This week, on the Great British Bake Off, the remaining bakers have been set the challenge of baking without sugar, gluten or diary. Now, this may come as a shock, but I've never actually watched the show! I think I'm the only person out there who doesn't like GBBO. The whole premise of this kind of cooking show, with cut throat competition and watching someone else fail, quite frankly, stresses me out. So as a rule, I tend not to watch them. But, given this week's challenge, I may have to make an exception.
See, I've very recently discovered I have wheat intolerance. This was unhappy news for me, the former bread-addict. Seriously, I love bread. I have even done taste tests on which supermarket sells the best French baguette (it's Waitrose, just fyi!). I'm also a serious lover of sticky, rich chocolate brownies - you know the type that are insanely chocolate-y and gooey - which are sadly also off the menu. Needless to say, adapting to a no-wheat diet has been a challenge. So here's a day in the life of me: a newly wheat-intolerant person.
Breakfast - now this isn't any real drama for me as I'm not a big breakfast eater, particularly during the week. I tend to just make a smoothie to have on the go. The weekends are, however, a bit trickier. Brunch tends to consist of Eggs Royale or Eggs Benedict, depending on my cravings for smoked salmon, but once again we have wheat sneaking in. Do I simply omit the muffin? Or, **takes a deep breath** do I need to come up with a completely new go-to brunch? Well, I may have found the answer with baking eggs in avocado. It sounded like a slightly odd idea to me, but I added some smoked salmon, some paprika and the result was surprisingly good. It may take a few attempts before I come to love hot avocado, but it's definitely got potential. Check out my recipe here.
Lunch - now this IS more of a drama. Although I sometimes make a salad for lunch, I am partial to a wrap or pitta bread. Stuffed with homemade hummus, grilled chicken, avocado and spinach, this is my all time favourite packed lunch. Just as I was descending into a state of panic induced sweats, I discovered the 'free-from' section in the supermarket. And there were wraps - I was intrigued. Now the wraps aren't as soft as traditional wheat wraps, BUT they're not bad. Not bad at all. And by the time I've spread an unnecessarily large amount of hummus on them, I'll never know the difference. Here's my recipe for roasted red pepper hummus.
Dinner - now my boyfriend pretty much exists solely on a wheat diet. If he tried to cut wheat out, well there would be nothing left to eat. Between the ham sandwiches, breaded fish, chips, and burgers, I'm desperately trying to broaden his choice of food groups to include something green. Or at the very least not involving bread. Dinner, therefore, has become a big experiment in our house, as I try to create something that he will like and doesn't contain wheat for me. Initially I thought these things were mutually exclusive, but with some research, a little bit of experimentation, and a lot of mess, I'm starting to build a menu that works. Rice noodles are a great substitute for egg noodles, as you can buy gluten free. Perfect for stir-fries or creating my own version of ramen, with grilled prawns, squid and plenty of green veggies
Thankfully, rice is still possible so we are still able to enjoy a cheeky curry; made even better now that I've found gluten free poppadoms for mopping up the left over sauce.
So, while it has been a challenge to adapt my diet, I'm slowly but surely getting there. The next challenge is satisfy my sweet tooth and bake a flourless chocolate cake. Given that I won't be appearing on GBBO any time soon, it may take a few (read: lots) of attempts before I get it right. Maybe if I do break my rule and watch the show, Mary and Paul will give me some great tips, or at the very least, tell me how not to do it!
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