November, 2010

Nov 10

The Gluten Free Foodie

This week, I have the pleasure of sharing an insight into the Gluten Free world with you, courtesy of the brilliant Caz Roberts (pictured), who is also known as the Gluten Free Foodie. Caz runs the Gluten Free Foodie Website ( which is a great resource for anyone who loves to eat out but finds it tricky as a result of their food intolerances. Caz has very kindly offered to share an insight into the world of the Gluten Free Foodie with me…



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“There are clearly many celiacs who love to eat out and want to know where they can go for delicious food, where they are treated well and can relax and have a great time.” And, as such, the response to the blog has been great. Eating out isn’t about food as a necessity, but food for pleasure. If you are going to spend money on eating out, Caz firmly believes that your experience should be just as great at a non-gluten free diner, and this is one lady on a mission to find just these places.


There has been a shift over the last five years in the ranges of “free from food” in the supermarkets, which are now fantastic.  It is more difficult for restaurants to respond to the needs of diners with special dietary requirements, especially with smaller restaurants, as it is harder for them to quantify the effect of catering for gluten free diets, and because of that they often don’t see the point in making the extra effort. The higher end restaurants put in more effort than they used to and they understand about catering to specialized diets. As for more main stream chain restaurants, they are starting to catch on, but often don’t have the insight into being gluten free.


Caz’s top tip for eating out is confidence. “You have to learn not worry about the potential sigh or a roll of the eyes from a waitress when you ask a question. You are a paying customer, simple as that. I am always very polite, and often use shortcuts they can understand – e.g. “is there flour on that/in that?” as opposed to “is there gluten in that?”. I tend to begin with “I am allergic to gluten, so that’s flour, wheat…” and so on until you see a glimmer of recognition in their eyes.” One other piece of advice would be always trust yourself over the waiter/waitress.


Caz has been thrilled with the response to her website, which has caused several runs on various products she has endorsed. And I for one will be watching avidly to see where she visits next!


If you have an intolerance which you would like to see covered in future blogs, please contact me:

Nov 10

Speedy suppers

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This recipe for Chinese Pork with Pak Choi is a real favourite of mine. It is incredibly delicious and simple to make. I serve it on its own on a healthy day, or with brown rice. Alternatively, brown rice noodles make a very tasty accompaniment, which is wheat and egg free. For the vegetarians out there, this works very well with tofu as an alternative to pork.


Chinese Pork with Pak Choi


½ tsp crushed chillies
3tbsp dark soy sauce
1tbsp Sesame oil
1 tsp Japanese Rice Vinegar
400g pork fillet
1tsp sunflower oil
235g pack pak choi, each cut in half lengthways
1 clove garlic, crushed


1.      Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Mix together the garlic, chillies, soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar. Pour over the pork and leave to marinate for 5 minutes (or up to 30 minutes if you have time).

2.      Heat the sunflower oil in a flameproof casserole pan, then brown the pork on all sides. Add the marinade, cover and cook in the oven for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the pork from the pan, then leave to rest (covered) for 5 minutes. Pour off the juices and reserve.

3.      Add the pak choi to the pan cut side down, brown over a high heat, cover the pan and cook gently for 5 minutes until just tender. Slice the pork thinly, pour over the hot juices and serve with the pak choi and rice or noodles.


Nov 10

Bonfire Bean Chilli

I love this time of year. In particular, the type of food I want to eat now. Think hot, comforting yet nutritous. Do try my Bonfire Bean Chilli, which is suitable for almost everyone to eat.  The blend of spices and heat really make it much more interesting and warming than you might expect. Perfect for a cold winter night. And even better, it costs very little to make. Serve with jacket potatoes, rice or even a tortilla wrap. If you can’t eat wheat tortillas, I highly recommend authentic Mexican Corn tortillas which are available online through Mexican food retailers or alternatively, I buy them from a very well known London food market located under a bridge….

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Bonfire Bean Chilli

Serves 4


1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 tin black eyed beans, drained and rinsed

1 large Spanish onion, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped finely

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chilli flakes (optional if you don’t want too much heat)

2 tins whole tomatoes, then chopped (try to but the best quality you can as they’ll have a sweeter flavour)

2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, chopped




1.       Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan and cook the onion and red chilli until soft. Add the garlic, spices and chilli flakes and cook for a few more minutes.

2.       Add the beans and tomatoes and simmer for around 20 minutes until thick.

3.       Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve immediately.



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