Lunching in Truro

On a recent visit to Truro, my new home to be, we found ourselves hungry and wanting to grab a light lunch. I am in the midst of a month long intensive bootcamp and wanted to put something good in my body. My boyfriend suggested Archie Browns. Archie Browns is a vegetarian cafe where a great deal of the menu is gluten free. There is also a fab little shop downstairs selling lots of gluten free products, some of which you may not find in a regular supermarket.

I ordered the gluten free quiche of the day (cheese, red pepper and pesto) which came with a side salad. This was no regular limp leaf sort of side salad, this was a colourful, flavourful salad with chickpeas, rice and some leaves I have to say I did not recognise. It felt like a hearty yet healthy lunch where along with my smoothie I think I managed pretty much of all of my five a day in one sitting. As I felt I had been so virtuous with my choice of lunch I decided to finish off with a slice of the raw chocolate torte.

 

Archie Browns is a place I know I will visit a lot following my move. It was so nice to be presented with various gluten free options with not a jacket potato and iceberg lettuce salad in sight. The cafe was busy which is always a good sign and the staff were helpful and really friendly.

I will be in for lunches, cake and take away smoothies to drink at my new desk when I feel I am not getting enough fruit and veg into my body. I have to to say too it was nice to have a break away from meat.

I think I have found a new favourite spot in my new home.

Claire x

Ice cream and tortilla chips

I like sweet and salty in equal measure. I love crisps and a dip alongside a cool glass of wine sitting outside in the summer just as much as I like a bowl of something sweet curled up in front of the television watching a cheesy film.

To be fair I am not the biggest ice cream fan in the world so if I do invest in a tub its got to be packed with flavour and ideally contain chocolate in some form. I noticed this tub in Tesco a few weeks back and thought I would give it a whirl. The double chocolate chip called out to me in all honesty. Perfect World ice cream is both dairy and gluten free and has no added sugars. There are currently four different flavours – double choc chip, caramel pecan, mint choc chip and a taste of carrot cake. All of the (not so scary) nutritional bumph is clearly outlined on their website so you can see exactly what you are putting in to your body.

I had not idea what my expectations were with this ice cream test but I REALLY liked it. So much so that I managed to put away the entire tub in just three sittings – oops! It had just the right amount of sweetness and filled the craving you tend to have an hour or so after eating your main meal. It had a sort of a mousse consistency, which I really liked. Perfect World ice cream is currently available at Tesco, Nisa stores and Ocado. Go stock up your freezer.

I have completely fallen in love with Manomasa tortilla chips. I was at a BBQ recently when I first spotted them, my friend had picked them up from Waitrose but checking out their website I can see they are readily available from many different shops including Tesco and Sainsbury’s. I could have easily chomped down the entire bag in one easy sitting but I restrained myself for not wanting to look like A) a complete pig and B) rude! They were so good though – we had the serrano chilli and yucatan honey flavour which had a kick but a really good kick. The next day I sped to Waitrose to throw some in my basket along with a hot salsa dip. These would be awesome in a nacho dish or piled up with cool feta – drool. They have some really cool recipes on their website, which are definitely worth checking out.

My nacho dish may have to wait though as I have four weeks of boot camp starting on Saturday so for a wee while at least it will be all about the baked fish and steamed veg. Everything in moderation though right?

P.S Since I wrote this post I happened to tweet about how much I loved the Manomasa tortillas and the lovely people at the company sent me some more flavours to try – well it would be rude not to dig in!

Claire xx

Afternoon Tea at La Fait Maison

Afternoon tea is a luxurious treat and one I absolutely love to do at any given opportunity. Since being diagnosed as a coeliac I do have to do my research though to find places that are tummy friendly, but over the years I have found that this is not all that difficult. More and more places are becoming gluten free friendly and the choices more varied and adventurous. Post diagnosis I have had many a lovely afternoon tea including one at The Ritz, which everybody has to do at some point.

It was my birthday at the beginning of April and my lovely friend booked an afternoon tea for the two of us as a treat at La Fait Maison on Gloucester Road, London. I had vaguely heard of the cafe but did not know much about it I must admit. My friend also opted for the gluten free version for ease.

We caught the bus to the King’s Road and made the short walk up to the cafe which was a good opportunity to have a nose at the lovely properties en route.

We arrived at La Fait Maison ready to devour lots of goodies! The staff greeted us warmly and were very friendly and accommodating. It was clear that g/f was not an issue at all so I felt instantly at ease. We had a mocktail each and selected out tea.

Then out came the tier of sandwiches and cakes, it looked gorgeous. The waiter explained what each cake was (I forget now though I am afraid) while we were waiting to dig on in the second he walked away! Every single sandwich and cake was beautiful and we polished the entire lot off. It was all done whilst gossipping away and having a really good catch up. I love spending time with my girlfriends and having a natter, but to do it over cake makes it even better. To me, it is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

I would not hesitate to go back to La Fait Maison and would wholeheartedly recommend the experience. If you visit the branch on Gloucester Road you can then also then take the opportunity to do a big of shopping (Sloane Square is very close by) or have a mooch around the National History Museum which is a very short hop away.

Claire xx

Noodle joy

I love bowl food. If you can cook a meal in one pan and then pop it straight into a bowl even better. I also love noodles and up until a few days ago I could only eat rice noodles (I like the big fat ones). However, I was doing some food shopping in Tesco recently and noticed these:

They looked a little different and I liked the fact they came in a split snap pack. Oomi noodles are a high protein, low fat noodle and can be eaten hot or cold. The protein, rather unusually, comes from fish! A few reviews on Ocado (they stock in both Tesco and Ocado) said they tasted a little fishy – I did not pick up on this at all and it probably wouldn’t have bothered me anyway as I love fish.

I love the versatility of noodles, the fact that you can chuck anything in the pan and it’s a fab way of using up vegetables.

I did a simple recipe of beef, ginger, red onion, soy sauce (gluten free obvs) and chilli.

It was really really good and reminded me of the old days when I could devour egg noodles. I would definitely recommend Oomi noodles, I found mine in the vegetable/stir fry section in Tesco so go check them out. I am looking forward to trying new recipes using the noodles!

Claire xx

Time for cake and chatter at Manna Dew

This blog post is way way overdue. One Saturday earlier this year I met my best friend for cake and gossip – what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon? Best friends since we were 11 years of age we can easily lose hours chattering away. I had been keen to try a cafe/bakery/patisserie I had heard about called Manna Dew in Battersea and as I had since moved to the area it seemed an ideal opportunity. I met my friend at Clapham Junction station and we walked the short journey to the cafe.

I should point out that Manna Dew is entirely gluten free so a complete heaven for me, they sell all sorts of products including freshly baked bread and delectable looking cakes. It didn’t take me long at all to figure out what I was going to devour – cheesecake! I love cheesecake, hands down it has to be one of my favourite deserts. Despite it being a very easy pudding to make gluten free you don’t often see it in eateries hence it was no brainer for me to opt for this sweet treat.

It was gorgeous and it was such a treat to know I could eat anything in the cafe. It is quite a small space with limited seating but we managed to grab a spot by the window so we could see the world go by outside.

Manna Dew are London’s first gluten free patisserie, they are open seven days a week and also do a cake delivery service Monday to Saturday. They are are active on social media (the instragram pics make me drool!) so go and saturate them with some love and pay them visit if you are in the neighbourhood.

Happy cake eating!

Claire xx

Cheesy Happiness

This is a short and sweet post. I love cheese pretty much any way it is served to me. I got a little excited in Tesco recently when I stumbled upon these in the freezer section.

 

I probably got way more excited than was necessary but who cares – it’s gluten free mozzarella sticks! Woop woop! They went straight in the basket with no messing and we had them with our pizza that evening.

 

Saturday night – cheesy sticks of happiness dunked in ketchup following by pizza and washed down with a gluten free beer equals one very happy Clairey. Massive thanks to Tesco for producing these although I can’t seem to find them ever in stock at my local branch in New Malden (these were purchased in Truro)…

As soon as I lay my hands on them in my local Tesco I plan to fill the freezer!

Claire xx

Celebrating pie week!

It is rather apt that I am publishing this blog post today as today marks the end of British Pie Week. Pie and mash has become a British staple, generally smothered in lashings of gravy with some vegetables on the side if we are feeling particularly ambitious! Pie was one thing that was omitted from my diet when gluten became my enemy. You could, of course, make your own pie but making your own pastry was always a bit of a faff (and I have a tendency to be lazy!) and it was a while after my diagnosis that decent ready made pastry hit the shelves. As the gluten free market has grown companies are always upping their game and g/f products hitting the shelves are, in a word, brilliant.

I heard about Pieminister pies via my Twitter feed and was keen to get my hands on one. I discovered they are not the easiest pie to find, they are available in Waitrose although only selected ones – I hope this changes. I called the guys at Pieminister to see if they could advise me which Waitrose near me stocked them, they were incredibly helpful and pointed me in the right direction. As luck would have it the evening I popped in they were reduced – woohoo!

 

 

 I had my pie with proper mash and broccoli and devoured the plate within seconds. This is hands down the best gluten free pie I have eaten. The pastry was thick, tasty and moorish and the pie was packed full of meat with spot on seasoning. Along with the potatoes and vegetables it was a proper hearty meal and one that I am keen to eat again soon.

For non meat eaters Pieminister also make a Heidi pie filled with goat’s cheese, red onion, spinach and sweet potato.

If I could fill my freezer with these little beauties I would 🙂

Claire xx

Love for Livia!

I have been wanting to get my mitts on Livia’s Kitchen millionaire raw bites since I heard about them and a couple of weeks ago I succeeded following a trip to Planet Organic (great for gluten free if you hadn’t already heard about them). They are a bit pricey but Planet Organic were offering 20% off – yay!

I tried hard not to eat the whole tub in one setting they were so good! There are very few ingredients and all of them are recognisable which is always a fab sign of a decent product. The main ingredient are dates so I would like think that I am also getting one of my five a day! 🙂 I managed to make the tub last almost a week, which is I feel is some sort of miracle. The bites are also in grab and go bars – I definitely need to get some for my cupboard.
Livia’s Kitchen conjures up sweet treats with a nutritional twist which is great for the guilt factor.  Her website will show you all of the products she makes as well as upcoming goodies and recipes. She has also just started doing afternoon teas! Go pay her site a visit and show Livia some love.
Claire xx

Mooching around Borough Market

I have lived in London for over twenty years and haven’t explored nearly enough of the city. This year I am making it my mission to see a little more and hopefully discover some gluten free finds on the way. Borough Market was on my tick list so last Friday I decided to check it out and grab some lunch whilst there. We got the train to Waterloo and walked to the market along the river stopping at the Tate Modern en route.

Borough Market is an easy walk from Waterloo and it’s nice to be near the river. The market was probably a little bigger than I expected and was bustling. There was so much to see, buy, and eat! I had already had a google ahead of my visit to ensure there would be gluten free offerings and I was not at all surprised to learn that I should be absolutely fine.

We started off with Swiss raclette at Kappacasein – lashings of melted cheese on baby potatoes with baby gherkins on the side. There is nothing better than the taste of melted cheese and this stuff was soooo good. It definitely filled a hole and was a cheap bite to eat if you are looking to save pennies too.

After a while I was craving something sweet so I tracked down the Freefrom Bakehouse and got myself a velvet cupcake – got to love me some frosting!

There is so much more to see at the market than we covered so I definitely have an excuse to go back! If you a cheese lover than you definitely have to pay the market a visit. Their website is really thorough and lists all the traders too.

Here’s to finding more gluten free foodie discoveries in London!

Claire xx

Pizza Lunch Date at Stable

So, its been a while since I’ve done a pizza post so thought it was about time I got back on the gooey cheesy train I love so much.

I was in Cornwall last weekend and a pizza lunch date was in order so I was whisked off to Stable in Falmouth. Feeling slightly hungover on a cold grey day happiness beckoned in the form of cheese topped goodness. I have to be honest Stable is a new find for me, a quick Google tells me they first opened in Dorset in 2007 and have been growing ever since. I noticed one has popped up in Cardiff when I was home over Christmas so am planning to take my Mum next time I am in town.

I loved the interior of Stable, warm with lots of wood and the comforting smell of pizza – it doesn’t take much to make me happy. The selection of pizzas on offer was a little different to other establishments (in a good way) so it took me a while to decide what to plump for. I eventually decided to opt for the Blazing Saddle which included pulled beef, caramelised onions and jalapeños. It. Was. Good

I took a look at the other Stable menus and I like that they tailor them to the location – you can get a Cymru Clucker in Wales and a Clifton Suspender in Bristol. I like little touches.
Check their website for all their locations, hopefully there will be one local to you.
Claire xx
P.S the pizza cured my hangover 🙂