe.Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis gluten free, vegan granola recipe is an absolute winner and probably my best granola recipe ever. Ever. Just look at those clumps! I love chunky, clumpy granola and this recipe is perfection! It starts with a base of super gluten free grains. The aforementioned buckwheat flakes, which behave like oats in this recipe and provide a super stable base to build on, are joined by buckwheat groats (for super crunch), and raw quinoa. So much the crunch.Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTo these grains of goodness (actually, both buckwheat and quinoa are seeds) we add walnuts, chia seeds, mashed banana, a touch of maple syrup, cocoa powder, and a dash of instant espresso powder because some mornings we need to put the coffee in our breakfast as well. Granola is one of the best things to make for yourself. Not only do you save money but you can customise it to suit your tastebuds. This granola was exactly what my tastebuds wanted. It’s crunchy and interesting, every bite brings something different. There’s crispy bits and the slightly chocolaty binding holding it all together and it’s a not too sweet a start to your morning. I paired mine with tart protein-rich Greek yoghurt and some sweet seasonal blueberries. It’s also great for snacking on, or for dessert with a sneaky square or two of dark chocolate.

Come on folks, take back your mornings and get a great start with my Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola!Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola

Gluten free | Vegan | Makes about 5 cups | Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Note: If you do not require a gluten free diet, or you can buy certified gluten free oats where you live, you can substitute the buckwheat flakes for 1 cup of rolled oats.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat flakes (see note)
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats (kernels)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 large banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons rice bran oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup banana chips (about 100 grams)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C (320F) and line a large, rimmed, baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl mix together buckwheat flakes, buckwheat groats, quinoa, walnuts, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa powder until very well mixed.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together mashed banana, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and instant coffee powder until very well blended.
  4. Pour wet mixture over dry blend and mix well with a wooden spoon until there are no pockets of dry mixture.
  5. Spread out over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the wooden spoon. This will help the clumps to form.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Switch the position of the tray halfway through baking time to ensure everything browns evenly.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. Once cooled, break into clumps and mix banana chips through the granola.
  9. Store or serve and enjoy!

Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

If you are looking for more granola inspiration check out these delicious nibbles around the ‘net:

Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free

Today we are spending the day with our friends Lynn and Matt in Philadelphia! But I remembered to bake you a few delicious morsels that you could enjoy while Chris and I are off on our grand USA adventure! Today I’m bringing you these tender, spiced muffins studded with creamy pistachios. Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy latest career aspiration: become The Muffin Woman. You know, the one who lives on Drury Lane? Okay, I don’t live on Drury Lane, but maybe I can become The Muffin Woman. Or the muffin and cookie woman? Or the muffin, cookie, and way-too-many-quinoa-salads woman? I think I’ll just stick with Moonlighting Food Blogger Woman. Who also happens to make lots of muffins. Because make muffins I do.Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI baked these beauties one Friday night in anticipation of a sweet, slow breakfast the next morning. The smell of baking spice and brown sugar wafting through the house was so tempting – and I managed to only gobble one of them down when they came out of the oven. The combination of creamy pistachios and hearty spiced chai is delightful and these muffins are definitely better on the second day. The spices settle and become more pronounced when they are cooled down, and the tops become slightly crispy-chewy while the crumb stays moist, fluffy, and soft. The chai taste here comes not from a mix of spices, but directly from the tea bag! You just cut open two chai tea bags and add them directly to the batter – direct flavour delivery!Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWhile these muffins taste decadent, they are actually secretly healthy! There’s only 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 3 tablespoons of oil in the whole recipe! The secret to great-tasting healthier muffins is to amp up the spice factor, and these Pistachio Chai Muffins deliver! They are also kept moist by a healthy dose of Greek yoghurt in the batter – another healthy muffin making secret. Pistachios are one of my favourite nuts, and these creamy green delights are both mixed into the batter and sprinkled on top. Put the kettle on my friends, pour yourself some chai and make a batch of muffins today!Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Pistachio Chai Muffins

Makes 12 muffins | Gluten Free | Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two months

Ingredients

  • 80 grams sorghum flour
  • 80 grams white rice flour
  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek (or natural) yoghurt
  • 3 tablespoons rice bran oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons shelled pistachios

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and oil a 12-hole (1/3 cup) muffin tin very thoroughly.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together sorghum flour, white rice flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the contents of the two tea bags.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together milk, yoghurt, oil, vanilla essence, egg and brown sugar until very well combined.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add 1/3 cup of pistachios and mix until distributed.
  5. Divide mixture evenly between holes in pre-oiled muffin tin.
  6. Roughly chop extra two tablespoons pistachios and sprinkle over the top of the uncooked muffins.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly touched.
  8. Remove muffins from the oven and allow them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. To remove easily run a thin-bladed knife around the baked muffins to loosen them from the tin.
  9. Serve with a cup of chai!

Pistachio Chai Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Rum and Raisin Brownies with Brown Sugar Rum Frosting | gluten free

Rum is the rebels drink. I like to think of these as the rebel’s brownies. Rum and raisin taken out of the chocolate wrapper and baked into chewy, rum-soaked raisin and bittersweet chocolate gluten free brownies, and then there’s the brown sugar and rum frosting. Yo ho ho.Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeDear Mum,

I think we’ve had a good run of non-rebelliousness these past few decades. I didn’t steal your car keys or money from your wallet. I was a teenager who enjoyed showering and personal hygiene. I didn’t get so much as my ears pierced until I was 24. But my sweet Mama, times they are a-changing because today I’m rebelling against one of your strictest rules: no dried fruit in chocolate baked goods. I know this might see me written out of the will, but you have to believe me: it’s worth it.Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeYou see the raisins are plumped up in a bit of vanilla rum and then folded into midnight chocolate brownie batter. They bake up chewy and moist. Each bite is punctuated by sweet rum-soaked raisins and bittersweet chocolate chunks. And then, because you always taught me that more is more when it comes to desserts, these chewy, rummy brownies are frosted with brown sugar rum frosting. Mother dearest, this frosting is everything. It’s rum-enhanced evenings under Caribbean skies, dark midnight snacks by the refrigerator light, all the merriest of moments in one fluffy brown sugar mouthful. These are pirate trap brownies, desert island cookie jar brownies, totally over-the-top Friday night brownie-instead-of-a-cocktail brownies. I hope you can see it in your heart to forgive me some day. Until then, I will be sitting in the corner with a chocolate stained smile and rum-sticky fingers.

Love, your oldest daughter.Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeDear Dad,

I got your back. Eat these in the shed and don’t share with Molly.

Love, your oldest ratbag.Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Rum and Raisin Brownies with Brown Sugar Rum Frosting

Gluten Free | Makes 16 pirate-sized brownies | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla rum (Sailor Jerry is our household favourite)
  • 35 grams white rice flour
  • 40 grams buckwheat flour
  • 3o grams (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 150 grams good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150 grams butter, chopped
  • 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup  chocolate chips (milk or dark)

For the frosting

  • 100 grams butter, softened
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla rum
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line an 8-inch (20cm) square tin with baking paper.
  2. Place raisins in a small bowl and pour over rum. Allow to sit while you prepare the brownie batter.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together white rice flour, buckwheat flour, and cocoa powder.
  4. Place chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second blasts, whisking well in between blasts, until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth (mine only took 1 minute total, but it will differ depending on your microwave). Allow to cool slightly.
  5. Whisk eggs lightly and add to the chocolate mixture along with caster sugar, vanilla extract and whisked dry ingredients. Stir until smooth.
  6. Add raisins and any leftover soaking liquid and chocolate chips and mix until distributed.
  7. Pour batter into prepared baking tin and bake in preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes back with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  8. Allow brownies to cool completely before frosting.
  9. To make the frosting place all ingredients into the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can use a large bowl and a handheld mixer instead) and beat until light and fluffy. Smooth frosting over the cooled brownies, cut and serve.

Rum and Raisin Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | gluten free | vegan

You need to make these tonight. Spicy peanut sauce coats zucchini noodles stuffed inside sweet roasted capsicums for a vegan, gluten free dinner that tastes sinful, but is secretly healthy – and super easy!Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI love peanut sauce dishes. You can just put another notch in the ‘Things Amy loves that contain Peanuts’ list that I’m sure everyone is keeping. Basically the list reads: everything. If there is a way to add peanut butter to a dish I will find it. This dish is no exception. The peanut sauce that coats the zucchini noodles is everything a peanut sauce should be: deeply peanutty with a hint of sweetness, a dash of astringency, and a good dose of spice. I have so many memories of a peanut satay sauce that my sister and I were both in love with during high school. I don’t think either Mum or Dad were particularly fond of it, but they let us ride out our teenage cravings. Plus, they were getting dinner cooked for them, so I guess that was a win on their behalf 😉Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeFast forward to today and I’d much rather create my own sauces than get them from a bottle – it’s all about customisation, and avoiding any unnecessary additives, right? And making your own spicy peanut sauce is easier than getting the ‘safety plastic’ off a shop bought bottle. Anyone else unable to get that stuff off? Just me? Moving on.

These roasted capsicums are fancy enough to serve to company, but easy enough for everyday, and while the peanut sauce is decadent, they are actually quite healthy! Rather than using noodles I made zucchini ‘noodles’ and coated them in the peanut butter sauce then stuffed them inside the roasted capsicums. Result: delicious and healthy.Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe spicy, savoury peanut sauce coated noodles are a great contrast to the sweet roasted capsicums. And the capsicums act as perfect containment for every single drip of peanut sauce. You can’t let that deliciousness escape!Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis dish comes together in six simple steps:

  1. Cut capsicums in half and remove seeds.
  2. Bake.
  3. Prepare noodles and sauce and mix.
  4. Stuff capsicums.
  5. Bake again.
  6. Serve.

Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeFor those six simple steps you are rewarded with layers of flavour in every single bite. To take this to the next level I couldn’t help but garnish it with extra salted peanuts and some chopped spring onions for a little extra crunch. Every bite is a mouthful of molten sweet roasted capsicum, spicy peanut sauce soaked zucchini noodles, crispy spring onions and salty-crunchy peanuts. It’s everything a Wednesday night needs without being so heavy you want to hibernate for the rest of the week. Bonus: your kitchen will smell like the best Asian restaurant in town as these flavours mingle in the oven.Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums

Gluten free | Vegan | Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a light meal or appetiser | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium size red capsicums (bell peppers)
  • 1 large zucchini (or 2 medium)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (ensure this is gluten free)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • Sprinkle of chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/3 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Cut your capsicums in half and remove the core and seeds. I like to leave the little green tops because I think they look cute.
  3. Place capsicum halves cut side down in an ovenproof baking dish. Mine was about 6 x 8 inches.
  4. Bake capsicums for 20 minutes and then remove from the oven.
  5. While the capsicums are baking, prepare your filling.
  6. Using a vegetable spiraliser or a julienne peeler create long thin ‘noodles’ from your zucchini.
  7. Crush garlic into a medium mixing bowl and whisk together with peanut butter, lime juice, brown sugar, grated ginger, and chili flakes.
  8. Toss zucchini ‘noodles’ with peanut sauce gently but thoroughly until they are coated in the mixture.
  9. Pile zucchini into capsicum halves. Spoon any extra sauce over the noodles.
  10. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until the tops of the noodles are golden.
  11. Remove capsicums from oven. Toss together salted peanuts and spring onions and top the capsicum halves.
  12. Serve with a green salad and enjoy!

Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Six Salads Perfect For Spring Lunches

Sometimes I make myself a little sick by eating too much cookie dough, or buttercream, or ice cream, or…anyway, you know how it goes. Luckily I am also just as in love with big green leafy things, nutty grains, and fresh food straight from the earth, or the farmer’s market. Now that spring has come barrelling in here with an explosion of green from the earth and skies so blue they make your heart ache when you are trapped inside an office, it’s time to break out some of my favourite lunch box salads!

Here, in no particular order, are six of my favourite spring-perfect gluten free and vegetarian salads! Green is always in fashion darlings 😉Six Salads for Spring | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Number One: Parsley, Chickpea, Avocado, and Greens Salad. Big, green, fresh and full of all of my favourite flavours. Parsley, Chickpea, Avocado, and Greens Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNumber Two: Apple, Celery, and Walnut Salad with Mustard Dressing. Crispy, crunchy and sweet with a mustard and yoghurt dressing. Fill me up!Apple Celery Walnut Salad 1Number Three: Moroccan Roasted Pumpkin and Quinoa Salad. Hearty quinoa salad with a generous dose of exotic spice and sweet roasted pumpkin. Moroccan Pumpkin and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNumber Four: Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad. Golden-skinned pears coupled with salty feta, hearty quinoa, and toasty walnuts – you can’t go wrong.Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNumber Five: Summer Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad with Soft-Boiled Eggs. This is a great dinner salad: nutty brown rice pairs with fresh seasonal vegetables and protein-rich drippy soft-boiled eggs.Summer Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad with Soft-Boiled Eggs | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNumber Six: Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad. Sweet, plump fresh berries paired with salty grilled haloumi in a hearty quinoa based salad. My new favourite and it practically sings of spring!Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.com

There you have my six picks for a healthy, gluten free, vegetarian spring lunch. Make your colleagues jealous and pack a big luscious green lunch today!

Tell me, dear readers, what’s your favourite salad combination? Or what’s something weird that you love in salad? Mine: I loved tinned, vinegary beetroot and sometimes I sneak a few pieces onto the side of my salad no matter what else is in the bowl!

Coffee Cardamom Cake | Gluten Free

Warmly spiced gluten free coffee cake with sweet coffee and butter glaze.This moist cake is perfect when paired with a cup of your favourite brew, and a friend or two to share it with.Coffee Cardamom Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI made this cake to celebrate my friend Lynn‘s 30th birthday! This week my sweet baking and blogging buddy celebrates her birthday – and you can’t have a birthday without a birthday cake! Lynn and I bonded over our love of baking science, the colour orange, cardamom, anything ending in -oatmeal cookie or beginning in lemon poppyseed. And in two weeks Chris and I get to meet Lynn and her incredible husband Matt for the first time! I’m sure there will be lots of celebrating while we are taking a local’s tour of Philadelphia, but I just had to celebrate my sweet bloggy friend’s birthday with a cake, which probably wouldn’t pack very well!Coffee Cardamom Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeLynn makes no secret of her love of coffee, and we are both massive fans of the sometimes under-used cardamom. This cake has a decent dose of each, and is sweetened only with brown sugar, which contributes moistness and an extra depth to this simple, but celebration-worthy coffee cake. Sometimes coffee cakes can be a little dry, but the brown sugar in this cake, along with the Greek yoghurt keep it nice and moist, and the coffee and butter glaze that tops the cooled cake gives a final touch of moisture and sweet coffee crackle. This gluten free cake is so simple to put together. Just creaming, beating, stirring, baking, and frosting. Simple but perfect. Coffee Cardamom Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSimple though this cake might be, its simplicity is deceptive. I cut myself a slice to taste the cake before taking the remains to work, but I found myself returning not long after I’d finished that first slice for just ‘one more piece’. If you are a ‘one more sliver’ person who finds herself standing bathed in refrigerator light cutting perfectly straight lines with her fork, then this cake is dangerous to you – and so worth making! Everything about this cake is classic but perfect. Take it with you to a morning tea, or bake it up for your next celebration, this cake is simple sweet heaven.

Happy birthday Lynn! Coffee Cardamom Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Coffee Cardamom Cake

Gluten Free | Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 80 grams buckwheat flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 125 grams butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150 grams (3/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Greek/natural yoghurt

For the frosting

  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup walnuts

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and butter and line an 8-inch (20cm) round cake tin. Set aside until required.
  2. Mix together coffee and warm water and set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, white rice flour, baking powder, and cardamom.
  4. In the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl using a handmixer) beat together butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.
  5. Add cooled coffee mixture and vanilla extract and beat in.
  6. Mix in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions.
  7. Beat in flour in two additions, alternating with the yoghurt.
  8. Pour batter into prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes back clean.
  9. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
  10. To make the frosting dissolve coffee in milk. Place in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment along with the butter and icing sugar. Beat until smooth.
  11. Frost the top of the cooled cake and top with the walnuts.

Coffee Cardamom Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Grilled Zucchini and Green Bean Brown Rice Salad with Harissa-Honey Dressing

It’s officially the second day of spring! Let’s make a hearty salad perfect for welcoming the warmer weather and getting our bodies ready for the summer months. This salad features grilled zucchini, crispy green beans, nutty brown rice and a spicy-sweet harissa and honey dressing. Flavoursome, filling, and sturdy it’s perfect for filling lunchboxes all week long. Grilled Zucchini and Green Bean Brown Rice Salad with Harissa-Honey Dressing | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeBeing told by your doctor that you aren’t allowed to eat veggies, fruit or wholegrains for three days might seem like heaven to some people. Yay: bring on the white bread, white pasta, ice cream! But for me, last week’s restricted diet was a nightmare. So when I woke up on Saturday morning all I could think about was making big luscious, green and grain filled salads to wake my body up again and get my eating back on track.  This spicy, hearty salad was just what the doctor  blogger ordered!Grilled Zucchini and Green Bean Brown Rice Salad with Harissa-Honey Dressing | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeGreen beans were abundant at the greengrocer on the weekend and I helped myself to a large bag of them because nothing beats the crunch of a green bean snack while I’m cooking, and they are so versatile! I love grilled green beans because the outside gets a little crispy while the inside stays totally fresh and snapable. Zucchini is very sweet around this time of year as the season begins and it begs to be thrown on my little grill pan for just a few minutes to soften and char. Grilled Zucchini and Green Bean Brown Rice Salad with Harissa-Honey Dressing | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe best thing about this salad though is the two finishing touches that bring a big boost of flavour to this hearty green bowl. Firstly, we have a spicy harissa and honey dressing that soaks into each grain of rice and is the perfect partner to crunchy sweet spring greens. Secondly, we finish the salad with a chopped mix of parsley and salty, crumbled feta. Taste explosion! Make a big batch of this gorgeous green salad and eat liberally to celebrate the coming warmer weather, the jacaranda trees that are starting to show signs of life outside my window, and the pure green light that filtered through my weekend walks last weekend. I’m so happy spring is here! I’m going to eat some more salad to celebrate!Grilled Zucchini and Green Bean Brown Rice Salad with Harissa-Honey Dressing | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Grilled Zucchini and Green Bean Brown Rice Salad with Harissa-Honey Dressing

Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Serves 2 very generously. Easily multiplied | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 large handfuls of green beans
  • 1 spring onion
  • 3 cups butter lettuce (or other greens)

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 teaspoon harissa (I used dried, you can use paste instead)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the topping:

  • 50 grams Greek feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup (packed) flat parsley leaves

Method

  1. Place brown rice and vegetable stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook without stirring for 30 minutes or until rice is al dente. Drain off any excess liquid, place in a large bowl, and allow rice to come to room temperature.
  2. Chop zucchini into coins about 0.5cm thick and top and tail beans. Heat olive oil in a grill pan over medium heat and add zucchini coins and beans in a single layer. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until softened but not sloppy. Turn over and cook for a further minute or two. Drain on some paper towel and cool to room temperature. Then add to the bowl with the rice.
  3. Slice green onion into thin slices and place in the bowl with the cooled vegetables and rice.
  4. Tear lettuce into large pieces and add to bowl. Toss salad thoroughly.
  5. To make dressing whisk all ingredients together and then pour over the salad.
  6. For the feta topping mix together feta and parsley leaves and pile on top of your salad.
  7. Divide salad between two plates, ensuring both get a decent amount of the feta topping.

Grilled Zucchini and Green Bean Brown Rice Salad with Harissa-Honey Dressing | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan

This fusion of flavours creates a bowl of creamy, savoury broth filled with zucchini noodles, quinoa, corn and spring onions that will have you begging for seconds. And it’s perfect for weeknight meals – you can have this gluten free, vegan meal on the table in under 20 minutes!Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOur new neighbourhood smells good. Not just like night breezes stirring jasmine into the air good, but like ‘I want to eat whatever our neighbours/the people down the road/that amazing looking restaurant is making tonight’ good. In less than five minutes no matter what we are craving Chris and I can find cuisine from all over the world. There is a cluster of shops down the road from us that are all Korean: coffee shops, supermarket, barbecue, and amazing takeaway. Then there’s the larger intersection that is suburban dining bliss with cuisine from India, various Chinese provinces, Japanese (not just sushi), and a random Italian restaurant. Our neighbourhood smells awesome. But, being mostly reasonable people (unless there happens to be chocolate ice cream in the house), we try to limit our takeaway and dining out to once a week for the good of our wallets and our wardrobes.Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeLiving in this divine smelling neighbourhood has made me more interested in combining interesting flavours and branching out from my usual Mediterranean/Australian slanted cooking. I’m taking baby steps to find new ingredients in not only our local big chain supermarket but also in the little ethnically themed grocery stores that are all over our neighbourhood. I’m inspired to take the new flavours and marry them with old, comforting familiar flavours – and give them the Thoroughly Nourished Life healthy twist.Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis weekend started some new flavour adventures with my acquisition of some white miso. I’ve only rarely had miso soup in the past (sometimes it is neither gluten free nor vegetarian) but I found a brand in our local store that fits my requirements! I was inspired to create my own version of this recipe that would be perfect for umami craving nights when takeaway tempts from outside the door.Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI used zucchini noodles for that all important slurp factor, fresh sweet spring corn, heapings of garlic, and added some quinoa for garnish and extra protein. This soup was ready in under 20 minutes and the flavour combination delivered big time! Tahini contributes a creaminess without the heaviness of cream and with the added health benefits of being high in calcium and other nutrients. Miso is the ultimate background umami and savoury flavour: deeply satisfying and hits all the flavour buttons we are searching for when sometimes we crave not-so-good-for-us foods. I slurped up a big bowl of zucchini noodles and savoured the creamy, savoury broth with its garnish of quinoa, spring onions, and sesame seeds. I can’t wait to make this again!

This soup is really adaptable to whatever you have in your fridge too. If you don’t have leftover quinoa you could use leftover rice or millet. If you have omnivores in your house this would go wonderfully with some cooked, shredded chicken. Just get ready to slurp up your zucchini noodles and beg for more!Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2 (easily multiplied)

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup white miso paste (ensure this is gluten free)
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cob of corn
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa (or other leftover grain)
  • 1/3 cup chopped spring onions (about 1 spring onion)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Method

  1. Use a julienne peeler or vegetable spiralizer to turn your zucchini into long thin ‘noodles’. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Crush garlic and saute until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Increase heat to medium. Add miso, tahini and water and cook until miso and tahini are dissolved, about three minutes.
  4. Add zucchini noodles and cook until they start to soften, about three or four minutes.
  5. Chop kernels from the cob of corn and add to the broth. Cook for another two minutes.
  6. Divide between two bowls and garnish with cooked quinoa, spring onions and sesame seeds.

Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Melting Moments | Gluten Free

Sweet, buttery, crumbly gluten free shortbread biscuits sandwiched together with lemon buttercream. These Melting Moments are the perfect tea-time, or anytime, treat!Melting Moments | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeShortbread is magic, don’t you think? It has so few ingredients but they all come together to create something magical. I think it has something to do with the butter, but then I have a Danish mum so butter is pretty much considered its own food group in my family home. Shortbread is a reminder that the simplest things are often the best, and then you have shortbread’s slightly more jazzy cousin: the melting moment. The melting moment takes the buttery love to the next level of awesomeness and celebrates butter with abandon in one tiny little cookie package.Melting Moments | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMelting Moments are another baked treat that take me back to childhood days baking with Mum or Dad. These little cookies are great for making with kids because they only use a few simple techniques, and kids love rolling the dough into balls and pressing the tops with a fork. And everyone loves sneaking a few tasty bites of dough while they thing no-one is looking (not that this ever happens in my kitchen..ahem…). Melting Moments | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMelting Moments are wonderful because they are so customisable. I filled mine with a light lemon buttercream this time, but they are just as great sandwiched together with vanilla or raspberry buttercream, or passionfruit curd. One of my aunties makes spectacular passionfruit melting moments that are always a hit at family gatherings.

Shortbread’s ‘short’ texture – crumbly and slightly sandy – comes from the absence of water or watery ingredients such as milk or eggs in the recipe. Without water the proteins present in the flours cannot develop so instead of an elastic cookie dough you get a ‘short’, buttery, crumbly textured biscuit. In a gluten free shortbread this crumbly texture is helped along by the lower levels of protein in many common, naturally gluten free flours such as rice flour and cornflour, which I’ve used in my recipe.

Melting Moments | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese biscuits are easy to make, and there’s no waiting for the dough to chill (except maybe on the hottest of summer days) so these bake up quickly from the first whir of your standmixer. Perfect for nibbling alongside your favourite cup of tea or sharing with some friends. I took mine to work and they were gone within an hour! Treat yourself to a buttery, sandy cookie and bake up some melting moments today!Melting Moments | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Melting Moments

Gluten Free | Makes 15 sandwiched cookies

Ingredients

For the melting moments

  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 80 grams sorghum flour
  • 65 grams white rice flour
  • 75 grams cornflour (ensure this is gluten free)
  • 250 grams butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (ensure this is gluten free)

For the lemon buttercream

  • 100 grams butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 cups icing sugar (ensure this is gluten free)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C (325F) and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, and cornflour.
  3. In the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter, vanilla extract and icing sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Turn mixer speed to to low and beat in whisked flour mixture until well combined.
  5. Lightly flour your hands with some cornflour and roll teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on lined baking sheets about 3cm apart.
  6. Once all of the dough is rolled press down lightly on the top of each ball with a fork.
  7. Bake biscuits for 12-15 minutes, rotating trays halfway through baking time. Once the biscuits are cooked, allow them to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.
  8. While the biscuits are cooling, make the buttercream. Place all ingredients into a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  9. Sandwich biscuits together with buttercream and serve. Leftovers will keep up to four days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Melting Moments | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free

Delectable, double chocolate cookie cups that are easy to make, quick to bake, and delicious to eat. These gluten free cookie cups are a great last-minute chocolate treat!Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe unwavering support and belief of your partner no matter what your creative pursuit is a precious thing, but it can get downright frustrating when you are a blogger with a list of ‘must try recipes’ a thousand pages long (not kidding) and you can’t make up your mind what to make next. In fact, you may feel like picking up your favourite cookie sheet and applying it to said partner’s head when he shrugs and says ‘everything you make is good’. That is not an answer that a chocolate-starved mad woman wants to hear on a Wednesday night when she needs something to make for dessert with her in-laws on Friday.Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeLuckily Jessica from Sweetest Menu was there to save me, the cookie sheet, and Chris’s head (love you babe). One of the first photos to greet me this morning was Jessica’s post about her delectable and charming Chocolate M&M Cookie Cups. I just knew these chewy chocolate cookie treats were the perfect sweet treat to take with us to Chris’s parents.

These delightful cookies mix up like any basic cookie recipe, but instead of waiting for them to chill so that you don’t get molten cookie disaster (this happens to me all the time because I am super impatient, not that you’ve noticed that by now…), you bake them in a well-greased muffin tin. This ensures that each cookie has that thickness that is so desirable. Cooking these cookies in a muffin tin also ensure crispy edges on every cookie. Crispy edges + thickness + soft, pillowy, chocolate-filled centre = cookie monster win.Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI cannot wait to make these cookie cups again, and I can only imagine all the other incarnations these cups might take. If you are new to gluten free baking, these are a great place to start, and this is a wonderful recipe to make with kids (they nestle perfectly inside little lunchboxes). If you’re making these for a special occasion dessert you might want to pile them up with a little ice cream too…just a suggestion….Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

Gluten Free | Makes 12 cookie cups | Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days

Ingredients

  • 50 grams buckwheat flour
  • 50 grams sorghum flour
  • 40 grams white rice flour
  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 115 grams butter, softened
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 70 grams (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (plus extra for decorating)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and grease a 12-hole muffin tin very thoroughly.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and cornflour. Set aside until required.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy. About 3 minutes.
  4. Add egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure thorough mixing.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low and add whisked dry ingredients. Beat until the batter starts to form a sturdy dough. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to help everything come together into a thick, cookie dough consistency.
  6. Switch to a wooden spoon and mix in the white chocolate chips.
  7. Divide dough between holes in muffin tin.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes. The edges should look puffed and the middles will have sunken a little. Decorate with extra white chocolate chips while still warm from the oven. Allow cookies to cool completely in the tin.
  9. Remove from tin when cool and devour!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life