Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Autumn Harvest: Recipe One

We're just finishing off our October Newsletter here at Gluten Free Foods HQ, so it's all pumpkins, Halloween and comfort food!

To kick off the start of Autumn, here is our top pick for a comfort meal! Each week we'll post a different take on the classic Roast. Let's start with the traditional!

Simple Roast Chicken, stuffing and seasonal veg

(serves 6- the whole family)

1 large free-range chicken, giblets removed (about 2kg)
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly
1 lemon, sliced
A bunch of rosemary sprigs

* Heat the oven to 190c.
* Scatter the roasting tray with the chopped veg then stuff the chicken cavity with the lemon and rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
* Smother the chicken with butter and season the skin with salt and pepper.
* Place in the oven for 1hr 20 mins (this will be the ideal amount of time for a perfectly roasted chicken).
*Once cooked through (the juices should run clear), leave to rest for 20 mins.

Meanwhile: The stuffing

330ml boiling water
20g butter or margarine to top the stuffing
Gluten Free Sage and Onion stuffing

* Grease an oven-proof dish and pour in the stuffing mix.
* Pour in the boiling water and stir.
* Leave to rest for 10-15 minutes.
* Dot the top with butter and bake in the oven at 180c for 20 minutes.

Serve with a selection of seasonal veg and pour over the delicious juices of the chicken: we love to roast some squash with a drizzle of honey! Get in the autumnal spirit!

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Monday, 23 September 2013


Just to remind you all- each month we send out a Gluten Free Foods Newsletter- packed with gluten free news, new products and even free giveaways!

This month we are giving away packs of Barkat's pretzels which are HIGHLY addictive and make a perfect snack. We sometimes dip them into melted chocolate to make them even more naughty!

Sign up now Gluten-Freers!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Eating out Gluten Free style

We all like to hang up the apron and get a break from the washing up from time and treat ourselves to a lovely meal out with friends or family.

There has been a huge development for us gluten freeers when dining out in recent years- from Pizza Express having a huge gluten-free friendly variety to Carluccios having a tailor made gluten-free menu. However, there are still times when dining out can be a real hassle with either waiters not understanding what 'gluten' even means or even worse, when you have been misguided and have been left 'glutened'.

So here are Gluten Free Foods top tips for relieving the stress when dining out:

1) Ring the restaurant beforehand. We have been to many restaurants that just need a little bit of prep time in order to ensure that we can enjoy gluten free bread on arrival. Also ringing before you arrive will mean that you can spend more time socialising and enjoying your evening rather than tediously having to explain what 'Coeliac' means to your waiter.

2) Choose somewhere that you know is 'gluten free' friendly. Either a well-known chain or if you are wanting to find somewhere a little bit more unusual or 'special' than have a research online. There are so many gluten free bloggers out there who are constantly updating and reviewing new restaurants etc. Check out the Gluten Free Tart, the Gluten Free Foodie or Gluten Free B and see what their top picks are.

3) Never feel embarrassed to ask, ask and ask again. We know that sometimes it feels awkward to check that the waiter is aware what 'gluten free' means but we have witnessed responses including 'it means you cannot eat cheese', 'it means you can only eat spelt flour' and 'it means you are a fussy eater'! Even if it takes longer to order, make sure you are certain that you know what you are eating is gluten free as it is not worth suffering for the week after.

4) Sometimes it is easiest to just go for the safest option such as grilled meats, fish and veg. Although you may be pining after a bowl of gluten free pasta, naturally gluten free foods are readily available at many restaurants and remember you will be saving yourself the calories too!

5) Be careful with sushi- although it is a great choice for coeliacs, make sure you check the mayonnaise is gluten free and remind the waiter not to use soya sauce. Also, the soba noodles that are often included on the menu, are supposedly pure Buckwheat, however we have been 'glutened' many times because the noodles were thickened with wheat flour- so don't forget to check!

Finally, enjoy your evening out- remember you won't be left with a pile of dirty dishes!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Glebe Farm- Muffin Time

We needed a sweet fix at Gluten Free Foods HQ today and with no time to spare, I needed to whip something up in a flash. Glebe Farm had it covered. Their quick mixes provide a seriously simple, no-fuss solution.

I opted for the Cranberry and Blueberry Muffins and they took less than 5 mins to rustle up and were perfectly golden brown after 20 mins in the oven.

All you have to do is melt some margarine, add it to the mix with 2 eggs and a mashed banana and then put it straight in the oven! That's all there is to it!

And the final result? Delicious: fluffy, sweet (but not too sweet), the blueberries and cranberries add a lovely flavour and they looked ridiculously tempting in their polka dot cupcake cases!

These baking mixes fit in perfectly with our 'Baking with the Kids' month but are just as popular with the adults!

With 7 different varieties, Glebe Farm makes gluten free baking simple, fun and full of flavour!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Weekend baking session

It all seems to be getting a bit wintery. The mornings are slightly darker, the jumpers are returning to the front of the wardrobe and we can think of nothing better than staying in this weekend and having a relaxing couple of days on the sofa.

In a bid to keep the kids satisfied, here are two recipes from two of our favourite chefs that will keep them entertained and will make the ideal accompaniment to a night in front of the tv.

The first is from Paul Rankin- we've adapted his 'chewy peanut butter cookies' and made them gluten free by using Barkat's gluten free flour- they taste just as good.

Makes 8

8 tbsp Barkat's gluten free flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 free-range egg yolk
50g/1¾oz butter, softened
icing sugar, for dusting

* Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
* Place the flour, sugar, peanut butter, egg yolk and butter into a large bowl and mix together until combined to a smooth dough.
With lightly floured hands, break off evenly sized pieces of the dough and roll into walnut sized balls.
* Place the dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with silicon paper or baking parchment and gently press each ball with the back of a fork to flatten slightly.
* Place in the oven and bake for ten minutes, or until just turning golden-brown.
* Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool for ten minutes.
* To serve, place on a serving plate and dust with icing sugar.

If you want to make this really naughty then melt some chocolate, dip the cookies in and then refrigerate for the chocolate to harden!

Our second recipe comes from the ultimate chef for Kids, Annabelle Karmel. We've adapted her Chocolate Fridge Cake bu using Barkat's gluten free digestives instead.

serves 12

250g/8oz Barkat's Digestive Biscuits
150g/5oz milk chocolate
150g/5oz dark chocolate
100g/3½oz unsalted butter
150g/5oz golden syrup
100g/3½oz dried apricots, chopped
75g/2½oz raisins
60g/2oz pecans, chopped (optional)

* Use cling film to line a 20cm (8in) shallow, square-shaped tin. Leave extra cling film hanging over the sides.
* Bash the biscuits into pieces using a rolling pin. (Put them in a plastic bag first so they don't go everywhere!)
* Melt chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally.
* Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the broken biscuits, apricots, raisins and pecans (optional).
* Spoon the mixture into the tin. Level the surface by pressing it down with a potato masher.
* Leave to cool, then put the chocolate mixture in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set.
* Turn out the cake and peel off the cling film. Cut the cake into 12 squares and enjoy!

So there we have two of Gluten Free Foods favourite chefs with two of the best recipes to make with your kids- gluten free style of course.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Packed lunch- celebrate the sandwich!

Since being coeliac or following a gluten free diet, how many people have said 'Don't you miss having sandwiches?'For some reason many 'gluten eaters' think that once you're gluten free, all that is left is salad and more vegetables.

We all know how wrong they are. With gluten free foods growing by the day, we want to celebrate the gluten free sandwich to show just how many different options there are for the gluten free world!

Firstly lets start with the bread selection:

We like Warburtons Brown Sliced bread- it's easy to use and not crumbly as so many gluten free loaves are. It really does make for the perfect traditional sandwich.

If you are after something a bit more healthy, Barkat's wholemeal bread is much denser and it tastes more like a rye or pumpernickel bread. We like this toasted or as an open sandwich with slices of lean meat and rocket!

Bread rolls are always a reliable packed lunch addition- both Warburton's white bread rolls and Barkat's par baked rolls are very easy to use- we like to fill them up with a gluten free sandwich filler (if we don't have time to make our own, our favourite shop bought filling is Marks and Spencer's smoked salmon and cream cheese).

Once the bread is sorted, it is down to the all important fillings. Here are our top 5 easy to make suggestions:

* Cheesy apple slaw- mix up some grated cheese (cheddar, edam, gouda- whichever is your child's favourite), with a grated apple and some chopped spring onions. Mix with a spoon of mayo, season with salt and pepper and spoon onto a bread roll.

*Tandoori chicken- Layer your bread with some chopped iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, pieces of tandoori chicken and a spoonful of yoghurt and cucumber (or shop bought raita) then add the other slice of bread- perfect packed lunch!

* Roasted pepper and cream cheese- Spread cream cheese onto your bread/roll and top with slice of roasted peppers (can buy in most supermarkets)- easy but effective.

*Club sandwhich- spread the slice of bread with mayo then layer with chopped lettuce, sliced tomato,rashers of crispy bacon, slices of avocado and pieces of chicken. Spread the other slice of bread with mayo or mustard- this is the ultimate sandwich!

*Sweet treat- sometimes it's nice to have a sweet filled sandwich- spread one slice with nutella or another chocolate spread. Slice banana on the top and then spread the other slice with smooth peanut butter. The mix of the creamy chocolate and nutty butter is seriously tasty!

Let's prove that gluten free sandwiches are worth celebrating!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Gluten Free Snack Attack

When the clock strikes 4pm and the school day is over, many kids can think of nothing better than going home to a sweet tasting feast at the kitchen table. Being gluten free does not mean that your child has to suffer. In fact here at Gluten Free Foods, we think many of the cakes and biscuits taste even better than their gluten equivalent.

Here are our top 5 after school snacks that are certain to put a smile on your child's face (even if they have piles of homework waiting for them!)

* Warburtons Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins- these small cakes are made fresh to order and so they taste extremely moist and fluffy. The taste of the tart lemon mixed with the sweet muffin mixture really is delicious.

*Barkat's chocolate teacakes- these little marshmallow filled cakes are seriously addictive. Kids love to eat away at the chocolate coating first, followed by the marshmallow topping, so that they are left with the crunchy biscuit base- sometimes we like to do that too (don't tell anyone!)

*Glebe Farm Sultana Scone Mix- if you really want to indulge in the quintessential English afternoon tea, then this 'easy to make' scone mix is essential. The scones taste delicious warm out of the oven served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Make the scones with your kids- a perfect after school bit of fun!

*Barkat's Pretzels- for those with less of a sweet tooth, these pretzels will certainly satisfy the post-school hunger pangs. The crispy snacks are one Barkat's most popular products and they should probably come with a warning because they are extremely addictive (we recommend buying more than one pack!)

*Barkat's chocolate filled wafers- we like to serve these wafers with a cup of milk so that the kids can dip them in, making the chocolate centre go all soft and gooey. A plate of wafers will always go down well at teatime.

Let us know any more gluten free tea suggestions!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Baking with the kids: Cornflake crusted chicken dippers

This recipe is a real kids favourite. The crunch from the cornflakes makes this easy-peasy dish extremely satisfying for kids and adults alike.

Serves 4

4 bone-in, skinless chicken drumsticks
4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 large egg
2 cups cornflakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

*Set the oven at 190c.
*Wash the chicken and generously season with salt and pepper
*In a small bowl mix the egg with 1 tbsp of water
*In a larger bowl mix the cornflakes with the oil, cayenne and 1 tsp of salt
*Get each piece of chicken and dip in the egg mixture and then in the cornflake mixture (press the cornflakes into the chicken to make sure they stick). Place on a lined baking sheet.
*Bake until golden brown- about 30 mins- and season. With salt and pepper.

We like this served with sweet potato wedges and sweet corn and peas.


Friday, 6 September 2013

Celebrate the Jewish New Year with Honey Cake

We would like to wish all our Jewish clients a very happy and healthy new year!

To kickstart a sweet new year we thought we would share our very easy Honey cake recipe which is flourless and deliciously soft and gooey!

Serves 10


1 1/2 cups whole almonds, toasted in the oven
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted in oven.

*Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with baking paper and grease the paper.

*Process whole almonds in a food processor until finely ground (you will have about 13/4 cups ground). Beat 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the ground almonds and beat on low until combined.

*Beat 4 egg whites in another large bowl with the electric mixer on medium speed until very foamy, white and doubled in volume, but not stiff enough to hold peaks, (should take about 1 to 2 minutes). Gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

*Bake the cake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 mins Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and gently remove the side ring.Then leave to cool completely.

To serve, drizzle the top of the cake with honey and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Shana Tova!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Cooking with the kids: Mini Chicken Burgers

This month we are getting our kids into the kitchen with us. We think if you teach children about cooking from an early age, they will learn to appreciate healthier food options and will enjoy their meals even more.

There is nothing like the quality time of cooking with the kids! Let us know your favourite recipes.


The sun is still shining so we thought we'd start with a summer recipe which is always a favourite with the kids. We use Barkat's as they make
Perfect burger buns!

Serves 12 burgers

½ a 400g can chickpeas, drained
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
500g chicken or turkey mince
1 small sweet potato, grated
olive oil, for brushing

To serve
12 Barkat's Bread rolls
2 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
1⁄4 iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, sliced
1⁄4 cucumber, sliced

* Heat the grill to a medium temperature.
* Whizz the chickpeas in a food processor or mash until well broken up. Put into a bowl with the onion, garlic, mince and sweet potato. Mix well and season. (The mixture Can be frozen for up to 1 month).
*Line a baking sheet with foil. Divide the mixture into 12 and shape into mini burgers. Put onto the baking sheet, brush with oil and grill for 10 mins, turning once.
* Bake the rolls and then slice them in half. Griddle or toast under the grill, if you like. Spread the bases with mayonnaise, top with a chicken burger, some shredded lettuce, tomato, cucumber and then add the top of the roll.

Seriously simple right?

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Breakfast Challenge Complete

We've had a month full of hearty breakfasts. From the traditional poached eggs on Barkat's Country Loaf to gluten free Banana Cake and Rosie's gluten free muesli with Greek Yoghurt and summer berries.

We have to say having a proper meal to start the day has made us have much more energy, much more concentration and we have all been in much better spirits.

It is no myth, Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day.

To celebrate the completion of our challenge we are offering a load of deals on some of our favourite Barkat cereals!

Now the kids are back at school we are going to be posting our favourite recipes for the kids to get involved in too! Get involved!