Category Archives: Gluten Free Doughs

[REVIEW] Pizza Express Gluten Free Pizzas

If someone had told me when I was first diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2007 that I’d be able to get gluten free pizza from many established restaurants I’d have told them to get on their bike!

But now, we can literally order gluten free pizzas pretty much anywhere now and one of those places is the amazing Pizza Express!

PIZZA EXPRESS LOGO Before my diagnosis, I loved going to Pizza Express! I loved their thin, crispy pizza bases and their unique pizza toppings which is no surprise that I was a little deflated when I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, knowing that I would no longer be able to enjoy their pizzas.

However all this changed when Pizza Express made it available for us Coeliacs and Gluten/Wheat Intolerants to enjoy their pizza again – by bringing out their own gluten free pizza bases! Now I go as much as I can!

My favourite pizza base is their gluten free Romana pizza base – a thinner, crisper base inspired from Rome –  with the Padana toppings (goats cheese, mozzarella, tomatoes, caramelised onion, red onion, spinach and garlic oil) Trust me, it’s absolutely delicious and because of the spinach and goats cheese, it seems somewhat healthier then your usual pizza topping! Alternatively, if the Romana Pizza Base isn’t your thing, their Classic and Piccolo pizza bases can be made gluten free too!

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The pizza arrives uncut – giving you the confidence knowing that your pizza hasn’t been cut with the same pizza cutter used to cut a wheat/gluten base.

If you don’t fancy trying their Pizzas and want to try something different, Pizza Express also offer gluten free pasta dishes!

My only complaint (and this is such a minor complaint) is that I wish Pizza Express had a wider selection of starters. Usually I opt for their Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad (which I may add – is amazing!) but sometimes I want their famous Pizza Express Dough Balls! However, you never know! Maybe one day Pizza Express will surprise us!

But if Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad isn’t quite your thing, they are also offering other gluten free starters such as their Melanzanine – layered marinated Italian aubergine, passata, mozzarella, basil and Gran Milano cheese – Or their Risotto Fresco

ALSO – For Coeliac Awareness Week 2015 (May 11th – 17th) Pizza Express are offering 2 Gluten Free courses for £11.95. Simply download this [VOUCHER]  (courtesy of Coeliac UK ) and with your Coeliac Membership, present it to your waiter before booking. (Terms and Conditions apply)

 

 

 

A Gluten Free Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!

 

I wasn’t going to do a valentines inspired blog post [and to be fair I’ve left it a little too late] but since food is the key to everyone’s heart… or is it a man’s heart?… either way, it’s a good excuse to post a wee little val’ day inspired blog post for y’all!

Now, since we’re all pretty much feeling the pinch and money is sparse, many of us will be wining and dining in tonight! Which is a wise move since all restaurants are over booked, over filled and over priced!

So whether you’re cooking for someone for the first time or cooking for your loved one, Auntie Saara is here to help you with your gluten free valentines night!

Ambience: 

 

 

Before we even think about cooking ladies and G’s, we gotta think about the ambience, which is just a posh way of saying ‘atmosphere of a place’. I’m not talking about leaving rose petals on every nook and cranny of your house or lighting candles left, right and centre [which could potentially burn your house down!]. Oh and god forbid red lighting, you don’t want your pad looking like a pimp palace. If you’re lucky enough to use a dimmer, that’ll do or even some fairy/Christmas lights tacked to the wall. Also make sure you clean and tidy your rooms, there’s nothing worse trying to get all romantic when there’s dirty dishes, dirty laundary and general rubbish strewn around the house! 

Music and Films:

 

 

OK, before you rush off to buy some Marvin Gaye or Barry White music, remember that these music legends are a just little too cliché! I mean, you don’t even need any music playing, but if you do decide you want some sweet tunes in the background, try and steer clear of tracks such as Drowning Pool – ‘Let the Bodies Hit the Floor’ or Kelis – ‘Caught Out There’, no matter how much of a tune they are!

Films are also an important feature for a good valentines night, but is also the most important as it has the potential to ruin your valentines night! Imagine, settling down with your date and they pop the film, Knocked Up, into the DVD player. You also don’t want to be forcing your other half to watch soppy, romantic films like P.s I Love You [which is enough to make anyone poke their eyes out!].

Food:

Now for the important part – the food. This could make or break your relationship! Imagine cooking your gluten free lover something and either giving them food poisoning or worse, accidently glutening them! So here is a wee little list of gluten free food that you can whip up to impress your other half. And nothing cries ‘Love’ more than Italian food, since it’s the love and food capital of the world! [… or have I just made that up!]

Starters:

 

How about many some gluten free dough balls and dough sticks with a selection of dips! There’s nothing more romantic than a couple of balls [if you pardon the expression]. Sharing some nibbles is a pretty romantic and I doubt I’m the only coeliac who misses dough balls!

But if time is of the essence, why not try Dietary Specials Tear and Share Garlic Bread!

Or if gluten free garlic bread and dough balls aren’t your thing! Why not try making your own gluten free tomato brushetta!

Mains:

 

You could impress your date with making your own gluten free pizza or go one step further and make a gluten free stuffed crust one instead using my easy gluten free pizza dough recipe!

Or why not try and make your own gluten free pasta from scratch and relive that Lady and The Tramp moment. But before you protest about not having a pasta machine, I made mine without one. Although it took a lot of rolling it did however, tone up my arms! 

But if you don’t fancy making your own pizza but do still want some, then why not try Dietary Specials Bontà d’Italia Margherita Pizza! It’s one of the nicest pre made gluten free frozen pizza I’ve ever had! What’s more, it tastes just like normal pizza so you share it with those who don’t have to eat gluten free! [For a more in-depth review, click here]

 

Dessert: 

This is probably the most enjoyable part of any three course meal! And nothing says ‘I love you’ than a box of home made gluten free ferrero rocher!

or why not try making your own gluten free Chinese fortune cookies and popping your own fortune inside! 

But if you’re wanting something super quick but deliciously chocolatey, why not try my 5 minute microwave gluten free chocolate cake! Doesn’t sound that appitzing, but for a quick gluten free chocolate cake, it does taste pretty yummy!

 

 

 

 

The Fabulous Baker Brothers Sticky Doughnut Sticks [Gluten Free!]

I don’t think I’m the only person in the UK who’s hooked on The Fabulous Baker Brothers! So if you haven’t been living under a rock these past few weeks, then you’ll know these two brothers, Henry and Tom Herbert [one’s a butcher, the other’s a baker] are on a food mission to show others that baking’s not just for us girls! Although, that doesn’t mean the girls should turn over the channel as they’ll definitely win us over too!

Try not to confuse the duo with the 1989 film, The Fabulous Baker Boys with Michelle Pfeiffer, as these two don’t play schmaltzy jazz style music in small clubs. These fabulous baker brothers talents lie not in music making, but in baking and cooking as they show us foodies how easy it is to cook and that you don’t need to make endless amounts of cupcakes to prove to others that you can bake!

They obviously know their stuff when it comes to cooking as they have four generations of family foodie knowledge and know-how behind them! Which is pretty impressive to say the least but also gives you the confidence that what they’re showing and telling you will turn out just perfect!

So to show some love to The Fabulous Baker Brothers, I thought I would make one of their recipes. Now considering I’m supposed to be on a strict healthy diet [FYI: I’m on my 3rd day and I’m already struggling] I thought it’d be the perfect time to make their Sticky Sticks with Chocolate Sauce  and change the recipe ever so slightly so it’s suitable for us coeliacs!

“So why on earth did you pick these sticky sticks?” I hear you ask. Well, the reason was… the melted chocolate and the fact that I haven’t had a doughnut or anything similar to a doughnut for years! Plus, the recipe looked so easy and quick that I knew I’d have whipped this up in a matter of minutes! What’s more, these sticky sticks are suitable for people with an egg intolerence as well as a dairy intolerence

Ingredients:

 

  1. 400g Water
  2. 2 tablespoons of Oil
  3. 130g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour [I used Dove’s]
  4. 130g Gluten Free Plain Flour
  5. Pinch of Salt
  6. 30g Granulated Sugar [I used a little more as I have a sweet tooth!]
  7. Vegetable Oil [for deep fat frying]
  8. Caster Sugar [to coat the sticky sticks]

Method:

 

  1. In a pan, add the 2 tablespoons of oil to the water and bring to a boil 
  2. In a bowl, mix together the plain flour, the self raising flour, salt and granulated sugar 
  3. Gradually add the water and oil mixture to the bowl and mix together with a fork [try not to over work it and the dough may feel a little sticky] 
  4. Carefully roll out the sticky sticks dough into longish sticks 
  5. Heat the vegetable oil to 170°C in a fryer or heavy-based saucepan and carefully add a few of the sticky sticks and cook for 3- 5 minutes until golden and crispy on the outside 
  6. Once cooked, drain on some kitchen paper and when cool, sprinkle some caster sugar on a plate or clean surface and roll the cooked stick to coat 
 [If you’re a fan of The Fabulous Baker Brothers then you’ll be pleased to know they have a cookbook out available from here]
You can now add this recipe to the new Channel 4 Scrapbook – a virtual curation tool that lets you save recipes, features and other items from the Channel 4 websites and across the web, into your own useful ‘scrapbook’.