I'm a mother of four with two coeliac children. I'm always on the lookout for great gluten-free spots around Brisbane and feature gluten-free cooking in my blog: coeliacfamily.blogspot.com.au
I'm also a muso and enjoy live music around town.
I don't know much about Wholefoods. My perception has been eating lots if nuts, seeds and veggies and raw food and that it's good for you. However the cooking class run by Natural Heart Health changed all that. I learnt that eating Wholefoods is about eating foods as close to their natural state as you can get them in order to eliminate some of the nasties out there in processed food land.
My attraction to attend the class was that along with the Wholefoods description, this class held at "The Box" in West End promised learning to cook a gluten-free three course meal, and since I'm always after a few new gluten free recipes for my family, I went along. The recipes were also dairy free and meat free, so it catered for many different diets.
Bite Sized Tarts Made With Gluten Free Bread Casing
We started the class with a very simple and easy to prepare entrée, Bite Sized Tarts made with gluten free bread. Angela had pre-prepared these, but explained the preparation and cooking processes in detail. The filling was egg, mushroom, chives and tomato, so they were very tasty. It could easily be adapted to include a bit of whatever you have in your fridge. I could imagine throwing in some crumbled fetta or a bit of bacon.
The main course was Zucchini Noodles With Tomato and Basil. Angela explained how to make the noodles and one of the class gave it a go - very simple once armed with a potato peeler! As the preparation of the meal continued, Angela interjected the cooking with health tips regarding the use of olive oil, anti-inflammatory foods and how to use and prepare the new super-food, Kale.
Angela Serves Up Zucchini Noodles With Tomato & Basil
The tomato and basil sauce was a standard Italian tomato sauce, made a little different by the addition of the kale, which when cooked was just a little firmer than spinach. The zucchini noodles were fried in a little oil and were surprisingly tasty. However the really interesting part of the dish was the addition of "Cashew Cheese" as a replacement for parmesan. This tasty paste was made by soaking cashews then blending them with a few seasonings, and if you had to go dairy free, then this is a fantastic option for adding that little bit of "zing" to your dish.
The surprises kept coming when we got to dessert. For the entire class, a delectable looking chocolate cake had sat tempting us on the table. Imagine our surprise to find that it was not made using flour, but rather kidney beans! The cake was beautiful and moist, made extra special by the use of cacao, rather than cocoa, which gave it a rich bitter sweet, dark chocolate flavour.
Can You Believe This Cake is Made From Kidney Beans?
Again we were treated to a cashew nut substitute instead of the usual cream. This time the cashews were soaked and blended with Rapadura sugar (a less processed form of sugar with a strong molasses scent), macadamia oil and a beautiful organic vanilla essence from North Queensland which smelt like flowers when the bottle was passed around the class. This Cashew Cream canned be thinned down, or the sugar left out for savoury dishes as necessary.
The food was all very tasty and the cooking processes were carefully explained. There were lots of healthy eating tips along the way, and Angela was happy to answer any questions as they arose. The Health Ethos is to teach people how to nourish themselves through the inclusion of high nutrient and super foods in their diets. She offers personal coaching, detox courses and an online herbal clinic. I look forward to reading more about Angela and her upcoming classes and workshops on her Website. You can also read her blog and sign up for a weekly newsletter which includes healthy recipes, or follow her Facebook Page.