Celebrating Coeliac Awareness Week with M&S Food | AD

*Disclaimer – the products featured in this blog post were gifted by M&S Food for the purpose of inclusion in this blog post. This blog post is in collaboration with Marks & Spencer but all opinions are my own. 

As this week is Coeliac Awareness Week, there’s a lot going on in the free from community and lots of brands are doing their bit to show their support to us Coeliacs!

One of my favourite brands for gluten free food that I speak about A LOT is Marks & Spencer and as always, they’ve been at the top of the game when it comes to bringing out new free from products.

I always say how M&S’ free from range is a little different to other supermarkets as they bring out products that are different to everyone else’s. They’re often the foods you didn’t realise you missed until you could have them again and that’s what makes them so special.

I recently went for a wander around my local M&S Food Hall, which is Handforth Dean and met the manager there, Lucy. We picked some of their new products and best-sellers for me to try, so I thought I’d do this little haul style blog post for you, showing you what I got!

Made Without Wheat Raspberry Bakewell Slices 

One of the newer products at M&S, I picked these up mainly with my mum in mind as she loves Bakewell slices, so I knew she was the perfect person to review these!

You get 4 in a box and they’re a really decent size. There’s a good layer of raspberry jam and a generous topping of almond flakes and according to my mum ‘they tasted just like the regular ones’.

Made Without Wheat Caramel Crispie Mini Bites 

I’ve spoken about these little gluten free cake bites before over on my Instagram because they are one of the tastiest free from products I have ever tried!

They’re similar to their other mini bite tubs (which M&S are well known for) but these are totally gluten free and safe for coeliacs! They’re a rice crispie square with a layer of caramel and a layer of solid chocolate… so good!

Made Without Wheat Shortbread Rounds

I love shortbread biscuits and actually think gluten free shortbread is really nice and these are no exception.

You can’t beat a plain and simple shortbread biscuit and these ones are super buttery and just the right texture too, perfect for eating with a cup of tea or serving with a creme brulee!

Made Without Wheat Triple Chocolate Crunch Cereal

Probably one of my favourite gluten free products Marks & Spencer have ever brought out, their Triple Chocolate Crunch cereal might be a little bit high in calories and sugar but it is so good!

It’s a mixture of plain granola clusters and pieces of milk and white chocolate and for a Sunday morning breakfast or a special occasion, it is such a welcome treat!

Made Without Wheat Lemon Cheesecake Dessert

I’m not usually a huge cheesecake fan but I do really like lemon flavoured things, so I was still intrigued to try this little Lemon Cheesecake Dessert pot and I’m glad I did because it was delicious!

The cheese topping was super creamy and not overpowering and the main flavour throughout was sweet lemon which I personally loved. The cheescake base was pretty loose and crumbly but it is in a pot so that doesn’t matter so much!

Made Without Wheat Lemon Muffins 

These were part of M&S’ newest launch of gluten free products and they were probably the thing that grabbed my attention the most as I have been on the hunt for gluten free lemon muffins for ages!

I could find lemon cupcakes, lemon slices, lemon cakes but not lemon muffins and persoanlly, I think they all taste different so I particularly wanted muffns and I’m pleased to say these did not disappoint!

I used to love the original M&S lemon muffins and these tasted pretty much the same, just a little smaller but they come in packs of 4, so you can always just have more than one!

Made Without Wheat Sourdough Pizza

I love pizza and let’s be honest, gluten free pizza is pretty hit and miss, so when a new one comes out, I’m always keen to try!

I’ll be honest, I was hesistant about trying this as it retails for £4.50 which is a lot of money but when I was given the opportunity to try one for free, I jumped at the chance and I can confirm that I will definitely be purchasing this myself again.

If you don’t like thicker base pizzas, you probably won’t like this as the base is quite thick and doughy as it is a sourdough pizza but I personally liked this as the base was super soft and had good flavour.

They only do the pizza in a simple margarita but there’s plenty of cheese on top and I think this works as a nice blank canvas for you to add your own toppings if you want to!

Made Without Wheat Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli 

I love these fresh filled pastas and used to LIVE off them when I could eat gluten, so when I got diagnosed Coeliac, I was pretty disappointed about the selection available – like there was none when I first got diagnosed.

Schar brought out their variety a while back but in more recent months, all the supermarkets seemed to have jumped on this idea and brought out their own free from fresh pastas, including M&S.

I have tried to proscuitto fresh pasta from M&S’ free from range before, so am super excited to give this one a go – they make for a perfect super quick dinner!

Made Without Wheat Spaghetti Carbonara 

I’ve spoken about the Marks & Spencer Made Without Wheat ready meals before both on the blog and on my Instagram because I really like them! I don’t have ready meals very often because as gluten free food goes, ready meals are some of the worst but these are actually good and taste pretty homemade!

My favourites are the carbonara and the macaroni cheese, so if you’re looking for a quick dinner, these are good options!

Made Without Wheat Mixed Berry Crumbles

Finding gluten free desserts that aren’t chocolate is actually harder than you’d think, so it’s quite refreshing to see these berry crumbles available in the free from fridges!

I haven’t tried them yet but they look packed with fruit, so hopefully they’ll be good with some custard or ice cream!

Made Without Dairy Chocolate and Caramel Sticks (Gluten Free Too)

M&S do also have a selection of dairy free products too including ice creams which are delicious! These chocolate and caramel magnum style dairy free ice creams are a long-term favourite of mine.

You can’t tell that they’re dairy free by the taste and they’ve got the gluten free logo on the front of the box too for extra reassurance when shopping as a Coeliac.

Made Without Dairy Chocolate and Vanilla Cones 

Another gluten and dairy free ice cream option at M&S is these chocolate and vanilla ice cream cones – very like a cornetto!

I love ice creams like this, especially when the weather is hot and as it is nearly impossible to get gluten free ice cream cones at ice cream vans or in those little ice cream freezers in shops, I like to have things like these in the freezer so I don’t have to miss out!

You get 4 in the box and they’re actually a really good size, these also taste just like normal ice cream!

So, they’re some of my favourite free from products at M&S but what do you love? Let me know in the comments!

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Top Free From Finds in the Normal Aisles

All of us ‘free from foodies’ are guilty of it; heading straight to the free from aisle and falling for all the clearly labelled free from foods and paying the price for it too.

I don’t blame you because I did it for a long time too, not even giving a second thought that what I want might be available in the ‘normal aisles’ but over time, I’ve found some great free from foods mixed amongst the normal stuff and they’re nearly always cheaper!

Here are some of my best finds:

Tesco Brown Rice Fusilli Pasta

Is it just me or is the regular pasta aisle insanely large and crowded? Maybe I’ve got used to the compact selection of pasta available in the free from aisle but I can’t even begin to wonder how people navigate their way around all that!

One thing I did spot a while back when searching for some regular pasta for J was gluten-free brown rice fusilli pasta. Packaged like normal Tesco pasta but clearly labelled ‘gluten-free’ on the front, it costs 95p for 250g which considering the average serving of pasta is 70g, this will do a few servings!

It’s delicious and actually my favourite gluten-free pasta!

Tesco Salt & Vinegar Rice Cakes

One product that really winds me up is ‘free from’ rice cakes, I just think they’re such a con!

Rice is a naturally gluten-free product, so as much as you need to be aware of manufacturing methods and flavourings that could stop rice cakes being gluten-free, a lot of supermarket own brand ones from the regular aisle are gluten-free and safe for coeliacs!

I’ve mentioned how much I love the Tesco Salt & Vinegar rice cakes before and they’re definitely one of my favourite regular aisle finds!

Sausages

Processed meats are a bit of a funny one if you’re gluten free. You’re often told ‘meat is naturally gluten free’, which is true it is but processed meats like sausages can have gluten added to them but if you shop wisely, you don’t need to buy free from ones.

High quality sausages will often be gluten free because they have a high meat content and no added nasties.

The Tesco Finest sausages are mostly gluten free and they even add a GF label on the packaging!

Pasta and Stir Fry Sauces

The free from aisle is filled with specially designed free from sauces but if it’s only gluten you’re avoiding, you can often find safe sauces in the normal aisle.

Some of the Homepride pasta bake sauces are gluten free and safe for coeliacs but always check using the CUK app as some aren’t. We have the creamy tomato and herb one all the time!

Blue Dragon stir fry sauces are another staple in our house, we like the sweet chilli and garlic but if you’re low FODMAP, the sweet and sour one is gluten and dairy free and low FODMAP! Again, check each sauces individually with the app as some aren’t safe. I use the sweet and sour sauce to make my takeaway style chicken and it works perfectly!

Nature Valley Peanut Bars

I love peanut bars, some of my favourites are the Meridian Peanut Bars and KIND bars but they’re often sold in the free from aisle whereas the Nature Valley Protein Peanut Bars are labelled gluten free and sold from the regular cereal bar aisle!

They do a chocolate flavour, salted caramel and a coconut version and they’re so tasty! They’re still a little pricey but that’s because of the brand, not because they’re gluten free!

They may still be a little expensive but because they’re a regular brand, they go on offer all the time!

Tesco Gluten Free Fresh Ravioli

Something you may have walked past in the regular fresh pasta aisle a fair few times is the Tesco own gluten free spinach and ricotta ravioli.

It’s not branded in their free from packaging but it does say gluten free on the front and it is delicious!

It cooks in minutes and has a really good flavour, the pasta is delicious and it costs just a little over a £1 for a pack!

Sainsbury’s Crispy Chilli Beef

Possibly one of the best free from finds ever, when I saw on a Facebook group that Sainsbury’s own brand Crispy Chilli Beef from their oriental section was safe for coeliacs, I could’ve cried.

I haven’t had a Chinese takeaway since I was diagnosed, so I try to make my own versions of my favourite dishes but could never pluck up the courage to try and make this, so when I heard the Sainsbury’s pre-made one was safe, I was so happy.

It’s super easy to cook and really delicious!

If you’ve got the time to shop around, read the labels and scan everything with your CUK app, you can find some super affordable and really tasty free from foods in the regular aisles of the supermarket!

What’s your favourite free from find from the normal aisles? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram!

Gluten Free Store Cupboard Essentials

Since moving into my own house, I’ve had to do way more cooking than I ever did when I lived with my parents and have also had to think about the food I’ve got in my house way more.

I’ve only been living here for two weeks but I’ve already picked up on a few gluten free store cupboard essentials that I reach for a lot and can always rely on to help me make a meal, so I thought I’d share those with you.

Pasta

This is quite an obvious one but I can’t be without a pack of gluten free pasta in the cupboards. Me and James always say that if you’ve got pasta, you’ve got a meal and that really is true,

Me and J really love pasta and it was our go to when we lived with our parents, so we’ve tried not to rely on it too much in the new house and be a bit more experimental but we love pasta bakes, pasta with a sausages or pancetta and it’s just an easy meal.

Rice

Similarly to pasta, it’s always good to have rice in. It’s cheap, naturally gluten free and has the longest use by date, so if you don’t have to worry about eating it super quick.

I like to eat plenty of rice as it’s relatively healthy and it’s also naturally gluten free, so good if you’re avoiding too many processed free from foods.

We normally have one or two meals with rice a week and we personally have brown rice but I do love whiter rice too. We like doing chicken with a sweet and sour sauce and serve with vegetables and rice or chilli with rice and tacos.

Baked Beans

I used to eat SO many baked beans like I’d probably have a small tin or snap pot everyday but I haven’t eaten as many since we moved out as I’m trying to push myself with cooking but I do still always keep them in and LOVE them!

I prefer Heinz beans and know they’re gluten free, so personally always go for those ones and if you go to places like Poundland or Home Bargains, you can get them for really reasonable prices.

Baked beans are great for quick and easy meals when you still want to get a decent amount of protein. We love beans on toast or crumpets, jacket potatoes with beans and cheese or having full English breakfasts for dinner!

Promise Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Brioche

When we moved house, my eating went out the window. I was so stressed and busy, I just wasn’t making enough time to eat but I did manage to have breakfast everyday thanks to the gluten free chocolate chip brioche rolls from Promise.

I talk about these all the time but I am generally addicted. They’re currently on offer in Sainsbury’s for £1 a pack which I great value and I warm two up for my breakfast in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt the chocolate and it is the quickest, easiest and tastiest breakfast.

Bread

Another obvious one but I really do rely on bread for lunches. I’m pretty fussy and tend to stick for sandwiches for lunch, so having bread in is an essential.

Not only is it good for everyday lunches, having gluten free bread in makes for quick and easy dinners too likes bacon sandwiches, beans on toast or part of a full English as a treat!

My current favourite bread is the Tesco own brand gluten, wheat, milk and egg free sliced seeded bread!

Meridian Peanut Bars

If I’m not in the mood to eat a lot or need a quick snack, I’ll always go for one of the Meridian peanut bars.

These are packed with proteins and are gluten and dairy free, so as sweet snacks go, they’re not too bad for you and keep you really full, so are good as a small breakfast if you’re busy or struggle to eat in a morning.

I hope you’ve found this useful if you’re looking to stock up your cupboards with some free from essentials!

I have a whole list of fridge and freezer essentials too, so if you’d me to share those with you, let me know!

What are you store cupboard essentials for gluten free cooking? Share in the comments!

Healthy Gluten Free Dinner Ideas

For some reason, I found staying healthy really difficult when I first went gluten free which is strange considering your safest option for food when you’re newly gluten free is fresh foods such as veg and meat.

Over time, me and my family have found plenty of healthy gluten free dinner options, so I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you.

Sweet and Sour Pork Stir Fry

This meal has to be one of my most favourite but also one of the healthiest… it’s very easy and delicious!

It doesn’t get much quicker and easier than a stir fry and this is just such a tasty go to meal in our house.

Ingredients

– pork (you could use chicken)

– rice noodles

– Blue Dragon sweet and sour stir fry sauce

– red pepper

– broccoli

– sweetcorn

– carrots

Gluten and Dairy Free Chilli Tacos

Tacos are another one of my favourite meals. I don’t like chilli very spicy and I hate onions, so the version of chilli my mum makes for my tacos is more of a savoury mince but it’s full of flavour and very easy to make.

Ingredients

Chilli:

mince beef

– tomato purée

– sweetcorn

– baked beans

– chilli spices/seasoning

Serve with:

– brown rice

– dairy free mozzarella

– Asda taco shells

Gluten and Dairy Free Pea and Pesto Tagliatelle

This meal is a very quick and easy one that I threw together one night and have remade so many times since as it is so tasty, pretty healthy but just insanely easy to make.

I love pasta and find the Tesco gluten and dairy free tagliatelle one of the best!

Ingredients

– Tesco Free from tagliatelle

– Tesco Free from pesto

– dairy free mozzarella

– peas

– sweetcorn

– pancetta

Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Curry

I can’t take any credit for this recipe as I saw it on Gluten Free Alice‘s Instagram and the recipe is from her blog but this gluten free and vegan curry is so healthy and very easy to make but most importantly, very tasty!

Head to her blog for the recipe!

As she suggested, we serve with rice and M&S gluten free naan.

Sausage, Mash and Roasted Vegetables

It doesn’t get much tastier and easier than sausage and mash and it’s easy to make this dish quite healthy.

We use Aldi sausages which are gluten free but the Heck ones are great too and then make the mashed potato dairy free and add loads of veg!

Ingredients

sausages

– mashed potato made with soya milk and dairy free spread

– broccoli

– roasted carrots, parsnips and butternut squash

Shepard’s Pie with Extra Veg

Shepard’s pie is a go to meal for my family as it’s really healthy, tasty and proper comfort food!

We don’t add onions to our Shepard’s pie because I really don’t like them but we pack it out with loads of different veg and serve with more vegetables to make it as healthy as possible.

Ingredients

lamb mince

– carrots

– root vegetables

– mashed potato made with soya milk and dairy free spread

– dairy free mozzarella

– Shepard’s pie seasoning

– sprouts to serve with (you can change for any veg)

I hope you’ve found this useful if you’re on the hunt for new dinner ideas.

If you’d like me to post full recipes for any of these meals, let me know in the comments and I’ll do that!

Gluten Free Food Haul – Morrisons

There’s nothing I love more than looking at other peoples gluten free food hauls from different supermarkets, so I thought I’d share with you all the goodies I picked up on a recent visit to Morrisons!

I don’t live particularly near to a Morrisons, so made a special trip out to get some new bits, stock up on some treats and I really wanted to find the new Schar fresh pasta (spoiler: I was successful).

I usually shop in Tesco and Sainsburys, so was amazed by how many different products there were in Morrisons that I’d never seen before!

Schar Fresh Pasta

I can’t remember the last time I had any fresh pasta and although I personally like the dried GF pasta, I missed fresh tortellini as it used to be a staple part of my diet!

I was so excited when I saw the new Schar fresh pasta range but was gutted it was only stocked in Morrisons and after visiting one nearish to me, I couldn’t find it but on this trip, I managed to.

I picked up the two I’d really wanted to try which was the plain tagliatelle and the ‘tortellini con prosciutto crudo’ as these were the two varieties I knew I would like the most and actually really enjoy!

Mash Direct Beer Battered Chips

I’ve heard a lot about ‘Mash Direct’ as a brand but never tried anything but I heard Becky Excell from Gluten Free Cuppa Tea talk about these chips in a recent video, so I had to pick them up.

They’re thick and crispy battered chips that are totally gluten free and I haven’t see anything like these anywhere else!

Mash Direct Crispy Vegetable Bakes

I still live at home, so my parents still cook some of my main meals for me but occasionally they’ll have something I don’t like or can’t eat, so I like to have freezer food in that is healthy, tasty and easy to make into a meal, hence I thought these crispy vegetable bakes looked perfect.

They contain potato, broccoli, carrots and loads of other veg and are covered in a GF crumb.

Mash Direct Cauliflower Cheese Gratin

I’ve always been a huge cauliflower cheese fan and will even eat it alone as a veggie meal and although it isn’t too hard to make it GF, it’s nice to have pre-made ones in the freezer for when I’m the only one eating it or need a smallish meal one night.

Schar Gluten Free Mini Pizzas

I love pizza and have found plenty of good gluten free ones but never mini ones like this, so thought these would be good to have in for quick lunches and dinners.

They’re just plain cheese and tomato flavour but you could easily add your own toppings to make them more interesting!

Whole Creations Cookie Dough – Simply Butter

I really like baking and think it is a great thing to do to get tasty GF treats that are safe to eat but if there’s one thing I can not make, it’s biscuits which is why I thought this cookie dough from Whole Creations would be perfect.

All you have to do is cut it up and bake but seen as I bought the plain butter flavour, I thought I could add extra ingredients to change the flavour and make them a bit more interesting!

Whole Creations Chicken and Pesto Pizza

As I said, I’ve tried a lot of GF pizzas but never a Whole Creations one and I’ve never seen a gluten free chicken and pesto pizza and this used to be one of my all time favourite pizza flavours before going gluten free, so I had to give it a go!

Morrisons Free From Choco Pop Bars

My dietician told me to avoid oats for a while which kind of cut out all GF cereals bars as my boyfriend is allergic to nuts, so I tend to avoid nut bars but when I saw these coco pop style cereal bars from Morrisons own brand, I had to pick them up.

I thought these would make good snacks or slightly healthier sweet treats.

Moo Free Easter Egg

Not a weekly shop staple but as it was the day before Easter, I had to grab a free from Easter egg.

They had a few options, all of which I shared on Instagram but I just went for this little one from Moo Free, it’s the plain chocolate one with ‘choccy drops’ and is gluten free, dairy free, soya free and vegan!

I hope you have found this useful if you’re planning a trip to Morrisons to stock up on some free from bits, I’ll be doing reviews on most of these, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Recipe: Gluten Free Easter Krispie Cakes

When you’re gluten free, if you want something tasty and totally safe, the easiest way to get it is to make it yourself.

I love Krispie cakes with mini eggs but you just can’t buy them pre-made and gluten free, so I’ve created my own recipe and it’s super easy and absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

2 x bags of Cadbury Giant Chocolate Buttons (could swap this for 200g of any chocolate of your choice)

75g of Gluten Free Rice Pops (I used Nestle Go Free)

50g of Mini Marshmallows

90g of Cadbury Mini Eggs (save 8/9 for the top)

1 Teaspoon of Butter/Spread (I used Vitalite DF spread as it’s all I had)

Method

1. Line a square 20cm x 20cm baking tin with baking paper

2. Measure out the rice pops and mini marshmallows and mix in a bowl

3. Put 8/9 mini eggs aside for the top and crush the rest using a knife. I found it easiest to place each egg on a chopping board and crush under the side of a knife

4. Add the crushed mini eggs to your dry ingredients and mix them all

5. Place a small amount of hot water in a pan on a low heat and put your chocolate buttons or broken chocolate and spread in a heat proof bowl on top (Bain Marie)

6. Use a plastic spatula to keep the chocolate and spread mixed and moving until totally melted and smooth

7. Once the chocolate is totally melted, pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix everything together immediately. Keep mixing until all dry ingredients are evenly coated in chocolate

8. Once the mixture is perfectly mixed, pour into your lined tin and press down with the spatula or back of a spoon to ensure it is compact and evenly spread (you could put this in muffin cakes instead to make nest cakes)

9. Press the whole mini eggs you kept to one side into the top of the mixture, either randomly or in a pattern

10. Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours or longer if required, the mixture needs to be totally set before removing

11. Once the mix is totally solid, remove from the tin using the baking paper and cut into pieces, I got about 15 pieces.

This is a real treat and very tasty, worth every calorie!

I love these no bake recipes and there’s barely any washing up too!

If you try this recipe, send me your pictures on Instagram, you can find me @glutenfreewithellie !

Top Gluten and Dairy Free Food Picks

I’ve shared my favourite gluten free products before but I know many coeliacs and gluten free eaters who also have to avoid dairy and I myself am supposed to limit my intake.

I thought I’d share with you my top food picks that are gluten and dairy free. Some of these may be duplicates from other posts but these will all be gluten AND dairy free.

Warburtons Gluten Free Bread

One of my favourite gluten free bread brands is Warburtons Gluten Free.

I’ve tried their tiger loaf, mighty mini loaf and sandwich thins and really liked all of them.

All their breads are gluten, wheat and milk free but do contain eggs.

They’re bread is soft and tastes just like normal bread, it also freezes and defrosts well which makes it easier to store.

Warburtons Gluten Free Crumpets

Continuing with products I love from Warburtons Gluten Free that are also dairy free, I ADORE THEIR CRUMPETS!!

I’ve raved about these on my Instagram before but they are so so good and taste just like normal crumpets!

These also freeze and defrost well so I like to stock up and keep them in the freezer until I want them!

 

Genius Pancakes

Genius’ products are also all gluten, wheat and milk and there’s so many I could recommend but their pancakes are so so good!

I also like the M&S ones but these are my favourite and they contain no gluten or dairy.

They’re soft and fluffy and taste just like normal scotch pancakes.

I also love the cakes from Genius, the best are chocolate muffins and lemon cupcakes, both of which are also gluten and dairy free.

 

Marks & Spencer’s Dairy Free Caramel Ice Cream Sticks

When I was told to avoid dairy, one of the main things my dietician told me to cut out was ice cream and I love ice cream so that was a problem for me…

I’ve tried a few different dairy free ice creams but the nicest I’ve tried is the M&S dairy free caramel ice cream sticks.

They’re gluten and dairy free magnums basically, they’ve got a thick coating of tasty chocolate and really nice caramel ice cream and I LOVE THEM!

 

Vitalite Dairy Free Spread

Another thing I stopped using straight away was dairy containing spreads/butter and swapped for dairy free spread which has been one of the easiest swaps to make.

I’ve tried a few but I really like the Vitalite one and have repurchased this one the most. I find it tastes like my regular spreads and goes nicely with toast, crumpets, jacket potatoes, etc.

I also find this one is the most affordable, usually about £1.20!

Tesco Free From Chocolate Sponge Pudding

I’ve mentioned how good these are before but they’re gluten, wheat and milk free so they needed mentioning again in this post.

The Tesco Free From Chocolate sponge puddings are so amazing and a real treat. They’re so chocolatey, a really soft sponge and easy to cook, so they’re just a perfect pudding!

I’ve just picked a few of my favourite gluten and dairy free picks but there’s so many more, the Nestle Go Free Rice Pops, Tesco Chipz crisps and Tesco Free From Pasta are also great picks.

I hope you’ve found this useful if you’re looking for good gluten and dairy free foods to try!

What are your top GF and DF purchases? Share them in the comments!

Recipe: Gluten Free, Low Calorie Popcorn Bars

As you know by now, I’m diagnosed with coeliac disease (via blood test) and have to eat a totally gluten free diet.

As much as the selection of the free from foods are pretty good nowadays, being gluten free has made me want and need to make more of my own foods. I like to cook recipes for meals and treats at home that I know are totally gluten free and a lot of the time dairy free too.

I recently watched Tom Kerridge’s new programme ‘Lose Weight for Good’ and my mum bought the book too. He made a recipe for chocolate popcorn bars and I decided to adapt the recipe to make it gluten free, so I thought I’d share my version of the recipe with you.

Ingredients

  • 200g dark chocolate (check for no milk to ensure dairy free)
  • 40g sweet and salted popcorn (recipe says salted but we used a mixture)
  • 50g gluten free puffed rice (I used Nestle Go Free)
  • 40g mini marshmallows (recipe says chop large ones up but I prefer the mini ones)
  • 25g dried cranberries (I don’t like these but my parents do, so we halved the amount and split the mixture in two)

Method

  1. Line a 20cm tin with two layers of cling film
  2. Start by bringing a small pan of water to a simmer and while this is heating up, break the 200g of dark chocolate into a heat proof bowl
  3. Measure the popcorn, puffed rice and marshmallows out and place all in a bowl and mix round without breaking any of the ingredients up
  4. Once your water is simmering, place the bowl of chocolate on top and stir constantly with a silicone spatula while it melts until totally smooth
  5. Once the chocolate is totally melted, take it off the heat and pour over the bowl of dry ingredients and stir through
  6. Once that is all mixed in, I take half the mixture out and place it in one side of my lined tin and press it down
  7. Add the cranberries to the other half of the mixture and stir though (if you want cranberries in the whole mixture, add these in at step 3)
  8. Pour this half of the mixture into the empty half of the tin and press the whole thing down
  9. Cover the whole thing with cling film and place into the fridge for at least two hours or until totally set
  10. Remove from the fridge when set and cut into 20-pieces. With pieces of that size, each bar will be just 90 calories!

I hope you guys enjoy my version of this recipe, you can find the original version in Tom Kerridge’s book or online at BBC Food!

To keep updated with all my gluten free food finds and recipes, follow my new Instagram @glutenfreewithellie

Current Gluten Free Favourites

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to try more new foods and expand the range of foods I was trying and choosing.

Me and my family never use ready meals and cook all my main meals ourselves but I do buy snacks and breakfast foods from the free from aisles.

I’ve shared some of my favourite products before, so I thought I’d do an updated version because I’ve tried some new things that I think you guys need to know about!

Warbutons Gluten Free Crumpets

I wasn’t actually a regular eater of crumpets before I went GF but since Warbutons did their rebrand, I’ve been eating their crumpets all the time and I love them!

They’re gluten, wheat and milk free so suitable for so many people!

They’re so soft and tasty and go well with so many different toppings!

They’re about £2 for a pack of 4 and they’re available in most UK supermarkets!

Tesco Free From Chocolate Chip Cookies

Missing Maryland Cookies? These Tesco chocolate chip cookies are free from gluten, wheat and milk and taste exactly like the Maryland ones!

These have got a good crunch and are full of chocolate chips, they’ve got a great flavour!

They are made with oat flour, so if you’re not allowed oats yet, these wouldn’t be suitable!

You get 12 for £1.30!

Tesco Free From Chicken Goujons

Tesco have recently expanded their fresh free from range and added lots of ‘breaded’ chicken and fish products.

I tried the chicken goujons which are free from gluten and wheat and also have no milk containing ingredients.

Their made with great quality chicken breast and they’ve got a great taste and texture!

Tesco Ready Salted Chipz

I know, another Tesco product but they’re honestly my number one supermarket for free from!

The Tesco’s own version of Pringles, called Chipz, are gluten free and have no milk containing ingredients either!

They taste just like the original Pringles and they’re just so tasty!

They’re also really affordable because they’re a supermarket own brand and not a specialist free from product!

Genius Lemon Cupcakes

I have a sweet tooth, there’s no denying that and one of my all time favourites is lemon cake!

I’ve tried a few different lemon cakes but the Genius lemon cupcakes are the best! They’re quite small but they’re also quite filling!

Although they’re gluten, wheat and milk free, they’re so light and lemony and the icing is also so tasty!

They’re available in Sainsbury’s and you get 2 for £2.25

Tesco Chocolate Sponge Pudding

I promise this is the last Tesco product… but you need to know about these!

I’ve always loved hot chocolate sponge puddings and was so pleased when I tried these ones from Tesco because they’re AMAZING!

They’re gluten, wheat and milk free but still have a really soft texture and strong chocolate taste!

They cook in just 35 seconds in the microwave and go perfectly with vanilla ice cream (I use the Alpro vanilla ice cream).

They also do a syrup sponge pudding if chocolate isn’t your thing!

They’re £1.25 each but worth every penny!

Sainsbury’s Freshly Baked Gluten Free Rolls

Yes you read that right, FRESHLY BAKED gluten free bread!

Finding food GF bread can be hard but the selection of freshly baked GF bread at Sainsbury’s is the softest and tastiest I’ve tried!

It’s gluten and wheat free and has no milk containing ingredients yet still has an authentic bread taste!

They do small baguettes, loaves, seeded mini rolls and the white mini rolls which are my favourite. You get two mini rolls for around £1.50 which isn’t bad for gluten free.

They’re baked in their bags in store to avoid cross contamination and displayed on the top shelf of the bakery!

I hope you’ve found this useful if you’re on the hunt for some new gluten and dairy free treats!

What are your go to GF products, share them in the comments!

For more gluten free food inspiration, go and follow my new gluten free account, @glutenfreewithellie

24 Hours in Manchester: Makeup, Style and Gluten Free Food

J bought me tickets to see Shrek the Musical at the Palace Theatre in Manchester as a Christmas present, so we decided to book a hotel and make a little city break out of it.

We stayed at a premier inn near the theatre, did some shopping, watched the show, had some great (maybe not so healthy) gluten and dairy free food and then headed to Old Trafford for the stadium tour (J’s part of the deal)!

I thought I’d share with you the makeup I used, clothes I wore and food I ate during 24-hours in Manchester as well as a little review of everything we got up to!

Makeup

I love going to the theatre and I love to get dressed up and make an effort when I get chance to go, so I decided to go quite glam with my makeup!

Below are the products I used for the look:

  • NYX Photo Ready Primer – Green
  • B by Superdrug Liquid Illuminator
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid
  • Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
  • Urban Decay Naked Concealer
  • Anastasia Cream Contour Kit
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
  • MAC Mineralise Skin Finish Powder – Give Me Sun
  • Illamasqua Beyond Powder – OMG
  • Fleur De Force Brow Powder
  • MAC Studio Fix Concealer
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • MAC Painterly Paint Pot
  • Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette
  • Violet Voss Holy Grail Palette
  • Tanya Burr Cosmetics Selfie Lash Mascara
  • MAC Blankety Lipstick
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

I did my makeup pretty much the same next day but used the No7 Beautifully Matte foundation instead of the MAC one as I like that for daily wear.

Fashion

Like I said before, I wanted to get dressed up for the theatre but for me, dressing up is jeans and heels, so here is the look I wore for the show:

Jacket – Ted Baker

Black Cami Top – Matalan

Jeans – Next

Heels – Primark

Clutch Bag – Dorothy Perkins

Bracelet – Monica Vinader

Rings – Pandora

For the stadium tour, I wanted to be comfy and it was raining, so being warm and dry was important too!

This outfit is pretty standard for me:

I had the same next jeans on, a plain black top for Victoria’s Secret, white Converse, my black coat is Zara, scarf is Boohoo and the jewellery is all the same!

Food

Many of you will know that I’m gluten free and also have to try and be dairy free too, so being away from home can be tricky when it comes to eating but we had some really nice GF and DF food!

We got lunch from M&S food and Tesco, I had one of their ‘to go’ packs of cocktail sausages (GF and DF) and a pack of kettle chips!

For dinner we had Pizza Express and I had the GF base with tomato sauce, vegan mozzarella and pepperoni and for my first ever GF and DF pizza, it was so lovely!

Bit of a naughty breakfast before we headed home… McDonalds hash browns, they don’t have any gluten or dairy containing ingredients and cross contamination doesn’t pose a major threat (in my opinion) and I have no problem eating these (always research fast food, everyone is different)!

Shrek the Musical

I’m a musical lover so was couldn’t wait to see Shrek the Musical at the Palace Theatre in Manchester! I love the film and didn’t know what to expect from the stage show, but it was so entertaining, great for all ages and I’d highly recommend you try and get tickets while it’s touring!

Old Trafford Stadium Tour

J bought himself a voucher to do this tour and we decided to use it while we were in Manchester!

I’m not a football fan and don’t follow any team but J is a real united fan so he was so excited! The tour was fine for a non-football fan and I did enjoy it but from a real fan, J really loved it and would recommend it if you’re a supporter!

I hope you’ve found this interesting if you’re local to Manchester or have a trip coming up!

What are your favourite things to do in Manchester?