Tag archive for "vegetarian"

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?
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?

Vegan Bowl with Creamy Mango Sauce

GF Recipes, Healthy Living, Vegan

Vegan Bowl with Creamy Mango Sauce

6 Comments 20 August 2014

Lately I’ve been all about making Vegan Bowls. I know that they’re a staple for vegans, but for some reason I’m a little late getting on board. They are actually quite simple to make.

I learned about Vegan Bowls by reading this post by Gabby of The Veggie Nook and thought, “This is brilliant! And easy. I can do this.” A vegan bowl has 4 simple ingredients: a grain, a protein, veggies, and a yummy sauce. Can you imagine just how many different combinations you could come up with? It could be as exotic as Gabby’s Warm Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad or as boring as seeing what leftover grains and veggies you have in the fridge, tossing on some beans, and saucing it up an olive oil/apple cider vinegar concoction.

Here’s a delicious Mexican Bowl that I enjoyed at New World Cafe.


The magic does seem to be in the sauce. I do love Gabby’s Cashew Cheeze sauce as well as Suzanne’s Dragon Sauce that you can find at Hello Veggie.

Recently I came across a very ripe mango that was begging to bedazzle my next vegan bowl.


So I created a Creamy Mango Sauce that we loved on this bowl filled with a quinoa/rice mixtures, chickpeas, sweet peppers, and carrots.


Creamy Mango Sauce

by Heather


  • 1 c. fresh mango
  • 1/4 c. cashews
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. gluten-free tamari
  • 1 clove of garlic


1. Place all ingredients in Vitamix or high-powered blender, and process until creamy.

2. Spoon onto your favorite vegan bowl.

Yields 1 cup

We love this sauce and hope you do too!

Readers, dish!

  • What’s your favorite vegan bowl combination?
  • What’s your favorite sauce? Please add a link, I’d love to try it!
Raw Foods Thursdays 5/8/14 and an announcement

GF Recipes, New York City, Raw Foods, Raw Foods Thursdays, Vegan

Raw Foods Thursdays 5/8/14 and an announcement

14 Comments 07 May 2014

Friends, I’ve been meaning to write this post every week for the past 3 months. But every week, I put it off and host another Raw Foods Thursdays, because I become incredibly inspired by your submissions and faithful participation. So I set aside a few hours to write a highlight post, and the post I meant to write is pushed to the back of my mind.

Until the next Wednesday evening.

Raw Foods Thursdays is going to take a little break. I love this event, so this is a hard announcement to make. But my life has changed so drastically since moving to NYC that blogging has become less of a priority. I’m finding that instead of my normal 2-3 posts per week, my only posts lately have been Raw Foods Thursdays posts. Why? Because I’m busy with other aspects of my life, but I have an obligation to our wonderful participants and readers.

Realizing that I’m posting out of obligation finally made me write this today.

This isn’t goodbye.

This isn’t an announcement that Gluten-Free Cat is closing down.

I just won’t be writing as frequently for a season. And when I do write, I will write because I’m excited to share something with you and not because of a schedule.

I’m also finding that my diet is changing. While I will always love raw vegan foods, and my diet will mostly consist of plant-based meals, I find myself not sharing certain experiences with you because of the raw vegan label. You might be disappointed if I told you that I’ve been eating some non-vegan foods. (There, I said it!)

That I enjoyed this very delicious not-so-dairy-free risotto from my favorite gluten-free restaurant on Saturday.


That when I stumbled upon this sign in the West Village I just had to try the pancakes and didn’t ask if they were made with eggs.


I don’t believe I’ll ever be a meat eater again. There are just too many ethical reasons why that no longer works for me. But I’m no longer swearing off all animal products. Living without them mostly? Absolutely. But completely? No.

I know that most of you don’t care how I eat, but there are some of you who read this blog because you’re a vegan. Not wanting to disappoint you is one of the reasons my posts have been dwindling. But I really just want to be me. Without a label.


So, let’s share some raw foods before my hiatus begins! And I will definitely let you know when RFT starts up again!

Here’s how you can participate:

  • Simply link up a raw foods recipe (see What is Raw Food?), 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!

Sharing the Raw Love:

  • All raw submissions will be pinned on the Raw Foods Thursdays Board.
  • All raw submissions will be shared on Facebook.
  • Feel free to share this event in your social media communities as well!

What are Raw Foods Meals?

  • Plant-based meals that are not cooked.  Dehydrators may be used.  (The raw foods community has differing views on temperature, but the range is between 104 and 118 degrees.) Feel free to link up recipes that use a slightly higher temperature as long as they could be made at 118 with a longer dry time.
  • Raw Ingredients: vegetables, fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, gluten-free sprouted grains, beans, and oils.

What isn’t raw?

  • Anything cooked or heated 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!
  • If your recipe contains an ingredient like maple syrup that makes your submission “almost raw”, please share it anyway. Raw sweeteners are easy to substitute.

What do you have to share?

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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