Saturday, 23 May 2015

Meet Meg and Amy

This morning we had another great Simple Living Toowoomba workshop and the topics discussed were the Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free ways of eating to accommodate those in our families who are gluten or lactose intolerant. Before the workshop began we had our homemade/homegrown swap and once again the very clever Shiralee from Vintage Papery brought along some beautiful swap items and I came home with Meg and Amy.  She has created rose scented potpourri sachets using a wooden peg as the body of the doll and the delightfully scented sachet sits under the skirt.

Shiralee also painted their faces and hair and dressed them beautifully. You can read about the process of making them here.

With the swapping done we headed into the kitchen to learn about what it is like living with family members with Coeliac Disease. Our presenter Janelle, has done a lot of research on the subject and shared with us how she has separate areas of her kitchen where she prepares gluten-free food for a couple of members of her family and 'normal' food for the rest of the family. Gluten-free food and ingredients are marked in containers with a red dot and other containers have a green dot.

If anyone has a suspicion they they themselves or a family member may be gluten intolerant she suggested that they go to their doctor and be tested as many people don't have any symptoms but the damage is still being done to their small bowel. Janelle recommended doing research by reading the information on Coeliac Australia and there is also an App available which has details of 800 ingredients and 300 additives used in Australian and New Zealand food and whether or not they are suitable to be used by those eating a gluten-free diet.

After also giving us some really helpful hints on how to read food labels, Janelle then cooked up some Quinoa to give anyone who hadn't eaten it before a taste as it is great to use in these diets as well as Polenta. I am not sure what she called this dish but chicken breasts were cut up into slices...

 ...dipped in coconut cream then polenta...


...then put into the oven until cooked. They were very tasty. 

She had also precooked some Polenta which had set and it was cut into slices and put on a baking tray lined with baking paper before also going into the oven. I have been meaning to make Polenta chips for quite a while and they look really easy. As you can tell from this Pinterest page there are lots of different ways to serve up Polenta.  My naughty friend Anne, picked up my camera and took a photo of me slaving at the kitchen bench while Margy was over in the corner making a Quinoa salad.

 Janelle also brought along a Five Cup Slice. Even though it is not sugar free I did give it a try and it was very yummy but also too sweet for me now as my taste buds have changed these last few months. Here is the recipe if you would like to try it. Hope I got it right. :-)

Five Cup Slice

2 cups muesli (yes you can buy gluten-free muesli)
1 cup coconut
1 cup choc chips
1 cup condensed milk (hmmm, no wonder I found it too sweet)

Bake at 180 degrees for fifteen minutes covered with foil
Then at 160 degrees for 10-15 minutes. 

So we had a very enjoyable morning and learned a lot about Coeliac Disease, how to read food labels and lots more. Our next Simple Living Toowoomba workshop will be held on the 13th June and will be presented by a Horticulturist who will be speaking about Organic Gardening.

If you have any questions you would like to ask him just email me with the question and I will collate them all and email them to him as he prepares for the workshop. Also feel free to bring along any 'problem' plants you have and he will be able to sort out what the solution is I am sure. You can book into the workshop here.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!




  1. As much as I joke about losing weight being easier if there was something I couldn't eat, I am grateful to have no food allergies or sensitivities. Cooking for a dietary restriction is not fun and watching the hubby eat for his diabetes and worry how things will affect him - not my idea of fun. Very cool to have a workshop for this though, I'm sure it is hard to find the foods you can eat. Memorial day here so it's a long weekend for those who have jobs.

    1. Kathy, I am very pleased I am not gluten intolerant and have to read the labels on everything. It must be a nightmare with children.

  2. You are so lucky having simple living workshops in your area. I have floated the idea at work of including some ''simple living" activities in our programs, so I will wait to see if anything comes of that.

    1. Sherri, we are very fortunate to have the venue available for use. Someone from Bunnings told me that they offered a space for meetings on certain nights too...not sure if you have one where you live. I hope you do get to start one up.

  3. Oh to not have to work so i could join in all the fun.

    1. You could fly up one Saturday, Lynda :-)

    2. Dont tempt me - Webjet were advertising specials on flights to Brisbane for $69 one way today. I did think of it.

  4. Nanna Chel,
    It was a really informative workshop. I can't imagine having to read all the labels to do shopping. Shopping is hard enough. I brought home some of your Tamarillos and we're looking at recipes to see what to do with them. I'm sorta on unofficial bloggy break but I'll show what we did with them when I come back.


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