Saturday, February 25, 2017

Nona Lim Soup Cups Review

Soup is always a good go-to for lunch or dinner, because it's endlessly versatile and satisfying. When I typically pack soup-to-go, it involves packing soup in one container and bringing along a glass container to warm it up in the microwave. While that's a solution that works- it's annoying to have to pack so many accessories just to heat a bowl of soup.

The culinary engineers over at Nona Lim have come up with an intuitive solution to this dilemma- soup cups that go from fridge to fully heated all while in the same container. Better yet- consuming them is a task that can be done without utensils. Picture this: the functionality of a coffee mug filled with the deliciousness of gourmet soup.

I first encountered these soup cups at Expo East 2016 (see that post here), but have only recently spotted them on store shelves near me. The full line of soups includes both both soups and broths, but I could only track down the soups. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Gluten-Free Options at Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI)

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I wholeheartedly and absolutely love my local airport: Baltimore Washington international Airport, BWI for short. It's conveniently located, easy to navigate, and has plenty of food options for a traveller with dietary restrictions. I've flown in and out of the airport several times, making mental notes about gluten-free options but finally decided to put (metaphorical) pen to paper so that you can use this resource next time you are traveling.

From fast food to fro-yo, smoothies to sit-down restaurants, BWI has options any time of day for travelers. In fact, it was ranked the healthiest airport in the country (read more)! Because this is a compilation instead of a review, note that gluten-free options can vary and change, and you should always ask to speak with staff about your dietary restrictions before dining out.
Saturday, February 18, 2017

Larabar Bites Review

Larabar is a company that has made its name in making energy bars that provide a nutritional boost while also featuring more indulgent flavors. Before their new energy bar bites caught my eye at Target, I assumed their products were not safe, but was floored when I found out that they are all gluten-free.

These new energy ball bites combine the functionality of the bars with the presentation of a truffle for a snack that is both sweet and satisfying. Made with real, pronounceable ingredients irresistible in their flavor profile, they promise to make treating yourself good for you as well.

The bites come in four flavors that have less than ten ingredients each: double chocolate, mint chocolate, cherry chocolate, and chocolate macaroon. Because I am not a huge cherry or coconut fan, I decided to focus my review on the mint chocolate and double chocolate bites.
Friday, February 17, 2017

Cat Cora's Kitchen Review (Atlanta Airport)

As Airports go, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is a behemoth with several terminals and a nonstop flow of people coming and going. On my latest pass through Atlanta, I had a little extra time on my hands, which meant I could explore the foodie options around. At Hartsfield-Jackson, you've got the typical lineup of fast food joints and convince stores, but I was looking for something a little more substantial, because I had not had breakfast and still had a while to go until I landed back in Baltimore.

When looking at a directory, Cat Cora's Kitchen stood out to me because she used to be the celebrity chef behind Kouzzina, the now-reborn Disney restaurant that had excellent gluten-free options. With real food on the menu, and a gluten-free menu to guide me, I had high hopes that this "airport food" would break the bland stereotypes often assigned to it.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Canyon Bakehouse Heritage Style Gluten-Free Bread Review

Canyon Bakehouse has already won me (see that post here) over as one of the best gluten-free breads on the market, but if there's one overarching downside to gluten-free bread, it's that it's tiny. No self-respecting lunch packer wants to pack a teeny tiny sandwich that can be eaten in a few bites when gluten-eaters can enjoy full-size sandwiches that are so large they have to be cut in half. 

Enter Canyon Bakehouse's newest bread: their heritage style loaves that are a whopping 1.5 pounds, and impressive in their dimensions. Finally gluten-free bread is entering the big leagues, and I couldn't wait to try it out as a college student who relies on packed lunches to get through my long days. 

This new Heritage Style bread comes in two varieties: honey white and whole grain. They are gluten, dairy, nut, and soy-free, and are worth taking note of because they are kind of  a big deal (too soon for another "big" joke?). 
Saturday, February 4, 2017

Path-of-Life Product Review (Giveaway)

As a gluten-free college student, I am running from classes, to work, to my internship with little time left in the day for actually preparing a full meal three times a day. Although I prefer home cooked meals, the reality is that I rely on the convenience of microwave food most nights to save precious time for studying.

Microwave food gets a bad rap for being unhealthy and bland, but at Expo East last year, I found a brand that is anything but: Path of Life organics. Their line of organic, gluten-free vegetables and grains can stand alone for a meal, or serve as substantial side dishes. They cook in four minutes, and have an easy (and short) ingredient list. 

When Path of Life offered to send me some samples for a review, I agreed without hesitation, because I couldn't wait to check out their full line of products. Not only were they fun to try, but they fit seamlessly into my weekday routine- a real win/win. With real vegetables, grains, and mixes of both, the meal possibilities are truly endless.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cava Mezze Grill Review

Before heading back to campus to start the spring semester, my mom and I took advantage of my final weekend of winter break to stay in Tysons Corner, VA and explore around Washington D.C. 

Tysons Corner is retail-dense suburb that's roughly half an hour away from D.C., and is home to several gluten-free friendly restaurants- both chain and independent. With so many options, it's a great place to stay when visiting the areal.

After deliberating where to eat, high recommendations of Cava Mezze Grill on Find Me Gluten Free persuaded me to check out this restaurant, which is the fast casual cousin of Cava Mezze, a sit-down restaurant also with locations around the area.

Cava follows in a common trend in restaurants these days with a DIY approach to building Mediterranean-inspired bowls. It's up to you to pick the toppings, proteins, and dressings according to your tastes. With fresh flavors, and mostly gluten-free fare, I found Cava both easy to navigate and chock-full of safe options that ensure anyone with food restrictions is not missing out when dining here.
Monday, January 30, 2017

White Envelope Arepa Bar Review

After a month away on winter break from school, I am excited to be back in Baltimore and tuned in to the latest and greatest on the gluten-free food beat in Charm City. 

After landing at BWI, I had my sights set on R. House, a new food concept launch pad in the Remington neighborhood of the city. Part concept incubator, part urban market, this old warehouse space brings together ten food and drink stalls from local chefs who promise to pioneer the next generation of eats. 

What initially drew me to R. House in the first place was White Envelope Arepa Bar, a 100% gluten-free stall in the market, which features arepas- a South American signature dish that's a favorite of mine. 

Arepas feature toppings such as shredded meats and vegetables sandwiched between grilled mesa patties, and are naturally gluten-free (in most cases) the good news for Baltimore arepa lovers is that White Envelope's are all 100% gluten-free.
Friday, January 27, 2017

Create Your Nature Review

My final dispatch from Florida during my winter break from college comes from Winter Park, where I investigated Create Your Nature, a build-your-own smoothie and salad restaurant. With tons of naturally gluten-free and dairy-free options and a menu featuring nothing but healthy choice, it's a win/win restaurant concept.

Orlando's restaurant scene is still in the development stage, and it's nice to see quick-serve restaurants like this start to enter the scene to balance out the myriad of gourmet burger joints in town. 

Create Your Nature stands out from other health-focused restaurants because of the simplicity of their offerings, after all it comes down to three choices: smoothies, oat bowls, and salads. Don't let the simplicity fool you, Create Your Nature's menu allows for creativity and customization on your part.

Most of the menu is gluten-free and dairy-free, and made with real, simple ingredients, which makes for a nutritious and delicious breakfast, brunch, or lunch on-the-go. 
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

San Clemente Cookie Dough Co. Review

If I have discovered anything in this world as a foodie with food restrictions, it's that gluten-free, vegan cookie dough is the stuff dreams are made of. Whether you are craving oven-hot cookies or an indulgent snack of raw (but safe) cookie dough, there's really no losing when it comes to gluten-free, vegan dough.

I've heard buzz surrounding San Clemente Cookie Dough Co.'s vegan, gluten-free cookie dough, as they've worked for years on a perfect recipe for delicious, but healthy(ish) raw cookie dough. Now ready to launch, they are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to get the project off the ground. 

When Mike, the founder put out an all-call for taste testers to promote the dough's launch, I happily volunteered for the responsibility to put the dough to test. I've seen many a gluten and dairy-free dough in my life, and wondered how this new product would stack up. 

What's awesome about San Clemente is that there cookies are not only safe for those avoiding gluten and dairy, but their cookies are egg-free, soy-free and organic too.