Gluten Free Bread… this is important.

Summer is definitely on its way. The past few days have been very warm and I feel like my relationship with the pool is officially complicated. Part of me can’t wait for summer days of lounging by the pool and soaking up the sun, the other part of me isn’t ready to say goodbye to the coziness of winter and my boots. I know… life is hard.

Boots aside, I also have this thing with soup and I always look forward to making all the soups when the temperature drops. With soup comes something important: bread. It’s really important. Fresh bread is one of life’s greatest pleasures and you shouldn’t have to give that up over something like a gluten intolerance. For this recipe I used rice flour which resulted in a much denser bread, I think a blend of gluten-free flours could result in something fluffier, but I love a dense bread so I didn’t mind. This is a good base to work with and you can play around with the flours to see what texture you like best. It can also easily be made vegan if you use a non-dairy milk. I’m looking forward to trying it with buckwheat or quinoa flours to see how it comes out with a pseudocereal, I’ll keep you posted on the results 🙂

gluten free bread

Gluten-Free Bread

yields 1 loaf adapted from Fork & Beans

2 1/2 tsp of yeast

1 cup of warm milk (dairy or non-dairy)

2 tsp of sugar

1 cup of warm water

5 TBS of ground flaxseed

3 TBS of olive oil

2 tsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

3 cups of rice flour

1/4 cup of oats ground into a flour OR buckwheat flour

1 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of salt

  1. In a medium bowl combine the warmed milk with the yeast and sugar, allow to proof until frothy (approx.10 minutes). Add the water, olive oil, lemon juice, and ground flaxseeds and whisk until well-combined, then allow to sit for a few minutes while the flaxseeds thicken the mixture.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet mixture and mix until just combined.
  3. Place mixture into a greased bread pan, pressing the mixture lightly into the pan. Cover with a light towel or loosely with saran wrap, and allow the bread to rise in the pan in a warm part of the kitchen. The bread should be just above the pan before going into the oven, this will take 30-45 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 190C (350F) and bake the bread for 60 minutes. Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan before removing it.
  5. Enjoy! Preferably with some homemade soup, this one is always a favorite.

Enjoy your week!

xo,

Natalia

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Friday Delight: Fish Tacos and Buckwheat Tortillas

On Wednesday we joined some friends from Joburg that were visiting the Lowveld, for lunch at Picasso’s. Being American and growing up with authentic Mexican restaurants all around me, I’m pretty picky about the Mexican fare in South Africa. For years, the Mexican restaurants I encountered tasted more like TexMex, or were spiced with things like curry (what???). Then along came El Burro in Cape Town, Perron in Johannesburg, and now Picassos’ in White River. These are all tasty restaurants, and the margaritas are top notch at all three. So, a totally random thing to find here in White River, but also totally delicious.

Anyway, this meal reminded me of the Valentine’s day meal I made for Matt. I really really love fish tacos (fortunately, so does he…) and this meal was fresh, healthy, and definitely worth making again. The menu included:

  • Broiled fish with a homemade rub
  • Raw beetroot slaw
  • Mango Salad
  • All served with Buckwheat tortillas (I used this recipe), Guacamole, and greens

fish tacos

(yes, I made the tortillas heart-shaped. don’t judge)

Fish and Fish Rub

4 fillets (around 100g each) of white fish (I used Hake)

1 tsp of chile powder

1-2 tsp of paprika

1/2 tsp of cumin

1 clove of garlic or 1/4 tsp of garlic powder

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

salt & pepper

Mix everything together, it should be enough for the 4 small fillets. Grease a pan and bake the fish until cooked through. Remove from Oven and flake.

Raw Beetroot Slaw

2 large or 3 small beetroots

1-2 carrots

lime juice

3 TBS of Salsa Verde (I use Mrs. Renfro’s)

1 dollop of plain yogurt (Greek or Coconut, just make sure it’s nice and thick)

salt & pepper

Grate the beetroots and carrot. Mix lime juice, yogurt, and salsa verde in a separate bowl, season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture of the grated vegetables and toss until evenly coated.

Mango Salad (this recipe was borrowed from a friend)

1 large mango, cubed

1/2 a red onion, chopped

handful of cilantro/coriander, chopped

Juice of one lime

Mix all ingredients together and serve.

Let me know if you give it a shot!

xo,

Natalia

Friday Delight: Animal Spotting

South Africa is an interesting place. There are daily challenges here that I never considered when I was living stateside and unfortunately, most of these challenges sit within social issues and a government that is so corrupt, your faith in humanity can’t help but die a little. On the other hand, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, is culturally rich, is home to some lovely people, and has a big piece of my heart.

Living here for 5+ years in cities and globalized areas like Cape Town and Sandton, I’ve often forgotten I live on African soil. Now that we’ve moved out of the city and to the country, I get little reminders almost daily:

zebra

These guys were chowing grass outside our bedroom window the other day.

giraffe

I encountered this beauty and her friend while I was on a run this morning

I basically go into tourist mode every time I see them, they are just amazing 🙂

Enjoy your weekend!

xo,

Natalia