Saturday, 13 January 2018

Maki Sushi made easy

It's easy to make your own sushi rolls at home. A delicious, healthy and easy snack to make with kids.  Freshly made sushi is the best hands down.

This is such a great recipe for kids in the kitchen. We love encouraging children with food allergies and special diets to be involved in the kitchen, great for confidence building and helping your child make positive connections with food.

We are making vegetarian sushi here, perfect for a light lunch or afternoon snack.

  • Quality sushi rice (shop around for a brand you love) x 1 cup
  • Vegetables – your choice, but we are using:
  • Carrot
  • Small Lebanese cucumber
  • Avacado
  • Pickled ginger (optional) 
  • Japanese rice vinegar
  • Caster sugar 
  • Nori – seaweed sheets of your choice

You will also need a bamboo sushi mat.


Cooking the sushi rice

Wash the rice thoroughly under cold water, until it runs clear - about 5 or six times. If you have time, soak it first covered in water for half an hour, and then rinse again.

Equal parts rice to water for sushi rice. Add a small pinch of salt to the pot.  We are using one cup of rice, so add one cup of water.

Bring to the boil with the lid on, as soon as it starts bubbling up turn the heat down to the absolute minimum. When the liquid is almost absorbed, turn the heat off and allow to sit for around 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make your sushi seasoning – you can buy it, but we like to make it. It’s easy!
Two parts caster sugar to one part Japanese rice vinegar, is a good guide, but you can definitely add less sugar if you find it too sweet for your taste.

Heat and mix 2 x tbsp of rice vinegar and 1 x tbsp fine caster sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved.

Next, take the lid off your rice and add your sushi seasoning, use a bamboo chopstick or wooden spoon to gently stir through the seasoning evenly, and start the cooling process of the rice. 

Cooling the sushi rice

Turn your rice onto a large plate or wooden bowl ideally.

Cooling the rice is an important step as you want to get your rice to cool quickly, so that it will glisten and become a little sticky, and shiny as sushi rice should be! We don't want gluggy rice. 

To make our sushi rolls, aim for slightly cooled rice – not hot or cold. If your rice is too hot when assembling it may make the nori rubbery. Your rice should be cooled to around warm-room temperature, cool enough to handle but not chilled.

You can also aerate the rice with a wooden spoon, and make holes in the rice to help it cool down quickly.

Fan the rice. If you are making sushi with kids, you can ask them to fan the rice while you prepare the other ingredients. 

Assemble your chosen ingredients

We have chosen:
Julliene carrots
Match stick small cucumber (without the centre seeded pieces)
Slices of Pickled ginger 

Avacadoes sliced, also work really well

Rolling the rolls

Optional – pre-cover your sushi mat with plastic film or wrap to avoid sticking.

>Place the bamboo rolling mat on a cutting board so the bamboo strips are running horizontally to you. Then place a sheet of nori on top.

>Prepare a bowl of water, mixed with a good splash of the rice vinegar ready to hand, for working with the rice. (rice can be sticky to handle). Dip your fingers in the vinegar water before you begin, and as needed.

>Spread the rice over your nori sheet evenly, pressing your rice down as you go, gently, leaving a space at the top edge of the nori so you can seal up the roll.

>Assemble your ingredients over the middle of the rice. If you are working with children, allow them to have a go at assembling their own rolls. 

>Wet the edges with the water/vinegar, prepared earlier, to ensure the nori roll will stick together nicely.

>Starting with the bottom edge of the mat, roll up and away from you, pressing lightly while you roll. Roll carefully over the filling and join the edges - sealing like an envelope seal. (wet fingers with vinegar water). Press and shape the ingredients into a tube. Roll with some light pressure so you get a firm roll.

> Please remember that it takes a little practice. It's definitely something fun and easy for children to learn to do to! Here are two examples of what kids can make! 

Slice in to 2-3 cm rounds – with a clean, sharp chef or kitchen knife.  
You may need to re-wet you knife as you cut each roll.  

Eat immediately! Maki Sushi should be eaten as soon as possible as the nori can easily become soggy or chewy.

Fresh Maki Sushi is the best, hands down! 

Serve with soy sauce or tamari, or on it’s own. Salt reduced soy is a good choice. Most children like it without! Pickled ginger is a great accompaniment too.

MAKES 2 rolls -  a light afternoon tea for two, or simply double the recipe for extra friends. 


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Allergy Friendly & Unique Holiday Gift Ideas

Do you love someone with food allergies? Allergy Punk offers a great selection of unique gift ideas that would make a beautiful gift to someone with food allergies, asthma or coeliac disease.   We have a range of Apparel, Books, Travel items and Cosmetics that would make perfect stocking fillers, or helpful items to pack for your summer holiday.

Christmas Cuties

Holiday season is full of fun, catching up with friends and family events. Help protect your little one with one of our adorable food allergy awareness t-shirts. Beautiful, soft cotton and cute designs. Most of all, our allergy awareness t-shirt range is all about FUN and inclusion!
The holiday season can be stressful for families, these tees are not only adorable, but help families raise allergy awareness in a fun way. Talk for Me Tees offers 3 fun designs for the holiday season:
Please Don’t Feed the Reindeer – I have a food allergy
Holiday Reindeer Graphic. Even Santa will think twice about offering a candy cane without checking first.
This little ladybug has a Food AllergyFood allergy alert t-shirt, ladybug design. Empower your little lady to advocate for herself in a positive way.

Beware of Snack Attack I have a Food Allergy Fun shark graphic tee. We know that your child is just like every other child, except he or she can't eat some foods. That doesn't mean that they can't have the greatest shirt on the block! 

Allergy Apparel Collection: 
Food allergy alert shirts for kids that rock!

This punk inspired adorable allergy tee collection is designed to help your little one stay safe and alert others about their serious food allergies. 
“Designed to give parents of children without allergies an opportunity to ask questions and to better understand food allergies". 

Travel ideas

At Allergy Punk we understand it can take a little extra planning for travel, even for a week-end away for those of us with food allergies, diabetes and other medical conditions.

Living with food allergies and diabetes, coeliac disease often means you need to make sure you bring along snacks and essential medications to events, and when you travel
We have a unique range of lunch & medical carriers designed just for you! 

Great designs and yummy fun colours, and styles to suit your lifestyle! Travel ready and ready for FUN! Don’t let food allergies hold you back!

Smart Lunch Carriers

Our Solvetta Flatbox is the perfect lunch carrier for travel. A unique design that was invented to carry a clean eating surface along with you. Just unzip and it transforms into a clean place-mat. Designed for those of us with food allergies or coeliac disease, and special diets.
Stylish design, fun colours and easy to use - Keep foods off unclean surfaces.
Fantastic for airplane travel, road trips, picnics parties – and everyday school lunchbox.
Insulated neophrene, washable, convertible lunchbox. And tough enough to be machine washable! 

Medical Carriers for Travel

Organise your medications with ease, and leave some time for relaxing these holidays. Allergy Punk stocks a wide range of medical carriers to suit your lifestyle!

From EpiPen carriers, asthma bags to diabetes bags we have you covered! Cool designs to choose from.

 Large EpiPen Case

Large EpiPen Case

Fridge-to-Go Medical Travel Wallet was designed for carrying injection pens or vials when out and about. Designed for transportation and cool storage of medical supplies.
Ideal for medicines that need to be kept cool Perfect for everyday or travel. Grab and go! 
Easy to use

Summer Holiday Reading

Children’s Books

We LOVE books, and our carefully selected collection of sensitive books can help children  understand their condition, stay safe, ask questions, and most importantly to know they are not alone! 
Children will be thrilled to discover the magical world of Allergy Adventures where exciting things happen inside a lunchbox. The stories encourage children to enjoy the foods they can eat whilst learning how to question whether foods are safe for them.

Food For Me Must Be Nut Free is a charming story about inclusiveness. It has been written for children with nut allergies/ anaphylaxis, for educators, and for anybody responsible for, or in contact with, children who have serious life threatening allergies.

Join Emily, Marty and their friends in their adventures to help them to understand asthma and allergies in a fun and entertaining way. Soft hugger toys like Emily and Marty make great sensory aides, that can help children discuss their feelings and deal with anxiety at story time.

Guide Books & Recipe Books

Great gifts for a family with a new Food Allergy diagnosis. Holiday time can be stressful, but there are some great strategies to help make life easier in our collection of allergy guide books.

Thai’s Guide To being Food Allergy Smart – Parent Guide on Food Allergies, is user friendly and explains the basics in a fun, and helpful way. 
The first Allergy Guide book for the whole family.
Fantastic for carers and parents of newly diagnosed food allergic children alike! Great gift idea for grandparents or extended family who would like to know more.

Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies

Allergic Girl is one of the first books to finally address the social and emotional side of living with allergies or conditions like coeliac. Sloane offers practical strategies and guidance for dealing with anxiety and family /social stresses, daily living and more. 

Whether you have food allergies, know someone who has food allergies or just want to understand more about living with food allergies, this book is for you.

Books for Cooks 

Discover some new gluten free or allergy free recipes this holiday season!

Why not let your kids in the kitchen and involved in the fun this holiday season too? We have a range of books with easy recipes for children. Cooking can be such a healthy and rewarding activity for children with allergies and special diets.

Natural, Safe Cosmetics – for the whole family

We have left the best for last!

Perfect stocking fillers for your little miss, or something special for mum! Feel special this holiday season with our Kiss Freely Allergy Friendly - Beauty & Body products.

Natural & Beautiful and SAFE cosmetics created by an Allergy Mum. You can read more about the Kiss Freely story here.

Perfect for children with allergies

Kiss Freely Candy Pink Lip Gloss, is made with only 3 natural ingredients. 
Non toxic, chemical free and allergen free 

Pixie Dust Eye Shadow

So many people have a hard time finding eye shadow that doesn't irritate their eye.  As always, Kiss Freely keeps ingredients simple.  This eye shadow is beautiful, long lasting and best of all non irritating.

Kiss Freely Range includes: Gorgeous Body Butter, Sugar scrub and luxury lipsticks & gloss range designed by and for the food allergy & coeliac communities. Children's Face paints, shimmering range of eye-shadows, Gift Packs and more!  

Free from top 8 allergens and then some! 
Vegan, cruelty free and gluten free! 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Thai’s Guide to Being Food Allergy Smart – Parent Guide

Are you looking for an easy, beginners guide to living well with Food Allergies?

Thai’s Guide to Being Food Allergy Smart – Parent Guide, is the latest in the My Food Allergy Series, featuring the lovable character Thai, who helps children with allergies learn how to be safe and also feel included. 

Now, we as parents can be informed and delighted with Thai’s Guide to Being Food Allergy Smart – Parent GuideWhile a food allergy diagnosis can at first appear overwhelming, we can tackle a new life with food allergies, when we have clear steps to stay safe and live positively.

Thai’s Guide to Being Food Allergy Smart – Parent Guide is totally unique, and is the first accessible guide book suitable for the whole family!  Siblings, grandparents, extended family and teachers can join in, and learn about ways to help keep children with food allergies safe and included. With beautiful illustrations, photos and visuals this allergy guide book explores everyday situations simply and beautifully: How to stay safe at social events, bbq's, through to shopping tips and eating out with food allergies. We are presented with clear easy to read information, and easy steps to staying allergy safe and having fun in our everyday life, with the help of our friends.  

“It takes a village to raise a child”. We can all become food allergy aware, food allergy friends.

Food allergies are a growing health concern across the globe, and the rate of diagnosis is increasing at staggering rates. Hospital admissions for severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) have doubled over the last decade in Australia, USA and the UK. Australia is allergy capital of the world with one in ten children diagnosed with food allergies.  Adults onset anaphylaxis is also becoming increasingly common too, making it vital we all understand more about food allergies.

Thai’s Guide to Being Food Allergy Smart– Parent Guide is the perfect book to share with extended family, as it helps explain what’s involved to help care for your allergic child in a clear, easy to understand way.  

In this allergy guide book you will find many practical tips & tips on subjects such as:

  • Symptoms of allergic reaction
  • How to read food labels
  • Cross-Contamination & Hidden Allergens
  • Eating out tips & thinks to consider
  • Safe & fun tips for social occasions, parties, barbeques & Picnics
  • Sleepovers and playdates
  • Social impact of food allergies, tips for inclusion

This is a practical, easy to read guide book – jam packed with tips, ideas and things to remember when living with food allergies. Most of all, the book emphasises beautifully, what we all know: children with food allergies, are just like everyone else! Just like Thai!

Buy the Book

About the author:
Jackie Nevard is a hardworking food allergy awareness advocate, mum of two and author of the children's educational series My Food Allergy FriendsShe runs her popular allergy awareness educational sessions aimed at all children, across Australia and New Zealand. Navigating the challenges we all face being a food allergy parent Jackie has turned this to her advantage and uses her real life experiences to help others.

Other titles in the series:

Thai's Big Adventure In The City, Dealing with Food Allergies

                                     Thai's Exciting First Week At School, Dealing with Food Allergies

                                            Thai's New Friend At Kindy, Dealing with Food Allergies

See more in store at Allergy Punk

Friday, 25 August 2017

Briam - delicious Greek vegetable bake

Easy Sunday night comfort food! This delicious Greek style vegetable bake could be the most delicious roasted vegetables you have ever tried!

This recipe is an adaption of Briam, the Greek style vegetable bake and similar to the French Ratatouille or Italian Caponata. 

A perfect homage to the Vegetable – love the tomato! As it’s a time when many of us could use a boost of vitamin C to get us through the rest of winter! And tomato is surprisingly packed with Vitamin C. Traditionally a summertime recipe, but I think it’s really an anytime recipe. 

And I have included some little cheats, to make it even easier. We used tin tomatoes, as it’s winter – a good time to use conserves, and a time saver. This kid friendly version, omitted the eggplant and garlic – but of course you can add if you like! Needless to say you can of course experiment with any of your favourite vegetables!


 I x large red capsicum chopped into chunks
      4 x large potatoes (1 kg)  chopped into 2 cm cubes (or slices)
4-5 x baby zucchini (courgette) sliced
1 x brown onion or a few brown (French) shallots (optional) sliced 
2 x tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Dried oregano/ thyme or spices of your desire 
Tin of tomatoes large (whole) 800g  including the juice
100 ml Olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 200 c 
  2. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan over a very low heat. Add brown onion slices or shallots, adding more oil if necessary, saute for 5 -10 minutes, until softened and golden and just caramelsing. Turn off heat.
  3. In your roasting pan, add all the vegetables including the tin of tomatoes – with juice, (except zucchini) sprinkling your onion over the top along with olive oil.
  4. Add another 200ml water to your dish.
  5. Sprinkle with your dried herbs such as a sweet oregano, season generously with sea salt and ground black pepper. Combine well with your hands. (great for children to help with)
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add your zucchini slices and a big splash of water if it looks like it's too dry, season further if needed.
  7. Bake for another 30 minutes, or until the top has browned and vegetables are tender. Top with fresh parsley!

The traditional versions often include eggplant – which you can add too. Feel free to add chilli flakes, or garlic and spice if you desire! 

Serve with your favourite crusty bread,  warm flat bread or a bed of rice.
You can add other herbs such as mint or fresh basil when serving.

Aromatic comfort food that's full of goodness, and free from the top 8 ! 


 #Glutenfree #Vegan #kidfriendly #yum