Thursday, 12 May 2016

Gluten Free Ilumi for Coeliac Awareness Week

Coeliac Awareness week, gluten-free, Ilumi free-from ready meals

I have to admit that I'm terrible with medical terms. I know about people who suffers from gluten reaction, but I wouldn't know that it's called Coeliac Disease (it's actually one out of many gluten-related disorders) until I checked it out. This week happens to be Coeliac Awareness Week, so I thought a post about Coeliac Disease will be fitting.

In general, Coeliac Disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by a reaction (not really called an allergy) to gluten. Symptoms include bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, wind, constipation, tiredness, sudden or unexpected weight loss (but not in all cases), hair loss and anaemia. (Information from

1 in 100 people suffer from the condition, but a lot of us doesn't really realise that we might be that 1 in 100 until we get checked out. So if you suffer from one to more of the above symptoms, it might be worth checking with your GP, as I can imagine life will be much easier without any of the symptoms.

However, even if you aren't suffering from Coeliac Disease, you might also want to consider cutting down on gluten intake, or omit it completely from your diet, because gluten is known to cause other gluten-related disorders as well.

There are quite a lot of gluten-free food that people with gluten-related disorders can have, a fairly extended list can be found on this website.

Although not everyone is happy to be limited, there are a lot of companies and eateries that provides a great selection of gluten-free options now, for example, Ilumi only sell ready meals (and sauces) that are always gluten and dairy free. And they are absolutely delicious as well, so you wouldn't feel like you are being restricted.

We have really enjoyed their curries (you can find our review here), but their pot noodles (we call them cup noodles) has caught my eyes when they offered me to try something else from their selection to review. We absolutely love cup noodles! The flavour we tried are:

Coeliac Awareness week, gluten-free, Ilumi free-from ready meals

Tom Yum Gai Rice Noodles (left) and Vietnamese Style Beef Pho Rice Noodles (right), both retailed at £1.99 each.

Coeliac Awareness week, gluten-free, Ilumi free-from ready meals

Coeliac Awareness week, gluten-free, Ilumi free-from ready meals
Left: Vietnamese Style Beef Pho    Right: Tom Yam Gai
Ilumi's cup noodles all come with flat rice noodles (all rice are gluten-free), and a large packet of dehydrated seasoning.

You can smell and taste a lot of the ingredients in both noodles (just like their curries), and they are fairly generous with the dehydrated pieces of (I believe are) vegetarian meat too. If you look at their ingredients list, they use a lot of herbs and spices in their recipes as well, hence the delicious flavours.

There is enough in each pot (including the soup) to fill you up for lunch, or for some they make a great snack.

Flavour wise, hubby said that the Tom Yam Gai (Gai means chicken) tasted surprisingly authentic, and he can smell and taste the herbs and spices. He also said that the heat and sourness are just alright as well.

Me and the kids shared the Vietnamese Style Beef Pho. Clay loves it and drank all his soup, while Abby the carb girl prefers the rice noodles on its own. Me and Abby aren't really a fan for coriander leaves so that was the only down side for us, but for those who likes coriander leaves, you'll love this.

We were a bit worried about the hot water in plastic cups, but I think the cup material is like that used to make takeout boxes. Just be careful when handling it as it can become really hot.

For healthier and tasty food that are gluten and dairy free, I would say that Ilumi's food are quite value for money (you won't get ready meals with a lot of big pieces of juicy and tender meat from the supermarket).

As we cook a fair bit of Asian food, we have been doing gluten-free on days without even noticing. As it's Coeliac Awareness week, why not give a new gluten-free recipe a try? They can be really yummy!