Gluten-Free Food Fun with Mom

GF Product Reviews, GF Recipes, Gluten-Free, Travel, Vegetarian

Gluten-Free Food Fun with Mom

5 Comments 18 July 2016

Time with Mom is always refreshing. In our family, visiting Mom means time in the country. And this girl needed a serious reprieve from the craziness of the City. I finished the school year, took a day to pack, and was off to the Midwest for some much needed RnR.

We did the small town 4th of July fireworks shows, yes plural, walked picturesque farms, and even picked fresh fruit.



Mom is a gluten-free expert. She has been gluten free for about a month longer than I have. I still remember that phone call 12 years ago when Mom told me that she had tested positive, it was a hereditary condition, and that I should be tested too. Of course I balked that I didn’t have any of the classic stomach symptoms, but at the time I had no idea the full range of other ailments that would disappear within a few short months of going gluten free. So, yay Mom!

Breakfast at Mom’s usually starts with a smoothie, because I know that the rest of my meals will be outside of my normal eating patterns. But at least one morning Mom will make her waffles using Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix. YUM!


The first dinner we made came from Mom’s stack of recipes that she saves to try with me. We LOVED these Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups. They’re vegetarian and gluten-free, but definitely not vegan as we used regular cheese. I loved my Mom’s simple little Oxo handheld mandoline slicer. It’s so small and compact that you’d better believe I’m going to find a little nook in my itty bitty city kitchen to keep one.

The thinly sliced zucchini noodles softened so perfectly that we didn’t even miss the lasagna noodles. And did I mention that these tasted amazing? I look forward to making them at home using Daiya and a vegan ricotta. Does anyone have a good dairy-free brand that they like?


My favorite dessert was definitely this strawberry shortcake, and what a festive choice for the 4th of July. Although the cake wasn’t vegan, the coconut whipped cream was. You can find my recipe here.


Mom found the Angel Food Cake Mix at Aldi’s. She’s lucky to have an Aldi’s just around the corner.


It doesn’t make the most beautiful cake.


But slathered in strawberries and coconut cream, who cares?!


I’m heading back to the City feeling rested and happily full. Thanks, Mom!

Readers dish!

  • Vegans, what brand of vegan ricotta cheese do you recommend?
  • Where do you go for RnR?
  • What traditions do you have when visiting family?
The Glutening

GF Resources, Healthy Living, New York City, Travel

The Glutening

18 Comments 24 May 2016

It began the way most of my favorite New York evenings begin. A much anticipated evening with friends, a train ride with laughter, a new restaurant selected, and theater tickets. This evening was particularly exciting, because our train was taking us out of the city to see a play starring a friend of ours. When I made these plans, I had no idea that the evening would end with a pineapple-infused cloud of impending doom hovering over my head.

The Glutening

I’m not going to slam this restaurant. I’m not even going to mention its name. Despite the fact that I was horribly glutened, the waitstaff and manager did the best they could in the moment, and they did comp the entire dinner for four.

We selected this cute little pizza joint because they had gluten-free pasta, not pizza, but pasta, and it was walking distance to the theater. My friends ordered pizza, and I ordered the gluten-free pasta. I clearly ordered gluten-free pasta. When the pizzas arrived, I assumed my pasta would follow shortly. When my friends had almost finished their pizza, I inquired about my order. “Don’t worry,” the waiter reassured. “Gluten-free pasta takes a little longer to prepare.”

I felt confidentbecause clearly the waiter remembered that I had ordered gluten-free. Clearly the staff knew enough to prepare a new pot of water instead of tossing gluten-free pasta into boiling poisonous wheat water. I sipped my wine, and minutes later a plate of pasta was placed in front of me. I didn’t even question whether this dish was mine. I was the only one without food, I had just asked about my meal, and this plate was served to ME. Clearly, it was mine.

The first bite only served to verify that this pasta was gluten free, because it was a bit chewy like bad gluten-free pasta. It wasn’t going to be a great meal, but I wasn’t going to complain. At least they offered a gluten-free option. I was a little confused about the sauce as it didn’t seem like the marinara and veggies that I’d normally order, but I had hemmed and hawed over the three vegetarian options on the menu. Maybe I didn’t realize I’d ordered a dark sauce. It was marked gluten-free, so I didn’t worry.

I ate the entire plate of pasta minus a few spoonfuls shared with those who wanted a taste. As soon as I put my fork on my cleared plate, a waitress appeared announcing, “And here’s the gluten-free pasta!”

That’s when my memory gets a little fuzzy.

I remember the waitress confirming that I’d just eaten a full plate of gluten-filled wheat pasta.

I remember involuntarily saying a word that I never say.

I remember everyone asking me, “What’s going to happen to you?”

I had no earthly idea what was going to happen to me. I hadn’t ingested that much gluten since before going gluten free 12 years ago. Was I going to get violently ill? Did I need to take the hour-long train ride home right now instead of staying for the show? Did I need to remain close to a bathroom? Was this going to get ugly and embarrassing?

I remember the waiter asking, “What can I get for you?”

He wanted to bring me more pasta on the house! That wasn’t going to make anything better. And I wasn’t going to put another piece of food in my stomach since I had no idea if the food already in there was going to stay put.

I remember the waitress suddenly realizing the severity of the issue and saying, “I will go to CVS and get whatever you need!”

I remember the Husband flying like a superhero to the manager. Their words were lost in the buzzing restaurant noise as the waitstaff swirled around my already spinning head. I just needed them to leave me alone so I could think. And within 60 seconds of hearing the news that sent this perfect New York evening careening off the magical evening track and into unknown waters, my head cleared enough to have the wisest thought of the evening.

I remembered Shirley. I had a blessed vision of Shirley. If you’ve been gluten-free for more than 12 seconds, you most likely already know Shirley of Gluten Free Easily. Shirley is the mama of the gluten-free bloggers, the teacher of newbie gluten-free eaters, and an inspiration to the gluten-free community as she demonstrates to her readers, year after year, that eating gluten free is easy, healthy, and delicious if you focus on foods that are naturally gluten-free. And I’m lucky enough to have Shirley as a friend.

The Rescue

I sent an SOS email to Shirley. Then the Husband and I walked to CVS and found this.


I’d never purchased the product before, but I was desperate to try anything that could help. The directions said to take the capsules before ingesting gluten. A little late for that, and confused as to why anyone with a gluten problem would willingly ingest gluten, but I figured it couldn’t hurt and I downed four capsules before even finishing the transaction with the cashier.

By the time we walked to the theater, my phone buzzed with a message from Shirley! With 8 minutes until the show started, my superhero Husband flew back to CVS to get Shirley’s recommended activated charcoal capsules and pineapple juice.

When was the last time that you purchased pineapple juice? At least at CVS, it still comes in a gigantic can that requires that special pointy-tipped can opener that you may remember from snack time in preschool. CVS didn’t have one of those. But the manager found a regular can opener for sale on a shelf and let the Husband borrow it to start the opening process. He ran with a semi-opened can of sticky juice to the theater parking lot.

This was the next step. Two minutes before show time, standing in the rain, we dripped the juice from the can into a water bottle so that I could smuggle it into the theater. Frustration and anxiety turned to hilarity as we realized that at this drip rate we’d be lucky to get to the show by intermission. Thankfully, my superhero made the hole a little larger with a key.


We did make the show, during which my friend wowed us all with her talent, and I slugged water and straight pineapple juice until I got home.

The Recovery

I firmly believe that Shirley’s timely answer to my frantic email took days off my recovery time. The pineapple juice provided enzymes to break down the gluten, and the activated charcoal helped to absorb it.

For the next week, my body was shock. I wasn’t hungry. I didn’t feel sick to my stomach. I didn’t feel like I had a digestive system at all. When I’ve been glutened in the past from cross-contamination, my biggest symptoms have been irritability, tiredness, and a brain fog that lasted a day or maybe two. This time, I felt like I had mono. I woke up exhausted after sleeping for 8-10 hours each night. Moving from the bed to the couch felt like I had just climbed a flight of stairs. The weirdest symptom I had was the sensation that my entire body was buzzing. If I had a normal job, I would have taken multiple days off. But I taught school that week through a mental haze because there was something I had to take care of each day that was beyond the scope of a substitute teacher. So I fumbled for words, lost papers in front of my face, and did the best I could to shape the minds of our future. I really can’t remember much of that week, sorry students. Thankfully I have great support teachers that helped me keep the class running.

And I had Shirley’s wise counsel ringing in my ears to take care of myself. I came home by 4:00pm each day and napped with Maggie until bedtime.


I continued taking enzymes, activated charcoal, probiotics, epsom salt baths, and I flooded my body with juices and water. Just when I was wondering if I’d ever feel like myself again, some energy and clearer thinking returned. It took six days for any improvement. I still don’t think I’m back to normal. Shirley warned me that it could take weeks, not to be discouraging, but to remind me to be patient and take time to take care of me. So I’m listening to my body, getting lots of rest, and eating well.

I want to thank my two superheroes. My number one hero is always the Husband. I’ll never forget him running to my rescue with a dripping can of pineapple juice. My number two hero is Shirley. After my brain fog lifted I remembered that Shirley wrote a post in 2011 called How to Recover After Being Glutened that you must read so you’re prepared for that inevitable moment when you will say, “What do you mean this isn’t gluten free?”

Raw Vegan in the City

Raw Foods, Travel

Raw Vegan in the City

14 Comments 04 June 2013

Notice anything different today? Go ahead, look around.

Thank you, Heather Peters, for redesigning my blog banner. And thank you, Kevin Banks of In Color Creative, for making it visible to you. Left to my own devices I would have wallowed in YouTube how-to videos for a month to figure out how to switch the banner!

But why the changes? Several life-changing reasons.

If you hadn’t already heard, you may have picked it up from my Liebster Award post. In just a few weeks, we will be leaving our sweet city of Nashville and moving to New York City. This is something that we’ve talked about doing for a while, and now it’s time to make it happen.

Will my location have an effect on this blog? Absolutely!

Last Fall I give you a glimpse into my temporary gluten-free kitchen.

This is an apartment kitchen that I had already downsized from a house kitchen. So the thought of cutting my workspace and storage space in half yet again is a bit terrifying. It will change the way I cook and create, but if I can eat gluten-free and healthily in cramped quarter, so can you.

(Now my Monday Lovin’ Gluten-Free Cookbook Giveaway is making a little more sense, isn’t it? Thanks for helping me as I downsize my incredible library for this move! If you haven’t entered this week, go check it out!)

Another big change is that this blog is going high-raw vegan. Why? Because those are the only recipes that I create anymore. I have jumped around in my journey and experimented with all sorts of foods in search of what is best for my body. And I always seem to come back to my love, raw foods. So it’s time for the blog to change along with me. I have removed all non-vegan recipes from the recipe list. I have not deleted non-vegan posts as they are all part of my journey. Of course this will remain a gluten-free blog as that is the only way that I can eat. But it will focus on raw and vegan food that is naturally gluten-free.

I also can’t wait to explore the raw, vegan corners of New York City and share my findings with you!

Raw Chocolate Banana Crepes at Pure Food and Wine

I am so thankful for every one of you who contributes to this blog. You all have made Gluten-Free Cat what it is today because of what I have learned from you. The gluten-free blogging community, the vegetarian and vegan community, and the raw foods community have all given me support and encouragement through this growing process. Thank you! And I hope that you’ll come along with me on the next step of this journey.

Here are a few things that I’m really looking forward to in NYC.

Union Square Farmers Market

The Brooklyn Bridge

Walking Everywhere

Raw Foods Restaurants

Grab and Go Juice!

Cashew Ice Cream

Central Park

And now back to packing!

Readers, dish!

  • What is something that you’ve always wanted to do?
  • Have you ever dreamed about living somewhere else?
Organic Avenue: I’m in Love

GF Friendly Restaurants, Raw Foods, Travel

Organic Avenue: I’m in Love

7 Comments 27 March 2013

On a recent cab ride into New York City I did a double take as we flew past the orange Organic Avenue sign. This trip suddenly had a new purpose. It was no longer just a weekend away. I had to find out what was in that store. To my delight, I quickly learned that it was located just a few blocks from where we would be staying, which made multiple trips quite convenient.

But it only took one trip to fall in love.

At Organic Avenue L.O.V.E = Live. Organic. Vegan. Experience.

I just had to step inside Organic Avenue once to know that this was a store for me. These were my first three sights:

Cases filled with high quality, organic, cold pressed juices

Protein Smoothies and Nut Mylks

Salads and Raw Food!

Fabulous fare for a traveler like me in search of healthy food while away from my juicer, Vitamix, and dehydrator. But Organic Avenue specializes in raw foods cleanses. They have three levels to choose from: Love Easy, Love Fast,  and Love Deep. So whether you are looking for deep detox or a restart, you’re sure to find a cleanse that will work for you.

A weekend in New York is not the time for me to detox. There are just way too many gluten-free goodies to sample, but I made sure to start each day off with a healthy breakfast from Organic Avenue.

Day 1 began with Green LOVE. Crammed with green veggies and lightened with pear and lemon, this juice was absolutely delicious and refreshing. The Husband loved the Green Coco with added Thai Coconut Water.

Day 2 started with smoothies. Since I made the walk to get breakfast that morning I got first choice when I returned home with two options. I think the Chocolate Love Smoothie is one of the best smoothies I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot of smoothies. Made with cashews, hemp seeds, dates, Himalayan salt, vanilla powder, cacao powder, and Irish moss, this smoothie was a great way to start the day. The Husband enjoyed the Berry Blast Protein Smoothie so much that he bought one every day for the next week. (Lucky man got to stay in the city while I returned home on Day 3.)

Day 3 started with Berry Chia Tapioca Pudding topped with Cinnamon Raisin Granola. Strawberries, dates, coconut meat and an assortment of nuts and seeds made this a satisfying way to start our last of day trekking through the city.

Organic Avenue isn’t just a place for breakfast. You can enjoy soup, salads, snacks, entrees, and even desserts. The Husband tried their Mexi-Fresh Tacos and gave a report that made me extremely jealous.

I’d highly recommend stopping at Organic Avenue the next time you’re in New York City. It will keep you well fueled for all of the activity you have planned. Like everything else in the City, it is expensive. A bottle of juice costs between $9.00 and $12.00 depending on the size of the bottle, and a smoothie is a whopping $10.00. But considering that you’re fueling your body with high quality, delicious food in the most expensive city on the planet, it may just be a deal! Hey, I was sold!

Readers, dish!

  • Have you been to Organic Avenue?
  • Have you tried one of their cleanses?
  • What is your favorite Organic Avenue product?
Terri in NYC: Fast food? Yes, please!

GF Friendly Restaurants, Healthy Living, Travel

Terri in NYC: Fast food? Yes, please!

7 Comments 09 January 2013

Since I’m on a juice kick, I thought I’d share a quick post on one of my favorite fast food lunch spots in New York City.

Did she just say “fast food”?

Yes, please!

Terri is a vegetarian quick service restaurant located at 60 West 23rd Street. If you’re anywhere nearby you must make a point to stop in. Grab a juice, a healthy fast food meal, or a sweet treat, and be on your way with nutrition in hand.

Terri makes vegetarian meals that taste like favorites such as a “Meatball” Subs, “Bacon Chicken” Cheddar Ranch Sandwiches, and Chick Pea “Tuna” Melts. All of their sandwiches can be made on gluten-free bread and wraps with gluten-free tortillas.

Terri strives to use organic ingredients and super foods. Wholesome salads, smoothies, and juices are just a few more healthy options you’ll find.

I love these juices to go.

Now this is one happy, makeup-needing, lady with a green juice to start her day!

Ordering a gluten-free wrap is a rare pleasure. Nashville can’t yet provide me with such an experience. So I always get a wrap when I go to Terri. They’re grilled closed and actually stay together, unlike many gluten-free wraps.

Safe enough to unwrap neatly in a cab.

Grilled so perfectly that they hold together even when racing to the airport at breakneck speed. (When do NYC cabs not race somewhere at breakneck speed?)

This Thai “Chicken” Wrap passed the bite test.

And more than passed the taste test!

But their Hummus & Avocado Wrap is my favorite.

If only I’d had one more hand to carry one of these Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting. I don’t think they would have passed the cab test.

Healthy, vegetarian fast food is a dream. But at Terri that dream comes true.

I swear someday I’m moving to New York…

Readers, dish!

  • Have you ever been to Terri?
  • What’s your favorite healthy fast food joint?
  • Have you found a place that serves gluten-free wraps?
60 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 6am – 11pm; Saturday & Sunday, 8am – 9pm
Gluten-Free Knoxville:  5 Strikes and You’re OUT!

GF Friendly Restaurants, Travel

Gluten-Free Knoxville: 5 Strikes and You’re OUT!

16 Comments 03 September 2012

While traveling last month we stopped in Knoxville, Tennessee for several reasons.  We were hoping to catch a quick visit with my Sweet Cousin. The Husband also had to make a conference call in a parking lot.  And it was lunch time, so I definitely needed to check out the gluten-free scene.  Following my tried and true Eating Out Gluten Free Tip #1 Do Your Homework, I was confident that I’d be able find a safe place to eat.

Sweet Cousin and Me

I was all excited about The French Market Creperie.  I can’t remember the last time I had crepes, and I had read that the French Market Crepery made Buckwheat Crepes!

I found several reviews that reported these buckwheat crepes to be gluten free!  Yippeee! Should I choose a sweet or savory crepe?  There were just so many to choose from.  I finally settled on the Vegetarian Delux and pranced up to the counter to place my order.

Thankfully, I also followed Eating Out Gluten Free Tip #4 Ask Questions.  It only took a few moments to learn that their flours come from France, and the buckwheat flour comes through the same chute as the regular wheat flour.  Their crepes were not gluten free. Strike One Knoxville.  I was very disappointed, but so thankful for a cognizant server who saved me from starting off vacation doubled over.

Since I had done my homework, and had a tip from the Sweet Cousin, we went to The Tomato Head.  Sweet Cousin had told me that they were vegan/vegetarian friendly and that they had gluten-free pizza crust.  Sweet!

The restaurant was packed with college kids, both behind the counters, in the line for take out, at the tables, and spilling out into the courtyard.  And this cute little girl was attracting animal lovers like me out front.

After perusing the menu, I had my heart set on the #5.  A gluten-free, vegetarian pizza with mushroom, artichoke heart, red and green peppers, and red onion was calling my name.  But then I heard the dreaded phrase…

“We’re out of gluten-free crust.”

Strike Two.  At this point, we had two choices.  Walk out and try a third restaurant, or stay and see what other gluten free options they had.  Considering that it was already late, we were hungry, and our travel destination was still 2 hours away, we opted to stay.  And since we were staying, it was time to use Eating Out Gluten-Free Tip #2 Be Nice To Your Server.  It wasn’t her fault that her restaurant was out of gluten-free dough.

I was immediately impressed when the server said that she could give me any of their sandwiches on a corn tortilla.  This girl knew customer service.  And she seemed to understand gluten. She knew that the baked tofu contained gluten, but the marinated tofu did not.  She even pulled out a binder that listed all of their menu items that contained gluten and checked. BUT SHE WAS WRONG. (More on that later.)

We were starving.  So we ordered hummus and organic blue corn chips.  Guess what they were out of.  Blue corn chips.  Strike Three.  But we asked for the hummus with corn tortillas, and she was glad to accomodate.

Their hummus, gluten-free of course, is out of this world.  A little powerful on the garlic scale, which I love, and chunky.  If we weren’t heading out of town I would have picked up a few of these for home.

I ordered the Veggie Chef Salad, and as soon as it arrived, all disappointment from not having gluten-free pizza dissipated.  This salad was packed with color, flavor, textures, and nutrients.

Veggie Chef Salad with romaine lettuce, organic marinated tofu, broccoli, artichoke hearts, mushroom, red onion, cucumber, tomato, black olive, green pepper, carrot, red cabbage & sprouts

Incredible salad.  And far healthier than any gluten-free pizza on the planet.

Or so I thought.

The marinated tofu was NOT gluten-free.

Strike Four!

For the next day my stomach twisted and turned, and I couldn’t figure out why.  I thought I had eaten a clean salad for lunch at The Tomato Head, and I had an incredible dinner at Posana, a 100% gluten free restaurant.  Thankfully, my reaction was not severe.  But I was exhausted, slept long hours, and I dealt with the intestinal distress knowing it would pass in a few days.

On the way home, we decided to stop through Knoxville again for a late lunch.  Feeling better, I was hoping that The Tomato Head would have gluten-free pizza to try.

Strike Five.  They were still out of gluten-free dough.  So I tried to order that same delicious Veggie Chef Salad with marinated tofu, and I double checked that I was ordering the tofu that was gluten free.  Apparently, NEITHER tofu option is gluten free!  No wonder I had been sick over the weekend.  Mystery solved, but I was more than a little miffed that a restaurant that claims to be gluten friendly could make such a terrible mistake.

The food at The Tomato Head is definitely delicious and fresh.  I enjoyed this Southwestern Salad immensely (as well as my glutenous Veggie Chef Salad), but my recommendation comes with a caution.  Ask lots of questions, and ask for proof.  Look at that allergen binder yourself! The servers are not all on the same page.

How about that gluten-free pizza?  I tried twice and they didn’t have any in.  (Let me know if you ever have the chance to sample it, because this cat is done with The Tomato Head!)

Tomato Head on UrbanspoonThe Tomato Head
12 Market Square
Knoxville, TN  37902


Readers, dish!

  • Have you tried The Tomato Head?
  • How do you handle disappointment when gluten-free options are not available?
  • What is your favorite gluten-free pizza restaurant?
The Green Sage: Gluten-Free Dining in Asheville

GF Friendly Restaurants, Travel

The Green Sage: Gluten-Free Dining in Asheville

5 Comments 08 August 2012

On a recent trip to Asheville, North Carolina, we were pleasantly surprised to run into another restaurant that did gluten free extremely well.  The Green Sage is a restaurant that creates healthy options using natural, local, and organic ingredients. They provide meals for those who are gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian.  The Husband I were thrilled to come across this sign while milling through the streets of Asheville.

We had no idea just how many gluten-free, vegetarian options there would be.  Every wrap can be made gluten free with a brown rice wrap, and every sandwich can be made on gluten-free bread.  Vegetarians are provided for as well, as every meat item can be substituted with tempeh.  And on top of it all, they will work with you to make vegetarian choices vegan.

The Green Sage is more than just a coffeehouse and cafe.  In fact, they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  In addition to wraps, sandwiches, and burgers, they also serve fresh pressed juices, smoothies, rice bowls, soups, salads, burritos, and organic beer and wine.

I had to try the Sunshine Juice made from juiced carrots and oranges.  It was a perfect refresher on a hot summer day.

I chose the Curry Cashew Salad Wrap with grilled tempeh, cashews, raisins, apples, and lettuce on a brown rice tortilla.  This sounds a little pompous, but it was so incredible that I couldn’t believe I was eating this in a restaurant and not in my own kitchen.  The Husband even commented on the fact that I was excited about eating something I would make for myself at home. EXACTLY!  They key is that I didn’t have to make it!

The Husband enjoyed his sweet potato fries as well as the Chipotle Jack on a gluten-free bun with tempeh, lettuce, red onion, roasted peppers, serrano peppers, pepper jack, guacamole, and chipotle sauce.  He was in heaven.

The dessert case held too many gluten-free treats for me to photograph.  I wish I could have ordered a single bite of each one. Here is a sampling of their gluten-free desserts.

I didn’t sample any of these, but I did come back later for a Double Chocolate Walnut Cookie the size of a dessert plate.  It didn’t last long enough to photograph, but it was incredible. It tasted more like a soft, rich brownie with crispy edges than a cookie, and I was perfectly okay with that.

I would highly recommend The Green Sage to anyone looking for a gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan meal.  They have two locations.  I tried the downtown location and was extremely pleased.

The Green Sage on Urbanspoon

5 Broadway Street
Asheville, NC. 28801
1800 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC. 28803 
Readers, dish!
  • Have you ever been to The Green Sage?
  • What is your favorite gluten-free, vegetarian restaurant?
A Gluten-Free Friendly Bed and Breakfast in Asheville, NC

GF Friendly Restaurants, Travel

A Gluten-Free Friendly Bed and Breakfast in Asheville, NC

6 Comments 25 July 2012

I love our trips to Asheville.  I love the mountains, the art, the pottery, the music, and the restaurants.  Okay, it’s mostly about the food for me, but I really do like everything else. I haven’t found another city as packed with environmentally conscious people as Asheville. The community believes in local food, and they are sensitive to the dietary restrictions of their city and its guests. Whether you are gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegetarian, or vegan, you are going to eat well in Asheville and feel good about it.

On our last trip to Asheville we stayed at Pinecrest Inn, a lovely bed and breakfast within walking distance of downtown.  I haven’t been overly excited about staying at bed and breakfasts in the past.  The bed part is usually just fine, but the breakfasts aren’t much of a treat when you are gluten intolerant, because you can’t enjoy the delicious country breakfasts that everyone else has to eat.  Plus, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I’m not going to waste a meal on scrambled eggs and a side of fruit when Posana has a 100% gluten free brunch menu just up the street.

But Janna and Stacy, the ladies of Pinecrest, blew me away.  Not only did they provide us with a beautiful, quiet, comfortable room, they went above and beyond to make sure that being gluten free didn’t take away from my bed and breakfast experience.

Every morning I knew where my place was at the table, because there was something different on the bread plate.  Sometimes it was a gluten-free blueberry muffin.

Another time it was a mini sweet bread from Dolci di Mariaa local Asheville gluten-free bakery.

That alone would have been enough for me, but the ladies of Pinecrest didn’t stop there.

On the morning that we had yogurt parfaits, they used Udi’s Gluten-Free Granola for everyone’s parfait, not just mine.

They made sure that the frittata was naturally gluten free and that I had Udi’s Gluten-Free Bread to go along with it.  Udi’s bread was even more delicious topped with South Carolina peach preserves homemade by Janna’s daughter, Aiken.  And a tomato fresh from the Farmer’s Market just topped it off perfectly.

On French toast morning, I wondered if I’d be eating eggs with a side of Udi’s toast, but Janna and Stacy created gluten-free French toast with Udi’s Gluten-Free Bread just for me, complete with fresh peaches.

Gluten-free breakfast every morning was a dream come true, but it didn’t stop there.

Each day, upon returning from our day’s adventures, I looked forward to afternoon dessert.  Dessert for the guests were in the dining room under a glass cake dome.  But dessert for me was in the refrigerator and promptly presented upon our arrival.

Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Dolci di Maria

Cupcakes and white wine?  When on vacation, yes!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie by Dolci di Maria

Clearly, Pinecrest Inn gets a five star rating and two paws up from the Gluten-Free Cat on food alone.  But the actual accommodations were beautiful and comfortable, giving us the perfect weekend retreat.

We started our visit in the Thomas Wolf Suite.  Apparently there was a small leak in the closet of our beautiful room after a torrential downpour.

It was barely noticeable, but the innkeepers moved us to the Grace Room on our last evening in hopes of improving our stay.  I was actually quite thrilled, as during the booking process I couldn’t decide between the Grace and the Thomas Wolfe.  How perfect that I had the chance to experience both!

In the Grace Room we were greeted with a bottle of wine as an anniversary gift, a bouquet of fresh flowers, and a gluten-free chocolate carrot cake.  This cake was out of this world!

This amazing cake by World’s Best Carrot Cake was truly the world’s best carrot cake!  Gluten-free or not, it was so good that I must confess that the Husband only got a small piece.  And dinner was rather late that evening.

It was a treat to stay at Pinecrest Inn.  Not only is the inn beautiful, comfortable, and well maintained, the owners are friendly and determined to make sure that your experience is memorable.  I highly recommend a stay at Pinecrest for anyone looking for a getaway.

Pinecrest Inn
Janna and James Martin, and
Stacy Shelley, Innkeepers
249 Cumberland Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
888-811-3053 • 828-281-4275
Readers, dish!
  • Have you ever been to Pinecrest Inn?
  • Have you had a positive bed and breakfast experience? Please share!
  • How has an inn or BnB gone above and beyond for you?
  • What other BnBs are gluten friendly?
On Their Blogs By Their Hands: Let’s End With Cookies

GF Recipes, Travel

On Their Blogs By Their Hands: Let’s End With Cookies

6 Comments 05 July 2012

This is my last post about the incredible food that my blogger friends made for us at our blogger retreat.  I’ve been stretching this series out, because I haven’t wanted it to end. Our retreat was so special, and I’ve enjoyed reliving each moment by posting about each friend’s recipes.

You could say that I saved the best for last.  Or you could say that I had such a hard time finding one recipe to represent such an wonderful blogger and sincere friend that it had to wait until the very end.  Or you could say that I was waiting to adopt Debi for Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger hosted by Shannon of Enjoying Gluten-Free Life.  Or you could say that it was all of the above.  But regardless, this is my last retreat post, and it holds something delightful for you.

It was a joy to spend more time with Debi of Hunter’s Lyonesse.  She and I had met at the 2011 Allergen and Gluten-Free Expo and spent an evening talking and laughing.

Heather and Debi hanging out with Brittany of Real Sustenance

But I really got to know Debi at the blogger’s retreat during our long walks and quiet moments with Shirley after the party died down to a dull roar.  Debi is a thinker, a reader, and a researcher.  And she does a great job sharing what she learns at Hunter’s Lyonesse.  She also loves to experiment in the kitchen, and her results are delicious!

That’s why I had such a hard time choosing just one recipe to highlight for you.

At the retreat, Debi was constantly working in the kitchen.  She manned the Vitamix for the Dairy-Free Chedda Cheese Fondue.  (Oh, did I not tell you about our Chedda Fondue Party? Well, you must go watch this video at The Whole Gang to see for yourself!)  Debi bustled around the kitchen.  And she brought us delicious muffins.

But one of her most popular recipes is her Flourless Pumpkin Pie Cookies.  And I don’t care that it’s summer and that it’s not pumpkin season.  These cookies are amazing any time of year!  It was even worth turning on the oven for 10 quick minutes on a 100 degree day.  Plus, with just a handful of ingredients, these dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, refined-sugar free cookies are a snap to make.

Have I convinced you?  Head over to find Debi’s Flourless Pumpkin Pie Cookies recipe and whip up a batch for yourself!

Other On Their Blogs, By Their Hands posts:

Readers, dish!

  • Are you a pumpkin fan?
  • What would make you turn on the oven on the hottest day of the year?
  • Have you visited Debi’s blog?
  • Are you grain free? Share some tips!

A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

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