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.
“(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 www.glutenfreegrainfree.com.au
WARM CHICKPEA, HERB AND ROCKET SALAD
2 tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1½ tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
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.
CHIA SEED CHOCOLATE CAKE
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.