SHED at the Cutlery Works Sheffield

I love finding new places to eat out and when I visited Cutlery Works Sheffield I found quite a few! Cutlery Works is a food court with shared eating space and a number of independent small food kitchens. For once it was lovely to be a coeliac vegan who was actually spoilt for choice as a number of the kitchens offered suitable food and allergy signage was great.

In the end I opted to order from SHED, a plant based kitchen on the first floor towards the far end bar. SHED had quite a few options I could choose from and were really helpful when I spoke to them in person about allergies and dietary requirements. I had an antipasto board to start (the homemade lemon and sesame seed humous is delicious).

For my main I tucked into this delicious green Buddha bowl curry. I really liked the inclusion of wild rice and the fresh vegetables were lovely in the curry and had enough crunch to feel nutritious.

As well as a choice of places to eat there are a few bars, smoothie and coffee options available. Much too full for a smoothie it was definitely a gin day and the Boseden Rose is a lush floral accompaniment to a beautiful veggie meal.

Wood Fired Pizza Co. At Sheffield Botanic Gardens

Bonfire night is one of my favourite times of the year. As well as being delighted by the seasonal treats at Sheffield Botanic Gardens Illuminations I was also thrilled to find one of the food vans offered gluten free and vegan pizza options.

I had a Veggie Full House on a gluten free base but without mushrooms. The base was delicious and I really enjoyed the combination of vegan cheese, spinach, olives and onions. I’m so glad I found their van!

The Incredible Bakery Company

I came across this lovely team at Greenbelt Festival in August. The were working from a stall serving food all day and evening and it was lovely to find somewhere I could eat all the food!

I spoke to the lady running the stall and she started her baking when her son was diagnosed with multiple allergies and dietary issues. The food served is all free from the 14 most common allergens.

I loved the bread rolls and the pizza and would highly recommend to everyone if they come across them!

Garden Secret Spa – GF and Vegan options

I had such a wonderful day yesterday enjoying some relaxation and self care at The Garden Secret Spa at Ringwood Hall Hotel in Derbyshire. I was expecting to have a great time but wasn’t expecting them to be so accomodating around my dietary needs.

I’m a lactose intolerant, coeliac, I’m allergic to nuts and mushrooms and I’m a veggie. So I normally expect a minimal salad or fruit if I eat out. That just wasn’t the case yesterday at all.

All the meals are prepared fresh on site and inspired by garden and herbal foods. For my spa day lunch I tucked into a spring garden salad with vegan substitutes and was really impressed when the chef sourced vegan parmesan to top the meal!

My pudding was also excellent, an ideal lunch for a relaxing day.

Warwick Castle, Maida Vale

I was in London yesterday and looking for my go to chain restaurants for lunch. I’m really pleased I didn’t as I stumbled across this gem with loads of vegan and coeliac suitable options.

Cosy and inviting my friends and I enjoyed a few drinks in the sunshine outside before looking at the menu.

I have a lot of allergies, I’m a lactose intolerant, coeliac, I’m allergic to nuts and mushrooms and I don’t eat meat or fish so finding food which won’t make me unwell is often problematic.

I was encouraged by the presence of 4 vegan options on the menu and when I discussed with the staff and the chef they were able to come up with great substitutions for me. I had the veggie chilli with quinoa and sweet potato and a gluten free bread bun toasted with garlic. It was really tasty.

To make lunchtime even better they had some samples of Skollie cider brought in which were gluten free and vegan so they asked me to try them out.

Thanks to Warwick Castle, Maida Vale for a lovely lunch, tasty drinks and a scrabble game!

You can find more details about this lovely pub at http://www.warwickcastlemaidavale.com

I hope you like it as much as I did!

Oh My Cod! Finding gluten free vegan eating in Mahone Bay, Canada

I’m on holiday in Nova Scotia, an area known for its seafood, so I was fairly worried about finding food that suited my dietary needs as a lactose intolerant, coeliac vegetarian.

I actually didn’t need to worry as I’ve found many places to be accomodating and helpful.

Today that place was Oh My Cod! in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Whilst my husband tucked into a local delicacy I was delighted to discover their gluten free menu including gluten free chips, gluten free sandwich bread and gluten free batter should you want to try the seafood. I had The Herbivore sandwich which contains humous, grilled slices of pepper, onion, rocket and avocado.

Served with rustic chips (with bits of skin left on hurrah) and a guarantee of gluten free due to the separate fryers.

I’ve really enjoyed meal at Oh My Cod! It’s definitely a reminder to check out options for vegans and coeliacs where you would least expect it!

Heartwood by the Sea, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

I’m enjoying a holiday in Nova Scotia. I’m travelling to a few different places in the province and have already found quite a few nice gluten free and vegan foods and meals. One of my favourite meals was lunch at Heartwood by the Sea in downtown Halifax.

There are two Heartwood restaurants in Halifax which serve a selection of vegan and vegetarian foods including a number of gluten free options. I’m going to check out the restaurants on Quinpool road and Göttingen whilst I am here but today I enjoyed lunch at the pop up on the waterfront.

The menu is fairly extensive and includes vegan bowls as well as baked goods like cookies and energy bars.

I discovered veganism after diagnosis I was lactose intolerant. I found it easy to embrace as a vegetarian and having a coeliac disease too but sometimes it can feel frustrating looking for places I can eat safely.

I explained my dietary requirements including my nut allergy and was recommended to try the rainbow bowl. The rainbow bowl has brown rice, steamed green vegetables, roasted sweet potato and beetroots and tofu. All served up with a choice of sauce. As I’m allergic to nuts I went for the spicy tomato sauce. The food was delicious and suited my allergies and requirements perfectly.

Also impressive was the commitment to environmental responsibility. With biodegradable straws, bowls and cutlery as well as organic ingredients Heartwood by the Sea definitely won me over. And the little birds enjoyed the leftover rice too.

IKEA Veggie Balls – gluten free & vegan

Plant based choices are really taking off and I’m delighted to be finding vegan and coeliac friendly foods in places I wouldn’t usually look for them.

Following a lead from a vegan friend I recently got myself to IKEA to sample their veggie take on the iconic Swedish meatballs.

I have not been dissaoppointed. In the food section before the exit (several packs of candles and mini cacti after I arrived) I found the frozen veggie balls called Allemansrätten. You can buy a quite frankly huge bag for only £3.95 so it’s very affordable.

Also very easy, they cook from frozen and take less than 20 minutes. I’ve cooked these tasty gluten free goodies with kale, spinach garlic and green beans and served with hearty brown rice for a summery and delicious evening meal.

Happy IKEA-ing to all!

McVegan, Helsinki (GF & Vegan)

I had to do it. I had to put aside my reservations and try it. The McVegan soya burger that has made an addition to the menus offered by McDonald’s in Finland and Sweden.

Available with a gluten free bun on request this burger really could allow coeliac, vegans to access fast food and I have to say it is refreshing to find something in the mainstream that’s suitable and not an afterthought.

The hype around this in vegan circles has been huge and it really has been hailed as the best food ever. From my perspective it’s not all that. It’s tasty but personally I found it a bit too “meaty” possibly due to decades of bean and chickpea burgers.

It has a high level of protein (19g) but definitely can’t be confused with a healthy dish (coming in at 462 calories per meal). I’d say worth a try if you are in a one off situation, and I’d love to see more vegan options in the mainstream, but overall I prefer home cooking.