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  • Gluten-Free Tempura Vegetables (Crispy Fried)

    These easy-to-make gluten-free Tempura Vegetables are an assortment of vegetables that are lightly fried in a delicious and crispy coating. They make the perfect appetiser, side dish, or as part of a main meal. Let me show you how to make them. It always feels like a special treat when we make crispy fried vegetables, especially because they're one of the most popular mezes (tapas) in Greece. Often when ordering this appetiser in Greece, a minimal approach is taken and the vegetables are coated only in flour and then fried rather than dipping them into a batter. Either way, what's not to love about our favourite vegetables being fried into a crispy golden shell? Watch How to Make It Helpful Tips Keeping the Batter Cold A cold batter is one of the keys to making anything crispy when it is fried. Therefore, ice-cold water and a cold egg are added to the batter, and then gently whisked before placing into the fridge for about 10 minutes to further chill. In fact, you could measure the flour needed, and then add them to the fridge for an hour or so before combining it with the water and egg to further chill all the ingredients. Lumpy Batter Do not overwork the batter as it will create a heavier dough. Simply whisk until most of the lumps are combined but do not worry if all lumps are not broken down. The Oil needs to be HOT Firstly, the depth of the oil needs to be at least 2cm and the temperature about 170C / 350F. If you do not have a thermometer, you can tell by placing the tip of a wooden spoon into the oil. If small bubbles start dispersing around the spoon, then it is ready. Do not overcrowd the frying pan This is also vital for crispier results. As the cold batter is added to the frying pan, the temperature of the oil decreases leading to a less crispy batter. Adding too many vegetables and overcrowding reduces the temperature too much and makes it difficult to keep the oil hot. How to ReHeat the Tempura Vegetables This easy-to-make gluten-free Tempura Vegetables is perfect when served warm. If there are leftovers, add them to an air-tight container and reheat them the following day. Place them in a pre-heat oven (220°C fan forced / 240°C conventional oven / 374°F) and onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 4 or so minutes on each side and serve immediately. An air fryer is also a great option. Otherwise, try them cold as we have enjoyed them straight out of the refrigerator! How to Make Tempura Vegetables Make the Batter: Begin by making the tempura batter so it can be placed into the refrigerator for 10 minutes (not longer than 10 minutes). Prepare the Vegetables: In the meantime slice up all the vegetables. Heat the oil for 2-3 minutes prior to cooking. Dip and Cook: Dip 4 pieces of vegetables at a time into the tempura batter, shaking off excess, before adding them gently into the oil. Repeat until the frying pan is full but not overcrowded. Fry for approximately 2-3 minutes per side (eggplant may need longer). The tempura batter should stay a light golden rather than a deep golden brown. Drain: Transfer and drain the tempura vegetables onto a large tray (preferably a wire rack) that has paper towels over it, to absorb any excess oil. Serve: Serve on its own or alongside dipping sauces. Why not try my Cheat's Aioli Dressing as a dip? Other Appetiser Recipes: Big Mac Tacos Zucchini, Basil and Feta Fritters Halloumi with Honey and Thyme Whipped Feta and Falafel Board Vegetarian Meatballs All Appetisers Gluten-Free Tempura Vegetables (Crispy Fried Vegetables) Prep and Chill: 20 minutes Cook: 15 minutes Pieces approximately 50 Needed: Preferably a large frying pan 30cm INGREDIENTS Vegetables: 1 large red capsicum (bell peppers), sliced into 1cm thick strips 1 eggplant, sliced 5mm in round slices 4 small zucchinis, sliced 5mm lengthways PLUS choose one from the following 8 zucchini flowers or 8 button mushrooms (sliced in half) or 16 round or flat green beans Total slices of vegetables: 50+ pieces Tempura Batter: 150g (1 cup) gluten-free self-raising flour 80g (½ cup) white rice flour 400ml (1 ½ cups) ice-cold water 1 jumbo egg (70g) from the fridge (not at room temperature ) 1 teaspoon sea salt Cooking oil (sunflower oil, light avocado oil or olive oil) Dips to serve alongside: Tsatsiki Dip Cheat's Aioli Dip Chipotle Dip INSTRUCTIONS 1. Prepare the tempura batter. Add self-raising flour and rice flour into a wide bowl and mix. Next, pour in the cold water and whisk to combine. Finally, add the egg and continue mixing until the batter is smooth. Place into the refrigerator for 10 minutes. 2. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables. Begin by slicing the zucchini, capsicum, and last the eggplant. Also, prepare your fourth optional choice of vegetable. 3. Heat the cooking oil in a wide base frying pan (making sure the depth of the oil is 2cm in the frying pan). 4. Dip each vegetable into the tempura batter, gently shake off any excess batter and carefully place into the frying pan. Do not overcrowd the pan or the oil temperature will drop and not allow the batter to be extra crispy. Fry until golden and then turn over to fry the opposite side. Cooking will take approximately 2 minutes per side (eggplant may need longer). 5. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel. Repeat with remaining vegetables and batter. If the pan needs more oil, simply top it up and heat before continuing to cook. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram Pinterest Facebook TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare

  • Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free (Kreas Kokkinisto)

    Greek Beef Stew is tender pieces of beef, slowly stewed, in a rich, thick, and flavourful tomato sauce served over a bowl of pasta and topped with grated halloumi or mizithra cheese. I am so excited to share this recipe as it comes from my mum's kitchen, it is a recipe that is close to my heart and it reminds me of my childhood. It's a hearty and warming dish that is uncomplicated and may just end up being one of your favourite recipes as well. Let's begin! What is Kreas Kokkinisto The word KOKKINISTO means 'red stew'. The process of cooking any dish that is 'Kokkinisto' is to brown the meat first, in order to seal in the juices, and then, add the ingredients needed for the rich tomato sauce. Kokkinisto may be prepared with beef, lamb, veal, or chicken and can be served with pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, or thick-cut fried potato chips. Childhood Memory: As a child, my mother would often serve, the next day, leftover Kreas Kokkinisto with homemade thick-cut fried potato chips and we would use the chips to mop us the rich tasty sauce, as you would use bread. It is, to this day, one of my favourite meals. Watch How to Make It How do you make Kreas Kokkinisto? Sear and brown the diced pieces of beef in hot extra virgin olive oil and then add the onions and garlic to sauté. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it begins to caramelize. This changes the aroma and taste of the tomato paste as it sweetens it. Add the spices and pour in the boiling water, enough to cover the meat. Stew the meat over low heat for 1.5 - 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce thickens. Helpful Tips Pasta Any Gluten Free Pasta suits this recipe, however, my personal favourites are large spirals or tubular spaghetti. Cook the pasta once the beef has cooked. This will give the beef resting time. Beef The only cuts I would suggest are chuck steak or gravy beef. They are meant for stews. Searing the Beef It is essential that the beef is seared. Searing the beef keeps in its juices and scraping the caramelised bits in the pot from the searing gives the stew a much deeper and rich flavour. Thickening the Sauce The easiest way to thicken the sauce is by bringing the sauce to a full boil, uncovered, and boiling for 5-7 minutes in the end, once the beef has cooked. Often corn flour/starch is added, however, this turns the stew sauce into a gravy-like consistency. Cheese! (or a dairy-free alternative) Traditionally, a cheese called MIZITHRA is used to top the beef and pasta. It is the equivalent of parmesan cheese - but Greek. This is the MIZITHRA I like to use, however, grated HALLOUMI works just as well or even crumbled feta cheese (In saying this, parmesan cheese is perfectly fine to use as well). What can I serve this Kreas Kokkinisto with? over a bowl of pasta, on a bed of rice, over mashed potatoes or alongside thick-cut fried potato chips. This recipe can also be served with: Greek Salad Baked Feta with Olives Greek Potato Salad with Purslane Zucchini Slice with Feta Other Beef Dinner Ideas Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb Juicy Beef Kafta One Pan Roast Beef and Vegetables Moussaka Shepherd's Pie Zucchini Cannelloni Bake And there we have it. The best Greek Beef Stew you'll ever make (especially because it's my mum's recipe 😉) Happy Creating! Margaret Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free (Kreas Kokkinisto) Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Serves: 4-6 Cooking Pot: 24cm in diameter INGREDIENTS 1.2 kg boneless beef 3cm cubed (gravy beef or chuck steak) 60ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil 1 large onion, diced 4 large cloves garlic, minced 2 heaped tablespoons of tomato paste 1 teaspoon ground pimento spice or allspice 1 cinnamon stick 2 -3 teaspoons sea salt flakes ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1.2 litres boiling water (may need extra) Gluten-Free Pasta of choice INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat oil in a cooking pot and once the oil is heated, only then, add the beef. Over high heat, cook the beef until any liquid that has been released is evaporated and the beef is golden and browning. This could take up to 10 minutes. 2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until softened, and stirring occasionally. Season well with sea salt and pepper. 3. Add the tomato paste and stir through the beef until it is coated. Sauté for a further minute. 4. Add the ground allspice, cinnamon stick and enough boiling water to cover the meat. Allow boiling for 1 minute. 5. Reduce the heat, cover with the pot lid, and simmer for 1 hour, checking every 20 minutes, and gently stirring. Over the hour, the sauce should become rich and thick. However, if the sauce has reduced too much (halfway down the meat) add more boiling water to prevent the meat from burning. You will be able to see, if more water is needed, after the first 30 minutes of cooking time. 6. Once cooked, remove from heat, keep a lid on to keep warm, and prepare pasta according to packet instructions. 7. Drain pasta and divide between bowls and top with beef stew and plenty of sauce. Serve with finely grated parmesan cheese or for a more traditional flavour, use grated mizithra cheese or halloumi cheese. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram Pinterest Facebook TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare

  • Cinnamon Banana on Toast, gluten-free

    Toasted gluten-free bread that is slathered in gooey peanut butter, with slices of caramelized banana, cooked in cinnamon and maple syrup, and then topped with a sprinkle of sliced almonds. This simple yet moreish recipe for Cinnamon Banana on Toast tastes like your favourite banana bread but is much healthier and quicker to prepare. It's deliciously sweet from the bananas, takes little effort, and is a great alternative to eggs on toast. Enjoy it for breakfast, lunch, or an on-the-go snack. Best of all it's gluten-free! What makes this Cinnamon Banana on Toast so Good? Packed with Nutrients Peanut butter and bananas make this a wholesome, filling, and nutritional meal. Peanut or almond butter is a great source of healthy fats and bananas are a complex carbohydrate. Quick and Easy You only need 10 minutes to make this meal. Just because it's quick and simple doesn't mean it's missing anything! Delicious and Tasty The combination of maple syrup and cinnamon goes together like a puppy and a lap. It's the quintessential flavour combination that is paired with bananas. Watch How to Make It Helpful Tips Bananas Use only yellow bananas, not over-ripe or under-ripe for the perfect texture and flavour. Similarly, make sure the banana slices do not overlap when cooking in the pan, because you want each slice of banana to caramelize. Sourdough Slices or Bagels? This is entirely a personal preference. As I am a huge fan of the Gluten Freedom Sourdough Bagels, I tend to make this recipe using these bagels. They are soft but dense and perfect. Peanut Butter or Almond Butter This once again is a personal preference. Either peanut butter or almond butter can be used and interchanged. Save Time and Multitask Save time by slicing the bananas whilst the bread is toasting AND whilst the bananas are caramelizing in the pan, slather the bread with peanut butter. This saves time and makes it a great on-the-go meal. How to make Cinnamon Banana on Toast Slice and toast the bread/bagels to your liking (I prefer golden) In the meantime, slice the bananas Spread about half a tablespoon of peanut butter over each toast Place the butter into a pan to melt and then add the maple syrup, cinnamon and sea salt. Combine well. Add the sliced bananas into the pan and spread them out, do not overlap any banana slices. Once one side has caramelized, turn them over and cook the other side. Each side takes approximately 2 minutes. Place 2 toasts on each plate, top the peanut butter with slices of caramelised banana and sprinkle almond slices over the top. Serve! Other Breakfast / Easy Lunch Ideas Baked Eggs in a Bagel Hole Blistered Tomatoes and Ricotta Bruschetta Mushroom and Onion Omelette Sweet Potato Quiche with a Wrap Base Nacho Bacon and Eggs Spanish Omelette Halloumi Muffins And there we have it. The best sweet breakfast bagel, that only takes 10 minutes to cook! I'm sure you'll love my Cinnamon Banana on Toast any time of the day! Happy Creating! Margaret Cinnamon Banana on Toast Serves 4 Prep 5 minutes Cook 10 minutes INGREDIENTS 4 bagels, sliced in half or 8 slices of thick Sourdough bread (I’ve used Gluten Freedom Sourdough Bagels ) 4-5 tablespoons smooth or crunchy peanut butter (alternative: almond butter) 3 larger bananas, sliced 1 cm thick 1 heaped tablespoon butter (I used dairy-free Nuttelex butter) 4 tablespoons maple syrup 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Pinch of sea salt flakes A handful of almond flakes, crushed by hand INSTRUCTIONS 1. Slice bagels in half and toast in a toaster. 2. Place 2 bagel halves onto each plate and top with a layer of peanut butter. 3. Place into a wide-based frying pan the butter and melt. Next add the maple syrup, cinnamon, and sea salt flakes. Combine well. 4. Next add in the banana slices and over high heat, spread them out and cook each side until lightly caramelized, approximately 2 minutes per side. 5. Remove banana slices from the heat and layer over the bagels. Sprinkle with crushed almond flakes and serve. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram Pinterest Facebook TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare

  • Pastryless Spanakopita, Gluten-Free (No Pastry)

    This gluten-free Pastryless Spanakopita (No Pastry Spinach and Feta Pie), is made with fresh spinach, garden herbs, creamy feta cheese, and the nutritional goodness of eggs! It tastes just like traditional Spanakopita but without the fuss of rolling out your own filo pastry. Best of all it's a one-bowl recipe that is healthy, juicy, and topped with plenty of cheese! What is a No-Pastry Spanakopita A No-Pastry Spanakopita is similar to a Spinach and Feta Slice, which tastes like a spanakopita, but without the phyllo pastry. It's easy to put together as there is no need to roll open any phyllo pastry, and best of all it is all done in one bowl. My No-Pastry Spanakopita is gluten-free, juicy, cheesy, delicious and one of the easiest slices you will ever make. How to Make It Helpful Tips Frozen or Fresh Spinach It's better to skip frozen spinach and use fresh silverbeet (chard) for this recipe, especially since the spinach is not previously cooked and there is no phyllo pastry or crust. Also, fresh spinach is traditionally used to make Greek Spanakopita. It has a distinctively different texture and flavour compared to frozen spinach. Making it Dairy-Free Using dairy-free alternatives for this recipe works perfectly well. Simply replace each dairy product with its non-dairy equivalent eg. feta with vegan feta and cheddar with vegan cheddar. Gluten-Free Flour Alternatives This recipe can also be made using wheat-based flour and works just as well. The only change would be to increase the GF self-raising flour to one whole cup of wheat SR flour. How To Make this PastryLess Spanakopita The easiest Spanakopita you will ever make! It's a One-Bowl Recipe! Chop up the spinach, green onions, and herbs Whisk the eggs in a large and deep bowl Add all the ingredients to the bowl with the whisked eggs Give it a good mix (using a glove, I like to use my hand to combine well) Line a tray with baking paper and pour in the mixture Bake for approximately 50 minutes Allow cooling in the tray Slice and serve. What can you Serve with this Pastyless Spanakopita It can be served on its own as an appetiser, light lunch, or even brunch option. As a dinner option, it can be served alongside any meal. Here are some ideas: Lemon and Garlic Butter Fish Basil and Zucchini Pesto Pasta Juicy Beef Kafta Chicken and Halloumi Tray Bake Cauliflower Tabouli Other Vegetarian Recipes Pastryless Spanakopita No-Pastry Spinach and Feta Pie Bakeware 30cm x 20cm 15-18 pieces Prep 15 minutes Cook 50 minutes INGREDIENTS 350g silverbeet spinach leaves, washed, dried & finely chopped 250g feta, crumbled (dairy-free option*) 250g tasty cheddar cheese, grated (dairy-free option*) 250ml (1 cup) milk of choice 130g (1 cup) plain flour, gluten-free 90g (¾ cup) self-raising flour, gluten-free 1 ½ cups of fresh mint, parsley, and dill, combined 8 large eggs, whisked 6 green onions, sliced 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons sea salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper INSTRUCTIONS 1. Prepare all ingredients and add to a large bowl (setting aside a large handful of tasty cheddar cheese to add at a later stage). Combine well making sure the cheese and herbs are evenly distributed amongst the spinach. 2. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan forced / 200°C conventional oven / 400°F, and then line a baking dish approximately 30cm x 20cm (no need to line if non-stick, simply brush with plenty of olive oil). 3. Pour the spinach and feta mixture into the tray and flatten with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle over the top of the remaining tasty cheddar cheese. 4. Bake for 50-55 minutes rotating the baking dish halfway through the cooking time. 5. Allow cooling in the baking dish for at least 30 minutes and then on a wire rack if needed. Slice and serve. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram Pinterest Facebook TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare

  • Eggs in a Bagel Hole, gluten-free

    These Eggs in a Bagel Hole will be your favourite way to enjoy baked eggs. It's quick to prepare, fun to make, nutritious, and absolutely delicious. It's the perfect way to start the day or even enjoy as a light and healthy lunch or dinner option, and as always, they're gluten-free! Let's begin 2023 with one of the easiest recipes anyone can make and I can just about guarantee that these Baked Egg in a Bagel Hole, will be made, not only for breakfast but also for lunch and even dinner! What is a Egg in a Bagel Hole When I was a little girl, my parents would sometimes cut a round hole in sliced bread, place it in a frying pan and crack an egg in the centre of it. They used to call it 'egg in bread' which I later found out, some countries call this 'eggs in a nest' or 'toad in a hole' LOL!! I wanted to recreate this recipe, without frying the bread and egg and hence came up with baking the bagels and eggs instead. This fun twist on a breakfast bagel is with fresh baby spinach, slices of ripe tomatoes, spanish onion, creamy feta and perfectly baked sunny side up eggs. Watch How To Make It Helpful Tips Bagels The bagels I have chosen to use are these Sourdough Bagels by Gluten Freedom. They are gluten free, dairy and soy free and taste just like tradtional bagels. If you are not a coeliac or have a gluten intolerance, then traditional bagels work just the same. These are the Gluten Freedom Bagels I have used for this recipe. Eggs Use medium size eggs. This is the perfect size for the yolk to sit in the bagel hole. The egg whites will overflow, and that is perfectly normal, as it spreads over the bagel and cooks nice and crisp in the oven. Extra Virgin Olive Oil Make sure you drizzle plenty of extra virgin olive oil over the bagel before placing the spinach over the top. This keeps the bagel moist and adds plenty of flavour and nutrition, whilst preventing it from drying. Feta or Dairy Free Feta Greek Feta goes perfectly with the tomatoes, onions and spinach in this recipe. However, if you're like me and can't eat dairy, then choose a soy or cashew based feta or spread that will stay firm whilst baking. I have found coconut based feta may melt in comparison to a cashew based feta. There are many to choose from but I am a huge fan of the Nutty Bay Range Salad Ingredients I love the combination of baby spinach, tomatoes and onions, however, this recipe suits any combination of salad, including adding red capsicum, corn and even thin slices of zucchini. I suggest looking at what you have in your refrigerator and experiment with ingredient combinations! How to Make Eggs in Bagel Hole Preheat the oven 200°C fan forced / 220°C conventional oven / 425°F and line a baking tray with baking paper. Using a sharp knife, evenly cut the bagels in half and place them onto the baking tray. Drizzle with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. Place a few baby spinach leaves over the cut side of the bagel, but do not cover the bagel hole. Carefully crack each egg and gently place it in the centre of the bagel, making sure the yolk sits in the bagel hole. It is normal for the egg white to spill over the top of the bagel and even overflow a little. Top with slices of tomato, onion, crumbled feta, and season well. Bake and Enjoy! Other Brunch Ideas Ham and Mushroom Quesadilla Baked Mexican Frittata with Beans Mushroom and Onion Omelette Sweet Potato Quiche with a Wrap Base Nacho Bacon and Eggs Spanish Omelette 4 minute Skillet Breakfast Halloumi Muffins And there we have it. The best breakfast bagel that only takes 12 minutes to cook! I'm sure you'll love my Eggs in a Bagel Hole. Happy Creating! Margaret Eggs in a Bagel Hole, gluten-free Serves 4 Prep 10 minutes Bake 12 minutes INGREDIENTS 4 bagels, sliced in half (I’ve used Gluten Freedom Bagels) 8 medium size eggs 1 cup baby spinach 2 small Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly 1 small red onion, sliced thinly 100g feta, crumbled (alternatively use dairy-free feta) Extra virgin olive oil Sea salt Freshly ground pepper Parsley to garnish INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 200°C fan forced / 220°C conventional oven / 425°F and line a baking tray with baking paper. 2. Slice bagels in half and place the cut side up on a tray. Drizzle each with extra virgin olive oil. 3. Begin by placing a few leaves of baby spinach onto each bagel. Next, crack an egg into the center of each bagel, allowing the yolk to sit in the bagel hole. 4. Top the bagel with slices of tomato, onion, crumbled feta, parsley, and season. 5. Bake for 12-13 minutes for a soft-centered egg or 15-16 minutes for a harder yolk. 6. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top and serve. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram Pinterest Facebook TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare

  • Fruit and Nut Christmas Cake, gluten-free

    This delicious gluten-free Fruit and Nut Christmas Cake has the perfect combination of sweet fruit, nuts, and warm Christmas spices. It's the perfect addition to your holiday baking list! You'll especially love that it is light and fluffy, has tasty pieces of pineapple and pecans throughout it, and most importantly it is gluten-free and dairy free! This one-bowl, no-electrical appliance-needed Christmas Cake is so easy that anyone can bake it! What is Christmas Cake? Christmas cake is a long-standing tradition that started back in the 16th century! This tradition has been carried through from all over the world and has many variations depending on the recipes that have been passed down over the years. The Christmas cake is a very popular cake during Christmas with variations of cakes with frosting, mixed spices, powdered sugar, orange zest, other fruits, and more! In England, Christmas cake is a tradition that began as plum porridge. People ate the porridge on Christmas Eve, using it to line their stomachs after a day of fasting. Soon dried fruit, spices, and honey were added to the porridge mixture, and eventually, it turned into Christmas pudding. In the United States, fruit cake is often served around Christmas time but this is not considered an actual Christmas Cake. Why is it called Christmas Cake? In the 16th century, oatmeal was removed from the original recipe, and butter, wheat flour, and eggs were added. These ingredients helped hold the mixture together in what resulting in a boiled plum cake. Richer families that had ovens began making fruit cakes with marzipan, an almond sugar paste, for Easter. For Christmas, they made a similar cake using seasonal dried fruit and spices. The spices represented the exotic eastern spices brought by the Wise Men. This cake became known as "Christmas cake." (English Tea Store) Watch How to Make It How do you Make Fruit and Nut Christmas Cake? This recipe requires no beating of eggs and butter and no sifting of flour. And though it is not made like a traditional Christmas Cake, it tastes like one - and even better! Let's begin! First, you will need to soak all the dried fruit in a bowl along with the orange zest, orange juice, and brandy. It is best to soak overnight but a minimum of 3 hours works just as well. In the meantime, prepare the remaining ingredients. I like to chop up the whole fruit (dried apricots and pineapple slices) and nuts (pecans and pistachios), rather than buying them already crushed or diced. Next, add to the fruit soak, the coconut sugar, spices, psyllium husk, warm water, pecans, pistachios, eggs, and dairy-free butter. Using a spoon to combine and a fork to 'mash up like a banana' the dairy-free butter. I have used Nuttelex for this recipe, however, butter can also be used. Next, add the almond flour and self-raising flour and combine well. I personally love to use Casalare Flour as the mixture works perfectly. Prepare the round cake pan by spraying it with oil and lining it with baking paper. Pour the cake mixture into the pan and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. It is optional to decorate with some glazed fruit but I often just add a wreath of flaked almonds. Allow sitting for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven. Bake for 2 hours and 40 minutes, however, as each oven works differently, you may need to bake for 10 minutes less or more. It is baked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cooling for 1 hour in the pan before transferring to the cooling rack. Cool completely before serving. Can I make my cake without alcohol? Yes, you can replace the alcohol with a strong-tasting Earl Grey Tea or Rum Flavouring mixed with water. Too much cake? Why not make a smaller cake? Make this cake using half the quantities. Simply use a cake pan that is 20cm in diameter and cook for approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes, or until the skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. How to Store this Christmas Cake This cake can remain at room temperature for 24 hours, making sure it is wrapped in baking paper and then wrapping it in cling wrap. Thereafter, place it into an airtight container as well and into the refrigerator. Other Festive Recipe Ideas Blistered Tomatoes and Ricotta Bruschetta Zucchini, Basil and Feta Fritters Easy Christmas Ham Greek Salad Greek Lamb Roast Fruit and Nut Christmas Cake Serves 12 Pan size 23-25cm diameter Prep 10 minutes Fruit Soak overnight Cook 2 hours 40 minutes INGREDIENTS Cake Mixture: 200g / 2 cups almond flour 150g / 1 cup gluten-free self-raising four 200g dairy-free butter, at room temperature 130ml / ½ cup warm water 40g / ¼ cup coconut sugar 20g / ¼ cup psyllium husk 120g / 1 cup pecans, VERY finely chopped 30g / ¼ cup pistachios, VERY finely chopped 7 large eggs Spices: ½ teaspoon clove ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ teaspoon ginger 1 teaspoon cinnamon Fruit Soak: 250ml / 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice Zest of 1 whole orange 100ml brandy (Traditional French, Cherry Brandy or Cointreau or Grand Marnier) 150g glazed cherries, cut in half 200g dried currents 200g dried sultanas 100g dried apricots, VERY finely diced 150g dried pineapple, VERY finely diced INSTRUCTIONS 1. Place the ingredients for the fruit mixture in a bowl and combine well. Soak overnight or for a minimum of 3 hours. 2. Preheat oven to 140°C fan forced / 160°C conventional oven / 325°F and line a round cake pan with baking paper. 3. Add to the fruit soak the spices, coconut sugar, psyllium husk, water, pecans, pistachios, eggs, dairy-free butter and combine well. It is helpful to use a fork to “mash” the butter. 4. Add the almond flour and self-raising flour and mix until all ingredients are well combined. 5. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Optional to add glazed fruit to decorate or simply add almond flakes. Allow sitting for 5 minutes. 6. Bake in the oven for 2 hours 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 7. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour in pan before transferring to cooling rack. Cool completely before serving. Too much cake? Why not make a smaller cake? Make this cake using half the quantities. Simply use a cake pan that is 20cm in diameter and cook for approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes, or until the skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram Pinterest Facebook TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare

  • Zucchini Basil and Feta Fritters, gluten-free (kolokitho-keftedes)

    These homemade gluten-free Zucchini, Basil, and Feta Fritters are perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. They make for a healthy appetiser, side dish, or even light meal. In Greek, we call the 'kolokitho-keftedes' and they are the perfect bite of summer! What are Kolokithokeftedes (Zucchini Fritters)? Separating the word 'kolokithokeftedes' in half, 'kolokithi' means zucchini and 'keftedes' means meatballs, so together it makes the word Zucchini-balls. What makes these fritters Greek and different from most fritters is the incorporation of tangy feta and a whole heap of fresh herbs. The taste is aromatic and sensational. Watch How to Make It Helpful Tips Can I prepare the ingredients ahead of time? All the ingredients can be individually prepared ahead of time, however, overnight, the zucchini may release more liquid which will need to be squeezed out again. Combine the ingredients only when ready to cook. The Lemon and Garlic Dip can be made the day before and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. I want an Extra Crispy Coating For an extra crispy coating, add a heaped tablespoon of parmesan cheese to the mixture. Can I swap brown rice flour with plain gluten-free flour? Yes, you can but I find brown rice or rice flour helps to make the fritters cripsy. How To Make Zucchini, Basil and Feta Fritters First, begin by making your Lemon and Garlic Dip so it has time to set in the fridge. Using a fine grater, simply grate the fresh garlic, and the lemon skin and then combine this with the yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, and pepper. Refrigerate. Next prepare the zucchini. Grate on a coarse grater and then squeeze out as much liquid as you can. You can use a paper towel, nut bag, or cheesecloth or even place it into a strainer and using the back of a spoon, push down to release the liquid. Chop the green onions, basil, and dill and add them to the bowl with the zucchini. Crumble into fine pieces the feta and add them to the bowl. Crack the eggs, whisk them and add them to the bowl. Season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper and add the brown rice flour. Combine well. Heat the oil in a frying pan (I love to use olive oil or avocado oil) and only add the scoop of the mixture if the oil sizzles once the tip of the mixture is added. This step helps to achieve crispy fritters. Cook on each side over medium-high heat until golden brown and do not overcrowd the pan. Continue with the remaining mixture. What to serve with Zucchini, Basil and Feta Fritters Greek Salad Mexican Quinoa Salad Basil and Zucchini Pesto Pasta Greek Tzatziki Dip Lamb Cutlets with Sage and Chickpeas Green Bean Stew (Fasolakia) Zucchini, Basil and Feta Fritters Prep 10 minutes Cook 15 minutes Makes approximately 20 (6cm in diameter) INGREDIENTS Fritters: 500g / 2 large zucchini, whole 50g / 1 ½ cups fresh basil, washed, finely chopped leaves and stems 20g / ½ cup dill washed, finely chopped leaves and stems 200g feta, crumbled 3 green onions, finely sliced 3 large eggs, whisked 4 tablespoons brown rice flour (optional to use plain gf flour) Seasoning of sea salt and freshly ground pepper Cooking oil for frying (I like to use olive oil or avocado oil) Lemon and Garlic Dip: 250g / 1 cup thick Greek yogurt 1 large garlic clove, finely grated or minced Zest of 1 whole lemon 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil Freshly ground pepper INSTRUCTIONS 1. Begin with the lemon and garlic dip. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover with cling wrap, and place into the refrigerator. 2. Coarsely grate the zucchini, then place one-third of it at a time in the center of a paper towel or nut bag, and squeeze to remove excess liquid. 3. Place the zucchini into a deep large bowl along with the green onions, basil, dill, feta, eggs, rice flour, and seasoning. Combine well and allow to sit for 5 minutes. 4. Heat cooking oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Scoop 2 tablespoons of mixture per fritter, into the frying pan, and fry on both sides until lightly browned. Space the fritters at least 4-5 cm apart whilst frying. 5. Transfer onto a plate with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Repeat the process with the remaining mixture. 6. Serve immediately while crispy or at room temperature and alongside lemon and garlic dip. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram Pinterest Facebook TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare

  • Mexican Quinoa Salad, gluten-free

    This healthy gluten-free Mexican Quinoa Salad is full of bright colours and flavours, with fluffy quinoa and just the right amount of spices. It can be made ahead of time and served at a party, put together as a lunch option, prepared as part of a meal prep or served as a side dish. It is naturally gluten-free and healthy! What is Mexican Quinoa Salad A Mexican Quinoa Salad has the perfect mix of flavours and textures. It combines fluffy cooked quinoa, black beans and corn and a variety of fresh salad vegetables. The homemade dressing is simple and easy to make but packed with Mexican flavours of lime, garlic, cumin and cayenne pepper. Watch How to Make It How to make this Mexican Quinoa Salad Cook the quinoa. Here is my How to Cook Quinoa recipe. Combine the dressing Chop and prepare all the vegetables Finish the Salad - toss all the ingredients together. Serve cold or at room temperature. What else can I add or swap? This salad is very versatile and the ingredients can be substituted for others: Capsicum, cucumbers and tomatoes can be swapped for a tray of diced baked vegetables such as mushrooms, zucchini, pumpkin and sweet potato. Black beans can be swapped for pinto or red kidney beans. Corn can be swapped for yellow capsicum or green peas What to serve it with Stuffed Baked Chicken Breast Stuffed Chicken with Spinach and Feta Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb Juicy Beef Kafta Salmon with Summer Vegetables Oven Baked Calamari What do I do with Leftovers? Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and serve it with: Whole baked potatoes Fried eggs Steamed broccoli or cauliflower steaks As part of a taco/ burrito bowl or simply crumble some feta or add diced avocado through it Meal Prep This is a fantastic meal-prep recipe. In a container, it stays well in the refrigerator for up to a week. Other Salad Ideas Greek Salad Cauliflower Tabouli Greek Potato Salad with Purslane Mexican Quinoa Salad Serves 6-8 as a side Prep 10 Cooking and Cooling Quinoa 20 INGREDIENTS Salad: 3 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (HERE FOR RECIPE) 1 cup parsley or coriander, finely chopped 1 large red onion, diced 1 red capsicum, diced 1 lebanese cucumber, diced 2 roma tomatoes, diced (or 250g punnet grape tomatoes, quartered) 1 can / 400g corn kernels, drained and rinsed 1 can / 400g black beans, drained and rinsed Optional: 1 avocado, diced Dressing Ingredients: ½ cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice 1.5 tsp sea salt 1 tsp ground garlic / 1 large garlic clove, minced ½ tsp ground pepper ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp ground cayenne INSTRUCTIONS 1. Prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil, lime juice, and spices. Whisk with a fork or add them to a jar, cover with a lid and shake well. 2. Place the quinoa salad ingredients into a mixing bowl, and pour the dressing over the top. Mix to combine well and serve. Optional: If adding avocado, dice into small pieces and scatter over the top. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top to prevent it from browning. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram Pinterest Facebook TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare

  • Quinoa

    Quinoa is versatile and can be served alongside anything, including stews and curries, and can be combined into salads and roasted vegetables. Cook it for lunch or dinner or simply make a big batch as part of your meal prep. What is Quinoa Pronounced "keen-wah", Quinoa is a nutritious seed (not a grain) with a light nutty flavour that comes in a variety of colours and types. It is very nutritious and high in protein and as it is naturally gluten-free, it is often used in gluten-free dishes. Quinoa is also made into Quinoa Flour and Quinoa Flakes. Below shows white quinoa and tri-coloured quinoa, however, it also comes in red and black. Preparing Quinoa It is best to prepare quinoa before cooking by first rinsing or placing it into a bowl of water, stirring it a few times and then draining it. Rinsing well reduces the saponin and gives it a nutty flavour. Perfectly Cooked Quinoa Firstly, rinse the quinoa well. Secondly, use exactly twice as much water as quinoa. So, 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water OR 2 cups quinoa to 4 cups water and so on. The cooking time will vary depending on the quantity. Thirdly, it is important not to add any oil as this will make the quinoa gluggy. Fourthly, turn off the heat, cover and allow the quinoa to steam. This allows the quinoa seeds to pop open and become fluffy. Watch How to Make It Grab my Mexican Quinoa Salad Recipe Cook my Mexican Quinoa Salad How to Cook Quinoa Serves 3 cups of cooked quinoa Prep 2 minutes Cook 8-15 minutes Formula: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water INGREDIENTS 1 cup quinoa uncooked, (white, red or tricolour) 2 cups water ½ teaspoon sea salt INSTRUCTIONS 1. Place quinoa in a fine mesh colander and rinse under water. 2. Drain well and then place into a saucepan. 3. Add water and sea salt and bring to a boil. 4. Once boiling, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook until all the water has been absorbed*. Remove any impurities with a spoon. 5. Turn off the heat, cover the pot with the lid and allow it to steam for 10 minutes. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve or allow to completely cool if adding to a cold dish, such as a salad. *Note: smaller size quinoa can absorb the water whilst cooking within 8 minutes and larger size quinoa can take up to 12+ minutes. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram Pinterest Facebook TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare

  • Blistered Tomatoes and Ricotta Bruschetta, gluten-free

    This gluten-free Bruschetta may look simple but is flavour packed. The blistered tomatoes are a little buddle of juicy goodness, and the extra virgin olive oil and oregano sauce is another level of deliciousness. Let's not forget the fresh creamy ricotta and tomato pesto. What a flavour-packed bruschetta! It's the only appetizer you'll need to serve, as everyone will be completely satisfied and grinning with contentment. What is Bruschetta Correctly pronounced: broo-sket-ta Traditionally, bruschetta is an appetiser or starter made from thick Italian bread that is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and rubbed with garlic. It is then toasted or grilled and then topped with ripe fresh tomatoes and herbs. Bruschetta is picked up and eaten by hand. It's fun to eat and often messy as the tomato juices and olive oil end up dripping down your hands and often down your chin. It's a sign that the tomatoes are perfectly ripe! Watch How To Make It Helpful Tips Tomatoes Juicy ripe grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes are essential. They must be bite size and at room temperature when about to pan fry so they can blister beautifully. Extra Virgin Olive Oil It goes without saying that fresh ingredients must always be paired with good quality extra virgin olive oil. I would even go as far as choosing a first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Bread I love bagels and even though bagels are not traditionally used for bruschetta, I think it gives a fun twist to the day-old bread that is traditionally used. However, since bagels are soft, I would suggest toasting them in order to slightly dry them. The bagels I have chosen to use are these Everything Sourdough Bagels by Gluten Freedom (link below). I love them as they are coated with a mix of poppy seeds, sesame, garlic, onion and sea salt and this adds so much flavour to the bruschetta. If you can not find them or live outside of Australia, I would suggest topping your bruschetta with a sprinkle of "Everything but the Bagel" seasoning for a similar flavour experience. Everything Sourdough Bagels Everything but the Bagel Seasoning Tomato Pesto Any tomato pesto will do as a base for the bruschetta, however, feel free to simply mash with a fork a handful of semi-sundried tomatoes and then combine them with the ricotta. This works just as well. Ricotta It goes without saying that the ricotta must be fresh. No store-bought packaged ricotta, please. You can find fresh ricotta at any delicatessen, including at the deli in your local supermarket. Serving Unfortunately, the bruschetta needs to be made at the time of serving otherwise the bread will go slightly soggy. If you have no problem with slightly soggy, then make it 15 minutes ahead of time. Another option is to dry the bread for longer in the oven whilst toasting. Make it Dairy Free As I am dairy free, I always test the recipe also using dairy-free alternatives. Pesto This is the pesto I tried and it is DELICIOUS! Dairy Free Tomato Pesto You can find it at your local supermarket or delicatessen. I found it in Woolworths. Ricotta There are dairy-free ricotta alternatives available, however, I tested the recipe using these options and they were both perfect Life Bio Creamy is a plain-style creamy alternative (similar to cream cheese) or for a more flavourful one, try Nutty Bay Cashew Cheese Other Appetiser or Starters Whipped Feta Falafel Board Vegetarian 'Meatballs' Pastryless Spanakopita Zucchini Slice with Feta ALL OTHER APPETISERS Blistered Tomatoes and Ricotta Bruschetta, gluten-free Prep and Cook 15-20 minutes Serves 8 INGREDIENTS For the Bruschetta: 1 pkt Gluten Freedom Everything Sourdough Bagels, sliced in half 1 garlic clove, peeled, cut in half 4 tablespoons tomato pesto 400g + fresh ricotta ½ punnet fresh basil leaves Extra virgin olive oil For the Tomatoes: 400g grape tomatoes 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 210°C fan forced / 230°C conventional oven / 450°F. Placing the bagels onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush with extra virgin olive oil. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove bagels from the oven and cool for a minute or until cool enough to touch. 2. Whilst bagels are toasting, add to a frying pan the tomatoes and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and oregano. Crush the sea salt between your fingers and sprinkle it over the tomatoes. Toss to coat. Place pan over high heat and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to blister. Do not overcook as they will fall apart. Set aside. 3. Bring it all together: Rub each cut side of the bagel with a cut clove of garlic and sprinkle lightly with sea salt flakes. Spread a thin layer of tomato pesto Add a thick layer of fresh ricotta Top with fresh basil leaves Spoon over the top a few blistered tomatoes Add freshly ground pepper to taste Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram Pinterest Facebook TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare



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