Gluten Free in Edinburgh – Tupiniquim’s crepes!

Since I moved to Edinburgh this summer, every time I’ve passed the ‘Brazil Crepe’s’ stall (it’s actually an old police box) just going into the Meadows, I’ve thought I needed to go there. I just never got around to it until last week. On the awning above the ‘box’, it says ‘gluten free’, so this was a pretty obvious choice for me!

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I wish, wish, wish I had known about this place on the few occasions I was around during the Edinburgh Festival, with the weather being so fantastic this summer and all the things that are happening around the streets at the time, I bet the atmosphere would have been cool! If you go onto their website and go to the pictures section, there are a few which make it look like they had their own little festival going on!

So I went to this place last week – and after getting home and looking it up online by just typing in ‘Brazil Crepes Edinburgh’ to Google (cause that’s what their sign says), I found out it’s actually called Tupiniquim. (Which actually is a name for some indigenous people of Brazil, don’t you know).

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I got chatting to the owner and asked him about why he decided to make ALL of the crepes they make, gluten free. He explained that his son had a lactose intolerance, which led to a gluten intolerance, and in light of this, he began cooking gluten free. When he opened the crepe stall, he said having a batch of each gluten free and regular batter could cause cross-contamination, so decided to go totally gluten free. To which I am very glad, as I’m sure lots of other people are!

I ordered a chicken curry piri-piri crepe, and I was asked whether I needed it dairy free too – I found out they can also make them with soya milk or almond milk batter – they’ve thought of everything! So I got my crepe – chicken in a spicy sauce with tomatoes and peppers, spinach, cheese, and jalapeños – it was supposed to have avocados in it, but I’m not a fan of those.

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It was super good. I wouldn’t normally have a savoury pancake – I’m 100% a lemon and sugar girl, but this was good. The crepe was as good (better) than I usually make at home, and the filling was really tasty. It cost about £4.50 – very reasonable when you consider what a hot sandwich could cost, especially when there was pretty much a large meal inside it!

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I went back again this week and got myself a lemon and sugar one. I took my friend with me (who doesn’t follow a gluten free diet), and she agreed the crepes were great! It makes me happy when a friend can eat something which is gluten free, and genuinely say it’s fantastic and they’d go again, even though they could easily go out and get/make themselves a glutened-up version.

Here’s a link to their website. 

Gluten free potato cakes

I was inspired to try making some potato cake type snacks after trying ‘Glamorgan Sausages’ from a company called Goodlife. I hadn’t heard of this company before, but discovered a few of their products in the frozen aisle. I had been craving some kind of veggie burger/bean burger thing for a while – the café I used to work in B.A. (before allergy) used to have these amazing spicy coated bean burgers and I miss them – so I was looking at the veggie burgers when I came across Goodlife. The packaging of the Glamorgan sausages doesn’t jump out at you as being gluten free, but once I had scanned over the cardboard box I found the small gluten free symbol, and of course checked the ingredients just to be sure!

I cooked the so-called veggie sausages and I have to say they tasted great, but I would one hundred per cent have called them potato and vegetable croquettes if it were me who had been in charge of naming! So after eating these I decided to try making my own potato cake-y-ish-type of something.

If you have left-over boiled potatoes from last night’s supper, this is a super tasty snack or meal accompaniment to use them up!

For this I used:

About 5 medium sized new potatoes
1 carrot
1 large onion
A handful of peas
1 tbsp gluten free flour
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsb chilli powder
Salt & pepper

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I boiled the potatoes, waited until they were cool, then mashed them up in a large bowl. After this I grated in the carrot – I chopped off the ends but didn’t peel it. I finely chopped the onion and added that to the bowl, along with the peas. With my hands I mixed up the mixture a little, then added in the flour, spices, salt and pepper. After all the ingredients are well and truly mushed up together, heat oil in a frying pan. On a clean surface or chopping board, sprinkle a good covering of flour, and then grab small handfuls of the mixture and press into the flour, making them into small pancakes about 1cm thick. Fry them in batches and turn them until they have turned golden brown. Enjoy!

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I wouldn’t say my version tasted very much like the ones I got from Goodlife – they were quite different – but I would definitely recommend trying some of their products if you come across them – they are all vegetarian and they do a selection of gluten, dairy and egg free food. I will definitely be looking out for more of their products!

Here is a link to their website. 

Gluten free in Edinburgh – Falko: Konditormeiser

Wow, I haven’t written on here in a long time! I’ve had a busy summer so I have a huge back-log of gluten free adventures to write about. I have millions (not literally) of food photos saved from different outings, now I just need to get organised and write all about them!

So I have moved from Glasgow now (boooo) and into Edinburgh, I finished my two years at college and have now progressed into 3rd year at Edinburgh Napier University. Being in a new city means finding new fantastic places to eat fantastic food!

The first place I’ve been to for some gluten free treats is a German bakery called Falko: Konditormeiser in Brunstfield. My mum came down to Edinburgh and I am staying in the Bruntsfield area, so we decided to have a wander around and see where we could go for lunch. Bruntsfield is full of lovely little cafe’s and shops, but this German bakery caught our eye.

Once inside the cafe, there is a wonderful display of freshly baked varieties of bread and amazing looking cakes, each of which had a small label highlighting which common allergens each contained – eggs, dairy, nuts, wheat and gluten. I ordered the sweet potato and chilli soup which was lovely – super spicy, but lovely. Even though I had made sure it was gluten free before ordering and asked if they had any gluten free bread to go with it (which they didn’t), the soup was served to me with two slices of ‘regular’ bread. I guess they were just serving me what they would regularly serve and didn’t want me to be missing out, but for the fact that I’d stated that I couldn’t have gluten I thought it was a bit silly.

The soup was reaaally filling so I probably shouldn’t have had anything else, but I couldn’t resist having a slice of the gluten free rich looking chocolate cake. It was made with ground almonds instead of flour and was pretty heavy – not in a bad way though – it was just quite different, I had never really experienced German baking before! The cake was lovely and I will definitely be trying more of their gluten free baking! My mum had an amazing looking cake as you can see in the picture, but sadly I couldn’t try it as it wasn’t gluten free!

Here is a link to their website.

Gluten free in Glasgow – Firebird

My boyfriend says I should re-name my blog to‘gluten free pizza diaries’, because it seems that every time I’m writing about food I’ve had in Glasgow, it’s pizza. What can I say? I love pizza.

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Last weekend we went out for supper at Firebird restaurant on Argyle Street before going to see World War Z in the cinema. I knew they did gluten free pasta and pizza and had wanted to go there for ages, and seeing as I am leaving Glasgow and moving to Edinburgh in a couple of weeks’ time, I thought it was about time I actually went to eat there before it was too late! What can I say? WHY hadn’t I been there before!?

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We had booked in advance as it was a Friday, and good job we did – it was pretty busy and there were people waiting for a table sitting in the little outside seating bit (for once it has been reasonable weather in Scotland so I guess people were also making the most of that.) I ordered a gluten free – or as it’s called on the menu ‘W.O.W – without wheat – margherita pizza. It was fantastic. One of the best, if not THE best gluten free pizza I’ve had. The base was really thin, but not horribly crispily cardboardy and burnt like they can be. It was the most Italian gluten free pizza I’d say I’ve had as it was thinner and less doughy than others. It was as if all the other gluten free pizzas I’d had were good because they were a substitute to something I could no longer eat, but I feel Firebird really have made an effort to make their pizzas awesome, and not just ‘it’s good for being gluten free’.

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It wasn’t expensive either – £9.00 for my pizza. I would highly recommend anyone who wants gluten free pizza (and probably ‘regular’ pizza also as my boyfriend said his was great too) to go to Firebird. Next time I go I’ll have to try a pasta dish just for the sake of going somewhere and NOT ordering pizza! Oh, and the movie was pretty good too. 

Here is a link to their website.

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Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake

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It was my Grandma’s 88th birthday yesterday so obviously, it was cake making time! I couldn’t decide between an amazing flourless rich chocolate cake I make, a cream and fruit cake, or lemon drizzle. In the end I decided I better go with which one I thought she’d appreciate most (although if I’d been making it for myself it would 100% have been the chocolate one) so I went with a gluten free lemon drizzle cake. The strong citrus taste gives it loads of flavour and the ‘drizzle’ part of it keeps it moist. Because the drizzle and icing are made from pure lemon juice, it tastes amazingly fresh and zingy unlike some synthetic overly-sweet lemon cakes you can buy in shops.

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For my Grandma’s birthday day out, we took her to the amazing cake shop in outside of Kingussie I mentioned before, The Potting Shed, so after we’d had cake there, my lemon cake seemed a bit redundant! But it was enjoyed anyway (I hope!)

The recipe I use for the main cake mixture is one I took from a basic fruit cake recipe I used to use when I worked in a coffee shop. It works really well for fruit cakes and more dense cakes you’d bake in a loaf tin and is less runny than a regular sponge cake mixture. I’ve changed it around a bit to suit being gluten free but I find it gives a great result as with the lemon drizzle cake, the lemon adds extra moisture, and if you were to use it as a fruit cake mixture the fruits in it provide the moisture.

Ingredients:

(For the cake mixture) –

1 un-waxed lemon

7oz self-raising gluten free flour

4oz margarine

4oz caster sugar

2 large eggs

(For the top)

1 un-waxed lemon

Roughly 1oz caster sugar

Roughly 3oz icing sugar

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Method:

Firstly, turn the oven on to 160°C, and line a loaf tin about 8X3 inches and 4 inches deep. Cream together the sugar and margarine with an electric whisk and then add in the flour. Add the rind of both of the lemons (the one for the top just needs the juice) to the mixture, then juice the lemon. Beat the eggs separately and add the lemon juice – add this to the main mixture and whisk until there are no lumps. Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and bake for around 40 minutes. When the cake comes out it should be firm.

To make the ‘drizzle’ part of the cake, cut the remaining lemon in half and juice one half. Pour the juice into a small bowl and add some caster sugar. 1oz is a guide – probably about a tablespoon will do because you don’t want this mixture too thick. With a skewer or another long pointy utensil, stab holes in the top of the cake – probably about 8 – 10 evenly along it, however if the cake looks like it starts to crumble when the holes are poked in it, don’t add too many close together. Pour the lemon sugar mixture over the top of the cake, being careful to fill the small holes that have been made. The more holes that are made, the more moist the cake will be, but don’t push it because when you go to cut it into slices, it’ll just fall apart.

For the icing, juice the other half of the lemon and use the same bowl as the first lemon sugar mix. Gradually add the icing sugar until you have a white paste – if it doesn’t look like there will be enough lemon juice to make enough icing to spread on the whole cake, add a tiny bit of water although it is a shame to do this because it dilutes the taste. Remove the cake from the baking paper and place it on the plate it will be served on. Then generously smear the icing over the top – it will fall down the sides but I think this adds to it.

Enjoy!

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Gluten free in Glasgow – Little Italy

Little Italy – Byres Road

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As I live in Glasgow’s West End, I’d been wanting to go to this great looking Italian restaurant/pizza bar for quite a while as I had heard they do gluten free pizzas, but every time I thought about going it was too late or something else got in the way. So this morning my boyfriend Rossi and I decided to go there for lunch, as we thought it would be easy enough to get a table – even though it’s the weekend it’s still only lunch time. We got there to find the place jam-packed with people – it was a lovely atmosphere with loads of people crowded into a small place which for me is always a good sign as you know the food is obviously sought after! We decided it would be easier just to get pizza to go as we could have been waiting for quite some time for a table and we were super hungry. So I ordered a small ham and pineapple pizza (my favourite) and Rossi ordered a plain cheese and tomato large pizza and together they came to £15 which I thought was pretty good, as from a big chain like Domino’s or Pizza Hut you’d probably pay that amount for just one pizza. As we waited for our pizzas to be made, we could watch the guys freshly making the pizzas which slightly worried me as I couldn’t see a clear separate area for the gluten free pizzas. We got our pizzas after waiting about 10 minutes which I’m sure within that time at least one table would have become free but never mind, we went home and started to eat our pizzas. They were really good and my boyfriend (who is part Italian) said it was probably one of the best pizzas he’d had outside of Italy. Mine was pretty great too, apart from they’d forgotten to put the ham on but luckily I had some at home so was able to just add it myself. I would definitely go there again, but next time hope to get a table, the price was very reasonable and it’s great to know you’re getting fresh, hand-made quality gluten free food!

http://www.littleitalyglasgow.com/index.html

Gluten free chocolate chip cookies recipe!

These are probably the best gluten free chocolate chip cookies I’ve had – they’re so simple to make and they are amazing warm straight out of the oven. For me, foods with chocolate in is quite difficult and adds another factor to me finding foods I can eat because I’m allergic to soya, and it just so happens that practically all chocolate you can pick up in a supermarket will have soya lecithin in as an emulsifier. If I am desperate to get some soya free chocolate I will go to a health food or organic shop as most will stock some varieties of chocolate which don’t contain soya (sometimes the dairy free options), but if I’m honest, I usually just buy regular and put up with the effect as I’m not too badly allergic – however saying this I only have chocolate on rare occasions. You can alter the amount of chocolate in this recipe if you don’t want them too sweet, or if you want them super chocolatey you can add in a tablespoon of chocolate powder.

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Ingredients:

5oz caster sugar
4oz light brown sugar
9oz gluten free self-raising flour
5oz butter
4oz white chocolate
4oz milk chocolate
vanilla essence

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 Measure out the butter into a bowl, and put this bowl in the microwave for about 10 seconds, just to loosen the butter up a bit. Now cream together both the types of sugar with the butter until completely mixed. Gradually add in the flour, and then add the beaten egg. Cut up the chocolate roughly and add it in. Roll small balls of the mixture about the size of a ping pong ball and place them spaced evenly on a tray with baking paper on – you will probably need 4 or 5 trays for this amount of mixture but they cook so quickly you can re-use the trays. I like to put a block of chocolate on top of each cookie too. Cook each batch for about 8 minutes. Serve warm for an extra specially magic taste!

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Gluten free toad in the hole and Yorkshire pudding recipe!

This batter can be used either to make toad in the hole or Yorkshire pudding. I prefer it as a toad in the hole, because as you will know if you have made gluten free Yorkshire puddings, they don’t rise and become a bowl shape like regular ones, they puff up more like a bread roll. The toad in the hole has more surface area, therefore leaving more of the batter to get crispy, something I miss with the dough-ey consistency of the Yorkshire puddings.

If, like me you had a struggle finding gluten free sausages in supermarkets such as Tesco, I’d suggest Marks and Spencers as even their value range – which is only 61% pork – is made with gluten free crumb, as are most of their other own-brand sausages.

I make enough for two meals so I cut it in half and freeze one for another time. Using half the ingredients makes enough for one meal.

Ingredients:

4oz self-raising gluten free flour
2 eggs
4 fluid oz milk
1 fluid oz water
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
dripping or oil
4 sausages

Turn the oven on to 220 as soon as you start cooking. Cook the sausages until done, but not crispy as they will have more cooking time in the oven with the batter. Whilst the sausages are cooking, pour the milk into a large measuring jug (you will use the jug for the entire mixture so it needs to be big enough to fit a whisk in) and then measure the water in with the milk. Weigh the flour and put that in along with the baking powder, and then the eggs after. Add the salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Use a hand or electric whisk to mix the batter – if you are using a hand whisk make sure to mix it quite well as to get some air in. When the sausages have about 5 minutes to go, put the oil or dripping into a baking tray and put in the oven. The fat needs to be smoking hot.
When the sausages are cooked enough and the fat has been in the oven for 5 minutes or is hot enough, take the pan out of the oven, place the sausages in it evenly spaced apart, then pour in the batter – this needs to be done quickly so that the fat stays hot enough and sizzling when the mixture is poured in. Put this back in the oven now for about 10-15 minutes and take it out when it’s quite brown.

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Vegetable pakora recipe!

These are a really good accompaniment to a curry, or just to have as part of a ‘bits and bobs’ meal. They are made with gram flour which is made of ground chickpeas and is a naturally gluten free flour. The ingredients you add can vary depending on what vegetables you have and which spices you like most and so on. This recipe makes around 12 pakoras. Here is my interpretation 🙂
I also like to make a yoghurt sauce to go with it.

Ingredients:

1 ½ medium to large sized onions
Half a carrot
A small potato
A small handful of peas
2 table spoons of gram flour
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of ground coriander
1 tsp of ground ginger
½ tsp of chili powder
½ tsb of salt
4 table spoons of cold water
Plenty of sunflower or vegetable oil for (semi) deep frying

Method:

Chop the onions into thin slices, grate the carrot and potato and put the peas all into a bowl together. Add in all the spices, salt and the crushed clove of garlic along with half the gram flour. Add water gradually until you have a doughy, not too liquid texture. Add more gram flour and water until the vegetables are all coated (but not so coated you can’t see them!) in the mixture and it is firm enough to be able to scoop into firm balls between two spoons. Heat the oil in a small non-stick saucepan (the oil should be about 1 ½ inches high in the pan). Test if the oil is hot enough for frying by dropping a tiny bit of mixture in – if it sizzles it is hot enough. Fry the pakoras in small batches of 4 or 5 and remove from the oil when golden.

Yoghurt sauce:
A small tub of natural yoghurt
around ¼ of a cucumber
½ a teaspoon of mint sauce
A squeeze of lemon

Chop up the cucumber finely and put in a bowl along with the yoghurt, mint and lemon, stir together and serve 🙂

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“Boy those French, they have a different word for everything.”

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Last week I went on a lovely holiday to Paris for my birthday present – it was so cold, waaaay more snow than there is in the Highlands of Scotland just now, and on top of that  I got tonsillitis while I was there – but I still had a wonderful time. As I’m certain is the case for everyone on a gluten-free diet, going away places is always a stress – especially when you speak the language about as well as you can handle gluten! Whenever I go away, there will always be meals when I will inevitably eating just chips and salad to save myself the embarrassment of trying – and failing badly – to explain that I can’t have any wheat or gluten, but also to save the hassle of the puffed up eyes, swollen mouth and stomach cramps. I don’t help myself in these situations, I am not only allergic to wheat, soya and nuts, but I’m pretty fussy so ordering things in a foreign language can be like a minefield trying to avoid these allergies plus mayonnaise, tomato ketchup (I literally won’t touch anything on the plate if either of these have been on it!) mushrooms, truffles, fish, veal, olives  – to name a few.

I do have the apps for the iPhone which have the gluten free travel cards, but I often find this leaves me with about three choices – a salad, steak or chicken with chips or potatoes. So that’s what I ended up eating most of the time, and it was delicious. Our hotel was near a little chicken grill restaurant which I had been to before when I went to Paris on a college trip – this place offers a plate of half a chicken, chips, rice and salad (!) all for 9 euros 50… needless to say my boyfriend and I could have ordered one between us and still had some left over. I have read reviews on this place online and people seem to think of it as somewhat as a hidden gem – it is a cheap restaurant selling simple, quality food, which luckily for me happened to be naturally gluten free!

I did find quite a good selection of gluten free products in the supermarket on Boulevard de Clichy– pasta, biscuits, small cakes, breadsticks and boxes of readymade toast (this seems to be quite popular in France) – I bought some chocolate fingers and some chocolate covered digestive type biscuits. My lack of French was my downfall here, as after eating half of one of the biscuits I realised it was actually a coconut biscuit, which I am allergic to. I had actually scanned the ingredients on the back of the pack (I have no idea why as I hadn’t a clue what any of the words meant) and since getting home and going on the internet and finding out the French word for coconut – ‘noix de coco’ which to me just sounds like it is something chocolatey – wasn’t on the front of the packet, and I clearly wasn’t paying any attention to the ingredients on the back. Luckily I had a supply of anti-histamine which I have to take every day anyway, so I didn’t feel too much of a reaction.

I can’t say my lack of wonderful elaborate French food put any kind of downer on my trip – I’ll have the simple cheap chicken and chips any day!

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