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Gluten Free Allergy Free Secaucus, NJ 2017 Expo Review

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Gluten Free Allergy Free Secaucus, NJ 2017 Expo review time!

Here it is, after a weekend of self-indulging in some old-time favorites, some new favorites, and some fails, here is my personal and family's reviews.

Some New Products:
Mozaics Chips - These are chips are made from veggies, rice, beans, and potatoes. Taste and crispness was there, but the best thing about the Mozaics? They support the Chicago Mosaic school - the first and only not-for-profit mosaic art school in America. I enjoyed the salsa variation but steered clear of the dairy options.  However, my brother-in-law let me know the cheddar variety taste just like goldfish.

Green Mustache - Heck yes, gluten and vegan product!!! They brought with them their snack packs: "Cheddarish", "Parmesan" Rosemary, and "Spicyish" crackers. The entire group enjoyed these! The Spicyish and Parmesan delivered the crisp flavor profile that I have been seeking in a gluten and vegan cracker option - best thi…

Making the Most of Your Blender Cooking Class with Mt. Airy Learning Tree

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Making the Most of Your Blender Cooking Class

I had the honor of teaching a cooking class for Mt. Airy Learning Tree and had a blast with my chefs in training!
The class was based on being able to use your blender for...well, just about everything!
We started the course with a familiar blender recipe, a smoothie. And with it being fall, I couldn't help but make a fall themed apple pie smoothie. 
I let the students take a lead where they felt comfortable and informed them, that I am not a fan of measurements for cooking - it's all about what you are feeling that day and how the dish looks.

Cinnamon Apple Pie Smoothie 1/2ripe banana 1 apple, peeled, seeded, and quartered Some dairy-free milk Some almond butter (or any butter of choice) Some cinnamon Pinch of ground nutmeg
Second dish of the evening was a vegan creamy cashew and tomato dip. I think many of the participants found themselves surprised at how creamy the cashews made the dish and just how much they enjoyed it.

Tomato Cilant…

Vegan & Gluten-Free Jackfruit Tuna Salad

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Jackfruit is a newer food for me - I have only been experiementing with it for about a year now - but the first time I ever had the opportunity to try it, I was immediately sucked in!

This fruit is beyond versitile! It is great to eat the pods as quick snack, the "skin" can be used to make amazing vegan mock-meat options and the seeds are amazing steamed!

Did I mention it is also nutritious?
      -Fights off wrinkles
      -Helps with that glowing skin
      -High in protein!!!!
      -Promotes hair growth
      -Boost the immune system
      -Provides energy
      -Maintain blood pressure
      -Helps with sluggish digestion



Most people are only familiar with jackfruit in the canned form - me, I think that is gross, but if you need jackfruit and the fresh stuff isn't avaiable, we all have to do what we have to do....

I prefer getting the jackfruit fresh! It can be a bit of work to prepair, but I have found ways to get around that!

Method of Preparing Jackfruit
1. Use a R…

La Colombe Philadelphia, PA

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I recently attended a fundraising event for The Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation at La Columbe, Philadelphia, PA's Fishtown location.
Oddly enough, just a week prior, outside the streets of Manayunk, PA, I had the opportunity to sit in on one of those City Food Tours - and in this particular case, they started to discuss the history of La Columbe and it's founders.

Todd Carmichael, one of the founders, has actually hosted two Travel Channel Series (Dangerous Grounds and Uncommon Goods), visited nearly half of the world's countries and finds fulfillment in taking on some adventurous treks! Todd is even one of the first Americans to solo trek Antarctica in a record breaking speed of 39 days, 7hours and 49 minutes - wow! I wish I could sit down with Todd and just learn from him. Seriously, think about what a day following Todd around would look like?

With a cause so near and dear to Todd and his family's heart, he decided to create an "around the world" c…

Annual Family PSU Tailgating

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For the past 6 years we have started to spoil my dad and take him to a yearly family PSU tailgating event!

A cousin of ours (my dad's oldest brother's son) has season tickets so we meet up with him and together we all have a blast!

This year, the day started early, with a 90-minute drive and an ETA of 8:00am, I was fortunate enough to see the sun rise, one of my favorite things to do that I just never make enough time for.

After arriving, we quickly unload and off to breakfast we go! 
I would say, dad has owned his Big John Grill for 4-months now and has definitely gotten his moneys' worth!

I won't lie - it was easier than bringing 3-4 separate grills + my grill. This baby was big enough to cook our gang's food with plenty of room for me to have a clean and clear gluten-free area. Which is where the top shelf also comes in handy!

For breakfast, I rocked a smoothie and some fresh fruit while the rest of the gang had a smorgasbord of: Eggs, Sausage, Bacon, Hasbrowns…

Vegan Gluten-Free Jackfruit Cubano

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I'm back at the Juice Merchant - to support local, donate to Philabundance, all while feeding myself wholesome healthy food!

I've been starring down the Jackfruit Cubano for sometime so today was the day I went for it!

The sandwich came out duly noted, gluten-free and ready for me to take a bite!
The first bite in and I had a pleasure to taking a trip down memory lane. I was back in my freshman year of college when I hate meat and enjoyed / lived off pastrami sandwiches! The same taste that I recalled was distinct in the Juice Merchant's vegan version.

Half-way through and the high salt content and lack of "meat" juice became relevant but it was still an enjoyable sandwich.

The salad, while fresh, I didn't love the burnt-like chickpeas (I was pretty sure I would chip a tooth) nor the dressing. I wanted something more innovative or maybe Tahini based. I am not entirely sure what I was looking for, but just know I wasn't loving this one...

Price wise, this sa…

Luhv Cafe - Vegan Bistro in Hatboro PA

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Luhv, a family owned and operated vegan, gluten-free and non-gmo business started in 2015 with just a small product line: Black Bean Plantain Roasted Poblano Burger,  Sweet Potato Jalapeño Soup and their famous Energy Soup.

The Lucci Family created Luhv with some important core values in mind - how can they help be an advocate for their customers, supporting local, and creating a product with sustainability in mind.

Since 2015,
      You can now find the Luhv products in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.
               Check out the site here for additional details.
       They expanded their product line to include a Garbanzo Flax Chipotle Burger
       AND........they opened a Luhv Vegan Bistro in Hatboro, PA

I met Facundo Lucci back when they were just starting out at the first ever- Great Philly Gluten Free Expo. I immediately fell in love with Luhv. The product not only tasted great, texture held up, environmentally conscious AND family-owned! I was alrea…

Updates on my Life

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It has been awhile since I posted an update on where I am in life today.

While some have questioned me, asking, "these posts, they are public, doesn't it cause you anxiety to be so raw and put everything out there like that?"

My answer has always been the same thing, "No." This process is actually rather therapeutic for me.

When I first start typing, I am never really sure what is going to come out. I just sit down with a warm cup of tea and starting blabbing on and on, essentially to myself and while doing so, my fingers start moving and capturing some of the words I am spitting out.

I have noticed that I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on my progress recently. Thoughts like, "wow, how was I ever in that state, why would I have ever let that have bothered me, etc." keep coming up. I take these reflections as a sign of additional healing. I am at the point where I can see right from wrong for myself. I know I want to be happy and to do so, …