This week, 9-15 May, is Coeliac Awareness Week. Coeliac disease currently affects 1 in 100 people in the UK, but many more people suffering from coeliac disease aren’t aware their symptoms are caused by the disease. Coeliac UK estimates there are half a million undiagnosed people in the UK.

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease which is caused by a reaction to gluten in food, meaning for sufferers, a gluten-free diet is necessary. Helpfully, gluten-free options have become more widely available as more people turn to a gluten-free diet, either to help control coeliac disease, or for a variety of other digestive-health reasons. Here in the Eurospan Cooks kitchen, we’re happy to have to hand the University of North Texas Press book Goodbye Gluten: Happy Healthy Delicious Eating with a Texas Twist and, for the next instalment in the Eurospan Cooks series, Sales Manager Michelle will be telling us about her first foray into gluten-free cooking.
Goodbye Gluten
Goodbye Gluten is a beautiful cookbook, filled with full-colour illustrations of all the dishes, plus the recipes are written in an easy-to-follow style, making it the perfect way to delve into gluten-free cooking if it’s your first time (as it was mine). This is not your average gluten-free cookbook either: this is gluten-free with a Texas Twist, so be ready for tacos, cornbread, and stuffed peppers alongside some more “traditional” dishes. This book was written for anyone going gluten-free, whether for coeliacs, sufferers of other gluten intolerances, or those simply choosing to cut down on their gluten intake. Personally, I don’t follow a gluten-free diet, although I do have friends who do and it’s useful to have some tasty recipes on hand whenever I’m cooking for a group.

What’s interesting about Goodbye Gluten is the number of recipes that are naturally gluten-free: for example, meat dishes, potatoes and corn can all substitute a gluten-based meal. There is one recipe in the book for a lasagne, which substitutes lasagne sheets for corn tortillas – a cheap and simple way to make an old favourite gluten-free.

I decided to have a go at one of the more “traditional” recipes in the book – a pizza, made with gluten-free flour. Here’s how it turned out:
Some of the ingredients in the recipe use American product names, but I simply used an off-the-shelf gluten-free flour mix from my local supermarket, which worked well. One thing I didn’t realise was how wet the dough would end up, without gluten to stretch it. However, once I got it onto the baking tray (the dough requires some baking before you put on any toppings) it came out crispy and light (although mine was a little messy) – the perfect base for any choice of topping. I went for pepperoni, and it was a hit in my house!