There's nothing better than a cheeky takeaway at the weekend, right? But, for Coeliacs, the good old convenience food is much less of a convenience and more like a nightmare! So, here's a handy guide on how to takeaway as a Coeliac, with recommended places to use :) This is an educated guide, but please double check with your takeaway that your meal is gluten free as I cannot guarantee the recipes or practices of individual restaurants. All information is correct as of October 2017.
Most mild currys such as Korma are made using a spice and wheat flour paste while hotter, tomato based curries such as Jalfrezi, tend to be naturally gluten free. However, it's always worth checking with your local curry house. Poppadums are made from chickpea or lentil flour BUT are very likely to have been fried in the same oil as gluten-containing starters.
Chinese is a bit of a minefield depending on how intolerant you are.. if you can tolerate some wheat in soy sauce then most main dishes at the Chinese are safe if eaten with rice (the chips are likely to have been fried in the same oil as gluten containing starters). If you are Coeliac, things become a little trickier I'm afraid.
Most Chinese dishes use soy sauce as a base, but certain sauces like Sweet and Sour are unlikely to contain it - just opt for vegetables rather than meat as a lot of cheaper meats have had wheat added. It's also worth checking what soy sauce your Chinese uses, if it is gluten free Tamari Soy Sauce then most dishes would be fine.
Fish and Chips
Gluten free nights are becoming increasingly popular at Fish and Chip shops across the UK. My humble, sleepy hometown of Lincoln has two shops that offer weekly or monthly gluten free evenings but unfortunately these are not at weekends. However, at both places the chips are cooked in immaculately clean fryers using the very freshest oil so it's definitely worth the wait!
Perhaps surprisingly, pizza is one of the easiest foods to order gluten free. It's easier for everyone if I break the guides down for each individual pizza place:
Pizza Hut's nachos are naturally gluten free and all of their toppings are too except for minced beef. Their South Carolina BBQ sauce IS gluten free but watch out for their regular BBQ sauce and Heinz Sour Cream and Chive dip as these are not.
Dominoes are similar in that their nachos are gluten free and all of their sauces including dips are too. However, their minced beef, sausage and pork meatball toppings are not gluten free.
The only chain restaurant to be certified by Coeliac UK, Pizza Express toss all of their pizza dough in gluten free flour to reduce cross contamination and have strict procedures in place to reduce the risk of this right the way through from storage to cooking. Their Dough Balls are available gluten free, along with two Rigatoni dishes and salads. Most pizzas can be adapted to a gluten free base and their Cafe Real dessert is gluten free. Most ice creams and sorbets are gluten free too, but please check before ordering as they change often. Vegan options are available too.
Most pizza and pasta dishes are available gluten free at ASK. Their gf pizza bases are much bigger than other chains so are great for sharing. Most ice cream and sorbets are gluten free, but they also offer a gf/vegan blood orange and chocolate tart. Vegan pizza and desserts are also available. Although I have asked for clarification, I have not heard back from them regarding cross-contamination procedures.
There is a really good range of gluten free dishes at Zizzi and they seem to know what they are doing. They highlight on their menu the fact that some gf items are fried in the same oil as gluten-containing ingredients which shows a good understanding of cross contamination but I am still waiting for information about cross-contamination procedures.
Strada also offer a good range of dishes gluten free and are happy to adapt any dishes to become gf, for example, they offer their burger without a bun or lamb with a different salsa. Leading the way, they offer two gluten free desserts- a polenta cake and panna cotta. Vegan dishes and desserts are also available. However, I have not yet received clarification on their cross-contamination procedures.
Bella Italia offer a decent range of gluten free pizzas or pasta, plus main meals. They have a gluten free chocolate and morello cherry cake for dessert but perhaps most exciting is their GLUTEN FREE BRUCHETTA and GARLIC PIZZA BREAD! I have not yet received clarification on their cross-contamination procedures.
Prezzo also have an impressive range of gluten free starters, mains and a dessert but I must admit their gf pizza base is somewhat interesting...but, I haven't tried it in a few months so it could well have changed. I have not yet received clarification on their cross-contamination procedures.
Leon, Leon, Leon... what can I possibly say about this place that could give it the praise it deserves. Everything on their menu is gluten free except for bread products and the occasional titbit. Most of their snacks and desserts are gluten free AND they also have gluten free chicken nuggets. Their fries are cooked separately and food is prepared in separate ares to prevent cross contamination. Staff aren't even allowed to pass each other in these preparation areas. And they are working on gf breads and wraps...enough said? Vegan is also available of course! Oh, and their food is DELICIOUS.
Not *technically* take away but most branches offer online ordering for collection. All chicken and Peri Peri marinades are gluten free, but breads are not. Their regular fries are fried in a separate gluten free fryer and Sweet Potato wedges are cooked in the oven. They often toast bread buns or wraps on the grill, so ask for it to be cleaned when ordering.
Some dishes at Pho are available gluten free but I have not yet received clarification on their cross-contamination procedures.
Know of a great GF chain or healthy take away? Please let me know so I can add it to the blog :)