MEXICAN HOT SPOT

Firstly, I must apologise for not posting in a while, I have been away with work and collecting lots of content on eating gluten free while travelling the Pilbara…let me assure you, this was no simple task. However, today’s blog post is just a quickie to tell you about El Publico, a Mexican restaurant in Mt Lawley aka coeliac paradise.

I have to admit, I had eaten here pre diagnosis and didn’t enjoy it at all, but we thought we’d give it another go last night in a smaller group of just two people and therefore could choose our own dishes. This was definitely the better way to experience the gluten free friendly menu – only four non gluten free foods are listed on the menu and they are marked clearly with an asterix, meaning I didn’t have to feel like a total pain constantly asking the waiter questions!!!

We ordered the street corn and cuttlefish for starters, these were the highlight dishes of the night. We followed with a lamb belly taco, with Aunty G’s sauce and a chicken taco each. The waiter (who was fabulous by the way!) placed some house made hot sauce on the table with the famous last words ‘It’s really hot… in case you want to party!”. How hot could it be I asked myself, well, with only three drops of the hot sauce on my taco I was sweating up a storm! Beware of the hot sauce, it is in fact, HOT sauce!

Overall I was really impressed with the service and food at El Publico, they make it so easy for coeliacs, you almost forget you have any special diatary needs – that is until your date orders a crispy pork role (Torta ahogada), which had my mouth watering!

On another note, the Coles gluten free and healthy living expo is on this weekend 16 -17 March, 2013 at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre. According to a lovely lady at the Coeliac Society, the expo is a must for coeliacs as you can experience all things gluten free. You’ll find me there, taste testing my way through the expo booth by booth 🙂

LET’S PARTY, GLUTEN FREE STYLE

To celebrate my 25th birthday last week, I invited some family and friends over on Friday and Saturday nights (all birthdays should be celebrated for more than one day, right?!). On top of this being a great way to kick off my next quarter century, it was also the perfect opportunity to test run some gluten free (GF) food ideas.

I’m glad I planned a gluten free menu because I unknowingly had two coeliacs and two gluten intolerant people to the party – who knew this gluten free stuff was so common!

During the day, my party prep team (best friends, bf and mum!) and I chopped celery, carrots and capsicums to go with homemade hummus, tuna dip (courtesy of my aunty and her Thermomix – she substituted the mayo with GF mayo) and store bought olive and feta dip (check the labels, it’s fairly easy to find GF dips). I also served the dips with Mission chips, which are so yummy and approved for gluten free eating!

Gluten free dips, Mission chips and veggies to dip!

Gluten free dips, Mission chips and veggies to dip!

As you may have seen in my last post, we made gluten free meatballs which I warmed in the oven for 20 minutes and served with gluten free chili jam I made from a recipe in the Must Eat cookbook.

Meatballs were served with chili jam.

Meatballs were served with chili jam.

After first finding out I had coeliac disease I was devastated about giving up my beloved arancini. Well, I shouldn’t have been such a sook, because Antichi Sapori (the company I ordered my arancini through) came to the rescue and made me gluten free arancini as well! Everyone loved the gluten free version of the arancini so much that the little balls of rice flew off the plate before I even had a chance to try one (or get a quick snap!), so we will just have to take the word of my foodie friends on this one!

Next out of the kitchen were chicken wings and drumsticks from Torre butchers. I asked a few butchers if they would do gluten free marinate for me, but Torre were the only ones to oblige! The chicken tasted damn good and like the arancini these were chomped down in less than a minute!

Bite size gluten free chicken!

Bite size gluten free chicken!

I was a bit uncertain of how all the gluten free food would taste, so I ordered pizza from La Pagnotta – which was so tempting to eat, but a big no,no for us coeliacs. It was very simple to prepare and perfect for filling the tummy’s of my non gluten free guests!

Pizza from La Pagnotta.

Pizza from La Pagnotta.

Both nights were finished off with some sweet delights! I ordered gluten free cupcakes, macaroons (I am so happy these are gluten free!) and a gluten free chocolate mousse cake. I really didnt like the taste of the cupcakes, but I have heard that the taste of gluten free products does take some getting used to – I am sure I’ll get there!

Gluten free cupcakes from Sweet on Cupcakes

Gluten free cupcakes.

And finally, for drinks I served gluten free punch, cocktails and offered spirts for guest to create their own mixed drinks.

Peach, orange and mint punch!

Peach, orange and mint punch!

Cocktail station set and ready to drink!

Cocktail station set and ready to drink!

Fresh fruit and veg for mixing with drinks!

Fresh fruit and veg for mixing with drinks in maison jars!

It wouldn't be a birthday without decorations!

It wouldn’t be a birthday without decorations!

The night couldn’t have gone anymore perfectly, and the best part was I didn’t crave any gluten foods because my glutenless treats were just THAT good! After the success of the weekend, I think I am definitely on my way to conquering the gluten free battle!

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