Tag archive for "gluten-free living"

Life After Juicing

GF Recipes, Healthy Living, Raw Foods, Vegan

Life After Juicing

12 Comments 10 February 2014

Several of you have asked me how I transitioned from a month of juicing back to solid foods. I wish I could tell you that there is a magic formula that works perfectly for every person. And that if you follow those directions precisely, all will be well. All I can give you is my plan, what actually happened, and a few tips.

I intended to ease back to solid food with smoothies, more juices, and pureed soups to slowly wake up my digestive system. Looking back, my fourth week was pretty rough. I was very ready to be finished with the New Year’s Juicing Challenge and needed more nutrients. I started pureeing bananas into my morning green juice and avocado into my evening juice. On the last few days, I used the same ingredients that I would have juiced for my Spicy Avocado Soup and made a raw soup, blending everything in my Vitamix instead of putting it through the juicer. I think these days served as my transitional days. They required my stomach to work a little harder at digesting in preparation for solid foods.

On the evening of Day 30 we went to a party hosted by two of my favorite NYC foodie friends. I came armed with a bottle of green juice and intended just to nibble a few soft foods. But when I saw that they had made the entire feast gluten free with a vegan option for every single dish, I knew that this would be my transitional meal. Thankfully every single dish was soft and easy to digest — roasted root vegetables, rice and veggies, marinated tofu and mushrooms, and guacamole. The flavors were so intensely delicious that I could barely participate in conversation.

I was a little afraid that I had overdone it and awaited a stomach ache, but it never came. I believe that pure, soft, vegan food was a great transition.

For the week after Day 30 I started each day with a smoothie like this one.

Love_Smoothie_Gluten-Free_Cat

Love Smoothie recipe coming soon!

And then I turned to my blogger friends for lunch and dinner ideas. For 30 straight days, I posted about juice while salivating over the warm recipes that my friends were posting. As food bloggers, we love reading each other’s posts, but most of our time in the kitchen is spent creating our own recipes. So it’s rare that we have the time to try each other’s creations.

My transition week was filled with delicious meals thanks to some of you!

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This Tomato and Red Lentil Soup with Dill by Janet of The Taste Space was perfect to take to work throughout the week. Warm and filling with the perfect amount of spice and fresh dill, it kept me singing joyfully about the wonders of cooked food again.

C&B_Green_Burgers_Gluten-Free_Cat

These Green Power Burgers by Emma of Coconut and Berries are fabulous! Made with buckwheat and edamame, they were a delicious dinner one evening and made great leftovers over salads. I loved these burgers topped with Carrie’s Pesto Hemp Dressing from Carrie on Vegan.

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Are you a cauliflower fan? I am most definitely not, but I devoured this entire bowl of Tempeh and Cauliflower Pasanda by Emma of Coconut and Berries. This dish is to die for. It’s a meal to make for company.

Gabby of The Veggie Nook finished off my week of delicious meals with this Warm Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad. Rainbow quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and kale topped with a tantilizing dressing.

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Speaking of dressings, Suzanne of Hello Veggie wowed us with her Vegan Grain Bowl with Dragon Sauce this week too. That sauce was so incredible that it was gone almost instantly! Fighting over the last spoonful of Dragon Sauce could get ugly, so next time I’m doubling the recipe!

Every afternoon I came home and made a green juice blended with a plain or vanilla protein powder as my afternoon snack.

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Kiss Me Kale recipe coming soon!

I also turned the dehydrator on for the first time in a month and made this Zucchini Hemp Banana Bread.

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I also made the BEST bread I have made to date.

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It’s thick, it’s pliable, and it’s coming soon to a blog near you!

Here are my tips for transitioning from a juice cleanse back to solid food:

1. Start with smoothies and blended soups.

2. Introduce cooked, pure vegan foods.

3. Then add in raw salads and vegetables when you feel like your digestive system is ready to break them down.

4. If you eat dairy or meat, wait several days to a week before reintroducing them.

5. Keep juicing! Stay in the habit of juicing once a day, because it’s insanely good for you.

Post juicing challenge reflections:

1. I’m so glad that I did the Juicing Challenge, but I think 30 days was about 5 days too long for me. I was able to make it work, but it’s good to know my limits.

2. Juice cleansing provided me with some great results:

  • Clear complexion
  • Release from caffeine addiction
  • More connection with the hand to mouth reflex
  • Strengthened intuitive eating cues
  • Increased energy and brighter outlook
  • Resolve to keep my diet pure
  • Sharpened taste buds
  • All of my clothes fit again

3. They say nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, but I’d like to revise that. Nothing tastes as good as healthy tastes AND feels!

Thanks so much for your support during my challenge! I’d love to hear how you’re doing!

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Readers, dish!

  • How did your juicing go?
  • How have you transitioned back to solid food after a juice cleanse?
  • What is the longest juice cleanse you’ve ever done?
  • How do you break food addictions or cravings?

GF Recipes, GF Resources, Healthy Living

Tips for Handling the Holidays Gluten-Free at TBP!

1 Comment 05 November 2013

As we approach the holiday season it’s time to start gathering tips for enjoying our celebrations while staying healthy, stress free, and gluten free.

I’ve shared my Tips for Handling the Holidays Gluten-Free at The Balanced Platter today. Come on over and check out strategies for:

  • Making traditional holiday foods gluten-free
  • Finding great gluten-free desserts for every occassion
  • Educating friends and family about your gluten-free diet
  • Keeping perspective (and your sanity)

Hope to see you there!

TBPbadge

Vegan Delish Winners!

Healthy Living, Vegan

Vegan Delish Winners!

8 Comments 20 October 2013

Happy Sunday! It’s a gorgeous Fall day here in the city. Crisp, cool, sunny, and the leaves are just starting to change. I usually don’t post on Sundays, but I have two newsy tidbits to share with you.

Congratulations to Deanna, April, and Sarah! They are the winners of Vegan Delish, the recipe app created by Carrie On Vegan. Didn’t win? You can grab your own copy of Vegan Delish right here for only $2.99. Remember, you must have an iPhone or iPad to run the app.

easy recipes

This was a fun week for me. Not only have I been using this app like crazy to plan and make vegan meals for the week, but I got to meet with a special guest who was vacationing in my city!

Carrie_Heather

Yes, Carrie herself! We had a lovely time getting to know each other while nibbling fruit and sipping tea in Central Park on a gorgeous afternoon. Yes, two happy little vegans sitting on a park bench finding out just how much we have in common. Have you ever wondered if your online friends are as wonderful in person as they seem to be on their blogs? Well, in my experience the answer is usually yes. And in Carrie’s case it is most definitely a YES! She is delightful in every way.

And back to Vegan Delish… You seriously want a copy, and it’s practically a steal at $2.99. One of our best meals this week was Carrie’s Ultimate Tofu Burger with Pesto Hemp Dressing. Even the meat-eating Husband loved them!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

A Vegan Delish Giveaway!

GF Resources, Healthy Living, Vegan

A Vegan Delish Giveaway!

8 Comments 15 October 2013

Have you heard about the app Vegan Delish? I’ve been meaning to tell you about it for a while now. As a new vegan, I’m always looking for delicious vegan recipes to try. Raw vegan recipes seem to be easier for me to figure out than cooked vegan meals, but I’m learning quickly!

One of my favorite new resources is Vegan Delish by Carrie of Carrie On Vegan. I love her blog and her recipes, so imagine my excitement when I learned that I could carry her app in my pocket!

easy recipes

I have it on my iPhone and am loving it! Not only does it have over 130 vegan and gluten-free recipes that contain a minimum of oil, salt, or added sugars, but I have them all at my fingertips. Always! The opening screen looks like this. So I can easily scroll through all of the recipes, choose a category, or instantly find the recipes that I’ve tagged as a favorite.

Vegan Delish screenshot

One of my favorite features is the shopping list. Once I select a recipe, I can also select the ingredients that I need to purchase. They instantly transfer to a shopping list organized by sections of the grocery store! I have literally chosen a recipe while walking to the grocery store and had an organized list ready before I got there. (Texting and walking not necessarily advised!)

I love that this app is so visually appealing. You don’t have to wade through screens of text to find what you are looking for. Every recipe has a picture. The recipes are also interactive. You can check off instructions as you’re cooking so you know where you left off.

iPad screenshot

Last week I made Carrie’s Brown Rice and Lentil Salad on the fly. It was my first week back to work, so efficiency was a high priority. I also have a secondary priority to serve flavorful vegan meals at home. The better they taste, the less likely the Husband is to request meat! He loved this dish because of the combination of flavors. I loved this dish because it was easy to make, satisfying, and contained healthy ingredients that I feel good about serving. And leftovers were great to pack in a lunch box!

Brown_Rice_Lentil_Salad_GFC

Carrie has given me codes for this app to share with THREE lucky readers! You could have this wonderful app for free just by leaving a comment below. You must have an iPhone or iPad to run the app. Why would you like to win Vegan Delish?

You can leave up to 3 entries today by answering the above question and letting me know in separate comments that you shared the giveaway on Twitter (tagging @glutenfreecat) and “liked” Gluten-Free Cat’s Facebook page and shared this giveaway with your Facebook friends.

Giveaway Guidelines:

  • This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents 18 and older residing in the continental U.S.
  • Enter by leaving a comment on this post.
  • You are limited to 3 entries.
  • The giveaway begins Tuesday, October 15, 2013 and ends at 11:59 pm eastern time on Friday, October 18, 2013.

No purchase is necessary.  Odds of winning are based on the number of entries.  The winner will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email with a free download code and instructions for downloading. The winners will have 48 hours to respond.  If the winners do not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen.

Can’t wait for the giveaway? You can download Vegan Delish today for $2.99 at the app store!

Fresh Fall Salad at the Balanced Platter

GF Recipes, Vegan

Fresh Fall Salad at the Balanced Platter

No Comments 03 September 2013

Labor Day has never felt like the last day of summer to me. Maybe that’s because by Labor Day I’ve typically been back in school for a month, so summer usually ends for me at the end of July. But traditionally, the day after Labor Day kicks off the Fall season.

We completely intended to spend Labor Day with a picnic in the park yesterday, soaking in the warmth, playing frisbee, and people watching. (People watching in Central Park is pretty interesting.)

We packed a kale salad and fruit from yesterday’s trip to the Union Square Farmer’s Market, a blanket, and a frisbee, and we stepped out into RAINY city streets. Ugh! Our apartment is so quiet that we didn’t even hear the pitter patter of rain drops all morning. So I’m stretching out summer until next weekend until that picnic happens.

BUT, if you’re kicking off the Fall season today, you may just want to head over to The Balanced Platter where I am sharing my favorite cold Fall salad.

Butternut_Apple_Salad_Gluten-Free_Cat

Hope to see you there!

Readers, dish!

  • What starts the Fall season for you?
  • How did you celebrate Labor Day?

Healthy Living

A Taste of the Weekend

9 Comments 01 September 2013

Flowers_Gluten-Free_Cat

Summer

Angelica_Kitchen_Gluten-Free_Cat

Cornbread at Angelica Kitchen

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Tired Feet

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Adorable Sprouts

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For Salads This Week

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Thai Falafel Salad at Spring Kitchen

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Saturday Night Appetizers at Home

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Radishes at Union Square Farmer’s Market

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Sweet Peppers at the Market

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An Unexpected Gluten-Free Treat

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Much Needed Juice Break

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Surrounded by Beauty in the City

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Fall is Coming

I hope you had a delicious weekend too!

Raw Zucchini and Kelp Noodles with Creamy Basil Apricot Sauce

Raw Foods, Vegan

Raw Zucchini and Kelp Noodles with Creamy Basil Apricot Sauce

11 Comments 26 August 2013

I’ve been a spiralizing fiend lately.  The zucchini at the Farmer’s Market has been so delicious. And it’s the easiest thing in the world to turn summer squash into cute little noodles if you have this handy-dandy tool. Half the joy of eating is having fun while you chew, right? So twirl your fork, slurp these cute little babies up, and have a blast!

I decided to mix the zucchini with kelp noodles mostly to have fun with different textures. But there are so many other reasons to use kelp noodles. They provide 15% of your daily recommended calcium and 4% of iron. Kelp noodles are also high in iodine which plays an important part in metabolism and thyroid function. But really, I just like how they crunch! And they go with every type of sauce I’ve ever tried.

Speaking of sauce, I hope you like this one. The basil and garlic give it a spicy kick, but the apricots and almond butter temper it. If you’re not into spice, just a basil leaf or two will do. I love a whole handful.

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Raw Zucchini and Kelp Noodles with a Creamy Basil Apricot Sauce

by Heather

Creamy Basil Apricot Sauce Ingredients:

Other ingredients:

  • 1 package kelp noodles, soaked and drained
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and spiralized
  • 1 red pepper, chopped

Directions:

1. Place all sauce ingredients in the food processor. If using soaked apricots, include the soaking water as well. Process until smooth. You will need to stop several times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

2. Cut kelp noodles with kitchen shears while they are soaking and drain well. Place in a large bowl.

3. Add spiralized zucchini and red pepper to the kelp noodles. If you do not have a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to create long strips of zucchini.

4. Pour the Creamy Basil Apricot Sauce onto the noodles and peppers and mix until well coated.

Serves 4-6

More Raw Noodle Dishes to Try:

And if you haven’t seen this lovely Spiralizer Round Up at In Johnna’s Kitchen, definitely check it out.

Readers, dish!

  • Do you like kelp noodles?
  • Are you a spiralizer?

This recipe was shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergy-Free WednesdaysRaw Foods Thursdays, Wellness Weekends, and Gluten-Free Fridays.

Why I Bring My Compost to Church

Healthy Living

Why I Bring My Compost to Church

7 Comments 25 August 2013

On Sunday mornings I get ready for church just like most Sundays of my life. I grab the purse, the Bible, my bags of frozen veggie scraps, and I’m out the door.

What? Veggie scraps? To church? Well, this part of the Sunday routine is new to me since moving to the City, but I’m loving it!

All week I’ve been keeping my scraps in re-used baggies.

I store it in the freezer.

And on Sunday morning, off we go with frozen bags in hand.

Walking_Gluten-Free_Cat

Right to church, because we’re probably late. But maybe first to the Farmer’s Market to drop off the veggie scraps so I don’t have to bring frozen produce into the sanctuary.

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Someone will compost my kitchen scraps.

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And that makes me so happy! Because if I can’t have a garden right now, there’s a farmer who does and can use what I can’t!

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And what a great way to start a Sunday.

Now off to church!

Have a beautiful day!

My NYC Kitchen

Healthy Living

My NYC Kitchen

22 Comments 19 August 2013

This is my New York City kitchen. I hear it’s pretty big for a kitchen in these parts, but I’m still adjusting to its smallness. There were lots of crashing and grumbling sounds coming from this room as I made dinner the first few nights, but I’d like to think I’ve made a little progress since then. Both in attitude and organization.

Let me give you a little tour.

I can’t tell you the exact size of the kitchen as it’s a triangular nook. Does anyone remember how to figure out the area of a triangle? 1/2 base x height? But to give you an idea of the size, take 2 steps in and you’re at the sink.

I’m very thankful for all new appliances that make everything sparkly shiny.

This is my skinny oven.

I love that it has a gas range.

This is my sink.

I love how deep it is.

This is my dishwasher, a rarity in the city.

I placed a dinner plate on the counter so you could see just how skinny it is!

This is my workspace.

I’ve never had a granite countertop before, so I’m really excited about that!

But there’s only one counter. That means that I’ve had to get really creative with my workspace. Thankfully my cutting board will fit over the sink to create another place to work. I just have to remember to wash all of the veggies before I start chopping. (Learning from experience…)

I also have a rolling cart around the corner that can create additional workspace for those times when washing, drying, chopping, peeling, soaking, whisking, and processing get a little out of control.

This is also where the dehydrator and the slow cooker live, which leads me to another challenge. I had to get really creative with my storage space as well.

I was prepared for small, so I only brought the appliances that would be absolutely necessary.

For a food blogger.

Since this raw food lover won’t be using the oven much, it is creating nice storage space.

I’ve also decided that I won’t be using the luxury item.

For anything other than storage.

And the front hall closet is a great place for quick access to crucial items like the juicer, spiralizer, rice steamer, and a few odds and ends that don’t fit anywhere else.

(Don’t let the term front hall closet fool you. There is no back hall. And it’s not really even a hall at all, although we do like to call it the North Wing Foyer. But it’s really just a coat closet two steps from the kitchen by the front door.)

The kitchen itself does have several nice cupboards that have been filled and rearranged at least 5 times now.

There are no drawers in my kitchen, so the bottom shelf here holds silverware and high-use tools. Other drawer-like items are kept in the dishwasher.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time at the hardware store looking for space-creating shelves and gadgets so that I don’t knock things down while looking for specific pantry items.

One of my most important kitchen tools is this fold-up step stool.

Following New York thinking, you can always expand up.

The top of the fridge seems to hold more than the inside. Slight hyperbole. The shelves are only 10 1/2 inches deep! Go ahead. Measure that out with your fingers. Less than a foot. But I’ve noticed that it forces me to use up everything in the fridge. Nothing goes bad because there’s no room for leftovers to hide. There’s also no room to put an extra bunch of kale because “it looked so fresh at the market”. I have to stick to the list. Plus, whatever I buy I have to carry home.

So is this going to work?

Of course it will!

I’ve already made almond milk. The stove top is a perfect place to soak and sprout nuts and seeds. The deep sink is a great place to milk the almond cow. I’ve even sprouted buckwheat to make these Raw Buckwheat Strawberry Cookies.

I’ve prepared whole foods meals in a large kitchen, a medium-sized kitchen, and now a small kitchen. If I can prepare healthy gluten-free, high raw, vegan food in this tiny space, anyone can. I knew that this was going to be a challenge, and I’m up for it!

Thanks for coming on The Gluten-Free Cat Kitchen Tour. Two steps to the left and you’ll find the exit.

Readers, dish!

  • Do you have any tips for me? I’m all ears!
  • What is your favorite thing about your kitchen?
  • What’s one thing you wish your kitchen had?
  • How have you created extra space or better organization in your kitchen?
***UPDATE! The Husband found great shelves for the front hall closet yesterday. After a little  lot of reorganizing I can now use the dishwasher too! Woo hoo!!

A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, friend, fitness fanatic, foodie, high raw vegan, child of the King, and Mama Cat. 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. And now I have another challenge ahead...I'm moving to New York City! I look forward to Living Raw Vegan in the City and sharing my experience with you.

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