As I write this I have a stomach ache, and I’m reminded that I’m not there yet. I don’t know about you, but often for me, IBS symptoms are accompanied by fatigue and that fuzzy-brain feeling. It takes me back to the days before I had my diet sorted, and it makes me feel a little hopeless.
A small glass of kombucha and some deep breaths remind me that I have it a lot better than I once did. I once would lie in bed or walk around my life in a daze, not knowing what was causing me to feel the way I did. I once wondered if I would ever be able to complete my study, or hold down a full-time job.
I’m impatient to be well all of the time, but I’m learning to be grateful for the many good things I do have now that I understand better how to manage my health: a really good part-time job, the ability to keep engagements with friends, the opportunity to be creative with the foods I know help my body operate properly.
So I offer these lazy tarts. They’re lazy because I just moved house and I am out of bread, pasta, rice… all of the carbs. But I made it to the veggie market, and I have gluten free baking mix in the cupboard. They’re also lazy because I don’t have baking beans (see above excuses) so they look a mess! But they taste wonderful, and gluten free pastry isn't bad on the texture scale.
I used flax seeds to substitute for egg, and added a little nutritional yeast for B12 and that lovely savoury flavour.
Lazy Girl Veggie Tarts
2 cups gluten free baking mix
1 tbsp flax seeds, mixed with 3 tbsp water
100g Olivani/vegan butter/actual butter
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
½- ¾ cup cold water
The trick to light pastry is to keep it cold – luckily it was a freezing day and I have terrible circulation so my pastry stayed pretty chilled the whole time. If you don’t have this luxury (ha!) then try to work quickly and make sure you give the pastry a good 20-30 min rest in the fridge before baking.
Place baking mix in a bowl with water, and rub the margarine/butter in until you have crumbs.
Add the nutritional yeast and black pepper and give the mixture a stir with a wooden spoon.
Next, throw in the flax mixture and about half of the water. Give it a good stir and keep adding water until pastry forms a ball. You don’t want it to be sticky, although it will be more sticky than conventional pastry because gluten free flours absorb liquid differently to wheat flour.
Rest for 10 minutes if it’s a cold day, or 20-30 minutes in the fridge if it’s a warmer day. While it’s resting preheat your oven to 200°C.
I roll out gluten free pastry between baking paper because it’s not as tough or as dry as regular pastry. Using baking paper means you can roll it out to about ½ cm thick without it breaking. I used my tart cases to cut the pastry into rounds and then pressed the pastry in until even.
Place 6-8 tarts on a baking tray in the middle of the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until they start to brown. This was the part where I discovered that the oven in my new house is crazy and runs about 50° hotter than I had anticipated!
I’ve been sautéing seasonal greens with olive oil and lemon zest for about 5 minutes then crumbling in chunks of goat’s feta and then serving this gloriousness in the tart. You can use whatever is in season where you are – zucchini, aubergine, tomato, avocado, silver beet, rocket.. Anything! For two tarts for myself, I’ll use 3-4 Brussels sprouts, 1 fennel stalk, and a handful of spinach – as well as parsley and fennel fronds and anything else I can get my hands on. I can’t wait to try them with spring and summer veggies as the months tick by.
This mixture makes a decent amount of pastry – about 12-16 tarts depending on your tart cases. You can also use this recipe to make a big tart/pie! The tarts keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.