Meat Free March

Meat free march is going well, I’m enjoying it! Here’s some photos of what I’ve been eating.

Omelette Veg and Cheese Omelette from Frankie and Bennys new Gluten Free Menu

20140302_200231Vegetable Paella from La Tasca with Gluten Free Flat Bread

20140227_132942Scrambled egg with courgette and mange tout

20140304_182547Mushroom and Spinach burger with halloumi

20140305_121608Gluten Free Veggie Lasagna

20140306_182739 Mushroom and Pea Masala

20140311_072624 Gluten Free cereal that I am in love with! I have it with almond milk.

20140311_18283620140311_182839Quorn ‘Chicken’ Fajitas   

20140315_183935Tomato, Onion and Cheese Omelette with potato rosti

IMG-20140316-WA0009Sweet Chili and Garlic Stir Fry veg with rice noodles

And lots more I forgot to take photos of!

Pizza Express’ Gluten Free Menu

Pizza Express was one of those restaurants that had no gluten free options. So it is great they they have developed their new Gluten Free menu. Pizza Express seems to have done this the right way. They brought in people to advise and test their ideas. They not only bought in a gf pizza base but also a starter and desert option as well as a gluten free beer. They are the only chain that I have heard them advertising it widely including on their website, social media and radio adverts when it first came out! The staff have all seemed very clued up about it when I have spoken to them, and they bring the pizza over on a different board, uncut, and state that is is gluten free pizza. The pizzas are thin and crispy and tasty! Overall I have really enjoyed it.

I have also tried a non-pizza gf item on their menu, the Melanzane Parmigiana. This is a type of aubergine lasagna with no pasta, and topped with gluten free breadcrumbs.

Melanzane Parmigiana

I have also tried the chocolate brownie desert, it’s small because it comes with a coffee, even if you don’t want a coffee!! But I do actually enjoy coffee with cake, and a nice bit of strawberry too, so I enjoyed it.

Frankie and Benny’s Gluten Free Menu

I used to really struggle at Frankie and Benny’s, the only option seemed to be a steak with a jacket potato. My friends all love it there though so I was so pleased when they recently launched their Gluten Free menu. The first thing I noticed about it was the amount of choice it had. 4 starters, 10 main courses and 4 deserts. And not only that but it had vegetarian options too which is something that I think is lacking elsewhere! When I visited the other day I first looked at the ordinary menu as I had already looked at the gluten free menu online, interestingly though some of the things on the GF menu are not available on their general menu. I asked for the gluten free menu which was found immediately at the front desk and bought over. I didn’t think I could handle 3 courses so I ordered an omelette with jacket potato and decided to leave room for desert!

I really love omelette, but the other options all look nice too. Trying to eat less meat, the options were omelette, which had peppers, onion, mushroom and three cheeses, or a goats cheese and Mediterranean vegetable risotto which I hope to try next time! The omelette was lovely, it came slightly after everyone else’s food and they explained this is because they used all new pans and utensils, and it was not very long to wait just a minute or two. The jacket potato I was worried about because they can be quite hard and they never seem to give you butter, but this potato was lovely, soft and had butter in it, with a little bit of cheese on the salad.

Omelette

For desert I went for the fruit dippers, this was also not on the normal menu and a friend of mine actually went for this option too because she saw it on my menu. I did enjoy it especially the banana and strawberries and the chocolate fudge dip. I ate a bit of pineapple but it really hurts my mouth so I didn’t have much. I was quite full so it was a nice light desert to have!

Fruit Dippers

Overall I really enjoyed it, the food was lovely, the staff helpful and it didn’t feel like any trouble at all.

Menu

Kirsty’s Sausage and Sweet Potato Mash

20140129_171044I bought this Kirsty’s ready meal from Waitrose. It is Sausage with Sweet Potato Mash. Gluten free sausaged in a rich onion gravy with carrot and sweet potato mash. It is free from dairy, wheat and gluten, low in fat, low in sugar, only 260 calories and one of your 5 a day. Something I quite liked about it when I bought it was it had a fairly long time before the use by date, I think over a month! Meaning I could keep it inn the fridge for a day when I needed a quick meal. I had it with baked beans.

I liked the meal, for convenience it is great and it seems healthy. For me, I generally like meat very well done if I cook it, but for a microwave meal you can’t expect this really. I liked the taste of the mash, it was very mashed it had no lumps in. The portion was fairly small, but as I had beans as well I didn’t notice this too much. I would recommend if you like this sort of food. I can’t remember the price, but the website says it is £3.

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I also tried the Spanish Chicken with Brown rice which I enjoyed more, it was quite spicy and the rice had vegetables in so I didn’t cook anything extra to go with it. I forgot to take a photo but here’s one from the website.

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Genius Spicy Fruit Loaf

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I recently bought this Spicy Fruit Loaf from Genius. I have had it toasted with butter, and with peanut butter. I like the taste and it has a good amount of fruit in. Would buy again!

Gourmet Burger Kitchen – Gluten Free Menu

Having heard about GBK’s new gluten free bun I couldn’t wait to try it, I haven’t had a proper burger for years! So me and my friends went to the Bluewater GBK, as we arrived and asked for a table I asked our waiter if he has a gluten free menu. Not only did he know what it was straight away but he took one from the pile next to the normal menus, no going to the back office to find the one menu!

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I went for the Halloumi Bites, and the Avocado Bacon Beef Burger with a corn on the cob. The chips are currently not gluten free as they are cooked in the same oil as onion rings. The Halloumi bites were lovely (I forgot to take a picture) with a spicy kiwi dip, which was interesting and really nice but a bit too spicy for me to have much. You can choose how the burger is cooked, I went for well done.

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I honestly really enjoyed it, the bun was nice. It looks different than the gluten buns which is good and makes me feel at ease. It did break up a bit but it didn’t fall apart and didn’t bother me, the whole burger was pretty messy to eat either way! The avocado and bacon were both really nice and the burger was cooked just how I like it, the corn was lovely too. I didn’t miss the chips, I was so full up after the burger. My friends all had their skinny chips which were very skinny and weren’t that impressed so I didn’t feel I was missing out.

The price was good, the service was quick and I believe they do take away too.

I will be going back and trying more ‘flavours’. It’s great to have so much choice, even though they are all burgers! I loved it.

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Maxwell’s Covent Garden

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I went for lunch on Sunday at Maxwell’s in Covent Garden, London.

On their Sunday menu you can get two courses for about £14.50, there is a three course option but none of the deserts on that menu are gluten free.

I emailed them before I went and received a quick reply about being able to eat most things apart from the obvious (breads) and no relish or bbq sauce. They also provide a gluten free bun for burgers or sandwiches and tortillas for fajitas. When we were seated I mentioned it to my waitress too who immediately told me the same information without having to go and ask anyone!

I went for the potato skins with cheese and bacon to start, and a cajun chicken sandwich for my main, with the gluten free bun. She was very helpful and reiterated it was gluten free when she bought it over. Two others at my table had made the same choice, and they were given it as ‘cajun chicken with regular bun’ and I could see that it was different as mine had sesame seeds.

Overall it was a really good meal and I was too full for desert anyway! If I went to have the regular menu I might try the vegetable fajitas.

Also I recommend going on a Sunday as their cocktails are £4.50 all day (may not seem that cheap but they are usually £7!) I had a Cosmopolitan and it was very nice, quite strong!