Monday, 27 January 2014

The Jelly Bean Factory Gluten Free

My nephew wanted to share some of his jelly beans with me, and as I was explaining about not being able to eat things with gluten and blah blah blah, he went back to the box and said ... but they ARE gluten free!!!

My nephew and nieces spent all the time that I was visiting finding out more about being intolerant and allergic and coeliac, checking labels, and when we went to a street market this Christmas, they also pointed out all the gluten free options for me, they are sooo cute ;)

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Genius Gluten Free Spicy Fruit Loaf

What a nice fruit loaf, thanks Genius!
I love the taste, there are so many raisins, it's so sweet and moist, and the flavours of the mixed spice go very well together in this loaf.
The consistency is quite light, just as I like it.
The slices are thinner than in a normal loaf, so be careful with the time you put it in the toaster, I've burned a couple as I didn't change the setting, not that they went to waste ;)
I'm not sure it needs butter, it's very yummy on it's own.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Salt cod and potato stew

This dish is perfect when the day is really cold. The salted cod gives it a lovely taste.

Ingredients:Potatoes, approx two medium to large ones per person, cut in chunks
1/2 Leeks cut in chunks
50 to 100 grams of salted cod pieces
1tbsp Olive oil
No need to be too precious with the proportions, it will be as good if you add more or less of any of the ingredients.

Salted cod is widely used in Spain and Portugal. The best way to know if it's fresh is to look at the colour. It should be quite white. When it starts to go a bit yellow, you never know how long it's been in the shop, so best to leave it as it will be a bit rancid.
In London you can find it at Garcia and Sons on Portobello Road or in any of the Portuguese shops around Vauxhall.

Instructions:The cod needs to be desalted before you use it. Put the small flakes in a bowl with plenty of water, leave for 5/10 minutes, then change the water and repeat two or three times. This should remove most of the salt.

Add the olive oil to a large pot and heat at high temperature until it starts to smoke.
Add the leek pieces and stir until lightly brown.
Then add the potato chunks and stir until they are coated in the oil and are slightly brown.
Now it's time to add water. This is always an approximate amount, try to cover the ingredients plus one/two inches. You can always add more during cooking if it looks too dry (if you add any extra water, remember to turn the heat up until boiling and turn back down again).

Now turn the heat down to the lowest setting and leave to cook, covered with a lid.
You can add the desalted cod flakes now, or if you'd like to desalt them a bit more, they can also be added 10/15 mins into the cooking time.
The potatoes need to cook now slowly, probably for 45 mins (I never time it, oops!).
Best thing to do is to check the potatoes every now and then, when you can break a piece with a wooden spoon easily, they are done.

If you don't like fish much, you can make this recipe without it, just remember to add salt. It's also very good substituting the cod with pork ribs.

Butterkist Microwave Popcorn

Popcorn is naturally gluten free, so always a good choice.
I love Butterkist, there are three 90 gram bags in the box for £2.15 (price from Sainsburys).
Salted is my favourite, and it's also available in two more varieties, sweet and butter. All you have to do is put the paper bag in the microwave for 3 minutes.

What is not to like? Perfect on a dark winter night with your favourite film.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Beiker bread rolls - Purchased in Spain

I love these bread rolls (panecillos in Spanish), they are by far the best gluten free "bread with crust" that I have tasted, even better than Sainsbury's freefrom baguette.

Unfortunately I have not seen this brand in the UK, I bought this packet when I was in Spain over Christmas.

How can I describe it? The middle is soooo soft and fluffy, and the crust is crusty but not too much. It reminds me of those French breads made with milk in the dough, just a tiny bit sweet and very moorish.
Doing a bit of online research it seems that this brand is Dr Schar line of products for the Spanish and Portuguese markets, so definitely not available in the UK.

Battle of the baguette

There are so many gluten free products appearing on supermarket shelves, that is difficult to keep up. A few baguettes have got my attention recently so it was time to compare them.
In December I reviewed Warburtons baguettes but realised later that I had not followed the instructions and did not put them in the oven.

Anyone who knows me knows that following instructions is not my thing, but I've done it in the interest of research.

Warburtons baguettes are definitely better warm, although for me the crust was not crusty enough and I was still feeling they were a bit gummy.

It would have been a good option if I hadn't found another one that is much better on many fronts....

Sainsbury's freefrom range baguette, that is something else!
It also goes in the oven for a few minutes for best results, and it's all that I remember gluten bread to be. The crusts has got a brilliant consistency, very crusty and tasty, and the insides are white and fluffy. It reminds me of rustic bread, lovely.

Someone please stop me from buying more or I won't ever fit though the front door again!!!!!

January Blues

Oh dear, Christmas is over and it's cold and dark. I don't know about you, but I don't like January much.
Too much over indulgence in the last month, is that what is making me a bit sluggish??
Despite everything, I am quite happy with this last Christmas. I managed to eat most of what I wanted without being glutened once.

That is a great success compared to last year, my first gluten free one. I so wanted to eat like everyone else that I got glutened a few times, but this year, I've been extra careful reading labels, and it's been great feeling fine.

I've been eating a lot of turron, the Spanish traditional sweets. In principle most varieties should be gluten free, as they are almond based, but once you start adding new flavours it's not obvious any more. It is also important to keep them separate from any gluten containing ones just to be safe.
I was really happy to discovered that my two favourites were gluten free. They are liquor cherry covered in Chocolate from Virginia's and Caramelised Yolk (yema tostada).
And I also had some Mon Cheri chocolates that are also gluten free.
I didn't manage to get on the reservation list for gluten free "roscon de reyes" this year. This is a traditional sweet eaten around the 5th Jan.
It is like a giant donut shaped cake, like sweet bread with candied fruit and filled with cream, so something to look forward for Christmas 2014 ;)
For anyone going to Spain, I'd recomend checking out the Celiac group of their destination (asociacion celiaca), as they tend to have suggestions of shops, restaurants, etc.
On the Spanish Celiac website they is some information in English (bottom right corner of the main page). Their website is: