Paris is one of my favorite gluten free travel destinations. At most cafes and restaurants, they are happy to provide some form of a gluten free option, even if just a simple omelette aux fines herbes. I tend to indulge a lot when I visit and have a few go-to places for lunches and dinners that I love.
First up, the dedicated gluten-free mecca that is Helmut Newcake (3 rue Bichat 75010). The chef owners have perfected gluten-free pastry making and for a celiac, their charming patisserie is a must visit. I was so distracted by the array of options, I forgot to take photos!
For a quick and healthy lunch option, Biosphere Cafe (47 rue Laborde 75008) is a must-go. The food is clearly labelled for different allergies and the array of choices, amazing. They also have pastries!
Noglu (16, passage des Panoramas 75002) is a wholly gluten free restaurant in one of the charming covered passages in Paris. It’s tiny and popular so you may need to wait for a table but the pizza and decent coffee in Paris served with madeleines was definitely worth the wait.
Finding gluten free bread in Paris isn’t difficult. Most of the bio shops stock a variety of bread, croissants, biscuits and pasta. If you can’t find a bio shop in your neighbourhood, L’epicerie at Bon Marche has a decent sized section of gluten free products.
Macarons from Laduree and Pierre Herme are mostly gluten free. Do remember to ask when selecting your flavours as some flavours use gluten-containing ingredients.
Finally, chocolate. As you all know by now, chocolate is an important part of a balanced diet for me. So what could be more heavenly than an all chocolate restaurant! The lovely staff at Un Dimanche Au Paris (4-6-8 Cour du Commerce Saint André 75006) were helpful and knew their allergen-free items.
When I’m sick, I whinge. A lot. Suffering through a stuffy nose, a sore throat and general listlessness means one of two dishes, that I can make easily in a rice cooker and very patient family and friends. After a few ‘poor baby’ commiserations, I do manage enough energy to prep a supply of easily reheatable meals to last through my germy days.
Growing up in Malaysia, we ate a lot of chinese food. Jook, or porridge is soft but not mushy and definitely warming.
- 1 cup Japanese sushi rice or any other glutinous short grain variety (yes it is gluten-free)
- 2 inches of ginger, cut in to thin strips
- 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, rinsed and chopped up
- 1 grated carrot
- 2 scallions chopped fine
- 1/4 cabbage shredded
- 1 handful chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 4 cups water
- 1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tsp ume vinegar
- Rinse rice and put in rice cooker (one with a porridge setting.)
- Add water and 2/3 of the ginger, the celery, the shitake mushrooms and the cabbage and leave it to cook.
- When cooked, mix in the grated carrot, the coriander leaves, soy sauce, ume vinegar and scallions in to the portion you are going to eat. The rest can be frozen overnight for the next day. Other variations include adding a thinly sliced chicken breast to cook with the rice or finishing with an egg, if you like runny yolks.
My other sick day alternative goes back to my own cultural heritage and the advice of my GP, who insists curry and spice are the best cures for a cold.
- 1 cup Basmati rice long grain
- 1 cup lentils (i use yellow dahl but mung bean dahl is also common)
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1/2 cup of diced carrots and red capsicum
- 1 tomato chopped roughly
- 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves (yes, I add these to lots of things)
- Salt to taste
- Rinse lentils and rice and put in rice cooker with 5 cups water. Add all vegetables, 1/2 the coriander leaves and spices and stir. Start the rice cooker.
- When cooked, serve with the left over coriander leaves and a spoonful of plain yoghurt. Any uneaten portions may be frozen and reheated.
Minimum effort, maximum benefit. Comfort food, my way.