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June 2012


It's winter now in Auckland, making many days chilly, damp and gloomy.  We look forward to a home office break with a warming cup of freshly made espresso and a home-made treat.  And we think we've found our all-time biscuit favourite.  So easy and quick to make, not only do these well-known Australian and New Zealand biscuits taste absolutely delicious, they also keep exceptionally well.   Whatsmore, unlike conventional Anzac Biscuits, these are made without coconut, so are a salicylate free delight.


Anzac Biscuits

125gms/4ozs butter

3 tablespoons golden syrup

1 teaspoon baking soda (bicorbonate of soda)

1 tablespoon boiling water

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup flour

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350F or 180C or 160C fan bake ( a good option, because you can then bake two trays at a time).  Line two oven trays with baking paper.  Melt butter and golden syrup in a medium saucepan with the tablespoon of water over medium heat.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.  Add oats, flour and brown sugar.  Stir to combine.  Form mixture into walnut size balls and space well apart on trays.  Flatten each one with a fork and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  (15 if using fan bake).  Cool biscuits on trays.

Makes around 20 biscuits.



April 2012
Happy Easter, everyone.
I think I've found an Easter treat that will be our favourite for many years to come.
No spicy Easter buns filled with dried fruit for us, but the most delicious small chocolate and espresso puddings for Easter Sunday lunch.  These are a scrumptious safe choice for a baked Easter treat and the aroma coming out of the oven while they are cooking is absolutely fabulous.

Chocolate and espresso puddings
6 small puddings (the recipe works very well halved for just 2 or 3 servings).
60gms/2ozs melted butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup milk (or 1/4 cup cream & 1/4 cup water)
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
2 rounded tablespoons cocoa 
1 cup strong decaf espresso or strong decaf instant coffee
icing sugar to dust
vanilla or hockey pokey icecream
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.  Spray 6 small pudding bowls with canola oil and put them in a deep oven dish.  Whisk melted butter, sugar, eggs and milk (or cream/water mix) together.  Add flour and cocoa and whisk again.  Share mixture amongst prepared bowls.  Put coffee in jug and pour an equal amount carefully on top of each pudding.  Fill dish they are standing in with boiling water to come 3/4 way up bowls.
Cook in preheated oven for about 30 minutes till top of pudding is firm.  The inside will be cake like in the top part and the bottom fudgy.
Leave in individual dishes and place on separate large plates.  Add scoop of icecream next to each bowl and small dish of whipped cream.  Dust pudding and rim of plate with icing sugar.  They look and taste fantastic. 




February 2012
Happy New Year to you all.  I hope your salicylate intolerance symptoms were under control over the holiday period and you were able to enjoy some good health alongside peace and happiness with those you love. We fulfilled a life long wish to attend the Australian Open this January and at the Arena Restaurant in Melbourne Park, shared a delicious combination of dishes.  I have adapted these for you and you will find the recipes below, offering superb tasting treats to have as a family or to prepare for a dinner with friends.

Fresh pizza garlic bread
Adapted from the Pizza with homemade Base recipe in "Clever Cooking for Salicylate Intolerance"
Makes one very large free form pizza bread
Pre-heat oven to 200C/390F.
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
300 mls/10 fluid ozs luke warm water
3 tablespoons antioxidant free rice bran, canola, safflower or sunflower oil
Blend yeast and sugar in small bowl.  Add little of warm water and mix well. Then stir in rest of water and set aside a few minutes till frothy.
Put flour in large bowl and make a well in centre.  Pour in yeast liquid, plus 2 tablespoons of oil.
Mix to form a firm dough.  Cover bowl with teatowel and set aside in warm place till about double in size.  (Takes an hour or so).
Punch down and place on oiled tray. Push and mould into an elongated rounded shape. Use a fork to make indent designs. You can also mark piece sizes half way through with a knife at this stage.  Brush with 1 tablespoon oil.
Bake in pre-heated oven for about half an hour.
Take out and brush with *oil, then sprinkle with prepared garlic, parmesan cheese and rock salt.  Cook again for about 10 minutes.
*3 tablespoons finely grated fresh garlic
2 tablespoons rock salt
2 tablespoons antioxidant free rice bran, canola, safflower or sunflower oil
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
Cut into pieces and serve. Any left over (unlikely) can be frozen. 

Lettuce with quinoa and chicken breast
On a large platter, spread torn pieces of washed and drained iceberg lettuce.  Sprinkle over a cup of cooked quinoa (red looks great).  Layer over with finely slices of cooked chicken breast.  Drizzle with *salicylate free vinegar and oil dressing and sprinkle with a spring onion finely sliced.
*(there are dressings in Clever Cooking for Salicylate intolerance)

Roast mixed vegetables
Preheat over to 200C/390F or a bit less on fanbake.
Cube peeled old season potatoes together, with sweet potato (moderate), pumpkin (moderate), parsnip (moderate) and carrot (moderate). Boil a few minutes till sightly cooked.  Drain well and toss in a tablespoon or two of rice bran oil.  Place in a single layer in large baking tray. Roast, turning from time to time till cooked and golden. About 35 to 45 minutes. Drain and sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped parsley. 

The combination of tastes is delicious and will make you completely forget for a little while you are on a restricted diet.

Enjoy and let me know when you give these recipes a try.

Happy cooking.




November 2011
As we all know, it can not only be confusing and difficult living with salicylate intolerance, but very lonely.  By sharing our experiences we can help each other.

With this in mind and Christmas not far away, I have a few suggestions to help make this the special occasion it should be, with some delicious, simple and safe festive dishes.

Servings for 8

To start......
Seafood platter
On a large glass or china platter arrange as many of the following as you like -
cooked prawns shelled and deveined: slices of fresh crayfish or lobster; fresh oysters; mussels; crab meat; thin slices of tuna and salmon sashimi style.  Drizzle with dressing.*
*Dressing - splash maple syrup, 1/4 cup malt vinegar, 1/2 cup rice bran or canola oil (no antioxidants), 1 crushed clove garlic, 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  Blend till well combined and creamy. (*from Clever Cooking for Salicylate Intolerance)


Little green salads
1 iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 stick celery, finely diced
150gms/5ozs gruyere or Havarti cheese, cut in small cubes
Thick slice of ham, finely cubed
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, finely mashed with a fork
Toss all ingredients together with *dressing (as above).  Divide salad between 8 pretty glass or ceramic plates or bowls.

To follow......
Turkey or chicken tenderloins
8 turkey tenderloins cut in half lengthwise or 16 chicken tenderloins
8 large slices bacon or prosciutto
Rice bran or canola oil
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. 
Wrap each tenderloin in half a slice of bacon or prosciutto.  Place in single layer in greased ovenproof dish.  Spray with oil and drizzle with maple syrup.  Cook about 20 minutes till cooked through.

Fresh green vegetables tossed in garlic butter
60 gms/2ozs butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 leek, finely sliced white part only
250gms/1/2 lb green beans
10 Brussels sprouts, cut in quarters
2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
rock salt
Panfry garlic and leek in butter for few minutes till soft. Cook sprouts, peas and beans in boiling water for about 5 minutes till tender. Drain and stir through butter, garlic and leek.  Grind over a little rock salt and serve

Candied Kumera/Sweet potato (moderate)
4 medium kumera or sweet potatoes
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 200C/400F
Boil kumera in jackets till tender.  Drain and strip off skins.  Make a syrup by boiling together sugar and water, till sugar melted.  Cut each kumera into quarters and place in single layer in greased baking dish.  Sprinkle with little salt, spoon over syrup and bake about 45 minutes till golden brown, basting once or twice during cooking.

If you do not want a moderate option, old season potatoes peeled, roasted (in appropriate oil) or mashed are always a great option.


To finish .......
Chocolate Cake
90gms/3ozs butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, slightly warm
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Melt together butter, sugar, golden syrup and cocoa in saucepan on medium heat.  Take off heat and add beaten egg.  Add to  flour and baking powder.  Dissolve baking soda in tepid milk and combine with the mixture.  The mixture will be very sloppy.  Pour into sponge roll tin and bake for 25/30 minutes till wood skewer poked into centre of cake comes out clean.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.

Happy cooking and good health. 





September 2011
Blog by Linda
I've been enjoying your emails and positive feedback since the launch of Clever Cooking for salicylate intolerance.  I thought you might like to share this simple salicylate safe yummy vegetable recipe I cooked last night. We ate it with panfried chicken tenderloins, but it would be perfect with fish or red meat. 


Vegetable Medley
1 good sized leek
*1 large pak or bok choy
3 cloves garlic
2 slices bacon (I use nitrite free)
1 to 2 tablespoons rice bran or canola oil

Finely chop pak or bok choy and white part of leek. Pop in saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to boil and simmer 15 minutes.  In separate saucepan heat oil then cook chopped bacon and finely chopped garlic till golden.  This takes 5 minutes or so.  Drain vegetables and add to garlic and bacon, mixing well. Serve.

*You could use 1/4 of a green cabbage and/or a handful of celery both finely sliced, with the leek, instead of pak or bok choy (moderate) for a totally low salicylate dish.


January 2013
Happy New Year.  And what better way to start the year than with a success story.  Tooth whitening is possible, if you have a salicylate intolerance or sensitivity.

My Take-home Teeth Whitening system success story

This worked for me, at a time when my salicyalte sensitivity is under control
by eating carefully and using only sal free health and beauty products


Recent major surgeries required the taking of various medications over a long period of time.  One of the side-effects was a noticeable increase in teeth staining.  Not pleasing at all, and with a salicylate intolerance/sensitivity, could I do anything about it?

Initial research was not at all encouraging.  Products involved in the tooth whitening process use salicylate ingredients, with flavours like mint featuring strongly.

Fortunately, I have an excellent dentist who uses unflavoured products for my dental visits and to my joy, after considerable investigation, a custom-made take-home kit system that appears to be salicylate free was found.

In preparation for the whitening process, the dentist made an impression of my upper and lower teeth using uncoloured Vynal Polysiloxaine, a very rapid setting non-flavoured impression material.  The impressions were filled with plaster to create a cast, on which the whitening trays were made with liquid plastic.  These took a couple of days.

The product I used was, 'regular Opalescence tooth whitening systems PF35%'  My tooth whitening purpose-made zipped kit bag consisted of the two custom-made teeth covering trays, 16 syringes of non-flavoured bleaching gel and an instruction booklet.  I kept the syringes in the fridge.

Each morning after cleaning my teeth, using a third of a syringe I applied a small drop of gel inside each tooth impression in both trays, placed these over my teeth and left them there for 30 minutes.  During this time, I usually had a shower, got dressed and did my make-up.  But this could be done at any time of the day to suit.   After each whitening session, I removed and rinsed the trays carefully with warm water.  I also rinsed my mouth, being careful as instructed, not to swallow any of the gel.

Each night after cleaning my teeth with flavourless floss and my own salicylate free toothpaste, I dabbed some vanilla flavoured *GC Tooth Mousse on my first finger and rubbed this over my teeth.  Containing calcium and phosphate, "in a special milk-derived protein called RECALDENTtm (CPP-ACP)", this replaces lost minerals from the tooth surface.

I repeated this procedure for 48 days, but you may achieve the level of whitening you desire sooner.  I'm absolutely thrilled to bits with the result.

*GC Tooth Mousse is "derived from milk casein and is edible, so can be swallowed, but would not be good for people with milk protein allergies or sensitivity to benzoate preservatives".  It "comes from the milk of finest Australian and New Zealand cows".



September 2012
Feeling like spending a happy morning relaxing baking last weekend, I made three fabulous treats using buttermilk.  Buttermilk works beautifully in sweet and savoury dishes and you'll find both options here. The warm delicious smell in the kitchen grew as each recipe was completed, popped in the oven, and removed beautifully risen and cooked to golden perfection. All are salicylate intolerant friendly and are perfect for a yummy breakfast, lunch or snack.  They freeze well, ready for a fabulous coffee or tea accompaniment for surprise guests.

Poppy Seed Butterscotch Bread
1 cup fine brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups flour
4 slightly rounded teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk
400gm/14oz tin of cooked pears in syrup (1lb tin would be fine)

Preheat oven to 160C/325F.  Grease and line with baking paper, an 8 cup loaf pan. Chop pears into small pieces or blend in processor till just chopped.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla and combine well.  Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda, then stir in salt and poppy seeds.  Combine chopped pears with buttermilk.  Alternately, add flour and pear/buttermilk combination to creamed mixture, stirring after each addition.  Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake at 160C/325F for 1 1/2 hours till skewer inserted in centre, comes out clean.
Slice thickly when cool, toast and spread with a little butter.  The aroma is superb, the poppy seeds add subtle texture and the taste is like creamy butterscotch.  Thick slices can be frozen, wrapped in cling flim and placed in a suitable container.

Savoury muffins
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup milk
5 tablespoons canola oil
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 cup ham, finely chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated (or Edam with less fat)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.  Spray a tray of 12 medium muffin cups with cooking oil.  Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk eggs, buttermilk and oil in separate bowl.  Stir in spring onions, ham and cheese.  Make a well in centre of dry ingedients and pour in wet ingredients.  Mix a little till just combined.  Fill muffin cups and bake about 15 mins till golden brown.  Let cool for a few minutes before removing.  To help remove, loosen edges gently.  You could also line tray with muffin paper cups.
If you have some left, put in small snap-lock bags and freeze.  Defrost and pop in hot oven for a few minutes before serving.

Custard surprise muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup rice bran or canola oil
1 dessertspoon pure vanilla essence
1/3 teaspoon citric acid
12 teaspoons custard (make your own or use suitable bought thick pouring custard)

Preheat oven to 190C/375F.  Spray a tray of 12 medium muffin cups with cooking oil.  Sift flour, baking powder and citric acid.  Mix in sugar.  Lightly beat eggs, oil and vanilla.  Add to flour mixutre and lightly stir to combine.  Divide half of mixture evenly among prepared muffin holes.  Put 2 teaspoons of custard on top of each.  Top evenly with rest of muffin mixture.  Bake 190C/375F for about 20 mins.  To help remove, loosen edges gently before lifting out. 
If you have some left, put in small snap-lock bags and freeze. Defrost at room temperature and place in hot oven for few minutes to warm. 

And..... if you don't have any buttermilk, you can use sour cream or plain thick yoghurt instead. 

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