Evolution Catering, Harrisburg, Pa (Gluten-Free and Vegan)

Many many thanks to the creative team at Evolution Catering in Harrisburg, Pa. 
They provided a meal created from Love and creative-energy for this crazy allergy-free gal! I can’t wait to see what awesome meal comes next! 
My salad was based off the below recipe: -chickpeas -pickles -onions -apple cider vinegar  -mustard

Air Canada Rouge In-Flight Gluten-Free Meals

On a recent flight abroad, My sister and I found a deal to fly via Air Canada Rouge and having no prior experience with this airline, I figured why not?

Now, the intention of this post is to focus on their in-flight meal accommodations so I won't dive deep into my personal experiences with the airline and the lack of accommodations and poor customer service that we ran into - because for just as much bad, there was also some good (or at least okay things) about the airline.

Navigating a request for a gluten-free meal was pretty easy. I just logged in online and made the request. I did, however, take an extra precaution step and also called the airline in advance to confirm they received my gluten-free meal request.

It was also here that I requested a gluten-free and (at minimum) vegetarian meal. Unfortunately, Air Canada and most other airlines are still new to the meal request game and don't yet have the means to accommodate for multiple diets. 

I just roll with what I can get…

Women's Weekend In The Woods 2018

While I may have been faced with a number of challenges trying to stop me from getting to Gina's 2018 Women's In The Woods Weekend, the universe spoke louder than all other aspects and put me exactly where I needed to be... Gina's retreat.

Gina has a way of running her retreats where she provides a safe-grounding space for all, while at the same time leaving space for you to grow, explore, feel, struggle and mature in your own time and space.

I showed up on Friday evening a bit frazzled. I was concerned that I was taking off that weekend when I should not be, as in another week I was headed out for an extended vacation. I was exhausted and a bit cranky from the traffic that I ran into. BUT - I came with an open mind and couldn't wait to embrace what Gina had prepared for us.

We started the retreat with some free movement with mother nature. We moved with our breath and we set an intention for ourselves. I felt more at "home" than I had in a very long time. A…

Dehydrating Apricots

To date, this may have been one of the easier items to prep and dehydrate (okay, minus the mushrooms, those are pretty simple as well...)

You want to be sure you have ripe apricots and that you have left to sit out on your counter for about 24-hours. This will help the process run much smoother.

You simply (and no knife is needed here) pull the apricots in half. Remove the pits. Flip them inside. Place the skin-side down on your dehydrator (I used dehydrator sheets to help control some of the fruit juice) and let them dehydrate on about 125 degrees for 24-48 hours... this will depend on your dehydrator as well as how ripe your apricots are.

P.S I made these with mom in mind - they are one of her favorite snacks. Look out gummy bears, I might just replace you! 

Dreams Do Come True... & A Gluten-Free, Vegan and Oil-Free Tailgating

Seriously - when you least expect it, the universe has a way of working out.
I was staying busy with life and not really paying attention to my own self-care (we all let it slip from time-to-time) or things that would be of fun to me. I was trying to stay focused on helping mom achieve her summer wish list and was leaving mine to sit on the back burner.

Then, one weekday, when I was rather busy with meetings and running around, my sister sends me a screenshot of a Groupon Deal for the Maroon 5 concert in our local area. Umm... yes, yes, yes - no questions to be asked, if we already had plans, lady...we are rescheduling and we are making this happen! Yes, someone has a bit of a celebrity crush... let us be honest, a girl can and should dream!

We decided to tailgate a Nicole-Friendly style menu.
Our menu:
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Curried Pinto Beans
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Pineapple Salsa
- Plantain Chips
- Marinated and Grilled Zucchini and Portobello Mushrooms.

Peanut Butter Cookies:

Gluten-Free & Vegan Oatmeal Zucchini Bread

This recipe is super simple, healthy and delicious!

-2 1/2 cups oats -1ish cups mashed banana -1ish cups zucchini -1 tsp baking soda -some cinnamon -some vanilla -1/2 cup bee pollen -4/5 dried dates rehydrated into a paste (this will be used not only as a binder but a sweetener as well) -a touch of ACV
Bake at 350 for at least an hour. 
I placed every ingredient into the Vitamix, turned it on. Blended until everything was mixed to my desire. Bake for an hour-ish at 350.

Preserving Summer's Bounty

It's that time of year when produce is a bit more abundant than it has been and here in central PA, we have really struggled in 2018 to find fresh produce throughout the fall and winter months… well, actually, even for most of the early spring as well. This being for a couple of reasons, the weather was certainly a large factor but also random bugs and fungi (I recall having these conversations with the local farmers but not as well versed in this area to write about it….).
Trying to avoid being left desperate again this coming year, I plan to get what I can now and then preserve it in ways that will last me throughout the winter.
Some of the produce I have had recent access to in abundance: ZucchiniZucchini ChipsZoodlesZucchini Oatmeal BreadZucchini SoupZucchini Pasta SaucePickled ZucchiniSautee some for some Kitchari later in the fallBananasFrozen…. Those that I don't eat right away that isStrawberriesFrozen (can be used for a wide variety of things later)Dehydrated…. Turned…

Quick and simple summer squash soup in a rice cooker! (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

It is not every night that I have access to the family stove and or oven. More often than not, I am either already creating 10 other recipes that require this appliance OR my parents are utilizing it. Perhaps they are making pasta or homemade bread, something that is very much so not Nicole-Friendly and I need to steer clear - which has forced me more times than not, to get creative in my cooking methods.
Knowing that I had a busier week than usual and that I had summer squash that was ripening faster than I was preserving it, I needed to find a way to get into that kitchen and cook up a storm in a very short period of time, as my to-list was continuously growing.
I pulled out the rice cooker and just as I would have with the stove top, I dry-sautéed my spices. I simply did this by plugging in the rice cooker and turning it on, not adding any liquids and tossing in my spices (turmeric, ginger, cardamom, star anise, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, garlic, garlic and seaweed strips).
Once I…

Family Reunion In Granville, Oh (Vega & Gluten-Free)

Too many times I hear those with allergies complaining that travel is impossible and no one is willing to accommodate them.

For me, I have not found this the case, ever. While yes, traveling with allergies does require a bit more preparation and packing space, it is achievable! And by no means do I ever lay the burden on someone else to provide for me. I am always grateful when there are accommodations but I come prepared and with all of my meals and snacks planned out, just to be safe!

For this past weekend, the family was driving out to Granville, OH for a camping stay. I was aware that a microwave would be available for use, making my food options a bit more flexible than if I was to tent camp.

For my breakfasts, I had made a carrot, apple and celery juice. I packed a variety of fruit to snack on and Enjoy Life's new Sweet Potato with Maple Syrup bars.

For my lunch and dinners, I packed two options:
1. My vegan "meatballs" with Cybele's Lentil, Kale, and Broccoli p…

Enjoy Life Products for the Win! (Top 8 Free)

Folks, if you follow me on istagram, than you saw my recent post on Enjoy Life's new Grain & Seed bars and how my mother (normally dislikes anything gluten-free or vegan) devoured these babies!

Check out my instagram post if you missed it.  And use the below code to save 15% (not available on individual bar purchases) on your next purchase of Enjoy Life's Grain & Seed bars!

Expires: 1/31/2019
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