Gluten-Free Cooking - a thread for coeliacs and gluten-intolerants. Come and share your tips please!

(81 Posts)
redridingwolf Thu 02-Feb-12 11:40:57

On another thread, people started sharing gluten-free cooking tips, so this is now a home for all gluten-free tips.

My 4yo DS1 has just been diagnosed coeliac, so I am about to get to grips with all this and will be very grateful for all tips smile

redridingwolf Thu 02-Feb-12 11:50:21

On the previous thread

Morebeta recommended making GF fish fingers by coating fresh fish in GF flour, then egg and then polenta, then 'drying' in the fridge on kitchen paper before deep frying them.

A suggestion for alternatives to deep-frying from brandysoakedbitch - just shallow fry them to make them brown and then chuck them into the oven - also for chicken some paprika and garlic granules in the breadcrumbs makes them sort of southern fried ish!

I am going to try this. Hoping for more suggestions!

medjool Thu 02-Feb-12 12:13:09

First of all, everything is possible. Here are some of my tips for baking/cooking:-

Gingerbread men work really well with gluten free flour - no need to change the recipe at all, just substitute flour for Doves Farm gf flour.

Basic cake recipes also work well with Doves gf SR flour. Add 1tsp xanthan gum to a recipe volume 8oz flour/8oz sugar/8oz butter/4 eggs and also add 1tbsp water for every oz of flour.

Use quinoa instead of couscous and bulghur (bulghur pilaf in Ottolenghi Plenty is great with quinoa). Also try buckwheat.

Many more suggestions but can't think right now - I'll be back!

redridingwolf Thu 02-Feb-12 12:20:22

oh that's great medjool - esp the gingerbread men one! My 4yo loves them so glad the recipe will work the same way with gf

medjool Thu 02-Feb-12 12:29:54

Some Tesco stores have started to stock produce for the Jewish festival of Passover (Easter time). A lot of the produce is gluten free, although you have to check the labels. Whether your local store will have anything depends on whether you live near a Jewish community.

MoreBeta Thu 02-Feb-12 12:31:30

For those like me on a GF diet and miss sweets and puddings I strongly recommend this generic sweet pastry recipe for making all sorts of sweet tarts. It is similar in taste and mouth feel to the thin crisp pate sablee that is used in sweet tarts in French patisserie shops. I developed the recipe without using Xanthan Gum as that can leave a bitter taste and some say is not good for your health.

I use a 25 cm loose bottomed flan tin (Lakeland) with the following mix.

100g of Doves Farm plain flour (without Xanthan Gum)
100g of Birds custard powder
100g of ground almonds
35g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
100g Pure Margarine (dairy free)
1 satchet of Dr Oetker dried egg whites (equivalent to 2 egg whites in place of Xanthan Gum).

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until made into a stiff paste. If too sticky add a little more flour if too dry add a few teaspoons of water. Once made, refrigerate for 1 hour (or more) in a plastic bag or clingfilm to make it semi hard. Then grease the flan tin with a little more Pure margarine and press the sweet paste into tin. It cannot be rolled like a pastry but can be moulded into a thin layer directly in the tin with your fingers and a knife like modelling clay. The colder the paste is the easier it is to work.

Then prick base with a fork all over and cook blind as per a normal tart at Gas 6 (200C or 400F) for 15 mins with a piece of grease proof paper weighed down with 1p coins. Take out paper and for further 5 mins continue cooking to dry base. The flan case should be dry and hard and only very slightly browned on the edges once done.

Once cooled the flan case can be frozen for later use or filled straight away with any choice of filling you like as per a normal tart recipe. The paste can also be frozen uncooked so I make big batches and bag it up in individual weighed portions enough to make 1 tart at a time.

Makes a nice Bakewell tart if filled with jam and frangipane and further cooked. Alternatively, filled with lactofree creme patissiere and fruit if you want something cold for summer.

PinkSpottyBag Thu 02-Feb-12 12:35:44

Hurrah for this thread....

Ok here are my suggestions, not high-brow offerings but child friendly meals from a busy mother with loads of children, dogs, chickens etc etc:

Mrs Crimbles savoury crackers, into Magimix until crumbs, chicken breasts cut into strips, dippped in egg or milk and then into the crumbs shallow fry in olive oil and serve with mashed potato and green beans, peas etc

G/F frozen sausages from Sainsburys, chop and fry an onion into ovenproof dish add the following all roughly cut, sweet potatoes, potatoes with skins on, carrots or any hard veg, throw sausages in and g/f stcok or gravy cook in oven for an hour or so or go to swimming lessons and come back and it's ready.

Beef or chicken cut into strips into a bowl with honey, marmalade and tiger tiger tomato ketchup leave for a couple of hours. chop up or trim green beans, carrots, baby sweetcorns etc etc so the are in thin strips, into a hot wok with a dribble of oil put the meat and sauce mixture and cook, add veg and add rice noodles (Sainsburys) for the last 3 or 4 minutes

will think of more, have loads of cake/sweet things blush

DottyDot Thu 02-Feb-12 12:37:38

Hi there - I'm good with making gf cakes, scones and biscuits - was diagnosed as Coeliac about 5 years ago so am in the swing of it now - my lemon drizzle cake is scrumptious! I use Doves Farm self raising flour and put a bit of Xanthan gum in or g-f baking powder. Usually find gf cake stuff needs a bit more liquid than 'normal' baking, so I add in milk. The lemon drizzle cake works so well I think because you add lemon juice through the cake, so it's lovely and moist.

But - what about things like croissants and bagels - which I still pine for and can never find in shops. Well, I think I did buy a packet of gf croissants once but they were not good at all...

Any top tips on how to make fancy stuff?! grin

redridingwolf Thu 02-Feb-12 13:37:13

brilliant stuff, keep it coming! DottyDot - yes, would love to hear a croissant/bagel idea - DS loves those and will be sad not to have them any more.

MoreBeta - I know I already asked you about your breadmaker, can you spill the beans about your foodprocessor now? I think I need to buy one. PinkSpotty - would you recommend the Magimix?

MoreBeta Thu 02-Feb-12 14:19:30

redriding - I have an ancient Magimix food processor and a hand blender. I dont have a food mixer because I find I dont need one.

redridingwolf Thu 02-Feb-12 14:21:07

I am probably rather stupid, but I don't know the difference between a foodprocessor and a food mixer!

MoreBeta Thu 02-Feb-12 14:22:34

I would really love a croissant, bagel recipe too. Its another major thing I really miss but I suspect with GF flour it is just not possible to make the really thin buttery pastry flakes like in a croissant. Its all about chemistry in the end.

MoreBeta Thu 02-Feb-12 14:26:02

Here is a Magimix food processor for chopping and liquidising and grating and grinding.

Here is a Kenwood mixer mainly for making cake batter and dough.

You can get food processor attachments for food mixers though that also chop and liquidise things.

redridingwolf Thu 02-Feb-12 14:40:48

okay, that makes sense. now for another really basic <stupid> question.

when chopping veg in a food processor - do you peel and roughly chop and then throw it in the food processor? or throw veg in whole (obv. peeled)

how much time does it actually save? I had a rubbishy old blender years ago and it seemed to take longer to do anything in it than to do it by hand!

MoreBeta Thu 02-Feb-12 15:21:39

Chop into chunks and then throw in one piece at a time via the feed hopper.

Throw a whole carrot in and it will vibrate like mad and probably damage the motor if done often enough.

Magimix have various blades and graters you can buy so it depends what you are doing as to how long it takes. I can do it properly with a knife but even in the Michelin star kitchens they use processors to chop, slice and grate bulk veg as it is so much quicker.

redridingwolf Thu 02-Feb-12 16:27:04

Mmm. I am coveting that Artisan one. Just need it to drop drastically in price smile

Right. My current project is to work out a weekly gluten-free menu for DS (who is a very picky eater) that he will eat and is also reasonably balanced. I think I am going to work out two menus - the one I would like him to eat, and the one he will actually eat - and make it a gradual progression to go from one to the other.

I think I will post back to ask for help with some items

linzmac7 Fri 03-Feb-12 09:26:01

This is meant to be a good croissant recipe:
theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com/2011/11/pjf-crescent-rolls.html

HTH!

MoreBeta Fri 03-Feb-12 09:39:30

Thank you. I'm going to give that croissant recipe a go to see if the taste is good. I supect it is a good taste although looking at the end result on the website you can get the buttery layers and the refrigeration helps but it just doesn't look very 'croissanty'.

DottyDot Fri 03-Feb-12 09:52:02

ooh - thanks for that - will have to give it a go! grin

Redridingwolf - good luck with the project - sounds like a really good plan. My favourite meals are those which are naturally gluten free anyway - things like:

Chilli + rice - the boys also love this (they're not coeliac - just me!)

Chicken kebabs which your ds might like? Chunks of chicken + any veg chopped up on kebab sticks, marinated if you've got time in a mix of Tamari sauce (just like soy sauce only gluten-free - you can get it from big supermarkets), honey/sugar, balsamic vinegar.

Stir fry pork/chicken - with rice noodles - chunks of chicken fried in a wok with veggies

Gluten free spaghetti/pasta is OK when it's first cooked so a good old spag bol is good - but I find gf pasta isn't great cold - best avoided!

Cottage pie/shepherd's pie solves that problem as it's mash on top instead.

some gf pizzas are OK and certainly if ds's were coeliac they would want gf pizza once a week grin

When we're having Mexican for tea, I have the taco shells as they're gf - made using corn - so means I can join in while the rest of them are having wraps.

eggs come in very handy for lunch - poached/boiled etc. with bacon - lovely!

I tend to avoid gf bread completely as it's usually disappointing - Genius is about the best you can get but I've just stopped eating any bread now. Corn cakes are good if I want something like that though - with anything spread on it.

Oven chips are mainly OK - the 'ordinary' ones - some of the french fries type chips aren't gluten-free so check carefully. But last night we had steak and oven chips which was lovely grin

Hope this helps - will keep thinking of gf meals which might be tempting smile

MoreBeta Fri 03-Feb-12 10:02:37

Yes be really really careful with oven chips. In the early days I used to eat them and didn't make me feel well and I was stunned to discover that even the best brands are covered in wheat flour to make them brown and crispy!

PostBellumBugsy Fri 03-Feb-12 10:07:52

Have a look at this fabulous website: www.elanaspantry.com
I'm not a coeliac, but I have IBS & wheat is the primary trigger. I have made so many recipies from this site & they are delicious and usually fairly easy too.

redridingwolf Fri 03-Feb-12 10:48:38

Brilliant, I will look at all these links and suggestions.

It really is a project I have to come at from two angles: what is a good coeliac diet, and what I can get DS to eat.

If I was the coeliac, I can easily see how I could eat very well, with a variety of different foods, once I'd worked it all out. But DS is a very fussy eater. He currently won't eat meat, rice, fish, fruit, most vegetables, anything in a sauce, anything where different foods touch each other (!) any nuts, any pulses. At the moment we are very dependent on bread/bakery products, pasta and potato (the last one is good, I know!)

I am hoping that as his gut heals he will become more open to different foods. We aren't gluten-free yet (waiting for endoscopy) but I am preparing for it by working on him to try new things. Last night he ate some (a miniscule fragment) of chicken which was a breakthrough. We have also (by having a chocolate-button reward system) got him to eat two florets of broccoli and 3 raw carrot sticks with every evening meal.

Taco shells are an interesting idea Dotty. Am going to work on him with regard to rice too.

I'm also going to work on getting him to eat homemade 'chips' (baked potato wedges). He is very resistant to them at the moment because they don't 'look right' but it would be a good move.

Corncakes might be a good option too - to replace Nairn's oat cakes which he really likes at the moment (spread with butter & cheese).

I'd like to get him on to eggs too. Currently I sneak an egg into the cheese sauce for macaroni cheese (the one sauce he will eat!). He has an egg-cup he loves, but will only use it to hold Philadelphia (which he dips breadsticks into).

DottyDot Fri 03-Feb-12 12:26:01

sounds like my ds1 - I would definitely struggle getting him to be gluten-free...

Does your ds eat burgers - I know it's meat but I tend to find burgers are the exception with ds1... hmm. You can make nice g-f ones at home and most of the 100% meat ones are OK but just check the packets - the cheaper ones tend to have breadcrumbs as filler.

ds1's 10 and still struggles with some meat and with sauces in particular. He'll tolerate peas and broccoli but nothing else veg-wise. Fruit isn't too bad but it's taken years!

hot dog sausages might be another good one - they tend to be g-f and you could get some g-f rolls to go with?

MoreBeta Fri 03-Feb-12 12:42:11

If you are strugling with vegetables can I suggest you make really good stock from vegetables and use it in things like spag bol. Stock cubes and sauces often contain gluten but all the goodness of veg (except the roughage) can be extracted into a good stock.

Gentle pressure cooking diced veg (carrot, onion, leek, a few herbs) for an hour and then straining of the remaining liquid is the easiest and quickest way. Add salt to the dish at the end not in the stock.

redridingwolf Fri 03-Feb-12 15:46:35

That's a really good idea, morebeta. He won't eat anything with a sauce (other than macaroni cheese) at the moment, but I could put a bit of veg stock in the cheese sauce (obv with gf-free flour, or similar).

I imagine I could freeze the stock in ice cubes or similar, and just drop an ice cube in when making sauce.

He won't eat burgers, dotty, but he did take a tiny nibble of a sausage yesterday, apparently, while having his first lunch at pre-school. I'm going to talk to the school on Monday about whether they can provide gf lunches. I am really hoping they can, because it looks like eating lunch with the other kids will be a way to expand his repertoire - he tried several things there (including eating a sponge pudding) that he would throw an absolute fit at if I tried to get him to eat at home.

redridingwolf Fri 03-Feb-12 15:47:18

Apparently I humiliated my mother when I was at primary school - by going and asking the dinner lady for the recipe for what we'd just had 'so my mum can learn to cook it at home.'

I can see that DS is going to do something similar to me ;)

MoreBeta Fri 03-Feb-12 15:52:06

redriding - yes if you really concentrate the filtered stock right down by boiling most of the water off (hence very important not to add salt) and then freeze as ice cubes is a very good idea.

Someone kindly pmd me and said Nairns do do a gluten free oatcake, so that is probably worth looking for? And you can buy gf oats to make flapjack.

higamoushogamous Fri 03-Feb-12 16:03:58

I'd love a really good pastry recipe for DH. We do try, but although he is appreciative of the efforts DS 1&2 and I have made to formulate something that isn't rock hard it is always hard and unpleasant.

MoreBeta Fri 03-Feb-12 16:05:13

higamous - what type of pastry. Something for the top of a pie like a shortcrust?

redridingwolf Fri 03-Feb-12 16:06:22

A gluten-free Nairn's oatcake, you say, higamous? i shall rush out and buy lots! Hurrah smile

higamoushogamous Fri 03-Feb-12 16:34:54

I didn't mention the gf oatcake, but we did have some at Christmas and DH said they were yummy. Yes, RRW, ordinary shortcrust for a quiche would be lovely.

MoreBeta Fri 03-Feb-12 16:52:36

higamous - I experimented for a while before coming up with this shortcrust pastry for a quiche and it worked really well. It is a derivative of the sweet shortcrust recipe I put at the top of the thread. Again, it will not roll out like a normal pastry but you can mould it quite thin into the tin with fingers if chilled first.

A 25 cm quiche/flan tin greased (grease with Pure margarine if DH is lactose intolerant as well.)

150g of Doves Farm plain flour (without Xanthan Gum)
100g of cornflour
100g of cheddar cheese
1 tsp of mustard powder (optional)
2 medium eggs
50g Pure Margarine (dairy free)
1 satchet of Dr Oetker dried egg whites (equivalent to 2 egg whites in place of Xanthan Gum).

Cook blind on Gas 6 as per the tart recipe at top of thread. Fill as per a normal quiche being careful to use lactofree milk in any filling if DH is lactose intolerant and of course avoiding any ingredients with gluten.

By missing out the Xanthan Gum I find I was able to make a pastry that was less like rock and the addition of cheese also made it a softer mouth feel as well as quite a savoury taste with the mustard powder too. If you find the recipe a bit oily then use a harder cheese or less margarine. Cheddar cheese (or any hard cheese) has virtually no lactose in.

FSB Fri 03-Feb-12 17:01:28

a good food processor is essential. DH bought me a all-singing-all-dancing one for Christmas (much shock from feminist friends, but i really wanted one and it's an essential piece of kit when you have to make so much more stuff from stratch!)

we tend to do several varieties of vegetable fritters/savoury pancakes for DD (2.5yr) - sweetcorn and feta/ courgette and cheddar etc with GF batter mix. also, homemade chicken nuggets and fish fingers using GF cornflakes crushed up for coating (all GF fish fingers i've found in supermarkets have been nasty!).

DD loves 'kid-friendly risotto' (long grain rice cooked in GF stock with teeny pieces of veggies/chicken etc in)... some of these recipes and suggestions sound yummy though, so i'm definitely going to expand her repetoire!

smile

notapizzaeater Fri 03-Feb-12 22:08:49

Ross do GF burgers.

We have just found a new company wheatfreebakerydirect.com/ amd they do bagels, rolls, belgian buns and as of next week iced fingers and pastry.

My DS is 2 years diagonosed and these are the first "bought" gf bread sort of stuff he will eat ...

notapizzaeater Fri 03-Feb-12 22:11:51

Yorkshire puddings : 90g cornflour, 4 eggs, milk (as normal to double cream consistancy) cook as normal - no-one would be able to tell they are GF and I'm from Yorkshire !

higamoushogamous Sat 04-Feb-12 09:59:53

MoreBeta - Thanks - I will be trying it out next weekend.

katz Sat 04-Feb-12 10:08:02

Couldn't see tht anyone had posted this recipe for a gluten free lemon cake made with mash rathe than gluten free flour. I've made it for my mum and it's delicious. Takes longer to cook than the recipe says though.
www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5870/glutenfree-lemon-drizzle-cake

redridingwolf Sun 05-Feb-12 06:54:30

great stuff here. does anyone have any suggestions for breakfast 'treats' for a child (until now we have occasionally had croissants/petit pain au chocolat at birthdays & Christmas) - anything fun and easy?

redridingwolf Sun 05-Feb-12 06:57:03

will try that cake, katz - looks like a great way to use up leftover mash

FSB - what brand food processor did you get? i may need an unfeminist present also smile

CheerfulYank Sun 05-Feb-12 07:02:28

I don't know if you can get it there, but Betty Crocker and Bisquick both do gluten free mixes, which has made my life exponentially easier! smile I also love Pamela's, I can make muffins or scones or whatever without having to mess around measuring different flours.

katz Sun 05-Feb-12 09:37:42

red - i also made it using soya marg as my mum has diary and wheat free food.

GeorgeEliot Sun 05-Feb-12 12:30:16

Need some advice please about baking a gluten-free rich chocolate cake. Recipe I am using says use 50g flour and 50g ground almonds - if I just use 100g ground almonds will it come out OK?

Or, I have some polenta and also some semolina - could I substitute one of those for the flour?

Thanks.

medjool Sun 05-Feb-12 13:13:03

GeorgeEliot - semolina is not gf.

I'd recomend you use cornflour if you don't have Doves gf flour.

FSB Sun 05-Feb-12 14:19:14

Hi red riding, it's a magimix cuisine 4-200 and it comes with 3sizes of blender bowl and a whole box of attachments that do all sorts of fun things! (probably getting too excited about it but I've never has one any my mum's was a 40 year old war horse!)

Re breakfast treats; little sweet scotch pancakes with jam always go down well in our house... Just sub normal flour for gf flour

MoreBeta Sun 05-Feb-12 14:34:24

I use a 50:50 mix of polenta and GF flour in a lemon cake I make.

However I have a recipe for a chocolate torte that uses 50:50 almonds and ground hazelnut. It comes out very dense and very rich.

PurtyDarnFine Sun 05-Feb-12 14:37:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notapizzaeater Sun 05-Feb-12 14:37:54

We have protien here for breakfast - sliced ham, chicken, eggs or cheese. DS does not like the GF breakfast cereals at all. Or as a treat I make a batch of GF gingerbread men and he has one of these ...

redridingwolf Mon 06-Feb-12 04:22:35

Yank - I will check out those mixes. I can see it's definitely helpful to have something quick on hand.

FSB - Scotch pancakes, brilliant idea! DS1 loves the supermarket ones. I will practice making some gluten-free ones. And notapizza the protein is an interesting idea. Not sure yet how DS1 is going to react to not being able to have Shreddies (or potentially porridge either) for breakfast as he is very much a creature of habit.

Purty - looking forward to those recipes!

FSB Mon 06-Feb-12 12:31:18

Re chocolate cake... My mum makes a gorgeous flour less and pear cake (I think the recipe was in the times a couple of years ago). It uses ground almonds instead of flour. Always a big hit with coeliacs and non-coeliacs alike!

FSB Mon 06-Feb-12 12:33:04

Just found the link -

Www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/food/recipes/article1782474.ece

It was from August 2007... An oldie but a goodie smile

spendthrift Mon 06-Feb-12 19:44:41

Breakfast treat: go American. Hash browns are easy to make and so are gluten free pancakes with gf sausages and bacon and maple syrup. And ok. Never met children who don't eat some of that. There used to be demands from sleepover mates which is lol if you knew my cooking.

For special teas chocolate eclairs using gf flour or pavlova and of course meringues. Anything that doesnt need to rise much is good eg welshcakes which have the other advantage that the dc can help make them and that's fun.

Genius makes decent toast.

redridingwolf Tue 07-Feb-12 07:40:45

all sounds good, love the sound of that ground almond choc cake. Will have a go at meringues, spendthrift - we have an Aga which is supposed to be great for making them, so I will have a try. Is it possible to make chocolate meringues (that is the way to get DS1 to eat things, put choc in them!)

MoreBeta Tue 07-Feb-12 08:12:20

Home made GF granola is nice to have in the store cupboard in a plastic box because most breakfast cereals are of course totally inappropriate for coeliacs.

I dont have a fixed mixture but something like the follwing works. I tend to use it as a topping for fruit such as sliced banana with lactofree milk (frozen berries from Sainsbury melted and a bit more maple syrup or honey on top are nice too). If you can tolerate oats or get proper GF oats you can use them to bulk this mix out and eat as a cereal on its own.

100g desicated coconut
100 flaked almond
100g sunflower seeds
100g of pumpkin seeds
50g of linseed (for roughage)

I put the mix in a bowl and mix with 25ml of olive oil (not extra virgin) and about 100ml of honey or maple syrup so the mixture forms clumps. Lay out on tray in a thin layer and toast for 10 minutes in the oven at 150 C or Gas mark 2, then take out stir/turn the mix over and put back inoven for another 5 - 10 mins. Allow to cool and box in an airtight plastic container.

redridingwolf Fri 10-Feb-12 15:39:20

Does anyone have any tips about cleaning kitchen stuff in preparation for GF diet? I have read that it is very hard to remove all traces of gluten from things. But I don't really want to buy a complete new set of saucepans etc. - some of them are pretty new and quite expensive. What did you do?

DottyDot Fri 10-Feb-12 15:43:07

I just try and make sure everything's clean! grin Sorry - not very helpful but we've got a teeny tiny kitchen so definitely no room to have separate things. Everything gets washed and surfaces wiped down probably more than if I wasn't coeliac, but that's it really.

One of the best things I bought a while back was toasting bags - we've only got 1 toaster so once I discovered these life got much easier - you just wash the bags out each time. I'm also really careful to keep the grill washed and/or put foil on it if I'm grilling something of mine as it's also used for fishfingers and other gluten-y things! smile

notapizzaeater Fri 10-Feb-12 16:12:55

We have different coloured trays for GF stuff and chopping boards. Also separate toaster (just a cheap one for GF stuff) and everything goes in dishwasher - my DS reacts really quickly and badly as yet l haven't glutened him by using old pans/trays !

redridingwolf Fri 10-Feb-12 16:18:53

That sounds good, thank you. We are probably going to go GF as a family, so I will just do a deep clean of the kitchen and get rid of gluten-y stuff, and then we should be okay for day-to-day.

notapizza - how does your DS react when glutened? I am not entirely sure how you know if they've had gluten by accident.

notapizzaeater Fri 10-Feb-12 22:47:38

My DS has diahorrea (sp) running down his legs 2 hours after any gluten and lasts for a few days, tummy cramps and bloated. Its got worse the longer hes been off gluten sad

Wordsmith Fri 10-Feb-12 23:22:43

RedRidingWolf - my DS was diagnosed as coeliac at about the same age as yours. He's now 7 and I can really relate to your dual problem of what he can eat and what he will eat. For example he hates vegetables - will eat carrots at a push but acts as though you're poisoning him....and as for eating anything green..... the problem with coeliac kids is that there are some great-looking GF recipes around that I think look really yummy, but you've still got the problems of finicky eating that you have with most kids

But here are a few of the things he likes to eat and/or I've found are good.

- Waitrose Cambridge sausages are gluten free and taste just like 'normal' sausages. They're lovely and thick too, great is sausage casseroles
- He loves houmous and GF pitta bread (which you can buy from most supermarkets) for school lunch
- Spag Bol and chilli are great, also a good way to hide vegetables. I whizz up onions, carrots and celery in mine and he has no idea he's eating them.
- Sainsburys is really good for gluten free chicken nuggets, fish fingers and pizzas, for the days when you really can't be arsed to make your own.
- Eating out can be tricky. Frankie & Benny's is a no-no but Nandos is great. They have an ingredients book you can inspect to be on the safe side. Apparently Pizza Express will make their pizzas and pasta with GF pizza bases and pasta if you bring it in, although I haven't got round to trying this yet. Even MacDonalds can be OK as long as you don't have the bread - the burgers are 100% beef.
- 'Normal' oven chips are fine, as they're just potatoes and oil. The ones to steer clear of are the 'home fries' or 'southern fried' type as they have wheat flour coating.
- The last time we saw the dietician she told us that supermarket own brand versions of rice krispies, cornflakes, cocopops and frosties are gluten free. Apparently Kellogs add extra barley to make theirs tastier, but this is more costly and so own-brand versions don't. Since we discovered this DS has been through a whole box of Waitrose own brand coco pops.
- Encourage an appetite for risottos. Again it's a great way to hide veg and you can add things like bacon to it.
- frankfurters are gluten free
- Indian food is great (apart from naan bread - but poppadoms are fine). Chinese is more tricky, because of the soy sauce.
- I second the comments about Doves Farm GF flour, I use it all the time now, even when I'm not cooking for DS. The cake recipes on the back of the pack seem to work fine - my mum made a lovely birthday cake for DS's 5th birthday and several of the mums here told me it was the best cake they'd ever tasted - that was before I told them it was gluten free. Just remember you may need to add a bit more liquid than normal.
- Buckwheat flour is fine which was great when we went on hols to Brittany last year and DS could join us in the creperie eating savoury galettes while we had the crepes.
- It's usually easier to provide his own food in a lunch bag for children's parties as the sandwiches, cakes, sausage rolls and biscuits are a nightmare.
- Don't forget you can get loads on prescription free till he's 6 - bread, pasta, biscuits etc

That's about it, I'll add any more when I think of it. If you're on Facebook, the Coeliac UK page is a good one to 'like' - lots of good tips on there.

Wordsmith Fri 10-Feb-12 23:28:15

Going gluten free for family meals is definitely easier - with a roast dinner it's just a case of making the gravy with cornflour, for example, or using Bisto Best granules which are GF.

Get a cheapo toaster for GF toast and a separate chopping board, and just remember to swop knives when you butter his toast - or do his first before you do the others. But gluten isn't radioactive - here's no need to replicate everything as a good wash will clear the gluten away from pans etc.

Another tip - toaster bags are good when you go and stay somewhere else.

spendthrift Sat 11-Feb-12 00:25:26

You need to find gf chocolate powder for gf choc meringues. Easier is to sandwich them together with gf choc sauce. Make Nigella's ganache if stuck.

Agas are brilliant and you should find slow cooking means you generally need fewer thickening agents. But if you do, eg for steps, try purred carrots.

Hth

spendthrift Sat 11-Feb-12 00:26:44

Stews not steps! Carrots are not concrete !

redridingwolf Sun 12-Feb-12 20:54:04

fantastic tips, thank you all. wordsmith - lots of really useful stuff there, will go through it in detail. spendthrift I am now craving meringues sandwiched togethr with choc sauce!

notapizza that's horrible, your poor son. I hope he doesn't get accidentally glutened often. I have heard that sensitivity increased once you're gluten-free, so it remains to be seen what will happen with DS.

We have a date for his biopsy now - this Friday. Hope it all goes smoothly and he doesn't mind the experience. He's having a GA so won't know about the biopsy itself, but the whole thing will be strange to him.

Wordsmith Mon 13-Feb-12 22:56:24

Good luck for the biopsy! You'll find its worse for you than him. The worst bit is no food and drink after the night before. The best bit - as soon as it's done you can put him on a GF diet and the improvement will be immediate- within 1 week of a GF diet my DS had put on weight and was feeling better.

Just spotted all the typos in my previous post. Of course it's 16 when the free prescriptions are available until, not 6.

Plus I second the bit about slow cooking. I'd love an aga but I have a slow cooker and it's great.

Wordsmith Mon 13-Feb-12 22:57:30

Plus one big tip - I found Mumsnet great for advice and info when I was at the stage you're at now, so keep posting!

redridingwolf Fri 17-Feb-12 21:29:58

thanks wordsmith. biopsy was done today and went smoothly. doctor said ds's gut was 'classically coeliac' and dietician signed us up for prescriptions. she recommended that we try and introduce a wide range of naturally gluten-free grains into ds's diet - polenta, amarynth (sp?), quinoa, buckwheat etc.

so if anyone has any recipes for those, i'll be happy to hear them! smile

Wordsmith Mon 20-Feb-12 13:07:33

Great news that the biopsy is over and done with - now you can start cutting out gluten and fingers crossed you should see a difference really soon!

Don't forget to get a prescription for bread, pasta etc sorted from the docs. My DS likes the bread, it's much better than the stuff you get in supermarkets (apart from the really expensive Genius and Warburtons stuff) although it comes in boxes of 8 to make sure you clear some space in your freezer!

Re your GF grains - I did buy some quinoa but never used it blush but polenta is good - you can just fry it up and use it like waffles or toast, almost - put poached eggs on in or use it alongside sausages and baked beans. (By the way Heinz and Branston beans are both GF)

Buckwheat can be used to make savoury pancakes.

Also there are a couple of good iphone apps - Gluten Free gives you a list of foods (not brands) and whether they're GF or not, and GF card is a statement about being GF and what you can and can't eat, translated into many languages so you can show restaurants abroad.

Good luck!

redridingwolf Tue 21-Feb-12 11:37:27

Thanks Wordsmith. DH and I think we have already seen a difference in Alfie in just 3 days - more energy and a more level mood.

I will look at those iphone apps - I need to work out how to download apps anyway <too tired for technology> so this would be a good reason

Just writing a one-page thing about DS and gluten-free for his pre-school. If I post it, would anyone have time to critique it? Want to make sure I cover the important things.

Wordsmith Tue 21-Feb-12 12:29:20

Yes! I saw a difference in my DS almost overnight and within a week he'd put on a pound. It's amazing the difference a GF diet makes.

Re your proposed letter, there should be something on the coeliac UK website for schools and childminders. Hang on, will have a look. Here we are: www.coeliac.org.uk/gluten-free-diet-lifestyle/family-and-friends/school-time. The parent pack includes a template letter for schools, so if you've signed up to join Coeliac UK (which I recommend you do for the first year at least) you should be able to get all this.

You'll find most pre-schools are clued-up on coeliac disease but I would send him in with his own bread and biscuits to be sure. One thing you will need to be aware of is the implications of playing with dough, which seems to form the basis of most pre-school activities IIRC. But again, they should have a policy or plan for this.

redridingwolf Tue 21-Feb-12 13:08:50

Implications of playing with dough? Wordsmith? I did see on the Coeliac UK website a mention that dough contains gluten - but I (probably wrongly) thought the problem might be younger children eating it. DS doesn't eat it - but I suppose the issue might be residue on hands?

That link is very useful, thank you. I'm trying to write something a bit personal. It's a really small preschool, and he'll be going on to school in the same place, so it's worth getting everyone on side.

DS came home from preschool at lunchtime really upset because it's Pancake Day and everyone else had a pancake at snack time, and he just had a small (not very tasty) gluten free biscuit sad

notapizzaeater Tue 21-Feb-12 19:00:20

Not nice - my ds doesnt get upset any more when the other kids have something he cant have - hes realised that it makes hi tummy hurt.

Our school make GF playdough, I provide the GF flour and they make it as normal so everyone can play with it.

parttimedomesticgoddess Tue 21-Feb-12 19:38:02

Just a word of warning to check everything - cheap cream cheese (such as Smart Price, Value, Basics types) contain wheat and gluten as some kind of filler. Not a product you would necessarily think to check...

redridingwolf Wed 22-Feb-12 08:29:40

Thank you parttime - I am using Philadelphia which I think is okay, but I hadn't realised not all cream cheeses are. I will make sure to check.

Good idea about GF playdough, notapizza, I will talk to the preschool about that.

AngelDog Wed 22-Feb-12 14:17:35

Hello everyone, hope you don't mind me dropping in for a bit. Hopefully I won't be around long. I'm doing a fortnight's GF trial to see if helps my 2 y.o.'s eczema. We took him off gluten once before and his eczema flared up once he started eating it again, but he was also coming down with a cold so that might have been the cause, rather than the gluten.

He's a fussy eater too and doesn't like potatoes hmm, fish, cheese, eggs, most veg, spicy food, things too 'mixed up' or anything he's not been given before. I'm intolerant to dairy and DS has a suspected nut allergy (we're waiting for blood test results). It's hard to know what to cook but there have been some good ideas here.

I read a good tip recently for fussy eaters which is to get them to try one bite of something you want them to eat every day for 7-10 days. It's supposed to be the first bite of breakfast but I'm not organised enough so I do it as the first bite of dinner.

Thankfully DS is willing to try a new food if I ask him - I tell him he doesn't have to actually eat it as long as he puts it in his mouth and tastes it. I've tried it with two foods so far and by the end he was crying because I wouldn't let him have it, instead of crying because I wanted him to try it.

redridingwolf Wed 22-Feb-12 15:48:26

Angel - really good tip about the one-bite thing. I have been trying a version of that with DS with some success, but will be more organised about it now. Widening his repertoire would be a very good thing. Sounds like you have a complicated situation, hope that your 2yo responds to the no-gluten thing.

bronybrony Wed 14-Mar-12 18:04:17

Thanks for this thread, redridingwolf. smile

fuzzpig Wed 14-Mar-12 18:09:07

Just marking place as DH is coeliac smile

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 28-Mar-12 13:56:44

Buy a sausage machine. You can get them very cheaply, and Kenwood Chef has a sausage attachment.
We found that A LOT of GF sausages, for some reason have a lot of bready rusk in them, and a lot of spice/pepper/chilli in them. The texture and flavour is often not good.
I use a basic River Cottage recipe to start, its mainly just minced belly pork. The fat content is quite important, 25-30% or so is good, which makes belly pork ideal. I run it through a cheap as chips hand mincer, once for coarse, twice for a smoother sausage.
You can then add whatever you want. We did parmesan and green pesto, (yummy) and pork and stilton is fab as well.
Then the fun part, which the kids will adore, is filling the skin. (Which can be synthetic or traditional pork or ox runners(intestines) that you can usually get in the butchers)
100% meat sausages are FAB!

ppeatfruit Wed 28-Mar-12 15:49:17

Marking my space this is an interesting thread and I can help I hope !

ppeatfruit Fri 30-Mar-12 16:58:36

Our family is wheat intolerant (not gluten) but I use rice flour which is GF for almost everything I used to use normal flour for like sauces etc. it makes wonderful pancakes (DH says they're better than wheat ones) and as he's WF under protest that means a lot!

I'm not keen on the GF flour 'cos I also don't eat potato and it usually has pot. flour in it. IMO most of the suprmkt. Free from stuff maybe free from gluten and dairy but it's plugged full of sugar and salt and other not particularly healthy stuff. I know it saves time but better to cook and freeze when you have the time than live off that stuff.

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