Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Individually-wrapped kids treats

If your child is going to Nursery/Pre-school/Primary you may want to take in a box of individually-wrapped treats with a long shelf life so that they can have something when other children bring in birthday cakes etc.

Most supermarket ownbrand cakes only have a shelf life of 1 or two months, but here are some alternatives...

Here are some ideas mums/dads shared on the Coeliac Message Board:

GF and DF

  • Mrs Crimbles giant choc macaroon (most supermarkets)
  • Humdinger choc buttons (most supermarkets)
  • Sesame bars (most supermarkets)
  • Haribo - most fun-sized packs  (most supermarkets)
  • Tesco dollymix (check Cuk directory)
  • Swizzels lolly bags (most supermarkets)
  • Orgran mini outback animal choc cookies (sainsburys)
  • Alpro mini choc milkshakes UHT triple pack (most supermarkets)
  • Pink panther Wafers (not individually wrapped but will keep for ages in a tuperware)
  • Fabulous fudge factory dairy free fudge  (not individually wrapped but will keep for ages in a tuperware)
  • Lazy days Cakes (sainsb. or online)- not individually wrapped, but have 6 month shelf life, so they'll probably keep for a term wrapped individually in clingfilm. The choc caramel shortbread + choc orange tiffin are great.

Just GF (not Dairy-free):
  • De Celine individual cakes (Waitrose)
  • Nature's Path Crispy Rice Bites bars (Waitrose)
  • Choc/caramel wafers (Asda)
  • Byron Bay Individual cookies (Sainsburys)
  • NoWheat Choc Orange bars (tesco)
  • True Free custard creams/bourbons (all supermarkets)
  • Cadburys Fudge fingers  (most supermarkets)
  • Cadburys mini eggs small boxes  (most supermarkets)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jamie's sausage and fennel pasta sauce

Watched Jamie's 30 minute meals yesterday and was inspired to make his sausagey pasta sauce for my veg-avoiding toddler.  What a result!  He promptly wolfed down 2 helpings.  All GF sausages should be suitable -  fairly high in meat content (as cereal is usually ommitted altogether).  I used Morrisons GF sausages, but anything not too herby would work well like Jimmy's GF Pork sausages or the Debbie and Harry GF ones.

Will also try the frangipan tarts as they should be easy to convert to GF.  They look a little like bakewell tarts. Mmmmm....

Saturday, June 16, 2012


tennis-ball sized lump of GF flan pastry (see recipe below)
3 eggs
100ml soya/almond milk
3 spring onions
5 green beans
a little diced ham
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper
grated soya cheese (optional)

Press the pastry into a flan dish with your fingers and then flatten to get a nice even base by pressing with the base of a ramekin.  Blind bake in a hot oven until the pastry looks just cooked.

Beat the eggs and milk together with a fork and add in a most of the cheese (if using), and seasoning.  Sprinkle the onions, beans and ham over the part-cooked pastry base and pour over the eggy mixture.  Bake again until the middle of the egg bit is mostly firm, sprinkle again with remaining cheese. Bake until there is no wobble left in the eggy part.  Cut and serve.

Pie/Flan Pastry
I usually make up a load of this and freeze it in usable sized lumps. It doesn't take long to defrost and then makes a home-made quiche quite a quick dinner/lunch.
2 cups GF plain flour/rice flour
1/2 cup chick pea flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthum

1 cup marg.
1 egg, beaten with approx. 1/4 cup water

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and rub in the marg. Add the egg and water and knead until well combined. If it is crumbly add a little more water - if it then gets sticky add a little more flour.

You should have a soft dough that can be rolled. I find it falls apart more easily than wheat dough, so I roll it out on a silicone baking sheet with a silicone rolling pin, dusted with corn flour.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Costa gluten free cakes (and DF)

Costa coffee shops now do a lovely wrapped fruitcake and two mini bakewell tarts (in the stand by the till).  So glad to see these, and they were delicious.  Also great they are all wrapped up so there aren;t any issues with staff contaminating them with other food items.   Very sensible. Only wish they were bigger!

Apparently they also do choc brownies but they contain codex wheat starch and dairy so will steer clear of these..

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Catering for a DF Coeliac

If you're catering for a dairy-intolerant coeliac the lists of foods they can't eat can be daunting, but some of your usual home-cooked meals may already be suitable or with the simple substitution of one or two ingredients could be made dairy and gluten free.  Here are some ideas of things to cook, which don't involve expensive, specialist free-from ingredients (most of which you'd have to check anyway as some are wheat-free but not gluten-free, not oat-free etc...it's a bit of a minefield!).

Remember to make sure you are preparing food in a clean, crumb-free and flour-free kitchen and use separate utensils and pans to any gluten-containing ingredients if you are preparing gluteny foods as well.  (check out my pages on food prep and Yes/No foods for more info.)

  • Risotto - use oil instead of butter and buy GF DF stock cubes (e.g. Kallo). Porcini are GF.
  • Soup - use oil instead of butter and buy GF DF stock cubes (e.g. Kallo)
  • Casserole - dust any meat in cornflour (or omit this stage) and use GF DF stock cubes.
  • Roast dinner - avoid stuffing and make gravy from the meat juices, adding GF stock and corn or potato flour to thicken it.
  • Thai curry - check the paste ingredients for gluten and milk products (most are authentic and suitable). Rice and rice noodles are gluten free or cook the curry with potatoes in it.
  • Rice/Quinoa Salad - make your own dressing with oil and vinegar/lemon juice. If using mustard, check the ingredients don't include wheat flour and use a new jar (as bread knives may have been dipped in it previously). If using mayo - check it doesn't contain milk/whey/lactose. egg is fine. Serve with new potatoes.  Cous cous and Bulgar are both wheat so a big no no!
  • Potato Salad -  If using mayo - check it doesn't contain milk/whey/lactose. egg is fine.   If using mustard, check the ingredients don't include wheat flour and use a new jar (as bread knives may have been dipped in it previously).
  • Antipasti - these should all be GF but some jars contain feta cheese (which will be obvious). Most salami are okay but some have gluten in the peppered coating or contain lactose, so check the ingredients.
  • Jacket potatoes - bake them in foil or on a clean baking tray (as many people will have warmed bread/pizza straight on the oven shelves which will leave traces of gluten). Virtually all baked bean brands are GF, check the ingredients - maize starch is fine. Serve olive oil as an alternative to butter.
  • Fried breakfast - make sure you fry only gluten-free ingredients in the pan (use a separate pan for gluteny food, or use the pan after cooking the GF options.  Tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, eggs all are GF.  Most baked beans are GF. McCains hash browns and Birds eye mini-waffles are GF, or you could sautee some thinly sliced potato.
  • Indian curry and popadoms - Fry spices in oil not butter (beware that some ready made spice mixes contain wheat flour). Choose a dish that doesn't include yoghurt or replace with soya yoghurt. Check with your coeliac friend which brands of popadoms they can eat - usually there are some mainstream brands in the supermarket which are fine (but manufacturing practices change and your friend can look them up in the coeliacUK food directory which is regularly updated).
  • Morrocan Tangines - authentic recipes don't use stock cubes at all.  Check any ready made spice mixes don't contain wheat flour. Serve with rice.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
500g lamb mince
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp all spice
2 bay leaves
2-3 aubergines, 1cm thick slices
2 potatoes, 1cm thick slices
salt and pepper
onion/beef GF stock cube
tin of chopped tomatoes
approx. pint of bechamel sauce*

In a little oil, fry the aubergines in a frying pan, making sure the pieces don’t overlap.  Turn to brown each side. Take off the heat.

Fry the onion, garlic, spices and mince until browned in a little oil. Add the tomatoes and stock cube and heat through. Take of the heat.

In an oven proof dish layer, potatoes, mince, aubergines, mince, aubergines, bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with soya cheese. Bake for 40 mins in a hot oven.

* This from the mac'n'cheese recipe in my recipe collection - it's basically a white sauce made with chicken stock instead of milk:

Bechamel Sauce
Fry approx. 3 tbsp GF flour (any) in 3 tbsp oil or margarine and then add a pint of stock but by bit, stirring all the time with a balloon whisk to avoid lumps. Add a tsp of smooth dijon mustard. You could also add some soya milk/cheese or a beaten egg to make it extra creamy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Home-made bath treats!

What do you do when you've been glutened? I take a hot bath, take ibruprofen and drink peppermint tea to help relieve gut spasms (you can also take IBS medication from your GP but I find most of them pretty ineffective).  Sometimes sleeping, taking a walk and/or eating GF food can help too (to help move digestion along). Even so, it usually takes me about 3 days to get over a minor gluten incident!....

Why not get creative in the kitchen and make these easy home-made bath bombs. Okay, so they aren't food, but they do make great presents or just a treat for yourself when you need some TLC.