Turmeric, Garlic & Ginger Yoghurt Prawn Spaghetti. Gluten Free

Smashing ingredients in a mortar and pestle, releasing their intense smells and flavour is one of my favourite kitchen experiences. My beautiful Thai friend Peta brought this into my life when my oldest was just a tiny little thing. It is so different to just chopping or mincing them up.
It is like passion added to the flavours; with this very earthy and intimate hands on experience with your food and its ingredients.
Unlocking the flavours in an earthy, beautiful way

If you don't yet have a mortar and pestle I highly recommend you get one, or at least put it on your Christmas wish list! You can pick them anywhere from $12 through to $200 + and tiny to large so there is one for every budget and kitchen out there!

In this recipe it brings excitement to the kitchen right away as everyone comes wondering what the great smell is! Plus using fresh organic turmeric has so many amazing health benefits as the curcumin in it is one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatories out there.
Of huge benefit to anyone with inflammation of any kind like arthritis, uveitis, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, Ankylosing Spondylitis and general back and joint pain in the body it is also said to help prevent Alzheimer's as scientists believe it breaks down plaque in the brain and areas where they eat a lot of turmeric like India have the lowest rates of Alzheimer's in the world.
And the best bit is, you don't have to eat crazy amounts of it, they say even one meal a weel with fresh turmeric in it is beneficial!

Now if you are one of my Sunshine Coast readers I can tell you if you don't grow your own you can buy fresh turmeric from Erbackers, Jeffers Market and often at weekend markets.
Also look out for it where you live at Asian or Indian deli's and grocer stores, wholefood markets, health food shops, fresh fruit and vegetable shops, sometimes even the big supermarkets will have it.

The powerful benefits of the turmeric combined with the garlic and ginger too makes this is a fantastic dish which is why I was excited to team these ingredients with the new Barilla gluten free pasta range when they sent me out a gorgeous parcel to try. as gluten can be inflammatory for many people this gluten free spaghetti (that truly was not gluggy like some out there can be) is a perfect partnering and the result is just lovely.

This recipe is simple, fragrant and delicious.

It is also easy to make vegetarian, one of my kids ate it that way. I simply made a smaller batch in a separate pan with extra veggies and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Turmeric, Garlic & Ginger Yoghurt Prawn Spaghetti
  • 1/2 kilo green prawns
    (I was given a big batch of super fresh, local ones from my neighbour as he is a fisherman- I know right?! Cool neighbour!) Try to find Australian ones if you can and don't be afraid to ask about them and where they are from and if the place supports ethical fishing practises.
  • Fresh Turmeric. I used a piece about 2 cm long and 1/2 a cm wide. Wash, peel.
  • Fresh Ginger. If applicable look for local! Washed, peeled.
  • 6-7 cloves of Australian garlic. (Or at least a non bleached kind)
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced longways.
  • 2 zucchini's peeled and sliced longways.
  • 1 large red capsicum. sliced in long strips.
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom (or use freshly ground)
  • 1/2 a kilo of natural yoghurt. I like to use Jalna or Maleny Dairies brands
  • 1 & 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander
  • Pink Himalayan salt to taste (optional) 
  • olive oil
  • Prepare your prawns. I also devein mine and left about 1/3 with their tails on for decorative effect.
  • In a mortar and pestle smash your turmeric, ginger and garlic until it is pulp like. Take the time to slow down and enjoy this process. Make it a moment in the kitchen. Be present. Enjoy the smell sensations and you hands on with your gorgeous ingredients. If you drink, this is a lovely time to sip a nice glass of wine.
  • Cook the Barilla gluten free spaghetti according to packet instructions. I served mine el dente.
  • In a deep pan gently fry the onion in some olive oil on a medium low heat until wilted.
  • Add in the turmeric smash, stirring well for a minute or so.
  • Toss in the carrots, zucchini and capsicum, stir through for another 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Add prawns, yoghurt and cardamom and cook for around 4 minutes or until prawns are cooked.
  • Squeeze over lemon right at the end and season with a little salt if desired.
  • Arrange spaghetti on plates.
  • Top with a layer of spinach and coriander leaves.
  • Pour over some of the prawn mixture and drizzle with extra sauce from the pan.
  • Top with a little fresh coriander.
  • Serve and enjoy!
  • The gluten free spaghetti used here is available from woolworths.
  • This works just as beautiful vegetarian, increase the veggies and leave the prawns out. 
  • For those who do not like coriander this works perfectly without it as well, though I would recommend some fresh parsley in its place.
Toddler Tips
  • I leave a few strands of spaghetti long for fun but also chop a fair bit into easier eating sizes.
    My kids did not find this too spicy at all, but you could always serve kids portions with a dollop of a lovely creamy natural yoghurt on top as well.
Recipe, styling and photography (c) Rebeccamugridge2014
Follow my beautiful food with Bek pictures on

***Note: I was gifted a gluten free hamper by Barilla.

Roarrr its a Dinosaur Party, Swamp Dip Guacamole & a Dinosaur Cake

I love a good theme, its so much fun and I love any reason to celebrate, party, cook and....decorate!
Yep, I love Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Fancy Dress Parties

Its also always a great, fun opportunity too cook and create new things.

As a mother of two girls I never thought I'd be doing a dinosaur theme, and I have to say I am so glad my youngest is such an eclectic girl, the type who wants to wield a lightsaber while wearing a tutu! Its fun.

My little V loves dinosaurs, so it was only natural she would want a dinosaur party! So Kindy and ballet friends invited the dino planning fun began.

Meet Rex our party door greeter

Discovering the non fiction section on dinosaurs at the library has been a highlight of V's year!

Big sis and grandma taste testing the party food
Face painting by Fun Face Events

Dinosaur Jumping Castle by Jump Sunshine Coast
TAKE HOME BAG IDEA ***Dinosaur arts and crafts - great little addition for the take home bag that is not sugar and additive laden lollies is a paint your own dinosaur plaster of paris figure and cut out dino shapes, its personal, the kids love making them and who doesn't like glitter :)
 In our take home bags we also had garden whirls, printed colouring pages of dinosaur pictures and a box of crayons, a mini dinosaur toy, the usual blowers and balloons, some dinosaur shaped glitter sprinkles, box of organic sultanas, dinosaur crackers, dinosaur temporary tattoos and stamps. We really wanted to steer away from the usual lollies. 
Not the best shot (boy does that time go fast when you are setting up!) But you get the idea, lots of green and jungle features.

Adding some simple cut outs to the party hats to make them dinosaur - miss 4 actually did these 

Dinosaur footprints lead the way
 And such a fun part - the party food! Now I do believe in living life pretty much 80/20, yes my kids eat very healthy a large percentage of the time but I will also let them have abought icecream on a hot day out, fish and chips at the beach and a normal cake for their birthday! But I do still try and have lots of party food that is home made, additive free, fresh, wholefoods and refined sugar free as much as possible. In fact I even had the face painter comment at V's dino party just how calm and happy all the kids were - and yes, the kids were all still munching away happily! It is just that, yes its a party so you have some treats but you can also have lots of fun and delicious food that is healthy too.

Dinosaur footprint biscuits! These are fun and simple! I'll blog this recipe soon - why not sign up over on the side so you don't miss it.
Dinosaur eggs - these are my bliss balls made small get the recipe HERE
Flower Fossils - gluten free , get the recipe HERE
I found this idea on pinterest, I just made little mini spelt muffins, turned them upside down, cut them flat and then when cold topped with melted white chocolate that I mixed a few drops of food colour & beetroot juice into.
Viola iceburgs - these made the kids drinks of cold water funky, always a great idea to provide lots of iced cold water at parties, if you want you could add some cordial, there are also stevia varieties out there. 
We also served a sausage sizzle right before the cake, we had gluten free meat sausages and vegetarian sausages (cooked separately) and gluten free and fresh baked bread. We served with the Natvia refined sugar free tomato and BBQ sauces (find in Coles). Always a reliable hit for kids (and parents) and everyone loves the smell of a cooking bbq and onions :)

Swamp Dip - Guacamole
Yes, I didn't get a shot before the kids had tried some haha!
Swamp Dip Guacamole
4 large ripe avocado's
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (I used homemade refined sugar free, made with stevia but bought is fine)
1 cabbage
Cut up carrot, celery (leave some with the leaves on to look jungley), red capsicum slivers and we also had gluten free corn chips 
Blend together avocado, sour cream and sweet chili - taste test, tweak if needed.
Kids love this dip and it is not hot so don't be frighten of the chili sauce in it!
Cut your cabbage in half, trying to leave any funky outside leaves in place for the dinosaur/jungle look. Using a knife score the pieces of cabbage and then remove with a spoon (give your self a few minutes to do this part)
Fill with the smooth guacamole.
The Dinosaur Cake
Ok, yes it does look a little like a chameleon haha but the kids didn't notice - I blame the eyes!
To make a Dinosaur cake I made 2 of my chocolate yoghurt cakes with organic sugar (but you could use whatever kind you liked really). One round, one rectangle. I got the idea from a food ideas magazine and then tweaked and played around with the design. I drew the shapes I wanted on baking paper to use as a trace to cut out the pieces, waited until the cake was stone cold and then used green butter cream icing to decorate and cut down ice cream cones for spikes and horns, you could actually put spikes right along the back of the dinosaur as well.
The frill was cut as one piece and slipped over the head.
I recommend making the cake the day before if that works for you timing wise. I didn't decorate mine with lollies like the food ideas magazine but you could if you wanted too, I was just trying to keep additives to a minimum, but that are brands out there that are additive free and you could of course make this with a gluten free cake mix as well - if you were looking for an easy, instant one I recommend Tania Hubbard's from Gluten Free Grain Free.
Bek Xxx

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