When a family member is diagnosed with Coeliac Disease it naturally has an affect on the whole family whether it’s a child or an adult. To ensure the gluten free diet is maintained you do need to work together. Life can be pretty hectic so I find it’s good to keep things as simple as possible. After 13 years following a gluten free diet, I have made various tweaks along the way that have certainly made my life easier… hope its ok if I share a couple with you!
Re-jig your cupboards and label up gluten free
Keep one of your cupboard shelves for all ‘safe’ foods, things which are naturally gluten free, things such as suitable sauces, herbs and spices, canned soup and baked beans, stock cubes (Knorr stock cubes are great, however be aware that last time I checked the low salt ones contained gluten). This makes life easier when you are trying to rustle together a quick meal that you don’t need to be constantly checking labels as you know everything on the shelf is gluten free! Initially this does mean having a good old clear out and stocking up with foods that are safe, but it certainly cuts down on having to root through the cupboards for suitable gluten free products.
At home I have a separate butter, which I keep in a separate part of the fridge and that works fine for me and my husband, however this may not work as well when there are a few family members. To prevent cross contamination in large households it’s good to get “gluten free” labels on things like butter and encourage the family to get into a routine of using clean teaspoons when using jams and sauces.
Make the main meal suitable for the whole family
My husband isn’t coeliac and doesn’t follow a gluten free diet. The staple gluten free foods I get on prescription I don’t ‘share’ as they are intended to support my diet and not feed the whole family! My prescription products cover my breakfast and lunch and then generally most of our evening meals I tend to make naturally gluten free meals, so we can both eat the same. Occasionally I will make something separate for myself, sometimes if Neil fancies something like a pizza for tea, then will pick him up an M&S one and I will make myself a gluten free pizza using one of the Juvela Pizza Bases.
For breakfast I would have gluten free cereal, which I vary between Juvela Corn Flakes or Juvela Crispy Rice with chopped banana. For lunch a gluten free sandwich normally hits the mark if I am in work. My favourite weekend lunch of the moment is a Juvela gluten free white roll, filled with a gluten free breaded chicken burger from M&S, with garlic mayonnaise*, spinach and a dash of chilli sauce* works a treat, the flavours are amazing!
Here’s my top 10 feed the family and friend’s fail-safe meals.
As I mentioned I do try to make most of my main meals naturally gluten free. This is also much easier when friends come around, as not only does it save on time as you don’t have to cook two separate meals, but you don’t have to feel like you’re missing out because you are tucking into something different around the dinner table.
1. Cottage Pie
2. Curry …homemade or a quick cook in sauce would be fine (*I use the Lloyd Grossman but a lot of Patak’s would be fine too)
4. Traditional Hot Pot
5. Baked Ham, New potatoes and homemade coleslaw (I tend to boil my ham first then take of the rind and pour honey and *Dijon mustard over it before blasting it in a really hot oven)
7. Fish pie ( Juvela have a delicious recipe for Fish Pie if you need some inspiration!)
8. Chilli Con Carne (huge pan of this with jackets and salad goes down great if having a big do!!)
NB- If using a spice mix packet make sure you check it is gluten free, Coeliac UK Food & Drink Directory should have suitable brands listed if you need to check.
9. Steak and Chips (with Mushrooms, grilled cherry tomatoes and a handful of watercress!!)
10. Fish in foil parcels (add whatever you like to enhance the flavours, perfect with new potatoes and a few steamed greens)
I haven’t included recipes for all of the suggestions above as I’m sure you will have your favourite ones to refer too, but if you do want me to share my recipes then please give me a shout!
Batch bake and freeze
It’s perfect when you are in the mood to have a really good bake as not only does it allow you to stock up the freezer for when time is short it allows you also to enjoy a freshly made piece of cake with a cuppa when you are all done. My favourite recipes are Juvela gluten free Lemon drizzle cake and Really Chocolatey Muffins, so easy to make and they taste fabulous….I urge you to give them a try!! The chocolate muffin recipe is really versatile and can also be baked in a baking tray and cut into squares like a brownie OR baked in 2 sandwich tins and made into a chocolate fudge cake! (better to freeze without the icing on though).
*Please check the label to ensure gluten free and/or the Coeliac UK Gluten Free Food and Directory will fill you with ideas of what you may like to fill your shopping trolley with!!
Hope you enjoyed my blog! Lizzy x