Chimichurri Quinoa Salad |vegetarian | gluten free

The star of this hearty summer salad is most definitely the dressing. A triple-threat of bright and flavoursome herbs with a splash of lime juice this chimichurri inspired dressing soaks into every bite and unites all the other ingredients in summery perfection.Chimichurri Quinoa Salad | vegetarian | gluten free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeChris and I arrived in New Orleans after a very long day of travelling. Our lovely Air BnB host Georgia recognised two weary and hungry travellers and took us on a tour of the neighbourhood, which ended at the gorgeous St. Roch Market.St Roch Market New Orleans | Thoroughly Nourished LifeIf you are staying anywhere in the St. Roch neighbourhood or nearby, you need to stop by the marketplace. Walking inside you are welcomed by a line up of vendors on either side of the historic building each offering a different taste experience or regional cuisine. Chris fell in love with the ‘Dirty Mac and Cheese’, which features smoked gouda, crawfish, and bacon. My heart, however, belonged to the team at JuiceNOLA from the very first bite of their Greek Goddess Salad. When I tasted their Chimi Chimi Bang Bang Salad for lunch one day, and had to return for a second round at dinnertime that night, I knew I had to find a way to keep getting this salad in my face when I returned home.Chimichurri Quinoa Salad | vegetarian | gluten free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Chimichurri Quinoa Salad | vegetarian | gluten free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe base of this salad is quinoa and your favourite green. I used oak leaf lettuce because I have a serious leafy green crush on it that will never end. To this you add butter beans. The team at JuiceNOLA used black beans so mix it up as you wish. The magic is in the dressing. Chimichurri is essentially a mix of parsley, coriander, chives, and basil with a spark of bright acidic sharpness and garlic. It is absolutely what makes this salad such a stand-out.Chimichurri Quinoa Salad | vegetarian | gluten free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe magic dressing aside, there are just so many bits and pieces in this salad that make every nibble unique and moreish. Into our solid base of quinoa + greens + beans we add chopped roasted capsicums and a healthy dose of pumpkin seeds. Toss everything together with the dressing and make sure all the nooks and crannies are coated in green deliciousness, and then top the bowl with avocado and feta. I may not be in New Orleans anymore, but I can bring some JuiceNOLA magic to work in my lunchbox everyday!Chimichurri Quinoa Salad | vegetarian | gluten free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Chimichurri Quinoa Salad

Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 3 generously | Leftovers will keep for up to two days in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/2 head of oak leaf lettuce (or 4 cups of your favourite greens)
  • 400 gram can butter beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted capsicum
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1/3 cup crumbed feta

For the chimichurri dressing

  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or use oil from roasted capsicums)

Method

  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly and place in a medium saucepan with vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then cover with the saucepan lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and let the quinoa stand, covered, for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Cool to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.
  2. While the quinoa is cooling, prepare the dressing. Place basil, coriander, parsley, chives, lime juice, garlic, and olive oil into the bowl of a small food processor. Process until everything is finely chopped and then pulse until pureed.
  3. To assemble the salad place cooled quinoa, lettuce, butter beans, roasted capsicum, pumpkin seeds and dressing into a large bowl. Pour chimichurri dressing over the top and then toss gently but thoroughly until everything is well mixed and coated in dressing.
  4. Thinly slice the avocado and place on top of the salad. Crumble feta over salad and serve.

Chimichurri Quinoa Salad | vegetarian | gluten free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Sauce | gluten free

Today we are exploring New York City and discovering all the tastes this vast city has to offer. While I’m out and about, enjoy these hearty vegetarian burgers!

Juicy, hearty, spicy vegetarian burgers full of flavour and topped with a cool and spicy sriracha sauce. Get out your buns and let’s get grilling!Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Sauce | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeVegetarian burgers don’t always get the best reviews. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a commercially made vegetarian burger because they always just seem so lackluster and like they are trying to be meat. You aren’t meat, Miss Vego Burger, you are a vegetarian burger and you need to celebrate your uniqueness and embrace your true personality! Down with the burger patriarchy! Ahem.

When Yum. Gluten Free Magazine contacted me to contribute to their burger issue I jumped at the chance to create a vegetarian burger that could proudly stand on it’s own two feet and declare – yes, I am a vegetarian burger and I have a lot to offer the world of flavour! I attempted to Oprah the burger. Yes, Oprah can be used as a verb.Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Sauce | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Sauce | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe thing with meat is that it is layered and complex and contributes lots of umami flavours by virtue of the glutamine (an essential amino acid) found in muscle. Take away the muscle, and you need to add that umami back in, and bump up all the other flavours to create a whole vegetarian burger experience that doesn’t feel like second place. So, we are bringing soy sauce into the picture to contribute umami, cumin for a deep background flavour, and sriracha and chili flakes for top level heat (reduce/omit to tone down the spice).Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Sauce | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe body of these burgers is made up of black beans and quinoa. Black beans are sensationally hearty and make a wonderful base for a burger when coupled with quinoa. When you bite into my hearty, wholesome vegetarian burgers you get spicy, umami, hefty burger, creamy avocado, and spicy cool sriracha yoghurt. Every bite is full of flavour. There’s nothing weak, wimpy, or second place about these vegetarian burgers. Stand in your truth Miss Vego Burger and embrace your natural beauty. Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Sauce | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Sauce

Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Makes 4, easily multiplied

Preparation Time: 45 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Tip: If you don’t want these burgers to be quite as spicy you can leave out the sriracha and the red chili.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup black beans (approximately 400gram tin)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ red chilli, finely diced
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves
  • 1/3 cup quinoa flakes

To serve:

  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha (plus extra to serve)
  • 4 gluten free hamburger buns
  • Lettuce leaves

Method

  1. Place quinoa and vegetable stock in a medium size saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil. Allow quinoa to boil for 5 minutes, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain thoroughly, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Drain tinned black beans and rinse. Place some paper towels on a rimmed baking sheet and spread beans out to drain completely.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and line a rimmed baking sheet with baking paper.
  4. Place one cup cooled quinoa and half the drained black beans in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a chunky paste starts to form.
  5. Place paste into a bowl and add cumin soy sauce, sriracha, pepper, egg, onion, chilli, coriander, quinoa, and remaining beans and quinoa and mix thoroughly to combine.
  6. Form batter into four patties and press down slightly to flatten.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then turn patties over and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  8. Mash avocado with a little salt and pepper and lime juice.
  9. Mix sriracha with Greek yoghurt.
  10. To assemble: slice buns and place lettuce on each. Top with a spicy black bean burger, a dollop of mashed avocado and a serving of sriracha yoghurt.

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Sauce | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | 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!

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

Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian

Bright sweet strawberries contrast salty pan-fried haloumi, crunchy peppery rocket, and creamy pistachios in this hearty but light vegetarian, gluten free salad.Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comYesterday was People’s Day and the Brisbane EKKA Show Holiday (for non-Aussies, that’s the agricultural show that comes to our city – we get a day off!) and I was happy to fill my day with bright shiny things that did not include battling crowds to buy showbags, stare longingly at the famous strawberry ice creams, and feel exhausted by humanity at the end of the day after finally finding my car again. Instead, I started off with a run, made and photographed three new recipes, saw ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ with Mum, Jess and Chris, updated my profile photos, and watched an interesting documentary. Now that’s my kind of day off. As we lay in bed last night, drifting off to sleep, I felt like we had distilled the weekend into a perfect 24 hours. I think I could get used to a midweek-weekend every week of the year!Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comThis luscious power house salad was one of the recipes I worked on yesterday. I was so tempted to eat the whole bowl as soon as I had photographed it – and it wasn’t even 10am yet! Every part of this salad is a talented and tasty ingredient on its own. Together they are showstopping.Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comSweet, plump winter strawberries are the first starring ingredient. I am enchanted by our strawberries at the moment. We are at the height of winter berry season and the strawberries are sweet deep rubies on sale in large quantities wherever you turn. I’ve never put strawberries into a savoury application before, but I loved these cherries in my salad earlier in the year, and after cramming a few kilos straight into my mouth I wanted to celebrate these strawberries in their very own salad. Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comSweet strawberries are complemented by salty grilled haloumi in the best way possible. Every sweet bite is met by a partnering step of salty, umami in a dance that dazzles tastebuds – it’s this combination that had me running back to the kitchen for seconds last night! Peppery rocket is a great background and quinoa keeps this salad hearty. The finishing touch: sweet and creamy pistachios, which provide the perfect occasional crunch and surprisingly hold their own against the bold strawberries and haloumi. To tie all of these together I’ve tweaked one of my favourite vinagrettes: based on balsamic vinegar and sweetened with just a touch of strawberry jam! Trust me, it works deliciously!Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.comI’m not going to wait for our next public holiday to make another big batch of this moreish salad! I might not be able to have a four day week every week, but I can conjure up my own sunshine by filling my lunchbox with delicious Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad.
Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad

Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Serves 3 as a light meal | Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to three days.

Note: I used white quinoa, but you can use whatever colour you have on hand.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 punnet of strawberries (250 grams)
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 180 grams haloumi
  • 6 cups baby rocket leaves
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon strawberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Place quinoa and vegetable stock in a medium size saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil. Allow quinoa to boil for 5 minutes, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain thoroughly, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. While quinoa is cooling, dice haloumi into small cubes. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry haloumi until golden. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature while you make the dressing.
  3. To make dressing: whisk together balsamic vinegar, strawberry jam, olive oil, salt and pepper until smooth.
  4. Place rocket leaves in a large bowl. Add quinoa, strawberries, pistachios, and fried haloumi. Pour dressing over and toss gently but thoroughly until all ingredients are mixed and coated with dressing.
  5. Serve at room temperature.

Strawberry, Haloumi, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | www.thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Apple, Pear and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free

Long winter evenings call for cosy desserts. Grab a bowl of my gluten free Apple, Pear and Almond Crumble and snuggle up somewhere comfy for the long night ahead. Winter is here, and the forecast is sweet. Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI love fruit crumbles, especially in winter. Seasonal fruit roasted in its own juices and a touch of spice until the pieces melt into sweetness, and on top a crispy-edged, biscuit-like topping featuring crunchy roasted almonds and warming almond meal. I love the double almond flavour hit in this crumble topping!

Almonds have secret super powers too that boost the healthy aspect of this crumble! Almonds are super healthy for your heart, with high levels of monounsaturated fats (the good kind of fat), and very high levels of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is important for protecting your heart and blood vessels, and improves skin quality. I love eating almonds as an easy snack, or using them as a topping on my favourite salads. Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis crumble starts with a base of pears and apples mixed with cinnamon, cardamom, a hint of vanilla and a touch of brown sugar. You tumble the spiced fruit into a baking dish and then whip up the crumble topping. I used quinoa flakes, almond meal, brown sugar, and more cinnamon and cardamom. Quinoa flakes replace the traditional oats to ensure this crumble is entirely gluten free, but all the other classic elements are here: brown sugar, spice, and a touch of butter. This is the simplest crumble topping, but it bakes up into an almost cookie-like crust atop the bubbling, sweet spiced fruit. Mmmm. Crispy cookie crumble…..Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCrumbles are the cosiest of winter desserts, and this one is healthy enough to pass for breakfast too. For dessert I topped it with vanilla ice cream which melted down amongst the stewed fruit and mingled with the thickened spiced fruit juices. For breakfast the next morning I topped leftovers with a generous dollop of thick Greek yoghurt. It was enough to fuel me through a day of shopping for a microwave, towels, and frying pans for the new house. Shopping is much more pleasant when you have a belly full of Apple, Pear and Almond Crumble.

There is really nothing complicated about making a crumble, and they are perfect for a family dinner dessert, or even a dinner party. Everyone loves a warm bowl of apple crumble topped with a spoon of cool creamy vanilla ice cream. If you are searching for a cosy winter treat for your family, you can’t go wrong with warm fruit and crispy cookie topping. This Apple, Pear and Almond Crumble ticks all of my boxes for winter dessert: easy to make, filled with spice, hearty, and soul-warming. Trust me, this crumble is sure to become a family favourite in your house too. Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble

Gluten Free | Serves 6-8 | Leftovers keep up to two days in the refrigerator, covered tightly with plastic wrap

Ingredients

For the fruit

  • 2 large pears
  • 3 large apples
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (ensure this is gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the crumble topping

  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 cup butter (60 grams), melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and get an 8 x 6 (around 8 cup) casserole or baking dish ready.
  2. Core and chop fruit into a large dice. I kept the skin on mine for extra fibre and flavour.
  3. Place fruit into a large saucepan along with brown sugar, cornflour, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir to ensure the fruit is coated in the cornflour mixture.
  4. Add vanilla and lemon juice and place over a low heat. Stir constantly until the sugar is melted and the juices have thickened slightly.
  5. Tumble fruit mixture and all the juices into the prepared casserole dish and allow to cool while you prepare the crumble topping.
  6. Whisk together quinoa flakes, almond meal, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir in melted butter and egg until the crumble comes together.
  7. Crumble topping over fruit and then top with chopped almonds.
  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the topping is golden and the fruit feels soft when probed with a metal skewer.
  9. Remove crumble from the oven, allow to stand for 10 minutes and then serve topped with ice cream or Greek yoghurt, if desired.

Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis post was inspired by my new-found friends at Nuts.com . We were  talking about how much we love almonds, and how they can help to boost your health – Nuts.com even has a “health benefits of almonds project” on right now! We want everyone to be as excited about almonds as we are! As you can tell, I am nuts for almonds, and Nuts.com have a great range of almonds and almond products (I’m especially looking forward to some of their dark chocolate coated almonds for a quick dessert option). Please note: I was not compensated for this post by Nuts.com at all. I am merely speaking about my love of almonds and sharing my discovery of this new website with all of you!

Hazelnut, Dried Blueberry, and Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies | Gluten Free

Dense, chewy, gluten free cookies filled with semi sweet dark chocolate chips, toasted hazelnuts, dried blueberries and quinoa flakes. Fill your cookie jar with these sweet morsels today!Hazelnut, Dried Blueberry, and Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeBecause I am a cookie person I sometimes think that cookies are a metaphor for life. I’m deep into kitchen philosophy like that. I think that not only does your favourite cookie tell you something about yourself, but what you’ve got in the cookie jar reflects a little on your current state of mind.

Me? I’m a chocolate chip girl myself, and I’ve mused on it many times. But today’s cookies are an extra jam-packed version of a basic cookie recipe. This cookie is definitely telling it how it is about my life at the moment: lots of sweet things fighting for real estate in one mouthful. See? Cookies are like therapy, only cheaper (and you get to lie on your own couch) – and these ones take less time to make than the average therapy session!Hazelnut, Dried Blueberry, and Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeIn this chewy cookie creation you have it all: chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, and the chew factor. Let’s start with the basics: chocolate chips. I’m an equal opportunity chip lover: dark, milk, white. I’ll take them all. The only catch: they have to be good quality. I use Nestle or Cadbury every time. Also, you should never use a chip to bake with if you wouldn’t eat it straight out of the bag. Believe me; I’ve done extensive testing on the subject.

I picked hazelnuts up at the health food store this weekend because winter mornings make me crave hazelnuts. I love the way their shells are shiny and smooth, the way they feel in my hands. Also, you have to roast your nuts before incorporating them into any recipe: this will help you to show off the flavour even more.Hazelnut, Dried Blueberry, and Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI added a shower of my favourite dried blueberries to this cookie dough because the tiny little blue orbs are super sweet but also slightly tart and are the perfect foil to semi-sweet chocolate chips and roasted buttery hazelnuts.

And then the chew factor. I have a few gluten free friends who cannot tolerate oats, and I’ve been trying to be super kind to my tummy lately, so I have been experimenting with quinoa flakes to replace what rolled oats would provide for a cookie, namely chew and heft. I am happy to report that quinoa flakes contribute the same sun dried grassy sweetness that oats usually would.Hazelnut, Dried Blueberry, and Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy workmates, although initially sceptical of the inclusion of dried fruit in cookies (where do these people come from and why don’t the recognise the pleasure of the perfect oatmeal raisin cookie?), loved these cookies! And when I went to try and sneak one from the break room after a long day of meetings, I was met with only crumbs. Now that’s a sweet morsel indeed.

My Hazelnut, Dried Blueberry, and Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies are sweet and soft because we use only brown sugar, but chewy from the quinoa flakes. The vanilla extract is the perfect background flavour for the stand out chunks of semi-sweet chocolate chips, tart blueberries, and toasty hazelnuts. When life gets crazy, listen to your inner cookie monster.Hazelnut, Dried Blueberry, and Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Hazelnut, Dried Blueberry, and Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies

Gluten Free | Makes approximately 24 cookies

Notes:

  • To toast the hazelnuts: preheat oven to 180C. Spread nuts across a rimmed baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes. The hazelnuts should start to smell toasty and darken in colour. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before roughly chopping and using in recipe.
  • If you don’t require this recipe to be gluten free you can replace the buckwheat, sorghum, and white rice flours with 240 grams of wheat/spelt flour, and you can replace the quinoa flakes with rolled oats.

Ingredients

  • 80 grams buckwheat flour
  • 80 grams sorghum flour
  • 80 grams white rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup quinoa flakes
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup dried blueberries

 Method

  1. In a small bowl whisk together buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, baking soda, salt, and quinoa flakes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer) beat butter and brown sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add egg, vanilla extract, and milk, and beat until well combined.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add whisked dry ingredients. Mix until completely combined.
  5. Switch to a wooden spoon and mix in chocolate chips, hazelnuts, and dried blueberries.
  6. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
  7. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place on lined baking sheets. Leave space for spreading.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden. The centres will still be soft (this makes for chewy cookies). Remove and cool completely on baking sheets.
  9. Store cookies in refrigerator for maximum chewiness for up to four days.

Hazelnut, Dried Blueberry, and Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThank you everyone for your kind messages after my last post. You are all so lovely for keeping us in your hearts at this time. Thank you, x Amy.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan

Big bowls of spice roasted vegetables paired with winter herb scented quinoa makes for a hearty, healthy and comforting winter dinner. This is my kind of two pan dinner for easy, healthy, winter dinners.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | VeganI’m not about winter. I’m not about the cold, the chapped lips, the running from my car to the gym and to my house just to be warm. I’m not about the drippy noses and pantyhose. I’m a born and raised Queenslander. Give me hot, humid, hairstyle-destroying days, long hours of bestial sunshine, and skies that turn black and crack with lightening, flooding rains that turn streets into rivers. But, given that I have yet to become a billionaire who can winter somewhere more appropriate (Hawaii? Southern California? South Coast of France?) I am learning to do winter.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeYes, I’m 28 years old and still learning how to do winter. To coax myself into ‘the cosy months’ I am layering my clothes; taking long walks in cheek-slapping winds under brilliant blue skies; snuggling in bed with a good book (or two) and my new leopard print pyjama pants (embrace that 80s tackiness); spending time finding the perfect skinny chai latte; and roasting all the vegetables.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWe’ve spoken before about my love for roasting vegetables at high temperatures until they surrender their starchiness to sweetness and become nature’s candy. That’s what roasted vegetables are folks, nature’s sweet candy. This recipe features sweet winter carrots, red capsicum, and onions roasted with warming spices until the spicy-sweet-savoury reaches the perfect tipping point – and you only need one sheet pan and one medium saucepan to create this hearty, healthy, winter meal.

This two-pan supper was inspired by my Dad who has a knack for creating delicious, savoury suppers in just one pot. He call’s them ‘The Bob Specials’. You never quite know what’s going to be in the pot, but once it has stewed and simmered for a while the results are always delicious. My recipe is filled with veggies, and chickpeas and my favourite winter spices and pairs perfectly with some fluffy rosemary and thyme flecked quinoa. This makes enough for two, but is easily doubled or tripled to feed your family, or provide leftovers for delicious healthy meals all week long.

Together, we are going to do winter right.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2-3 (easily multiplied) | Time: 40-45 minutes | Leftovers keep well for up to three days refrigerated in an airtight container

Make it for your meat lover: this bowl would go well with some roasted chicken breast, or even a crispy-skinned fillet of salmon.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 medium red capsicum
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 fat cloves garlic (or 4 skinny ones), crushed
  • 1 cup chickpeas (400 gram tin, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Method

  1. Before starting the quinoa, preheat your oven to 200C (400F).
  2. Place quinoa and vegetable stock in a medium sized saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Place on stove over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Once the stock is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, and put the lid on the saucepan. Cook, without stirring, for 20 minutes. Then, remove from the heat and leave for 5 minutes before fluffing the grains with a fork.
  3. While your quinoa is cooking, line a baking sheet with aluminium foil.
  4. Top and tail carrots and dice into small chunks. Core and dice capsicum, and peel and dice onion. Place all vegetables on baking sheet. Drain and rinse chickpeas and place on baking sheet with vegetables.
  5. Drizzle over olive oil and sprinkle on crushed garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and use clean hands to thoroughly toss the vegetables to ensure they are covered in the oil and herbs.
  6. Roast vegetables and chickpeas in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until your carrots are soft all the way through.
  7. When the vegetables are done roasting, stir the chopped thyme and rosemary through the cooked quinoa.
  8. To serve: divide quinoa between serving bowls and top with roasted vegetables.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free

Let the winter light in. Golden-skinned pears coupled with salty feta, hearty quinoa, and toasty walnuts in a salad that’s all about celebrating the nourishment of winter produce.

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSometimes I eat chocolate like it’s my job. Sadly, it’s not my job, and sadly a woman cannot live on chocolate alone. (Although, I am willing to give it a try!) Because woman cannot live on chocolate alone, and this one cannot afford to keep buying new pants if she did live on chocolate alone, there is the salad. I am all about the salad as you know by now. And, as you know by now I’m not talking about your backyard barbecue iceberg lettuce and pink tomato species. I’m talking about Big.Fat.Salads.

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeBig, fat, juicy, hearty salads full of grains and interesting greens, and crunchy, nibbly bits that you want to save until last. I’m about the salty and the creamy and the crispy fresh bite. I’m about salads that leave you full after you eat them, not wondering where your second course is. This is my latest Big.Fat.Salad. Our base: hearty, protein-packed quinoa. Our interesting green: handfuls of peppery baby rocket. Our crispiness: sweet, seasonal Bosch pears with their golden skin left on. Our crunchy nibbly bits: roasted walnuts. Add some salty feta and a maple, mustard and verjuice dressing and you have the perfect winter salad.

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI have tasted so many incarnations of the fruit, nut and cheese salad. In fact, if there is one on the menu it is often the first place my tastebuds go. I have fond memories of a beetroot, apple, candied pecan and goat cheese salad on a blustery afternoon in San Francisco; pear, walnut, and blue cheese salad at the Coronado in San Diego; and oh so many in between. There are myriad incarnations of this simple but delicious formula, and this mix is my latest obsession. The addition of quinoa makes this a suitably substantial lunch salad, or a hearty but light dinner. Open up the curtains, and settle in for season, let the winter light in and make some Big.Fat.Salads.

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

 

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad

Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 2 (easily multiplied)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 4 cups baby rocket leaves
  • 1 large Bosch pear (you can substitute another variety if these aren’t available)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons verjuice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Thoroughly rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Place washed quinoa into a medium saucepan with vegetable stock and place, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Bring quinoa to the boil. Once it is boiling, cover with a tightly fitting lid and reduce to a simmer. Cook without stirring for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes then fluff grains with a fork. Cool to room temperature.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking preheat oven to 180C (350F) and spread walnuts over a baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes or until fragrant. Remove and allow to cool.
  3. Make the dressing: place all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until combined.
  4. Once the quinoa is cool assemble the salad. Place rocket and quinoa in a large bowl. Quarter, core, and thinly slice pear and add to the bowl. Add dressing and toss well to combine.
  5. Portion salad onto plates and sprinkle over toasted walnuts and crumbled feta.

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan

Indulge in a healthy retreat to the tropics with my latest gluten free granola recipe. Filled with plump dried apricots, crunchy quinoa flakes, toasted coconut, and roasted cashews this is a little taste of the islands that will make your breakfast into an escape to a faraway locale.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI have found the secret to enjoying Monday mornings. Three little things that make the start of the working week a pleasurable experience rather than something akin to ripping a bandaid off a blistered foot. Firstly: set your alarm for ten minutes before you actually need to get up. That way you can hit snooze and not feel guilty about it. I am loving having those extra ten minutes to snuggle under the covers with Chris and I wake up feeling happy and loved. Secondly: make it easy to get out the door. Make your lunch, pack your bag and iron your clothes (or if you are like me, don’t iron your clothes) on Sunday afternoon so that on Monday morning you just need to roll out of bed, shower, and get out into the world! Thirdly, and most pertinent for today: have a delicious breakfast to look forward to when you do manage to get out of bed. Enter: Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis crunchy, coconut-infused, quinoa flake granola had me bouncing out of bed this morning with a smile on my face. I knew that once I fought the traffic and made it to my desk that I had a superb, healthy breakfast waiting to fuel me through the morning. Plump, sweet dried apricots and chunks of roasted cashews are in generous supply and contrast with strands of toasted coconut, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. This mixture is coated in a touch of richly sweet golden syrup, mild olive oil, and coconut and vanilla extracts before spending some time getting golden and crispy in the oven. The result: light, crunchy mouthfuls of crispy quinoa flakes soaked in tropical coconut flavouring with a hint of sweetness from the chewy apricots and golden syrup counteracted by buttery roasted cashews and strands of toasted coconut.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeQuinoa flakes are a great alternative for people who cannot tolerate oats. I have to say, the tiny crunchy flakes are just as delicious as the traditional oats usually found in granola. This is my new favourite breakfast formula! I love my granola served over thick Greek or natural yoghurt, or eaten in sneaky handfuls after I get home from the gym at night. It makes a great car tip snack too! So jump on board the granola train and make your Monday mornings shine!

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola

Gluten Free | Vegan | Makes about 2 1/2 cups | Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped cashews
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots

Method

  1.  Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together quinoa flakes, cashews, sesame seeds, salt, and cardamom until well mixed.
  3. In a small jug whisk together olive oil, golden syrup, vanilla extract, and coconut extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix carefully with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
  5. Spread granola over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the spoon to encourage some clumping.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes to ensure the granola does not burn.
  7. In the last ten minutes of cookies (about 20 minutes into the cooking time) stir in shredded coconut.
  8. Once cooked, remove from oven, stir in dried apricots and allow to cool completely before serving or storing.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life