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[REVIEW] MY TOP 5 GLUTEN FREE RESTAURANTS IN MANCHESTER

Back in 2007 when I was a newly diagnosed, confused little coeliac, restaurants didn’t really cater for those who needed a gluten free diet.  It wasn’t like what it is now, eating out was a real headache!

 But now we’re so lucky that more places are catering for people with coeliac disease. I still get excited when I see more restaurants creating more gluten free dishes and the waiters knowing all about coeliac disease and being gluten free. Don’t get me wrong, I still come across some places that really make it difficult and trying to ask them what’s safe is like drawing blood out from a stone.

So for Coeliac Awareness Week 2015, I thought I would list my Top 5 Gluten Free Restaurants in Manchester! They’re my ‘go to’ places that I am confidant in recommending to others  and are safe in the knowledge that I won’t be glutened! If you’re ever in Manchester, you must try some of these places out!

1. TEA 42

It’s no surprise that Tea 42 has been awarded first place at the FreeFrom Eating Out Awards! It’s the only place I know with a dedicated gluten free menu! Pretty much everything on their menu is gluten free! They do everything from breakfasts to lunch, afternoon teas, cakes and a 5 course dinner from their amazing a la carte menu! I even reviewed them on a couple of occasions and if you fancy hearing more about Tea 42 click [here] or to find out what I thought of their delicious al la carte menu, click [here]

2. SWEET MANDARIN

Would you believe it, there’s an amazing Chinese restaurant in Manchester that caters for Coeliacs?! When you’ve been diagnosed with coeliac disease, you have to say goodbye to a lot of nice things that you once enjoyed. One of those things I never thought I’d eat again was Chinese food – until I came across Sweet Mandarins!

The awesome ladies at Sweet Mandarin have made it possible for us coeliacs to enjoy Chinese food again and trust me, it’s delicious! I even had crispy duck and hoi sin sauce with sweet and sour chicken with battered chicken pieces! For more dishes, check out their gluten free menu!

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I’m due to write a proper review of my experience at Sweet Mandarin so do check back soon!

3. DOUGH PIZZA KITCHEN

I am obsessed with Dough Pizza Kitchen! It was the first place I went to where I felt safe and in good hands! Not only are their pizza bases gluten free, but they also have the option of diary free cheese too! Their menu offers so many gluten free options with unique and delicious pizza variations that at times I want to order everything on the menu! Plus if pizza isn’t your thing, they also offer gluten free pasta dishes too! For a more in-depth review, check out my link [here]

4. MUGHLI 

Having a Dad who (in my opinion) is the king of currys, often makes it hard for me to find anything that compares! However, I think I found the one here at Mughlis! I am obsessed with this restaurant and their curries – especially their Railway Kari Curry! (it’s my favourite!). Mughlis is so cool inside, the staff are super friendly and helpful that it’s hard to find a fault with the place. What’s more, their menu clearly states what’s gluten free and there’s plenty of choice! Even my Dad wants to see what the fuss is about since I go on about them so much!

5. FOSTERS FISH & CHIPS 

I grew up on fish and chips! When I was little, my Dad owned his own fish and chips shop which meant I had it coming out of my ears, we ate it so much! So you could understand my pain when I could no longer enjoy fish and chips having been diagnosed with coeliac disease! But Fosters Fish & Chips have come to rescue and offer gluten free fish and chips every Sunday! They even offer gluten free vinegar to go with the dinner! For a more in-depth review, check out my link [here]

 

[BLOG] THE POSITIVES ABOUT BEING COELIAC AND GLUTEN FREE

When people discover they’ve got Coeliac Disease, they’re usually filled with upset and despair. I know I did and I cried buckets when I was diagnosed!

When I tell people I have Coeliac Disease I’m usually met with a sympathetic look, a hug or silly questions like “can you eat potatoes”, “will you get over it” and my personal favourite; “is it contagious?”

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 So for Coeliac UK  Awareness Week 2015, I thought I’d try something different. Instead of listing all the sad and frustrating things about being coeliac and sticking to a strict gluten free diet, I thought I’d add a little positive spin and list 5 things about being a sassy coeliac and a gorgeous gluten free!

1. TRYING NEW FOODS

Before my diagnosis I was a right fussy bugger! I wouldn’t try anything new and stuck to stuff I liked! I was every parents nightmare but now I’m more inspired to try things that are gluten free which has really broadened by culinary tastes!

2. LEARNING TO COOK AND BAKE

In the past, I could not cook to save my life, it was a running joke within my family. I could just about pour the correct quantity of water into a pot noodle let along cook a dinner for myself! However, having coeliac disease has meant that in order for me to enjoy the foods I loved, I would have to cook or bake them myself… from scratch! I’m no chef and have made some terrible disasters in the past but it’s because of this that I was inspired to start blogging on The Gluten Free Student Cookbook! The more I cook and bake the more my confidence grows!

3. THE ONLINE GLUTEN FREE COMMUNITY

First off, you guys are simply and truly amazing. We are so lucky to have such an incredible, caring and kind online gluten free community. The amount of support I have been given has helped me get through some very tough times and for that I’ll be forever greatful. They’re there to lift your spirits, spread awareness, inform you of new gluten free products on the market and alert you of restaurants that cater for us gluten free peeps!

If you’ve just been diagnosed with coeliac disease or you could do with some support, I recommend joining Twitter and getting in touch with these amazing people. I would list all those incredible people but I’m afraid I’d be here forever listing name after name. If you do want to know who those fabulous people are, take a look at those who I follow.

4. DISCOVERING THE GLUTEN FREE BLOGS

Just like the gluten free online community, the blogosphere is an amazing hive full of recipes, reviews, advice and guidance. I can spend hours upon hours reading all the fantastic blogs out there and they’ve inspired me and taught me so much. If I hadn’t got coeliac disease I wouldn’t have come across these amazing blogs and been inspired to try receipes that I normally wouldn’t have been bothered with! My favourite blogs that I believe you should look at are:

(If you know of any other amazing gluten free blogs that I don’t know about, please send me a tweet or an email! I’m always on the look out to find more blogs that will inspire me!)

5.BEING CONFIDENT AND STRONG

We know it’s not easy having coeliac disease and sticking to a very strict gluten free diet. The transition is bordering on torturous but getting through it and coming out of the other side is proof how strong and confidant you truly are. Not only do you have to overcome barriers such as; eating out, dining at friends houses, spending a small fortune on gluten free foods you also have to overcome that overbearing desire not to grab that Krispy Kreme doughnut and shove it in your mouth!

Coeliacs are the strongest people I know and you all should give yourself the biggest pat on your back! As cheesy as it sounds, if you can stick to a gluten free diet you can pretty much overcome a lot of things!

 

[REVIEW] GLUTEN FREE WRAP BATTLES

Since it’s Coeliac Awareness Week, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to start blogging again – my last blog post was in December!

To be perfectly honest, I’ve not been very well. I’ve blogged about it on a few occasions, and don’t really want to go in great detail in this particular blog post, but I will explain all in another post really soon. To cut the long story very short. I have been diagnosed with Endometriosis. It’s a debilitating disease which affects women and causes me unbearable chronic pain which at times leaves me so exhausted that I don’t have the energy to do anything, let alone blog!

Like I said, I’ll go into more details at a later date. I feel talking about it may help other women who suffer as well as help spread awareness. If you’re reading this and you too have endometriosis, please feel free to contact me. I’m more than happy to offer advice and support!

So back to the blog post….

Gluten Free Wraps!

This week I have been so excited to come across so many places offering us pre packed gluten free wrap sandwiches, that I thought I would review them! Bear in mind that there are plenty more wraps out there – I just haven’t had the chance to find them all! You’ll find most of them in places like Tesco, Sainsburys, Costa, Starbucks, Boots and WH Smiths!

COSTA COFFEE: British Chicken & Basil Salad (4/5)

Roast chicken breast and basil mayonnaise with tomato and wild rocket 

Costa Coffee: British Chicken and Basil Salad

This was very, very tasty! Usually I’m not a huge fan of rocket but this wasn’t overbearing and I found it really complimented the chicken and the basil mayo! You had a good, decent amount of chicken which wasn’t swamped by the dressing. What’ s more, you can also buy their gluten free brownie to go with it which is amazing!

URBAN EAT BETTER: Lemon Chicken Wrap / Egg and Slow Roast Tomato Wrap (5/5) 

WRAPS

I found these wraps in WH Smiths and Sainsburys! They’re my absolute favourites, especially the Egg and Slow Roast Tomato wrap! The Egg wrap is like a posh ‘egg mayo’ sandwich and tastes amazing with the tomato and rocket. The Chicken wrap is also delicious and comes with a delicious lemon mayo dressing!

On another note, I’m so glad WH Smiths are now selling gluten free wraps in their shops! I couldn’t believe it when I went in to buy my Eat Natural Breakfast Bar to eat on the train journey home that I actually, and rather embarrassingly, squealed with delight! – much to Mikes embarrassment

STARBUCKS: Gluten Free Falafel (5/5) 

Sweet potato falafel, houmous, carrot, spinach, harrisa chickpeas, pomegranate kernels and yoghurt and mint dressing 

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This was another favourite of mine! I absolutely adore falafel and because of the other ingredients in the wrap, this seemed like the healthiest of the wraps! Unlike the other wraps, this wrap was a fully packed wrap! Plus I would never think to add pomegranate kernels in anything but a fruit salad, but it tasted amazing when you got a burst of pomegranate! It’s inspired me to add it to other things like salads and rice dishes!

But the one thing that all these wraps had in common was that they all used the same seeded wrap which in my opinion stole the show. And what wrap did they use I hear you say? *cue drum roll*

WARBURTONS SEEDED GLUTEN FREE WRAPS!

WRAPS GF

 

They are simply the greatest things ever! Unlike some gluten free bread, these wraps don’t go soggy if you pre roll them which is perfect if you fancy making some wraps for lunch to take to school, college, uni or work! They aren’t ‘stale’ tasting and taste just like a ‘normal’ wraps! They don’t have to be ‘refreshed’ either and can be eaten straight out of the pack. What’s more, not only are they gluten free they’re also egg free too!