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.
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.
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…
While at times, eating allergy-free for work events can be rather frustrating and may take a lot of extra work to prepare - I do love when I learn to let go, trust the process, and allow others to use thier amazing chef-talents to create a safe, allergy-free meal.
In this particular case, the meal of choice was a gluten-free and vegan vegetable sandwich (mushroom, red pepper, red onion, lettuce and an avocado spread).
It was the perfect day for something simple, light and full of healthy proteins and fats!
I may have perfected the vegetable burger, too bad I measured nothing and was so exhausted the day I was cooking that I am not 100% certain what I had put into this creation - BUT while rocking these burgers during a work lunch, everyone assumed I was eating a real burger and was amazed when I told them it was a vegan and gluten-free burger.
I know they looked realistic, smelled delicious, but the taste and texture are what made this burger my favorite version thus far!
What I do know is that I started with a base of a white sweet potato, broccoli, carrots, beets, dried acorn squash, and then used spices like ginger, turmeric, garlic, onion, curry leaves and red pepper... and I know I rolled the burgers in my green banana flour - but other than that - not really sure what I did differently than I have been, but these babies rocked!
So go have fun with whatever ingredients you have chilling in your fridge and cupboards and make something awesome, or making a complete fail, but either …
Okay - typically I don't find enjoyment in repeating the same movie, restaurant, dinner, etc over and over and over and over again. However, I literally think I could rock Vientiane Cafe pretty much on a weekly basis.
I say this not only because the menu is very NICOLE FRIENDLY. As in, they offer a number of gluten free options BUT they can also accommodate almost every dish on the menu to be vegan. ALLELUIA! I can hear the birds singing! Now, add in the fact that the ingredients are always fresh, it is a BYOB joint, they are very reasonable on price, and we are officially in heaven. Actually, we are in heaven, floating on a cloud. Let's be real, every dreams of being able to chill on a cloud at some point in time, right?
Back to dinner. I noticed they have made some additions to their menu and while I am in love with their King Soup (seriously, I crave this soup often) and hate to verge to new things in fear of disappointment, I couldn't help myself.
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).
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…