Coeliac awareness week 2013

Coeliac UK has just uploaded a couple of photos for people to set as their profile pic on social networks, in order to raise awareness this week. The pictures have a link to loads of flyers which can be handed out - unfortunately I live in Spain and language is a bit of an issue when it comes to handing out leaflets and stuff, but it would be really cool if lots of people could get involved, not just with fundraising, but also just by circulating the information through acquaintances or handing it out at their workplace, street, wherever. All I can do right now is change my Facebook picture, and I really encourage you to do so too. Here are the pictures in case you can't be bothered going to look for them!


Chinese style lemon chicken

Serves 2

200 grams (7 ounces) of chicken

Cooking wine
1/3 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of potato starch

3 tbls. lemon juice
2 tbls. vinegar
3 tbls. water
5 tbls. sugar
1 tspn. potato starch

Sprinkle 3 tbls. potato starch on the chicken (whole, sliced or diced) and marinate in cooking wine and salt.

For the sauce, mix 3 tbls. lemon juice, 2 tbls. vinegar, 3 tbls. water, 5 tbls. sugar. Make sure they are thoroughly mixed. Leave the potato starch 'til the end!

Fry the chicken in cooking oil. When chicken's done, take the sauce and add 1 tspn. potato starch. Mix thoroughly and stir the sauce while it thickens.

And... that's all, nice and easy! Generally you'd serve this with rice, and pour the sauce over the chicken once served. 


Gluten-free shortbread

Here's a really good recipe for shortbread I found on the Internet some time ago. I'm quite surprised at how many things people stick in shortbread, but I really love the original, butter, flour and sugar version.

The ingredients are:

2 cups of rice flour
1 cup of corn starch
1 cup of sugar
1.5 cups of butter

Sieve the flour, starch and sugar together and then mix in the butter by hand. When you have a soft dough you just shape it. Some people make balls and then flatten them to make cookies, others use molds... I tend to stick it all in a baking tray -that's in, not on- and use a knife to make lines along the dough, making shortbread fingers. Preheat the oven and then bake it at about 290ºC - it should take about 20 minutes, but you can tell when it's ready from the colour - browned, but not too much.

I sometimes also sprinkle some sugar over the top while it's still warm - just because :)



Carluke Chef wins top award

CARLUKE chef Peter McKenzie has been awarded the title of Coeliac UK’s Gluten-free Chef of the Year.

Mr McKenzie, head chef for South Lanarkshire Council, received the award from two-Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc at a special presentation in his award-winning restaurant and hotel, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire.

This year’s competition, which was run in association with the Institute of Hospitality, had two categories – Gluten-free Chef of the Year for professional chefs and Up-and-Coming Gluten-free Chef of the Year for catering students.

The competition, to design a three-course gluten-free meal, was launched earlier this year to raise awareness and highlight the need for increased provision of gluten-free menu options for the 1 in 100 people in the UK with coeliac disease.

Mr McKenzie wins a one week placement at Gleneagles with two-Michelin-star chef Andrew Fairlie, a trophy from Coeliac UK and a signed copy of Raymond Blanc’s latest cookery book.

The standard of entry was extremely high but it was decided that Peter’s entry stood out above all others, with a menu of fillet of red mullet, breast of pheasant and vanilla and basil panacotta.

Mr McKenzie has worked at many hotels across Scotland and England but for the past three years has been based at South Lanarkshire Council headquarters, Almada Street, Hamilton, where he is responsible for three kitchens at the council headquarters catering for everything from breakfasts to buffets and banquets.

He said: “I am trying to put an end to the myth that local authority catering is just pies, chips and peas. I entered this competition not only to get recognition for the council, but also help raise awareness for special dietary requirements. I strongly believe that people with coeliac disease should be able to enjoy tasty food without having to feel it is a burden to ask for gluten-free options.”

Raymond Blanc supported the recipe competition and judged the entries, saying: “I was really impressed by the quality and attention to detail displayed in the entries for this competition and congratulations to all the winners. Although more common than many people realise, the condition is not taken seriously enough by far too many chefs. A wide range of gluten-free sweet and savoury recipes can be created by anyone and we all need a few really good gluten-free recipes in our repertoire. Each of my businesses has for a long time been catering for people with coeliac disease.”

Source: Hamilton Advertiser

Jessica applauded for coeliac discovery

Jessica Biesiekierski's research has unlocked more secrets of gluten and coealiac disease.

A YOUNG researcher is sending rumbles through the world of gastroenterology.

Jessica Biesiekierski has spent months behind a microscope in the Box Hill Hospital researching the impact of gluten on people without coeliac disease.

Ms Biesiekierski said previously there was no testing to see if gluten caused stomach pain, bloating or other intestinal symptoms in people who did not have coeliac disease.

“But there was a strong community opinion that it does,” Ms Biesiekierski said.

Those murmurings have proven correct.

Ms Biesiekierski put 34 people without coeliac disease on either gluten or gluten-free diets. Neither the participants nor the researcher knew which diet a person was on.

She found that the people with gluten in their diet complained of stomach pains and other symptoms while those without gluten did not.

For her research Ms Biesiekierski won the prestigious 2009 Australian Gastroenterology Douglas Piper Young Investigator Award.

“The award was a validation into the work we were doing,” she said.

“I have grown so close to the study group, and to know I will be able to help them is incredibly rewarding.”

Ms Biesiekierski is in her first year of a Monash University PhD and this was her first completed study.

The 23-year-old researcher has presented her paper to numerous professional bodies filled with crowds of eminent and, at times, sceptical gastroenterology researchers.

“Some of the more experienced doctors have been told all their careers that gluten causes stomach pain only in people with coeliac disease and then they are confronted with the young blonde thing telling them otherwise,” Ms Biesiekierski said.