Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lazy Sushi for School Mornings

My kids love sushi and it works for me because it's naturally GF, filling and nice and healthy. But when I think about making it, it seems way too hard - especially on a school morning. I know, I know, it's not really that hard. But on a school morning it never hurts to make things just that little bit easier - yes?

So this is my lazy sushi. I'm pretty excited about this because it's so fast and my kids love it. When Ben in particular brings home an empty lunch box I'm always happy.

Firstly, the rice. Buy your sushi rice (has to be sushi rice) from an asian supermarket not a normal supermarket. It's much much cheaper that way. I cooked mine in a pressure cooker - 2 C rice with 2 C water for 7 mins on low. Then I mixed in 3 Tbsp of rice wine vinegar (check for GF status) with a fork and left it to cool.  This was enough for two lunches for two kids, with some left over which I froze for next time.

The next thing you'll need is a rice mould. I bought mine for $2.80 from a Japanese shop but I bet there are loads of them online too. If you don't have one you could also just make balls from the rice or try to make the rolls with your hands.

These two halves fit inside a plastic frame  - so you put one half in the frame, fill it to the top with rice (pressing down firmly) then put the other half on top face down and squeeze. The frame slides off and you remove the two halves of the mould to reveal three rolls like this:

Then all I do is cut or rip a piece of nori and wrap it around the outside. I've also seen them with sesame seeds sprinkled over the top but my little guy wasn't so keen on that. The whole thing takes less than a minute.

My daughter likes filling in her sushi and it didn't work too well when I tried to do layer of vegetables in the rice mould. So instead I made her a sushi salad. Just add whatever you like to your sushi rice, rip up some nori and dribble over some GF soy sauce.

There we go - lazy sushi. No rolling, no bamboo mats! Have a great day everyone.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Vegan Gluten Free Carrot Applesauce Muffins


I had a request for this recipe so I'm posting it now, but the photo above isn't mine. It's taken from and it's of the muffins that I used as my starting point. The original recipe is far far too long for me to bother with. I need quick simple recipes that are easy to remember so I've taken bits out and made it much less work. I'll try and make these this weekend so I can post you a photo of the real thing, they look pretty similar.

The first step is to make some applesauce. You can buy it of course, but it's so cheap and simple to make and you can store it in the freezer for months. I use applesauce like you would use an egg in baking, it's so adaptable too - porridge, desserts, cakes, muffins, pancakes... you can use applesauce just about everywhere.

To make the sauce I de-stalk then chop up as many apples as I have on hand. I don't peel them or deseed them, I just make sure they're washed well. I try to only get organic apples but if they're not then I will add some white vinegar (about 1/4C) to a sink full of water and let the apples soak in there for about 30 mins before cooking with them.

Once they're chopped up into chunks I put them into my pressure cooker and add 2 tsp of cinnamon and 1 C of water. Then I cook on medium pressure for 10 minutes. I allow them to cool a little and then I blend everything up using a stick blender.  That's it - couldn't be simpler. I do this when apples are in season and defrost a container of it as I need it.

If you don't have a pressure cooker then boiling them up in a big stock pot would work, a slow cooker would be just as good too.

Now on to the muffins!


1 C GF flour (I tend to use 1/2 C brown rice flour, 1/4 C buckwheat and 1/4 C tapioca starch but you can use a store bought blend).
1/2 C cane sugar or maple syrup
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 C grated carrot
1/2 C applesauce
1/2 C non dairy milk such as rice or soy milk

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, mixed spice and carrot in a bowl. Add the applesauce then add the milk slowly. Depending on your flour you may need more or less milk so add it slowly and stop when it reaches a good thick batter consistency. If you like you can add raisins or nuts at this stage.  Spoon into a greased muffin pan and bake at 180 degrees C for around 20 mins but keep checking as it will depend on your oven and muffin pan.

Although I don't really like baking in silicone pans I do use one for GF muffins. They never stick and it's easy to get any kind of muffin out of the pan. If you use a metal pan make sure it's very well greased or use muffin papers. I get 8 big muffins or 12 smaller ones from this mix.

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Photos will be added this weekend!)

This is my never fail cookie recipe. It's an adaptation of an Apricot Thumbprint recipe from Flying Apron and I have added all sorts of things to it - mixed spice, cacao powder, jam topping, nuts and chocolate chips.


1 2/3 C brown rice flour
3/4 chickpea or garbanzo flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
small pinch sea salt
1/2 C vegan chocolate chips (dark chocolate is often dairy free, otherwise there are specialty allergy brands like Sweet William)
1/2 C canola oil or other neutral oil
1/2 C cane sugar
1/2 C rice, soy or almond milk

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C or 375 degrees F.

Combine the brown rice flour, chickpea flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a bowl with a whisk.

In another bowl combine the oil, sugar and milk and stir until everything is mixed well and thick.

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well, then add the chocolate chips.

Form small balls and bake on a tray lined with baking paper for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't get too dark.

Makes about 20 cookies.