Happy New Year everyone!
I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted on here. Been having a bit of restful break. Cape Town is really busy this time of year as it’s the height of the season, so it’s quite crazy to try go anywhere. That’s why it’s just been a reading, sleeping, watching movies and walking the dogs holiday.
This is fast becoming one of my favourite recipes and is an absolute staple when having anyone over for a meal. A lot of my friends keep asking for the recipe, so I thought I must share it. It is totally my own concoction of all the things I love to eat.
I love Quinoa. It is the healthiest grain you can have because of it high protein and vitamin content.
It is also delcious! There are many different versions of this dish and you can play around with it and add whatever you like to it. It is also a meal on it’s own and not just an accompaniment, if you add cut op roast chicken or pieces of ostrich to it.
Whenever we go on long car trips, this is the dish I take with in a tupperware, as of course I cannot eat any of the food at the garages/rest stops along the way. So it works cold as well.
In the original form, it is a great vegetarian dish.
Yael’s Quinoa Salad
1 cup Quinoa
2 sachets Vegetable Stock (I use Ina Paarman’s liquid stock as it’s clearly marked gluten free. I use all the stocks in the range)
2 cups boiling water
1 tin corn( or one fresh cut off the cob)
1 Tub of marinated artichokes (100gr)I use the Woolworths one.
1/2 packet sun dried tomarasins tomatoes ( I use the Woolworths one)
Handful cashew nuts
Handful mixed seeds ( sesame/pumpkin/ sunflower/linseed)
Boil Quinoa in 2 cups of stock for about 20 minutes until all the stock is absorbed. Allow to cool. Fluff with a fork. Place in salad bowl. It should resemble the consistency of couscous.
In a separate DRY pan, toast off the cashews and seeds, until golden brown.
Chop up artichokes and sun dried tomatoes finely. Add to Quinoa.
Add tinned corn, nuts and seeds. Mix together.
Top with some olive oil.
Best served at room temperature.
I have just come back from a wonderful two week holiday in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. The Garden Route is one of the most scenic and magnificent parts of South Africa. We stayed in Knysna. The weather wasn’t the best; lots of rainy and cloudy cool days, but that does kind of enforce relaxation.The views are breathtaking though, and it does feel like you can just sit and watch the view and recharge your batteries.
My favourite place to eat is still East Head Cafe. It is a really wonderful restaurant, situated at the perfect position of overlooking the Heads. They do not specifically have gluten free options on their menu, but there are many naturally gluten free food menu items and they are always happy and willing to change one option for another.
I had their wonderful spinach and feta omelette for breakfast on a few occasions and just ask for it without any toast. Their salads are magnificent, including a delicious one with roast butternut and pumpkin seeds. They had grilled fish option that came with couscous but were happy to change it for me to a side salad and they also don’t grill their fish in flour. Just be careful of their chips, they are coated in flour, so are a no no.
It was my birthday while on holiday and my Aunt spoilt us with a stunning surprise breakfast there. It was just down the road from where we stayed so was in walking distance, overlooking the beautiful lagoon and incredible homes along the mountainside.
I also ate a lovely fish meal at Sirocco in Thesen Harbour Town, a lovely quaint little island just next to the Knysna harbour They also do not grill their fish in flour and it was excellent.
I was also lucky to find gluten free bread, made with Sago flour at the Food Lovers Market/Fruit and Veg City in town. The make was called Bretzinger Lifestyle Bakery, which is based in Jeffrey’s Bay. Really lovely bread that is good toasted. It was nice to find a gluten free bread, quite easily available at a local shop.
Another nice suprise was a yummy gluten free chocolate cake at the Harvest Time Market Hakerville on the way to Pletternberg Bay. I’m not sure if its a regular option on their menu, but the ladies at the stall told me it was made with chocolate, grounds almonds and eggs and it was really good. Always worth it to ask if they have it.
So there are many good option for anyone with Celiac or gluten or wheat allergies.
Another great surprise was Ill de Pain Bakery in These Harbour Town. A bakery you say. Well I’m told their bread is fantastic, no gluten free option there, but guesse what there were some gluten free desserts in the beautiful glass display!
They had pastry called a Luxemburger, which is two macarons (made from meringue) with cream filling. There was also a chocolate mousse cake,with a chocolate base, so no biscuits. It looked like something straight out of Masterchef. Decadently divine.So don’t be afraid to ask somewhere if they have any gluten free options, it might surprise you.
Very good article on iron deficiency anaemia and Celiac Disease. My celiac was only discovered because of low iron levels. Very interesting that people can still be iron deficient a decade after going gluten free!!
Check it out HERE
With the cold, wet wintry weather outside, this recipe is firm becoming one of my favourites. It took a bit of experimenting, but turns out really well now. The buttermilk gives the bread a really ‘glutinous’ texture and the smell of cinnamon and baked bread in the house, is one of the best smells ever!
I make it using my breadmachine.It’s really quite simple..
50ml Olive oil
350gr Flour comprising:
200gr Tapioca Flour
100gr Brown Rice Flour
50gr Almond Flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
2tsp Xantham gum
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
75gr brown sugar
1 sachet of Yeast
Handful of Raisins
Beat together the egg, milk and buttermilk and add into Bread Pan. Add the oil.
Then add the sifted dry ingredients and then the sugar. Lastly sprinkle the yeast on top.
If your machine has a fruit and nut dispenser, add the raisins to it or add in yourself after the first knead.
Bake on Basic/White setting, with a Medium crust and 700gr/1 1/2lb
Afterwards remove immediately from pan and allow to cool, if you can resist for that long!
Eat out Magazine’s listing of South Africa’s best pizza places that also offer Gluten Free Bases.
So many women suffer from problems from infertility to irregular periods and many other hormonal problems, from thyroid issues and anaemia, without making the connection to Celiac Disease.
Have a look at this great post and pass on to any female relative or friends who may be suffering from these problems…
I have a lot of people asking me about eating gluten free in South Africa. Either it is people living here who are newly diagnosed or visitors from other countries who are traveling to SA ask me for recommendations on finding gluten free foods and places here. I am based in Cape Town even though I am from Johannesburg originally, so my recommendations are for Cape Town. However I will try my best to find out any info I can for other areas .
I decided to do a general post for finding gluten free things for the newly diagnosed or any visitors or overerseas travelers.
For the best selection of general gluten free products, Dischem Pharmacies and Wellness Warehouse are your best bets. At both places you can get a good selection of gluten free pastas, biscuits, crackers and gluten free ready to make cake/muffin mixes. Wellness Warehouse also sells gluten free bread and sells sandwiches. They do use soy flour, so for those who can’t tolerate soy be aware.
The major supermarket chains, such as Pick n Pay, Spar and Checkers as well as small health shops also all sell the ready made cake mixes, crackers and gluten free flour, but they cost a lot more and always be sure to check expiry dates, as the turnover is not as high as the specialist shops.
For all products you buy, always check the ingredients as well as the allergens listed as there are not always strict laws about the listing of allergens. Woolworths are very good at listing their allergens on the back of all their products and have just come out with a new range of gluten free crackers!
For eating out , remember to always ask if fish is cooked in any flour ( they often coat fish in flour even for grilling). Always check what’s in the basting sauce or other sauces for steaks and if not sure ask for separate sauce or without.
There aren’t too many dedicated gluten free places, so just keep a look out for places that include gluten free things on the menu, or stick to choices like chicken, meat, fish or salads (don’t forget dressing may contain gluten though).
Look here and here for a list of good gluten free restaurants. Ask for lemon juice with sushi and alternatives to bread, eg chips instead of bread.
South Africa is new to gluten free products, but always be sure to ask and check if you aren’t sure. Feel free to contact me if there are any other questions you have regarding where to buy gluten free products and food.
The picture is me with my dogs on the beach with Table Mountain in the background.
All Celiacs, please note that Essene Bread does contain Gluten! I had the misfortune of finding this out for myself the hard way. Of course I should not have been so trusting, but when someone assures you that Essene bread is ok for Celiacs and doesn’t contain any gluten, you tend to believe them.
The common misconception out there amongst a lot of people who are trying eat healthier diets, is that if a grain such as wheat is manufactured in a different process, it is safer to eat. Essene bread is made using sprouted wheat, which apparently changes it from a carbohydrate to a protein, which removes the gluten component. Rubbish! Maybe if you have an intolorence, or are following some fad celebrity diet, which tells you to cut out wheat, then you can tolerate Essenne Bread, or even Spelt which also Contains Gluten.
I know that the person who sold me the Esese bread sandwich meant me no harm, and if you do read this, please do not let any Celiac customers have this food.
I was on holiday in the Garden Route, and had it at a stall at the Wild Oats market in Sedgfield (which is a really lovely market to visit anyway)I ate it and two hours later, was vomiting repeatedly. It felt like food poisoning and I thought I would maybe be okay.
When we drove home back to Cape Town,I had the most sever back ache and two days later, had severe stomach cramps, fever,body aches, swollen glands, a sore throat and nausea and vomiting. When I saw my doctor, she suggested that my gluten ingestion had triggered an immune response and that is what triggered the virus or immune system dysfunction. I was then on anti-biotics and it has taken me about three weeks to recover fully from the fatigue. Remember Celiac is ultimately a disease of inflammation in your immune system.
So if you think that innocently cheating and have a little gluten is not bad for you, even if you do not react as violently as I do, please realise the damage you are doing to your immune system.
I do also think if you are not sure if an ingredient is gluten free or not, rather err on the side of caution and avoid it. For those newly diagnosed print out a list of all gluten containing ingredients and keep it in you at all times for reference.
For a lovely simple and completely delicious cake, then this almond and honey cake is the one to try. It’s easy to make and really yummy.
It is incredibly hot weather in Cape Town a the moment and this is a really light summer cake. Perfect for ending off a meal, or for afternoon, without the richness of a heavy cake.
May you all have a wonderful sweet start to the new year. I think 2012 is going to be great!
Gluten Free Almond and Honey Cake:
225 gr Butter
200 gr Castor Sugar
4 Jumbo Eggs
175 gr Ground Almonds
25 gr Tapioca Flour
Pinch of Salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbls Honey
Icing Sugar to dust
20cm spring-form tin lined with baking paper and oiled.
Preheat the Oven to 170C.
Cream the Butter and Sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs in one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
Sift in the Almonds, Polenta and Tapioca Flour with a pinch of salt and the baking powder.
Add the honey and mix through.
Transfer to cake tin.
Place in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Cover with foil if the top gets too brown.
Leave it to cool once you have removed it from the oven and then dust with icing sugar.
Can be served with strawberries and Greek yoghurt or cream or on its own.
As you all know I am always on the look out for more great gluten free option in the Cape Town area. So here on my latest:
A MUST visit is Terra Bella ( find it on Facebook: Terra Bella Cape Town) a small stall at the Hout Bay Harbour Market filled with the yummiest things. Everything is gluten free and also sugar and dairy free, for those who need that. Please let me know if you do go and try her delicious food. I will be sure to be back there as often as I can
It tasted amazing and I must admit, as Hout Bay is a bit far for me to travel to frequently, I was a bit greedy and had one of everything. I had a divine jam biscuit, a waffle made right there and took home with me a chocolate cupcake and a salted chocolate tart. Do yourself a favour and get down to the market, which is lovely anyway and you can have coffee and cake that’s all good for you. It just felt so good to be able to go out and eat great gluten free things and feel like normal for a change!
My second great find, is a bit of a fabulous secret and was thanks to one of my readers, Estelle, who recommended it. It’s called Eat Well . It is a bit off the beaten track, but if you are heading into Stellenbosch, it’s worth the drive. We drive to Hillcrest Berry Orchard once a month to stock up on frozen berries, which I use in my breakfast smoothies, so we stopped and had lunch at Eat Well, while I was in the area.
They do not have just a token few gluten free items on the menu, but an entire separate gluten free menu, inside the normal menu of about four pages long. There are gluten free soups, gluten free sandwiches, gluten free burgers and gluten free cakes. I had the beef burger and realised it had been 2 1/2 years since I had a had a burger!
I even got the waiter to check how the meat was made, as they might have used breadcrumbs to bind it and he was said no it is completely gluten free. That was great to hear, as a lot of places offer gluten free, without understanding that the whole dish MUST be gluten free, not one or two items on it. For example a place offered gluten free pasta, but the sauce it came with contained gluten! So I am happy to say the Eat Well, offers a comprehensive gluten free menu and I am sure that the whole dish is safe. Please le me know if any of you go there and have a successful meal.
Happy Gluten Free Eating!