Gluten Free Favourites – August 2016

August has been a lovely month – my first month of self-employment! This has also coincided with some lovely weather every now and again so I’ve spent some time working (and relaxing!) in the garden, and we’ve had a couple of nice days out too. Food wise we’ve been having quite a lot of great Simply Cook meals, some Tyga curries, and I’ve been experimenting with some of the goodies I got from the Morrisons Free From event 🙂

August 2016 GF favourites.jpeg

Gluten free favourites – August 2016

Gosh! Chickpea, Courgette and Moroccan Spiced Bakes topped with Harissa Peppers – I hadn’t come across this brand until the free from event I went to as Morrisons HQ, and I’m so glad I have now. These are vegan and free of all 14 main allergens, and really tasty, especially the harissa spiced ones. You can get these from some Tesco stores and I believe they are coming to other stores soon (there’s a handy store locator on their website).

Tesco Free From Strawberry and Vanilla Cones – these are just fabulous. We’ve had them before and enjoyed them, but it wasn’t until we tried a competitor’s product that we appreciated just how good these are. The ice cream is lovely and creamy (despite being dairy free!) and the cone stays crisp. They get the thumbs up from everyone, well apart from fussy brothers who complain about the bottom having unexpected strawberry syrup as well as chocolate.

Twice as Nice Bakery Teff Cookies – these are sort of secret as they’re a new product, but they’re so fantastic that I just had to share in my monthly favourites. I’ll be honest, I had to ask Laura at Twice as Nice what teff was and why it’s so great, but once I’d tried the cookie I was sold. So much so I bought another to take home for my partner to try (I’m the greatest girlfriend ever). He agreed; they’re awesome. The flavour is great, but it’s more the texture that surprised me. They hold together really well, but still have that wondrous cookie-ness to them. They’re also vegan but you wouldn’t know it. Fabulous! I didn’t get a photo but Sarah Leanne at Growing Butterfly (who was the inspiration behind the cookies!) posted one on Instagram.

Barnacles Chip Shop – when you’ve had a lovely day in the sunshine and you’re by the seaside there’s nothing better than fish and chips on the seafront. Normally this would be a no no for coeliacs, but fortunately more and more chip shops are offering gluten free options. Barnacles in Llandudno has been offering it for a while and there is such a great selection. I’ll be writing a blog post soon but in the meantime I wanted to mention it in my favourites as the fish, chips and curry sauce I had were amazing.

Genius gluten free pancakes – these were given to me at the Morrisons free from event and to be honest I wasn’t that excited, but they’re brilliant. I simply toasted them for a few minutes and then spread Nutella on them. Such a nice weekend breakfast. It may have been the GBBO effect but they reminded me of jaffa cakes – just needed some marmalade and I would have been sorted!

Veggie enchiladas – I’ve been experimenting with some Newburn Bakehouse products I was sent to try and made some veggie enchiladas with the seeded wraps. I filled them with mixed pepper rice, refried beans, chilli powder and spring onions, and cooked them in salsa, yoghurt and cheese. Really easy to make but filling and delicious!

What have you been loving in August? Any recommendations? 

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Mothertown Fish and Chips – Burslem, Stoke on Trent

This little beauty definitely deserves its own blog post in case anyone in the area isn’t aware of it, or in case any one is visiting the area. I’ve been visiting Mothertown Fish and Chips when I can for a while now. Before we moved back to the Stoke-on-Trent area, we made it a habit to take my Grandma there for her birthday, and when I attended a conference nearby I took the opportunity to nip in for lunch too. Now we’re back in the area, it’s become our ‘local’ chippie. There are other chippies closer, but this one has gluten free fish and chips every day. Quite a few fish and chip shops have gluten free occasionally, but it’s rare for them to have it available all the time. Mothertown has a dedicated gluten free fryer 🙂

Mothertown Fish and Chips

Mothertown Fish and Chips

The name comes from the fact that Burslem is often referred to as the ‘Mother Town’ of the six towns that make up Stoke-on-Trent, the only polycentric city in the UK (it has 6 town centres rather than 1). Mothertown Fish and Chip Shop is in what used to be the bank, and the building is impressive looking (especially for Stoke-on-Trent!). Inside, the vault door is still there (you can see a bit of it on the right hand side of the photo) so it makes for quite a unique chippie. But what about the food?! There’s loads of choice for both the regular menu and the gluten free menu, and I’m gradually working my way through most of the gluten free menu.

Gluten Free Menu at Mothertown Fish and Chips

Gluten Free Menu at Mothertown Fish and Chips

We decided to go for Good Friday (I tend to follow the tradition of fish on Good Friday from my Catholic upbringing, so thought it was a good excuse to go to Mothertown!). I went for my usual mini fish, chips and peas (with a side of onion rings to share which came later and I forgot to photograph!).

Mini Fish, Chips and Peas and Mothertown Fish and Chips

Mini Fish, Chips and Peas and Mothertown Fish and Chips

We usually eat in so the food is at its freshest; it’s served in plastic trays with greaseproof paper. The gluten free batter is lovely and light, with a great crunch (though not so crunchy that it almost breaks your teeth as some batter can!). The fish is lovely – it flakes apart but is lovely and moist. The chips are fairly standard chip shop chips like I remember, and it’s always a treat to have those. I prefer garden peas to mushy peas though you can have mushy peas.

I’ve also tried a couple of the fish cakes and they were lovely, especially the madras spice cod. I wasn’t so keen on the mushy pea fritter when I tried that, but I’m not a huge fan of mushy peas so that’s hardly surprising really. The only downside for me is that you can’t get a gluten free curry sauce. Does anyone know of a gluten free chip shop curry sauce? I’d love to be able to have curry sauce – that would just make it even more perfect!

We’ve been with many of our family and friends now and everyone we’ve taken has loved it there. It’s so great for me to be able to have great gluten free fish and chips whilst others can enjoy the regular fish and chips (though they actually usually prefer the gluten free onion rings over the regular ones!). It’s a really friendly environment in Mothertown; in fact on our last visit I ended up chatting to someone who was getting tea for himself and his coeliac wife. We had a lovely chat about some of our favourite local places which cater for gluten free, recommended products, and places to visit further afield. Speaking of local things, can you decipher the local phrase over the till at Mothertown?

Sowt an vinegar duck?

Sowt an vinegar duck?

Mothertown Fish and Chips is definitely one I recommend visiting if you haven’t already, and I’d encourage you to eat in so the food stays lovely and fresh (we find chippy food tends to go soggy in transit!). Further information including their opening times is available on the Mothertown Fish and Chips website and they also have a Facebook page.

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