Often special dietary requirements play a part in deciding to HE, either from a health or behaviour point of view. It has generated so much interest on the MuddlePuddle list recently, that Sue created this guide for us and allowed me to put it on the website. I have put it here in her own words and quick style but when i get five minutes i will title and illustrate it for “flick-ability!” I want to thank Sue for this amazing insight into their family diet.
Okay if you want the short ‘ingredients’ list version here it is: rice, potatos, gluten-free pasta, potentially ALL fruits (fresh,dried (without preservative) and tinned (own juice)), vegetables and salads (which is a pretty huge list in itself), cereals, vegan jelly, g/f d/f cakes, crackers and biscuits, soya yogurts, cheeses and milks, rice milk, nut milk, pulses and various sauces and mixes.
If you want the longer version with recipes and other products then read on….
We follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, additive-free, mostly egg-free (I’ve noted when this is otherwise), predominantly vegetarian diet with some fish dishes occasionally and most of the time we try to stick to food-combining too.
*when I say additive-free I am of course referring to artificial additives (usually manufacturers label natural colours accordingly) such as sweeteners, flavour enhancers, colours etc..
I’m certainly not an adventurous cook – I’m more the ‘ if it takes 30 minutes to prepare, cook and serve’ I’ll do it kind of cook…but preparing this list has inspired me that I shall actually open some of the wonderful recipe books on my shelf and try out a few new recipes a month and send them on with a review for anyone interested.
apologies for anything ‘too’ obvious but the original question was “what *do* we eat?” and please feel free to ask if you need to know more about anything else…
If anyone has a specific meal they usually eat and would like a substitute gluten-free/dairy free version let me know and I’ll try and help out, similarly if there is a product you usually use I’ll tell you the substitute brand/product if I can.
I have the coeliac society shopping guide if you’d like a supermarket own brand product checked.
A quick note about substitute products – we did manage for several years without using gluten-free bread substitutes but kind of drifted into using them – they are expensive, so I would advise you to make a decision beforehand considering your shopping budget (but bearing in mind you will probably be giving up a lot of other foods so won’t have those costs)!
I’ve included the substitute products on our list with some recommendations of brands but of course it’s all down to personal preference and taste ultimately…
So when you see bread/rolls etc.. listed they will be gluten-free/dairy/egg free versions…
Milk – will be either soya, rice or nut
We use Pure margarine (available with soya, sunflower or organic – “suitable for all special dietary requirements”), yogurts are soya and so is our cheese – you can get rice based ones (but I think they’re horrible!) sugar is fruit sugar (e.g. fruisana) and we cook in olive oil.
I have included some fish/honey/eggs bits so apologies to strict vegetarians and vegans.
Everything is as far as I’m aware free of artificial colours, sweeteners, sulphites and flavour enhancers.
Right now for what we *do* eat
Kelloggs Cornflakes and Rice Crispies (not suitable for those avoiding malt washes)
Other brands are okay but check them carefully
We top the above with dessicated coconut, sultanas or sliced banana for variety.
Envirokidz – Gorilla Munchies, koala crisps, amazon frosted flakes
Whole earth – maple frosted flakes
Nature’s Path Mesa sunrise (contains quinoa and amaranth – supposed to be very good for you)
Kallo do various puffed rice cereals but they have a different texture to something like rice crispies so down to personal taste
The children eat cereals dry or with sweetened soya milk
Rice flakes (usually from health food shop) to be made into porridge – this has a lot of variations in itself as it can be made up with sweetened soya milk, rice milk or nut milk and you could add soya dream (cream) if you like it creamier.
I would advise presoaking the flakes or they can absorb so much during cooking that they end up thick and sticky.
Presoak in either soya/rice or nut milk (or a dilution with water to save money) and then heat on the hob with a milk of your choice.
We top this with either honey (not a vegan option of course), sultanas/raisins, coconut, cinnamon, pureed apple etc..
You could also presoak the flakes in apple or orange juice and served chilled as a muesli base – adding your own choice of dried fruit (watch out for preservatives) and nuts.
I would advise against eating rice flakes without hydrating them as they would absorb so much fluid during digestion that you could end up dehydrating.
(note IF you do use oats (WE DO NOT) then again you can make them up into porridge, presoak and chill them for muesli or make flapjacks with them, also nice sprinkled on fruit crumble prior to cooking).
Fruit salad – mine like grapefruit fresh (with a sprinkle of fruit sugar) or tinned, oranges, kiwis etc.. in the summer months.
We also use gluten-free bread to make toast with marmalade, jam, marmite, peanut butter etc..
Sweet breakfast rolls
Fruit loaves (contains egg)
(we have found Dietary Specialities to be the best make – which is stocked in large Tescos, some Sainsbury’s, Health Food Shops or available over the internet from various suppliers – try Goodness Direct but watch the postage charges).
Thick rice cakes (various flavours) with various spreads.
Yogurts – various – see substitute list
My children have been known to consume cold apple crumble and the odd pancake for breakfast too:-)
We tend to have a cooked lunch so anything that goes for dinner goes for lunch too but in lighter amounts or substituting salad instead of vegetables.
rolls with a filling – we make up our own coleslaw with grated white and red cabbage, carrots and salad cream (vegans would need to use egg-free mayonnaise/salad cream) though I have recipes for others if anyone wants them.
Anything you would normally stick in a bun really – cheese slices (see substitute section) with pickle (Branston sandwich pickle was gluten-free last time I checked), salad, tuna etc..
Beans on toast (check the ingredients list on the beans)
Pizzas – slice a roll or french stick or use other pizza base (see substitute section) – spread on heinz tomato frito or tomato ketchup, top according to taste – we vary them by using different combinations of chopped peppers, chopped onions, sweetcorn, cheese slices, garlic pepper, herbs etc…
and of course oven chips!
We pretty much have vegetables or salad with everything – its easy to keep this varied – there are whole books dedicated to just salad dishes and you can find lots of recipes usually in good vegetarian books. We add variety to basic salads (tomatos, cucumber, lettuce, celery and carrots, peppers etc..) with salad dressings (olive oil and herbs) and seeds (try poppy, sesame and sunflower and toast them occasionally for a different taste) but the children mostly eat salads ‘plain’ – the only variety they request is whether they want it sliced, cubed or grated! but even just tossing cucumber and peppers quickly in hot olive oil can change their taste a lot and roasted peppers are delicious. Be careful of ready-made salads which may have a coating/sauce on them.
vegetables I have to confess are usually of the frozen organic variety just for ease of use – bung them in a steamer for 10 minutes and voila! no fuss.
potatos – again whole books dedicated to potato dishes….
we generally eat them simply – mashed, boiled, roasted, baked etc.. and of course an essential element in topping shepherds pies and other potato dishes, potato salad etc..
I make simple potato salad just by chilling cubed potato, adding salad cream and black pepper but you can add celery, carrots, cabbage, onions, vinegar, mayonnaise, salt and garlic to suit your own tastes
Feel silly including this one as its not even a ‘real’ meal but my son loves cubed potatos (preboiled) tossed in olive oil with grated carrot and onion (softened) and black pepper (or garlic pepper or ketchup or beans or barbecue spice…)
rice – there are lots of varieties available, we cook mostly with Crazy Jacks wholegrain rice and occasionally use more fragrant varieties like Basmati but we avoid highly refined white rices just because they don’t taste so good.
I’d recommend getting a good rice cookery book.
One of the great things about cooking with rice (other than its cheap and goes a long way) is that it can be easily kept and used the next day.
We use it in stir-fries, with salad, in home-made burgers etc..
my son loves it tossed in olive oil with black pepper and peas – I like it with garlic and salad and my daughter has it warm with salad cream! so just experiment.
You can make ‘tuna florida’ with cold rice, tinned tuna, pineapple, sweetcorn, softened peppers, tomatos and black pepper and chill it and drizzle on tiny amount of olive oil if you need to remoisten it – its nice without the tuna too.
(if you do eat tinned fish – in spring water or olive oil are healthiest, followed by brine and lastly sunflower oil)
soup of course is a nice simple dinner and again spare can be kept over for the next day (it improves with age) – there are so many recipes for soup but we tend to just bung in whatever’s in the cupboard –
my children’s favourite is swede, leek, potato and carrot soup – we ‘cheat’ by using a tomota sauce (such as for pasta) – you can pretty much add anything – sweetcorn, chickpeas (we used tinned to avoid extra preparation and because they’re nice and soft), sweet potato, onions etc..
pasta – there are lots of gluten-free pastas available – some are ‘naturally’ gluten-free such as many of Orgran’s range of corn, rice and vegetable pastas (though supermarkets now tend to put these in the special diet section) we like the corn spirals best and those specifically for gluten-free diets such as the Trufree range whose pasta shells and penne are really nice.
There is a lot of variation both in texture and cooking times in gluten-free spaghetti – we prefer Glutano but there are other brands too.
Note: cooking times are not always accurate particularly with Orgran and Glutano (Trufree seem to have their instructions right!) so I would recommend testing throughout (they range from 6 minutes to 12 minutes so nice fast meal) until you’re used to cooking with them.
and just use them as you would any pasta dish – add a sauce, or drizzle on a little olive oil and serve with salad etc..
You can get gluten-free pasta sheets to make lasagne with (confess mine have sat in the cupboard for ages, but I intend to have a go with soya mince, tofutti cheeses and sauce eventually!)
Ragu and Dolmio pasta sauces were both confirmed to be okay last time I checked with the companies but you can of course make your own up with tinned tomatos, herbs and vegetables of your choice (peppers, onions, garlic etc..)
soya mince – we use soya mince (available flavoured or plain from health food shops, we prefer plain as the flavoured is a bit marmitey/salty) to make up shepherds pies, as a filling for baked potatos or to make up spaghetti bolognese.
it’s nice and easy to use but doesn’t have flavour of it’s own so you need to flavour it with a sauce or plenty of herbs, stock etc..
it needs rehydrating first (put it in a pan with water (or sauce) as instructed and heat gently for a couple of minutes) and then you can fry it, bake it etc..
There’s no soya mince in this shepherdess pie but it kind of evolved later for us to include it:
Shepherdess Pie serves 6-8 (First how it ‘should’ be done then how we ended up doing it!)
3 tbspn olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2 carrots grated
2 garlic cloves
oil or margarine
4oz/115g mushrooms chopped
2 x 14oz/400g can aduki beans, drained
21/2 cups/1 pint/600 ml stock
1 tspn vegetable yeast extract
1 tspns dried mixed herbs
(optional g/f breadcrumbs or chopped nuts to sprinkle)
Boil potatos in skins until tender (skins are easier to peel off once boiled and this preserves vitamins), drain and mash well, mixing in olive oil and seasoning until smooth.
Gently fry onion, pepper, carrots and garlic in oil or marge for 5 minutes until soft.
Stir in mushrooms and beans and cook for 2 minutes then add stock, yeast extract and mixed herbs (also bay leaves if you have them) – simmer for 15 minutes.
(remove bay leaves) and empty veg into shallow ovenproof dish – spoon on potatoes and sprinkle over crumbs or nuts – grill until golden brown.
this changed as per the childrens’ requests and in true ‘bung in whatevers in the cupboard’ style to end up as soya mince – partially hydrated with hot water and then finished hydrating in pasta/tomato sauce, baked beans, onion, various colour peppers, carrots, 1/2 teaspoon of fruit sugar, (sometimes garlic) with potato (preboiled and mashed) on top and it gets varied depending on our mood – sometimes its less tomatoey and we use gravy/stock cubes, sometimes we add barbecue spice or branston pickle!
you could of course add a cheese layer using tofutti slices either under or on top of the potato
or put the onion finely chopped into the mashed potato layer (my kids love this!)
NOTE: check gravy/stock/bouillon cubes – we use marigold and kallo
We also use soya mince for bolognese – just hydrate with a pasta sauce, add peppers, garlic, onions and serve with gluten-free spaghetti …
I have a recipe for lentil bolognese if anyone wants it?
In addition to soya mince there are various quorn products (mushroom based) but many seem to contain egg – you can buy
cubes, mince etc..
sausages – if you just want gluten-free and you’re a meat-eater then there is only one brand I can think of and that is ‘For George’s Sake’.
I make up vegetarian sausages for my daughter using orgran’s multi-purpose bread crumbs, water, leeks (or onions) and herbs with egg to bind – though I’m going to have a go at using oil and water instead of eggs.
burgers – we eat lots of vegetable burgers – the only ones I’ve found so far that are okay are Tescos own brand organic ones – nice with salad, chips or a bun.
there are lots of ingredients you can use to make your own burgers quite simply – mix grains with beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables, herbs and spices and a binder.
Possible grains: You can use precooked rice, brown or basmati but you could also use millet or buckwheat
Possible binders: precooked potatos, mashed
egg replacer, olive oil, tahini
vegetables of your choice – e.g. celery finely chopped, carrot grated, onions, mushrooms, peppers or whatever takes your fancy
mix all ingredients well, shape into patties and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or grill both sides – you can freeze these and use later, sometimes they hold together better having been pre-chilled or frozen.
fish cakes – you can make fish cakes up but it can be hard to coat them if you want the ‘in breadcrumbs’ effect as it can be hard to get the gluten-free crumbs to stick.
pre-cook some fish (we buy frozen blocks of haddock or cod) and mix in well with cold potato (it has to be cold or doesn’t bind well) and flavour with salt/pepper and herbs then using slightly damp fingers mould and pat into fish cake shape (add orgran’s multi-purpose crumbs if desired) and grill both sides (or fry).
Cowboy Hot Pot
You can use any vegetable mixture but here is the recipe:
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 sweet potato or 2 carrots chopped
can baked beans
can sweet corn
barbecue spice seasoning
1lb potatos thinly sliced
salt and ground black pepper
1. Fry the onion, pepper and wseet potato or carrots gently in the oil until softened but not browned
2. Add the baked beans, sweetcorn (and liquor), tomato puree and barbecue spice seasoning (recipe also says green beans which we don’t use) – bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes
3. Transfer vegetables to a shallow ovenproof dish (if you want to top with a cheese substitute you can but I would add this after its come out the oven)
4. Cover with sliced potato, brush with marge and bake at 190C/375F/Gas 5 for 30-4r0 minutes until goden brown on top and potato is cooked
Okay so that’s how you’re ‘supposed’ to do it but we found the potato took ages to cook (you could preboil until soft then slice) but we ended up mashing it – you can then skip the oven cook stage if you want to and it tastes nice with plain potato if you’re not a sweet potato fan.
Soya Milk comes in lots of brands and flavours and it really is something you just have to experiment with – it can be quite unpalatable unsweetened – we only use it sweetened (this is usually with apple juice). We don’t use it as a cold drink e.g. plain, strawberry, chocolate or banana flavours – we use it more in cooking, on cereals and for rice pudding though it is yummy in hot chocolate/cocoa and the vanilla flavour soya milk adds variety to puddings and cereals.
Yogurts – there are lots of soya yogs available – we use provamel alpro in various packs of flavours – there are strawberry, peach, peach and pear, banana, cherry, mango etc..
and junior yofu without the ‘bits’ in. We also buy the same brand ‘puddings’ which come in various flavours but the only one my children like is the vanilla (though I confess to not having told them about the chocolate and toffee flavours yet!), we haven’t found the other flavours (orchard fruits, summer fruits etc..) to be very nice at all but the advantage to the ‘puddings’ (which are really just like smooth yogs) is that they have a long shelf-life and don’t need to be refrigerated so you can easily take them on picnics, parties, holiday …
provamel also do large pots of yog with live cultures – summer fruits and natural (plain) which you can use as you would any dairy natural yogurt – we serve it with fresh fruit or fruit compote (available in several flavours in supermarkets), (if you like your yogurt sweet then add fruit sugar), or top baked potatoes with it etc..
Cheese – you can get various flavour cheese slices (like the rubbery slices you can get) cheddar, mozzarella etc..
We have found the nicest make to be tofutti – but it’s personal taste – I can’t stand the rice slices but I know others who eat them.
use on baked potatos, toast, pizzas, buns etc..
You can also get soft cheeses – in tubs again by Tofutti in various flavours – I think there are garlic and herb, french onion, chives etc..
use on baked potatos, nice on rice cakes and for dipping salad/vegetable sticks into – my baby loves to dip her fingers in most! but can sometimes be persuaded to use the celery and carrot sticks:-)
gluten-free breads – you can buy packet mixes for making up breads and they are each very different – I will try and get some recommendations as I’ve forgotten which ones are best. The advantage to these is the long shelf-life of the packet and that you can make them up into burger buns, pizza bases, loaves etc..but they do have to be consumed fresh and often make up to more than is needed and you have to go through mixing, rising, cooking etc.. it can be quite tricky until you get the knack and unfortunately they don’t taste great.
Some of you might be inclined to have a go with a breadmaker – we haven’t tried this yet but have the offer of a loan so will give it a go soon and let you know how we get on.
for substitute bread products we’ve found Dietary Specialities to be the best.
Orgran do a lot of substitute products – their pizza base mix makes up a lot of pizza base so is quite good value for money compared to other products.
Various cake and biscuit mixes are available which are okay.
Something I can recommend if you’re a pancake eater is Orgran’s apple and cinnamon pancake mix which works really well – add whatever toppings you fancy for variety.
they also do Falafels but these are very salty and I’ll forward on a recipe for home-made ones later.
There is quite an extensive range now of gluten/dairy/egg free biscuits and crackers.
Glutano’s crackers are small (and expensive) but nice – trufree’s flavoured ones are nice but so thin they’re not very useable.
Dietary Specialities Luxury Chocolate Biscuits are yummy and they do vanilla wafers, lemon wafers and lots more
Glutano do custard creams, bourbons (haven’t had those so would have to check the ingredients) and plain biscuits
there are gluten/dairy free blueberry muffins (contains egg) which are nice and even apple and fruit pies (don’t eat them though so would have to double check!)
Sainsbury’s also now do their own ‘free-from’ range in yellow packaging in the special diet section which includes a crisps, chocolate/apricot/raisin bars (the other flavour isn’t suitable but can’t remember why), fruit bars, nut bars, biscuits etc..
do check each product thoroughly as some are gluten and dairy free but contain egg.
Other Snacks/Picnics/puddings and What else is in my cupboard:
rice puddings (you can buy pudding rice but mine seem to like it with ‘normal’ rice) – cook it in vanilla flavour soya milk (or other of your choice), sweeten with fruit sugar if desired or sprinkle with cinnamon or try jam or pureed apple etc..
Rice cakes comes in various shapes, thicknesses and flavours
beware the Rispinos and similar as these often contain dairy and artificial flavours etc.. but as far as I know all Kallo makes are okay – mine love the marmite flavour ones – the small versions are great for babies
We eat them plain but you could of course use jam, marmite, peanut butter, soft cheese …
dried fruit but look out for preservatives
tinned fruit in own juice
Castus fruit bars – date or apricot – there are various other squashed fruit bars which are okay but you’d have to check them as I haven’t memorised which are okay!
*Fruit – of course we can eat all fruits so that’s a pretty huge list in itself* (those on a Feingold or salicylate sensitive might want to check the levels in fruits and salads etc..)
Vegetable sticks – all vegetables are of course okay and we often chill sticks of carrot, celery etc.. for quick snacks
The children don’t eat nuts and seeds but I do – they’re handy to have available to mix up with some dried fruit for a quick snack – I mostly use pumpkin, sesame and sunflower mixed with sultanas, raisins etc..
Honey – my daughter unfortunately (her poor teeth!) loveds honey drizzled on sliced banana, chopped apples …
Use the pancake mix mentioned earlier to make banana or apple ‘fritters’
popcorn – pop your own fresh and flavour as you like (I’m sure you’ve guessed ours gets coated in honey!)
Crisps: Most ready salted flavour of potato crisps are okay but not different types of crisps like hoops etc.. which often contain MSG and a wheat binder
tescos own brand value ready salted crisps
dorritos corn chips lightly salted and their dips
Enjoy Organics spicy crisps (but not their cheese flavour)
Sainsbury’s Free-From multipack (special diet section) 6 pack of crisps (prawn cocktail, cheese & onion and salt & vinegar though we find the S&V go to waste as they’re too strong),
Walkers ‘Great Without’ though it concerns me that they’re labelled ‘no ADDED MSG’ hmmm – needs looking into (3 cheese & onion/3 salt & vinegar)
Lollies – fruit juice ice lollies are the best option
if we’re out I’ll let the children have 5 Ice Treats, Ribena or calippos but I think they do each contain preservatives (will have to check that one) but they use natural colours and no sweeteners
Swedish glace is a lovely icecream substitute (available supermarkets in limited flavours) and health food shops with a freezer – might be worth asking your health food shop assistant what they can order in – generally they stock vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and raspberry.
You can buy gluten-free cones but they are expensive.
In health food shops you can also get dairy-free carob choc-ices in a multi-pack.
Vegan jelly crystals – make up easily – can set at room temperature if necessary – tropical fruit flavour seems to have the general vote from those I know who use them as being the nicest flavour – the others seem to taste weaker so I’d make them up with less water – nice to set pineapple rings or other tinned/fresh fruit in.
Sweets – Allergycare (available Health Food Shops and some Sainsbury’s) do whizzers (smarties), chocolate footballs and speckled eggs
Whole Earth do fruit pastilles, vegebears (jellybabies) and liquorice bears
Echinacea berry lollies, also available in banana flavour
cough and throat sweets – ricola herbal lozenges
Kordels’ junior multivitamins plus- strawberry flavour teddies, Halibonbon’s vit c and also halib orange liquid vits)
if you just want a calcium supplement you can get Calcium Sandoz on prescription which is free of unwanted things but very high in sugar.
Pure juice drinks are okay(preferably not from concentrate) as are Organic squashes.
Calypso ‘monkey’ juices and I think blue parrot cafe drinks from Sainsbury’s (but will have to check)
Lilt and 7 up contain flavours and preservatives but are colour-free and sweetener-free high-juices (such as Tescos own blackcurrant or apple) are okay other than their metabisulphite content.
What can we eat when we’re out – well my childlren’s answer is always chips! but even these have to be checked as do condiments such as tomato ketchup. You’ll often meet with a completely blank expression on the part of the cook/waitress when you ask to check the ingredients of their sachets or check what’s in the chips, sometimes you just have to get very specific “please go and get me the box that these sachets get delivered in so that I can read the ingredients list!” but we do tend to take our own ketchup and lo-salt with us if we know we’re going to end up having chips – the only ingredients should be potatos and vegetable oil – if the list is any longer than that you’ll have to check them.
If you order jacket potatos make sure they don’t automatically put butter or marge on them and explain that you don’t want any dressings or sauces on anything.
be careful also of using black pepper in cafes (apparently it can contain flour as a bulking agent though I don’t think this is a legal practice).
We tend to take food out with us wherever we go – a typical picnic bag containing fruit, dried fruit, yogs, crisps, drinks and a snack bar.
if we’re going to be out over a meal time then I take baked potatos or rolls or cold rice or pasta with salad
and for a party I would take biscuits, crackers, crisps, etc.. plus a carrot cake or crumble and jelly
…also in my cupboard – Marigold vegan stock powder, kallo low sodium vegetable bouillion,
various brands egg-replacer, gluten-free baking powder, arrow-root powder, cider vinegar, heinz tomato ketchup, salad cream, tinned fruit, honey, fruit sugar, lo-salt, olive oil, tinned chick peas, lentils
and various herbs (mixed herbs, parsley, basil), rice seasoning, salad seasoning, garlic pepper, garlic salt, onion salt and american barbecue spice – all by schwartz. Tinned mackerel, smoked mackerel, tuna in olive oil.
gluten-free flour – there are numerous types of gluten-free flour but we have found most use from Doves Farm general all purpose flour which we use in carrot cakes, banana cake, apple crumbles and other….recipes to follow
my hubby is the pudding cook and he makes great mince pies and christmas pudding!
binders in cake cooking – we use a mashed banana but you can used grated apple rind or arrowroot powder
8 oz gluten-free flour (remember to add in gluten-free baking powder – usually 2 tspns)
4 oz marge
3 oz raw grated carrots
1 tspn grated orange rind
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tspn ground cinnamon
(optional walnuts chopped)
1 mashed banana (or egg-replacer)
cream the butter/sugar until pale and fluffy
beat in cinnamon and orange rind
add egg substitute
stir in grated carrot/nuts/orange juice
add flour mix well
turn into lined (with greaseproof paper and fold paper over the top loosely to stop top burning) or greased 1lb loaf tin bake in oven at 180C for approx 45 minutes, test with knife until comes out mainly clean – turn onto wire rack and cool
this can be crumbly but is better if left to stand for a while (oops hubby has just reminded me that normally carrot cake has a topping, will have to see what I can come up with…)
once you’ve got used to cooking with gluten-free flour and found a binder you like working with (plus marge and sugar) you can bake up what you want – try banana cake or date loaf etc..
You can make a crumble up as you would normally but using gluten-free flour, Pure margarine and sugar of your choice (we use fruit sugar or unrefined brown sugar) and top cooking apples or rhubarb etc..
If anyone wants any book recommendations let me know..
I think that will do for now if anyone has even read this far! There are of course plenty of other things you could eat – pulses, sprouted seeds (nice in salads and stir-fries), tofu, tempeh, tahini, humous etc.. vegetable/tofu kebabs, curries, tofu stir-fries and on and on….
If you’ve found any of the above useful please let me know and if you have any recipes yourself I’d appreciate them.
If you’re checking ingredients lists yourself things to exclude for gluten-free include modified starch (unless it states maize, potato, tapioca or rice which are okay), wheat, rye, barley and oats (though there is still much debate about whether oats contain the offending gliadins).
for dairy-free diet exclude whey, casein, caseinates and lactose and any derivatives of these words
also I’ve noticed more conscientious manufacturers now labelling their dextrose as being wheat sourced so be careful of dextrose, glucose etc.. though fruit sugar is okay
cous cous contains gluten too
once you’ve adjusted to a gluten-free/dairy-free diet you’ll find you’re so in tune with your body’s reactions that you know if a food is affecting you – trust your instincts, even if there’s nothing on the label which indicates it should be excluded if you feel your reacting then exclude it – often its the case that later you’ll find the manufacturers start to declare more detail on their ingredients lists and something will pop up to make sense of it all – perhaps they’ll start stating that they use whey powder or wheat flour in a sub-ingredient (or for me I found that rapeseed oil or MSG was often an undeclared ingredient which affected me).
When an ingredient is less than a certain percentage it does not have to be declared and if it is a sub-ingredient it doesn’t have to be declared either – e.g. Birds Eye Potato Waffles ‘appear’ to be gluten-free but if you ring the company they will tell you that there is gluten in the very last ingredient on the list ‘mustard’….
and cornflour can be mixed with other flours in the UK (not elsewhere) so unless it states gluten-free its best avoided.
You pretty much have to be prepared to drop most processed foods from your shopping list (including vegetarian alternatives as nearly all use wheat as a binder/filler).