I Share the Veggie, Gluten and Dairy Free Contents of My Cupboards, Fridge and Freezer!

“You’re vegetarian, gluten and dairy free, so what do you eat then?” I’m often asked this question because lots of people are some of the above but most people aren’t all of those things. So here is my response in photo’s.

I Eat

Crisps, natchos, bombay mix, nuts, seeds, cake bars, sweets, cooking sauces, gf pasta, gf gnochi, rice, soup, daal, chilli, gf muesli, ratatouille, roasted peppers, falafel, smokey sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts in garlic oil, tamari (soy sauce), gf pies, gf tarts, Vitalite, quinoa, lots of pickles, veggie kebab strips, veggie chicken pieces, McCain Smiles (crunchy on the outside, fluffy in the middle), humous, df cheese, curry, burritos, tacos, all manner of fresh veg, garlic mayo, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, salad cream.

I Drink

Strawberry/chocolate protein powder and rice/almond/coconut/hazelnut milk, innocent smoothies, orange/pomegranate/mango/guava  juice.

[I’m sorry that some of the photos could be clearer but it’s so difficult taking pictures inside a very deep cupboard and of backlit items in a fridge.]

If you have any queries about brands and ingredients, I’ll do my best to help you out :o)

Chrissie

Candy Kittens, Sweet Pineapple Gourmet Sweets

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Created by Jamie Laing of Made in Chelsea fame, Candy Kittens are naturally flavoured vegetarian sweets for grown-up’s.

The Sweet Pineapple flavour are the creamiest tasting sweets I’ve ever tried, which is impressive considering they are dairy free. I love the chewy texture – which unlike veggie Haribo don’t glue my teeth together.

The only improvement I would make would be to increase the pineapple flavour a little more as it was very subtle.

Hurrah, more dairy and gelatine free sweets for my cupboard!

Chrissie

Sweet Freedom, Choc Pot Chocolate Spread review

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Don’t compare this chocolate spread to Nutella, this tastes a lot different, in a good way. It really reminds me of the lovely chocolate on the top of traditional chocolate eclairs.

It’s completely dairy free and spreads really easily, even when it’s been in a very cold fridge. It’s perfect for spreading on white bread, adding to sweet pastries or eating with a spoon – 14 cals per teaspoon to be precise. ^_^

 

Gluten & Dairy Free, Veggie Foodie Review

As most of you will know by now I’m a vegetarian with food intolerance to gluten, egg white and dairy. Dairy makes me ‘go’ and wheat and eggs put a swift halt to that, making me incredibly full and bloated. Sometimes if I’m careful they can balance each other out, like eating a thin crust pizza with lots goats cheese on or making an omelette with a layer of Cheddar cheese in the middle for instance. However, 90% of the time I stick with free-from foods as it’s simpler and much kinder on my body in so many ways.

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Clockwise in a spiral

Gusto, Firebreath Oil

I know this isn’t exactly free-from but I bought it as a contrast to egg free mayo/garlic sauce for when I want a versatile spicy dressing and can’t be bothered reading endless ingredient labels in shops and having the fridge full of condiments. It’s perfect for pizza, pasta, salad and sauces.

Terre Vegane, Egg Free Omelett Mix

I’m getting a lot better at using this now. Pan well heated with a little oil, fry some onions or mushrooms a little first. Pour in mixture and swirl around pan, add salt and pepper. Leave it alone to cook then tease the edges loose and shake pan until omelett slides around. Flip over quickly and leave to cook again. Quick, simple and tasty, once you get the hang of it.

Rebel Kitchen, Mylk Banana 

This really should be called ‘Banana and Chocolate’ as it tastes just like banana and chocolate Chupa Chups. It’s coconut milk based rather soy which makes a nice change for dairy substitutes. My only complaint is the plastic straw as they never biodegrade but I s’pose if if your kid has a dairy intolerance/allergy what are you going to do?

Vego Whole Hazelnut Chocolate Bar (large)

Are these really the holy grail of dairy-free choccy bars? Yup! They taste like the outside of Forrero Rocher. Nommmmm. The Vegolino Fine Nougat Pralines taste like the centre of Forrero Rocher by the way but I find them too sickly.

Primal Strips Texas BBQ

I think these are even more divisive than Marmite. You either start craving them or you literally can’t chew them. Made from soy protein (non GMO) they are sort of squidgy and have a grain to them. Because of my Sensory Processing Disorder I crave stimulation when it comes to textures and flavour. As a kid I would demolish Peperami’s in seconds like some little wild cave-child so I love these! However, I’ve heard some people describe them as similar to eating an eraser and an old leather boot so…

Geo Choco Peanut Butter

I have to mix peanut butter with strawberry jam otherwise it feels like cement in my mouth. I ignored this fact when I bought this, thinking the chocolate would be runny and slippery enough. It’s not. I’ve started adding this to banana and almond milk smoothies instead of putting it on my grainy Genius bread. Maybe if I tried it on thin white bread it would be better.

Free & Easy Cheese Flavour Sauce Mix

I mix this up in a jug with sweetened almond milk, a little salt and some smoked paprika. Then I pour it into a pan of drained pasta and heat it while stirring constantly until it’s really thick. It makes some pretty good Mac n’ ‘cheese’!

Bouja Bouja Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles

I’m so glad I don’t have a nut allergy! These are little squares of heaven. They are dusted with bitter chocolate powder but are soft and sweet on the inside – the perfect balance once you bite into them.

Bute Island, Creamy Sheese, Cheddar Style Spread

This tastes exactly like their solid Cheddar style cheese. Similar to real cheese but slightly sweater, a lot like Wotsits or Cheese Poofs.

The Foods of Athenry, Belgian Chocolate Biscuit Bar, Caramel Rocky Road

THE BEST CHOCOLATE BAR EVER! This had caramel, marsmallow, biscuit and chocolate. It did not last very long. Nommmm

OMBAR, Centres, coconut and vanilla

This is the lightest, most refreshing little chocolate bar.  It tasted similar to a dark Bounty bar but with a smooth texture.

GranoVita Mushroom Pate 

Subtle savoury flavour, lovely on warm crusty bread or on crackers with cherry tomatoes.

I hope I’ve inspired you to try something a little different or maybe filled a gap in your dietary preferences, if you’ve been struggling.

What do you think of these?

Chrissie

 

Gluten & Dairy Free Veggie Shopping List & Reviews

Tesco Onion Rings

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Tasty and crispy.

Cauldron Marinated Tofu Pieces

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I absolutely love these simply fried up with some white onion and covered in salt, Szechuan pepper, black pepper, a tiny bit of BBQ sauce.

nakd Peanut Delight and Banana Crunch

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I know a lot of people don’t like nakd bars that much because of how squidgy they are but these two bars are crunchy with lots of texture. Whenever I come across the peanut one’s I buy about five at once.

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B Free Fajita Kit consists of some of the best gluten free tortillas I’ve tried, slightly sweet but spicy seasoning and spicy salsa.

Terra Vegane Easy Cheezy is a powder which is really easy to mix with any milk substitute and freshly cooked pasta in a pan. The flavour is very subtle so I use rice milk, a pinch of salt, a flat teaspoon of sugar and some smoked paprika to add a unique cheese flavour.

Cortas Falafel Mix is so simple to make. You just ad the required amount of water, stir  and let sit for two hours. It looks a little sloppy but if you plop a spoonful into a frying pan and leave the underside to fry before you try moving it you will get crunchy falafel where the centre is still soft and slightly moist.

Tesco Curry Noodles taste similar to a curry Pot Noodle (which is a nice change from Thai style curry flavours) and the rice noodles have a more solid consistency than some others I’ve tried. Perfect quick meal that’s surprisingly filling.

Schlar Cream Crackers taste a lot like Jacobs cream crackers but they are rather brittle and end up in pieces every time I try to spread something on them!

Curried Patra

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A roll usually provides two servings. This is easily reheated and rehydrated when nuked in a microwave for two minutes. Really tasty, even more so with a drizzle of sesame oil.

Ten Acre Crisps cheese and onion (I refuse to pretend that a piece of cheese is meeting an onion) flavour

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Me and my friends all read the ingredients because we couldn’t quite believe that these crisps were dairy free. They are delicious! Ten Acres (veggie) Chicken Soup flavour crisps are also amazing.

Meridian Pesto (I drew the ‘C’s’ on it so as not to confuse it with the Bloke’s jar)

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I love how much texture and protein this pesto has because of the large amount of cashews. I do wish it contained more salt and oil though as I always end up adding some.

Mrs Crimbles Bakewell Slices

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These Bakewell Slices along with Mrs Crimbles Coconut Chocolate Macaroons and Jam Coconut Rings have meant I’ve been able to eat cakes again when ever I want. They are so moist and lovely.

Good Hemp, Hemp Seed Hearts

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I was intrigued and a tad baffled when I was presented with these. Turns out they are perfect for adding a mild nutty flavour and a lot of protein to cereal or salads.

Go Falafel

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Yeah, I know this chain is really well known but it’s so good! I don’t know how many years the one just around the corner from Piccadilly on Newton Street was there before I found out about it. They are dairy free and you can ask for the Lunch Box with another piece of falafel instead of bread if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy. The salad is always interesting and fresh and changes slightly daily.

Which one’s do you like and which will you try?

Chrissie

Slabs Crisps & Bruschetta (dairy and/or gluten free) review

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I’ve found the crisp equivalent of a Yorkie chocolate bar – giant, chunky Slabs crisps. Each crisp is huge and absolutely full of flavour, literally awesome.

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I don’t think I’ve ever tasted crisps with more flavour than these Sweet Red Chilli one’s, wow!

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Full house, dairy and wheat free! Shame it’s only the sea salt flavour though.

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Here is something to always watch out for, just because the flavouring of something sounds dairy free, such as ‘Salt & Malt Vinegar’ it’s really important to read the ingredients. As you can see these contain lactose, a sugar derived from milk.

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Bread suitable for vegans? Fantastic! When I saw that these were individually cooked round breads I thought the crusts were going to be really hard but they were so light and really easy to eat, with or without a topping of mayo etc. I had to leave these alone after eating 3, 4, ok 6, because of my gluten intolerance but I highly recommend these to any veggie or vegan.

Chrissie

Banyan Restaurant, Corn Exchange

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Me and the Bloke decided to take Banyan up on their offer of an amazing 50% off for black Friday. We booked for mid-week as that was part of the offer and because we like to avoid the weekend crowds for quicker service and a more chilled atmosphere.

 

We found the decor to be that mixture of reclaimed industrial and practical vintage that every newish bar in Manchester displays these days. The lighting and furniture was soft and lent a nice coziness to the place. The tables were a decent size and not too tightly packed – very dyspraxic friendly!

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This Revitalise was the best mocktail I’ve ever tried, with blended kiwi, blueberry, raspberry, passion fruit, apple and lime. Wow!

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Oddly enough this is the first time I’ve tried hipster-bar-staple smashed avocado on toast. The edamame beans complimented the avo perfectly, like they were born to be together. Huge plus – the bread was gluten free and really nice. The Bloke was not impressed with his olives (in a very cute kilner jar) as they were cold, straight from the fridge but how else can you store them?

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I ordered the roasted veg and halloumi skewer, with sweet potatoes and tzatziki dip (you can choose your accompaniment and sauce) which I really enjoyed. The side salad was welcome and refreshing as well. I’ve never been faced with (whisper) too much halloumi before and gave the Bloke a chunk as I thought his red thai veggie curry – although delicious – wasn’t as substantial as it could have been.

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For desert the Bloke ordered sticky toffee pudding as he always does and said it was one of the best he’d ever tried (on a par with Greens in Didsbury) and I went for the salted caramel options as I always do. Salted caramel and chocolate torte which wasn’t gluten free but I didn’t care! It was beautiful, the perfect mix of salty and sweet. If it were a person I would marry it. We weren’t that impressed with the vanilla pod ice cream as it didn’t taste like traditional vanilla but more like an average block of ‘white’ ice cream you used to get from the ice cream van for 50p.

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The service we got was friendly and our server pointed out gluten free options for me on the desert menu but I have to say the pace of the service – although not quite glacial – was rather leisurely. This was mid-week from 7.30, with only two to three other tables occupied upstairs so I can’t imagine what it would be like later, on a weekend. I got an apology for how long it took her to bring the bill but it was no slower than the speed it took to get anything else that evening so I was barley noticing by that point. Banyan is not a place you quickly pop-in for a snack but rather a place where you go to kill time, apparently.

I was quite impressed with the value for money regarding the portion sizes as I’ve payed similar prices for much smaller servings. I’ve payed less for portions that are a similar size but the food wasn’t as good a quality, nor the dishes as interesting.

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Clear indications on menu of foods which are veggie, gluten free and ones containing nuts. (V) (N) (GF)

Gluten free menu available on request

Vegan menu available on request

Banyan, Manchester
Exchange Square
Manchester
M4 3TR

0161 832 4798

Have you been to Banyan?

Chrissie

 

Christmas Gifts for Foodies

Christmas Gifts for Foodies

 

#nom

Dinner at the Metropolitan – Didsbury

On Friday we decided to go for a drink and then for a meal. We visited The Metropolitan as they have a chilled atmosphere in the pub and a nice restaurant offering several interesting and well considered veggie options.

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I wish I’d have known how nice the outside area was before now, as we’d have visited regularly over the Summer with cocktails from the incredibly well stocked bar. As you can see, I was eyeing up the cakes from the moment we sat down in the restaurant lol

Starters

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Goats cheese and chive hash brown with apple puree and mixed leaves. This was absolutely lovely. The apple puree really complimented the goats cheese and was a nice twist.

Mains

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Asparagus tagliatelle, asparagus spears, Gran Moravia cheese, white wine & asparagus sauce. I very rarely see a mains with a white sauce as a veggie option so I was really looking forward to this, so much that I started eating it before remembering to take a piccy – oops! The sauce was delicate and well balanced and the asparagus was al dente just the way it should be. The only addition I would have added were pine nuts possibly. 

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I love skin-on sweet potato fries so ordered them as a side. The portion size of my mains and the side were so generous, I had to ask for a doggy bag for half of the fries!

Desert

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Lemon posset with lemon shortbread biscuits. This was delicious! Imagine the thickest, creamiest, smoothest cheesecake you’ve ever had. The biscuits were crunchy and buttery. I’ve tried a lemon posset and biscuits before at Greens restaurant and this was as amazing as that.

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The bloke ordered the same starter and desert as myself but chose sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce and ice cream. He said it was perfectly cooked on the outside and slightly gooey in the middle and really complimented by the sauce and fresh berries.

The only negative aspect of the night was that every time I ordered a cocktail I had to wait ages for it to arrive and flag someone down to inquire about it. I ordered one straight after my starter and had finished my main dish by the time it had arrived! Oddly, later as I went to the bar I got served instantly and was asked by two more people if I was being served. Maybe best to go to the restaurant on a weekday instead!

Chrissie