Rice noodles pot from Kabuto – make a Samurai’s heart sing

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Well here we have pot noodles but better. Way better and posh even. The original gluten free vegetarian was very excited to try out a new pot noodle made with rice noodles he spied in the supermarket the other day in England. The words ‘gluten free’ were like a beacon.

“Vegetable Laksa – a rich rice noodle dish with coconut, chilli, peppers and sweetcorn”. It brings a smile to one’s lips because not only is it rather delicious but the instructions on the back are funny. The founder’s story is interesting too. Quite a quest he went on in order to make a pot noodle taste as good as a restaurant experience. Sword off to you sir.

This is what I was thinking:
Why is it that restaurant noodles taste healthy, fresh and authentic, while supermarket noodles come in Southern fried chicken and doner kebab flavours? And: how can you put something worth eating in a packet, then a box, then drive it to a shop, then sell it for as little as 10p?”

On the pot: “Beware Samurai, for your noodles will be hot… Failure to follow instructions will bring great shame to yourself and your family”

Shame the rice pot version is sadly lacking.

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Gluten free vegetarian bliss in Gran Canaria

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In draft – work in progress

The original gluten free vegetarian Andrew went for a week’s holiday and sent back glowing reports via text messages of his culinary experiences. Gran Canaria is one of the islands known as the Canary Islands which belong to Spain and can be found in the Atlantic ocean way off North Africa. He was staying in Maspalomas.

“Just been to a restaurant and every single thing on the menu was available gluten free!!  http://www.restauranteok.com/ – Restaurante ok, Avda. Tirajana 19 Barbados 1, Local 1, 35100 Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain.

[pizza ok]

Fusion restaurant in Playa del Ingles. Ceiling mirror with Amanda eating rice poet spring rolls and my Tom Kah soup! – Fusion Restaurant and Lounge Bar, Avenida Espana 12, Apartments Las Gacelas, 35100 Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain

[photo]

Food has been amazing so far this trip. Here is my Tofu Pad Thai.

[photo]

Gluten free Pizza. Chef is from Florence!!  – Restaurante Pizzeria Piccola Italia, Calle San Agustin 2a, Planta Loc. 156, Calle Las Dalias S/N, 35100 San Agustin, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain

[Pizza photo]

Pics below from Piccola Italia – we are there again. Gluten free chocolate souffle. Absolutely incredible.  Then I had gluten free spaghetti arriabiata and Amanda had mushroom and black truffle risotto. All actually looked better in reality than photos.  Taste and service and attention to detail incredible. Price in Euros – risotto 12, pasta 7.90, pudding 7.80.

[Souffle n risotto n spaghetti 3 pics]

Spaghetti looks small but it was enough. Had a salad to start. One of the best Italians I’ve been to probably after Florence.

Gluten free in all supermarkets. Maspalomas is a great location. You’d like it. Hardly any kids. Very very gay oriented. Lots of Germans, hardly any Brits. Better weather than Lanzarote but not so good for driving. Went into the mountains today. Amazing scenery but hard windy day drive.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butternut squash risotto recipe

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Butternut squash risotto recipe by Quintins of Lanzarote

Note the won tons are optional but do add a nice crunch. You may have other ideas on how to add an easier gluten free crunch.

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Ingredients

100g rice

100g butternut squash

1 small onion

Won ton pastry (make your own gluten free version)

Mushrooms

Spinach

Butter

 

Instructions

Sweat onion in knob of butter in a pan.

Add risotto rice

When soft add water to right consistency

When rice is nearly cooked add liquidized butternut squash

Add two pinches of dry veg stock

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Saute mushrooms and spinach in butter

Leave to cool

Stuff wonton with mushrooms and spinach and deep fry

 

Serve the risotto topped with the deep fried parcel plus some fresh salad leaves drizzled with balsamic dressing

Slendier review – gluten free low calorie vegetable based pasta alternative

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I was excited to hear about Slendier, not because of the low calories but because it is not only a gluten free but a grain free pasta replacement – from recent reading about links between diet and health, I believe we should eat less grains, not just the ones commonly touted as gluten rich.

What is it? Here is the edited down official spiel:

“Slendier is Australia’s leading brand of ‘konjac pasta’. Konjac is an unusual vegetable that can grow up to 25cm in diameter and is a dietary staple throughout many Asian countries.

100g of Slendier pasta contains just 8 calories, as opposed to around 300 calories for the real thing. Slendier acts as an appetite suppressant as it is particularly high in fibre which helps delay digestion and keeps you feeling full and satisfied despite a lack of calories.

This pasta is organic, gluten and fat free [IMHO fat free is not a selling point unless you are preaching to out-dated weight loss education], it takes one minute to prepare and when added to sauce tastes just as good as the ‘real thing’ [Marta: Oh no, it doesn’t!].

Slendier pasta launched in January 2014 on Ocado.com and some health stores around the UK. It costs £2.49 per pack and comes in five different formats – angel hair, fettuccine, rice style, spaghetti and noodles.“

Verdict

I cannot comprehend why you would replace rice with it but then weight loss is not an issue for me. I did try the spaghetti version. I was surprised at how very easy it was to prepare.

slendier-instructions

The consistency was a little plastic like and it did feel like I was having a frankenfood. It didn’t feel like I was eating pasta but packaging materials. Wasn’t sure if I was eating melted sieve. I used some left over home made pasta sauce to give it the best opportunity to win me over.

I would not eat it for pleasure and I do like my food to be a pleasure but I can see that for someone wanting to lose weight such a pasta replacement with hardly any calories could be a good option. It didn’t look like that much so I ate the whole lot and felt satiated as if I had eaten a big rock. I then read it was a two person portion – oops! It didn’t result in any other physical problems for me so that was good.

slendier-with-pasta-sauce

Personally I would not use it as gluten free option as gluten free pastas are far superior to this taste and texture wise, but then they are often made including corn and some people have bodies that treat corn like gluten so it could be useful for them but they could also make zoodles. These are zucchini/courgette noodles made by spiralising a courgette – beautiful lightly cooked in butter and very healthy.

However Slendier is much quicker and easier to prepare so a better convenience option. On balance it is going to be healthier than most gluten free pastas on the market but it would fall into the early days of gluten free bread for me i.e. if it doesn’t taste great and is a poor second I just don’t go there and focus on eating food that makes me happy all round. I just wish the experience on the palate was better.

See the Slendier UK website for further information.