Sexy Sandwiches

I don’t know about you, but I find the typical dry ham sandwich with soggy lettuce boring each day at work. In fact, if I had my way each workplace would be kitted out with a mini oven so that each day during my lunch break, I could go into the kitchen and cook up a feast – it would certainly make getting through a long afternoon that much easier. So, when the weekend finally creeps up on me I like to go to town with my sandwiches, and I’m talking about getting out the frying pan, throwing in some peppers and onions and giving it a good old mix up before dolloping on some old fashioned mayo and basil pesto to really get your taste buds tingling. I know that as a nation of sandwich lovers we can often get stuck in our ways when it comes to fillings, but allow me to let you in on my secret ingredients for a killer sandwich and you’ll never want to go back to your old, quick-fix ways again.

Beginning with sandwich filling number one!

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The main ingredient here is basil pesto and a nice crusty cob. Too much of it can ruin any dish, but a fine overlay of it on your meat can really get it fired up. Follow the steps below for a truly delicious combination of herbs, salad and sauces.

Ingredients

  • Meat of your choice (I used ham)
  • Dairy free cheese (I used VioLife Pizza Mozzarella)
  • Yellow pepper
  • 2 cherry tomatoes halved
  • Half red onion
  • Basil pesto (Sacla)
  • Chives
  • Oregano
  • Gluten free bread (I used Newburn Bakehouse Artisan loaf)
  • Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Olive oil

 

  1. Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan and thrown in half a red onion and pepper, turning until the pepper is soft and the onion is getting crispy
  2. Spread a generous tea spoon of basil pesto onto the base of your bread
  3. Add the ham and spoon on another generous helping of pesto, before layering on a teaspoon of mayonnaise
  4. Cover the base with cheese and a sprinkling of chives before putting under the grill and allowing to melt
  5. Once the cheese is done, spoon up the onion and pepper and layer on top
  6. Chop up the cherry tomatoes and place on top of the mix
  7. Finish off with a nice handful of fresh lettuce leaves

Now to wrap, grab and get stuck in with filling number two!

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Here, the quinoa and buckwheat rice really gives the sandwich a crunchy texture. Mixed in with classic, full fat Hellmans mayonnaise and roasted red peppers, you really can’t go wrong with this one. Make sure to fold the pitta in half so that all the ingredients mingle together and don’t worry about getting your hands messy in the process, it adds to the enjoyment.

Ingredients

  • Quinoa and buckwheat rice (I purchased from Waitrose)
  • Meat of your choice (I used gammon)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Red pepper
  • Half red onion
  • Lettuce
  • Gluten free pitta breads
  • Olive oil

1. Cook the rice according to packet instructionHeat up some olive oil and throw in the onion and pepper, cooking until soft

2. Warm the pitta bread up in the microwave for 20 seconds

3. Once the rice is cooked, put it in a bowl and add a tablespoon of mayonnaise before mixing well

4. Add your meat topping and then spoon on the onion and pepper

5. Add a handful of lettuce and then fold the pitta in half before tucking in

Sail on down to The Ship Inn

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My all-time favourite thing in life to get my gnashers into is a good Sunday roast. Every single Sunday when I was growing up, we had a roast dinner without fail, and even though it is a little embarrassing to admit, my Mom would ensure we found a British pub when we holidayed in Greece just so we didn’t miss out on our tasty din dins on the Sabbath day.

Like every other English person on this earth, nothing will ever compare to my Mom’s home cooked roast dinner. In fact, if Marco Pierre White came round and cooked me an à la carte version of beef, roasties and yorkie puds, well I may have to tell him where to go, Momma’s cooking wins every time.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found many places out there that offer gluten free and dairy free Sunday roasts, which I find astonishing as they can be so easily adjusted. All it requires is to make sure the gravy isn’t made using a stock cube and the roast potatoes don’t get rolled around aimlessly in wheat flour. And let’s face it, they don’t need to be anywhere near those evil ingredients in the first place.

When I was holidaying in Norfolk, if you can call camping during thunderstorms a holiday, me and my family stumbled across a beach side pub called The Ship Inn in Mundesley on our final day. Of course, being a pub in the middle of a tiny village on a bank holiday, I was bracing myself for another bland steak and chips, or gammon and chips, as I honestly didn’t think they would cater for my roast dinner craving needs – Little did I know.

The waitress came back from the kitchens telling me a small list of things which were gluten and dairy free, and to my delight the chef was more than happy, or should I say obliged to cook me up a special dinner, complete with gluten free Yorkshire puddings. Not only that, but I was allowed the choice of a starter as well with gluten free bread, to which I ordered tomato and basil soup which tasted delicious and really fresh.

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Of course, with the offer of yorkie puds it would have been rude not to order the beef, which came as a huge portion with potatoes, parsnips and vegetables, which I have to say I completely demolished alongside a nice cold cider.

This little seaside pub was an absolute gem and a lovely place to spend a nice sunny bank holiday down by the beach. I can’t recommend the food enough, they didn’t rip you off and were very accommodating of my dietary needs.

Gluten free chicken burger at the Beaver

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When I’m sat in a pub sipping cider or wine, the one thing that always catches my eye as a waiter comes out with food is a good burger. When I see a burger topped high with a portion of chips and onion rings on the side, I can’t deny, I really wish I didn’t have to follow a gluten free diet. Of course, they are easy enough to make yourself at home, but to me, when I think back to when I could eat normally, the sight of a fresh, homemade burger coming at you was pure bliss.

On a recent trip to North Devon at Easter, me and my family stayed in a little village named Appledore. Prior to going, I had turned to Twitter to investigate what restaurants were out there offering gluten free, and the Beaver Inn tweeted back to tell me that they could cater for my needs – and as it was on my door step, it would be rude not to try it out.

The little pub over-looks the estuary and would be lovely on a sunny day sitting out in the beer garden round the back. The staff were all really friendly and accommodating towards my needs. Upon arriving, the waitress took a note of things off the menu which I would like to eat and went off to ask the chef which dishes he could incorporate into gluten free.

Of course, some things were entirely off limits, but I was really pleased when she came back telling me that I could have the pork belly for starter with crispy pancetta, and a chicken burger, seasoned with paprika on a gluten free cob with chips and salad for mains. In a normal pub which doesn’t specialise in catering for people with allergies and intolerances, this is something quite special.

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The portion size was huge and I had that same feeling I used to get when I was a kid when a huge burger came towards me, I suddenly felt like I could eat a horse. I couldn’t have the pork belly with apple sauce, but it was really enjoyable to be able to eat a starter along with everyone else, whilst the burger was truly delicious – the cob it was in tasted really fresh and unlike any of the supermarket brought brands I have ever tasted, in fact I’m not sure but to me it tasted like it had been freshly baked that day which was a bonus.

Overall, I would really recommend this pub to anyone staying in the local area. I didn’t feel like a nuisance when telling the staff about what I couldn’t eat, and they couldn’t have been more accommodating towards my needs.

Overall, the food was very reasonably priced, was proper tasty pub grub and the staff were really friendly – Ten out of ten to the Beaver Inn in Appledore.