What To Do With Your Gluten Free Holiday Leftovers

Those who know me will know that any excuse for cooking for a crowd (by which I mean anything more than just my boyfriend and myself) means I will purchase a rather large amount of food, make huge amounts of dishes, and have lots of leftovers. Case in point: when my boyfriend told his brother that I was making Thanksgiving dinner, his brother’s first response was ‘Oh, so she’s making at least 10 courses?’ I guess there are worse things to be known for than making great quantities of tasty food.

(Yes, I ordered a lot of food)

Other coeliacs will probably understand the reason for so much cooking. If I make it myself, at my gluten free kitchen, I can eat everything I want and not worry about contamination. So I’m going to cook everything I’ve wanted to eat, and then eat it for the rest of the week too. Also, the traditional meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas are both easily made entirely gluten free. A bit of gluten free flour or corn flour in the gravy and some good-quality gluten free bread for the stuffing are all that are strictly necessary to transform a traditional holiday meal into a coeliac-friendly holiday meal. Most of the traditional vegetable sides are naturally gluten free, which to me means that Thanksgiving provided an opportunity to cook six. For six people. Plus biscuits. And two types of dessert. Maybe I do have a problem…

Gluten Free Thanksgiving

The full meal. Minus desserts.

All of which means that I end up with a large amount of leftovers, providing multiple holiday packed lunches. (Hint: pack gluten free gravy granules with your lunch and you can have fresh gravy at work). But even I can hit a wall where having the same roast dinner every lunch/dinner can get a bit boring. And holiday meals (Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s really the same meal) can get a bit repetitive. So I’ve been experimenting with different ways of using up my leftovers, both the food I’ve cooked and the leftover fresh food that I ordered but didn’t need. I can imagine that other coeliacs have woken up on the morning after Thanksgiving or Christmas and faced the same vast quantites of food, so I thought I’d share my successes from this year.

(A tiny pot of gravy granules makes a work lunch so much better!)

First up, how to use up stuffing. My stuffing was made using gluten free bread from Artisan Gluten Free Bakery, which comes unsliced so it was perfect to make into large chunks. I used Smitten Kitchen’s apple-herb stuffing recipe, which worked a treat. I also used her ‘put an egg on it’ philosophy to transform leftover stuffing into breakfast for two days. A crispy egg (ie an egg fried until the white can almost shatter) was a great addition, adding some protein to the meal and making it feel very breakfast/brunch-worthy.

I also used up my leftover mashed potatoes with the stuffing in this weird version of a tarte tatin. I reheated my caramelised shallots and their braising liquid in a frying pan, then added potatoes and stuffing that had been mixed together with an egg for binding on top. I tried to flip it so the shallots and liquid poured over the hash, but I’m still working on my flipping skills. But it didn’t matter because it was a glorious lunch.

Gluten Free Thanksgiving

One leftover that shouldn’t need instructions for using up is apple crisp. But, in case any of you have not tried it for breakfast, DO IT. It’s really just baked oatmeal and stewed fruit, which is definitely a balanced breakfast. I would also recommend it with a bit of cold milk. I used Delicious Alchemy oatmeal for my crisp, but any gluten free oats are fine.

 

As you might have guessed from the produce photo, I also had some fresh vegetables leftover to use up. So I tried to find dishes that were completely different from a traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas meal to add some variety in among the stuffing.

First up was saag paneer: curry made with spinach and paneer, a type of Indian cheese. I am a big fan of this Delicious Magazine recipe, which is naturally gluten free, really easy to make and doesn’t involve the huge amounts of cream or ghee you often find in curry recipes. I used up onions and the entire 450g bag of spinach I had leftover, as well as the cream from the pumpkin pie (I would usually use the yoghurt recommended by the recipe). The curry was delicious and a good break from roast dinners.

 

Even though I made two separate sweet potato dishes for Thanksgiving I still had about a kilo leftover. So I continued on the spicy trend and went for chili. The chili was inspired by this recipe from Simply Quinoa, but I didn’t feel the need for extra grains after all the stuffing I’d been eating and added extra beans and sweetcorn instead. I also made the chili on the stovetop, rather than a crockpot. It took about 35-45 minutes of simmering, just be sure to check if the sweet potatoes are becoming too soft.

The chili was a great way to wind up the post-holiday overeating. It’s vegetarian, vegan and grain free, but very hearty so you’d never know. Also good if  you’re coming down with a cold in the winter, the spices really clear you out.

Grain free gluten free chili

Hopefully some of these ideas will be helpful in your quest to eat up all your gluten free leftovers. None of them require much onerous cooking, which is great if you’ve had to cook an entire Thanksgiving or Christmas meal recently! And all of them are vegetarian, if you either can’t face any more turkey or want to make sure everyone can eat. I would love to hear any other ideas people have for using up their holiday leftovers. As of writing, it’s only one month to Christmas!

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Bird – Gluten Free Restaurant Review

Gluten free fried chicken

Fellow coeliacs will understand the constant sorrow of scanning a menu for gluten-filled fried things that might contaminate the deep fat frier, placing the chips/fries out of reach. And you wouldn’t normally be wrong to think that fried chicken would be one of those gluten-filled items. And then you would come to London and discover Bird. Where the chicken is coated in gluten free flour and the chips are available to all.

Gluten free fried chicken

I first discovered Bird on a Gluten Free Gathering last year, a great event which combined awesome chicken with awesome people. One of the founders of Bird also spoke to us, and told us about how Bird had come to be. It turns out that the chicken at Bird is accidentally gluten free. When trying chicken recipes the coating that worked the best was a mixture of corn and rice flour, so it was what was used. Luckily for coeliacs and gluten free people this makes it safe for us. Keeping my fingers crossed that more fried chicken places start using this batter mixture too. Fried chicken for all!

The staff are always helpful in pointing out what is gluten free, and what can be made gluten free. Unfortunately the burgers and donuts are not, but all the pieces of chicken (wings and fried) and most of the sauces/dips are. And almost all of the sides are coeliac-friendly too. While the burgers do sounds tasty, I’m really there for the fried chicken anyway. Make sure to ask each time about the sauces and sides, as they do sometimes change the menu. But the only gasto-intestinal problems I’ve ever had after Bird have been related to the large amounts of fried chicken and tasty cocktails I’ve ingested, rather than a glutening. They also now state that the chicken is gluten free on their menus, which they stopped doing for a while, which I personally always find comforting. They even had gluten free beer as the special last time I was there.

There are now four Birds around London, including at the Westfield Stratford (for when you really need a post-shopping treat). I’ve only ever been to the Shoreditch branch, but hope to try some of the others soon.

 

Peppered Goat Cheese Scones – Gluten Free Recipe

Gluten free goat cheese scones

My British readers especially might be scratching their heads over the title of this recipe. Aren’t scones supposed to be sweet? With raisins/sultanas? Served at 4pm with jam? Well, these scones might not be sweet or contain dried fruit, but they are awesome served with jam at any type of day. I can sometimes find Serious Eats overwhelming from the sheer number of recipes, tips and reviews available, so I feel very lucky that I ran across Anna Markow’s recipe.

These scones are made in the American style of patting the dough into a round and cutting into wedges, resulting in large and craggy slices of deliciousness. The goat cheese softens into pockets of tastiness and the pepper adds a nice kick and a bit of something different.

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It was extremely easy to make these scones gluten free. I replaced the flour with Doves Farm plain gluten free flour and added a pinch of xantham gum. I made the dough once in my food processor and once by hand, but didn’t notice much of a difference.

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I didn’t have the multiple types of pepper recommended by Anna but didn’t feel that I was missing out. Plus my spice drawer is already overflowing and I just couldn’t justify extra pepper jars.

These scones go really well with any type of jam, my personal favourites are cherry and raspberry. I find tart jams are really good with the richness of the cheese and the heat of the pepper. But these are also awesome warm with just a bit of butter. Or with frittata and potato hash, as seen here.

Gluten free goat cheese scones

These scones are also amazing for when you’re having overnight guests or people for brunch. They have to be frozen for at least an hour before baking, but are happy to hang out in the freezer for much longer. So you can have warm scones in about 20 minutes whenever you want. Just make sure to separate the wedges before they go into the freezer, otherwise you may end up with scones that are a bit bigger than you expected.

Gluten free goat cheese scones

I would really recommend these scones as something a bit different for breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, or general eating. You can find the full recipe and instructions here. Do you have any more unusual scone flavour combinations that you enjoy? Would love to get more inspiration!

Gluten Free Dublin – Part 3

Antoinette Gluten Free Dublin

Antoinette’s Bakery is that Holy Grail for coeliacs – a fully gluten-free bakery. And with tasty treats to purchase. It’s just off Camden Street, near St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Stephen’s Green. I always make a pilgrimmage when I’m in Dublin to stock up. They also seem to do very good coffee, but that’s not something I can comment on personally. Highlights from my visits include cinnamon cakes, cookies, lemon cake, and a ‘Yes’ cupcake from the gay marriage referendum. And world’s most awesome bag for life.

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My most recent trip to Dublin included dinner at Green 19, also on Camden Street. I’d been years ago before I was diagnosed with coeliac disease and enjoyed their food, so was delighted to see that they had gluten free listed right on their menu. There’s even gluten free beer (Bru Lager). It’s another great place for coeliacs who don’t want to feel like they’re dragging their friends to a random restaurant just because it serves gluten free food. Our Dublin friends go there even when I’m not around. And the food is amazingly tasty. I had some awesome pork belly with potatoes and vegetables, a description which does not do the meal justice. The chocolate brownie, while usually the stereotypical gluten free offering, was a hit with my ‘normal’ friends and definitely worth a try. Apologies for the bad photos, it’s a problem of hipster restaurants that there’s never enough light…

Looking for more Dublin reviews? Check out parts one and two of my Dublin posts.

Honest Burgers – Gluten Free Review

It’s no secret that Honest Burgers is almost revered among the London gluten free community, but I’m a huge fan so thought I’d add my voice! Honest Burgers is a small chain that started in Brixton Market and now has 17 locations around London (they open new restaurants all the time so see the current list of locations here). It was among the earlier ‘one dish only’ restaurants in London, in this case obviously burgers. Very good burgers with their secret weapon: rosemary-salted chips (fries).

Honest Burgers gluten free

My personal favourites are the American Tribute and the vegetarian fritter. I know that ordering the vegetarian option could seem controversial in a restaurant known for their fabulous beef burgers, but it is really tasty. The onion rings are also coeliac-friendly and have a great paprika-flavoured batter. The gluten free bun holds up well and doesn’t crumble everywhere, which is necessary when you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to fit the burger in your mouth. The staff are clued up to gluten free and ask if it’s a lifestyle choice or an allergy. There’s also gluten free beer available if you so desire, as well as a small but good selection of cocktails.

Honest Burgers has saved me so many times because it’s a great option when you’re out with friends and don’t want to have to feel like you’re the ‘weird coeliac’ and can’t go anywhere fun. Everyone I’ve taken to Honest has loved it, and it feels like a hipster-ish restaurant while not being too pretentious. Would love to see more restaurants like it, and thanks Honest for being honestly awesome for coeliacs.

Boston – Gluten Free Travel

In late September my boyfriend and I were in the USA for two weeks, primarily for my sister’s wedding but also for a holiday. During that time we spent just over 24 hours in Boston to visit one of my oldest friends from school. 24 hours didn’t give me huge amounts of time to explore Boston’s gluten free options but I was determined to give it my best shot. Luckily I’d been given great recommendations (which I’ve listed at the end) so I knew that  I should be eating well.

One of the repeat recommendations I got was for The Elephant Walk, a French/Cambodian restaurant. There are two of them in the Boston area, one in Cambridge and the other in the South End, was the one we went to. My non-coeliac friend had been before and recommended it too, which is always a great sign.

Gluten free food Boston

The gluten free options were listed right on the menu, which always makes me feel better (though I always mention the coeliac disease as well). The three of us shared two gluten free starters, the Nataing and the Salade Cambodgienne. The Nataing was a ground pork dish served with rice, and the salad included chicken and shredded vegetables. As you can see from the photos, either of them could have been a main in their own right.

Gluten free food Boston

For my main I had the Poulet a la Citronelle, which was a peanutty curry quite similar to a satay. All three of the dishes I tried were really fresh and tasty. All five of the dessert options were or could be modified to be gluten free, but I resisted because I was already pretty full and I knew there was a dessert treat waiting for me two doors down…

Before we went to The Elephant Walk, we’d gone into The Gallows bar for some pre-dinner drinks. My friend had been waxing lyrical about their dessert: the ‘Stoners Delight’, made up of banana, chocolate ganache, peanut butter mousse, and bruleed marshmallow fluff. Imagine my excitement when I looked at the menu and saw the ‘gf’ beside this delight! So after dinner we obviously had to go back and order it.

Gluten free cider Boston

I also enjoyed this Downeast cider that was everywhere in Boston. Recommended if you’re in a bar.

Although the bar had been quite empty during our pre-dinner excursion (probably because we showed up 2 minutes before they opened and left after one drink), it was packed when we got back an hour later. Luckily they had one table left, but it was in their darkened dining area. So my photos of the awesome dessert are not as good as I would have liked. But you can all imagine how tasty it was. My boyfriend, unaccountably, does not like peanut butter so my friend and I shared the dessert. It was delicious, although I think my sugar rushed lasted for about 3 days. Not helped by everything I ate the next day.

The next morning we started the day with breakfast at The Friendly Toast in Back Bay. This was a very cute diner doing an very large selection of tasty-sounding food. But there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity for gluten free pancakes. So I ordered two banana pancakes, which turned out to be the size of my head. Or probably larger. Though luckily the fresh banana was very present, so I at least felt slightly like I was eating fruit.

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We then walked the Freedom Trail, with a quick stop into Uniqlo at Faneuil Hall because the weather had dropped about 15 degrees celcius since we’d arrived in the USA, and neither of us had brought more than a cardigan. So some new fleece-lined hoodies were in order! We then decided that the only thing even more necessary to warm us up was donuts. Amazingly enough, I can’t resist a gluten free donut either. And Kane’s Donuts are famous for their regular donuts, so had to be worth a slight detour.

There were three types of gluten free donuts on the day we went: chocolate, vanilla and pumpkin spice. The donuts are made and fried separately, and were kept on their own stand. I could even see that the three trays of gluten free donuts waiting to be put out were kept on a separate tray rack from the regular ones. I tried the pumpkin spice and the chocolate donuts, though I did keep the chocolate one for breakfast the next day. And they were some of the best donuts I’ve ever had, and definitely the best since I’ve was diagnosed with coeliac disease. If you are in Boston, GO TRY THE DONUTS.

Gluten free donuts

The rack with three trays in the background is the specifcially gluten free one.

We were meant to eat lunch in the North End, further along the Freedom Trail and home to a number of Italian restaurants that were recommended to me (see below). However, as you can imagine, after all this sugar we decided that maybe we didn’t need a big pasta lunch. So we went to Boston Public Market instead, where we meant to go to pick up food for dinner on the train home anyway.

Boston Public Market has only been open since 2015, and has around 40 vendors providing produce and food from the New England area. This includes prepared food, farm stands, butchers and specialty products. And, luckily for us coeliacs, lots of it is gluten free.

The most obvious gluten free stall is Jennifer Lee’s Gourmet Bakery, which specialises in allergy-free food. Unfortunately we arrived a bit late for lunch, just after they’d stopped serving their paninis for the day. And I felt I’d had more than enough sugar for a few weeks, so resisted any of their baked goods. But it all looked interesting and worth a look if you’re in the area.

For lunch I instead went for some latkes from Inna’s Kitchen, a Jewish cafe and bakery with a large selection of gluten free options. They serve a more limited selection at the market cafe (they have another location in Newton Centre), but there were lots of tasty things. Even gluten free knishes to take away.

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Many of the speciality producers’ goods were gluten free. We bought some charcuterie and cheese for the train home, and I was sorely tempted by Q’s Nuts. Nuts can often be subject to cross contamination so it was great to see one proudly stating its gluten free-ness (though I somehow forgot to take a photo).

Obviously, 24 hours was not enough time to eat everything I wanted to in Boston. Lots of people gave me more recommendations for my trip, so thank you very much to  Gluten Free Jessica, gfreeguru, lovethingsgf and happywombelle . I’m including a list of those recommendations below in case they’re useful to anyone else!

Otto
Lucca
Terramia
Mamma Mia
Beneventos
Bostonia Public House
Crazy Doughs
Committe Boston
Legal Seafoods
Nebo

(The following recommendations are from lovethingsgf, who is gluten sensitive but not a celiac. She says that most of these are good about cross contamination but I didn’t try any of them and would recommend that celiacs contact the restaurants and take the usual precautions)

The Thinking Cup – gf sandwiches (try the Barcelona Bliss) ( there are several locations)
Sweet Green – salads and grain bowls (several locations)
Dig Inn – salads and grain bowls (Boylston Street)
Otto Pizza – gf pizza (try the mashed potatoes, scallions and bacon one!) (Cambridge)
Salvatore’s – gf pizza (Theatre District)
Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons -gf burger (in front of the Boston Common)
Met Back Bay – gf burgers and great brunch (Newbury St.)
Joes American Grill – gf burger (Newbury St)
Chinatown restaurants – ask for fried rice without soy sauce
Antico Forno – gf pasta and pizza (North End) There are other Italian restaurants there that also offer gf pasta.
Barcelona – their tapas are incredible! Great for dinner or brunch (South End)
Paramount –  love their huevos rancheros for brunch. You cannot rsvp just go and make the line its worth it. (Beacon Hill)
Amorino – love their gelato (Newbury St.)
Georgetown cupcakes – gf cupcakes available (Newbury St.)

Eat.Sleep.Pilates and Doisy & Dam at Printworks Kitchen

One of the best parts about being forced to go gluten free has been the opportunity to meet all sorts of people who have started their own businesses around their passions.

Printworks Kitchen in Clerkenwell is one of those places. Opened last year by Catherine and Danielle, Printworks offers a range of tasty salads and proteins for weekday lunches, with the options almost always gluten free and with ever-so-tempting gluten free baked goods from Sweetcheeks (also run by Catherine). I will do a full review of Printworks at some point soon, because it’s such a great lunch option, and tasty salads deserve lots of photos.

Printworks Kitchen salads

Love the tasty salads

But about two months ago I got to enjoy those salads while also doing pilates and a chocolate tasting. Perfect evening or what?! Printworks partners with other small businesses to offer evening workshops, including flower arranging, food pop-ups, and pilates. The workshop was run by Vanisha, who set up Eat.Sleep.Pilates after doing an pilates instructor course while between jobs in banking. I do a pilates class once a week and felt that I could do all the moves without really pushing myself, but that I was still getting a workout. Vanisha was really good about explaining the moves and moving slowly if anyone was having problems. It was the right pace for me for an after-work class.

After pilates we got to eat gorgeous salads from Printworks. All of the salads were gluten free so I didn’t feel leftout at all.

 

Printworks kitchen salad

The final part of the evening was a chocolate tasting run by Nat and Alexa from Doisy & Dam. I’ve purchased some of their chocolate before on Ocado and was interested to hear more about the company and their ethos. Couldn’t believe that there are only 6 people working at Doisy & Dam, just goes to show how much can be accomplished by a small number of people. Doisy & Dan are trying to recreate the ideas of some famous commercial chocolate bars, but using good quality chocolate and superfood ingredients. For example, their Date and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt bar does taste a lot like a salted caramel chocolate bar! I was more interested in the fact that all their chocolate is gluten free, which other coeliacs will know can be difficult to find. I spoke to Nat and Alexa afterwards to tell them how important it was to me that all the chocolate was gluten free, and they said that originally it was just because the founders didn’t see the need for gluten in chocolate. I wish other chocolatiers felt the same… So hopefully Doisy & Dam will continue to make all their products gluten free in the future.

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For the chocolate tasting we got to have melted milk and dark chocolate on dairy free coconut yoghurt from The Coconut Collaborative. I’d never tried the yoghurt before but it was really good, and gluten and soy free too. It worked really well as a complete dessert with the strawberries and chocolate. We also got to put our own Doisy & Dam toppings on our chocolate. I tried cocoa nibs, pink salt, puffed quinoa and coconut.

All in all I had a great time at the Eat.Sleep.Pilates workshop at Printworks Kitchen with Doisy & Dam. I would highly recommend keeping an eye out for events run by any of the three businesses!