Recipes can be found at the bottom of this article.

Manglaviti is an ‘alternative food’ expert who has generously shared with us two of her recipes that can be tailored to multiple dietary requirements.

Born to parents from Reggio Calabria, Manglaviti’s passion for alternative foods started in childhood thanks to them.

“Growing up with my parents, I came to understand that they were struggling with food intolerances,” she explained.

“Both of them had to stay away from milk.

“I suppose what it was, was IBS - they were actually struggling with irritable bowel syndrome.

“This really affected my way of looking at food and how they ate food, and the types of foods that we would have at home.”

Even during her years-long stint as an Italian and humanities teacher, the fascination never abandoned her.

“I always had an interest in ingredients and started to become really fascinated by ingredient alternatives,” Manglaviti said.

“I would go and research, for my parents in particular, things like alternative milks.

“I was really excited by these changes [in what was available], because I could actually make recipes or delicious things [for them].”

In the early 2000s, Manglaviti, her husband and their business partner purchased an already-established natural foods company.

“We went on to create some of the really early gluten free, allergen-friendly products for the Australian market,” Manglaviti revealed.

Incredibly, it wasn’t until after purchasing the company that Manglaviti realised she had already been buying some of their products for her father.

“We were [already] buying some of the carob and dairy-free chocolate bars,” she said.

“So, it was a real pleasure to be able to continue [the company’s] story.”

Alternative foodie, Connie Manglaviti

During this period, Manglaviti and her husband learnt that their son was anaphylactic to different food ingredients, a discovery that only drew her further into the world of alternative foods.

“It really gave us an insight into what it’s like to live with allergies and intolerances,” Manglaviti revealed.

“We were able to create [recipes] from that understanding, and really make a difference for people.”

Manglaviti knows that her family’s experience is becoming increasingly common, with food sensitivity diagnoses on the rise.

“There’s a number of reasons why people now are having to consider cooking differently for family or adapting recipes, particularly during Christmas when socialising,” she said.

“Really at the heart of it, it’s because we really love our families and friends. You want them to eat and enjoy the day as well.”

Manglaviti says she remains passionate about alternative foods precisely because of her Italian heritage.

“The values of Italian culture help me to connect with others through food,” she explained.

“I didn’t want people to miss out [on communal meals due to dietary restrictions], and I think that was really tied to my Italian side.

“As Italians I believe we’re really good at creating new dishes and being quite adaptive. It’s part of our heritage and our culture. We do really believe in natural foods and delicious foods as well.”

There’s no end in sight for Manglaviti, who says that despite recently selling the company, she is set to continue experimenting and discovering new possibilities with food, just like her parents.

“My parents were able to draw upon their knowledge of food … to help themselves as much as possible at a time when those commercial products weren’t available,” she explained.

“For me personally, I hope to be continuing to create natural, wholesome recipes with a focus also on ‘free from’ – gluten-free or allergen-friendly type recipes – and I look forward to sharing more of those.”


Italian Style Bread Sticks with Loaded Olive Oil Dip - Gluten Free

Italian Style Bread Sticks

Ingredients (Makes 4 Bread Sticks)

In selecting ingredients, always remember to check ingredient list and allergen information on pack to ensure ingredients are suitable.

1 cup gluten free self-rising flour 

1 cup Greek Yoghurt - can be substituted for dairy-free coconut yoghurt, soy yoghurt or regular yoghurt if dairy is not a concern.

Extra Virgin olive oil for brushing

Sea Salt Flakes 


Make sure surfaces are clean and prepared for allergen-free cooking.

Pre heat oven 180 Degrees Celsius

Mix ingredients together in a bowl and knead lightly until ingredients come together into a ball.

(If hands are sticky, dust them with some gluten-free flour)

Divide dough into four segments and roll into bread sticks. 

Place them on a tray lined with baking paper.

Brush with olive oil and then springle with sea salt.

Bake for 25 mins or until the golden of your liking. 

How to store bread sticks: if not serving immediately, allow them to cool and place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one day, as it contains yoghurt.

Loaded Olive Oil Dip


1 cup Virgin Olive Oil 

2 Tablespoons chopped dried tomatoes

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 Tablespoons chopped green olives

2 Tablespoons chopped black olives 

1 Tablespoon minced garlic (use less or omit if you are intolerant, or switch to a garlic infused olive oil if tolerated) 

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (use less if preferred)

2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese (omit if vegan, or use vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavour) 

Mix together and start dipping! 

(For an extra kick of flavour, you can also include a sprinkling of chilli flakes!) 

Once made, serve dip immediately or place in the fridge until ready to serve. Unused dip can be stored for 1-2 days. To soften olive oil after fridge, microwave briefly.

Dip that has been used on the day should be discarded.

Italian Style Chocolate Salami - Gluten Free/Nut Free

Ingredients (makes 2 Italian-Style Chocolate Salami)

In selecting ingredients, always remember to check ingredient list and allergen information on pack to ensure ingredients are suitable

2 x175g Scotch Finger Biscuits - Gluten Free/Nut Free

2x 200g Dark Chocolate Choc Bits - Gluten Free/Nut Free

5 Tablespoons cooled espresso coffee 

60ml Olive Oil 

60g Natural coloured Glace`Cherries- Gluten Free/Nut Free 

Pure Icing Sugar for dusting 

Plus, baking paper for rolling 


Make sure surfaces are clean and prepared for allergen-free cooking.

Place biscuits into a snap lock bag and break into small pieces using a rolling pin. (Biscuit must be intact, not totally crushed into powder)

Melt chocolate over a stove top in a water bath to prevent it from burning. Or melt in the microwave in short bursts, mixing it as you go.

Once chocolate is melted, mix in espresso /olive oil /biscuits/ glace` cherries. 

Mix it all together and then place half of the mixture on the baking paper to roll up into the shape of a log. Twirl the ends to seal. Repeat again for the second salami log.

Place chocolate salami in the fridge to set for about 20mins, then unroll from baking paper and dust with icing sugar.

Slice and serve. Or place pre-sliced pieces in the fridge until time for serving. Store up to 1-2 days, if not serving immediately. A whole unused log can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.