Nutella cheesecake – gluten free

This is so easy – there is no baking involved, the only ‘cooking’ is melting the butter, the rest is just chopping and mixing.  It is great for if you are having a gathering and you have a few other things to do – such as making lots of fresh salads for the barbeque – because it looks like you spent a lot more time on it than you did!

Nutella cheesecake

Nutella cheesecake

205g gluten free arrowroot biscuits, crushed

60g butter

100g hazelnuts, chopped varyingly – some roughly chopped, some finely chopped

400g nutella or other hazelnut spread – room temperature

500g light cream cheese

60g sifted icing sugar

 

Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl, mix in the crushed biscuits and 1/4 of the hazelnuts, then stir through a tablespoon of the nutella until well mixed.  Press firmly into the base of a greased 23cm springform pan and chill until required.

Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until well mixed and smooth, then add the remaining Nutella.  Smooth over the base of the cheesecake.  Sprinkle the remaining hazelnuts over the top, and press in gently.  Refridgerate as long as possible (at least four to five hours, but overnight is best).

 

For interest I also found a jar of a crunchy hazelnut spread (Kraft I think) and used that in the base, and the smooth Nutella in the cheese mixture.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Sticks

Really really easy, and more of an idea than a recipe.  I slice chicken breasts, thread them onto a wooden skewer (don’t forget to soak them first so they don’t catch on fire on the barbeque!) and sprinkle them very liberally with lemon pepper – I use a commercial blend.  It is very refreshing and these are always popular.  The thing I love about the barbeque is that although I prepare all the food, I don’t actually do the cooking – himself does that!

We usually cook the chicken first and then hand them around for people to snack on before the rest of the meat is ready.  But you can do it however it works best for you.  They don’t take long to cook, so keep an eye on them because it isn’t long between still being pink, and being dried out!

Lemon pepper chicken sticks

Lemon pepper chicken sticks

For six people I would prepare about 500g of chicken breasts – although I often do  more so there are leftovers (leftovers are the best!)

Cooking on the barbie!

Cooking on the barbie!

Beef and roast vegetable salad – gluten free

This salad is best eaten warm, so serve it first if you are enjoying a barbeque.  You can prepare ahead by roasting the vegetables, cooking the rice and lentils,  and then reheating in the microwave when you need them, and making the dressing ahead of time and keeping it in the fridge.

Beef and roast vegetable salad

Beef and roast vegetable salad

1 red onion, cut into thin wedges

2 zucchini, cut into thin wedges

1 bunch of dutch carrots, trimmed (leave peel on)

1/2 red capsicum, cut into large chunks

Salt and pepper to season

3/4 cup brown rice

1/4 cup dried lentils

2 litres vegetable stock

1 tbsp vinegar

250g beef mince

1/4 cup currants

Small handful of baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 quantity curried coconut dressing

 

Preheat a fan forced oven to 200 celcius, spray a tray with cooking oil, and scatter onion, zucchini, capscicum and carrots, cook for 30 minutes.  While this is cooking, put rice, lentils and stock into a large saucepan, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for 30 minutes (watch it close to the end to make sure the stock doesn’t boil away and the grains stick to the pan – add a little water if the stock is absorbed/evaporates before the rice is cooked).  The rice should still have a bit of resistance to it when you test it.  Drain, then place in bowl with vinegar, and stir through the vegetables.

Spray a frypan with cooking oil, then fry beef, stirring to break up chunks, and cook until cooked through and it is starting to turn brown and a bit crispy.  Add to bowl with vegetables, add currants, spinach leaves and dressing and mix well.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until required.

Curried coconut dressing – ideal for salads for the barbeque

I make up a jar of this salad and keep it in the fridge – then I use it as needed.  It goes really well with Asian themed salads, rice salads, pasta salads – experiment!  It will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Curried coconut dressing

Curried coconut dressing

 

400ml tin of coconut cream

1 tbsp mild curry powder

Juice of half a lime

1 tbsp sugar

 

Put all ingredients in a jar, stir well and seal the jar until required.