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!

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!

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.)

Camden Gluten Free Festival

Camden Market in Camden, North London, is a street food hub. Technically six markets (according to Wikipedia) the main street food market is in Camden Lock, up by the canal. You have to push your way through hordes of tourists and tat stalls to get there on weekends, especially Sundays, but it’s worth it! There are plenty of gluten free options available in the regular market, as evidenced by these reviews by The Coeliac Plate and Kim McGowan in the Londonist.

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For the last few years the lovely people at Camden Lock Market have been running a gluten free food festival over a weekend every few months. The most recent one was last weekend (14-15 May), and there will hopefully be another one either in September or at Christmas. Or if we’re really lucky, both! They rebranded this time so the festival is now called Against the Grain, with the hashtag #beigerage to emphasise colourful food. The May one is usually tied to Coeliac Awareness Week and this year included talks by the Coeliac UK Youth Group. This review will focus on the stalls I’ve visited in my last few visits to the festival, especially last weekend. If you want a review of another coeliac’s visit last year, check out Gluten Free in London. Word of warning for the festival: go hungry.

Risotto

So much risotto that I got an extra fork for my boyfriend!

For my main dish I went for risotto from Risotto2Go. They do gluten free risotto at a number of festivals, mostly music ones, and this was their first time at Camden. I was very excited to hear that they will be at Citadel Festival (Victoria Park in July) because I’m going and was very worried about finding gluten free food! I stupidly (or smartly, take your pick) didn’t check on the size of the risotto before ordering and went with a large because I was hungry. Which ended up being SO LARGE. I had the chicken and pea risotto. They also had mushroom risotto but I can’t eat mushrooms, and they were advertising arancini (fried risotto balls) but had sold out before I got there. So definitely want to try the arancini at Citadel!

 

I also had to stop by the stall of Artisan Gluten Free Bakery for some of my beloved fresh bread. They were selling bread and brownies faster than they could bring them in from Islington so I was very happy to get a loaf. And possibly a peanut butter brownie too… They’ve been at all of the Camden gluten free festivals and it’s always great to see more people enjoying their bread.

I was actually very restrained this year (mostly because we’d hosted a Eurovision party the night before and had no room in the house for more food), but I resisted buying anything other than Thornley’s spice blend. I make most of my own sauces at home but thought they would be great for a night when I was rushing. They were giving out tasters of the chili so I couldn’t resist.

Thornley's sauce mixes

There were obviously lots of other stalls that I didn’t visit. Though it could be hard to find them, the market was very crowded on Sunday lunchtime. Would be nice if they could move the gluten free area somewhere that was easier to get around/see all the stalls, it was in a narrow passage. Other stalls that I saw at this festival included: Feed Me Primal (great paleo food, they’re also at markets around London. A full review will follow); Lab Pizza; Cupcakes and Shhht; Louisiana Chilli Shack; Maize Blaze; and From the Earth.

On my last visit, in September, I visited a few of the stalls that I just mentioned. I’m trying to branch out at every festival, got to catch them all!

My main meal in September was from Louisiana Chilli Shack, when I had their white chicken chilli on nachos. The entire stall is gluten free and they do a range of chillis, including a vegan one, with nachos and rice for sides. I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes so the white chilli was amazing, really flavourful without being overly spicy. They’re going to be in Old Street Station from May 23 – June 19 and I’m definitely planning to stop by.

 

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My boyfriend went for grilled meat and potatoes from Maize Blaze. I personally would have gone for their gluten free empanadas, but if I drag him all around London for gluten free food I can’t really complain about his meal choices. Still need to try them though!

I also caved and bought myself a cupcake from Cupcakes and Shhht. They do gluten free and vegan baked goods, available in Camden all week and at their cafe in Elephant and Castle. Couldn’t resist the perfect raspberry on top.

Perfect cupcake

While there aren’t quite as many free samples as the Allergy & Free From Show I would definitely recommend the Camden gluten free festival to any coeliacs or other gluten free-ers in the London area. And I really hope they continue to do it on a regular basis!

 

Eat’n’Mess – Gluten Free Cafe

Followers of my Instagram will have realised that I am a big fan of planning long walks on weekends that JUST HAPPEN to include visits to gluten free hot spots. I’ve dragged my friends, my family and my boyfriend around a large number of places just so I can try a new or favourite place. A coeliac has to do what a coeliac has to do for gluten free food!

Last weekend, with the sun finally shining, we headed off to Sevenoaks. 30 minutes south of London in Kent, Sevenoaks is a pretty commuter town. For walking purposes it has two National Trust houses (Knole and Ightham Mote) within 5 miles. For gluten free purposes, it has Eat’n’Mess, a gluten-free cafe in the town centre. Eat’n’Mess opened in Sevenoaks in 2015, though their baked goods are also available at Broadway Market (Hackney) on Saturdays. I’ve been lucky enough to try some of their things in Hackney so was looking forward to visiting the cafe.

Gluten free baked goods

So many gluten free baked goods!

The cafe itself is very cute, and was doing a roaring take-away trade at 10.30 on Saturday morning. It is mostly baked goods, although gluten free bread loaves are now available. They also do non-gluten free, but dairy free, bread. Everything is labelled and the non-gluten free stuff is far away from the gluten free (which is all the baked goods), but just advanced warning! Breakfast is available to eat in the cafe, including eggs, bacon, beans on toast, etc. but we’d already eaten. Looked like a nice place for brunch though.

Gluten free bread

My favourite Eat’n’Mess treat is their cookie pie. Two peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, sandwiched around icing, with salted caramel sauce in the middle. YUM. The caramel makes the cookies slightly softer as you get to the middle. It is a very large amount of sugar, but if you’re out for a 10 mile walk that’s okay, right?! It is also so tasty that it would be worth it even without the 10 mile walk.

Gluten free cookie pie

In addition to their cookie pie, I also tried the gingerbread man, lemon and white chocolate cookie, and s’mores chocolate pie. (Not all in one day, I must add. Even I have a sugar limit). The cookies were both tasty, even though my poor gingerbread man fell apart in my bag before I got to him! The s’more pie wasn’t quite as good as I was hoping. My piece was an edge piece so only half covered with marshmallow, so the chocolate was a bit overwhelming. Would definitely go for the cookie pie every time.

Sevenoaks is a very quick trip out of London and made for a lovely day out. Would definitely recommend a pilgrimmage to Eat’n’Mess over the summer if you fancy some gluten free treats. Or just brave the hipsters of Hackney on a Saturday and you can get your gluten free fix without leaving London! Eat’n’Mess also do beautiful gluten free cupcakes and celebration cakes if you’re looking for something a bit special. You can see a three-tier cake in the window of the cafe in first photo on this post, and their website has photos of plenty more.

 

Chickpea, Corn and Avocado Salad – Gluten Free Recipe Inspiration

A few months ago I moved into a flat with my boyfriend, with the exciting bonus of a fully gluten-free kitchen that I can experiment in to my heart’s content. Which means I’ve been doing a lot less eating out and a lot more cooking than when I was sharing flats. So I’m going to be sharing a few of my gluten free food ideas. Nothing fancy, very much in a ‘what coeliacs eat’ way, but I always like inspiration!

First up is one of my favourite lunch salads.

Colourful corn salad

The salad in its purest form. Love the colours so much.

This is one of the most versatile things I make and can stand up to all sorts of changing the ingredients based on what’s in the fridge/cupboard. I have been known to eat it for weeks on end. Plus it’s also vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, egg free, and all sorts of other healthy hashtags. But most importantly it’s tasty and naturally gluten free. It’s also one day late for Cinco de Mayo, but this is definitely more a take on ingredients associated with Mexico, rather than any kind of traditional Mexican food.

The main ingredients are chickpeas, sweet corn, red peppers and spring onions. I use canned chickpeas and frozen or tinned sweet corn because they’re easiest, but I’m sure it would be tasty with dried chickpeas and fresh corn. I usually make two portions, and divide the can of chickpeas, a tin of corn and a pepper between two tupperware. A quarter or a half of an avocado per lunch is also almost always involved, unless I can’t find one but am craving the salad.

Salad with black beans and cheddar

Experimental salad with black beans and grated cheddar.

Everything else is very experimental depending on what’s around. I have made this with black beans, with grilled halloumi, with grated cheddar, and with sausage. It would probably be good with all of those things at once even, though would provide more than 2 meals! For dressing I usually just season well and add a drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon, but the oil isn’t necessary if you have a ripe avocado because it will mash into a dressing.

Salad with avocado

The salad with the avocado mashed in as dressing. Really works in place of the oil!

Salad in layers

I love the layers the salad makes in my tupperware. Probably a good one for a Mason jar, but I’m not quite that hipster. Also notice the halloumi on top.

Hopefully this will provide some lunch-time inspiration to coeliacs and to everyone. I would love to hear any gluten free lunch ideas that you have too!