Jeni, welcome to the world of special diets. I can't eat a lot of things, not just because of Carmen's allergies, but mine, too. It can be a real pain. Depending on your degree of sensitivity you may not need to pick out the croutons, but if you think you have a true allergy you maybe should, because there's always the possibility that your body could decide that day is the day to enter anaphylaxis. I'm not deathly-allergic to yeast, for instance, but you won't see me eating bread, beer, and cheese because I don't want to run that risk.
Spelt is a cousin of wheat, and would probably be a very simple replacement. For subbing stuff with other flours, you may need to check out a cookbook or online; that are a lot of people on wheat-free diets who share their recipes. A lot of times additives need to be used, like gum arabic or soy lecithin.
To make things easier on yourself, I recommend you just not worry too much about trying to make wheat-like things, and try new stuff, like rice noodles, mung bean noodles, rice paper wraps, spelt tortillas, corn tortillas, some brands of sprouted breads, mochi, fufu, etc. Do you have any ethnic markets over there? That might be a more economical and inspiring place to shop than the HFS.
Why not worry to much about substitutes:
1) Because some things that are gluten-free are simply not just going to taste the same as the real deal, and you might be disappointed. Corn pasta, for instance? Skip it. Blech, not yummy at all.
2) Some of it is just $$. Wheat free is a real hot niche market these days, and a lot of things that say wheat-free on them take the label to mean they can charge you more $$ for it. Bob's red mill gluten free brownies are good, but $$. It's cheaper to just eat non-substituted foods (e.g., fudge instead of brownies).
But, with all the hassle, are you sure it's a food allergy and not an environmental allergy (pollen, chemical) or reaction to change in humidity (because it's like, getting cold there, right?). Also, vitamin A and B deficiencies and deficiencies in some fats can seem to demonstrate themselves via the skin.
Well, that was my post for the day. See everybody later tonight. Will try to contact Robeez before Fiona goes home and see if I can find out more info, since there may be enough interest . . .