Tuesday 30 October 2012

Izzy's Super Duper Nutella !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Dairy free, low salicylate *Amines           

Hi I'm Izzy, this is my first time on the blog! 

This is a really COOL Nutella that is dairy free. Our family started the elimination diet for my brother and discovered that I need to be dairy free, and have moderate salicylates and no added flavours. There's been a lot of foods I have missed... so when I tasted this I was a "bit" excited.

Here is the recipe. We used a recipe from "Paradise to Plate" as a template. I hope you have lots of fun, and remember it doesn't matter if you don't get things right the first time when you learn to cook.


110g roasted cashews.
90g white sugar
100g block of Aldi's organic fair trade chocolate (dairy free)
15g good cocoa
70g nuttelex
100g soy milk 
(mum here - I think you should be successful with coconut oil and coconut milk, plus the usual hazelnuts if you can tolerate the higher salicylates but not the dairy)


Lightly toast the cashews. Add to TM bowl.
Mill on speed 9 for 20 seconds. Scrape down.
Mix on speed 6 for at least 20 seconds and it becomes a smooth paste. Keep stopping and scraping if you need to.
Add the sugar and mix on speed 8 for about 10 seconds, scrape around the blades and sides of the bowl and repeat until well combined.
Add chocolate - broken into pieces and mill on speed 8 for 10 seconds
Add cocoa, nuttelex and milk and heat6 minutes, 50 degrees, speed 3
Once finished, puree for 20 seconds, gradually rising the speed from 1 to 9. Scrape into sterilised jars and keep refrigerated. Keeps for 14-21 days, (but it may disappear all of a sudden Hahaha).

Monday 29 October 2012

Packing the Lunch Box:

1. Anzac (ish) Slice.

You know how we all need those "make in your sleep" recipes? Well this is one of those for me. I'm willing to bet there's a different version of this sort of slice on most blogs, but this is our simple one that adapts well to Failsafe* diets.

Will use:
170g plain flour
110g oats
80g coconut (shredded) or *40g rice bubbles
optional 80g mixed seeds (sunflower/pumpkin etc)
140-160g sugar 
115g butter or nuttelex
80g golden syrup.
1/2 teaspoon of bicarb
1/4 MC of boiling water
Lamington tin lined and sprayed.
Moderate oven - set to 180 degrees C


Weigh into the TM bowl the dry ingredients but only half (80g) of the sugar.

Mix on Reverse for 4-5 seconds speed 3.
Tip into a bowl
Weigh into TM bowl the golden syrup, butter or nuttelex and remaining sugar.
Cook for 6 minutes, varoma, speed 2. Have the MC upside down so you can put the 1/2 tsp of bicarb in it.
Boil the kettle while the wet mix is cooking.
In the last 30 seconds of cooking time, add the boiled water to the bicarb in the MC, swish around and add to the syrupy mix. Transfer the rising foam into the dry mix bowl. 
Tip the remainder of your boiled water in the TM bowl to make for easy cleaning.
Use a wooden spoon to combine the dry ingredients. 

(Or you could just tip the dry ingredients into the wet mix and mix on reverse speed 2 for 10 seconds - you will still need to use your spatula to incorporate a few stragglers)The mixture should seem fairly wet and just combined.
Tip it into the baking tray

Wet your hands and moosh it down (technical trade term), so it is all fairly even and to the edge of the tray.
Bake for 20 minutes. Make sure you turn it around at half time if your oven is dodgy like mine.

Clean your TM bowl by adding the tiniest drop of detergent to the hot water and slowly increasing the speed to 7 for 10 seconds.

2. Slice and Bake Oat Biscuits

I love having 'logs' of biscuit dough in the freezer, and this comes out of the TM bowl so cleanly. This is one of those 'make on the run' recipes and you can see that from the ingredients and steps all running into each other!

80g oats - grind with

100g sugar for 6 seconds speed 8-9
140g plain flour
80g gluten free flour/arrowroot/cornstarch
and good few grinds of salt

Combine for 3 seconds speed 6
add 180g margarine/nuttlex (or butter and a scoop of yoghurt).
Combine 5 seconds speed 6
Knead 8-15 seconds on interval speed.
Tip onto cling/silicone mat, twisting the base of the blades
bowl should basically be clean.
Pat into a log and wrap in cling film.
Refrigerate 20 mins, slice and bake 180 degrees for 15-20 mins.

Thursday 25 October 2012

All steamed up

Photograph from the Bush Gourmand Blog spot salmon recipe

One of the greatest potential uses of the Thermomix is steaming. Replacing yet another appliance, and potentially doing a few jobs at once; making chicken broth or a curry in the bottom while steaming veggies in the varoma. It's certainly a brilliant feature to make the most of for your time and your health. But we have some questions. What's the big deal with steaming? How is it healthier? And what are some practical tips to make steaming in the Thermomix easy and yummy? I hope you find some answers to these questions here, and also leave your own wisdom. There is an enormous list of people's favourite Varoma recipes - with thanks to Leonie from ThermoFun for collating and posting in her Docs on her page.

What is the big 'healthy' deal with steaming? Why is it recommended?

Simply, because it is the best way of preparing food for our body to absorb the best nutrients, and to avoid 'bad byproducts' of cooking. Basically, all cooking of food causes both positive and negative structural changes. It is a fallacy to suggest that cooked = poison to our bodies. In fact, there are a number of nutrients in food that our bodies only utilise when they have been altered by cooking. For a more detailed look at this, click here to read 'disease proof's' review. 

But, of course, there are a number of negative effects as well. The biggest press is rightfully given to the carcinogenic by-products of high heat cooking oils in particular. There is also a loss of some nutrients. It's a bit of a balancing act, but in many cases, the best utilisation of essential nutrients and minimal negative by-products will be achieved by brief steaming. For a really detailed breakdown of the chemical changes and by-products from all types of cooking, read the European Food Industry's complete review here. It is very interesting to look at the table, and see the tiny list of changes for steaming compared to other methods. 

But the really significant factor about steaming is the link to research showing it is the best way of preparing food to absorb the nutrients that fight cancer. Recent research examining the benefits of cruciferous vegetables, (e.g. the cancer preventing benefits of kale and broccoli and others) has concluded that several minutes of steaming will result in the maximum benefit for our bodies. 

Consider this as well (with Thanks to Nora the French Foodie!) It's also a bonus that Thermomix allows to control the temperature while cooking so we know that most nutrients are retained while cooking (as opposed to basic steamer that go on the stove where you could be cooking your veg to their death without knowing)... I always wash my veggies in the Varoma (which I use as a colander) before steaming. The extra water helps the steaming and they cook better I find... 

I agree! And I love that the liquid at the bottom of the steamed vegetables can be kept for a soup or turned into a sauce with a few nuts!

Impressive huh? But how can we make it easier?

Tips for steaming with your thermomix.

A great go-to guide is provided from Cookipedia with steaming times.

Allow at least 35 minutes for your first run of steaming with the thermomix. The recipe may say 20 minutes for a hard vegetable, but some varieties are harder and therefore take longer. Persevere, because it will only take a few tries before you get a feel for it. Here's what some forum users had to say:  
"I always put my potatoes in the basket, then carrots, pumpkin etc in varoma bottom and peas, corn, beans, silverbeet etc in top of varoma. I add 900g cold water to the bowl and set 35min varoma temp speed 1. And they always cook perfectly. I actually don't bother turning the speed up as I find this is spot on."

And from Katherine, mother of 5 in WA:
"We have veggies just about every night in some shape or form. Steamed majority of the time. They are cheap, healthy and filling .. especially for large families. I often make dishes and serve extra veg on the side just to make sure it will fill them up  

The size of the veg when steaming is the key to it cooking. I FILL my steamer basket, the varoma bowl and tray and I mean fill and have it cook easy.

As Amy said they need to be smallish. I cut potatoes to around 2cm square, throw them in the rice basket with tap water and put it on for about 35 minutes. Then I start adding my other veg in, carrots (in rings), sweet potato, any other root veg we may be having, brussel sprouts, pumpkin, cauli & broccoli, depending on how much other veg I have in the bowl these may end up on the tray along with beans, spinach, corn, and peas.

I make sure steam can get through on all layers and because I have it so full I use speed 4. It took a little while for me to master this when I first got my TMX, but now I know the size of the veg and it is just automatic."

What about yummy recipes?

I love all the inspiration on Nat's Thermomixen in the kitchen blog about steaming. Some brilliant recipes and lots of helpful pictures to help you see how to set things up and place them in the thermomix.

and look, too much talk about health makes me want to eat cake, so please try this one on for steaming size... Chocolate Chestnut Cheesecake or my very own Baked Chocolate Cheesecake steamed in the Varoma. 

Here's a few favourites, with enormous thanks to Leonie from ThermoFun:

ThermoFun -
Varoma Recipes Recommended
Bangers and mash: and what other vegetable you like. Sausages in top tray, vege in bottom tray, potatoes in basket; varoma temp, 35 mins, speed 2

Beef Stew with Buttermilk Dumplings:

Beef Stir Fry: Dani Valent's In the Mix book

Quirky Cooking's "Fried" Rice
Quirky Cooking's Chicken and Cashews, Coconut Satay sauce and coconut rice
Quirky Cooking's Sesame Salmon and Tikka 
Quirky Cooking's Spicy BBQ Chicken

Chicken or Salmon Veloute: Hosts receive this recipe for having a demo.

Chicken, Shitake and Lupchong Hotpot:

Chilli Basil Meat Balls:

Chilli Mussels with Thyme and Tomatoes: Every Day Cookbook 

Curried sausages

Devilled Sausages:

Ginger and Soy Glazed Salmon with Bok Choy and Coconut Rice:

Lemon Cupcakes with Citrus Syrup:

Meatballs Swedish: Meat on the Menu Cookbook

Meatloaf and Red Sauce or Mushroom Sauce: Every Day Cookbook

Roast Chicken: Devil of a Cookbook

Salmon Steaks with Cucumber and Spiced Yoghurt

Salmon Tikka with rice and veg
Indian cookbook (takes 20 minutes) - substitutes well with chicken (the timings would be too long for salmon for me, anyway), and also, make it Thai instead - mix red curry paste and yoghurt 50/50 and coat chicken (or salmon) in it, and make a quick cucumber pickle to go on the side of the chicken, rice and steamed veg - cut a 4-5 length of cucumber, halve it lengthways, scrape out seeds, then shave off ribbons lengthways with a vegetable peeler. Put in a bowl with a splash of rice wine vinegar and a dollop of sweet chilli sauce, and mix together.

Snapper di Josie: Every Day Cookbook (or can use chicken)

Steamed Prawn and Chicken Dumplings:

Teriyaki salmon: Just whiz up some garlic, ginger, soy and a little brown sugar. Marinade your salmon in it for as long as you have (5 mins or 5 hrs) Put salmon in top tray and veg in bottom. Pour excess marinade over veg. Pop brown rice into basket in jug with water to just cover. Cook rice and veg 10mins/Varoma/Sp 2. Top up water if required. Place top tray into Varoma with Salmon and cook 20mins/Varoma/Speed 2

Tomato pasta with Vegetables and Feta: Vegetarian cookbook

Veal pizziola: EDC (NB: this is in the old EDC not the new one). Can substitute with

Vietnamese Chicken Meatball and Noodle Soup

Thermomix Australia's Coquilles St Jacques

Please share your steaming tips and favourite recipes! Can't wait to hear from you...

Wednesday 24 October 2012


So folks, all the handy hints out there on facebook pages are too good to forget.  I thought I might start blogs for each one. I'll facebook them, you can add your comments and I will update my blog with them. That way it's easier to retrieve all our handy hints we have helped each other with.

Yoghurt is something I love, and is the main item that made our thermomix pay for itself. It's so rewarding to fill my fridge with such low cost, high quality yoghurt and encourage the children to enjoy it as a healthy snack option. Pictured is our sour cream-like yoghurt.

There are lots of different yoghurt recipes out there, to do with creating the particular texture you want, and minimising any added ingredients. Less is more. What I want to do is provide some technique tips.

1. Pasteurising can be achieved fairly quickly, you may get a difference in texture with the length of time, so let me know what you have experienced. I set my 1.3L of milk to cook for 20 minutes, 90 degrees, and that gets the texture I like. (Very firm)

2. The cooling down to the right temperature is absolutely key! Make sure you have allowed at least an hour. Put the bowl back on the thermomix base and mix for 2 seconds speed 3 to get the temperature even before checking it. If the green 37 degree light is on - do a 'baby bottle wrist check', by using a very clean spoon end and dobbing the milk on your wrist. The ideal is close to 40 degrees - so just slightly warmer than blood temperature. This is accurate enough as there is a 5 degree flexibility. If it is too cool, (no lights are showing) give it 4 minutes on 50 degrees, speed 2. You want the mix to reach higher than 37 degrees, but not 50 degrees.

3. Adding your culture. You need to use what you want to reproduce. Whether it is Jalna or Vaalia, a good quality yoghurt is important. You can re-use your own yoghurt at least 5 times, but then you may notice a sharpness developing that indicates it is time for a fresh batch. I now buy my culture from cheeselinks: as it works out very cost effectively. When I remember to keep some yoghurt, I use that for my culture, and then can start a fresh batch with the frozen granules at any time. The usual 10 minutes on 30 degrees speed soft is perfect, just allow a couple of seconds at speed 3 to start with to get your culture mixed through the milk.

4. Incubating. This is where I have a handy hint: I like to place a 1.6L round pyrex in my thermoserver and incubate my milk in that. It adds an extra layer of insulation, and means that you can just pull out the pyrex at the end (with a tea towel that you have already put underneath - see picture), so your thermoserver is free for another job and the mixture can cool more quickly in your fridge.
To help get everything to incubate well I do the following:

  • make sure everything is very clean (dishwasher is enough)
  • make sure everything is WARM (not hot). When you set your culture to mix, pop your oven onto 50 degrees (warm setting) and place your upside-down pyrex and thermoserver inside. Set the oven to switch off after 2-3 minutes.
  • Put your clean teatowel or muslin in your thermoserver and your pyrex in that. Pour in your yoghurt, and place the lot in the turned off but warm oven - PUT A REMINDER ON YOUR OVEN! Just saying that someone silly (no names here) may forget and turn the oven on and melt your thermoserver base...whoops
  • Incubation time is important. Fresh culture may mean it is done within 6 hours, it is apparently safe to leave for 18 hours, but I will confirm that with food safety australia before recommending. The longer you leave, the more the bacteria develops and the creamier the texture. You may need to turn your oven on for a couple of minutes on very low if it is still not to the texture you want after 8 hours. Leave it for another 4-6 hours. I saw a fabulous picture of someone rising their bread on the top of their hot water system - that may be an option for your yoghurt!
5. Recipes. Well, I would love to hear your ideas. 

for an incredibly creamy and beautiful organic yoghurt (for $2.50/litre) you can use Thermoculture's recipe:

Thermoculture I have been meaning to upload this onto the community for a while, thanks for the reminder! Here it is for now (and I forgot to add the cost of the cream so it's in the $5 range) PS this is my husband's recipe to make a 'cream top' yoghurt, similar to Barambah's one : ) 

Place 2 litres milk in TM bowl and cook for 1hour at 90 deg speed 3 with TM cap off.
Add 200 ml cream and cook for a further hour at 90 deg speed 3 with TM cap off.

Stir on speed 3 till temp reduces to 70 deg then take lid off and allow to cool to 37 deg.

Add 2 Tablespoons of yoghurt (kept from previous batch) and mix 5 seconds speed 5 and then cook 10 mins 37 deg speed 1.

Mean while sterilize thermoserver bowl and lid with boiling water, and empty.

Pour youghurt mixture into thermoserver with lid on and leave on the bench for at least 8 hours. Enjoy!

Our Lush family basic recipe is this:
1.3L of milk
100g skim milk powder 
(yes I know the high heat treatment of the milk proteins may produce free radicals - but at this stage the research suggests that the interaction of these free radicals in our body may affect cholesterol, and my cholesterol is tops after a life-time of skim milk powder so I'm keeping the extra firmness in the yoghurt that these milk solids provide)
1 tablespoon of raw sugar

Now, if you want to be BAD you can add a dollop of cream. Yum. And if you want to be good you can just use the milk only. Pasteurise for a bit longer.
I would love to hear your ideas.

Here's a video about making yoghurt and yoghurt cheese by the canadian foodie

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Chicken Roulade - moderate salicylates

Well, you will all just have to try this and let me know how it went, because I’m sitting down to recall what I did 5 days ago and my short term memory has….what were we talking about?

Moderate Salicylate Chicken Roulades
The dodgy memory version

2 chicken breasts per 3 people
2 shallots
1 clove of garlic
tablespoon of failsafe oil
1 carrot
small handful of raw cashews
1-2 brussel sprouts
small handful of oats – GF – puffed rice or piece of GF bread
some chives/parsley
tsp of failsafe veggie stock concentrate

Place garlic and roughly chopped shallots into TM and chop for 2 seconds speed 7.
Add Oil and sauté for 2 minutes, 100 degrees speed 2.

Add all remaining vegetables/nuts/oats and pulse to chop and combine until desired pesto-like consistency. Tip into a bowl, and rinse out TM bowl as per normal.

Put your chicken breasts on some baking paper or a silicone mat and tenderize/release your frustrations until it is all approximately 5mm thick. I suggest whacking all of them at the one time so you aren’t spreading chicken-ey fingers everywhere. (Wash hands when done).

You need cling film for each chicken piece, and they need to be 1 ½ times the size of the tenderized breast. Lay the chicken piece on the cling film, spread a thin layer of the veggie mix and then roll tightly, then wrap super tightly with the cling. Arrange on the varoma.

Put 1000g water into the TM bowl, put peeled and cubed potatoes in the simmering basket and set the TM to 28 minutes, varoma temp, speed 2. Take the potatoes out after 20 minutes and move your chicken rolls over with tongs. Rest when cooked in the Thermoserver.

In the last few minutes, add whatever vegetables you want to steam to accompany your meal.

For the sauce: reserve about ¾ of a cup of the liquid left at the bottom of the TM, add ½ tablespoon cornstarch, ½ tsp citric acid, 10g golden syrup, 5 pieces of steamed potato and cook 4 minutes, 90 degrees speed 4, blitzing for 30 seconds at the end. Cut the chicken in the film, and then remove it as you plate. 

* We did 6 chicken breasts at once, so it was a bit of a squeeze getting veggies in at the end. We also did cut the thickest to check it was cooked
* pictured are the ones with fried eggplant plus the vegetable pesto for the people who can eat as many salicylates as they like!