Tag Archives: food

A glutton for gluten-free

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes (Photo credit: FamilySweetery)

So, we’re trialling a gluten-free diet in our household and one week in, we’re starting to see (or smell) a real difference.

I don’t want to lower the tone of this blog, but I can tell you that the eldest child is experiencing a lot fewer . . . um . . . ah-hmm . . . bottom burps. There, I said it. Let’s move on.

The only stumbling block so far has been tracking down enough suitable lunch box recipes to keep the kids happy.

Despite the recommendations of several helpful websites, I will not be packing a salad nicoise with tuna for any of my kids’ lunches. I’ve already said no to kabana and vegetable kebabs and closed the door on gluten-free sushi.

I want us to eat better. Not necessarily five star.

I’ve entered a new world where quinoa reigns supreme. Pronounce that right and its sounds even fancier.

I’ve been bemoaning a lack of reading time lately but it seems the quest for gluten-free food has solved that problem as well. I can spend hours reading labels in the supermarket aisles and still leave with just one or two things.

But we are not starving! Bags of rice have invaded our kitchen cupboards. Corn crumbs, corn flakes and cornflour have taken up residence in every other cabinet. Gone are the ready-made chicken strips, pies and cakes. I’m cooking again.

And with a bit of luck and some perseverance, we might just be a little healthier for it.

PS If you can recommend any good gluten-free sites, let me know. Much appreciated! 🙂


Cooking the old-fashioned way


I have a ‘new’ favourite book. But it’s not new at all. It’s from 1946 and I love everything about it.

Firstly there’s the title – ‘How to Cook Well’. No fast, furious, low-fuss cookery mania here. No boutique, chef hat, posh nosh in sight. No sir-ee. From the out-set, the author, Ann Roe Robbins, is keeping her expectations low, which suits me fine.

As it happens, we actually have a bit in common. In her preface, Ann Roe Robbins admits she never cooked until she was married. Unless you count cakes, I too was in the same boat. In between leaving home and getting married (perhaps a little longer if I’m honest) my diet consisted largely of peanut butter and honey on toast. Things improved somewhat after the nuptials but there was always a jar of peanut butter on standby in the fridge.

Around this time, I was given one good, contemporary cookbook. It covered some of the basics until I eventually inherited Ann Roe Robbins’ answer to all things culinary. It’s just what I needed. It seems she wasn’t interested in simply compiling a book of recipes. She wanted to explain why things were done the way they were done. She believed in instructions over instinct and measuring over guess-work. She wanted to share her money saving techniques and make sure her readers were eating healthy, flavoursome food.

That meant rules – always have a hot dish with every meal even in the summer; include flavour, colour and texture to ensure every meal is appetising; avoid dishes that require last minute attention, and; don’t be scared of a long list of ingredients.

Not every rule rings true today, but her enthusiasm and passion for food shines through. Ann Roe Robbins and her sky blue cookbook with its linen cover, gold embellishments and understated title would give any of today’s chefs a run for their money.

I’ll have what he’s having . . .

Biscuit Plate

Biscuit Plate (Photo credit: Caro Wallis)

I give up! I can no longer handle the responsibility of deciding what to eat and when. The whole concept of dieting and fitness just makes me feel tired and a wee bit disheartened. So I’m handing all the food-related decisions over to my husband. I’ll have what he’s having.

When it comes to good health, I think you would be hard-pressed to find two more contrasting characters.

I love cake. I love biscuits. I love chocolate. I love chocolate biscuits. But I especially love bread with a generous scrape of butter on it. My husband, on the other hand, is a salad fiend, never touches bread, eats fruit regularly . . . and jogs. In fact, last week he competed in a triathlon. Meanwhile, I’m getting tired just typing this. Sigh.

Both literally and figuratively, I am being left behind. So it’s time to take action (of the most inactive kind). Henceforth, I am absolving myself of all responsibility when it comes to food.

If he’s going to eat corn crackers instead of bread, so will I. Sniffle.

If he’s going to eat apples instead of cream filled biscuits, so am I. Sob.

And if he’s going to eat muesli instead of thick fresh bread loaded with lashings of peanut butter and honey, so . . . will . . . I. Burst into tears.

Here’s hoping he takes the hint and discovers the block of fruit and nut chocolate I have stashed (rather obviously) in the freezer.

If he’s having that, there’s no way I’m missing out!