I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

October 11, 2011

Sweet Apple Quinoa Compote

I love cookbooks.

Google is fine for some things, but there's just nothing like holding something concrete in your hands and flicking through the pages.
I have books from all cuisines and disciplines, from Commercial Catering to Kiddies parties, and of course I'm always interested in Gluten Free cooking.

I found this little book at the Newsagent down the road for less than $10, and flicked through it to see if anything caught my eye. I hate it when a gluten-free book cops out and is just about plain meat and veg recipes without straying from the beaten path and exploring some 'real' gluten free cooking with baking and desserts as well.
This book ticks all the boxes. Great breakfasts, lunches and snacks with a comprehensive introduction on Coeliac disease and Gluten InTolerance as well.

I was really taken with the recipe for Quinoa Compote, no gluten, no dairy, not even any sugar! Simply letting dried fruits stew down with the grain to create a Cosy Compote of Culinary Complexity.

Quinoa is available everywhere nowadays. I got mine from handy-dandy Woolies for quite a reasonable price, same with the juice and fruits. Of course you could use organic, or unpasteurised, but I usually like to keep the main recipe simple with ingredients that are easy to buy at any supermarket.
My little cheffy twist is with accessorising the meal. I used a Dutch apple syrup made from concentrated apple juice and sugarbeet that I got at the Deli to drizzle on top for a bit of extra yum, and some lactose free fresh cream for smoothing it all out nicely, and a few shaved almonds for crunch. You could use a bit of honey, or syrup, or even brown sugar, and some plain lactose free yogurt would add a nice tartness.

Sweet Quinoa Fruit Compote

500 grm dried fruit, roughly chopped
I used a mix of dates, raisins, pears and peaches
1/2 cup Quinoa
3 cups unsweetened Apple Juice
1 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
teaspoon Orange Blossom Water, or zest of an orange

First of all, wash the quinoa. When I first tried this new food the taste really put me off.

Quinoa is naturally coated with a substance called Saponin that is unpleasantly bitter and kind of musty tasting, but it can easily be washed off in warm water for a minute or so making the experience so much better. It took me long time to get over that first taste, and it wasn't until I heard about this tip that I was prepared to get the packet from the back of the cupboard and try my luck again.

Place the apple juice, cinnamon stick and orange zest or blossom water in a saucepan and bring it to the boil.

Add the rinsed quinoa, dried fruit and water, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the quinoa is soft and translucent.
I usually don't cook it this long, as I like the slight nuttiness and texture, but I figured I'd try it out and it worked great.

Serve hot or warm.
I preferred mine warm, but I think it would even be nice cold.

What a great breakfast, full of fibre, protein, vegan and even delicious to boot. I would happily serve this up in my Cafe on the regular menu, but why not try it yourself at home next weekend with a great coffee or tea and a leisurely read of the paper.

So Dear Readers, is Breakfast your favourite meal of the day?


  1. This sounds delicious! What a tasty and hearty breakfast. I am off to the kitchen, thanks for sharing!

  2. This is really interesting. Quinoa is still very new to me and I've only seen and tasted it in salads so far. I enjoy it but still need a bit more time to get used to. Don't really mind the taste, but more unsure about the texture. It's starchy like rice, but not really. Gotta try one of these sweet quinoa dishes sometime! Might throw me off even more but I love it! Haha

  3. Yum I love sweet quinoa for breakfast! I too get annoyed when gf cookbooks concentrate soley on naturally gf meats and vegetables. This one however, looks great. Breakfast is my favourite meal also... that and afternoon tea. Is that classed as a meal? ;-)

  4. *sigh* I too have quite the cookbook addiction!

    I am yet to use quinoa in a 'sweet' way such as this. Must try asap!

  5. I have way too many cookbooks. Luckily, my naughty bunny helps me by pulling the odd book off the shelf and tearing it to shreds. :(. I made a loaf of soya quinoa sour dough this morning. Quinoa is so delish and versatile!

  6. YUM! You could also have it as a dessert and drizzle some coconut cream/milk over the top? I think Im more of a dinner girl myself. Theres a little more variety and Im always home to make it. Although, if there was a proper kitchen (stove included) at work, it would TOTALLY be breakfast!

  7. I'm SO into quinoa now. I use it all the time. My favourite way is in salads. Loving this idea. & yes, I adore breakfast. I so look forward to it!! I think it may just be my favourite meal of the day...I do love dinner though.
    Heidi xo

  8. What a great find of a book! I really like cooking with quinoa too and it seems to weigh me down less than other types of similar grains.

  9. Ha, I have a box of quinoa waiting to be used! And I love compote, it really suits my lazy self.

  10. I like the idea of quinoa for breakfast. Like Winston I've only had it as salad but this sounds great, a must try. GG

  11. This looks absolutely delicious and healthy. I am not really a breakfast eater but this would make a great healthy dessert as well. I am going to have to give is a try.

    Thanks for sharing, oh and thanks for tip about washing the quinoa!

  12. That looks and sounds delish.
    I too have a slight (ok, major) cookbook addiction. I just love them. I read them like novels, from cover to cover, even if I never end up cooking anything out of them. Good for inspiration if nothing else!
    And no, breakfast is not my favourite meal of the day. If I have something lovely and interesting to eat, then yes. But as an everyday thing I find it a bit of a struggle.

  13. i'm such a fan of quinoa and this sounds gorgeous.

  14. I am a big fan of quinoa. It is so simple and easy to prepare not to mention versatile. I would love to see your cookbook collection. On a recent trip to Melbourne I took your advice from a past post and visited the "books for cooks" shop in fitzroy. I am not going to tell you how many hours I spent in there but it was great so thanks for the tip off.

  15. Oh yum! I have a whole bag of quinoa still in my pantry! Yayy!

  16. I've actually never cooked with quinoa before and this looks like a great recipe to start. I like the thought of combining dried fruit because they have such a beautiful and natural sweet taste.

  17. Honestly, I find breakfast a bit of a chore. I'm not usually hungry in the morning and it's too early for me to think of anything interesting to make, lol. But I LOVE this recipe, and will be giving it a go!

  18. We went through the same thing as you did - first taste - bitter - and no-one will go near it again. I did wash it really thoroughly too! I'll have to revisit on your recco, Becca!

  19. The road to hell being paved with good intentions and all, I bought some quinoa and it is still in the exact same spot I placed it on that day. This looks nice and healthy. I'm going to get it out and do something interesting with , really I will. Soon.

  20. I've just discovered your blog today. This looks so delicious and you've got so many recipes... I'm off to explore:)

  21. Well my Dear Friends, quinoa is certainly a fashionable ingredient at the moment, but I hope you give it a try and tell me what you think. It's so nice to find a real gem of a cookbook, what's your favourite?

    Ina- Thanks! I hope you enjoy it :)

    Winston- It's certainly trendy at the moment. I know what you mean by the texture thing, try it like this and see what you think :)

    Emma- Me too, and me too- it's cheating! Afternoon tea certainly deserves more recognition as a meal in it's own right :)

    Lisa- At least you have that awesome library to store them in :) It's nice to have a few ways to prepare an ingredient so you don't tire of them too easily.

    Cassandra- That's one solution! Sounds yummy, I'll check your blog for the recipe.

    Nic- Yummmmm, that does sound nice! Maybe if you asked nicely they'd buy you one, but you might be stuck cooking breakfast for the whole office every day!

    Heidi- It's definitly a nice change from a salad. I know from your blog that you love your breakfasts, and you sure have some nice ones :)

    Lorraine- Me too, I always think of it as a 'neutral' food because it doesn't feel like my body's trying too hard to process it :)

    Leaf- Sometimes lazy is all good :)

    GG- It's great to have a change. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

    GourmetGetaways- Especially with a big glug of cream :) The washing is the most important step of all, it makes such a big difference to the taste.

    Spiceandmore- I have a pile of them beside my bed to dip into before lights out! This is a good recipe for that as it just sits in the fridge until you need it and needs nothing done while your waiting for the coffee to kick in :)

    Muppy- Thanks, try it sweet for a change and see what you think.

    Sherrilyn- I love a good bookshop, and one that focuses on cookbooks is just awesome! Feel free to stop by anytime you're in the neighborhood for a looksee :)

    Msihua- Perfect! See what you think :)

    Chopinandmysaucepan- It is a great one for first-timers as the flavour is a bit muted by the fruits. You can change them up to suit your palate, but they are just lovely and it means you don't need to add any 'real' sugar.

    JasmyneTea- With a stash of this in the fridge your can just dip into it when you're bleary eyed and you can't be bothered making something else :)

    Celia- There's so many types maybe it was different to mine? My girls hate the smell of it when it's cooking, but it tastes better when it's cooked. Let me know how you go :)

    Amanda- We've all been guilty of that one! Sure, I believe you :)

    Justasmidgen- Thanks! I hope you find some that you like, let me know how you get on :)

  22. MMMMMM,...a lovely breakfast or lunch! I love all things quinoa!
    The dish looks superb!

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