The Gluten Free Veggie

Gluten Free and Vegetarian Recipes, Reviews and Information


February 2017

Recipe (GF, V) | DOUBLE Pancake Day Recipes! ft. Isabel’s

Pancake day or Shrove Tuesday started out as a religious feast day in the Catholic church to mark the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. Nowadays in the UK it is much more heavily associated with stuffing our faces with delicious pancakes!

To any of my American readers, this style of thin crepe-like pancakes is what we in the UK call pancakes. We do not tend to make them thick or stack them and I think they are much more versatile like this.

Tomorrow is pancake day! This week you are getting not one but TWO recipes from me! After all, what is pancake day without savoury AND sweet?


Ever since diagnosis I have used Isabel’s Yorkshire Pudding Mix as the basis of my pancakes. You can find my review (which is more of a “wow this is an amazing product” post than a review!) here. This mix makes the most amazing crepes – and the measurements are right there on the packet in case you forget! The thing I like most about this mix is that it allows you to use a blend of flours and gives a better texture. Leave plain for sweet recipes and add a pinch of salt for savoury.

Savoury – Cheddar and Broccoli Pancake Bake



100g of extra thick cream

Tenderstem broccoli florets

50g of Isabel’s mix (half the pack)

80ml of milk

1 egg

Sunflower oil

1/2 teaspoon of paprika

Grated cheddar to taste

Pine nuts




  1. Boil the broccoli for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan heat through 100g of extra thick cream. Add the grated cheddar and paprika and stir until creamy.
  3. Add the broccoli and pine nuts to the cheese sauce and mix in thoroughly. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  4. Mix the Isabel’s flour, milk and the egg in a large bowl. Heat some sunflower oil and cook the pancakes. This amount of mix should make two medium sized pancakes.
  5. Add the pancakes to an oven dish. Fill with the mixture and roll into tubes. Top with a little extra cheddar and cook for 15 minutes.



Sweet – Chocolate and Raspberry Layer Cake



100g of Isabel’s mix (the whole pack)

2 eggs

160ml of milk

50g of Green and Black’s milk chocolate

100ml of double cream

150g of fresh raspberries

2 tablespoons of white sugar





  1. In a large saucepan, melt the chocolate into the cream on a low heat, stirring continuously.
  2. Add the raspberries and sugar to a pan and heat slowly until it forms a coulis. Allow to cool. Sieve if desired.
  3. Cook the pancakes as above. This should makes four to six medium sized pancakes depending on how thin you can make them. Cool them on a plate with paper towels in between to soak up the excess oil.
  4. Place cling film over a plate. Add the chocolate ganache in between the pancakes to create layers, starting with a pancake and ending with ganache. The cake will be turned out upside down at the end. Add to the fridge with cling film on top and chill for a couple of hours to solidify the ganache. DO NOT chill for longer than three hours or the pancakes will become very dry.
  5. Turn out onto a plate and remove the cling film. Slice and serve with a dollop of extra thick cream and the coulis.




Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

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Product Review | Genius “Toastie” Loaf

Please read to the end of my review for my conclusion and star rating.


Previously, I reviewed Genius’ new recipe loaf with mixed opinions. I then spoke to a Genius representative on the phone and posted this update. I was excited to see that another loaf has been added to Genius’ collection of products – the “Toastie” loaf. I decided to review it to see how this loaf compares to their other three loaves – white, brown and seeded.

I can see why Genius have created a new loaf. Other gluten free companies have recently started to branch into fresh bread (see my review of Newburn Bakehouse’s Fresh Artisan Loaf, for example). Once Genius held an oligopoly on the gluten free bread market in Britain – this has all changed in recent years with European competitors Schar starting to dominate the bakery goods in the Free From aisle. It seems that Genius are trying to find a niche in the gluten free bread market with their “Toastie” loaf, and that should be commended.


It is important first of all to highlight that the “Toastie” loaf is more expensive than their normal white loaf – £2.60 compared to £2.50, which might only be 10p difference but it’s worth taking note if you are on a tight budget like myself.

The first noticeable difference between this loaf and Genius’ other loaves is the shape – the “Toastie” loaf has a recognisably square shape. The crusts are lighter in colour and the loaf looks a little more like the classic gluten filled sliced white bread that we all remember.


I tested this product is several ways – toast, sandwiches and, as the name demands, a toastie. This loaf still has the usual structural problem that Coeliacs have gotten used to with Genius products – two of the slices in my loaf fell apart and were unusable, which is better than some people’s experience of this product.


Despite this I have nothing bad to say about this loaf – but I also don’t really have anything good to say either. I’m disappointed to say that I can’t find any difference other than looks between Genius’ “Toastie” loaf and their other loaves. The taste is the same, the texture is the same and the usability is the same. For 10p extra, I can’t find any reason to buy this over the other loaves. This isn’t to say that the loaf isn’t nice, it just is almost identical to their existing products!

As I said above, I can’t see any real reason to buy this product over Genius’ other loaves, unless looks factor into your buying decisions. That’s the real reason for my star rating, but the quality of the product is fairly identical to their other bread.


3 out of 5 stars for a frankly disappointing loaf that doesn’t seem to differ in function or taste from Genius’ other loaves.



My reviews are from my own experience of the product or eatery and are honest. I am not sponsored by any companies and I write my opinions based on individual merit. I do not print retractions but I will post updates if and when new information comes to light.



Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See Monday’s recipe here.

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Recipe (GF, DF, Ve) | Butternut Squash “Shepherd’s” Pie

This is a vegetarian and allium free twist on a British classic! I know that this can’t be a true shepherd’s pie as it doesn’t have any lamb in it but that’s what I’ve always called it!

This will work with just about any vegetables – parsnips, courgettes, aubergines, pumpkin, tomatoes, whatever you like! I went for my three favourites – carrots, mushrooms and of course butternut squash.

The flavours are what make this dish something special – earthy bay leaves, salty yeast extract and plenty of thyme or rosemary. This may be a slightly less traditional version of this dish as I use a more tomato based gravy.

This recipe serves two people.



One small butternut squash

Five potatoes

Three chestnut mushrooms

Two carrots

Three fresh bay leaves

One teaspoon of tomato puree

One teaspoon of yeast extract

Dried thyme to taste

Two cloves



  1. In a large frying pan heat some oil. Add the thyme and mushrooms. Cook on a low heat and turn off the heat once the mushrooms are cooked.
  2. Peel the butternut squash and carrots and chop. Boil a pan of water and add the butternut squash and carrots in chunks. Boil for 15 minutes or until tender.
  3. Drain the butternut squash and carrots but reserve some of the liquid. Add to the mushrooms. Turn the heat back up and stir.
  4. Add the yeast extract, tomato paste and two cloves to the vegetable water. After 15 minutes, remove the cloves and add the liquid to the frying pan.
  5. Peel the potatoes and chop into chunks. Add to a pan of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes of until tender.
  6. Once the vegetable and stock mix has reduced down add it to a dish. Drain the potatoes and add to a bowl with salt and pepper and vegan margarine. Mash until creamy.
  7. Top the vegetable mix with the mash potato and smooth over. Add to a pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the mash becomes golden.
  8. Serve with gluten free bread to mop up the gravy!




Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See last Monday’s recipe here.

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Awareness | The fear of cross contamination

I have seen this claim on the internet multiple times and so I decided to check out its validity in order to impress on any non-coeliacs the importance of being aware of cross contamination.

I refuse to believe anything on the internet without conducting some kind of research. You can see from the quote image that I have made, how easy it is to take a “fact” as truth – it looks and sounds legitimate and includes my website in the bottom right to give it more punch. So I conducted some research to find its source.

For those of you who don’t know, cross contamination of gluten is when a gluten free meal becomes contaminated with a gluten containing food, often through using the same utensils for gluten free and gluten containing foods. It’s a big issue in restaurants – the chaotic rush of a commercial kitchen which handles gluten is bound to lead to a stray crumb. Whilst this might seem inconsequential if you’ve never experienced coeliac symptoms, for us it’s a big worry. That one careless crumb can lead to days of agony and sometimes even weeks of recovery.

Just in case you still don’t believe me when I say it can take just a crumb to cause us agony, I tracked down the source of this “1/64 of a teaspoon” claim. Whilst many websites quote it simply claiming it as a “coeliac fact” without crediting a source, it seems to have originated from this article by Lori Rowell MS. RD at the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. The academic in me was keen to discover whether this is peer-reviewed (which it does seem to be) and given the reputation of this Center in leading research on Coeliac Disease, this is undoubtedly a useful source. This article is a very useful read for anyone who wants to know more about reducing the risk.

So what can be done to protect coeliacs from this hard to detect danger? The first step, to my mind, is awareness for non-coeliacs and food handlers/chefs. That’s partly what I hope to do here.

Another way we can cope with the dangers of cross contamination is by supporting 100% gluten free eateries. A few weeks ago I posted a list of all of the UK‘s 100% GF eateries in an attempt to promote them and to help people find their nearest ones. In these wonderful, often family run places, cross contamination is not an issue.

The last frontier to combat for cross contamination is restaurants that offer “no gluten containing ingredients” food. Whilst Coeliac UK has done a lot of work with their accreditation programme to minimise cross contamination, lots of restaurants still have NGCI menus. For coeliacs, this can be an issue – there is no guarantees with these menus. Eateries need to be aware that no gluten doesn’t necessarily equal gluten free.

Cross contamination will always be a worry for us, but every coeliac can do their part for awareness and progress . Educate the people around you with well informed research and personal anecdotes to help the general populus understand the issues we face on a daily basis.


New recipes every Monday, new blog posts every Friday and Youtube videos twice a month.

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Twitter: @theGFveggie



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Change to scheduled posts/videos

You may remember this tweet from last week which teased you with guessing the ingredients of my next post and YT video:


Due to my laptop breaking (it’s now in the repair shop for the forseeable with all my Shepherd’s Pie videos on there!) I won’t be able post that video on the 22nd as planned. The shepherd’s pie blog post will be on 20th as planned. Instead you will get a What I Ate In A Day on 22nd – sorry for the change but nothing I could do!

Stay tuned – Youtube videos are going to be more frequent now! Possibly every fortnight…..

Blog posts every Monday and Friday!


Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie –

Twitter: @theGFveggie



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Recipe (GF, V) | Evexia Tortellini with mushrooms and nutmeg

I love pasta. It’s my favourite food bar none, but even your favourite foods can do with an overhaul every now and then. I’ve already reviewed this delicious spinach and ricotta Tortellini and I wanted to come up with a simple recipe that would compliment it.


100g Evexia Thrive spinach and ricotta tortellini

3 chestnut mushrooms

A sprinkle of pine nuts

Grated nutmeg

10g of butter

Dried oregano

Olive oil

Fresh mozzarella



  1. Boil a pan of water and allow to simmer.
  2. Dice the mushrooms and add to a pan with olive oil and the dried oregano. After the mushrooms have started to brown add the pine nuts. Leave to cook on a low heat.
  3. Add the tortellini to the boiling water and cook for 40-50 secs. Turn off the heat and promptly drain to avoid over cooking.
  4. Add the tortellini and mushroom mix to a bowl and top with butter. Top with grated nutmeg and ripped fresh mozzarella. Serve warm.



Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See last Monday’s recipe here.

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Eating Out | List of the UK’s 100% Gluten Free Eateries

Please note: it is possible for me to update this list. If you know any of any 100% gluten free eateries that aren’t on the list please contact me with the details. I am aware of the existence of The Coeliac Plate who do a fantastic job documenting 100% gluten free eateries. I hope you can see that I have not tried to copy them – all the research done for this blog post was off my own back.

I’ve been working on compiling a list of the UK’s 100% gluten free eateries for over a year now, with help from the good folks on the Facebook group “Coeliacs in the UK”. It’s taken lots of research to get it to this point but I’m aware that this is far from comprehensive! I aim to keep updating this list as much as I can! Please note that this list only includes eateries with a permanent location (so companies that only appear at market stalls are not on here, for example.) Sorry for any inconvenience this might cause, but it was for brevity as much as for the clarity of information provided.

These are the places we can eat safely with no fear of cross contamination. For someone with Coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance, this is a BIG deal. Being able to feel normal, feel safe and feel catered for are rarities for Coeliacs eating out, but not in these fantastic and dedicated places.

So here they are, categorised geographically by country and then alphabetically by county. See the map below for where these places are in relation to each other. Apologies if my geography is a bit off – I’ve listed links to all of their websites so you can find their addresses anyway! Anywhere that I have reviewed has been linked to – I hope to review the majority of them eventually!



purple Nibsy’s Cafe (Reading) – See my review here.

Greater Manchester

pink Tea 42 MCR (Manchester)


light blue The Compass Inn (Winsor)

leafy-green Offbeet Food (Wickham)


dark blue Oscar and Bentley’s (Canterbury) – See my review here.


light green Beyond Bread (Fitzrovia) – See my review here.

orange Artisan Gluten Free Bakery (Islington) – See my review here.

red La Polenteria (Soho) – See my review here.

yellow Niche Food and Drink (Islington) – See my review here.




turq Cafe Jungle (Old Cotessey, nr. Norwich)

dark-green The Gluten Free Shop & Cafe (Norwich)


light-purple Cafe Nouveau (Frome)

yellowy-brown Chirpy Cottage (Martock)


brown 2 Oxford Place (Leeds)

dark-orange El Piano (York)




dark-purple Grams (Edinburgh)

really-dark-blue Moon and Hare (Edinburgh)

light-yellow Tupiniquim (Edinburgh)

dark-pink Sugar Daddy’s Bakery (Edinburgh)





Recipe (GF, V) | Stuffed Acorn Squash

These icy winter days are really draining me and I find myself craving hearty, hot and filling meals! This is the perfect addition to any Sunday roast, or serve with rice and ratatouille.

Acorn squash miss out on a lot of the limelight that butternut squash gets – I’m not sure why, I think they are equally delicious and have a more delicate flavour. They are also easier to prepare and are easier if you are cooking for one (which I am most of the time!)



1 acorn squash per person

Grated cheddar cheese (to top the squash)

Gluten free breadcrumbs

A handful of cashews

2 chestnut mushrooms

2 mini courgettes or 1 medium sized courgette

Dried oregano

Dried sage

Dried rosemary

Olive oil



  1. Cut off the top of the squash and scoop out the seeds and pith. Place the squash into a roasting dish. Add some oil to the inside of the squash and to the bottom of the pan. Add a sprinkling of the herbs and seasoning to the squash. Cover the dish with foil to create steam when cooking.
  2. Add to the oven for 30 minutes on gas mark 7.
  3. Dice the mushrooms, courgettes and cashews and add to a pan with oil. Cook until they start to colour, turn off the heat and add the breadcrumbs and herbs.
  4. After the 30 minutes, remove the squash and check it with a knife. It should be soft and the knife should go through the skin with little resistance. If it is still tough, put the foil back on and cook until softer.
  5. Once the squash is soft, remove the foil and add the stuffing. Top with the grated cheese and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes to melt the cheese.
  6. Serve hot with roast potatoes and all the trimmings!



Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See last Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie –

Twitter: @theGFveggie



E-mail your questions or suggestions to:




Advice | An honest guide to coping with IBS

IBS is a fairly undefined and idiopathic ailment. I’ve been diagnosed for just over a year and I’m lucky to have relatively minor symptoms – stomach pains that range from bent-over-in-tears at worst or mild on most flare days, acid reflux that can be very uncomfortable but controllable with Gaviscon, and lastly the “stomach symptoms” that no one wants to talk about and that I control with Loperamide (this is prescription ONLY and you must must talk to a doctor before considering this as an option). Loperamide is the only prescription medicine I’ve tried for my IBS that has worked so I’m very grateful to have it!

This post is dedicated to giving advice based on my experiences with coping with IBS (your experiences will probably vary but you may find bits and pieces that work for you). Here’s some tips that might help!

  1. Find “safe” foods for flare days. If my IBS is ever so that my stomach is sensitive to food I would usually be able to tolerate, I go to my “safe” foods. It takes a lot of trial and error to find what these are for you, but for me potatoes, carrots, pasta, bananas, gluten free bread and salted potato crisps are on the list. When I was first diagnosed I would try to eat “normally” during flare-ups and found myself making it worse, so discovering that I can use “safe” foods to control my symptoms during flare-ups was a big help.
  2. Find ways to destress if possible. I know, I know, easier said than done, but IBS is often triggered by stress rather than food. I like to read in the bath or go for a walk. I also find that light exercise eases stomach pains.
  3. Make the most of your IBS free days. Take notice when you feel well and use to get things done because you don’t know how many hours you may have to write off when the next flare-up hits.
  4. Drink lots of water. It may seem obvious but if you have bad pains or IBS-D you may find that substituting other drinks for water makes all the difference. I personally I only drink water just due to preference – I don’t really like anything else!
  5. Figure out your trigger foods and avoid them. Again, it might seem obvious but it can take a lot of trial and error to find your trigger foods. Once you know what they are (FODMAP lists might help you to narrow down what to try) DON’T cheat! It’s never worth it to say “oh well, a little bit won’t hurt” and then spend the evening in agony. I can’t describe how much I miss garlic but remembering the pain helps me to resist!
  6. Find other people in your situation. Whilst everyone with IBS has a different experience, speaking to other people can help you to find solutions for you own issues. Online is really good place to start – Facebook groups or finding people to follow on Twitter, for example.
  7.  Make sure your friends and family know what you are dealing with, and ask for their help if you need it. I’m lucky to have a supportive boyfriend and my immediate family and friends know what I need when I have issues. Help them to understand what you go through.
  8. Remember that there is always someone worse off. There are far worse conditions than IBS out there and whilst I understand the hardships, just remember that there is someone out there who is struggling worse than you.
  9. Try to be positive. Learning to cope does get easier, and the more positive you are about helping yourself with this, the better you will learn to cope and the more willing people around you will be to help.
  10. Allow yourself the occasional duvet day during a flare-up. Stress is a big trigger for IBS and so writing off productivity for one day can be a big help. Perhaps spend one of your days off watching TV and relaxing instead of trying to make yourself go out. Sometimes we all need a chill out day.

Thank you for reading and good health to you all!



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Twitter: @theGFveggie



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