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The Gluten Free Veggie

Gluten Free and Vegetarian Recipes, Reviews and Information

Month

March 2017

Awareness | 8 ways to annoy a Coeliac

Sometimes non-Coeliacs just don’t realise that their actions can sometimes be eye-rollingly annoying, or even just plain rude! Whilst most of us try to keep a sense of humour, here are a few things that non-Coeliacs do that can really grind my gears.

  1. Compare our symptoms to a minor ailment

“Oh yes I completely understand, I had a stomach ache the other day and it was just awful.” Whilst we understand that you are probably just trying to empathise and put our illness into relatable terms, comparing our lifelong auto-immune disease to that time you felt a bit peaky can really irk us. Especially once you’ve heard it a few dozen times.

2. Tell us about your fad diet

“I’m gluten free too! I want to loose weight/gluten is bad for you/insert other factually incorrect statement about the gluten free diet here.” It is not trendy to be gluten free and we really don’t want to hear about how you think you are in the same boat, especially when you inevitably give it up a few months down the line because it was “too hard/didn’t work/you’re going to try insert other fad diet here instead”. I should make this clear – I do not mean people with genuine gluten intolerances or sensitivities. Whilst these people may be able to tolerate small amounts of gluten, unlike Coeliacs who need to be completely gluten free for life, they do suffer and are rarely believed about their condition because it is difficult to diagnose and because of fad diet eaters!

3. Serve us plain salad and fruit and call them meals

Restaurants, I’m looking at you this time. Whilst your friends might struggle to rustle up anything other than a salad for fear of getting it wrong, they are completely forgiven for sheer effort and thoughtfulness. Restaurants on the other hand must try harder – when you’re paying money to a supposedly professional kitchen, you really expect to leave feeling full. The wonderful gluten free b is known amongst the Coeliac community for the hashtag #fruitisnotapudding after receiving fruits salads for pudding. It really is poor effort to offer fruit/crudites/salad as the gluten free option, especially when they could easily offer naturally gluten free things like omelettes or jacket potatoes as a main and meringue or sorbet as a pudding.

4. Call our food disgusting or refuse to try something just because it’s gluten free

Okay, we can slightly understand this one – gluten free bread has a reputation for tasting like cardboard (and honestly, sometimes it does) but if we cook you something gluten free, don’t refuse to try it simply because you have a prejudice against gluten free food. Most gluten free food is just as delicious as “normal” food, and your ignorance is hurting you as much as it is us.

5. Exclude us from events because of our dietary requirement

Whilst it can be really tough to attend meals out or BBQs as a Coeliac, don’t just presume we won’t want to come – ask us first! It can be a really awful feeling when you are told that you weren’t invited to something because of your Coeliac disease. There’s often something we can do – sometimes we can bring our own food or eat beforehand.

6. Tease us with gluten

Shoving a normal cake or pizza under our noses and literally saying “Look, you can’t eat this and it’s delicious” is not only childish but it gets old fast! Whilst I have no issue with people eating gluten around me (why would I? I don’t tend to notice and my friends don’t make a fuss) if you are going to literally push your food in my face and cackle about how nice it is, we’re not destined to be friends (and YES this has happened to me!) We do wish we could eat gluten, but after a while you start to forget about it, so the teasing reminders are just irritating.

7. Eat our food without permission!

Gluten free food can be very expensive, so if we’ve bought a packet of gluten free biscuits, or a pizza, it’s ours, please don’t eat it! This is especially an issue for Coeliac students with shared kitchens. We don’t care if you “just wanted to try them”, go buy your own gluten free food if you are that desperate! Of course, if we offer, that’s a different situation, and a lot of the time we are very keen to get you to try our food (like I said above, we want to dispel the “it’s disgusting” misjudgement) but don’t take it without asking.

8. Act as if you know more about our disease than we do

Chances are, if we’ve been diagnosed for longer than five minutes, we’ve done our research, we’ve spoken to health care professionals, we’ve pretty much memorised Coeliac UK’s website, we’ve bought the cookbooks, read all the blogs. Unless you are a qualified health care professional or Coeliac yourself, it’s unlikely you’re going to know more than us about our own condition. Gibbering about how various pseudo-scientific “miracle” cures can heal Coeliac, telling us that “a bit of gluten won’t hurt us” (oh yes it will, see here if you don’t believe me) or telling us that your nan’s aunt’s cousin’s dog’s sister is Coeliac so you know all about it and it’s not that bad, is really not helpful. You are perpetuating misinformation and rumour which makes our fight against ignorance and stigma that much harder.

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

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

Tumblr: glutenfreeveggie.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theGFveggie

E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

 

 

Youtube | What I Ate in a Day No. 3

I post new Youtube videos every Wednesday. This weeks video is a What I Ate in a Day, featuring Warburton’s crumpets and my vegan mushroom and cashew burgers.

BurgerCrumpet

 

 

Click below to watch:

What I Ate in a Day 3 cover

 

Recipe (GF, V) | Easy Flourless Cheese Sauce

Whilst a roux based sauce is relatively simple to make and can be made GF by changing the flour, it’s nice to have a lighter option in your arsenal. Sometimes a flour based sauce can be quite heavy and needs whisking to ensure there are no lumps of flour left in it. This version is lighter, just as creamy and needs just two ingredients!

 

Ingredients:

100g of extra thick cream

Grated cheddar cheese (to taste)

A pinch of smoked paprika (optional)

 

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Method:

  1. Heat the extra thick cream in a saucepan until it starts to become creamy. Stir continuously on a low heat so that it doesn’t burn.
  2. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add the paprika and salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Add to GF pasta for macaroni cheese, on top of a lasagne, as a dip for nachos – this is a very versatile recipe!

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

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

Tumblr: glutenfreeveggie.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theGFveggie

E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

 

My vegetarianism does not negate my Coeliac diagnosis

This is perhaps a more controversial topic than I normally post but I think it is something I would like to open up a respectful discussion about.

I have never been a “preachy” vegetarian. I think that you have to right to eat whatever you like and I will never tell you that you should go vegetarian/vegan. I wish I could say that my “live and let live” attitude to meat eaters was a two way street.

I’ve been vegetarian my entire life – my mother raised me vegetarian and when I was old enough to understand it, my father offered me the opportunity to eat meat if I wanted to, and I never did. That means I’ve had nearly twenty two years of being called “flakey”, of being judged, of being told that my vegetarian diet is bad for me. Ever since I first went to school, I’ve aggressively been preached at to eat meat.

This only got worse once I was diagnosed with Coeliac. For some reason, in people’s minds, you can only have one dietary requirement. If you have Coeliac disease, it’s ridiculous to be vegetarian too, even if you’ve been this way all your life. Not a morsel of meat has passed my lips my entire life and yet people expect me to not only go through the drastic dietary changes that a Coeliac diagnosis requires, but also to start introducing a substance that my body has never had to digest, to change my entire lifestyle and beliefs because of an illness?  I was surprised even to find that some Coeliacs are completely unsupportive of vegetarian Coeliacs. After first being diagnosed, I sought comfort on Facebook groups, and as soon as I mentioned my vegetarianism, all hell was let loose. You’re told that it’s a “choice” and that you’re being “fussy”. Whilst I agree, it is a choice, unlike Coeliac disease, eating meat is also a choice.

Being vegetarian does not negate my Coeliac diagnosis, as I soon came to realise once I joined the wonderful people on the Facebook group Vegetarian Coeliacs UK. These people are a mix of vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians and anyone who is trying to eat less meat or can’t eat meat for health reasons who also have Coeliac disease. They are some of the kindest and most welcoming people I’ve had the pleasure of talking to after diagnosis and I’ve made several firm friends through the group. I was so pleased to find that not everyone thought that being Coeliac and vegetarian was ridiculous, and that there are nearly 1000 people in the UK alone that are in the same boat.

So, I will leave you with this thought – I respect YOUR right to eat what you want, so why won’t you respect mine?

 

Recipe (GF, V) | Newburn Bakehouse #CrumpetChallenge

Warburton’s Newburn Bakehouse have just brought out these delicious gluten free crumpets, growing their list of products, including fresh gluten free loaves which I reviewed here. They started the Twitter hashtag #CrumpetChallenge to celebrate and the recipes that have come out of it have been delicious! These are my sweet and savoury contributions!

Mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar

Light and fresh tasting with a tangy twist. Serve at room temperature or add to the grill to melt the cheese!

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Chocolate orange

Chocolate spread (I used Nutella) topped with fresh orange segments.

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

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

Tumblr: glutenfreeveggie.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theGFveggie

E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

 

Product Review | Propercorn popcorn

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

I love popcorn! There are lots of brands/supermarket own brands that are suitable for Coeliacs – popcorn is of course naturally gluten free anyway – but Propercorn is my favourite. They have several flavours to chose from and their gluten free and vegan flavours are very clearly labelled on the back so you have nothing to worry about!

All six of their popcorn flavours are gluten and wheat free and five are vegan:

Sweet Vanilla and Coconut

Sweet and Salty

Fiery Worcester Sauce and Sundried Tomato

Sour Cream and Black Pepper (not suitable for vegans)

Lightly Sea Salted

Smooth Peanut and Almond

My local Waitrose only stocks two flavours but I have had most of them at one time or another and they are all incredible.

The thing that always hits me the most about this product is just how flavourful each piece is – I never thought that popcorn could be so tasty! Cinema popcorn was always a bit dull and involved too much chewing for my liking, so my first expectation for this product was that it would be the same. I was pleasantly surprised and happy to be proven wrong when I first picked up a bag of the Sour Cream and Black Pepper a few years ago.

My absolute favourite flavour is the Peanut and Almond – the taste is unparalleled by any popcorn I’ve ever had. It’s sweet but salty, smooth but with a nutty taste and most importantly for me, doesn’t have an overpowering peanut taste. I am one of those weird people that really doesn’t like peanut butter – I will eat cashew butter all day long, but I peanut butter is rather cloying and has a very overpowering taste. As a result I was sceptical to try this flavour but now it’s my firm favourite! The almond balances out the peanut perfectly.

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Sweet and salty popcorn is something I had never tried before finding this product. I never used to like salty popcorn as it made me drink a lot but this flavour works really well. Including both sweet and salty means you don’t get bored of the flavour like I used to with salty popcorn.

★★★★★

5 out of 5 stars for a product that I can’t really fault. Propercorn if you’re reading this, you’ve done a brilliant job with making gluten free and veggie popcorn flavours and I can’t wait to see what other flavours you might produce in the future!

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

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

Tumblr: glutenfreeveggie.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theGFveggie

E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

Recipe (GF, Ve) | Allium Free Mushroom Soup

Mushrooms are my favourite vegetable – on pasta, pizza, in risotto, in omelettes, I’ll eat them in just about any dinner! This is my favourite soup recipe, vegan, allium free, gluten free and full of flavour. If you don’t like mushrooms try my Butternut Squash soup or my Red Pepper and basil soup!

This only takes 20 minutes and is really easy. Try to make sure you use plenty of herbs to really pack all the flavour in! The nutmeg is vital to the taste, but you can sub for smoked paprika if you want a spicy kick without using nutmeg, which is very mild.

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Ingredients:

6 large chestnut mushrooms

1 large potato

Grated nutmeg to taste

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

1 teaspoon of dried sage

1 teaspoon of dried oregano

Salt and black pepper

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Method:

  1. Peel the potatoes and rub the mud off of the mushrooms. Do not peel the mushrooms as the skin and stalk contain all the flavour. Roughly chop and add both to a saucepan with olive oil.
  2. Cook until the mushrooms colour.
  3. Add boiling water (I use the kettle) – just enough to cover the mushrooms and potatoes. Add the lid and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
  4. Once cooked and reduced to the desired consistency, remove from the heat and carefully pour the contents into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  5. Add to a bowl, top with a swirl of cream if desired (or a vegan alternative).

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

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

Tumblr: glutenfreeveggie.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theGFveggie

E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

 

 

 

Eating Out | La Polenteria is changing to LEGGERO!

La Polenteria opened in December 2013 as a 100% gluten free restaurant in Soho, London. For more information on the business as it was, see my review here. It’s been a popular spot for Coeliacs in the South, offering a polenta based gluten free menu in a completely cross contamination free kitchen.

Now, the owners have decided to take the business in a new direction! In a press release they said, “The founders and family at La Polenteria are deLIGHTed to announce that a new exciting era is about to start! From 6th March, La Polenteria, Italian Gluten-Free kitchen, is transforming into LEGGERO. LEGGERO is a new brand identity that reflects the evolution of the company along with its vision for the future and the values that shaped our concept: healthy, homemade, delicious Italian recipes with a cosmopolitan twist 100% gluten-free.”

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It seems that the change has come about as a result of the restaurant’s constant self-review and dialogue with their customers; they said, “we have been constantly focusing on our customers’ needs, collecting feedback, experimenting new recipes, improving our concept whilst offering a unique experience.”

Whilst customer feedback has prompted them to change a few aspects of their business, LEGGERO will be keeping the aspect of La Polenteria that drew everyone to it. They said, “as the gluten-free community is already aware, we are proud to be the only Italian entirely gluten-free restaurant in the UK accredited by Coeliac UK, providing an authentic Italian menu suitable for vegans, vegetarians, foodies and those with dietary allergies.”

asparagus egg truffle

So what is actually changing? The name, the concept and most excitingly, the menu! You can view it here. There are lots of new dishes with some old favourites returning. Also, LEGGERO will be serving brunch on the weekends from 11am to 2pm.

Find them on social media:

RTd6XB8Lc        fb-art

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

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

Tumblr: glutenfreeveggie.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theGFveggie

E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

Recipe (GF, DF, V) | Roasted diced potatoes with asparagus and an egg

Another winter warmer for your collection! Egg and asparagus just go hand in hand! Lay on some herb roasted potatoes and you have yourself a delicious meal.

Asparagus is in season at the moment so if you can get your hands on some, make the most of it! It makes a wonderful addition to pasta, rice and potato dishes or just as a side.

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Ingredients:

3 potatoes

4 asparagus spears

1 egg

Sunflower oil

Dried oregano

Dried thyme

Dried sage

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Method:

  1. Dice the potatoes and add to a roasting dish with the herbs and oil. Add to a pre-heated oven and cook for 20-30 minutes on gas mark 7, turning half way through.
  2. Once the potatoes and nearly done, cut the asparagus spears in half length ways and add to a steamer (or boiling saucepan if you don’t have a steamer). Steam on mid to high heat for 7-10 minutes or until tender.
  3. In a frying pan, add some oil and crack the egg. Fry to your preferred level of firmness – I like mine fried to almost solid consistency but if you like a runny yolk then you will only need 5-7 minutes depending on the heat of the pan.
  4. Once all is cooked, assemble and enjoy!

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

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

Tumblr: glutenfreeveggie.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theGFveggie

E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

 

 

 

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