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The Blog: Australia-based Emma Galloway of My Darling Lemon Thyme creates bright, fresh and healthy vegetarian recipes, most of which happen to be gluten- and dairy-free.
Gluten-free and dairy-free desserts are such a challenge. What are your favorite recipes in that category from your blog?
They can be, can’t they! We actually eat a little butter nowadays so I use it sometimes when making desserts that require pastry, as I have a mild aversion to using butter substitutes. For completely gluten- and dairy-free desserts I tend to go the raw-food route with Little Raw Carrots Cakes with Orange Maple Cream, which also happen to be naturally sweetened with Medjool dates and just a touch of pure maple syrup in the whipped coconut cream topping. I also make a Rich Chocolate Slice if only a little sweet treat is needed after dinner, or Strawberry, Vanilla and Coconut ice cream, which is made using coconut milk instead of cream.
I love that one of your first tips for going gluten-free is to buy a rice cooker. Do you use it beyond just making plain rice?
To be honest it was only recently that I used my rice cooker to cook anything other than rice. I made a Spiced Millet Pilaf with Beetroot, Feta and Mint, which turned out perfectly. Since then I’ve also used it to cook quinoa and buckwheat, which also worked great.
I also love your positive outlook about eating largely gluten-free and dairy-free, reminding readers that a lot of people in the world don’t really eat either wheat or dairy. Did the restrictions introduce you to different cuisines from around the world? What are some gluten-free and dairy-free recipes that reflect that?
I’ve always veered more toward an Asian/Indian–style diet myself, even long before having kids and changing our diets and this is how we still eat predominantly to this day. One of my go-to salads is Spicy Rice Noodle Salad with Pickled Vegetables and Sesame-Soy Dressing, and I love nothing more than a good bowlful of curry on a cold day. I have, however, found that I’m experimenting more with Mexican-style foods and have been making loads of homemade corn tortillas lately and dishes such as my Black Bean and Quinoa Tacos with Avocado, Coriander (cilantro) and Lime Sauce and Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Quinoa Salad with Jalapeno Lime Dressing, which is filled with loads of fresh herbs that help to give it a slight Mexican vibe
Now that you can eat a little gluten, what is your cheat food/weakness?
I still eat nearly 100 percent gluten-free even though my body does handle it in small, infrequent amounts nowadays, as I feel much better when I simply avoid it. I did, however, eat my first bread roll in more than five years recently while on holiday in Vietnam! I couldn’t say no to a vegetarian banh mi.
Tell us a bit about your book. Will it be published at all in the US?
My Darling Lemon Thyme—Recipes from My Real Food Kitchen is a collection of 100 of my favorite recipes (nearly all of which have not been seen previously on my blog) that reflect my philosophy that natural, whole food should be flavorsome, fun and easy to prepare. It’s food as it’s supposed to be, eaten fresh from the earth to the kitchen, seasonal, nourishing and tasty. Lots of the recipes included in my book are my everyday go-to recipes, like gluten-free sourdough, which I make nearly every day for my family, while others are inspired by childhood favorites: I grew up in a vegetarian household. There are also a few vegetarian versions of Vietnamese classics, which I’ve perfected after years of looking over my mother-in-law’s shoulder. It’s a book for anyone who loves great food that is also good for you.
I’m still waiting to get the final word on whether it will be published in the US, but we’re hoping it will be, in which case the release date will be a little later than the April 2014 launch in New Zealand and Australia. I will keep everyone up to date with info closer to the publishing date via my blog and social media.
What three to five blogs are you newly excited about?
I could be here for days, there is so much talent out there! I read loads of blogs but there are only a handful that I read religiously (101 Cookbooks and Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef are long-time favorites). The blogs that have me really excited at the moment are: The Year in Food, The First Mess, The Vanilla Bean Blog, My Name is Yeh, and Dolly and Oatmeal.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.