Living a gluten-free life and enjoying it!
Gluten-free, Oil-Free, Vegan, Corn-Free, No Added Sugar
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My thought on Glutino's Pad Thai....small portion, dried meat, and definitely a frozen meal. Not something I would choose to purchase again. Not that I would ever tell me dad, the one who purchased it for me. I am very grateful that he was thinking of me and thought I would enjoy it, so of course I told him it was delicious!
On the other hand, my sister did make a delicious looking meal. She made a marinated pork chop mixed it with fried pineapple and banana and then mixed it with some rice noodles. Definitely looked more appetizing than my meal.
Back in 2015, Rob Garpstas opened, what is now, one of the hottest Lancaster restaurants, Root of Lancaster.
While Rob has not always been vegan, he was motivated to change diets after his father was diagnosed with cancer and his youngest daughter showed an accelerated interest in animal activism.
Having close to 20 years restaurant and bar experience, I imagine Rob thought to himself, I want to provide an option that is not only vegan - but offers a mix of modern vegan foods with the classic comfort foods we all hold very near and dear to our hearts (especially during the cold central PA winter season).
Since their opening, I have contemplated a visit to see how Roots stacks up. A couple of things were holding me back:
1. It is vegan, but how much of the menu is gluten-free?
2. Okay, so we offer gluten-free, BUT how about contamination?
3. I'm not a huge fan of small plates, if I am going to eat out, I prefer a larger dinner size portion
4. I had a not so great experience with V…
I have been wanting to try the hyped-up Han Dynasty for some time now and I found the perfect opportunity, New Year's Eve.
I had my twin and younger sister coming in with their significant others and we already determined that we would be enjoying the 2015 countdown to some salsa dancing at Cuba Libre I didn't feel like forking out a $100+ just to enjoy a New Year's dinner and I didn't want to be too far from Cuba Libre - so I went with good-old reliable Han Dynasty. I made my reservation for 6 rather easily and we found front row parking as well!
Even though the restaurant was busy (which is expected for New Year's Eve), we were seated on time and waited on with attention and care. There was not one moment where we felt rushed.
Now, because I was eating with a group and we decided we wanted to try a little bit of everything, I had to go non-vegan this night... but honestly, it was worth it and some of my favorite dishes were the fish and meat ones.
Happy 4th of July!
Being the individual that I am, I typically don't spend holidays the "traditional" or expected ways. Instead, I like to do my own thing, whatever I am in the mood for I fly with it. For me, this typically involves my family and loved one.
This year, with the 4th landing on a Wednesday and not having the following day off work, I didn't want to do anything too extravagant. I had hoped to sleep in, but..... that never happens. Instead, I laid in bed while I accomplished a good bit of work that I had been previously trying to avoid. Then I headed to the city with a friend and we grabbed a movie - of course, what else would we have chosen besides Magic Mike. Let's be honest- I could watch this on a daily basis - ladies, you know what I am talking about.
Anyhow, after the movie we took a stroll through the Park Way (Philadelphia, PA) and then hunted (seriously, it turned into a project with a gluten free, dairy free, corn free, and one with Crohn…
Eating out and finding Nicole-Friendly places tends to get easier and easier as I develop how I approach the eating establishments and their heightened awareness for the need to accommodate allergy-free requests. Plus, I think some actually enjoy the opportunity to get a bit extra creative in their delivery.
While most recent establishments have been great about providing vegetable dishes, I was craving some comfort, spicy food.
Which led me to a local establishment, Bollywood Bar and Grille.
My new approach:
-I call and ask to speak with the manager or head chef.
-I begin with an apology that I might have a difficult request ahead of us, but I am very excited to check them out!
-I let them know that my allergies are just that, they are needed for health reasons rather than preferences and that I look forward to any and all opportunities where I can eat out socially and enjoy myself.
-I then let them know, I am gluten-free, vegan and oil-free and prefer to not have additional sugar or…
The former Crave & Co. now known as The Vegetable Hunter, offers vegetarian and vegan fare to our capital area. This is amazing because the Harrisburg food scene is expanding but still not even close to the “Philly” scene and the vegan options are rather limited (although doable).
We (the locals) need to continue to encourage local restaurants to embrace funky cool menus, seasonal dishes, and vegan and gluten-free options. And why wouldn’t we? The area boasts a good bit of visitors to our capital building and there are plenty of individuals working right in the downtown area that would favor good food.
The Vegetable Hunter is, as far as I can tell, the only 100% vegetarian restaurant in the Harrisburg restaurant row. Might I also add, they have kombucha flights available and oh... if a brewery is your thing, they’ve got you covered.
Okay, so I discover the only vegetarian establishment in the area- how well can they accommodate “Nicole”?
Despite my physical
appearances and love for all things fruits and vegetables, there are times when
I just want a crab-loaded childhood favorite comfort food.
Recently, I have
been craving a gluten-free vegan mac and no-cheese that would really hit home
with my childhood thoughts on Kraft Mac and Cheese and my mom's addition of
Knowing I wouldn't
be able to create the famous blue box's recipe to Nicole standards - I was
trying to find some alternatives and just ignore my mac and no-cheese desire.
But when Valentine's
day came around any my family requested homemade mac and cheese, I said to heck
with my expectations, I am going to create a life-changing Nicole-friendly
option that will have me forgetting about that blue guy.
I knew color and
texture would play a large roll into this recipe so I started with carrots and
an Indian Purple Sweet Potato. And from there, I just started looking around
and winging the recipe.
Here is what I ended
up with: Ingr…
This week I was blessed with a special sale on Turmeric. My local Indian Grocer had received a new shipment and wanted to move the older shipment quickly, SO lucky me, I scored turmeric for $.99 per pound! Unheard of!
Needless to say, I bought the entire 2-2.5lbs bag before I even thought about what I would make with all this turmeric, I mean, besides my ritual of a nightly and early morning turmeric and ginger tea.
When I arrived home and actually unpacked all of my turmerics, then I started to think about what I could possibly make.
Knowing I had a cooking class and a work potluck coming up. I had plenty of things to get creative with.
I started doing a bit of research for some inspiration but quickly decided - no, I know what my body is craving and I am going to work with that.
My cooking class menu quickly developed into:
1. Lemon-aid and turmeric Juice
2. Asian rice porridge with freshly grated ginger and turmeric
3. A cold Morrocan lentil salad with a turmeric infused honey dress…
I’ve been reminiscing about the days when I would make my own bread and lather them up with a nut butter of choice, honey, and bananas!
I knew I had flours of all sorts all over the house and I was about 85% sure I knew where the bread machine was. Now, I just needed a recipe. I hadn’t saved my historical recipes and I know I have no idea where the bread machine cookbook was....so, off to Google I go!
Of course, it was near impossible to find an already created “Nicole-Friendly” recipe but I figured I could find one that looked of interest and adapt as needed.
I found a recipe. Wrote it down. And marked it up with some thoughts on omits, add-ins and changes.The final recipe was formed.
-1 1/4 cup warm water. I needed to almost double this amount to more like 2 1/2 cups.
- 3 Tablespoons honey. I substituted Bee Pollen. Okay, so I’m vegan, BUT I do consume honey!
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast. I substituted equal parts of baking soda and lemon juice
- 2 eggs. I substituted 2/4 …
I find it hard to travel away from the city and still find a meal that I enjoy - and enjoy it not because it is loaded with what I refer to as America's top addictive ingredients (butter, oil, and salt) - but because when I bite into it I can taste the love and passion that was used to create this masterpiece.
For me, eating is not a matter of necessity, but rather an enjoyable, premeditated event that occurs three, or more, times a day. Which is why it pisses me off even more when I go out to eat, usually paying a ridiculous fee, and yet I don't enjoy the meal. It aggravates me to all ends. I know, it's a little odd, but it is who I am and food is a very important part of my life. It's disappointing to me to take a bite in such a lovely plated dish and to my disgust, the only real flavor that my tongue is experiencing is that of butter, oil, salt, and in general - cheap inexpensive ingredients
A good family friend (Maria) of ours is a chef in the Hershey area and I …