Receiving my coeliac disease diagnosis nearly two and a half years ago, left me heart broken. I looked in my bare cupboards after disposing of everything that contained gluten. Gone was the bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes etc. But also the stock, the soya sauce, the mustard and the cupboard was nearly bare. For a about a week, I just sulked and seeing anything I couldn’t eat was just torture. Once I was out of my mourning period, I decided I had to learn more about what I could eat and my fantastic food discovery has gone from strength to strength. My cupboard is packed with all my gluten free store cupboard essentials. Now I eat a wider range of food than ever before. I eat much more cultural foods and regularly eat things I had never heard of before.
So if you are starting a journey of gluten free eating for whatever reason, these would be my recommendations for what to stock in your cupboard. You will then never go hungry or be bored of cooking again.
Gluten free store cupboard essentials – Rice.
Before being gluten free I only stocked one or two different rice varieties in my cupboard. Plain white rice and possibly sometimes risotto rice. Now, rice has become a main staple in my diet as I eat a lot more Asian and Indian inspired food. There is so much more to rice than long grain. Higher fibre rice’s and rice’s with much more flavour. Our favourite rices are; basmati, long gain brown rice, red rice (great for salads). I also bake a lot with rice flour, which has a great short quality, making it perfect for biscuits and pastry. Finally I love, rice noodle and rice wrappers. Great for speedy lunches and spring rolls.
Gluten free store cupboard essentials – Grains.
When you think of grains or cereals I bet ones containing gluten are some of the first to come into your mind. It’s a shame really as there are many more, interesting and diverse grains that are safe for a gluten free diet and it’s worth exploring these options. In my cupboard at the moment I have two varieties of quinoa, which I use in salads as a great couscous replacement. Also in soups, stews and baking. I also love using polenta and normally have coarse and fine in my cupboard. Finally I have maize couscous, which if perfectly safe for a Coeliac and is great if you were a couscous addict such as myself.
Gluten free store cupboard essentials – Sources of protein.
Not only am I a coeliac, but I’m lactose intolerant and a vegetarian. So finding great sources of protein is important. The quinoa is a great source of protein as well as fibre. I also keep on hand, a selections of lentils, currently I have red and green. Puy lentils for great hearty salads and in stews. We eat a lot of nuts, peanuts, cashews and almonds are great for adding into salads and throwing in a stir fry. Chia seeds I add to my muesli and use in baking. I have tried the chia puddings, but hugely disliked the texture, which was like frog spawn.
Gluten free store cupboard essentials – Flour.
Baking is not all about wheat flour. Many wheat recipes can be replicated with the right flour combinations. It does take a bit of practice and experimentation, as you normally have to use combinations of flours to produce the right results. I normally use a combination of rice flour, potato flour and tapioca flour in my baking. Varying the proportions dependant on what you want to produce. Higher ratio of rice flour, for example in biscuits and pastry for extra shortness. However, some flours are great used on their own. If you want to try grain free flour baking, I would recommend chestnut flour or coconut flour. These are great for denser cakes and make great brownies, which are full of flavour.
The food world is so much more than wheat. Explore the gluten free options and have fun stocking your gluten free cupboard and cooking great nutritious food.
To Grandmas House We Go!
I would love to travel to the Caribbean but the closest I’ve got to it is eating some of it’s amazing food. I adore the combinations of sweet and salty, creamy coconut and fiery chilli. So I’ve cooked up three great Caribbean vegetarian recipes with the help of Grace foods for Caribbean Food week for my ultimate street party spread.
Caribbean vegetarian recipes
You will need:
- 300g grams basmati rice
- 1 can coconut milk
- Rinse the basmati rice in a sieve under cold running water then place in a heavy based saucepan.
- Add the coconut milk and then using the tin measure cold water and add this to the saucepan.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes.
- Check the rice whilst simmering to ensure it is not sticking.
- The rice is cooked when it is soft and all the liquid had been absorbed.
- 1 500g bag of quorn pieces.
- 1 heaped tablespoon of Jerk seasoning marinade
- Mix the quorn pieces with the jerk marinade and leave to absorb.
- Heat the oven to 180c and grease a baking dish.
- Place the marinated quorn pieces in the dish and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- (you could also try threading the pieces onto skewers for presentation)
Ackee with peas and beans
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 1 yellow pepper, diced,
- 3 sping oinions, trimmed and chopped.
- 1 tin of ackee
- 1 tin of peas and beans
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- salt and pepper
Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan and add the spring onions and peppers.
Fry until softened, then add the tomatoes, ackee and peas and beans.
Season well with salt and pepper and cook for a further five minutes.
Take care not to break up the ackee when stirring.
Bonus recipe – BBQ jerk dip
- 2 tbsps natural yogurt
- 1 tsp BBQ jerk sauce
Measure out the yogurt and jerk sauce into a dish and stir to combine.
Serve with plantain chips as a great snack.
What do you think of our great Caribbean vegetarian recipes. The boys and I had great fun making and eating this food. We put on some great tunes and got into the street party vibe.
If you want to find out more about grace foods and the Caribbean food week use these links or search for the #CFW2017
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
I am loving working with Breakfast By Bella and I wanted to share my latest recipe I have created. Chocolate and banana have long been some of my favourite flavour combinations. So I just had to use Cacao Crazy with some banana baking. It’s a great crunchy topping for a moist banana tray bake.
If you read my blog you will know I am a fan of tray bakes. No fussy cutting, easy to divide up and feed a group. Great for picnics and puddings. Plus it’s a great way to use up ripe bananas.
To make my Banana Cacao crunch tray bake you will need:
250g Gluten free self raising flour. (I’d recommend Juvela if you get prescription flour or Doves from the supermarket)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 large ripe bananas, chopped
70g soft dark brown sugar
50ml vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 180c / gas mark 4. Grease and line a high sided tray bake tin.
2. Place all the dry ingredients into a food processor and whizz to mix.
3. Add the egg and vegetable oil and chopped banana and mix until combined.
3. Pour into tin and level.
4. Sprinkle the Cacao crazy granola over the top.
5. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and the top is springy to the touch.
Great served warm as a pudding. I love it with custard. Alternatively allow to cool and then it will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days.
I am currently working as brand ambassador for Breakfast by Bella. You can read more in my advertising and disclosure policy.
Like this? You’ll love
Banana and apricot smoothie
Gluten free muesli recipe
Banana and caramel trifle recipe
To Grandmas House We Go!
Collaborative post with Indigo Herbs*
I love coconut! Having only discovered it recently, I have loved learning to bake with coconut flour. It has so many of the great qualities of baking with wheat flour minus the gluten. It is super absorbent so you use about a third of what you would in a cake using wheat flour. It’s also important to add a little more egg than you would do normally.
I’ve ramped up the coconut in this beautiful traybake
by using coconut flour, oil and coconut sugar. So if you’re not keen on coconut it might not be the traybake
85g coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
175 ml milk
2 eating apples, chopped
For the icing
Preheat oven to 180c gas mark 4
Line a baking tray.
Melt the coconut oil over a low heat in a saucepan.
Put the coconut flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
In a jug mix together the egg, milk, coconut oil and maple syrup.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and stir in the liquid, mix until just combined.
Stir in the chopped apple.
Spoon into the tray and level.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
Make the icing by whizzing the coconut sugar and arrowroot into a powder in the food processor.
Mixing the maple syrup, water and coconut sugar powder.
Drizzle over the tray bake and allow to set before cutting.
Indigo Herbs have also kindly offered to run a giveaway. Offering my readers a chance to win one of three jars of their fabulous Coconut oil. You can enter multiple times using the entry options shown. The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter and contacted by Indigo Herbs to send them the prize. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
One Jar of Indigo Herbs coconut oil– no monetary exchange available
Contest is open until Midnight Wednesday 9th August
Distribution of prizes is the responsibility of Indigo Herbs
Craft with Cartwright cannot be held responsible for lost prizes
All winner decisions are final – the winner has 48 hours to claim or a new winner will be drawn
UK Entrants Only
Review post for Calsway*
So the summer holidays are here and you can breath a sigh of relief that the school runs and morning panic may die down for a while at least. I used to think that I wouldn’t have to be worried about lunchboxes as well. But my kids seem to be hungrier than ever in the summer and I am always on the look out for healthy options to give them as snacks.
I was mistaken in thinking I would want to give up the packed lunch. This has been the single biggest thing to save us money over the previous holidays. Don’t get caught out having to stop in cafes or pickup something on the run when your out and about with the kids. This can easily mount up and that money could have been spent of a great activity rather than just eating.
Kids love a picnic so always pack a lunch for your day out and you’ll be quid’s in.
Calsway recently sent us the Kids Lunchbox rescue set for us to review and it ticks so many of my boxes.
Quick and easy? check
Great for on the run snacking? Check
Do the kids love it? Check
The grab bags of Rock and Roll Balls (My favourite) and Fruity Stripes (The boys favourite) are perfect for throwing in the good old mum bag for instant relief of hunger pangs from the back seat of the car.
Who could turn their nose up at this tasty lunch?
Fresh salad, fruit berry mix and Grandmas crisps. All you need is an ice pack to keep your salad fresh and a drink and your good to go.
You eat with your eyes right?
Some children could easily turn their nose up at ‘healthy snacks’ being offered by parents but this plate looks so good no child will be able to resist. Rock and Roll balls are a great source of protein and iron and are gluten free too. Grandpa’s crisps are high in fibre and gluten free and the fruity stripes are perfect for satisfy any sweet tooth.
These snacks are perfect for summer snacking and would be a great addition to the packed lunchbox in September.
Like this? You’ll love