Category: Autism Friendly

Crumbed Macro Free Range Boneless Chicken Thighs

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This recipe is quick and easy to do and is a great one for the kids to get involved cooking.

Serves: 4


8 MacroFreeRangeboneless chicken thighs

2 cups Macro Gluten Free Bread crumbs

1 tablespoon each of orange and lemon zest

1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon of dried thyme

2 cups plain Gluten free flour

2-3 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon oil

Salt and pepper to season


Cut all the visible fat off the chicken and slice in half lengthwise so it is cut into two slices. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix together the breadcrumbs, garlic, herbs and lemon and orange zest.

Pour flour in a plastic bag and add the chicken pieces. Holding the bag closed shake the bag to get an even coating of flour over the pieces. Remove the chicken pieces shaking them inside the bag to remove excess flour.

Dip the pieces in the egg wash, one at a time and then coat with the breadcrumbs. Repeat this process until all the chicken is coated and then refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.

Heat oil in pan and fry the chicken pieces until they are cooked and the crumb coating is golden in colour.

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Stuffed Then Baked Eggplant

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Eggplant, well what can I say, I love it. In Sicily its right up at the top of the list of vegetables that are eaten. This recipe is great as a Sunday brunch with salad or as a side when you are doing a BBQ.

4 eggplants
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
4 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 egg, separated
1/4  teaspoon each of dried rosemary,
thyme and oregano
2 tablespoons chopped oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 head roasted garlic with flesh squeezed from their skins
2/3 cup chicken stock

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C, (390 F).

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, leaving the stems attached. Score the flesh in a criss cross fashion out 5mm deep with a sharp knife, making sure you do not cut through the skin. Rub the cut surfaces with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.

Set the eggplant halves, cut-side-down, on paper towels and allow moisture to drain for 15 minutes. Eggplant has quite a lot of moisture in it and doing this removes some of it.

Brush the cut surfaces of the eggplant halves with the olive oil and place them, cut-side-down on baking paper on a large flat tray and bake for 15 minutes. The eggplants will not cook completely through, the skin and flesh will just be softened. Cool for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C (400 F).

With a tablespoon gently scoop the pulp from the partially cooked eggplants leaving about 5mm of flesh on the skins. Set the skin shells aside for later use. Place the flesh in a food processor and add 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano cheese, the ricotta cheese, the remaining salt, pepper, egg yolk, tomato paste, dried rosemary, thyme, oregano, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic. Process lightly by pulsing until the ingredients are just mixed, about 30 seconds.

Whip the egg white in a small bowl with a hand mixer or whisk until stiff. Fold into the eggplant mixture with a rubber spatula. Fill the eggplant skins with the mixture, mounding it slightly.

Place in a baking dish large enough to hold the 8 halves and pour the chicken stock around them. Sprinkle the stuffed eggplant halves with the remaining Parmigiano cheese and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Grate a little Parmigiano cheese over each half and cool for 5 minutes and then serve with a fresh seasonal green salad of your choice.

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Prep to Plate In-Home Gluten Free Cooking Classes

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Prep to Plate In-Home Gluten Free Cooking Classes

The Gluten Free Chef’s private in-home cooking classes are designed to offer you and your friends a great cooking experience learning from Jimmy how it is to cook Gluten free with taste – in your own home.
Classes are relaxed and designed to be fun. Jimmy loves a good laugh so you can expect your in-home cooking class to have smiles on everyone’s faces and not just from the great tasting foods that will be prepared.
The classes are all about cooking good food from scratch and helping each other to learn new things in the comfort of your own kitchen. 

Seasonal fresh ingredients are a big feature of Jimmy’s cooking and you can expect to sample wonderful tasting dishes that are achievable in your own kitchen.
How it works.
Class numbers range from 2 to 6 people and run for 3 ½ to 4 hours.

Classes offered by arrangement from Rotorua to Whangarei. Minimum class number outside of Auckland is 4.
Cost is $125 per person including food for the menu. (Additional food costs may apply if there are special requests)
  • The Gluten Free Chef will consult with you about your choice of class.
  • Design a dedicated menu of dishes in consultation with you.
  • Purchase all ingredients required for the day.
  • All recipes as well as lots of hints and tips are supplied in printed format.
On the day.
  • On the day of the class Jimmy will arrive with all the shopping done.
  • Meet and great the attendees. He starts with an outline of what will be happening and then its into the cooking including prepping the dishes with some hints and tips that will help you achieve wonderful results in your kitchen.
  • Dishes will be prepared in an order that allows samplings through the class. The class usually concludes with a relaxed sit-down meal.
Classes available are;
2012 Winter Classes
  • Entertaining Gluten Free
  • Stocks, Sauces and Soups (Includes slow cooker recipes)
  • Cooking For a Gluten Free Family
  • Budget Busters (Includes slow cooker recipes)
  • Italian, Sicilian & Southern Mediterranean
  • Vegetarian
  • Getting Tasty with Herbs & Spices
  • Cooking For Someone Within The Autism Spectrum 
  • Winter Warmers (Includes slow cooker recipes)
  • Gluten Free (GF) Basics and Stocking a GF Pantry
  • Cooking For One
  • Sunday Brunch (Usuallu held on a Sunday)
  • Blokes Can Cook
  • Dishes From The New Zealand Gluten Free Cookbook – Starting July 2012 (Additional $40 for a signed copy of Jimmy’s cookbook if people do not have their own copy)
Elements from all of the above choices and be mixed and matched to design a cooking class of your own choice.

For more information call Jimmy on 021 869 910 or e mail

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Vegetable Freezing

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Vegetable Freezing

Autumn is here and for many people its harvest time and as Autumn gets into full swing there lots of vegetables to be saved. 

Successful freezing depends on how quickly you can reduce the temperature of the food. Slow freezing may not make the food inedible but will affect flavour and, more importantly, nutritional value. Fast freezing halts bacterial growth instantly and produces very small ice crystals, which causes less damage to the cell structure of the food.
Before you commence preparing food for freezing you should turn your freezer on to its super or fast setting – preferably 3 hours or so before. This just keeps the motor running and drops the temperature as low as possible. When the food goes into the freezer it will cause the temperature to rise as the food cools. The super setting ensures the food already there remains at optimum temperature and the food being frozen cools as quickly as possible.

Do not try to freeze too much in one go – never more than 10% of the freezer capacity at a time.Also, the colder the food when it goes into the freezer, the less work the freezer has to do.

Vegetable Freezing Outline

Blanching time is in boiling water. Unless otherwise noted, chilling time in ice water should be the same as blanching time.
Blanching Time/ Chilling Time
Wash and sort stalks according to size, discarding blemished stalks. Break off ends. Stalks may be left whole or cut into 30-50mm long pieces.
average diameter stalks – 3 minutes thicker stalks – 4 minutes.
Green Beans
Snap off tips. Rinse, then cut or break into desired sizes or freeze smaller beans whole.
3-1/2 minutes.
Italian Snap Beans
Wash, snap off ends and slice into 1″ to 1-1/2″ pieces.
3-1/2 minutes.
For young, tender beets-
Remove tops and cook until tender. Chill, then remove skins. Leave small beets whole. For medium to large beets, slice or cut into pieces. Pack into freezer boxes or bags.
not applicable
Remove leaves and tough ends. Cut through stalks lengthwise, leaving stems with 1″ to 1-1/2″ diameter heads, or cut into pieces. Soak in salt water (2 tablespoons salt to 1 quart water) to remove any insects and larvae. Rinse with tap water and drain.
pieces – 4 minutes
stems – 5 minutes.
Brussels Sprouts
Wash and trim any tough outer leaves. Soak in salt water (2 tablespoons salt to 1 quart water) to remove any insects and larvae. Rinse with tap water and drain.
medium sprouts – 4 minutes
large sprouts – 5 minutes.
Remove tops, peel, and wash. Cut into 1/4″ thick slices.
3-1/2 minutes.
Remove leaves, trim and wash. Split into individual 1″ to 1-1/2″ pieces. Soak in salt water (2 tablespoons salt to 1 quart water) to remove any insects and larvae. Rinse with tap water and drain.
4 minutes.
Husk, remove silk and trim off ends. Blanch in a large stockpot with 10 – 12 quarts of boiling water.
24 small ears, under 1-1/4″ diameter – 8 minutes
14 medium ears, 1-1/4″ to 1-1/2″ diameter – 8 minutes
10 large ears, over 1-1/2″ diameter – 11 minutes
Chilling time in ice water should be twice as long as blanching time
Corn – Cut from cob
Husk, remove silk and trim off ends. Use a corn cob cutter or a curved grapefruit knife to remove kernels from cob.
4-1/2 minutes
Remove tops, wash, peel and cut into 1/2″ cubes.
2-1/2 minutes.
Wash and remove stems. Freeze smaller mushrooms whole
Cut medium and large mushrooms into 1/4″ slices.
To prevent browning, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid per quart of blanching water.
small whole mushrooms – 4 minutes
sliced mushrooms – 3 minutes.
Chopped onions can be packed and frozen without blanching To freeze larger pieces of onions or small whole onions – Peel onions, wash, and cut into quarter sections (except very small whole onions).
1-1/2 minutes
Green Peas, shelled
Wash and shell peas.
1-1/2 to 2 minutes
Sugar Peas or Edible Pod Peas
Wash; Remove stems and blossom ends; Leave whole.
2-1/2 to 3 minutes
Chopped bell peppers can be packed and frozen without blanching.
For pepper halves or slices…Wash, remove stem and seeds. Cut in halves or slices
halves – 3 minutes
slices – 2 minutes.
Cut; scoop out seeds; peel; and cut into pieces. Bake or steam until tender. Cool, then strain in a ricer, food mill or process in a food processor until smooth. Pack into containers and freeze.
not applicable
Sort; remove any blemished leaves and tough stems; Wash.
1-1/2 to 2 minutes
Select 5″ to 7″ long, tender zucchini. Wash, peel and cut into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices.
1/4″ slices – 3 minutes
1/2″ slices – 4 minutes

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Italian Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This is an adaptation of a family recipe that I grew up with. 

It is made with tomatoes, potatoes, garlic along with other seasoning’s and vegetables.The herb mix is what gives this slow cooker recipe that “Italian Taste” and will impress family and friends.

1 ½ kg (3 lb)  lean dices (25mm 1 inch) cubes of Sirloin Beef Bolar or Topside roast (trim any visible fat)
400g (16oz) Italian (Roma) tomatoes skined and diced
1                              cup beef stock (broth) 1/2 and 1/2 beef stock and red wine
1 medium       onion, chopped
1 cup            diced celery
2                  large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunky pieces
2                  medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
2-3 cloves      garlic, peeled and crushed
2                  bay leafs
1 tsp            dry oregano
½ tsp           dry rosemary
1 tsp            dry thyme
1/2 tsp          ground black pepper
salt to taste if desired after cooking
Add beef cubes and other ingredients except the tomatoes and herbs into your slow cooker bowl. Top with canned tomato and herbs, stir and cook on low 8-10 hours or until tender. Remove bay leaf before serving.
I serve either in a bowl with fresh breads (Gluten free if required) or plated with seasonal fresh greens.

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>Jimmy’s Stuffed Eggs

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Jimmy’s Stuffed Eggs

I love to make this recipe when I am entertaining. Its quite easy to do and always looks great plated and served with other starters.

I use SPCA Blue Tick eggs and by using Blue Tick approved eggs I know that I am getting the best quality of eggs that have been ethicly farmed.

6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 tsp lime juice
2 tsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 c Gluten free mayonnaise
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika, plus more for garnish
1/8 tsp chilli powder
1 clove garlic, minced
salt to taste

Scoop the yolks out from the eggs into a bowl and mash until smooth. Add in the lime juice, coriander, mustard, mayonnaise, ground cumin, smoked paprika, chilli powder, and garlic and mix until well combined. Taste and add the salt and adjust seasonings.

Scoop or pipe the mixture into the halved eggs and sprinkle with additional smoked paprika.

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>The New Zealand Gluten-Free Cookbook AUTHOR: JIM BOSWELL

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Out July 2012 

The New Zealand Gluten-Free Cookbook

Photography by Sean Shadbolt.

Publisher: Penguin NZ

“Living gluten-free doesn’t have to mean going without. In this stunning book, New Zealand’s ‘Gluten-Free Chef’ Jim Boswell shows you how you can bring fun and flavour back into your diet. 

A proud Kiwi with Italian/Sicilian heritage, Jim loves his bread and pasta and is passionate about gluten-free food that tastes great and is easy to prepare. He shares his delicious recipes for once-forbidden foods like fresh pasta, pizza, tortillas, focaccia and sponge cake … as well as scrumptious meal ideas including Chicken stuffed with Gorgonzola and Lemon-Orange Meringue Pie. 

With chapters on Basics, Brunch, Starters, Mains, Vegetables & Salads and Desserts, and notes on setting up a gluten-free pantry, this book will have you eating like a king without forsaking your gluten-free diet.

 As many as one in five New Zealanders have some form of gluten intolerance. Set yourselves free with The New Zealand Gluten-Free Cookbook.”

For more information about the New Zealand release of The New Zealand Gluten-Free Cookbook my Jim Boswell click on this link. 

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New Zealand Lamb Scotch Eggs

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I am a lover of eggs and this recipe and the salad side offers a refreshing lunch that can be taken to work or as we do on a picnic.
I like to use the filling (meat) from sausages for this recipe. (Remove the filling from the casing, use italian style gluten free sausages)
New Zealand Lamb Scotch Egg
6 hard-boiled eggs, well chilled
(Cook then to just past soft boiled, about 5 minutes then stick them in the coldest part of the fridge to firm up)
500 grams (1.1 lb) Gluten free Italian flavour sausages, filling removed from the casings (or the same amount of Lamb or beef mince)
1/2 cup coconut flour for dredging
100 g (4 oz) fresh Parmesan, grated
1-2 eggs, beaten
Coconut oil for frying.
Peel the well chilled eggs and then divide sausage meat into 6 equal portions. Roll each egg in flour then press and shape a portion of the sausage around each egg.

Dredge the sausage-wrapped eggs in the flour and then into beaten egg and roll in the grated parmesan. In a deep sided frying pan heat oil to just below smoking, cook each egg for 4-5 minutes (longer if shallow frying–constantly turn the eggs around several times for best results) or until sausage is cooked and the cheese has browned. Set aside to cool while you prepare a seasonal fresh salad.

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>Easy Lamb Koftas From Beef & Lamb New Zealand

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This is an easy Lamb mince dish from Beef & Lamb New Zealand and is great for a Summer BBQ. I have made this recipe many times and its always great. People love the way the mince is moulded onto the skewers.

In my view New Zealand produces the best beef and lamb in the world. I prefer Lamb but I have made this recipe with Beef mince as well

500g Quality Mark lean lamb mince
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs – approx. (For Gluten free substitute with GF Crumbs)
1 slice of bread made into crumbs (For Gluten free use 1 slice of GF bread)
½ tbsp dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp each salt and chilli (chilli is optional)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Zest of a lemon
10 bamboo skewers soaked in water for 1 hour
Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Divide the mixture into 10 portions and shape each so it resembles a sausage. Slide the shaped koftas onto the soaked skewers and refrigerate for half an hour. When ready, grill or barbecue 8-10 minutes until cooked, turning frequently.

Thanks Beef & Lamb New Zealand for permission to post this recipe. For more great recipes visit their Facebook page or visit for more great Beef and Lamb recipes.

Follow me on Facebook for Gluten free information and recipes

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Homemade Lamb Sausages

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They are very moist and have a great taste especially the garlic and rosemary. Take care not to add too much carrot as this will make them too moist and they will fall apart. 

If this happens you can add some more bread crumbs when you are mixing in the bowl. They are basic to prepare but taste so good.



600          grams (1lb) lean lamb mince (ground lamb) You can also use grass fed beef or pork
½            onion chopped finely
1              egg, lightly beaten
1/4         cup coconut flour
1              tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1              tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
2              tablespoons grated carrot
1              tablespoon fresh chopped basil
Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
2 -3          tablespoons olive oil or ghee
                coconut flour to coat for cooking
1              tablespoon finely chopped chemical free smoky bacon
                (This gives the rissoles a slightly smoky flavour) (Optional)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the oil. Using your hands, mix throughout, but gently.  I use my thumb when I am mixing as it allows me to push the ingredients into the mix to make sure its all distributed evenly. Do not over mix.

Lightly oil the palms of your hands, and shape the mixture into one large ball. Turn out onto a chopping board and cut the ball in half. Mould the two halves into balls and halve each again twice more.

Mold each meatball into sausage shapes and wrap each in some cling film and seal. In a large deep bottomed pot bring the water to a simmer and place the wrapped sausages in the water and poach for about 5 min.
Remove from the water and let cool. This simmering has par boiled the sausages. You can now coat then as you would normally coat something and grill, BBQ or fry off to complete cooking.

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