Rotini and Cheese – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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As a child, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was the epitome of my dinner hopes and dreams. Before we hit teenager-dom, every time Mum would ask what my sister and I wanted for dinner, we would scream out macaroni and cheese. We were easy children to please.

Of course, this changed as our taste buds did and the last time I had the Kraft mac and cheese from the tin, at maybe 14 years old, I thought it was disgusting. What was my child-self thinking? When it came time to make macaroni and cheese in our Home Ec. class at school, I wasn’t looking forward to it. I only associated the stuff with fake cheese sauce… little did I know that you can make the sauce yourself! Haha.

Times have changed since secondary school and cooking is now something I have to do more than once a week for a semester, although luckily I don’t get graded on it. Well, I sort of do. But at least I don’t have to complete a write up afterwards! Wait, isn’t that what this is? Gah!

I have no idea where on Earth that Home Ec. recipe is – probably in Mum’s kitchen somewhere – and in all honesty, I don’t remember being in love with it. But last week, when I had finished making four jars of a fructose friendly General Tso’s sauce (recipe coming) and sealed them, Evgeny decided that he didn’t want a stir fry that night. Double GAH! Well, I wasn’t going to make anything gourmet after I’d just spent so much time on the sauce, so my mind switched to easy mode. We had made a lasagne on the weekend and instead of a traditional bechamel sauce we used cream cheese as a base – considering that we had more cream cheese to get rid of (we’re currently trying to eat through out fridge and pantry) I decided it was time to make macaroni and cheese again and worked off that sauce.

Before I go any further, don’t shoot me, I didn’t have macaroni. I (successfully, woot!) trialled spelt pasta and the only shape it came in was rotini. Let’s not go calling this “rot and cheese,” though, because quite frankly it sounds like something that’s gone off.

Notes:

  1. This meal is not lactose free.
  2. Substitute macaroni back in if you’d like, of course.
  3. Corn is low FODMAPs and gluten free, although it does contain other allergens.
  4. Cayenne pepper is generally well tolerated, just make sure the powder doesn’t contain onion or garlic.

Rotini and Cheese

Serves 3-4.

  • 2 1/4 cups uncooked pasta of your choice – I wouldn’t recommend spaghetti or fettuccine for this
  • 2 cups grated cheese – I used 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Parmesan)
  • 1 cup/225 g/8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup natural sour cream
  • 1/3 cup crushed corn cereal/GF bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper – believe me, it makes a difference.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Bring a pot with at least 1.0 L (4 cups) of water to the boil and add a good pinch of salt. Stir in pasta and cook at a gentle boil until al dente, following the packet  guidelines.

Meanwhile, melt the cream cheese and sour cream together over a low-medium heat until combined. Gradually add in the grated cheese, 1/2 cup at a time and stir with a whisk until completely smooth. Add in the salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and leave on a low heat until the pasta is done. Cover it with a lid to prevent a skin from forming but this shouldn’t have to sit for too long until the pasta is done.

Cream cheese and sour cream

Cream cheese and sour cream

The completed sauce mixture has thickened with the added grated cheese

The completed sauce mixture has thickened with the added grated cheese

Something smells good!

Something smells good!

Strain the pasta and add it into the saucepan with the cheese sauce. Stir through thoroughly and then pour the contents into a baking dish, no greasing required. Top with the crumbs of your choice and sprinkle with extra cayenne pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

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Pre-baking

Post baking

Post baking

Let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting into it and enjoy it with a fresh side salad.

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Sausage Rolls – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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Sometimes, more than others, having a food allergy or intolerance can really suck. One of those times is when you want to have a food that reminds you of your childhood, especially if you didn’t have the intolerance while you were a kid.

So when I had sausage roll cravings a little while ago – before we went completely vegetarian for two months – I went into a little sulk. This lasted all of 2 minutes, before I realised that hey, I can make pastry and sausages. What on earth am I whinging about? Mostly the fact that I can’t just go down to Coles and pick up a Patties party pack of sausage roles and party pies to satisfy said cravings. I suppose I had to earn my treats but they were worth it!

Notes:

  1. The pastry contains sour cream, so won’t be suitable for those avoiding lactose/all FODMAPs. If you have a FODMAPs safe pastry that you prefer, go ahead and use it.
  2. If you have no GF soy sauce, you can use kosher salt to get a similar taste. Ev’s mum taught us how to make sausage rolls years ago and she used soy sauce rather than salt because it enhances the flavour but it isn’t a necessity.
  3. Make sure you get real mayonnaise, with as little added ingredients as possible. As much as I loved it as a kid, Kraft’s mayonnaise is too sweet for this type of recipe and really isn’t proper mayonnaise at all. My 12 year old self would hate me right now – cheese, lettuce and Kraft mayo was my favourite school sandwich.

Sausage Rolls

Will yield enough to be an appetiser for approx. 10-15 people.

  • One batch GF sour cream pastry or a half batch of my GF/FF puff pastry recipe
  • 800 g minced meat (beef and/or pork, as lean as you’d like)
  • 1/3 cup REAL mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. GF soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh oregano – optional
  • 2 egg whites and 1/4 cup water to make egg wash, thoroughly mixed – or cheat and use milk
  • Dried rosemary or sesame seeds to sprinkle on top

Make the pastry according to the linked instructions and then place it in the fridge, well wrapped so it doesn’t dry out.

Pre-heat oven to 180 C/350 F.

Mix the mince meat, mayonnaise and soy sauce together thoroughly; this may mean using your hands, which can be unpleasant when the ingredients are so cold. Set it aside in the bowl.

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Ready a baking tray by lining it with baking paper and put it somewhere within reach of your mini production line.

Separate the pastry into quarters. On a lightly floured surface, and with a floured rolling pin to prevent sticking, roll the pastry out into as neat a rectangle as you can make with about 3-5 mm thickness and 30 cm wide. The length doesn’t matter but it will be greater than the width.

Half way across the 30 cm width – i.e. at 15 cm – slice down lengthwise along the pastry. In the centre of the now two pastry strips, create a log of the mince mixture that travels down each length from end to end. This mince log shouldn’t be so thick that it takes up more than the centre third of the pastry strip, or the sausage rolls will be too full and won’t roll properly in the next step.

Now – and this is where the floured surface will come in handy to stop your good work being ruined by sticking to the bench – lift up one side of the pastry and roll it onto the mince log. Next, continue the movement by rolling the pastry covered mince over and onto the uncovered pastry. Easy! Just remember that GF pastry can be really finicky, so handle it as little as possible and be as gentle as you can.

Sausage Rolls How To

Now you can decide how long you want the sausage rolls to be, and slice them accordingly. For serving as an appetiser/entree, we like to make them about 5 cm/2 inches long. But if you’re making these for dinner or to take for lunches, then go ahead and leave them about 10 cm long or even longer. Repeat until your sausage mix and pastry is used up.

Place the sausage rolls – gently – onto the prepared baking tray with the seam side down, to keep it sealed. Once you have a tray full, create two or three shallow, angled slices on each – see photos – and then brush the tops with the egg wash – I’ve used milk when I’m out of eggs/lazy – and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or dried rosemary.

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Bake at 180 C/350 F for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve while still hot with fructose friendly tomato sauce, BBQ sauce or this spiced capsicum dip.

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Most importantly, enjoy, and listen to the praise you get from guests for making your own sausage rolls. You can enjoy that bit, too.

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Gran’s Stewed Raspberry and Rhubarb – FODMAPs & Fructose Friendly

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Whenever we would stay at Gran’s as a child, we were always well fed… and thoroughly spoilt as well but seeing as this isn’t anything close to a parenting blog I won’t comment on that.

Being a typical grandmother, as soon as we walked in the door, some sort of biscuit or treat was offered to us. If we were staying for dinner, I always hoped for her vegetable and barley soup, or her lamb shank soup. Gran was an amazing cook and I always use her comfort food dishes as a bench mark. Not just for taste but how they make you feel inside; they’re not called comfort foods for nothing, and while taste is of course important, certain foods will bring back memories and feelings.

For me, stewed fruits, rhubarb in particular, remind me of Gran and her kitchen and today, it seemed appropriate to make some. Now Gran would probably tell me off for not adding enough sugar to this but I’m sure she’d understand if I explained my reasoning to her. 🙂

Notes:

  1. Rhubarb and raspberry are both low FODMAP fruits.

Stewed Raspberry and Rhubarb

  • 3 large stalks of rhubarb, diced finely
  • 2 1/2 cups raspberries – fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup dextrose
  • 1/4 cup water

Slice the rhubarb stalks in half lengthwise and then finely dice them.

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Place them in a pot with the water, raspberries and dextrose, on a medium heat and stir through until the ingredients are evenly combined. Keep on the medium heat for ten minutes, until the raspberries have begun to “bleed” a little.

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Reduce the heat to low and leave for an hour, stirring occasionally. Rhubarb is a tough fruit and will take a while to soften. But the wait will be worth it! Continue to cook on low until it has reached the thickness you prefer.

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Gran would have served them with vanilla ice cream or thickened cream but they also go well with plain yoghurt – lactose free if required – or my vanilla bean custard, which is not lactose free.

This would also work well as the filling to a crumble – I might just do that with the left overs.

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Banana Cake – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Please view this recipe, “Banana Cake – Low FODMAP & Gluten Free,” at it’s new location on The Friendly Gourmand.

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