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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Gluten Free Favourites – March 2016

So many things to share this month – it has been a good month for new gluten free discoveries and re-discoveries!

Gluten free favourites - March 2016

Gluten free favourites – March 2016

Stokie Sauce – Laura from Twice as Nice Bakery (see my previous review) told us about this sauce a little while ago and said she was hoping to stock it, so when I last picked up some gluten free oatcakes and saw it on the shelf I had to have some! It’s a really interesting sauce and not at all what I was expecting. It’s thinner in consistency than I thought it would be, and more spicy, but it does work well with oatcakes and I’d definitely recommend giving it a go if you’re in the area.

Gluten free pikelets – another local speciality! When I got my gluten free oatcakes from Twice as Nice I noticed these with them and thought I’d give them a go (they’re both from Weston Coyney Oatcakes). I’ll be honest, when I got home I was wondering if I might regret the purchase as I’m not usually a fan of fruit in things like this (I tried to like hot cross buns this year but just couldn’t!). The pikelets though – well that’s a different matter. There’s only a small amount of fruit and it really helps to sweeten them. I love them with plenty of butter – delicious!

Heck Chicken Italia Sausages – we’ve had these before but I was reminded just how excellent they were when we had them recently. We just had a really simple meal of the sausages, sweet potato mash, and some greens, and it was wonderful. I did try a bit with Stokie Sauce too and it complemented them really well! So much so in fact that I had an oatcake with one of these sausages, some mozarella, and Stokie Sauce – delicious! I love the flavour of these Heck sausages in particular, and they’re nice and smooth too.

Pizza Express Gluten Free Dough Balls – they’ve already had their own blog post so I won’t say too much more but they really are delicious and I can’t wait to go back for more!

Tesco Free From Dough Mix – I didn’t think it would be possible to find a pizza base mix we would enjoy as much as Isabel’s (see previous review) but this really surprised me. It’s easy to make and doesn’t need pre cooking (though does need to prove for half an hour or so). It makes a lovely pizza base with a crunchy crust but a softer middle – the best of both worlds. We’ve had it twice now and both really enjoyed it (yes, it even got the approval of my non-coeliac partner!). We still love the Isabel’s mix when we want something lighter so will probably alternate between the two.

Gianni’s Cheeky Monkey Ice Cream – After learning the leftover Ben And Jerry’s Phish Food had been eaten in secret without me, I came across this ice cream in Aldi which is very similar but less than half the price! It’s chocolate ice cream, with swirls of marshmallow and swirls of caramel sauce, and chocolate monkeys. I think I might actually even prefer this to the Ben and Jerry’s!

What have you been enjoying this month? Any recommendations? 

If you’d like to receive updates from Gluten Free Joeyanne please follow the blog by email or RSS (links on the right hand side) or you can like Gluten Free Joeyanne on Facebook for links to blog posts as well as more regular updates, or Gluten Free Joeyanne on Instagram for photos of gluten free products and meals.

Tesco Free From Cheese and Tomato Pizza

We’re quite fortunate in the UK that Coeliac UK have been working with a number of different pizza chains and we can now enjoy gluten free pizza at Pizza Hut (see earlier blog post), Domino’s (will blog soon) and Pizza Express (not had chance to try yet), amongst others. They’re not the most budget friendly options though and sometimes you just want pizza you can cook at home. I occasionally get Juvela pizza bases on prescription, having tried various supermarket offerings and being sorely disappointed (Sainsbury’s, I’m particularly looking at you – pizza bases should not crumble apart or taste like biscuits!). I’m currently taking part in a BzzAgent campaign for Tesco Free From and received a number of money off vouchers, including ones for the Free From Cheese and Tomato frozen pizza. I managed to find some in a local store so I bought one and convinced my partner that it would be edible enough to have as a quick and easy evening meal (always a risk with a partner who gets grumpy when hungry and will refuse to eat food that doesn’t taste good, but I had faith).

Tesco Free From Cheese and Tomato Pizza

Tesco Free From Cheese and Tomato Pizza

My initial concerns at the unusual packaging (cellophane rather than a box but printed across all the cellophane and I wondered why they were hiding it!) were put to one side once we opened it and it looked OK. Half an hour or so later and it was time to try the taste test.

Tesco Free From Cheese and Tomato pizza - close up

Tesco Free From Cheese and Tomato pizza – close up

We were very confused indeed. It’s a gluten free pizza base, but it wasn’t dairy free and used regular mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. So you’d think the topping would be great but that the base might be a little unusual. You’d be wrong. The base was really good – not too thin or crumbly, nice and doughy but with a crunch on the base and crust, but still relatively easy to cut. Even my non-coeliac boyfriend enjoyed it and said he couldn’t really tell it was gluten free – high praise indeed!

Tesco Free From Cheese and Tomato pizza - side view

Tesco Free From Cheese and Tomato pizza – side view

The topping however… it just wasn’t nice at all. I’m not sure what it was that made it so strange, and from a quick check of the ingredients nothing stands out as unusual, but it just wasn’t nice. We both agreed that the base was a really good pizza base, but that it was let down by a disappointing topping. It’s so odd as the bit that made it free from was lovely, but the ‘normal’ bit of it ruined it. It may be better if you add some additional topping, but I think it may have been the sauce that we didn’t like so it’s difficult to remove that from a frozen pizza! We’re hoping they may sell these bases individually as we’d definitely be buying those again.

Tesco Free From Cheese and Tomato pizza - easy to slice

Tesco Free From Cheese and Tomato pizza – easy to slice

Would I buy the Tesco Free From Cheese and Tomato pizza again? Probably not to be honest, unless they changed the recipe/improved the topping. The base was great though and very promising for the future. Pizzas used to be a rare treat for coeliacs but now we’re able to eat out and enjoy them at home. Personally though I’ll be sticking with my Juvela pizza bases on prescription for now.