Buying allergy friendly food is so much easier than it was a few years ago. Here’s where you can find gluten free and lactose free products in Dubai:
- SPINNEYS: You will find a range of dairy free milks here. They stock soy milk, rice milk and almond milk. They also have a jam that is labelled gluten free, by a company called Duerr’s. They stock quinoa, gluten free rice cakes, gluten free flours, and other gluten free snacks like cookies, macaroons and tomato-cheese sticks by Mrs Crimble’s. They also have some gluten free pastas and rice noodles as well as rice paper wrappers. I use those for samosas! I’ve also seen some small crisp sized packets containing flavoured gluten free rice cakes. These were in the section for food for infants. They even stock products by Waitrose. The most amazing think I saw was gluten free vegetable stock by Kallo! I can’t have these due to other allergies, but if you can, then hooray!
- CHOITHRAM: The Choithram that I’ve been to in Dubai Silicon Oasis has an aisle for health conscious people. They have rice cakes, quinoa, and dairy free milk.
- CARREFOUR: I always buy my gluten free spaghetti from here. They stock this brand called Peacock’s and have a variety of gluten free spaghetti noodles which are white rice noodles, brown rice noodles and vermicelli noodles. This is the cheapest (7-8 AED) brand of gluten free spaghetti I have found in Dubai. Most cost over 20 AED and contain corn which is something I cannot have. Carrefour also stocks lactose free milk by Al Marai. Look for it in the UHT section. They also sell soy milk but I have never seen any almond milk there.
- LULU HYPERMARKET: I have heard about Lulu’s stocking lots of gluten free food but I don’t usually go there so I don’t know what they have. I recently found out that they stock almond milk by a brand that I’ve heard about repeatedly, especially from consumers in the US: Almond Breeze. I don’t drink this because apparently there is some amount of soy in it, but everyone gives it great reviews!
- HYPERPANDA: They have a tiny little section dedicated to gluten free food, which makes me so pleased. There, I have seen rice crackers, Peacock’s gluten free spaghetti, and quinoa.
- HOLLAND & BARRETT: This is a small, nifty little store just outside Hyperpanda in Dubai Festival City. They’ve got quinoa and lots of gluten free grains and flours.
You can always also go to ORGANIC FOODS AND CAFE in Dubai Mall but I don’t usually go to Dubai Mall. (Can you blame me? It’s always so crowded and takes ages to get from one end of the mall to the other!) There is also a Waitrose store there. In both stores, you will find a range of allergy friendly products. I haven’t listed any here because I’ve never been there.
For quick reference, use the lists below when you go shopping. The first list is sorted by product type, and the second is by store.
- Gluten free/lactose free rice cakes in Spinneys and Choithram
- Dairy free milk in Spinneys, Choithram, Lulu Hypermarket and Carrefour
- Lactose free milk in Carrefour
- Gluten free spaghetti (Peacock’s) in Carrefour and Hyperpanda
- Gluten free flours in Spinneys and Holland & Barrett
- Gluten free jam (Duerr’s) in Spinneys
- Quinoa in Spinneys, Choithram, Holland & Barrett and Hyperpanda
- Gluten free snacks and treats in Spinneys
- Rice paper in Spinneys
- Rice noodles in Spinneys
- Gluten free vegetable stock in Spinneys
- SPINNEYS: Gluten free/lactose free rice cakes, dairy free milk, gluten free flours, gluten free jam, quinoa, gluten free snacks, rice paper, rice noodles, gluten free vegetable stock
- CHOITHRAM: Gluten free/lactose free rice cakes, dairy free milk, quinoa
- CARREFOUR: Dairy free milk, lactose free milk, gluten free spaghetti
- LULU HYPERMARKET: Dairy free milk
- HYPERPANDA: Quinoa, gluten free spaghetti
- HOLLAND & BARRETT: Gluten free flours, quinoa
I finally ate a gluten free pizza that actually tasted like pizza! OMG!!!!!!!!
Inspired by this recipe for quinoa pizza crusts and by this recipe for cheesy cauliflower cream, I set out this morning to experiment. I just bought a new non-stick baking tray and it was, I don’t know, useless. I greased it just to be safe but the batter kept getting stuck to the pan and we had to scrape it off. Eventually, I ended up cooking it on the stove in a frying pan with a lid on top. Long ago, when I was making pancakes for the first time in my non-stick pan, I had greased it lightly and the pancake batter got stuck to it. The second time, I skipped greasing the pan and my pancakes turned out beautifully. Maybe I should try just placing the batter on the baking tray without greasing it first? Will experiment next time!
The pizza crust was a bit on the soft side but it was quite pleasant. It’s rather floppy so you would have to eat it with a knife and fork. I’m not complaining about that though. I usually avoid eating with my bare hands anyway! While it was cooking, I was just amazed at how “pizza-like” it smelled! This is so fantastic. It’s like junk food that’s not really junk! It’s clean and it’s fresh and it’s healthy! Extra protein too!
Protein Packed Pizzas – GF, Dairy Free, Vegan
The following recipe makes 2 small sized pizzas.
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
- A quarter of a cauliflower for preparing something I like to call Caulicheese
- Lemon juice
- 1 flax egg. See directions below
- Your herbs: Oregano, basil, parsley, etc. according to preference
- Diced tomatoes
- Pizza sauce. See directions below
- Onions/green onions
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- Rice flour (optional)
- Make the Caulicheese: Cut up the cauliflower into smaller florets and place in a pot. Add water, salt and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then simmer for around 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is soft and tender. When the cauliflower is done, drain the water and put it in a blender, or in a bowl if using a hand mixer. The cauliflower should turn into a creamy puree. Add a pinch of salt to this. If you can still smell that cauliflowery smell, add some more lemon juice. Add 1 tbsp coriander powder for flavour. Add any other flavours you like – onion powder, garlic powder, etc.
- Make the pizza sauce: To make your own pizza/pasta sauce, heat up some oil in a saucepan and add onions, herbs, coriander leaves, and coriander powder and saute until fragrant. Then add a little tomato paste and cook for a minute or so until the flavours have all combined.
- Make the flax egg: While the cauliflower is being cooked, prepare flax egg by mixing 3 tbsp of water with 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds. Set aside for 15 minutes at least to gel.
- Make the batter: To the quinoa, add a pinch of salt and your herbs – I used only oregano. Blend using a hand mixer or blender until the quinoa forms a doughy like texture. It’s rather sticky. I added 1-2 tbsp of rice flour. If you skip the rice flour, the crust will be very difficult to flip. You will need two pans then and will have to slide it off one pan and into the other. Adding rice flour holds it together.
Once your batter is ready, add the flax egg and mix in using the blender or a spoon.
- Scoop an amount of the batter and with wet/oily fingers, flatten the batter in a non-stick frying pan.
- On medium heat and with a lid on, let the pizza crust cook for about 7-8 minutes. Check for doneness. If you feel like you want it crispier, cook it for a little longer. When it’s done, flip it over using a spatula and add your toppings.
- First top your pizza crust with tomato sauce. Then add the caulicheese on top. Sprinkle any herbs or flavours you might want. Top with tomatoes, onions/green onions, capsicum, olives, etc.
- Put the lid on again and cook for another 8 minutes. Check for doneness. Again, cook for a little longer if you want it to be crispier.
- Sink your teeth in and enjoy! 😀
These pancakes are AMAZING!
Usually, in the middle of the night, I get hungry and start brainstorming for new recipe ideas. I google for recipes late into the night and try to mix some up to create one suitable for me. This recipe was inspired by these recipes here and here, which resulted in the BEST gluten free pancakes I have ever tried! I have tried making pancakes with:
- Soaked quinoa seeds and banana. It wasn’t that great. Turned out to be rather dry.
- Sorghum + white rice flour. It was gummy and musty. Probably because I didn’t add any starch but this was my most preferred combination of flours for pancakes.
- Amaranth + white rice flour. It was gummy and musty. Again, probably because I didn’t add any starch.
- White rice flour + almond flour. Very nice and toasty but burned rather quickly, and ever since I found out heating up almonds isn’t really all that great for health, I’ve quit baking with almond flour.
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 1 flax egg. See directions below
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp oil (I use olive oil)
- Water or (dairy free) milk. See directions below
- Make your flax egg so it can set while you’re preparing the pancakes. 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds and 2-3 tbsp of water. Set aside for at least 15 minutes to gel. I usually keep mine in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
- Put the quinoa, white rice flour, baking soda, salt and sugar in a bowl and give it a stir.
- Add the lemon juice and oil and pour in a little milk/water, maybe a 1/4 cup to begin with. I have stopped going by recipe directions for liquids. Somehow I end up adding too much and my batter ends up very liquidy. It’s almost as if I have no control over the glass that I use for adding liquids. Weird. Anyway, a great tip I read once was to add only half the suggested amount of liquid and keep adding little by little until you reach the desired consistency. So add a quarter cup, and using a hand mixer, blend everything together. You can also do this using a regular blender. If it’s still too dry, add some more liquid.
- Once you reach the consistency of pancake batter (I usually add enough liquid until it is like cake batter – pourable but still thick), add your flax egg. Either blend it with the blender/hand mixer or mix it in with a spoon.
- With the flame on, using a non-stick skillet or a greased skillet, do the water droplets test to make sure the pan is hot enough. Sprinkle some drops of water on to the pan and if they dance around before evaporating, your pan is hot enough.
- Pour batter according to how big or small you want your pancakes. Mine always turn out to be miniscule. I don’t know why.
- It is time to flip the pancake when you see bubbles forming on the surface of the batter and popping, leaving behind pock marks or holes. The sides will also look slightly dried out. If you’re not sure, take a little peek before completely flipping it over.
- Flip the pancake and cook the other side. Again, if you’re unsure whether the other side is done, take a peek. It usually takes about 2-3 minutes though, but don’t take my word for it. Sometimes they cook faster, sometimes they take longer.
- Serve with either jam, maple syrup, chocolate syrup, honey, fruit… the possibilities are endless!
Also, the good thing about using quinoa for this is that it turns out nice and toasty! The pancakes can be cooked for a little longer and then the outside becomes a little crispy! While I was cooking them, I was getting a whiff of something buttery and nutty – it kind of smelled like I was toasting buttered bread! These were the best pancakes I’ve had so far. I had my brother test them, just like I’ve made him test all my disastrous cooking experiments before. He said these pancakes were better than the other flour combinations. Hurray! Bonus: PROTEIN PACKED PANCAKES! OH YEAH!