Monday, May 22, 2017

Bella Gluten-Free Mix Review

It's been ages since I last embarked on a gluten-free baking project, because it has been difficult to find free time this semester. Luckily, with my final exams behind me, I was able to break out my mixing bowls to test drive the Bella Gluten-Free mixes that have been hanging out in my pantry for a few weeks now. 

What's awesome about these mixes is that they are allergen-free and go from shelf to oven in mere minutes. With fun packaging and super simple instructions, they make baking fun and totally not intimidating. 

The Bella Gluten-Free line of mixes ranges from sweet and savory and the sampler I received included mixes that would be perfect from breakfast to dinner, with desert thrown in on the side. From pizza to warm chocolate chip cookies, baking was a great way to unwind a bit after a long, stressful semester.
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Kasa Restaurant Orlando Review

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Visiting Orlando for a super short weekend, I did not have much time to explore and try out new places around town. However, when plans fell through for a dinner downtown, I had to scramble to see what dining options were nearby. 

After checking out a few restaurants, I felt comfortable enough to settle for Kasa Restaurant, whose staff assured me that their menu had some gluten-free options to chose from. With a warm, welcoming atmosphere and a nice evening for dining al fresco, I was optimistic about the dining choice. 

Just a few blocks away from the Amway Center, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and other downtown attractions, the location couldn't have been better and more accessible.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SkinnyPop Microwave Popcorn Review

Microwave popcorn is one of those foods that can be tricky to find dairy-free. Although naturally gluten-free, butter and milk products are often used to provide the authentic buttery flavor made famous by movie theaters. 

Luckily, SkinnyPop has engineered a perfect solution for allergy-free eaters everywhere: microwave popcorn that's not only safe, but pops up into it's own bowl. These popcorn aisle newcomers are a perfect merge of convenience and satisfaction, and are sure to liven up movie night for everyone in your family.
Monday, May 8, 2017

Beau Thai Review

One of the truly great things about Washington D.C. is that you can find just about any type of food from around the world here. I love any type of non-American food (and it's usually more gluten-free friendly), but until recently have not sought out Thai food in the District. 

Thai food is my favorite of the Asian cuisines because it is just so flavorful and comforting. I love curries and the abundance of safe ingredients used, so I decided to seek out Beau Thai after looking for a gluten-free friendly Thai place in the city. 

Located in the Shaw neighborhood of the city, Beau Thai takes pride in serving fresh, authentic fare that has won "Best Thai Restaurant" in Washington City Paper's annual poll for several years in a row.

I stopped by during their weekend brunch, and was excited to get my first taste of Thai food in a while. With a beautiful dining room and large windows perfect for people (and dog) watching, I knew it was a perfect choice to spend a Sunday dining out.
Saturday, May 6, 2017

Luvo Planted Power Bowl Review

As a busy college student, time for cooking elaborate, healthy meals is hard to find sometimes. Between school, work, and interning, sometimes I need a quick meal to fill me up and fuel several hours' worth of activity. 

To do this, I often turn to frozen meals, which often have less than stellar nutritional and taste profiles. They're quick and easy, but less than satisfying. 

However, when shopping at Mom's Organic Market, I discovered a new-to-me brand and product that promised to be a solution for my healthy eating on-the-go dilemma: Luvo's planted power bowls. 

These bowls are 100% vegan and gluten-free, containing an impressive amount of plant based goodness in their seemingly small size.  Both bowls I tried pack plant-based protein, and reading their ingredient lists is refreshing, as every ingredient is both readable and recognizable. 

Could these frozen meals buck the frozen food stereotype and be both tasty and good-for-you? I had a sneaking suspicion going in that they would easily pass both standards.
Thursday, May 4, 2017

La Brea Bakery Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread Review

As a gluten-free eater, I am always in search of better sandwich breads, because gluten-free breads in general tend to have a lot to improve on. Whether it's a tiny size, crumbly consistency, or holes that take up a good part of the slice, gluten-free bread has gotten a bad rap for being subpar in every aspect to gluten-full breads. 

When La Brea Bakery reached out to me with an offer to try their white and multigrain sandwich breads, I was excited to give them a try. I admit that I had no idea that La Brea Bakery was in the gluten-free arena, but have seen their gluten bread at Costco which has earned rave reviews from my gluten-eating family.

What stood out to me the moment I unpacked the samples La Brea Bakery sent me was how much the bread resembled any loaf of bread you might find in the grocery store. It was soft, it was full-sized, and had a delicious bready aroma. Could this bread mark a large leap forward for what gluten-free sandwich bread can and should be? I was ready to put it to the test. 
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Amano Taco Review (R. House Baltimore)

R. House in Baltimore's Remington neighborhood is quickly becoming my favorite place in the city. There's so many gluten-free options and the vibe is absolutely perfect and foodie-centric. 

Especially on weekends, it's nice to be around the hustle and bustle of the diverse crowd and take advantage of dining al fresco. 

Although I have visited R. House a couple of times, I have totally walked by Amano Taco without realizing that it's a 100% gluten-free food stand. How did this fact escape me? I am baffled, but once realizing my faulty oversight, I made a bee line to the food hall to check out this authentic taqueria. As a devoted taco enthusiast, I have high standards when it comes to tacos so I was eager to see how Amano Taco would measure up. 
Saturday, April 29, 2017

Stall 11 Review (R. House Baltimore)

Baltimore is a nice playground for gluten-free foodies, with plenty of great options around town. One of my favorite new foodie hot spots in the city is R. House, which is home to ten up and coming food concepts from local chefs. I have been once before, but have been woefully negligent in my food blogger duties by not return to seek out more gluten-free options at the food hall.

For my second visit, I decided to set my sights on Stall 11, which is a plant-based, farm-to-table focused stand that has tons of great whole food-based options on hand. From smoothies to creative bowls, prepackage food options, and juices, there's plenty of clean eats to go around any time of day. 

What's really cool about Stall 11 is that they are serious about providing healthy, fresh, local fare. Much of the menu comes from Baltimore urban farms, which adds a new dimension of awesomeness to this venture. As soon as I walked into the stall, I knew I was in for a treat.
Friday, April 28, 2017

Oberlander Bakery Gluten-Free Black & White Cookies

I've discovered that Passover ushers in a gluten-free treasure hunt at local grocery stores as gluten-free versions of Kosher foods are stocked for the holiday. 

In a recent post-Passover run I saw a new-to-me brand that made a product I have never seen gluten and dairy-free: black and white cookies! I've seen gluten-free verisions of the striking cookies before but never a dairy-free version so I bought two boxes on the spot to try.

Oberlander Bakery is New Jersey-based bakery that's part of the Orthodox Baking Co., which makes several gluten-free treats for passover including a cookie assortment that features a colorful array of macron-like cookies. In this review however, the black and white cookies will take center stage.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Chopt Creative Salad Company Review

One of my favorite restaurant trends in recent years has been the abundance of fast-casual lunch places that offer affordable, healthy food that can be customized to dietary restrictions and preferences. The latest of these type of restaurants on my radar is Chopt, a salad-focused eatery that promises "farm-to-fast food" eats that are anything but boring. 

Chopt utilizes farm-fresh ingredients that are locally sourced, which means that their food packs a nutritional punch. Additionally, they craft their menu with an eye on seasonal flavors so that they are taking advantage of the season's freshest flavors.

What makes Chopt unique is their one-of-a-kind method of making salads. Once a customer selects their ingredient blend, staff slice all the ingredients together on a chopping board using a giant knife. The ingredients are then tossed together with dressing, which ensures there is everything is mixed well. This slices and dices the concept of "tossed" salad!