Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gluten Free Expo 2009

Wow, this was such an awesome event! I'm so glad my hubby and I got there early, as by the time we ran out of money and wanted to pop out and back in again to the ATM, there was at least an hour long queue to get in.

I left feeling stuffed full of yummy food - lots I'd seen before, much I hadn't. Pies, cakes, breads, cereals, sauces - all the things we have to look carefully for were there.

My product picks of the day were from healthy feast ( Check out their range of products - the pies are seriously yummy, I cannot recommend them enough. But they also had some yummy white rolls, quiches, the most amazing array of cakes, tarts etc I'd ever seen. To my absolute delight, I found out they are at our local farmers market (Frenchs Forest) every Sunday so I'll be up there tomorrow clearing them out of awesome products!

I found a bread company I hadn't come accross before ( I tried their mixed grain and turkish bread and both seemed really lovely, so I'll definitely be ordering stuff from them.

The biggest message I got from the day was that if you cannot find some of these amazing products in your nearby supermarkets or delis or cafes, as the cafe owners. Everyone I asked said they could get products to me, but also could I recommend anyone they could approach. It's worth remembering, the power is with us to try to help these amazing providers get us there beautiful products.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Top ten tips for being gluten free

Check this out! My husband wrote this last night and posted it on which by the way, is an excellent website.

It's an awesome post that I wanted to share with you all, from the husband of a Coeliac, not an actual Coeliac. He talks a lot of sense, and has some great tips:

Great to see some solid advice for those who are new to the world of Gluten Free or have been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. My wife is Coeliac and we both like to cook. It didnt take long to realise how little this needs to restrict you and in fact has helped us become more creative in the kitchen. Here are the top tips we have found

1. Join the Coeliac Society they can give you all the facts and assistance you need to get started. They also supply a great ingredient reference book.

2. Read up on what Gluten Free actually means and get smart on what ingredients and products need to be avoided. You dont need to hang around health food stores or the health food section of the supermarket. You can find gluten free products in the normal aisles if you take a look at the label and they are usually cheaper and better tasting.

3. Feel lucky you are in Australia - it has the best labeling policy in the world. If a product contains gluten it has to state that it contains it. So if it is an Australian labelled product and it doesnt mention gluten/wheat/barley/oats/grains etc then its gluten free! It doesnt have to say gluten free. Again the more reading up you do then you will understand this.

4. Gluten Free is a rapidly changing and improving market. Keep checking all types of stores for new products and try everything. We recently found some amazing GF products in a local IGA which was surprising.

5. Pasta - this can be a tricky one to replace but new brands are coming out all the time. One of the best is the cheapest - San Remo. Again just keep trying the different brands and eventually you will find something close to the real thing.

6. Bread - this is the tough one. There are many types of so called "Gluten Free Bread" which are barely edible and look more like cake with a funny chemical smell. Pick up a loaf and smell it. If it smells bad then you can guarantee it tastes similar. Dont give up hope there are some good brands out there and new ones are arriving all the time. Try Naturally Gluten Free and Choices Gluten Free

7. Someone has already made this point but it's a good one - just make naturally GF food then you are not substituting anything

8. Flour/baking - yes you can mix different flours but for me White Wings GF plain and self raising flour is fantastic so we just bake and add it to recipes as normal.

9. Keep looking online there are plenty of great websites and blogs around.

10. Enjoy it - GF cooking means using fresh quality ingredients which tastes so much better than the processed packged or take away rubbish and if you crave a pizza and a beer then try and buy some O'Brien's Lager from Dan Murphys Good luck! Jon

Not bad from a Northern Irish boy who was brought up on gluten!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pea and Ham Soup even my toddler loves

Even my toddler can't get enough of this one! So easy, so cheap and so healthy.
500g of split peas (green or yellow, or a mixture)
1 brown onion, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1kg ham hock
1 bay leaf
Enough water to fill a big stock pot

Rinse split peas unil water runs clear. Fill up big stock pot with cold tap water. Add peas, chopped onion, celery, carrot and the bay leaf, and then pop the ham hock in.

Bring to boil, then simmer gently for approx. 2 hours. Take out ham hock, and remove all the nice pieces of meat. Throw away bones, add meat back to soup, and it's done!

I serve it with gluten free toast, and gruyere cheese melted on top.

This will last in the fridge for a week. It goes really thick in the fridge, but thins out once you heat it up again.