Gluten-free buffet food

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.

cake

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.

buffet

Advertisements

Gluten-free eating out disaster! – Chiquito, Sheffield

Spoiler alert: I got glutened.

chiquitos

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.

ood.jpg

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.

wbr

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:

Soups:

Curries:

Snacks & Lunches:

Sweet treats:

HELP! I’ve been Glutened!

wbrI feel like I’ve ‘come of age’ with my coeliac disease.  I’ve been glutened!wbr

My biopsy results aren’t back.  Prior to the blood test I hadn’t even considered any form of gluten intolerance.  Yes, I’d been feeling tired all the time and had some stomach issues but not as severe as some people.

So I’d had a great day buying up different gluten-free products to trial.  I finished the day with a ‘normal’ meal of Iceland syn free sausages, burger, tomatoes, potatoes and egg.  It was delicious.  I even counted the syns in the gluten-free ketchup.  About two hours later I started with stomach ache, rushing to the toilet (although not diarrhoea) and feeling sick.  I’m now sitting typing this whilst feeling very queasy.

But how can I have been glutened?  My symptoms never really seemed this bad before?  I’ve been researching and stumbled across http://celiacdisease.about.com .  Take a look yourself, but the gist was that once you’ve cut out gluten you can react badly to small amounts and cross-contamination.  “Unfortunately, it’s common for your reactions to gluten — even to a tiny bit of gluten — to be very bad once you’ve gone gluten-free. You’ll need to guard against gluten cross-contamination at all times, but don’t worry — that soon will become second nature for you.”

So I feel like I’ve ‘come of age’.  It’s highlighted for me that I almost certainly have coeliac disease or gluten intolerance.  Looking back I’ve felt like this in the past and put it down to stomach bugs.  This has always been curious when my husband has eaten the same food and been fine.

wheat

The culprit?  The Slimming World burger from Iceland contains barley.  I’d not noticed before.  After the blood test I scoured my cupboards and fridge looking for products containing wheat.  Only in the last few days have I found out that I can’t have wheat, rye or barley as they are derivatives.  And that oats can be cross-contaminated.  I’d checked more of my products but obviously not all.  So I’m now expected to check every packaged for the rest of my life…and what if the ingredients change in a product?  Do I have to recheck the packets every time?  It seems so…

yucatan
Hotel Riu Yucatan, Mexico

I’m off to Mexico in a bit.  I knew I might be going before getting my diagnosis.  It now seems that I’m going to have to be more careful than I previously thought.  My plan was to just be a bit careful and steer clear of bread and cakes.  I might have to rethink that as I don’t want to feel like this on a regular basis.

Before I go…  The main symptoms suffered by many people seem to be (although you may only suffer one or two of these)

  1. constipation and/or diarrhoea
  2. reflux
  3. brain fog
  4. rash – Dermatitis herpetiformis
  5. nausea
  6. abdominal pain and/or heartburn
  7. joint pain
  8. insomnia
  9. migraine
  10. bloating
  11. depression and/or anxiety

Here are a few gluten-free Slimming World recipes:

Soups:

Curries:

Snacks & Lunches:

Sweet treats: