Bingeing on gluten

So my coeliac daughter is away for four days – the other two children have been having a gluten binge. I’ve deliberately gone out and bought some of the many manufactured products that we just don’t have in the house as a rule, including doughnuts, special cakes, chicken dippers and sausages. I know that many of these kinds of things are available gluten-free, but since the coeliac is also nearly vegetarian, we often don’t eat them anyway.

I haven’t seen a satisfactory gluten-free doughnut, though I can make a good gluten-free cake. I have tried making gluten-free doughnuts, though without much success.

Sausages we can get gluten-free at our local supermarket, and chicken nuggets can be home-made if you fancy them. Almost certainly they’ll be better quality than the bought-in versions, though gluten-free chicken nuggets (and fish fingers) are also available at the local supermarket.

Tonight I plan to take the two non-coeliac children to MacDonalds. We practically never go to MacDonalds – though it is possible to eat there gluten-free as long as you don’t mind eating meat – so this will be a major treat for the children. How sad is that?

How to make gluten-free chicken nuggets at home:

Cut chicken breasts into nugget sized chunks. Coat in gluten-free flour, and then in beaten egg. Then coat again in some kind of gluten-free crumb coating. This could be purpose-made (Orgran make crumb coating), homemade (crumble gluten-free bread very small and toast under the grill) or you can use polenta or cornmeal (our favourite). Some people like to add another coating of egg and then crumb, to make a thicker coat. Finally, put the nuggets on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with vegetable oil, and bake for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the nuggets at 180C. You could also fry the nuggets, though the coating tends to slide off – at least it does when I try!

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Lucy is the mother of a coeliac, and has been managing a gluten free diet for her daughter for 20 years - though, to be fair, she does do most of it herself now...

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