Gluten Free Grain Free

Warm Chickpea, Herb & Rocket Salad

I haven’t visited Tania Hubbard’s café, Husk & Honey, in the Queensland town of Nambour, but I’m pretty sure it’s a quirky, creative place judging by the passion and enthusiasm of its owner.

Tania was diagnosed with Coeliac disease a few years ago but rather than get her down, it actually fuelled her passion for food, as it set her on the path to writing her own cookbook, Gluten Free Grain Free – Food We Love.

It’s a good time to look at some of Tania’s recipes because this week happens to be Coeliac Awareness Week, an initiative of the support group, Coeliac Australia, which aims to increase public understanding of the disease.

Tania is acutely aware of how important it is for people to listen to their bodies.

Tania Hubbard“(Coeliac Disease) is an easily manageable disease and with timely diagnosis and a healthy gluten free diet, you can prevent and even reverse many of the problems that accompany the illness,” she said.

After spending much of her life “door-hopping” from doctor to doctor trying to find the cause of her ongoing migraines, chronic fatigue and repeated bouts of pneumonia, Tania was diagnosed in 2003 with an intolerance to a protein found in grains.

“Since I was diagnosed, my life has changed dramatically. I eliminated grains from my diet and all my symptoms disappeared,” she said.

Coeliac Australia says on its website that Coeliac Disease affects one in every 100 Australians, and that a further 160,000 remain undiagnosed.

Tania’s diagnosis gave her the impetus to pursue her passion.

“I was determined to continue enjoying food, despite my illness and restrictive diet, so I set to developing my own gluten and grain free recipes,” she said.

Gluten Free Grain Free – Food We Love is full of delicious recipes, information about stocking a gluten- and grain-free pantry, label reading and more. You’ll find two of her recipes below.

“My food isn’t just for Coeliacs and those with grain intolerances, it’s for everyone and anyone who wants to enjoy nutritious and wholesome cooking that tastes great,” she said.

“Food has turned my life around and I thoroughly enjoy helping others on their path to healthy eating.”

Gluten Free Grain Free – Food We Love costs $37.50 and is available from Husk & Honey Café in Nambour or online at

2 tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1½ tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlicGluten Free Grain Free Cookbook
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground ginger
One bunch finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 good handfuls fresh rocket
Bunch of mint
Bunch of coriander
1 lemon, juiced
Black pepper, ground to taste
Heat oil in a large pan. Add garlic and cook until softened. Add chickpeas, cumin, coriander, ginger and parsley and heat through.
Toss through rocket until just wilted. Remove from heat, place in a large serving bowl and squeeze lemon juice over.
Mix in with freshly ground black pepper, fresh mint and coriander leaves.
Note: You could replace the chickpeas with cooked borlotti beans or cannellini beans.

Wine match: A good bottle of red.

4 tablespoons chia seeds soaked in 1 cup of water
½ cup raw cocoa
125 grams softened butter (see note below)
5 medium to large eggs
1 cup (175 grams) almond meal
1 cup palm sugar (or your choice of sugar)
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Line a spring form cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
Soak chia seeds in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes, stirring regularly.
In the meantime, place cocoa, eggs, almond meal, sugar, salt, bicarb soda and butter in a bowl.
Whisk to combine well and break up any lumps (at least 1 minute). Add chia seed jelly and whisk until well combined.
Pour into lined cake tin. Bake in oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until it bounces back when pressed in middle.
Let the cake cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the tin. Finish cooling on a wire cooling rack.
Note: Substitute coconut oil, olive oil or 1/3 cup of fresh cream for the butter if you wish.
This is the basic recipe – it is really about getting you started with the minimum of fuss.
You can add cinnamon (2 teaspoons) and/or ginger (½ teaspoon) or coffee (¼ cup coffee grinds) to this cake and change its flavour dramatically or delicately if you like.

From: Gluten Free Grain Free – Food We Love. By Tania Hubbard.

Chia Seed Chocolate Cake


  • Grain free is a great way to go for those who have intolerances. I wish I could repeat my grain free diet of ten years ago. I felt so vibrant and so healthy! Sounds like a great book to add to my bookshelf! Diana would be interested too.

    • Thankfully I don’t have a problem (love my grains!) but yes, there are many people who are troubled by intolerances. Is there a reason why you can’t repeat the grain-free diet if you feel it was so beneficial? I know it takes a lot of willpower (I can’t imagine not eating rice, for example). The recipes in this book are yummy.

  • Like the look of both recipes (I do a similar salad one – yummy lunch) especially the cake. Have sent the link to a friend who has a teenage son newly diagnosed as coeliac. This will give her inspiration. The book sounds fab.

  • This sounds like a well researched book and if that gooey chocolate cake is anything to go by it’s got some delicious recipes going for it too. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi there…. I really need the willpower and right frame of mind to do it again… am almost there. My skin is suffering lately, I’m plumpish and tired and the other signs of intolerance are creeping in. I love rice… and we are eating fresh corn at the moment, it is so nice. It’s hard with Peter loving his food too… he is not keen to do an elimination diet… I was able to do it years ago because I was virtually living on my own (at McKellar). The book sounds very interesting. I know what to do, the only thing stopping me is me!

    PS when I am typing into your comments, it times out very quickly!

  • Yes, I can understand that it takes a lot of willpower. Like Peter, I wouldn’t be keen to do an elimination diet!
    I’ll look into why that might be happening with the comments ….

  • Just as a post script, I started a grain free challenge two days ago. So far, all good. We had the most scrumptious baby corn kernels from EPIC in the fridge, but I was strong and said no. I did make beautiful buckwheat pikelets for breakfast today and Peter happily scoffed down several of them!

    The first three days are the worst, as symptoms can flare up. We will take things a day at a time and see how it all goes. My tummy definitely feels flatter, which is a good thing. Thank you for the inspiration.

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