This year was my daughter’s first Mother’s Day – and mine as a Grandmother and Mother-in-Law of two!  A VERY exciting day!  My whole wonderful family gathered at our place for Brunch.  We met after my Son-in-Law ran in the Mother’s Day Classic (a fun run to raise money for breast cancer research), so I knew the Brunch would need to be hearty.  I took the opportunity to try out a new FF recipe … and to GF-ify an old favourite.

To make my Mother’s Day more relaxed I made the baked beans and tomatoes the day before and reheated them.  Easy!

… Buckwheat Pancakes … Oven Roasted Roma Tomatoes … hickory smoked bacon …
… eggs …
wilted spinach … Baked Adzuki Beans … lashings of maple syrup …
… my son’s AMAZING homemade smoked sweet chilli sauce (my Mother’s Day gift) ..

Viola’s Canadian Pancakes

Viola was the mother of one of my son’s friends when he was in Primary School (ie a LONG time ago!).  I first made them by the 100s at their class’ stall at the School Fête.  We had several bbq griddle plates set up, and served them with fresh strawberries and cream.  They were a HUGE hit then … and I still love them now.  They have NEVER failed me.

The original recipe uses Self-Raising flour – I substituted buckwheat flour – and they were wonderfully nutty in flavour.  A big success!

1½ cups buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup oatmeal
¾ cup skim milk powder (my husband is dairy intolerant so I left this out)
1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons melted margarine
2 eggs – lightly beaten
1½-2 cups water (I used soy milk – because I didn’t use the skim milk powder)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix together ONLY until smooth.  Do NOT overbeat!
It’s quite a thick pouring batter.

Makes 12-14 pancakes (like large pikelets)

To cook:

  • Have the griddle (or frypan) at medium heat (about 180°C/350ºF).
  • Grease with a little margarine.
  • Pour a small ladle of batter onto the griddle (¼ cup).
  • Reduce the heat to medium/low.
  • Allow the pancake to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Watch for bubbles on the surface of the pancake. When air bubbles start to rise to the surface at the center of the pancake, flip the pancake.
  • Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until nicely browned.
  • Keep warm while you cook the rest.

Baked Adzuki Beans

I was SO excited when I found this recipe.  I love baked beans, but haven’t been able to eat them since I found out I was Fructan intolerant – until now!  I found out I can eat Adzuki beans – and they are fabulous.

3 cans Adzuki beans – drained
1 clove finely chopped garlic
1 capsicum – diced
1 chilli – seeded and finely sliced (as hot or mild as you like it)
2 sticks celery – diced (you can use an onion if you’re not fructose intolerant)
¾ cup bbq sauce
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1½ teaspoons thyme

  • Soften the garlic, celery (or onion), chilli and capsicum in a little oil.
  • Mix in all the other ingredients.
  • Pour into a casserole dish.
  • Cover and bake for 2 hours at 165ºC/325ºF.

Oven Roasted Roma Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes – halved lenthways
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
You can also sprinkle on your favourite herbs, garlic … whatever you fancy

Place tomatoes on a baking tray – cut side up (I use baking paper = no cleaning up!)
Bake 180ºC/350ºF for 25 minutes – until tomatoes are just soft.

That’s it – a hearty Brunch …


A xo

Posted in Brunch, Dairy Free, Fructan/Fructose Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Phở = inner warmth

I’m still suffering the final remnants of a horrible bout of Influenza Type A and its good friend Bronchitis.  Both have made themselves unwelcome in Melbourne this winter … it’s been the first real winter we’ve had for years … and many of us have fallen like flies.  12 weeks of feeling (various degrees of) lousy has knocked the wind out of my sails (pardon yet another pun).

Last night I wasn’t feeling great, and yearned for a bowl of warm, nourishing chicken noodle soup.  I LOVE Asian soups … especially Phở – so I whipped up a pot for dinner.  It’s really easy to adapt to pretty much any intolerance, as you add whatever YOU can eat to a simple stock.  Each time I make it it’s different … according to what I have in the fridge and pantry.

I made last night’s in my new electric pressure cooker, but it’s just as easy in a normal pot.  DON’T be put off by the list of ingredients … it’s super quick to prepare – once you’ve gathered all your goodies.

Photo from Annie Cafe – I’ll take one next time I make it!

Here’s the version of Phở Ga I cooked last night – for 2 (generous)

For the soup stock
1 litre cold water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon Tamari
1 skinless chicken breast (whole)
1 teaspoon of garlic – crushed
1 dessertspoon ginger – chopped      ]  … as much/little of these as you like
black pepper

For the soup
Here’s where YOUR choice comes in … there is no right here …
… chop these up while the stock is cooking:
1 carrot – cut into matchsticks
2 celery sticks – sliced
Stalks from a bunch of coriander – chopped
1 sachet of instant Dashi
1 chilli – deseeded and sliced thinly
Handful of green beans – cut in half
1 Bok Choy – sliced thinly (I’ve found I can eat a little Bok Choy)
Tofu – cubed

The noodles
Rice stick noodles

To garnish – put these in bowls on the table so people can add what they want:
The leafy bit of the bunch of coriander
A handful of bean shoots
Instant Wakame flakes
Pickled ginger (a weakness of mine)
Finely chopped spring onion or roasted onions (I buy Rostad Lök from Ikea) – for my DH and those who can eat onion

1.  Pop into the pressure cooker:  water, fish sauce, tamari, chicken breast, garlic, ginger and pepper.  Pressure cook for 15 minutes (as for soup).
2.  Remove the chicken and set aside.
3.  Add to the stock: carrot, celery, coriander stalks, dashi, chilli, beans and bok choy STALKS.  Pressure cook for 5 minutes.
4.  While the veggies are cooking, shred the chicken breast – use 2 forks and pull the meat in different directions – and put the rice noodles on to cook.
5.  Set the pot to a gentle simmer, and add: shredded chicken, bok choy leaves and tofu.  Warm through.

To serve
Pile noodles into a bowl.
Top with the soup
Add whichever garnish toppings you like (or ALL of them!!)

I find it easiest to slurp up the noodles with chopsticks … the noisier the better!  🙂

A xo

•  These are ingredients I can eat … you add whatever is right for you.
•  I’ve added links to the brands I used last night – in case people don’t know what I mean – I have NO affiliation with ANY of the companies.
•  Vegetarian = leave out the chicken.
•  Prefer fish … or beef … or a mixture = swap what you use and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
•  To cook in a normal pot:
Like Jamie Oliver recommends, I make the soup stock by covering a whole chicken (or breasts/thighs) with cold water and the rest of the soup stock ingredients (vary the amount according to how much water you use) and simmer for an hour – then remove the chicken to shred.
I add the rest of the soup ingredients and cook 10 minutes.
Then add the shredded chicken, bok choy leaves and tofu to warm through.
= SAME method, just different timing.

Posted in Dairy Free, Fructan/Fructose Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups | 1 Comment

Onion Water & Fructose Malabsorption

As anyone who has Fructan/Fructose malabsorption knows, onions are a ‘killer’.  An onion can blow me up like a veritable balloon and send to me bed within the hour.  They are NOT my best friend!  Which is a pity, really, because I LOVE onions … they smell amazing when they’re cooking, they’re sweet and add a new dimension to the flavour of soups, stews … well, pretty much anything they’re put in.  Having to stick to an onion-free diet is my biggest challenge. I can cope with not having wheat in my diet, but onions … boy … do I miss them!!

So, it was with a certain degree of excitement that I read, on the Silly Yaks Fructose Malabsorption page, that some people can tolerate onion water.  According to their site:

“Many of our stocks are made with onions, a vegetable which is normally off-limits to people with fructose malabsorption allergies, as onions contain high levels of fructans. The fructans in onions, however, remain within the flesh of the onion. By placing quartered onions in a muslin bag before adding them to the stock we are able to ensure that no onion flesh remains in the stock – thus providing the flavour of the onions without the fructans.”

It was something I simply HAD to try … and it works … for me.  Now, when I make soups and stews, I put a quartered onion in a small muslin bag as it cooks, then remove it for serving.  It doesn’t add the same degree of flavour that you get when you caramelise onions in a pan … but it’s MUCH better than none at all!

Note that I said that it works for me … a fructose intolerant friend tried it but, alas, it made no difference … she blew up as usual!  So try it with care.

A xo

Posted in Fructan/Fructose Free | 2 Comments


Welcome to our blog.  Neither of us professes to be any sort of an expert in the area of gut sensitivities … other than both suffering from one! … but we have come to realise we all have some things in common that we might be able to share.

Anyone who has a food sensitivity will know how frustrating it can be to find recipes that someone else has tried, and you know will work.  There are fabulous cookbooks ‘out there’, but we’ve both found that not all the recipes (especially those using gluten free flours) actually turn out the way they look in the pictures.  ALL recipes that make it onto this blog have been made in one of our kitchens, devoured by our families and given our tick of approval.  The recipes here will be either gluten free, fructan free, suitable for IBS … or a mixture of these.

One of us will have eaten the food and not reacted … but that doesn’t mean you won’t.  Intolerances are personal little beasties … so try a little to see how it affects you.

If you have a recipe you’d love to share, contact one of us, we’ll try it and put it up if it passes our ‘family test’.  🙂

We’ve also found it difficult to source products, or find a restaurant to go to that has gluten free choices … so we’ll put links to products, lists, blogs, information … anything we find that might be of help.  We won’t have tried them all … but they will be somewhere to ‘have a look’.  Again – these won’t suit everyone … especially seeing Angela is in Australia and Dee is in the USA, but we’re happy to add other links if others can recommend them.

We hope you enjoy our favourite foods … we do!

A xo

Posted in Just Saying ... | Leave a comment