Thursday, 26 May 2011

Attempting To Eat Gluten Free

Apologies for not posting the last few days. When I published mine & Liam's engagement story I wasn’t feeling 100%, but as I’d written most of it over several days (searching for all those old photos took a long time!!) it was easy enough to post it. Since then though, I’ve just been too tired each evening to write a post and I didn’t want to force it. But today I’m feeling a bit better, and eager to share some food photos!

Since Monday, I have been trying to avoid eating gluten as I’ve been having some digestive issues recently and want to see if eating gluten-free will help. Of course, the best way to start a new way of eating is probably to stock up on any “new” foods beforehand. I didn’t do that though. I am hoping to make it to Waitrose tomorrow to investigate gluten-free pasta, bread etc… Any recommendations for good brands to buy? I know I can still eat rice, quinoa, potatoes etc, but as I’ve been feeling sluggish because of my cold too, a lot of my recent meals have erred on the snacky side!

So let’s go back to Tuesday… By the way, please let me know if you see any foods I’ve eaten that contain gluten, there’s lots to learn as I go along!

Tuesday morning, as with most mornings, started with a smoothie. A Cocoa-Raspberry "Pudding" Smoothie to be exact.
My taste buds were back! Chocolatey liquid with a tang from the raspberries. Oh yes.

Tuesday lunch was one of those “snacky” meals I was talking about. Parsnips roasted in coconut oil with a sauce made of smooth peanut butter and Kara coconut milk to dip the veg in.
Yum. Whenever I make roast parsnips I always tell myself I should make them more often. These were so good. The dipping sauce was good too, although a bit runny. It started off too thick so I added a bit more milk, and then it went straight to the other extreme, oops.

The dinner I’d planned for Tuesday was already gluten-free. Risotto. Although we were seriously lacking in fresh veg so it was a bit of a ‘throw whatever we have in’ kind of meal! Risotto with sliced leeks, frozen peas and pesto stirred in at the end.
This was nice, but a bit bland. I didn’t use any stock cube as I’d read that Oxo cubes contain gluten. I don’t know how far to go with the gluten-free foods. I’m not saying I’m coeliac so to some it may be a little obsessive to avoid every little thing, but then what’s the point of trying it if I don’t give it 100%. I’m not going to be able to tell how my body reacts to avoiding gluten if I still let some gluten slip in.

My after dinner treat more than made up for any possible blandness in the risotto anyway. This is one of my new favourite treats – well I did use to eat frozen grapes years ago, so I suppose its a ‘rediscovered’ treat. Frozen grapes with a couple of squares of dark chocolate.
I’d forgotten how much I love frozen grapes…like little sorbet bites! These were really good quality grapes as well that helped, we got them for pennies as the supermarket had messed up on reductions (the grapes were on offer 2 for something but then were reduced as well because of short date, and the way the till works it still takes off the amount as if they were full price to match the offer. Does that make sense?! Bargain anyway!) so it was good to be able to freeze one of the packs so they didn’t go to waste.

On to yesterday, and another smoothie. This time I decided to skip the spinach in favour of a pretty colour! A banana, lots of frozen mango, the last of the fresh strawberries and Kara coconut milk. I skipped the xanthan gum and used extra milk so I could drink this through a straw.DSC_0326
This was sooo good. Tasty and refreshing. And it made two glasses full, yey!

After breakfast, I took baby to Lidl to stock up on fresh fruit & veg. We also have a Waitrose in our town but I prefer Lidl for the quality of fresh produce.
Red grapes, blueberries, pineapple, butternut squash, courgettes, sweet potatoes, broccoli and an avocado. I also bought tins etc for the others (and goat’s cheese for me, yum) but the veggies were what I was most interested in!

Having said that, the first thing I ate after getting back didn’t include any vegetables. It did include grapes though, and goat’s cheese – mini lunch #1 – I ended up having lunch in two parts yesterday as I was in a super snacky mood!
Yum. I love the combination of cheese and fruit, and the goat’s cheese from Lidl is one of my favourites at the moment. I’m so pleased summer is nearly here – fresh fruit being more easily available and better quality is great!

Lunch #2 was another snack type meal. I’ve hardly eaten any “proper” meals the last few days, but all the food I’ve eaten has been delicious regardless. Carrot sticks and chopped apple with houmous to dip.
Baby insisted on sharing this with me, although he kept licking the houmous of the carrot and wanting to re-dip. Cheating!!

After lunch, “disaster” struck. In the form of a half finished jar of PB&Co Dark Chocolate Dreams.
Let’s just say that after I’d finished this jar was scraped so clean that it wouldn’t even be worth making oats-in-a-jar in…whoops.

While the rest of the family ate dinner, I was having my ears pierced. I’ve left it a bit late to wear normal earrings for the wedding/on honeymoon (they say 6 weeks healing time and wedding is in 5.5 weeks) but 3rd time lucky! I first had them pierced when I was 12 or 13, but they never healed properly as Mum insisted on putting the thick starter studs back in each night even after the 6 weeks healing was up! Then I got them done again about 6-7 years ago, but haven’t worn earrings since baby was born 17 months ago, so the holes have closed over. Anyway, ramble over – I missed dinner because I was having my ears pierced.

After the DCD incident, I wasn’t overly hungry anyway, so I picked up yet more snacky food from Co-Op on the walk home from town.
Peppadew peppers stuffed with cream cheese, and coleslaw.
The coleslaw was nice but the stuffed peppers were too spicy for me. Liam ate the rest of the pack and even he found them a bit too much!

Right, almost there! Super-long post tonight, but I do like to get back up-to-date when I take a day of two off from blogging – otherwise photos end up not getting posted and stay lurking in my head crowding things up instead!!

Today I have been super tired as I didn’t manage to get to sleep until 3am last night/this morning. I needed a coffee. But I was out of milk. Enter Total 0% Greek yoghurt, 2 tsp coffee and 1 tsp cocoa powder mixed with a small amount of boiling water, and Sweet Freedom. Into the blender, and voila…
This was surprisingly good! A bit tangy due to the Greek yoghurt, but it also meant it had a lovely thick texture. The start I needed to the morning! This ended up counting as breakfast in the end, which wasn’t what I’d planned but I won’t complain. The protein in the yoghurt kept me going until lunchtime.

After my success with the newly discovered frittata making method at the weekend, I decided to make a quick frittata for lunch. I just sliced up one courgette, fried it in a little oil, and then poured 2 beaten eggs on top to cook.
DSC_0335 I made a quick sauce to go with this with tahini, Kara milk and a little agave nectar.
Another frittata success! It cooked through and didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, yey!
Baby enjoyed this too. A tasty, quick lunch. I’ll definitely be making frittatas more often now I have a more reliable cooking method to use!

Unfortunately, I was peckish again soon after eating this. I ate a small bowl of Rachel’s vanilla yoghurt, Jordan’s fruit & nut granola and fresh blueberries.
I love this yoghurt and granola. It wasn’t until after eating that I realised the granola probably wasn’t gluten-free, oops. What are people’s thoughts re oats and gluten? I’ve read in some places that oats only contain gluten because of contamination, so you can get gluten-free oats. But then other articles/sites say that oats react with the body in a very similar way to gluten anyway. I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts as I do love my oats, especially in the colder months for porridge! This bowl did give me a bit of a tummy ache, but I think that was more psychological/due to overeating rather than anything more sinister!!

We were meant to be going to Waitrose this afternoon, but I was just feeling so tired and sluggish. Hopefully we’ll manage to fit it in tomorrow instead, I’m all out of tofu for starters…dire times!! I do love a bit of smoked tofu for a quick lunch.

I wasn’t feeling awake enough for anything elaborate when dinner came around either. The others had pasta with a passata/bacon/veg sauce. I fancied mozzarella and avocado, but the avocado isn’t ripe yet. Luckily I had these lurking in my freezer…
homemade guacamole from when I had a glut of avocadoes a while back! Wahey! I defrosted two of these to have with the mozzarella.
Yum. This was delicious. It doesn’t look like much, but it was really filling. I haven’t had mozzarella or avocado for a while. Why do I keep forgetting to eat these great foods that I love??!

Ok, food over. If you’ve read this far well done, and thank you! I have a couple more photos to share…flowers! Our house is looking lovely at the moment, with not one bunch of flowers but two!
Tulips from Liam for our engagement anniversary
and flowers from my Mum as today was her last day at work and she was given, among many other gifts, two bunches of flowers. Plus she’d already got lots of tulips at home from her friend who visited at the weekend, so she passed some of the love on to me!
These are so pretty, thanks Mum! Obviously the flowers aren’t currently sitting on my carpet (!!) (can you imagine with the children…would be a spillage waiting to happen!!) but dotted around the downstairs rooms brightening the place up! I love fresh flowers. I must treat myself to them more often!

Ok…time to see if this posts ok. This has been my first time writing a post using Windows Live Writer. So much quicker to upload photos with it, so if it posts successfully then I will definitely be using this from now on…fingers crossed!!


  1. Waitrose has a great gluten-free section! Warburton's and Genius (especially the multiseed one) are the best GF beads I've found and Waitrose does great Amisa buckwheat crackers too...
    The best all-purpose GF flour I've found is doves Farm brown bread blend; it works in everything! Don't think Waitrose stocks it though but Sainsbury's does...
    On the subject of oats, the main issue is cross-contamination but all Mornflake ones are guaranteed "pure" - you don't have to pay £3 for the supermarket Free From oats :-)
    Oats do contain a kind of gluten called avenin (I think) and some coeliacs can tolerate it, others can't. The advice for coeliacs is to try them a bit at a time... good luck and sorry for such an essay of a comment!

  2. Pretty flowers :)
    My friend (who is a coeliac) loves Genius bread (she gets it on prescription) but I see Eleanor has already mentioned that.

  3. I love fruit and cheese together. it sounds strange at first, but it tastes amazing.

  4. Eleanor - thank you so much for taking the time to write such a long comment, it was really helpful :) esp the information about Mornflake oats, that's useful to know. & I bought some Genius bread...had it as an open sandwich, cheese on toast & eggy bread so far, all really good. Yey! :)

    Maria - thanks for backing up the Genius bread recommendation also. I have a friend who is gluten-sensitive who likes Genius bread too, so it seems to be a favourite. Love having flowers around the house, so nice to glance up from what I'm doing and see bright colours (esp when grey outside like today!) Off to comment on your last post now - not been online much this weekend, congrats on marathon!! :)

    Jemma - Cheese & fruit together are really good. Figs/grapes/apples often included on cheese boards so not that unusual I guess, but Liam thinks I'm strange for liking it!

  5. Hi Lucy,

    I just found your blog today, and have enjoyed poking around a bit.

    My boyfriends Mom has celiac so we make and enjoy a lot of gluten-free foods when we get together with her. I know that she, for one, eats oats. As for brands, I'm afraid I won't be much help, as I'm in the States! (though I spent 2 years living in London in the past). :)



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