Tag archive for "gluten-free"

Gluten-Free Retreat: Things That…

Gluten-Free, Travel, Vegan

Gluten-Free Retreat: Things That…

6 Comments 01 August 2016

I’m thoroughly enjoying a break from real life, submersing myself in things that I love, learning from others, and sleeping 9 hours each night. I’m appreciating moments rather than moving on to the next one. I’m savoring the flavors rather than inhaling for sustenance. I’m digging into the now and remembering how densely delicious it is. And I haven’t once missed my book of lists with tabbed sections and sublists of lists.

I’m enjoying the essence of things.

Things that are spreadable.



Things that are sticky.



Things that are off balance.



Things that are old.



Things from long ago.



Things that are better with toppings.




Things I had forgotten about.


Things that are savory.



Things that are sweet.




Things that are green.



Things that make this heart happy.

Readers, dish!

  • Which picture do you want to know more about?
  • Where do you go just to “be”?
Gluten-Free Retreat: A Full Day

Gluten-Free, Travel, Vegan, Vegetarian

Gluten-Free Retreat: A Full Day

5 Comments 30 July 2016

Most summers I enjoy a long weekend with gluten-free blogger friends in the country. The days are filled with relaxing, walking, art journaling, chatting, yoga, writing, shopping, cooking, blogging, and eating. Lots of eating. Here’s a snippet of my day:

Walking with a sweet friend while being watched.


Making sure this little guy made it safely across the road.


Breakfasting. A throwback to pre-gluten-free days as this tasted exactly like my memories of Entenmann’s.


Fortified with a green smoothie, of course.


And a new product that I’m crazy about.


Swapples! Covered in vegan cream cheese compliments of Valerie of City|Life|Eats. I think this flavor was my favorite.


They were also incredible last night with That Chili with the Mushrooms by Shirley of Gluten Free Easily.


Snacking at Kickshaws Downtown Market, a local whole foods market that caters to the gluten-free vegan crowd.


Jackfruit and sauerkraut on vegan and gluten-free sourdough bread. (If you need your own vegan pulled-pork experience, try Johnna’s recipe. Even carnivores like it.)


And a strawberry shortcake cupcake for dessert. Do snacks qualify as dessert-ending meal?

Just in case I need more to look forward to, these vegan, gluten-free cinnamon rolls are on the counter waiting for breakfast.


Or a maybe a midnight snack.

And just for fun, these caught my eye today.


Ew, right?

Full and content, I’m off to bed.

Readers, dish!

  • What do you do to let down?
  • How do you fill up when you’re feeling depleted?
Fong’s Pizza – Gluten-Free Crazy Pizza

GF Friendly Restaurants, Gluten-Free, Travel, Vegetarian

Fong’s Pizza – Gluten-Free Crazy Pizza

4 Comments 29 July 2016

I had a chance to visit Fong’s Pizza in DesMoines, Iowa last summer when visiting my mom. She picked me up from the airport and asked, “Are you hungry?”


Mom researched and found a pizza place that had great reviews. That’s all I needed to hear. Mom and I are adventurous when it comes to gluten-free food. But when we pulled up to the restaurant we had second thoughts.


This in no way looked like a pizza place. It looked like a Chinese restaurant. I suppose we shouldn’t have been as surprised with a name like “Fong’s”. We laughed, decided we weren’t feeling it, and went to a Mexican restaurant.


A few months ago while having dinner in New York with Johnna of In Johnna’s Kitchen, we were discussing gluten-free options in DesMoines, lamenting the closing of the all-vegan New World Cafe, and somehow Fong’s Pizza came up. I must have looked at Johnna like she had two Chinese dragon heads when she said that Fong’s was great and “so much fun”.

Were we talking about the same place?

But if you are going to trust anyone’s restaurant recommendations, trust Johnna’s. She travels all over the country (world) sharing her restaurant experiences in a series called “I Ate Here”.

So a few weeks ago, after sharing Johnna’s rave report, Mom and I mustered the courage to eat at Fong’s. Just one glance at the menu told me that this was going to be an adventurous meal.

Egg roll pizza?

Mac and cheese pizza?

Surrounded by waving kitties and tiki glasses, I had to remind myself that this was a pizza place. But what kind of decor should a “crazy pizza” pizza place have anyway?

I can’t remember the description of the special pizza of the day that the waiter rattled off, mostly because it sounded nonsensical. It just didn’t compute as something remotely close to the paradigm for a pizza. But I swear that it included the words topped with french fries and deep fried.

Crazy pizza!

Mom and I didn’t opt for the crazy; instead we split a very conservative and tasty Thai pizza (with chicken on her half) on gluten-free dough. Adventurous enough for us. Fong’s does have vegetarian options, but the majority of the menu has meat toppings or fillings. It is Iowa after all. They even have a barbecue-type pizza called the Iowan. I was eying the Vegan Supreme made with Daiya, but when I’m in Iowa, eating vegan is hard and less of a priority. Eating vegetarian and gluten-free is my main concern.

I highly recommend that you check out Fong’s Pizza if you’re in DesMoines. Also check out Johnna’s experience as she can give you even more details on the atmosphere and the delicious looking drinks. (We had the 5:00pm, G-rated version appropriate for minors and seniors.)

Readers, dish!

  • What’s the craziest pizza you’ve ever had?
  • Have you been to Fong’s Pizza? How was your experience?
Gluten-Free Food Fun with Mom

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

Gluten-Free Food Fun with Mom

7 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?
Banana Chai Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, GF)

GF Recipes, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Banana Chai Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, GF)

5 Comments 06 July 2016

When I visit my mom we like to experiment in the kitchen. And of course I love the luxury of working in a real kitchen that can fit more than one person! She has counter space galore, every pan and kitchen gadget you could ever wish for, and a pantry filled with gluten-free baking ingredients. In a nutshell, I have kitchen envy.

My mom does the typical preparations for my arrival. She prepares my room, stocks the fridge with fruits and veggies, and prints out a stack of recipes that she’s been waiting to try. Mom lives with a hardcore carnivore, so my visits provide the perfect opportunities to experiment with vegan and vegetarian recipes.

Yesterday, we played with a cookie recipe that really only has two ingredients – bananas and rolled oats. It’s so simple that I could even make this in my itty bitty city kitchen! Mom found the original recipe from Camila’s site Power Hungry, and all we had to do was decide on our add ins. We loved the results so I thought I’d share.

We opted for a chai flavor, so first we made a chai mix.

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By the Way Bakery

GF Friendly Restaurants, Gluten-Free, New York City, Vegetarian

By the Way Bakery

8 Comments 25 June 2016

There’s a neighborhood gem called By the Way Bakery that I’ve mentioned before, and it’s about time I show it off. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it’s not on my daily path to and from work, or I’d stop there every day. I have to make a conscious effort to walk a few blocks in the opposite direction to enjoy these tasty treats. And out of sight out of mind is probably a good thing or I just might be a daily customer.

By the Way Bakery is a gluten-free, dairy-free bakery on the Upper West Side where every delicious item is made by hand. Everything I’ve sampled is so light, fluffy, and scrumptious that you’d never know it was gluten free, which was the original intent of the founder, to make delicious baked goods that “by the way” just happen to be gluten free. Owner and founder, Helene Godin, left a successful law career of 20 years to open this bakery which has expanded to three locations including Westchester, the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side. To hear her inspiring story click here.

I usually pop in on a Saturday to grab a small treat like a cookie or a muffin.


But if I’m having a chocolate craving, these brownies are the cure. They are the most delicious brownies on the planet. I swear.


They also have a case filled with beautiful scones, tea cakes, and mini cakes for those wanting a few bites of fancy sophistication, but I’m a simple girl satisfied with a good old-fashioned cookie.


By the Way creates specialty cakes like this Pear Ginger Cake.


And this Sour Cherry Coffee Cake as well as layer cakes and challah.


But my favorite Saturday treats are definitely their muffins. I love the Blueberry Corn Muffins.


My current favorite muffin is the Cinnamon Chocolate Chip. Oh my heavens, it is to die for with a crumbly coffee cake-type topping and gooey chocolate chips inside.


Just last month we had a staff breakfast at school, and I brought a few dozen By the Way muffins for the gluten-free teachers. Of course, they were a huge hit with the gluten-eaters as well!

The next time you’re in the City, I recommend grabbing a box or two of By the Way goodies to take home. Or better yet, let me know and I’ll meet you there!


Readers, dish!

  • Have you tried By the Way Bakery’s goodies?
  • What’s your favorite all gluten free bakery?
  • What’s your favorite kind of muffin?
Treat House: Gluten and Dairy Free

GF Friendly Restaurants, GF Recipes, New York City, Vegan, Vegetarian

Treat House: Gluten and Dairy Free

11 Comments 18 June 2016

I’ve walked by this storefront in my neighborhood at least 100 times. Even though they have a sign in the window that says they sell gluten-free treats, I really wasn’t tempted to check them out until a friend wanted to stop in. Why did I wait so long? Treat House is a rice crispy treat shop, and if I’m going to enjoy a gluten-free treat it has to involve chocolate. Well, it actually has to be filled with chocolate, drenched in chocolate, and then dusted with chocolate.

What I didn’t realize was that the rice crispy square itself is just the beginning. There’s plenty of room for spreading, dipping, topping, and sprinkling with chocolate or any other of your favorite flavors.


The creators at Treat House seem to be limited only by their imaginations.


Which doesn’t seem to be a problem for them. They have 12 original flavors and seasonal flavors that rotate throughout the year.


It definitely wasn’t an issue to find that much needed bit of chocolate.


All of their treats are gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free unless specified otherwise. It’s pretty obvious that the gluten-containing flavors are s’mores, chocolate pretzel, and cookies and cream. But as always, don’t assume anything is gluten free just because there’s a sign in the window. Ask. Always.


They even had a little something for Cinco de Mayo.


Take them home in packs of 1, 2, 4, 12, or 24.


And this chocolate chip treat is vegan!


Here’s a flashback to my Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Treats that I “healthed up” a bit. Vegan, gluten-free, and sweetened with agave instead of marshmallows, these were delicious.

2 Crispy Rice Muffins by Gluten-Free Cat

Readers, dish!

  • Are you a rice crispy treat fan?
  • What are your “must haves” when you splurge on a treat?
Gluten-Free Vegan Eats and Blogger Re-Entry

GF Recipes, Gluten-Free, Healthy Living, New York City, Raw Foods, Vegan

Gluten-Free Vegan Eats and Blogger Re-Entry

7 Comments 11 June 2016

I can’t tell you how envigorating it is to be back in the blogging world. I drifted away from Gluten-Free Cat with the busyness of a new life in a new city after feeling blog burnout. To be back on my own terms is refreshing. My own terms may mean two posts one week and then not again for three. It may also mean being content with the one blurry snapshot of a dish that I took with my iPhone or a less than ideal “plating”. It most definitely means trying to capture as much natural light as possible on my windowsill and being content with the ugly metal window frame in every shot you’ll ever see.

But the best outcome has been reconnecting with blogging friends. I pretty much didn’t read a blog for about two years. I’m not entirely sure why a break in blogging meant a break in reading others’ blogs, but I think I suddenly saw myself as an outsider. Out of sight out of mind was easier. Reading blogs as a non-blogger was a bit on the depressing side too. I saw the incredible things these bloggers were doing and felt wistfully jealous. Even though my cooking time had been cut to nearly none, which is normal for New Yorkers, the rare times that I did cook would frustrate me. So when I read a blogger’s recipe, I knew I wouldn’t have time or space to make it. It was easier not to read about it.

Waking up Gluten-Free Cat (which sounds like a musical title) has reminded me of the talent, beauty, and deliciousness that’s only a few finger taps away. I definitely read blogs differently than I did before. I can enjoy the story behind the food without being hung up on circumstances outside of my control. And I’m finding that there’s more that I can do in my kitchen than I originally thought.

Like this Chocolate Chia Berry Crunch that I had for breakfast yesterday. The base is Gena’s Carob Chia Pudding using raw cacao instead of carob, sprinkled with buckwheaties, which I also learned to make years ago from Gena’s blog. By the way, did you know that her blog has a new name? (I’m sure it’s old news to many of you.) She changed it from Choosing Raw to The Full Helping. Whether you’re a vegan or not, your life can only be healthier and more full by reading her blog.


And as an example of blogging on my own terms, here’s the ugliest parfait ever, which I made while brushing my teeth, between spin class and school.


I didn’t actually have time to eat the ugly parfait in the classy stemless wine glass, although I did toy with the idea of wrapping it in saran wrap and bubble wrap so I could take my breakfast to school and eat it in style. But time was of the essence, so this nonbeauty was dumped into a thermos, tossed into my backpack, and thoroughly enjoyed at my desk while prepping lessons for the day. Despite the unromanticness of reality, it was delicious! The raw cacao made this pudding decadent, and the overripe strawberries tasted like the summer that is only 12 school days away, but who’s counting?

A simple, fun lunch I enjoyed recently was this Curried Chickpea and Avocado Salad by Davida of The Healthy Maven. Curry, avocado, and chickpeas are three staples in my life. Davida is the genius that put them all together in one cool salad.

Curried_chickpea salad_Gluten-Free_Cat

Don’t judge her creation by my snapshot. Look at these photos which are what made me realize I had to eat this now. Protein-rich chickpeas, curry, and avocado? Love in a pepper. I was really excited to see how Davida’s blog has blossomed in the two years that I was away. Do you love good food, fun stories, fitness, and gorgeous photography? Read The Healthy Maven.

With the heatwave we had in the City last week I was essentially existing on smoothies, handfuls of anything from a nuts.com bag, and salads. I purchased sweet potatoes before the temperature rose, and they sat and shriveled because there was no way I was turning on the oven to bake them. And did I mention that was the week the air conditioner decided to die? But an oasis opened up with this Cold Almond Butter Noodle Bowl by Kimmy of Rock My Vegan Socks.


I found fresh gluten-free brown rice noodles, so I only had to boil water for 3 minutes. And the stir-frying that took just long enough to open up flavors and brown the tofu, kept the kitchen heat minimal. We enjoyed this Thai-inspired bowl for days right out of the refrigerator. Delicious!

Kimmy’s blog is a special one. I love how she shares her life with her readers along with her food adventures and creations. She invites you in, seats you at her kitchen table, and gives you a cup of tea to sip while she tells you a story. I have loved reconnecting with her. And if you want to see what a real parfait should look like, check out her latest post on Cherry Oat Parfaits.

Reader, dish!

  • What new recipes have you tried lately?
  • How often do you try new recipes?
  • Which blogs have you been enjoying lately?
  • Which of these delicious recipes are you hopping over to next?
Gluten-Free Sidewalk Joy

GF Friendly Restaurants, New York City, Vegetarian

Gluten-Free Sidewalk Joy

5 Comments 05 June 2016

I love hand-lettered menu boards and sidewalk art. In fact, some day I’m going to share a post of all of my favorites. Maybe it’s the teacher in me that misses actual blackboards. These brightly-lettered chalk boards are colorful, quirky, and if they mention anything about a gluten-free item, my heart does a backflip.

It was flipping for sure when I saw this sign.
Menu_Board_Gluten-Free Cat

No, not the turkey burgers.

Check out the bottom.

If a local restaurant provides gluten-free bread, you’d better believe I’m going to try it.

The trouble with being a gluten-free vegetarian is that most restaurants that offer a gluten-free bread option only have meat patties or meat fillings for their sandwiches. So I’m extra excited when there are veggie options too.

At Island Burgers & Shakes on the Upper West Side, I was pleasantly surprised to find several vegetarian options and some pretty delicious sounding salads. But I had to order a sandwich to try out that gluten-free bread. It wasn’t vegan, but it was vegetarian and oh so scrumptious, and I didn’t have to pull an apple out of my purse while my friends at their burgers.


Mozzarella, Pesto, Tomato, Onion Sandwich at Island Burger

Readers, dish!

What was your last fun food find?

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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