After a visit at work from OFSTED this week, I needed to de-stress a little. My husband took me out for a meal after work on Friday. I was really excited because he’d found a place that did gluten-free pasta.
We went to Prezzo at Sheffield Centertainment. The restaurant was clean and the staff were friendly so that was a good start. I asked about gluten-free options and was amazed when they brought a gluten-free menu with lots of options. I was overwhelmed with choice! In the end I went for the chicken and asparagus risotto as I don’t get to have this very often. It’s not very Slimming World friendly (think about 550 cals), but hey, I needed a treat. I didn’t have a dessert or any alcohol so using this as flexible syns.
I felt reassured by the amazing menu. When they took our order they even doubled checked that it was the gluten-free version of the risotto that I wanted.
My husband’s spaghetti carbonara looked lovely and so did my risotto. It was very tasty! Not healthy, but worth the calories. I’d love to go back as a treat sometime and would probably go for something a little less rich.
- STARTERS: MARINATED OLIVES and LARGE PANE CON CIPOLLA
- PIZZAS: MARGHERITA, VERDE, TRE GUSTI, PROSCIUTTO E FUNGHI, WILD MUSHROOM, VESUVIO, CHICKEN AND N’DUJA SAUSAGE and TROPICANA
- PASTA: PENNE ARRABBIATA, PENNE WITH WILD MUSHROOMS, PENNE ALLA RUSTICANA, PENNE WITH KING PRAWNS, PENNE WITH CHICKEN AND N’DUJA, PENNE GORGONZOLA, PENNE BOLOGNESE, PENNE CON SALMONE and PENNE CARBONARA
- RISOTTO: KING PRAWNS, WILD MUSHROOMS and CHICKEN AND ASPARAGUS
- GRILLS: SEA BASS, CHARGRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, CALABRESE and GORGONZOLA
- SIDES: MIXED SALAD, MASHED POTATO and ROCKET SALAD
- DESSERTS: BLOOD ORANGE POLENTA CAKE and ICE-CREAM
I had a fantastic evening out for a friend’s husband’s 60th birthday do. The company was good, the atmosphere was good and the music was very funky 70s.
I had a large lunch to make sure I wouldn’t be hungry as I didn’t know what I’d be able to eat at the buffet. The last event I ate out at left me glutened and I was a little wary. However, my friend had been dropping hints such as, “What type of bread do you eat?” and “Can you eat custard?”. I assumed she was preparing something nice for me, and as she is good at baking I was quite excited.
She reassured me about the food and put all the wheat-free items on the same platter, clearly labelled. There were sandwiches and THREE desserts! Across the buffet there was also salad, veg and fruit that I could eat freely. All credit to my friend, the food was delicious. The homemade dessert was very tasty and I’ll be asking for the recipe to share with you all soon. I did go back for seconds of everything so I slipped off the Slimming World wagon a bit. I’m back on today and not worrying about it. I don’t do that very often and I’m just focusing on the fact that I’ve enjoyed myself. I know we can get glutened, even in our own kitchens, where lots of care has been taken. I’m so glad I didn’t, partly because my friend went to all that trouble.
Worried about eating out at a buffet?
- Let the hosts know well enough in advance. Give them a couple of ideas of things they could do for you.
- Eat plenty before you go. There’s nothing worse than sitting hungry, watching everyone else eat.
- Focus on the celebration. You are there for an occasion (maybe a birthday) not the food! Have a drink, soak up the atmosphere, socialise and get dancing.
Worried about catering for a coeliac at your buffet?
- Make sure your guest knows where the gluten-free foods are at the buffet.
- Put the gluten-free foods on separate, labelled plates.
- Don’t use the same knife to cut the sandwiches and cakes, and be careful about cross-contamination from using different knives in the butter. Consider making the gluten-free sandwiches first when you’ve opened the butter so that there is less risk.
- Make sure other people involved in arranging the food know about cross-contamination so they don’t touch ordinary bread and then gluten-free bread.
- Fresh fruit is a lovely dessert but please provide something a bit naughtier. Buy ready made gluten free desserts so you know you won’t be glutening your guest by mistake with your baking. Marks and Spencers and Mrs Crimbles are always good.
- Don’t worry too much. Your guest is there for the celebration, not the food. They will be happy about any effort you have gone to, as this is often a rare occurrence.
Spoiler alert: I got glutened.
I normally wouldn’t complain about being glutened. Eating out can be a metaphorical minefield. But, I’d done my research. The choice looked amazing. Their interactive website menus show all the different allergens.
Instead of the usual two or three options there were so many options. I chose the halloumi skewers to start and some non-gluten street food items with a side of chips.
Four hours later: stomach cramps, feeling sick and rushing to the loo.
The problem was that the website gave the impression they knew what they were doing. I don’t mind the occasional glutening at places that don’t claim to do much gluten free. The problem I discovered was that they don’t seem to be concerned with cross-contamination. They cook everything in the same pans, oil, water etc… There is some small print about this on the website, so do I have the right to be annoyed. Quote: “do not have a specific allergen free zone or dedicated fryers”. How can they also say, ” To reduce the risk of cross contamination from allergens during preparation there are controlled procedures in the kitchen. Every care is taken to avoid any cross contamination when processing specific allergen free orders.”
I did my homework, I told both servers who took my order that I was gluten-free. As the website says, “if you suffer from a food allergy or intolerance, please let your server know upon placing your order. ” What is the point of mentioning gluten-free quite so much if you can’t deliver?
Chiquito is definitely off my visit again list.
If you want some gluten-free Slimming World recipes click on a link below:
Snacks & Lunches:
I’ve been away from the Blog for a while but have finally got round to updating things.
Two weeks ago I finally got my diagnosis of Coeliac Disease which is good because it means I finally know for certain what is up. I’ve been gluten-free ever since the biopsy and it’s been a steep learning curve.
I’ve been to Cyprus for a week and managed ok but did put on 4lb. This is not too surprising as I’ve had a few binges on biscuits and crisps over the last few weeks. I don’t seem to have much willpower and hopefully I can be back on track soon.
We stayed at the Kefalos Damon Apartments in Paphos where I have now been four times. It is not a luxury hotel but is very friendly, efficient and clean which is all we really want. I didn’t check about gluten-free meals here as we were just having bed and breakfast and on the first day I found there was plenty to eat. I stuck to bacon, egg, tomato, beans and fried potatoes, followed by fruit and Greek yoghurt. We had some chips at the pool bar one day but I didn’t try any of their other food as we usually are out and about at meal times.
I found most places in Paphos were unaware of the gluten-free diet. I stuck to salads, jacket potatoes and steak and chips. The best place to eat was Fat Mamas where the chef would happily come to talk to me to discuss which meals were gluten-free and which ones he could easily adapt for me. Their steaks were delicious and I also tried their sea bass. They do two sizes of meals which is fantastic for those with big appetites. The gluten-free desserts were mainly ice-cream but I was trying to avoid desserts anyway. Main courses were around 15-22 Euros each. They also do buy one get one free cocktails between 6pm and 7pm! Delicious.
So back home….back on Slimming World fully…
Below are a few of my gluten-free Slimming World recipes
Snacks & Lunches: