Sunday, 27 October 2013


People at work are always fascinated by my constant need to eat throughout the day! If my jaw is working (chewing or chatting...either is fine but NEVER both together !!) then I'm a happy bunny! I generally graze my way through the day and always have a stash of snacks in my desk drawer....some healthier than others but I do try! Therefore, I dedicate this weeks blog to grazing and snacking!

My eyes lit up when a friend at work presented me we these one morning

She obviously is an avid reader of my blog and knows the way to my heart! Bless her, it was actually her birthday and knowing I wouldn't be able to eat her birthday cake she didn't want me to miss out!!! She is now definitely a true Free From Friend! Sainsburys Free From choc chip muffins mmmmmm! They were great, really chocolatey! My only criticism is that they are a little crumbly which left me making a bit of a fool of myself in the staff room!

I finally got round to trying the Newburn Bakehouse white choc & raspberry muffin.

This has long been my favourite muffin flavour, so was keen to try this new GF version! I wasn't disappointed - nice, sweet and cakey but could have been more white chocolatey for me! Hey ho, most if you will know I have a terrible sweet tooth! Therefore, I declare the Newburn Bakehouse morning muffin (full of syrup and calories!) as my new fave GF muffin.....see previous blog posts for mention of this!

Now these have been a great discovery

These are sweet, seedy and filling. One of these bars definitely tides me over to lunch ( least to the next snacking session!) I particularly enjoy the pumpkin flavour but they also do an original and flax seed version too. These aren't located in the Free From section in Sainsburys they are with the other cereal bars however they are separate in Tesco. I have also noticed that they are sold individually in Holland & Barrett, making them perfect (if a little over priced!) for a GF snack on the go.

Guess what Mum found in the pound shop?!

Yep, a GF the pound shop......that almost NEVER happens! GF and only 80 calories per slice.....see I can do low cal sometimes!!! These are great and regularly in my desk drawer. Only problem is, I have to take them into work individually otherwise I'd eat them all! ;0) Metcalfe's are a good brand to look out for as they do flavoured popcorn too. Not sure if all the flavours are GF but some definitely are!

I also regularly snack on dried fruit at work. Now, I know this is a bit of a dodgy area as some dried fruit can be coated in flour. However, I have found most dried fruit in the main supermarkets is usually ok. Nevertheless I was pleased to see this brand in makro

Zeina - cheap and cheerful AND it actually states on the back "Suitable for Coeliacs". Haven't seen this make anywhere other than makro, I'd be interested to know if anyone spots them elsewhere!

I also find the left over fruit for the children's "snack time" comes in handy for grazing on but I'm guessing that won't make an exciting photo to show you....I'll leave it to your imaginations!

Well, let's have a big woooohooooo for half term. I'm heading off to (sunny...I hope) Mallorca for a bit of R & R! Let's see what "sin gluten" delights they have to offer. So with a case bulging with rice cakes, popcorn and chocolate I will say hasta la vista and next time I write I will be Gluten Free Girl in Mallorca! Yey! X

Sunday, 20 October 2013

3 letters, 1 word....confusing!

I'd like to start this week by clarifying something from last week! The Free From couscous I mentioned from Asda is made from maize semolina NOT maize and semolina! Therefore, it is gluten free and safe to eat. The English language is an amazing thing (especially when in the hands of a vertiginous, coeliac school teacher!!), a little 3 letter word can change the whole meaning of a sentence and cause such confusion! That clever book "Eats Shoots and Leaves" springs to mind ( also good advice for a GF diet there too methinks?!) Anyway, Asda Free From couscous is legit AND if there are any Take That fans out there you may get my loose song link of the week with my blog title of...3 letters, one word...confusing!

Soooo on with the show.....

Always one for a meal out, I jumped at the chance of being treated to dinner at a local pub. The Salisbury Arms in Winchmore Hill, North London, used to be a favourite of ours in my pre GF days. I have eaten there only a handful of times recently as I find it tricky finding something I can order. Nevertheless, they have a good beer selection which makes it a winner for Dale so off we went to give it another go! The pros......the staff were great, the chef came out to speak to me, he knew what he was talking about and was knowledgeable about his dishes. The cons......still not a huge amount I could have, particularly as all their potatoes are reheated (for those of you who don't know, I also have an intolerance to reheated potatoes!!). So in the end we settled on a roast dinner with no gravy, potatoes or Yorkshire pudding which left.... Yes you guessed it......meat and veg!

Very nice meat and veg but still......meat and veg hmmmmm?! (Yes, the crackling was ok too, I double checked!). It left me with a question I often ponder ( quote Pooh bear!!!)....How difficult would it be to have at least one item on a menu that is GF? It doesn't even have to be a "special" item, it could be naturally GF so that everyone could enjoy it! Surely, it would open doors to a whole new client base?!

Anyway, on with a restaurant that does cater especially for GF......Pizza Express! I've harped on about their pizzas before but have never given any blog space to puddings!! "How could you have missed that?" I hear you shout, as pudding is my all time fave part of the meal. Up until recently the only GF pudding offered by Pizza Express was a mini chocolate brownie (that comes with a coffee). However, I was was pleased to see more GF options this time. I could have gone for sorbet (mini again!!) but I opted for figs in mascarapone and spiced syrup with a cup of camomile tea.

Wow! What a delicious pudding, I will definitely be opting for this again. One question remains....why are they all mini?! I might be on a GF diet but I'm not watching my weight!!! How about a GF regular sized pudding next please Pizza Express?!

To continue the pudding theme (and the "not watching my weight theme!!!!), have a look at this....

This Sainsburys Taste the Difference Chocolate Soufflé goes to show that there are some tasty, calorific treats out there that are GF but not in the Free From section....they are actually out in the "regular section"!! Quite a few in this Taste the Difference range are GF so it's definitely worth checking out the labels if you've got time!

Saturday night was stir fry night....

The key ingredients (apart from chicken and veg) were Ilumi Sweet Chilli Sauce, Tamari Sauce (in the Free From section of the supermarkets, GF soy sauce equivalent) and Mama rice noodles (which state on the front of the packet that they are Gluten Free). The verdict.......a great stir fry! 

The flash made it look a funny colour, it wasn't really that orange, I promise and I didn't really eat ALL of that....I promise too!! The Ilumi sauce was tasty enough without being overpowering and there was a mild, warming, heat which was just enough without burning your insides! The Tamari sauce is always great. The noodles.....well, they were ok. I would have them again but they do tend to go a bit gloopy and sticky. I much prefer the King Soba GF buckwheat and sweet potato noodles but I find them much more difficult to get hold of.

Well, 4 more days of school until the glorious half term holiday! The end is in sight woohooooo, wish me luck!!! X

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Last night I dreamt of some bagels!

So if you haven't got the loose play on song lyrics please start humming Madonna's La Isla Bonita while you read the rest of this! It's been going round my head allllllllllllll day! And, yes, I'm ashamed to admit that it is true....last night I dreamt of some bagels!!

After causing quite a stir in the Gluten Free world, Udi's arrived in the UK. Never being one to miss out on an exciting new GF product, I took myself off to Tesco hoping to find some Udi's bagels. I have seriously missed bagels since being GF and have been disappointed not to find a suitable substitute. Until......

So excited was I that Udi's bagel took over my dreams! (I can hear the shouts of "saddo" from here!!). So when I dragged myself out of bed this morning I quickly toasted my cinnamon and raisin bagel with eager anticipation.

Now, I'm not a huge cinnamon fan but the excitement of bagels for breakfast far outweighed this! The verdict.....fab!!! They toasted really well, the butter melted nicely into them, the cinnamon was not over powering and they had the consistency of a regular bagel! Mission accomplished!! I'm back in the bagel eating world, thank you Udi's! The only problem was I wanted another one! So the plan for tonight is to crack open the savoury ones and see how they this space!

Also, thrilled to see Asda's own Free From brand producing Gluten Free couscous. I don't often get to Asda but managed to send mum on a GF mission!

Prior to my GF diet I was quite big on couscous (and bagels don't forget!!) and I was intrigued to see what this alternative would taste like. It is made from maize semolina, fluffs up like regular couscous, looks like regular couscous and do you know what.....tastes pretty much like regular couscous too!!

I appreciate my dinner of turkey burger and couscous looks a little dry! Usually I would have couscous with something in a sauce, however, I was keen to try it on its own to get a true feel for the taste! I would definitely recommend!

Yesterday, Dale and I picked up some friends from Heathrow airport. Normally on these occasions I would usually pack myself a little GF picnic to take with me. However, this time I decided to take a leap of faith and see what Heathrow could offer me in terms of GF snacks / lunch. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised! Marks and Spencer had a few GF sandwiches and seemed fairly well stocked (ham poughmans and cheese and pickle) as well as a GF choc muffins. Costa Coffee also had a small outlet which I'm guessing had their usual GF selection (which is sadly not nut free so not good for me!) Nevertheless my eyes lit up at the sight of Carluccio's! I have long been a fan of their GF menu so this was a no brainer, our lunch destination had been sorted!

Despite being ridiculously busy we were quickly seated and our waiter was more than happy to provide the Gluten Free menu. We were served by several staff, all of which were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about the GF choices. It was also really nice to see GF options on the specials menu.

I settled on the Luganica - pasta with a spicy Italian sausage sauce.

Great stuff! Can't fault it, tasty, filling, generous portion and a novelty not to have penne for a change! Well done Carluccio's!

Well, (still humming La Isla Bonita) I'm off for another bagel! Have a good week everyone! X

Sunday, 6 October 2013

In at 10.....

This week I take on the role of " Bilious Blogger" as I write to you from the doom and gloom of my sick bed. As well as being blessed with Coeliac Disease I also have regular bouts of vertigo which can make life a little interesting at times! So, after a week of feeling like I'm riding on a boat I have seriously indulged in a whole array of comfort foods (you will notice the vertigo does not inhibit my appetite!!). Therefore, this week, I bring to you my top 10 Gluten Free comfort foods of the week...... (In no particular order)

In at 10...

DS custard creams, they taste just like the real thing. Cannot fault them and they come in little individual packs of two so having one is never an option! 


Sausage sandwich, it's gotta be done! Sainsburys Taste the Difference Pork and Herb sausages in a Newburn Bakehouse seeded role. I particularly like these rolls as they are not as stodgy as some and do not leave you as bloated as other GF breads can do.

8...7 and 6 all go to.....

....ilumi! Ok, so I know I have blogged about ilumi before and I can promise I am not working for them, nor do I have shares in the company but I cannot shout loud enough about their food. It ticks all the boxes....tasty...tick, filling....tick, tasty....tick, good quality...tick, easy to store...tick and did I mention tasty?! Ready after 2mims in the micro, definitely my kind of cooking, especially when I'm feeling grotty!

All teamed with good ol' Uncle Bens micro rice or Glutafin penne pasta.


The Twitter grapevine was rustling this week when news of The Wonka Bars hit the cyber world. Two out of the three in the range are gluten free! Hurrah! I bought both only to discover the millionaires shortbread bar contains hazelnuts, PAH!! Not great with a nut allergy so I'm sending that Mum and Dads way! My loss is their gain! BUT "Chocolate Nice Cream" WOW!!!! I fear this may be a dangerous discovery as I have just bought my second bar!! (Remember.....never add up the calories!!!!) Please note that this bar does state a "May contain nuts" label so it is not 100% nut free.


Nice to have a savoury snack  for a change and for those of you who do count the calories you'll be pleased to know it doesn't make it onto the "naughty scale"!


Always up for a bit of cake, it makes everything better doesn't it?! It's very healing! Newburn Bakehouse lemon and poppy seed muffin. Soft, squishy with oozy lemon inside mmmmmmm........ Word on the GF street is that they have just launched a raspberry and white choc flavour. I will, of course, be investigating this....all in the name of research!!


Despite feeling grim I did manage to drag my sorry self off the settee for an hour to meet my mum and friend at Prezzo. I have long been a GF Prezzo Pizza fan. I know there's more of a cross,contamination risk due the presence of regular flour in the kitchens but I have to say I have never had any problems with my local branch and they have also been great tasting.

Infact, I was half way through munching my Fiorentina when panic struck!! This was too good to be GF, it just wasn't as crispy as normal! Feeling the surge of panic rising I called the waitress over to double check it really was the GF version that I was tucking into!!! Thankfully, she reassured me that it was and was thrilled I couldn't tell the difference! Proof that GF pizza doesn't have to taste like cardboard! It certainly had me fooled!


I made a mistake earlier....I said cake is very healing....not half as healing as CHOCOLATE cake!! I will end my comfort countdown with Dale's chocolate brownies. I have blogged about them before so will not continue to overinflate his ego but he has just successfully fed the masses at out church harvest lunch! They all ate GF brownies and not one of them knew!!! Wooooohooooo! #GFconverts

So, feeling a little alarmed at the amount of food I have consumed (as well as a little heavier?!) I will sign off hoping that this merry go round that I'm on will finally stop spinning but that the comfort food eating will never end! Xx