Coeliac Awareness Week

The 9th – 15th of May is Coeliac Awareness Week! It’s a week dedicated to raising awareness of Coeliac Disease, sponsored by CoeliacUK (an organisation that provides guidance and knowledge to those with Coeliac Disease). I myself have Coeliac Disease so I thought it was only right to tell you more about the autoimmune condition that 1 in every 100 people (including students) suffer with!

What is Coeliac Disease?

As mentioned above, Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune condition that involves the immune system mistakingly attacking stomach tissue when someone eats gluten (wheat, barley and rye). This then causes internal damage to the gut tissue which makes the lining incapable of absorbing nutrients. It’s important to differentiate Coeliac Disease from a gluten intolerance which is entirely different and shouldn’t be mistaken for.

What are the symptoms of Coeliac Disease?

If someone who has Coeliac Disease consumes anything with gluten, be it pasta, cake or bread, they can display the following symptoms;

  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach ache
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue due to malnutrition
  • Weight loss

Common side effects of Coeliac Disease include osteoporosis due to a calcium deficit and anaemia due to an iron deficit.

My favourite gluten-free recipes

Leek and Bacon Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 2 rashers of smoked bacon
  • 1/4 leek (sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1 cup arborio risotto rice
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 200g parmesan cheese

Chop up the bacon into small lardons, and fry off in a frying pan with a little bit of oil. Add the sliced leek and chopped onion, followed by the crushed garlic once the onion has softened. Add the rice and fry off for a couple of minutes. Add a ladle of stock to the frying pan and leave it to soak into the rice, repeat this until the stock has fully soaked into the rice and it appears cooked. Stir in the parmesan cheese until it’s all melted and creamy. Dish up and enjoy!

Chicken Stir-Fry (Rice Noodle Edition)

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast (sliced)
  • 1/2 red pepper (sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 bag of rice noodles
  • 1/3 bag of bean sprouts
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp crushed ginger
  • 3 tbsp gluten-free dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcester sauce

In a frying pan, brown the chicken off. Add the pepper, onion, garlic and ginger and brown off until soft. Following add the bean sprouts, noodles and 3 tbsp of water and leave to steam. Once everything is softened, add the soy sauce and Worcester sauce and fry until absorbed. Serve up and optionally add some sesame seeds!