Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Eating Out Gluten-Free

I've eaten out quite a lot the last two days...by my standards anyway! Since I started trying to avoid eating gluten I've been a bit worried about eating out, but I've been pleasantly surprised that I've at least managed to find something to eat!

Yesterday morning, Liam and I had to go see the registrar to discuss the final details of our wedding ceremony - what readings we will have, songs that will be played, order of ceremony etc. We arrived half an hour early so decided to go for a coffee first. I hadn't had breakfast so was pleased to see they had a couple of gluten-free options on the cake counter. I went with orange and almond cake, as well as my usual skinny latte.

This was delicious! They also did gluten-free chocolate brownie, but even I couldn't justify that as breakfast! I normally enjoy non-chocolate cake more anyway, and this orange and almond cake was no exception - lovely and dense with a marmalade layer on top, yum!

The rest of yesterday's food was eaten at home - a massive green smoothie at lunchtime.

This contained a banana, spinach, frozen pineapple, frozen mango and milk. It was so filling, almost uncomfortably so - I felt bloated for a good few hours after this, whoops!

Mid-afternoon, I had a pre-workout snack of medjool dates stuffed with homemade chocolate-coconut-brazil nut butter before going to circuits. Circuits was tough last night! It was the first time I'd been to the new set-up. Previously it was set-up as a clock face, working in groups of 3 and doing each exercise for 30 seconds before moving on. Now it was set up in 5 identical lines of 6 exercises each. We were in teams of 5 and had to work our way up the lines, first doing 10 reps of each exercise, then 15, then 20 before the exercises change. We did 3 different groups of exercises, including step work, free weights, ab exercises, weights using a bench and cardio including burpees (I'd only ever seen these talked about on blogs before so a new experience!), jumping jacks etc. I was exhausted by the end of it!!

Luckily the lovely Liam (!) agreed to make me dinner when I got home - I was too tired to move and probably wouldn't have eaten else. Gluten free pasta with leftover sauce from the lentil cottage pie, topped with grated cheddar.

Mmmm. I do love a big bowl of pasta when I'm exhausted/in need of comfort!


This morning, Liam and I headed to Taunton to see his final exhibition - where his and all the other 3rd years' work was displayed. The end of his degree if you like!

We stopped at a petrol station first for him to top up and check the oil. I grabbed a coffee while I waited...

I'm glad I did as we ended up having a longer wait than anticipated! We had to scrap a car a few months ago as the engine ran out of oil without Liam realising (I don't drive - I'm not completely being a feeble woman by naming him!!) and so the engine burned out. Therefore today, when the engine was almost out of oil, Liam was perhaps a little over eager and put the whole 5 litre bottle in. Turns out you're only meant to put 2 litres max in at a time, as we learnt when Liam pulled out and smoke started pouring out of the back!! Luckily, there was a garage attached to this particular petrol station, so they drained the excess oil and 15 minutes later we were back on the road. An expensive lesson learnt, but at least it wasn't worse - when Liam saw all the smoke he initially thought it was going to be another write off, eeek!!

Anyway, we did eventually make it to Liam's exhibition. Here are a couple of the photos he took...

There were lots of computer screens, each displaying 2 students' work, with their portfolios alongside. As well as examples of their best 3D pieces. A lot of work went into the seemingly simple exhibition but I think it did a good job of displaying as much work as possible whilst still allowing people to easily move around the small room. It was just a shame that it didn't look like people had been looking through the portfolios - they still looked pristine!

We also looked around the exhibitions done by the fashion and fine art students while we were there, but photos weren't allowed to be taken in those rooms.

It was then time to head into town to pick up my engagement and eternity rings! After a week & a half without them, I'm so happy to have them back - my finger has felt like it was missing something the whole time!! 2.5 sizes smaller, they now fit perfectly so aren't constantly swivelling on my finger, and have come back all clean and sparkly too, yey!

My Mum was looking after baby today and said there was no rush to get home as he was being good as gold (thanks Mum!) so we went in search of somewhere to have lunch. We decided to go to Brazz as the menu looked good, and it had gluten-free options clearly marked. So far so good. Except that the only gluten-free mains were steak or mussels. Yuck. Those are two of the few foods I wouldn't have eaten even when I did eat meat! Luckily I liked the sound of the gluten-free starter - "Goat's cheese mousse, beetroot, apple, celery salad and candied walnuts". I also ordered a side of buttered new potatoes, which I was very glad of when the food arrived! Pretty, but tiny!!

I loved the flavour of the goat's cheese mousse, and those little spheres on the top are made of apple.

Surprisingly, once teamed with the potatoes, this did actually fill me up. I always have room for a sweet treat though. Especially when it comes in the form of a Starbucks skinny vanilla iced chai latte!

Please excuse the food baby going on in my tummy!! More importantly, I ended up with a 'venti' sized latte for the price of a 'grande' as they'd run out of 'grande' sized cups...success, although I could barely walk back to the car after drinking all that - my tummy was so sore!

I managed to think about eating again 5 hours later though...even after the biggest of meals, I never go too long without thinking about food! I finally got round to cooking my first ever kabocha squash!

I asked on Twitter for advice as to whether or not to eat the skin, but received mixed opinions...

I decided to go without skin today as the squash had been hanging around my kitchen a while and was looking a bit old. Next time I will give the skin a try though!

Liam kindly volunteered to chop it all (and remove the skin after my gentle reminding!!) as he was worried I'd chop my finger off - me and big knives don't get along well!!

I roasted it for 20 minutes in some coconut oil, and then ate the whole squash with goat's cheese on the side.

I thought there would be some leftovers for tomorrow, but nope, I ate it all!

This was really tasty, but it wasn't quite the earth shattering "I must go out and buy another one right this minute" experience I'd built myself to expect! Am I missing something?? I only cooked it in coconut oil - any recommendations for spices/flavourings to cook it in, or things to eat it with?? I will definitely be buying another one to try again, but at the moment I cant see that it's much different than butternut squash (gasp! I know, sorry!) but I'm eager to learn!!!

As I said earlier, I was pleasantly surprised that, even down here in Devon, there were gluten-free options available to me when eating out. Although they are obviously limited - I didn't see any gluten-free options available that would also have been vegan, for example. Where I live, the restaurants often only have one vegetarian option at all, usually cheese based, so again no good for people following a vegan lifestyle. I haven't eaten out in my town since stopping eating gluten...I'm still not convinced that will be possible except for relying on sides of vegetables, but at least I know I can find something to eat in the bigger towns/cities. How do you deal with eating out if you have different eating habits/requirements to those normally catered for? Do you take your own food with you or do you usually find that restaurants are pretty accommodating? I normally have a snack bar or two in my bag, but today I didn't as I knew that if necessary I could just have an iced chai latte in Starbucks and then have lunch at home, so it was a pleasant surprise to be able to eat lunch out relatively easily!

Oooh, before I go, don't forget to enter my giveaway - you have until tomorrow to be in with a chance of winning some of my favourite treats!!


  1. your green smoothie looks so good :)

  2. My coeliac friend always rings ahead and they always cater for her, although often it is a jacket potato or something like that (even pre grated cheese sometimes contains flour to stop it sticking together so she has to be so careful). I prefer kabocha to butternut, but I like it best in a soup.

  3. Eek! Be careful with that squash skin: you really do need a stomach of steel to be able to tolerate it. Only eat the skin if you're SURE your tum can handle all that fibre...believe me, the results aren't pleasant if it can't (I know from experience...) I love kabocha though: to me it has a more savoury, chestnutty taste and denser texture than butternut. I just have it plain, but do cover it in ketchup after roasting :P


  4. I love kabocha, but they are so hard to find for some reason. Your green smoothie looks lovely!

  5. That food looks fancy! I love goats cheese... I've never had kabocha... I'm behind in the blog world hehe

  6. I tried kabocha for the first time last week, in a stew, and although it was nice i don't think i would search high and low for another...butternut is fine with me :)
    That lunch looks beautiful too - so pretty!


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