Tag archive for "travel"

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?
Raw Foods Thursdays: 10/25/12

Healthy Living, Raw Foods, Raw Foods Thursdays

Raw Foods Thursdays: 10/25/12

16 Comments 24 October 2012

Welcome to Raw Foods Thursdays! I’m writing from the beach, and I’ve had an incredible Fall Break so far. And while I haven’t spent much time in the kitchen this week, I have been frequenting my favorite raw foods truck called Raw and Juicy.

You can read about my last review of this amazing raw vegan cafe by the sea here.

But here’s a little raw taste.

Juice Board – What to chose???

Sipping their signature juice, the Raw and Juicy, while beach cruising is vacation at its finest.

This Acai Bowl with granola, bananas, and Acai juice has inspired me to finally make my own raw granola.

The Raw Veggie Sandwich with Kale Salad is always a favorite.

Yes, I’ve eaten at Raw and Juicy a lot this week!

Since I’m on a juice kick, so I thought I’d start this Raw Foods Thursday by linking up my Carrot Beet Power Juice.

But before we jump into this week, take a look at the delicious cookies and raw treats that were shared here at Raw Foods Thursdays last week!

Quick Raw Chocolate Fudge by Vegan Brains

Raw Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by Gabby of the veggie nook

Better Than Newton’s by Veggie V’s Vegan Adventure

Super Simple Date Cashew Butter Balls by Shannon of Enjoying Gluten-Free Life

Now it’s your turn to join in the fun!

Here’s how you can participate:

  • Simply link up a raw foods recipe (see What Are Raw Foods Meals?), mention Raw Foods Thursdays, and link back to this post so your readers can join in the fun!
  • Please link to the recipe, not to a blog’s home page, so we can all find your raw foods recipe.
  • You may link up a recipe that you’ve made in the past. Just make sure to share something different each time you participate.
  • Be sure to leave a comment letting us know who you are and what you’re sharing.
  • Feel free to use the Raw Foods Thursdays blog badge created by the lovely, talented Heather Peters!

What are Raw Foods Meals?

  • Plant-based meals that are not cooked.  Dehydrators may be used no higher than 118 degrees.  (The raw foods community has differing views on temperature, but the range is between 104 and 118 degrees.)
  • Raw Ingredients: vegetables, fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, gluten-free sprouted grains, beans, and oils.

What isn’t raw?

  • Anything cooked above 118.
  • Anything processed.  If it comes from a can or a package that lists more than one ingredient, chances are it’s not raw!

So what do you have to share this week?

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:  Two Dynamite Juice Recipes

GF Recipes, Healthy Living

On Their Blogs By Their Hands: Two Dynamite Juice Recipes

5 Comments 04 July 2012

Before the bloggers’ retreat, emails bounced around as we tightened up the details for the upcoming weekend.  Who was driving, who was flying, who was bringing all-important supplies like coffee.  Then one blogger said that she was bringing her juicer. Her juicer!!!  I knew that I would instantly fall in love with this woman upon meeting her.

And I wasn’t wrong.

I’ve followed Diane’s blog The Whole Gang for years.  I was super excited last year when she asked me to participate in an event that she hosted called 30 Days to Easy Gluten-Free Living. I knew that Diane was an incredible cook based on her recipes, and I was attracted to her blog because she focuses on whole foods.  But I had no idea what a hoot this woman was! Talk about being the life of the party!!  Not only does she make you laugh until your sides ache, but she has such a warm spirit that fills the kitchen and compliments the aroma of whatever she’s “throwing together” on the stove.  (I’d pay nice restaurant prices for what she “throws together” on a whim.)  Diane is awesome.

Diane is a Gluten-Free Specialist and Certified Health Coach.  I love her desire to help people make healthy changes in their lives…in her words, “Improving your life, one bite at a time.” Do you ever feel so overwhelmed with the changes that you know you need to make that you don’t even know where to begin?  Diane has a way of calming those swirling thoughts and helping you focus on one thing at a time.  One thing.  One thing is achievable.  That’s one of the reasons why she’s great at what she does.

Today I want to share TWO of Diane’s juice creations with you.  You can find both of these recipes on her recent post about Juice Detoxing from Chemicals.  The first one is called the Green Elixer of Life, and it is now one of my favorites.  I make green juices all the time, but Diane’s unique combination of fruits and veggies makes this a delightful change to my haphazard “throw anything that’s wilting into the juicer” habit.

Diane juiced for what seemed like the entire morning to make enough juice for our group! Imagine having a pitcher of this in the fridge all day just waiting for you to need a shot of all things good and right.

She also made us her Golden Joy juice.  That’s such a great description of the color as well as the feeling you get after drinking it.  You must try it!

Thank you, Diane for keeping us well fed, entertained, and encouraged!  And thanks for whipping up insanely delicious vegetarian options for me, and for introducing me to these incredible juices!

Time for you to head over to The Whole Gang to find these nutritious juice recipes and to get a dose of encouragement from a dynamite lady.  While you’re there, check out Diane’s weekly Friday Foodie Fix.  You’ll find gluten-free recipes linked that all have one secret ingredient in common.  You just might have something delicious to link up!

Other On Their Blogs, By Their Hands posts:

Readers, dish!
  • Who is the encourager in your life?
  • What’s one healthy change that you’ve made recently?
  • What’s your favorite juice combination?
  • Do you travel with an appliance? (Me? VitaMix!)
On Their Blogs By Their Hands: Vegan BBQ (faux pulled pork)

GF Recipes, Travel

On Their Blogs By Their Hands: Vegan BBQ (faux pulled pork)

18 Comments 03 July 2012

After a full day of work, two flights, and an hour and a half drive in the dark, I was ready to retreat.  Thankfully, I arrived at the home of Shirley of gfe safely.  I would have to wait until morning to actually see the gorgeous countryside, the lake, the incredible mountain-style home with the screened-in back porch, and the towering trees.  All of that would feed my spirit in the days to come.

But I arrived to a welcoming group of pajama-clad food bloggers who were all tapping away at their iPads and laptops.   Immediately, laptops were closed, hugs went all around, and the refrigerator door opened.

“Oh, no, I’m not really hungry.”  I had missed dinner, but I had snacked and could wait until breakfast.

“But we had Johnna’s Vegan Pulled Pork for dinner, and we saved you some.”

Vegan Pulled Pork?  How can you turn that down, even at 11:00 p.m.?

It was astounding.  Not only was it a delicious late night snack, but it was so remarkably like eating pulled pork barbecue that it was hard to believe it was vegan.  Johnna was a genius.

Johnna of 52 Sweets (and various other 52 blogs) is a gluten-free vegetarian who started her blog by chronicling her quest to eat only one sweet treat every week for a year.  That lead to other 52 projects like 52 Donuts and 52 Foods on a Stick that you can read all about here. Johnna is so cool.

She is full of laughter, light, encouragement, and joy.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and can’t wait to see her again!  Until then, I can make the recipes from her blog and enjoy chatting online.

As soon as I got home I went on a quest for the secret ingredient in Johnna’s Vegan Pulled Pork.  Jackfruit.  I couldn’t find it at Whole Foods.  But I finally found it at an International Market, and I’ll be keeping them in stock!

Does anyone else get this excited to find recipe ingredients?

The next day, I made Johnna’s Jackfruit BBQ for a pool party, and everyone loved it, meat eaters and vegetarians alike.  The jackfruit is very tender, much more so than pork, and it takes on the flavor of the barbecue sauce perfectly.

Spooned into a corn tortilla, it made delicious Vegan BBQ Tacos.

The hardest part about making this Vegan BBQ was finding the Jackfruit.  The rest was a snap.  Toss the ingredients in the slowcooker, wait, and shred.  You can find Johnna’s Jackfruit BBQ Recipe here.  Johnna and I must have been on the same wavelength last week as she also posted a recipe for Jackfruit Tacos that incorporates wild rice.  I’m trying that one next.

Other On Their Blogs, By Their Hands posts:

And there are still more to come!

Readers, dish!

  • Have you found Johnna’s blogs?
  • Have you ever tried Jackfruit?
  • What missing ingredient have you had to hunt down?

GF Recipes, GF Resources, Travel

On Their Blogs. By Their Hands.

7 Comments 14 June 2012

I had the distinct pleasure of spending the weekend with a few of my favorite bloggers.  Some were old friends and others quickly became new friends.  When friends get together, they share, they laugh, they eat.  When food bloggers get together, they share, they laugh, they eat, and they eat some more!

And everything they eat is fantastic.  Imagine spending a weekend with Alton Brown, Betty Crocker, Julia Child, and Anthony Bourdain and having them each make a different part of a gluten-free meal.

Over the next few days I will be sharing some of my favorite food experiences of the weekend that were made from recipes on their blogs by their hands.  I will link to the recipes on their blogs so that you can make these incredible creations yourself.  I know you’ll have fun exploring the gluten-free resources, recipes, and stories you’ll find there.

Come back on Thursday to see what Shirley of gfe (Gluten Free Easily) made for us!

Readers, dish!

  • Share a memorable food experience!
  • What food blogger would you want to cook for you?
Eating Out Gluten Free: Do Your Homework

10 Days of Gluten Free

Eating Out Gluten Free: Do Your Homework

66 Comments 06 May 2012

My topic for 10 Days of Gluten-Free is one of my favorite activities…Eating Out Gluten Free!  For the next 10 days I will share 10 of my best tips for making the dining experience safe, healthy, and enjoyable, even when on a gluten-free diet.

Eating Out Tip #1 is…Do Your Homework.

If you walk into a restaurant cold, without any information about the establishment at all, and you have a terrible experience, well, it’s your own fault.

In this day and age, there is no excuse for ignorance.  Most of us have the World Wide Web as close as our hip pockets or the lipstick slots of our Vera Bradleys.  And if you don’t, within minutes you can find a computer to do a little research before heading out to dinner.

Most restaurants have their menus online, and many of them have gluten-free menus.  Check them out, choose three meal options that look safe and yummy, and be prepared with questions for your server when you arrive.  The answers to those questions will help you decide what to order.  If you don’t have access to the internet, make a phone call during non-serving hours.  Start with this question, “Is your restaurant able to serve gluten-free diners?”

One of the best restaurant finds I made was from a quick iPhone web search in the car about 60 miles outside of Asheville, North Carolina.  One hit told me that we couldn’t drive through Asheville without stopping at Posana for dinner.  Who knew that a restaurant where everything on the menu is naturally gluten-free just happened to be 6 hours into our road trip?  I spent the next 60 minutes wondering if we were headed toward gluten-free heaven.

We were.  If I hadn’t done my homework I would have missed out on this.

Do your homework.

At the end of 10 Days of Gluten Free, I’ll be giving away two $25 giftcards to P.F. Changs, one of the first chain restaurants to create a gluten-free menu.  You can enter the giveaway by leaving a comment below.  You can leave a second entry by letting me know that you followed Gluten-Free Cat on Twitter and “liked” Gluten-Free Cat’s Facebook page.

I’ll be back tomorrow with tip #2.  And don’t forget to visit these blogs today for even more gluten-free tips:

Reader’s, dish!

  • What resources do you use to research restaurants?
  • Have you ordered from P.F. Chang’s gluten-free menu?
  • What is your favorite gluten-free restaurant?

Giveaway Guidelines:

  • This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents 18 and older.
  • You are allowed two entries per “10 Days of Gluten Free” blog post for a total of 20 entries on this blog.
  • Enter by leaving a comment on this post (and other 10 Days of GF posts)
  • The giveaway begins May 7, 2012 and ends at 11:59 pm central time on May 18, 2012.

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.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond.  If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen.

Contest closed, but I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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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