Moorish Choc-quinoa Cookies

done choc quinoa cookies

Makes: 16


125g butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup or maple syrup

1 cup gluten-free plain flour

1 cup quinoa flakes

1/2 teaspoon aluminium-free, gluten-free baking powder

1 teaspoon ground mixed spice

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

2. Place the butter and syrup together in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir until butter melts. Set aside.

3. Combine flour, quinoa flakes, baking powder, mixed spice, cacao powder and vanilla in a bowl. Pour over the butter mixture and stir until well combined. The cookie mixture will look slightly crumbly.

4. Roll (firmly packed) 1 tablespoon measures of the cookie mixture into firm balls and flatten slightly in the palm of your hand (if you flatten them too much the cookie will crack around the edges). Place on prepared baking tray. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until firm when touched and starting to crack. Cool on tray to set firm. Serve.

Baby Kale, Rosemary & Parmesan Risotto Balls

risotto balls

Makes:  42 (approx)


1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

2 cups arborio rice

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Small pinch saffron threads

1.5-2 litres unsalted homemade stock (vegetable or chicken), heated

120g packet baby kale

50g butter

3/4 cup finely grated parmesan

1 lemon, zest finely grated, juiced

1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Panko crumbs, for rolling


1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add onion, celery and rosemary. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until very soft and just starting to colour.  Stir in rice, garlic and saffron. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

2 Stir in half the heated stock, cover and cook for 10 minutes untouched. Stir in remaining stock and cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes more, stirring occasionally or until the stock has been absorbed and the rice al dente.

3 Add kale, butter and parmesan. Stir well then remove pan from heat. Stand, covered, for 5 minutes (the residual heat from the pan will wilt the kale perfectly). Stir in zest and juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cool. Chill the risotto mixture for at least 2 hours or overnight if time permits (you want it nice a firm).

4 Roll the chilled risotto into balls using slightly damp hands (I did 2 tablespoon measures), then coat in panko. Place on a baking paper lined tray. Freeze straight away or bake in a 220C/200C fan-forced oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm


– If you are not a confident chopper, you can coarsely grate the onion and celery. At this stage try adding other finely chopped or grated vegetables such as fennel, pumpkin and zucchini.

– The amount of stock you will need will all depend on the heat you use and type of arborio grain too.

– You can find packets of baby kale in one of those large supermarkets…. Substitute with 1/2 bunch kale (leaves shredded) or use baby spinach instead.

– Panko cumbs are a Japanese crumb available in major supermarkets and Asian grocers. You can use dried breadcrumbs or for gluten-free use rice crumbs or polenta.

– Traditionally you make a risotto by adding small amounts of stock at a time and stirring until it has been completely absorbed by the rice. My method, although not traditional, still produces the same creamy texture of a regular risotto except that I don’t need to stand at the stove for 20 odd minutes!

– As we don’t own a microwave, I like to freeze the crumbed risotto balls first until firm then I portion them (usually 4 balls) into smaller packaging. When I need them for a meal I will bake from frozen as indicated in method above – just add an extra 5 minutes to the baking time. If you have a microwave, simply bake straight away, cool then freeze and all you need to do is reheat the frozen balls gently in the microwave before serving.

– The risotto mixture makes quite a lot of balls, so what I tend to do is serve the risotto for dinner for my husband and myself with some grilled chicken or fish then simply use the remaining leftover risotto to make the balls the next day.

Coconut & Mango Chia Puddings


Serves: 4

1/2 cup white or black chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

270ml can coconut milk

1 small very ripe mango, chopped

2 tablespoons shredded fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons pepitas

1 Combine the chia seeds, ginger and cinnamon in a jug.

2 Shake the can of coconut milk very well then pour into a separate jug. Add enough water until 2 cup measure is reached on the jug. Add the mixture to the chia seeds and whisk well to combine.

3 Pour mixture into serving glasses, dishes or jars. Top with mango, mint and pepitas. Cover and chill for 1 hour or overnight if time permits. Serve chilled.


– Depending on the coconut milk brand you use, you may need to add up to 1/2 cup extra water as some brands of milk are thicker than others.

– You can use coconut water or your favourite non-dairy milk instead of the coconut milk if preferred.

Raspberry and Vanilla Pikelets (egg-free, dairy-free, sugar-free)

raspberry pikelets

Makes: 24

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon black or white chia seeds

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped

1 cup milk of your choice (rice and almond milk are lovely)

1 cup wholemeal plain flour

1 teaspoon aluminium-free baking powder

1 Combine the water, chia seeds and raspberries in a large bowl. Stand for 10 minutes or until the chia seeds look plump. Stir in the vanilla seeds, milk, flour and baking powder until a smooth batter forms.

2 Heat a large non-stick frying pan over and medium-low heat. Drop level 1 tablespoon measures of the batter into the hot pan. Cook the pikelets, in batches, for 1-2 minutes each side or until cooked through and golden. Serve warm.


– If you do not have to worry about egg allergy then you can replace the water and chia seeds in the recipe with 1 egg.

– This is a great recipe for using up all of those really small broken frozen raspberry pieces at the bottom of the packet.

– You can use fresh raspberries instead, when in season and much cheaper.

– Keep your vanilla bean pod after the seeds have been scraped. Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place and use when poaching or baking fruit.

– If you do not have to worry about any dairy allergies then use full-cream milk in the recipe and try cooking the pikelets in a little melted butter too.

– The recipe can be easily changed to a gluten-free treat. Replace the flour and baking powder with your favourite gluten-free self-raising flour mixture. Just add 3/4 cup of your milk of choice first, then slowly add more (if needed) until you have a nice pouring batter. Gluten-free flours tend not to need as much liquid as wholemeal flours.

– When cooking your pikelets, you must be patient and wait for small bubbles to appear on the wet surface and burst first, before turning, to ensure that they cook through.

– Please note that because chia seeds are used instead of egg in this recipe the pikelets have a different, lovely moist texture. Great for young babies who haven’t yet started to get their baby teeth.

– If these pikelets don’t disappear quickly after cooking they can be stored, covered, in the fridge overnight. Just place under a hot grill to toast up again before serving.

– Some children may want a little sweetness added to these – simply brush the tops of the hot pikelets with a little honey before serving.

– My little boy just loves having these served with some Greek yogurt for dipping – albeit messy!

Carrot, Banana & Strawberry Muffins (sugar-free, egg-free, dairy-free)

Free & Easy Banana Strawberry Muffins


Makes: 12

1 tablespoon chia seeds (black or white)

1/4 cup water

1 very ripe banana, peeled, chopped

3/4 cup dairy-free milk of choice (unsweetened almond is lovely)

3/4 cup cold pressed olive oil

1 small carrot, un-peeled, coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup grated)

125g strawberries, hulled, sliced

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1 3/4 cups plain wholemeal flour

1 1/2 teaspoons aluminium-free baking powder

Sunflower seeds and pepitas, for sprinkling


1 Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Line a 12-hole, 1/3 cup capacity, muffin pan with paper cases.

2 Combine chia seeds and water in a mixing bowl, stand for 10 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Mash in the banana. Stir in the milk, oil, carrot, strawberry and coconut with a fork. Add flour and baking powder, stir lightly with the fork until just combined (the mixture will still look lumpy). Divide among paper cases in prepared pan. Sprinkle tops generously with the seeds and pepitas.

3 Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer. Cool in pan for 3 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or cooled to room temperature.



– Be very gentle when stirring the muffin batter, if over-stirred the texture will produce a tough muffin.

– To get evenly sized muffins I like to use an ice-cream scoop when popping the batter into paper cases.

– Make it gluten-free by using your favourite gluten-free plain flour mix.

– Try using grated apple or pear in the mix and flavour with finely grated lemon or orange rind.

– These muffins will keep stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. Once cooled place in an airtight container and keep in a dry dark spot.

– I use a combination of plain flour and baking powder as I find this gives a lighter textured muffin.

– Because there is no added sugar these muffins won’t brown like store bought.

– If you do not need to worry about egg allergies then you can substitute the chia seeds and water in the recipe with 1 standard (60g) organic egg.