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I’m always on a quest to cook healthy, nutritious and tasty dishes with locally sourced food, and lately I’ve had to tick even a few more boxes by trying to work ‘gluten free’ in there and ‘high in calcium’.  And, as we have a lot of beautifully fresh corn and zucchini around at the moment it was time to do some experimenting in the kitchen.

I help out with the local ‘Stepping On’ class – a fantastic free programme run by NSW Department of Health, that is, essentially, a ‘fall prevention’ class – it’s for those folk who have had a fall or are at risk of falling.  One of our sessions is all about diet, healthy eating and the necessity of calcium for strong bones and I had promised to cook for them a couple of ‘calcium rich’ dishes .  It just so happened that a few of the participants were also ‘gluten free’.

This is really an adaptation of my previous recipe Zucchini Bake but, I think you will agree that this is a step up in yumminess – delicious hot or cold, in fact, over the last few days, we have had this for either breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Recipe Corn and Zucchini Bake

1 cup cooked corn kernels (1 cob)
2 large zucchini grated
1 cup grated strong cheddar
1/2 cup grated parmesan + 1 tablespoon
100g feta, crumbled
4 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk (or milk)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 rice flour (I use brown)
1/2 cup fine polenta
1tsp baking powder
3/4 cup parsley, dill and chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tomatoes, finely sliced for decoration



NOTE:  I experimented with various flours and took advice from gluten-free experts to come up with this combination.  I discovered that too much of one or the other was unsuccessful in both taste and texture – see what you think – I think this works fine?


Method
1.  Heat oven to 180-200oC
2.  Grease oblong baking dish
3.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flours and baking powder together
4.  Add everything else and stir to combine reserving 1 tablespoon of parmesan to sprinkle on top.
5.  Spread evenly in your dish and decorate with sliced tomatoes and parmesan.
6.  Bale in oven for about 40 minutes until firm and golden.

So Where’s the Calcium?
  • All fresh herbs are highly nutritious and parsley particularly so – handful of fresh herbs added to your meal is going to make it worth eating!
  • Half a cup of parsley contains 54% of your daily vitamin C requirements, 14.5% of vitamin A, 11% of folate and iron, and roughly 5% each of copper, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fibre, and 3% of zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B3, B1 and manganese – wow – and it’s only 11 calories!!
  • 1 cup of parmesan, cheddar cheese and feta each contain, roughly, 35% of your daily calcium needs.
  • 1 cup of milk contains about 25% of your daily calcium needs and each egg 3%
  • Leafy green vegetables are also rich in calcium – e.g. watercress, rocket, Asian greens, kale and broccoli.  Also on the list are fish with bones e.g. whitebait, sardines, anchovies and canned salmon.
Time for lunch – guess what I’m having?