Super Oat Flapjack Mix by Sweetpea Pantry

Where From? Sweetpea Pantry
Available Online at Not on the High Street and Ocado

Gone are the days that gluten free products jam-packed with refined sugar and other nasties can go unnoticed. As awareness within the gluten free community grows, so does our need to find alternatives that not only are healthier but actually tasty. Baking mixes are often guilty of containing hundreds of unidentifiable ingredients and this is where Sweetpea Pantry have found a gap in the market! This lovely company founded by international foodies Philippa and Tanya, has a range of dry, gluten free mixes which are all blended and require the simple addition of two to three ingredients before baking. My favourite is the Super Oat Flapjack Mix, which is packed with oats, quinoa and flax, and can also be vegan. Delicious and hassle free, these treats are a must-buy when you’re shopping at Not on the High Street or Ocado!

Gnocchi Alla Marie

I first was introduced to gnocchi – the world’s greatest comfort food – at the age of 10, when on holiday with my parents and brother in Italy. Note that this was back in the gluten days, and so I had a whole 14 years to fall madly in love with this dish before finding out that most gnocchi is in fact not gluten free. While I wasn’t the pickiest of eaters growing up, my mother still had to coax me into trying a bite from her bubbling plate of gnocchi which arrived at the table fresh out of the oven of a rustic family restaurant in the hills of Naples. I was forever changed, and proceeded to order gnocchi at every lunch and dinner for the duration of the 14 day trip.

Gnocchi then became a staple in our household, and my mother soon showed me how to create my very own Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina. It is a recipe which I have since tweaked and rather appropriately renamed Gnocchi Alla Marie, after my mother, because if it weren’t for her, well I may never have been introduced to this incredible foodstuff (certainly not in such an idyllic setting in any case).

It is a particularly wonderful time for this recipe given that several brands have finally introduced gluten free gnocchi as part of their free from range, namely Difatti, Schar, Farabella, and Le Veneziane. While gnocchi goes so well with so many toppings, sauces and dishes, preparing it this way still knocks any other variation out of the park every time. My recipe will feed several, or will keep well in the fridge in Tupperware for up to three days after preparing. It makes a delicious lunch when reheated in a covered, microwavable dish. Buon Appetito!

Gnocchi Alla Marie
(Serves 4)

Ingredients

For the Sauce:
2 x Tablespoons of Olive Oil
5 x peeled Garlic Cloves
800g chopped tomatoes in natural juice
500g Italian Passata
1 x Knorr Vegetable Stock Cube
1 x Teaspoon Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce
Splash of Red Wine (Optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Gnocchi:
500g Gluten Free Gnocchi
250g Chopped Fresh Mozzarella
250g Sliced Mushrooms
25g Fresh Basil
150-250g Grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat, gradually adding the garlic. Stir to coat all garlic cloves in the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft, ensuring the garlic does not burn.
  2. Slowly add chopped tomatoes to the pot (warning – it will spit at you!) and stir, gradually adding the passata.
  3. Cover the pot and and let the mixture heat up for 10 minutes before adding the crumbled stock cube, the gluten free Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.
  4. Pour in the optional wine and cover, leaving the mixture to cook for 20-30 minutes on a medium heat. Stir occasionally.
  5. While the sauce simmers, preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  6. Boil water in a separate pot. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook for two minutes, draining immediately.
  7. Place the partially cooked gnocchi in a good sized baking dish and add the cubed mozzarella and sliced mushrooms. Stir the mixture with a large spoon to evenly distribute the ingredients before adding torn basil and stirring again.
  8. Gently pour the cooked down sauce over the gnocchi mixture and stir evenly. As the sauce tends to cook down even further during the baking process, I tend to use all of it but depending on preference, some sauce can be held back and either refrigerated or frozen for later use.
  9. Evenly sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the gnocchi, with an additional (and optional) sprinkling of black pepper.
  10. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5-8 minutes before serving.

Lisbon: The Gluten Free Suitcase Guide

The sun always seems to be shining on Portugal’s hilly capital, which is not only one of the world’s oldest cities, but one of the richest when it comes to culture, nightlife and good food. However, as the home of the Pasteis de Nata – or custard tarts – Lisbon can, at first, seem impenetrable for a gluten free traveller. I can assure you that this is most certainly not the case. While so much of Portuguese cuisine is naturally gluten free, a lot of restaurants and producers have gone out of their way to prove that they are moving with the times and catering to gluten free diners specifically. Here’s hoping this guide convinces you to book those flights you’ve been considering!

Pastelaria Zarzuela

If you arrive hungry and in need of breakfast, lunch or a sweet treat, Zarzuela should be your first destination. Located in the hilly and historical Bairro Alto district, this bar and bakery is Lisbon’s most well-known gluten free spot, known for its cross-contamination awareness and Pasteis de Nata! The bakery also produces gluten filled treats but keeps them strictly separate from the gluten free items, in separate and clearly marked display cases. As well as the vast array of cakes, pastries and sweets, patrons can sit down and tuck into a gluten free toasted or fresh sandwich, pasta dishes and homemade gluten free pizzas. All go perfectly with a bottle of Daura Damm beer so pull up a chair! Closed on Tuesdays.

Where?
R. Barnadino Costa 21-23
1200-052 Lisbon

Brown’s Hotel Group and Restaurants

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If you’re looking for gorgeous accommodation which offers a great gluten free breakfast and access to a bar, look no further than the Brown’s Hotel Group. I had the pleasure of staying at the group’s central location for a whole week and realised that the gluten free bread there was second to none. Put a call in to the hotel prior to your arrival and they will ensure you are provided with the crustiest and warmest of bread baskets each morning. The rolls are heated in an oven away from the toasters used for regular bread so there is no chance of cross contamination. The breakfast buffet has an ample selection of cured meats, cheeses and fresh fruit as well as eggs, bacon and gluten free cereal upon request.

Where?
Rua da Assunção nº75
1100-042 Lisbon

Rua dos Sapateiros 73
1100-579 Lisbon

Rua da Vitória 88
1100-619 Lisbon

Time Out Market Lisboa

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Foodies from near and far will rejoice when they step inside the recently refurbished Mercado da Ribeira market, which in 2014 was taken over by travel guide publisher Time Out. The market is now home to a multitude of upmarket food stalls, which in many cases are headed up by top Lisbon chefs and offer wine pairing to compliment the dishes on offer. Seafood dominates the agenda here, which makes sense given the market’s close proximity to the river bank. The only problem inside the Time Out Market is that there is too much choice, with many of the stalls listing the GF options clearly on their billboard-style menus. I personally recommend you start your market journey with a glass of the chilled Vinho Verde of the day at Manteigaria Silva and wander over to top chef Alexandre Silva’s kitchen for the black rice with sauteed scallops and seaweed or some hearty and fresh Bacalao atop a bed of spinach. If you’re not stuffed, snack on some freshly sliced ham from various vendors or an ice cream from Santini, where the staff will show you a gluten free allergen chart and open a new barrel of ice cream before serving you to avoid cross contamination.

Where?
Av. 24 de Julho 49
1200-479 Lisbon

McDonald’s

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While people may not set out to eat McDonald’s in a place as gastronomically rich as Lisbon, sometimes it will just happen. With numerous locations across the city, McDonald’s is a goldmine for gluten free patrons desperate to get their hands on some nostalgic and coeliac-safe junk food. Portugal offers a gluten free bun as a substitute on every single hamburger with the exception of the deep fried chicken and fish fillets. As always, the classic french fries are safe and fried in their own separate fryer so a complete meal of indulgence is possible! McDonald’s in Portugal also offers a number of gluten free extras including soups and salads. Those of you craving something sweet can enjoy a gluten free cone for your ice cream after your meal. A selection of locations are listed below.

Where?
Centro Comercial Continente de Lojas 008
Av. Nações Unidas 1-4
1600 Lisbon

Praça Alvalade 14A-15D
1700-000 Lisbon

Aeroporto de Lisboa
Alameda das Comunidades Portuguesas
1700-008 Lisbon

La Trattoria

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It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, at some point during my travels I will crave what has got to be my favourite cuisine – Italian. While Lisbon may be peppered with Italian restaurants, the one that really goes out of its way to cater to the gluten free community is tucked away in the hills of the Campo de Ourique neighbourhood. Say you’re gluten free at La Trattoria and you’ll be immediately presented with the most wonderful of bread baskets, featuring ciabatta, breadsticks, olives and truffle ricotta dip. This restaurant has an extensive gluten free menu which includes a Melanzane Alla Parmigiana starter which could win awards – so crispy and cheesy, surrounded by bubbling tomato sauce and a crispy side salad for extra freshness. Choose from a number of sensational pasta dishes for your main or hearty meat and fish options and expect to leave stuffed and happy!

Where?
R. Artilharia 79
1250-038 Lisbon

A Marisqueira Do Lis

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Seafood lovers will not want to miss out on a night indulging in langoustines and fresh clams at this traditional Marisqueira. This no frills restaurant is permanently full of locals and seems to not have been inundated with tourists despite its delicious offerings. Choose from an array of naturally gluten free fresh shellfish and prepare to be amazed at the vast platters that then arrive at your table. The portions make it perfect for sharing and the ideal prep for drinks later on. Patrons should be prepared to wait for tables if arriving after 9pm but I promise it will be worth it! Closed on Tuesdays.

Where?
Av. Alm. Reis 27B
1150-008 Lisbon

Sacramento do Chiado

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If by now you haven’t had enough bacalao or codfish, I recommend you head straight to Sacramento do Chiado where the best Carpaccio de Bacalao of your life awaits. Order this to start and enjoy it solo or with some of the fresh gluten free bread that the restaurant brings upon request. While the decor may be garish, with deep reds and faux crystal chandeliers, you’ll want to stay at this contemporary Portuguese eatery for mains and desserts. The steaks are particularly good here, as are the traditional fried potatoes and vegetable sides. Incredibly accommodating staff made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Where?
Calçada Sacramento 40 a 46
1200-394

Restaurante Conqvistador

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What could possibly be better than taking in one of Lisbon’s most historic sites while enjoying a meal? Restaurante Conqvistador is located high up in the hilltop neighbourhood of Castelo, which is home to the medieval Sao Jorge castle. Have a seat outside on the tables set up on the cobblestone street or inside the tiled restaurant and start with a plate of freshly sauteed king prawns and some marinated olives. While this restaurant would not seem an obvious choice for the allergy or coeliac crowd, it cooks up a number of Portuguese specials daily that are again, naturally free from gluten. The veal in jus is a house speciality and comes complete with a fried egg and flash fried potatoes that are so thin they are essentially crisps – perfect for soaking up the moisture of the leftover sauce. Absolutely worth the hike!

Where?
Tv. de São Bartolomeu 12
1100-078 Lisbon

Bomjardin

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Last but not least, Bomjardin is a must-visit for the meat eaters out there. The concept of this old and historical eatery is simple – spit roasted chicken with piri piri seasoning and an array of sides. Do not dwell too long on the extensive menu because chicken is what this place does best. Choose your size and your piping hot plates will be with you in a flash. The fries are entirely safe for coeliacs and will be quickly topped up should you require more. The salads are large and also a good sharer to add green to your beautiful beige meal, which can be enjoyed al fresco or indoors. Order a bottle of Vinho Verde and enjoy!

Where?
Tv. de Santo Antão 11
1150-312 Lisbon

Shopping

Lisbon is home to multiple supermarkets, the larger ones of which are incredibly well stocked when it comes to gluten free snacks. Jumbo Pao de Acucar in the Amoireras Shopping Centre should be your one-stop-shop while you’re in Lisbon, with a reasonably priced and eclectic gluten free range. Be prepared to leave with multiple bags and stock for your Gluten Free Suitcase on the way home! Also check out Pingo Doce stores, dotted around the city for their Sem Gluten range.