Mostly gluten free is my chosen lifestyle. Back in 2011 my wife was diagnosed with celiac disease. Right after that we had to kick off a lifetime of a research project. One in which we first had closely examine all the ingredients we use for cooking. At the very beginning we had to thoroughly read the labels of ALL food and drink we bought. As a side effect we had made quite a few discoveries, like the surprisingly low percentage of meat in some processed meat products (like frankfurters, hams). Previously we thought these contain mostly meat. A simple shopping became a 4 hours long exercise which resulted in not more than 10-15 items in the basket. Gluten was everywhere. We have found it even in the least anticipated places, like in some spices or pickles which we used to ate on a daily bases. This was terrifying. We thought we are not going to be able to cook more than just a few type of dishes.
The selection of gluten free product back then in Hungary wasn’t wide. Luckily we have found a special shop which was selling bio food as well as a number of gluten free products. Once we have managed to find a few suitable ingredients, experimentation started. Initially we had little success. The bread fall apart into small pieces. The salad was not proved as a fulfilling meal and when we overcooked our first gluten free cake we couldn’t just grab one from a confectionery. With patience and persistence my wife increased the number of dishes we can cook and now, 7 years later there are only a few dishes which she still cannot cook gluten free. Right from the start we agreed that we won’t be cooking gluten free for her and non-gluten free for me, just one dish for both of us. Hence my chosen lifestyle being ‘mostly’ gluten free. We celebrated together every time she have managed to cook a dish in consistently good taste and without gluten. I vividly remember the first gluten free pancake which was soft, rollable and in the same time tasting just like the one my mother used to cook with wheat flour.
We are living in the UK since 2015. Once or twice a year she visits our family and friends back in Hungary. She stays for a week to two while I am in the UK, carry on working. I used to often call her for the recipe for a dish I wanted to make while she was away. Then there is this recurring question throughout the year ‘What shall I cook today?’. We combined the two issues and decided to solve it by writing down the recipe or sometimes filming the process too. This meant anyone can cook with those instructions and there is now an ever growing list of dishes we can choose from. Then we noticed that more and more of our friends and acquaintances got diagnosed with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. We felt we could help them by sharing our recipes which were result of experimentation over years. I think these are very helpful even though that both the selection of ingredients and the awareness is much wider nowadays. She is driven by not only her allergy, but the people who read her recipes and watch her videos and then provide valuable feedback or sharing their tips and tricks how to make life whole without gluten.
I contributed to this project with the idea and creation of https://zsuzsireceptjei.com and to compliment that she has created a Facebook page, Instagram and a YouTube account. In the process I applied best practices like compressing css, js and using appropriately sized images. I have learnt a lot about performance optimisation, lazy loading of photos as well as thumbnail and the scripts for the embedded YouTube videos, utilizing caching and adding Cloudflare’s free content delivery network.
Contribution: Design, implementation & maintenance