Last night, as I was on my way to the Gluten-free Supper Club organised by the lovely people at Schwartz™ to celebrate the launch of their gluten-free range, it felt like I was just going on a girly night out. I would be seeing a few of my blogging friends, and also meet a few members of The ‘Free From’ Gang (true story, we have a secret Facebook group called just that!). Check us out!
From left to right:
Corina at ‘Searching for Spice’
Kate at ‘The Gluten Free Alchemist’
Nath at ‘The Intolerant Gourmand’
Eb at ‘Easy Peasy Foodie’
Kirsty at ‘Hijacked by Twins’ and little me!
The launch of ‘Schwartz™ Gluten Free’ took place at The Hospital Club, a stunning venue that also happens to be a private members’ club for the creative industries. It was a real privilege to be there and the evening kicked off with a presentation of the new range.
Schwartz™ are known for their high-quality herbs and spices. The latter naturally add flavours to food and the aim of the new range was to provide time-poor families with the perfect blend of spices to replicate quickly and easily a gluten-free version of popular dishes like macaroni cheese, chilli con carne or cottage pie.
Why launch a gluten-free range now?
Although they are already hugely successful with their range of herbs, spies and mixes, the people at Schwartz™ constantly work on food trends, changing lifestyles and general demand. Gluten-free alternatives are certainly in demand at the moment, whether it be for health reasons or as a lifestyle choice.
In recent years it has been easier to find convenience food that is free from a variety of allergens, but there was definitely a gap in the market for affordable alternatives. ‘Free from’ food is getting better and better, but it still tends to be double or triple the price of regular products, so I was rather impressed by the £1.30 price tag on Schwartz™ gluten-free recipe mixes.
The culinary department at Schwartz™ developed the spice mixes so that the whole family could enjoy flavour-packed food without worrying about gluten sneaking its way into their dinner.
The recipe mixes are based around popular family meals like Macaroni Cheese, Cottage Pie, Chicken Casserole, Spaghetti Bolognese and Chilli Con Carne. They are the perfect blends of herbs and spices that deliver great results for your meals, at a reasonable price. What more could you ask for?
The new range is certified gluten-free. It which took about two years from concept to launch, and those flavour packs are well and truly safe for those with a gluten intolerance and for Coeliacs. The fact each sachet displays Coeliac UK’s Crossed Grain symbol is a seal of approval by the charity that assures customers the spice blends are suitable for people with coeliac disease. Since Jumpy is allergic to wheat, we also find the symbol reassuring sit is a quick and easy way of identifying products that are safe to eat.
Amanda Hamilton was also there with a couple of hats on. She is a renowned nutritionist and also mother who cooks for a diverse range of ages and tastes.
She described Schwartz™ Gluten Free recipe mixes as “healthy acceptable shortcuts.” Since they are affordable and easier to use, they are available to all. Going gluten-free by default is nowadays more and more mainstream, and it makes sense from a nutritional point of view. Schwartz™ provides us with shortcuts, without compromising on the flavours.
I could not agree more. In an ideal world, I would have a couple of hours a day to stand by a bubbling pot on the stove, cooking absolutely everything from scratch as my angelic children entertain themselves without turning the house upside down. In reality, my children wreck my house and after three school pick-ups, there are generally clubs, play dates, hospital appointments and children who are “starving” so if I have not had time to pre-cook our dinner at the weekend, shortcuts are most welcome, as long as flavours are there.
The first dish I tried as an appetiser was a small portion of courgetti Bolognese, and I have to say it tasted delicious. I have to say I found it refreshing to see a ‘free from’ range that was much cheaper (£1.30 per sachet!) than usual, and therefore a lot more accessible than what we are used to. The initial presentation was followed by a drinks reception. I had a perfectly spiced cinnamon Martini.
The Gluten Free supper club was set in a forest-like reception room, and I pleased to sit between Eb and Amanda, with whom conversation was flowing all evening.
We were really spoilt when it came to the food, with a Mini Mac ’n’ Cheese with Schwartz™ Gluten Free Cheese Sauce Mix which was tasty and creamy.
Photo credit: Schwartz™
The main course was a bit of a feast. We had Chilli Chicken and Chorizo with Schwartz™ Gluten Free Chilli Con Carne Mix. The chicken was moist, beautifully spiced and I love the fact the people at Schwartz™ broke the barriers and decided to show us the versatility of the mixes by using a Chilli mix with deboned chicken thighs or Veggie Stuffed Peppers with Gluten Free Spaghetti Bolognese mix.
Photo credit: Schwartz™
My absolute favourite was the steak with Schwartz™ Gluten-Free Peppercorn Sauce. It was to die for and I am looking forward to making it when I next get steak. Although I love peppercorn sauce, I have not made it in years because my children would not touch it. Going for the convenience of a mix is really appealing!
Photo credit: Schwartz™
I also loved the Veggie Fajitas with Schwartz™ Gluten Free Fajitas Mix. All of the above were served with gluten-free chips, rice, salad, plenty of greens, sour sauce and mashed avocado and I ate about twice as I normally eat. What a gorgeous dinner!
We had macarons with mango and curry powder and truffles with cinnamon for dessert and it was time to head home. Long story short: I took the wrong train and ended up miles away from home, with no train going back towards London. Not only did the taxi ride home cost me £50, but the driver behaved like a Formula 1 driver. Not the best journey home I’ve ever had…
Oh well, such is life. I arrived at home safe and sound much later than planned and a bit frazzled, but a good night’s sleep and all was forgotten.
Here is the range of Schwartz™ Gluten Free blends, and the main spices that flavour them:
- Fajitas – cumin, chillies and oregano
- Chilli con Carne – chilli powder, ground cumin and cocoa powder
- Spaghetti Bolognese – tomato, garlic, basil and oregano
- Cottage Pie – garlic, rosemary and thyme
- Chicken Casserole – onion, garlic, oregano and sage
- Beef Gravy
- Peppercorn Sauce
- Cheese Sauce
Which of these gluten-free mixes would you fancy trying first?
Check the website for product details, useful tips and recipes using the mixes.
I have teamed up with Schwartz™ to give away a hamper to one lucky reader, containing:
– 8 Schwartz™ Gluten Free recipe mixes
– #GlutenFreeFlavour plate
– £20 Cowshed voucher
– 3 x spice infused candles
– a heart wooden spoon
– Recipe Cards
To be in with a chance of winning just complete one or more entries below. Good luck!
How to enter the giveaway:
You can pick and choose a range of ways in which to enter. The only one you must click on to get into the draw is the one asking you to leave a blog post comment. You must also leave a comment telling us which one of the mixes you fancy trying first.
Entries are open until 23.59 p.m. GMT time on Tuesday 28 March 2017. Good luck!
– The prize will be supplied directly by Schwartz™.
– The giveaway is open to UK residents over 18.
– This is a sponsored post but all opinions and photos (unless specified) are my own.