Easy Gluten-Free Stir Fry

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 5

Ingredients   

  • 500g chicken (or you can swap out for tofu if you want to make it vegetarian), diced evenly
  • 1 cup gluten-free chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • Not So Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • Gluten-free soy sauce
  • Olive oil
  • 1 chunk ginger (around 2cm by 2cm), diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 bok choy, cut off the top (green section) and keep in one piece and dice the bottom (white section)
  • 1 broccoli, dice the stalk and cut the head into small heads of broccoli (small enough to eat in one mouthful)
  • 1-2 carrots depending on size, diced
  • 1 large capsicum, diced
  • 1 spring onion, diced
  • 2 medium red onions, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 375g (1 packet) rice noodles

*  Please check all ingredients are gluten-free before proceeding

** Dice all vegetables to your preferred size. When I do a stir fry, they are usually diced at a medium size.

Method

  1. Cut chicken and place chicken into a frying pan with olive oil. Cook until lightly golden.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, begin cutting vegetables.^
  3. Take chicken off the frying pan once cooked.
  4. Place diced onion and garlic into the frying pan. Once cooked, add in broccoli, carrot, capsicum and the white part of the bok choy.
  5. As the vegetables are beginning to cook, add the ginger and stock.
  6. Place noodles in a heatproof bowl and place boiling water over the noodles, so they can self-cook.
  7. Add in the rest of the vegetables (green part of bok choy, peas and spring onion) and stir.
  8. Add in your two sauces, with your desired amount (you may need to add some more once the noodles are in).
  9. Add in the noodles (once they have softened) and mix. ^^
  10. Serving options can include; herbs, sesame seeds, dried shallots.

^ I get out one large bowl and cut the vegetables in order of when I’m going to cook them and place them all into the same bowl (e.g. bok choy leaves and spring onion go last, so they will be at the bottom of the bowl). I used tongs to move them from the bowl to the frying pan. This means that I have fewer dishes at the end.

^^ Noodles may need to be cut a few times, before adding to the frying pan.

BambooHR: 4 HR Lessons from Stranger Things

A weird and wonderful aspect of my life is that I currently work within the People and Culture team at my workplace. This means that I am part of the team that helps run the HR side of things. We recently decided to move away from paper and invest in an HR management system, which is where BambooHR comes into play. It is amazing. It’s American software, so there are a few things that are a bit funny (e.g. their dates are MM/DD/YYYY and ours are DD/MM/YYYY and that you have to have weird meeting times due to the time difference).

Anyway, that’s all context for why I wanted to post the following. Below are HR Lessons from Stranger Things that BambooHR shared on their blog. The full read is fabulous – if you’re a fan of Stranger Things, I’m sure you’ll agree! Kudos to BambooHR for being informative, but playful and for staying in touch with their modern audience.

The 4 lessons are:

#1 One Toxic Employee Can Spoil the Bunch
#2 There’s Strength in Diversity
#3 Friends Don’t Lie—They Communicate Effectively
#4 Change Is Never Easy

Find out why, by checking the blog out here.

Banana Loaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 50 minutes | Serves: 12

Ingredients   

  • 2 to 3 very ripe bananas, mashed 
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups Edmonds Gluten-free flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

*  Please check all ingredients are gluten-free before proceeding

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°.
  2. Spray a 4 x 8 loaf pan with cooking spray or rub with butter.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas until smooth.
  4. Add the baking soda to the mashed bananas.
  5. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
  6. Stir in the sugar, salt, eggs, and pure vanilla extract.
  7. Mix in the flour.
  8. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan.
  9. Bake on the centre rack for 50 minutes to 1 hour (or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean). Please watch your banana bread because all ovens are different.
  10. Cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!
  11. Store in an airtight container.

I adapted this recipe from here. I also added thin slices of extra banana to the top to make it look more interesting. You can easily add chocolate chips to make it sweeter, as well.

5 Tips to Stay Healthy This Winter

Below are 5 things that I’m trying to do, in order to keep my immune system up and running this winter, in case a nasty cold comes my way.

1)      Drink lots of water – this is something that can easily be missed, especially if you’re someone who runs around a lot or attends lots of meetings at work. I suggest getting a drink bottle and keeping it at your desk. Not only will it remind you to have water, but you’ll also get in a cheeky walk to the water cooler/kitchen.

2)      Take extra Vit C – I’ve personally only started doing in the last couple of years, but it has been recommended to me by a few different people, as a wee booster. I personally take 2 of my chewable tablets per day (which this brand recommends as ‘maintenance’). Check the instructions on the pack before purchasing. I also checked that the brand I chose was okay with all the medication I am taking.

3)      Eat yo fruit and vege – Summer fruits are definitely the best, I must admit, but there are some great winter fruits out there that can help boost your immune system and make you feel *so fresh*. Add extra veges to your hot meals to get in extra nutrients (and to bulk your meals out, so you can have healthy leftovers for lunch). Check out the 5+aDay website for ‘What’s in Season’.

4)      Make time for self-care – people often find that bad weather can get them feeling a little down and, well, stress is an all-year-round thing. It’s important to put some time aside for self-care. Things as simple as cleaning your teeth properly, buying your favourite drink or having a bath. It could also mean having a night away from TV and sitting down with a book. Self-care is different for everyone, but the important thing is to be intentional with your time. It’s OK to not be OK – if you are not feeling like yourself and need some extra help, there are places out there that can help (like the Mental Health Foundation).

5)      Leave a jumper in your car ­– feeling the cold because you only put on one layer this morning? You never know if the weather is going to turn, and it can often be a lot colder at night than during the day. Leave a jumper in your car (or take one with you, if you go on public transport), just in case the cooler temperatures start getting to you because no one wants to be stuck in the cold for hours.

You may be recommended different ways of keeping healthy during winter, as we all have different bodies and minds, but I hope you enjoyed my 5 tips! Let me know what you do to stay healthy.

Farro X Seedlip Mocktail Evening

I got an email from Farro (from being a ‘Friend of Farro‘) inviting me to a Mocktail evening at the Grey Lynn store and I was so intrigued. I can’t drink alcohol due to my arthritis medication and it’s not common that non-alcoholic drinks get emphasised or celebrated, so I knew it was something I wanted to attend… although I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect.

First off, let me just mention how perfect Farro Grey Lynn is for holding this sort of event – the space was well suited to having small ‘stalls’ around the store, with room for people to mingle in between. It was also rather funny being in a supermarket while it was technically closed! My friend and I were greeted at the door with the invitation to attend the Six Barrels stall first (it was the second stall, but they were wanting to spread us around), along with receiving a piece of paper that we were to use as a form of voting (for our favourite drink at the end of the night).

Our first drink was:

FEIJOA SOUR
Ingredients:
  • 50ml Seedlip Garden 108
  • 20ml Lemon Juice
  • 25ml Six Barrel Feijoa Syrup
  • 25ml Egg Whites (if vegan, switch out egg whites for aquafaba)
  • Ice cubes
  • Rose petals or buds for garnish

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients into a shaker
  2. Dry shake (shake without ice)
  3. Open shaker, you should see a foamy head
  4. Now add a good amount of ice
  5. Shake once more vigorously
  6. Strain into a coupe glass
  7. Garnish with rose petals or buds

After this delicious beverage, we told where the other four stalls were and we decided to go back to the first stall, which was the East Imperial stall.

Our second drink was:

SEEDLIP & TONIC
Ingredients:
  • 50ml Seedlip of choice
  • 150ml East Imperial Tonic of choice
  • Ice cubs

Depending on your choice of Seedlip, garnish with the following

  • Seedlip Garden 108 – snap pea
  • Seedlip Spice 94 – Grapefruit twist
  • Seedlip Groce 42 – Orange peel

Method:

  1. Build in a highball glass, over cubed ice
  2. Garnish with one of the above items

After a few nibbles from the scrumptious grazing platters available (I particularly liked their salami!), we headed to the third stall – which was made using Hakanoa Chai Concentrate.

Our third drink was:

SPICED SHAKE
Ingredients:
  • 50ml Seedlip Spice 94
  • 30ml Hakanoa Chai Concentrate
  • 50ml Coconut milk
  • 50ml Oat milk
  • Ice cubes
  • Grated nutmeg
  • A cinnamon quill

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients into a shaker full of ice
  2. Shake well
  3. Pour all contents into a tall glass, including shaken ice
  4. Garnish with grated nutmeg and a cinnamon quill

My friend and I enjoyed trying to find places to take some photos of the drinks, as Farro has definitely got a variety of backdrops with their beautiful displays! The fourth stall was run by Harpoon Cold Brew.

Our fourth drink was:

SEEDLIP SPICE ESPRESSO MARTI-NO
Ingredients:
  • 50ml Seedlip Spice 94
  • 50ml Harpoon Cold Brew Concentrate
  • 15ml sugar syrup or 5-10ml Heilala vanilla syrup
  • 3 x coffee beans

Method:

  1. Shake and double strain in a coupe glass
  2. Garnish with coffee beans

(Our drink was garnished with what I believe was some sort of berry powder instead of the coffee beans)


Finally, the drink I had eyed from the start as being the one I thought I would enjoy the most (mostly cause it was pink and I typically like pink flavoured things), was the All Good stall.

Our fifth and final drink was:

GINGER BERRY FIZZ
Ingredients:
  • 50ml Seedlip Grove 42
  • 1 tsp of Plum or Berry jam
  • 1 chunk of fresh ginger (approx. 1cm thick)
  • All Good Apple & Blackcurrant Switchel
  • Ice cubes
  • Slice of fresh ginger
  • Slice of apple

Method:

  1. Add Seedlip Grove, jam and ginger into a shaker with ice
  2. Shake well
  3. Double strain into a tumbler (double straining means you won’t have any bits of jam or ginger chunks in your drink)
  4. Add ice into a tumbler
  5. Top with Switchel
  6. Gently stir to mix
  7. Garnish with a slice of fresh ginger and apple

I thoroughly enjoyed my evening – trying new things and tasting Seedlip for the first time (along with a lot of the other drinks, too!) and of course, hanging out with my friend. My friend and I both purchased a few things before we headed home, and on the way we were given our goodie bags and they did not disappoint! Overall, Farro and Seedlip put on a stunner evening.
P.S Dry July starts tomorrow – check it out here to find out more information.

Brunch Club: Meadow

June’s NZ Bloggers Brunch Club was held at Meadow, and it was amazing!

My morning plans had changed, so I arrived to Meadow a little early. Luckily, I had a book with me and I enjoyed sitting by the fire (while having a soy flat white) as I waited. It was actually rather blissful to do that… it’s something I need to do more often! 

When the team at Meadow said that our table was ready, I was taken back by the effort they had gone to. I’ve seen their marquee in action before for a baby shower, but it was great to see what the marquee looks like close up. The table inside can comfortably fit 15 people and can be styled a variety of ways – I loved what Meadow did for our #meadowxnzbloggers brunch and it shows us that the marquee can be set up so beautifully. 

The extra special treat that Meadow gifted us was some personalised cookies, from The Cookie Collective.

Overall: They seriously went above and beyond for us and I have to say, I’ve been before and I will definitely go again. I would be interested to see what their evening meals are like.

Where are they?

Meadow is located 20 St Johns Road, St Johns, Auckland 1072. They are connected to a group of shops and have 30-minute parking outside if you’re just there to grab a quick coffee, and street parking (no time limit) around the corner.

Their interior is simple but beautiful. It was a little chilly in comparison to summer, but in the marquee, they had heaters on and in the main eating area they had the aforementioned fire. They also provided blankets, which I thought was a great idea for those that feel the cold more than others (not me!).

So what’s their service like?

We had quite an intimate #BrunchClub as the marquee that we were in was away from the rest of the restaurant, so it easily could have meant that we had slow or bad service, but that wasn’t the case. Our drinks were ordered first and even as we waited on a few people to arrive, someone from the Meadow team would come and check up on us and to see if we were ready to order or not. The food also came out in a reasonable time!

They went above and beyond for us!

And their food?

Pictured below is a range of food and drink that was ordered; ‘Mushrooms on grain toast’, ‘Meadow huevos sucios’, a berry superfood smoothie, ‘Chorizo croque madame’, ‘Crepes , and finally, the ‘Eggs Benedict’ with the English muffin swapped out for sourdough and a side of maple syrup.


I got the ‘Meadow huevos sucios’ and it is definitely something I’d have again! It was a hot 🌶 dish, but you could easily take the chilli off and it would be mild 👌🏻

Cost?

I wouldn’t say that they’re the cheapest of dishes, but they’re not crazy expensive either, and with the wonderful service and beautiful environment, it’s not too bad. My dish was $22 and the smoothie was $9.5.

Opening times:

Monday – Sunday 8am – Late
(Their All Day Breakfast is from 8am – 3pm)

Brunch Club is an awesome way to catch up with other like-minded, blog related people… and who doesn’t like brunch, right!? It was lovely to see old and new faces and I look forward to next months event! Check out the other awesome peeps who came:

@nzbloggers
@lozalock
@onceuponanegg
@adiandbert
@sapidscoop
@_georgieats_
@bunnyeatsdesign
@thefoodieinc
@eatitauckland

Thanks Meadow – I look forward to next time!🍴

GF Marinated Chicken Skewers  

These marinated chicken skewers are made to be part of a larger dish. It can be paired well with rice and vegetables. I made mine with a vermicelli noodle salad, you can check out the recipe here.

Time: ~45 minutes | Serves:  5 adults (as part of a dish)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup Gluten Free Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce*
  • 4 tbsp. Barkers Not so Sweet Chilli Sauce*
  • 5 diced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. Lupi olive oil*
  • Chilli flakes (amount varies on your ‘heat preference’)
  • 500g thinly sliced chicken breast (around 1 ½ inch strips)
  • Wooden skewers

* if using alternative brands, please check ingredients if you want this dish to remain Gluten Free

METHOD

  1. Mix all wet ingredients together in a large, flat dish (you may wish to alter the ingredient amounts to suit your taste preference).
  2. Skewer chicken strips with wooden skewers, so the chicken strip is down one end of the skewer.
  3. Place chicken strips in the marinade dish and spoon excess marinade over the chicken, so it is completely covered.
  4. Cover the dish in Gladwrap and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Cook the skewers for 10-15 minutes, turning a couple of times until cooked through.

Optional: You could also add sesame seeds on top, as an additional taste and texture!