Hi, we are Stephen and Nicola Hackett, we have designed this blog to give people an insight into some of the best gluten free recipes we have found and reviews of some of the restaurants and takeaways we have experienced. We also want to give you the opportunity to rate your own restaurants and takeaways from other areas of the UK and add any recipes you also think are good.
Stephen was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2005, just 3 months after our first daughter was born. As so many other people who are diagnosed, our first reaction was “crikey this is going to be hard”. His dietician painted a rather bleak picture of all the things that couldn’t be eaten and how cross contamination was an issue.
Once we left the hospital the hard work really began, it was time to join the Coeliac society and do lots of reading.
Back in 2005, there were plenty of foods available on prescription and so we sat down and analysed the list. Stephen picked a selection of pasta, bread, biscuits, flour and pizza bases. The bread was edible but very small slices and the pizza bases very hard. However the Pasta, Biscuits and Flour mixes were all superb. After a few months of these items, Stephen decided to go back to the doctors and request some of them were changed, what a mistake. He was told that he could not change any items and in fact some of the “luxury” items were taken off! So no more biscuits on the NHS! Stephen does count himself very lucky however as at least the Worcestershire Primary Care Trust still provide Gluten Free food on prescription. We know of many areas where the Coeliac society have had to campaign heavily to get even the basics on prescription.
Over the years the food quality and taste has improved dramatically. The bread is now almost the same size as a normal gluten containing loaf of bread and actually makes a somewhere decent sandwich! Stephen’s most favourite time is when a fresh bread delivery arrives from the pharmacy and he can enjoy a corned beef sandwich!
Pizzas are another area that has improved greatly, when first diagnosed we had to make home-made pizzas, but now there is a small variety in most of the main supermarkets and they are quite tasty.
Over the years we have grown to be a quite savvy with various recipes and mixes and want to pass on our experience to other people. We have also had some good and bad experiences in restaurants and takeaways and so again, want to pass on our discoveries to all you lovely readers. So we hope you enjoy reading and we would love to hear your feedback.