gluten free

Pomelo Salad [VG] [GF]

Pomelo isn’t the regular, run of the mill kind of fruit you’d just find, lying around your house. But if you do find it, you know, just lying around the house, be sure to make this salad with it! My Pomelo Salad uses humble ingredients like coriander, mint. peanuts, shredded coconut, onion, chilli, sugar, soy sauce and peanuts to give that amazing mouthful of sweet, savoury, nutty, sour, spicy and crunchiness, all in each and every bite!  Pomelo salad is a staple Thai salad, which can also be replaced with grapefruit or even raw papaya. 

I’ve buried my nose in Samin Nosrat’s book, Salt Fat Acid Heat, which explores how to cook, rather than what to cook using a recipe. Of course, the book does have recipes, but the fundamental idea that sets this book apart from a “cookbook” is that the book makes you understand the rules elements of cooking – how to use acid, how to cook with fat, how to season your food with layers of salt, how to apply (or not apply) heat. AND, the one essential unwritten rule that would take you the furthest when you pick up an apron is this: TASTE, TASTE, TASTE.  Read more…

Oat + Nut Cookies {VG} {GF} {SF} and seriously YUM!

As a mum of a toddler, I like to make stuff that even Baby Doll can eat, along with us, or else I inevitably get guilted into giving her morsels of goodies what we eat and she should technically NOT be indulging it, quite yet at least! To tackle this, I’ve come up simple yet effective meals for her and us, that actually taste great to all palates of all ages. Some examples are: grated carrot salad with an orange juice dressing, tomato basil salad with some extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper, asparagus risotto (without the wine, of course!), grilled paneer with lime and coriander, whole wheat spaghetti pomodoro, guacamole sans the jalepeno – you get the drift! So when it comes to desert, whyever not have a desert that is baby friendly, diet friendly and daddy friendly?  Read more…

Birthday Tikkis

I made these (birthday) tikkis a last week from the Indian Accent cookbook, which now dominates my kitchen counter (not only because it is gorgeous, but its also HUGE!). Not a day has gone when I haven’t opened the book and perused the recipes, salivated at the pictures, and read chef Manish Mehrotra’s stories that prelude each and every recipe. Some of the recipes are complicated, requiring a team of sous chefs to help you – while the others, like our tikkis here, may look difficult to make, but in fact aren’t as cumbersome as I thought – and taste fantastic. A real Indian Accent dish, from my kitchen and my heart to yours, marking the occasion of Joie De Vivre’s 6th year – this really is a treat worthy of the celebration!

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Sweet Corn with Miso Butter

Inspiration for the combination of miso + sweetcorn came while watching Masterchef AU, the episode where Sara makes a roasted quail dish, on a bed of miso sweetcorn puree with a blackberry vinaigrette. As usual, I look at the side elements on a protein dish that I can re-create at home, maybe not in the same exact form, rather as a flavour pairing that I can then create my own recipe with. Now let’s be honest, we’ve all eaten butter slathered corn on the cob, and even steamed corn with a dollop of butter and spices, and it is safe to deem the bowlful of goodness as a warming and comforting snack. Adding miso and some other relishes, well that just makes it burst with flavour in an understated and perfectly rounded way!

For some reason, a lot of people like to boil their corn before using it, or steaming it. I personally find this not only wasteful and cumbersome, but I find that repetitive cooking  Read more…

Quinoa & Black Bean “Enchilada”

I love quinoa. It’s one of those foods, like couscous, that doesn’t bore me, or leave my plate when another superfood gets all the attention. Adding some flavour with Mexican seasonings, enchilada sauce and protein-packed black beans just make it a perfect and balanced meal. The whole idea is to give the dish an “enchilada” feel by using an enchilada sauce, and topping with shredded cheddar, but without packing in gluten via tortilla. The standard enchilada we make at home has some kidney beans, which I find becomes too heavy when its layered with sauce, tortilla, salsa, lettuce and cheese. This version of Quinoa & Black Bean “Enchilada” has just those things – quinoa, black beans, vegetables, all baked in enchilada sauce.

I adapted the recipe, to make it a bit healthier (by cutting down the quantity of cheese) and adding in some amazing Mexican chillies, a variety of which are available from Sprig in India. I seriously am obsessed with a lot of their products (the bourbon vanilla is top notch, as is the beautifully infused demerara sugars they have and the Black Tellicherry whole black pepper mill), and no, this isn’t a paid feature (but I think I should totally get paid by them, the amount of references I give of theirs almost daily!). They have started a range of chillies, which range beyond the common Chipotle, and include Ancho, Guajillo and Pastilla. Read more…

Baby Spinach & Avocado Salad with Tomato Wedges and Dried Cranberries

Let me just begin by saying that I’ve made and shared (with friends) this recipe a few times already, and I felt that it needed to get on the blog ASAP. That being said, I also realised that because I’ve made it again and again and again, its become like second nature to me, and often when I am mechanically going about my favourites and staples, I forget to pay attention to the important details like photographs!

I do hope this little glitch will not deter you from re-creating this superbly simple and satisfying salad at home. I personally find honey mustard and avocado to be a match made in heaven. The use of two types of mustard and 2 types of citrus really complement the salad ingredients, and require very little prep and chopping. The salad and dressing kept separate, make a great lunch at your desk as well. I also love the fact that it is gluten free, vegan and dairy free.  Read more…

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