Showing posts from July, 2009

RECIPE Vietnam Inspired Noodles

My absolute favourite dish at the moment is Vietnam inspired noodles.
As long as you’ve got chicken stock, it’s the easiest dish in the world.
If me and my husband have a roast chicken on a Sunday, we stick the carcass of the chicken in a stock pot with some onions and veg on a low heat for a couple of hours to make stock and then we can have lovely noodles for dinner on the Monday!
It’s funny how most cultures have a ‘using up the weekend leftovers’ type dish on a Monday night, so I guess we have adopted the Vietnamese tradition! The recipe I posted the other day for Red Beans and Rice is one such dish for the people of New Orleans (and across the south I guess.) Anyhoo.

What you need is;

Rice Noodles/Vermicelli Noodles – put in a bowl and cover with hot water from the kettle, cover and leave to soften for about 15 mins.
Chicken Stock
Chicken bits, white and brown, mmmm

Fry up some;

Chili – finely chopped or you can use dried flakes
Spring Onion – finely chopped


I just had a little look around online to see what websites are saying about wheat intolerance these days. Worryingly, most of them mix together IBS, Gluten intolerance/Celiac disease and wheat allergy in the same articles and give them the same symptoms and treatment. It's no wonder that so many of us go undiagnosed for so long.

I found to be the most useful website so far. Here's the list of symptoms they associate with wheat intolerance;

Bloated stomach
Chest pains
Depression or mood swings
Feeling dizzy or faint
Joint and muscle aches and pains
Nausea or vomiting
Skin rashes
Suspected irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)/similar effects
Swollen throat or tongue
Tiredness and lethargy
Unexplained cough
Unexplained runny nose
Watery or itchy eyes

They say that "wheat is now listed in the top 8 food allergens along with peanuts, tree nuts, milk, fish, shellfish, eggs and soy."

An intolerance to something is normally …

RECIPE Gluten Free Kebabs

Kebabs are awesome - when you're really drunk. But sober, kebabs are slightly frightening. Does anyone actually want to now what is inside or how long the ingredients have been sitting around? But you can't help but wonder.
I sometimes try to make kebabs at home, but usually fail in some way. However, the other day I came across a fool proof Rick Stein recipe (which I modified a bit to make things easier) and the results were delish.
I only wish that I could have some ready and waiting for me after a heavy night out to keep me out of the kebab shop!

Kofte Kebabs with Mint Yoghurt


900g/2lb minced lamb
2 onions, finely grated or chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp dried chili flakes
1 small bunch of flatleaf parsley, chopped
oil for brushing
salt & pepper

For the minted yoghurt

200g/7oz Greek natural yoghurt
2 tbsp chopped mint

1. Preheat the oven to 200c.
2. Cover eight bamboo skewers with cold water and leave them to soak (I used metal skewers and they w…

Party Food 2

Whenever I got to a party and I know there’s going to be food, I always get that feeling of dread. Coz you know what the options will be, sausage rolls, sarnies, breadsticks and dips, cake etc. I normally end up desperately trying to make a fun plate of food involving ready salted crisps and guacamole with, if I’m lucky, a chicken leg on the side. I can’t complain though really, and most of the time I just make sure I eat something before I go out! I have struggled myself when it comes to catering my own parties. I only seem to have one canapĂ© in my repertoire and that’s Goat’s cheese wrapped in Parma ham (grilled. Yum but expensive!)
For my recent Hen day, I made a salad buffet because I know my mum loves salad and it worked out really well.

(With a bit of help) I prepared portions of;
Tomato, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar
Grilled med veg, with garlic and olive oil
Humous with carrot and cucumber sticks to dip
Mozarella and tomato slices with olive oil
And arranged some slices of…

Party Food

I definitely do not recommend eating sherbet from a Sherbet Fountain with Doritos ;p

RECIPE Vietnamese Pancakes

Vietnamese pancakes are really easy to make, yummy and really versatile.
I found the recipe on one of my fave recipe sites

Vietnamese food is a dream come true for wheat intolerant people, they rarely use flour and they use a lot of rice noodles!

My local Tesco have now got a Chinese/Japanese food section and they have the vermicelli and ribbon style rice noodles but Blue Dragon also do a range which they sometimes have in bigger supermarkets.

This recipe calls for rice flour which I also managed to pick up in the organic food section in my local Tesco but I'm pretty sure you can also get it in health food shops like Holland & Barrett.


85g Rice Flour
Salt & Pepper
3 Eggs
125ml Coconut Milk


Beat eggs and coconut milk together and gradually add the flour. Season.

Ladel the mixture a bit at a time into a greased, hot, non stick pan. Brown on both sides.
Place onto kitchen roll to absorb grease.


Serve filled with ginger, ch…

Wedding Cake

I recently got married in New Orleans and we had a wedding cake included with our ceremony package. Obviously it was just a 'normal' wedding cake and so we could have pictures done of us cutting the cake, I had to fake eating it by just having a bit of the icing! Rubbish! So, I decided that for our reception, which we held in Cardiff I'd find someone to make me a wheat free cake. I'd remembered seeing a seller on EBay specialising in food for people with special dietary requirements and luckily found the shop in my favourites.
The seller also has a website
So, I exchanged a few emails with Rebecca, was given a huge choice of cakes and flavours, chose the decoration I wanted and then made my order. To my surprise, my huge chocolate fudge cake with awesome glittery Fleur DeLis decoration and ribbon came to just £40! I also made an order for a wheat free quiche as I so missed it and you can't find a wheat free version anywhere! The only do…


God, how I miss Sugar Puffs and Golden Grahams and Shreddies etc etc!

The options for wheat intolerant people are limited and the special dietry versions are extortionately priced and usually not versions of your favourite cereals - I mean £2.99 for wheat free cornflakes?! Cornflakes are already wheat free!

(This website has got a great choice of other gluten free groceries though, I'd check it out. Haven't bought anything from them yet though so couldn't vouch for the customer service or delivery.)

It had gotten to the point where I would avoid the whole cereal isle in the supermarket and as I feel sick sometimes after breakfast (just another of my weird stomach complaints!) I avoided breakfast altogether for years.

Anyway, I was perusing the cereals in Tesco the other day and found Rice Krispies Multi-Grain Shapes -…

RECIPE Chocolate Cheeseake

I wouldn't say that I have a sweet tooth and it's quite rare that I want chocolate or cake.
However, I always have time for cheesecake.
Being wheat intolerant normally means that I have to leave the base, which, lets' face it, is a cruel and unusual punishment.
However, I found a recipe for cheesecake which I adapted very easily and when I served it up at a dinner party went down really well with the non 'special' diners.

Chocolate and vanilla cheesecake


50g/2oz plain chocolate, broken into pieces
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds removed
100g/4oz wheat free shortbread, crushed to a fine crumb
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground mixed spice
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
150g/6oz mascarpone
100ml/3½fl oz double cream, whipped
1 tbsp icing sugar, sieved
1 tbsp cocoa powder, sieved
extra icing sugar, for dusting


1. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.2. Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and melt the chocolate.3. In a small bowl mix toge…

RECIPE Pork and Beans

Me thinks that if you have a sensitive stomach like I do, then you should generally avoid beans.
But after our Red Beans & Rice bonanza the other night, I though I would give them another try and they are such a great staple when you are a little bit skint.
Here's something I knocked up last night from bits and pieces in the fridge and cupboard. It took hours and hours to cook but was yummy and perfect to pop in a tubberbox and bring to work.


Bits of pork, fried
2 mini red chilis
3 celery stalks
1 red and 1 yellow pepper
3 spring onions
1 onion
A few cups of red beans, tinned or pre soaked
A few cups of water
Herbs (Tyme, Oregano, Sage, whatever's to hand)
Salt & Pepper

Chop all the veg and bung all, including pork fat into a casserole dish, cover with foil and cook in the oven at 200c for 2 hours and then at least 1 hour with foil off.


Bit bloated today though :(

Self Diagnosis

I thought I would elaborate on the statement in my last post about diagnosing myself.
The medical professionals say that you should definitely not try this without expert guidance but after years and years of mis-diagnosis I was desperate.
For years my family GP gave me Fybogel, a high fibre powder you have to mix with water and drink. Fybogel and others like it were linked with Colon Cancer in a 2000 study and it only served to make me more constipated and give me trapped wind. (Just 2 of the pleasant symptoms of a food intolerance! Guess I should list the symptoms in a future blog in case anyone reading is wondering if they have one.)
In around 1999 a doctor told me that I probably had IBS and that I needed to increase my intake of fruit and fibre. So, what do most people eat when they’re trying to eat more fibre? Brown bread, brown pasta, Bran Flakes etc.
I have had all kinds of examinations…

Food Diary

I started a food diary 3 weeks ago hoping that I may be able to pin-point the foods that cause stomach upsets as even though I cut out wheat, sometimes my tummy doesn't like something and I'm damned if I know what it is.
I diagnosed myself with wheat intolerance by way of cutting back and then re-introducing food.

I realised today that my food diary makes for very boring reading! I seem to eat the most mundane food ever during the day but thankfully seem to make up for it in the evening.
Last night I had the leftovers of an amazingly lush New Orleans dish my husband cooked up on Sunday night.
Here's the recipe - time consuming but very worth it :)

New Orleans-Style Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

1 pound dried red kidney beans, picked over
1 pound smoked link sausage, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 large onion, chopped
2 pale-green inner celery ribs (with leaves), chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced, or to taste
6 cups water
4 bay leaves
1 table…

Special Needs

It's been 7 years since I discovered that I am intolerant to wheat.
The experience has been hard and sometimes upsetting and always frustrating but the result is that I feel great, I taught myself how to cook properly and I find it really easy to keep my weight down.
I thought I would start a blog to help other people like me and I plan to include recipes, stories and experiences of eating out and holidaying.
Most of what I am writing about might also help Coeliacs but I want to stress that I am only intolerant to wheat and eat all of the other cereals!