Be Our Guest is located in Orlando, FL at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Located right in Fantasyland is a restaurant that is tough to get reservations but I was lucky and snagged one of the last one’s available for my trip. I booked breakfast for 10:15am and was able to even preorder my gluten free, dairy free meal online! What is awesome about this restaurant when it comes to allergies is you can preorder, when you go to place your order simply check mark which ingredients you are allergic to and a new menu will be shown with what is available for you. I ended up ordering the Scrambled Egg Whites with Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken Apple Sausage, Fresh Fruit, and a selection of pastries, which came with Erin McKenna's loaf slices, my favorite selection! Everything about the meal was delicious and I loved that atmosphere of this restaurant. I see why it’s so hard to get a reservation! I would definitely come back here again, great for food allergies and overall just a beautiful venue. A manager brought my food out separately from my dads and even brought me some soy milk to have with my coffee! I am sad I don’t have any good pictures of my meal but the lighting was far too dim. Definitely a must visit if you have food allergies, great deal.
If you have celiac disease or a gluten allergy then Smokin Bowl is your place to go in Rohnert Park. At first glance you would never know that this place is 100% gluten free, soy free and peanut free! This is great for those of us with food allergies. They were even very accommodating in letting me know what could be made dairy free. I ended up with the Asian Chicken Salad and a side of fries I split with my BF. The bowl portions were plenty large enough to fill you up and the fries were crispy. Keep in mind that if you are vegan there are not very many options for you. The fries are fried in beef fat and it seems like the menu has a lot of animal protein. The Harvest Bowl does state that it is vegetarian and to me it seems like it is likely vegan. No guarantees though, I would ask to make sure. Overall this place is great for those of us with celiac disease and they have a great variety of choices.
As we start out the New Year I would like to point out some of my favorite finds and snacks from 2017. I have come across loads of new snacks this year and would hate for you to miss out.
1. PopCorners by Our Little Rebellion: This has been one of my favorite chip type snacks this year. I found these corn pop style chips at Sprouts and have been addicted ever since. They come in many different flavors, all gluten free and many dairy free. My favorites so far have been Salt of the Earth, which is just a basic salted variety and Carnival Kettle, which reminds me of kettle corn. The other two dairy free varieties are Sweetly Salted Caramel and Sweet Heat Chili. I definitely want to get my hands on these, they sound divine. You can buy these chips HERE on their website or at your local grocery store.
2. Vita Mix: My summer was filled with acai bowls and I can thank that to my Vita Mix I purchased in May. Definitely the best investment I have made when it comes to a kitchen tool. I use it all the time to make smoothies, blend soups, make cashew cheesecake, etc. The uses for this blender are really endless. It is a rugged machine and can really pulverize anything inside. What I really like about it is that the blades are not sharp, they are dull and the motor crushes the ingredients inside with torque. If you like to be in the kitchen a Vita Mix is a must. I got mine from Costco and thought it was worth every penny. Definitely worth checking in too if you are in need of a blender.
3. Pascha White Chocolate Chips: Now ever since I have been dairy free I have searched far and wide for a gluten free and dairy free white chocolate chip. You would think this should be simple but so many have cross contamination issues that I almost gave up completely on my search. Pascha though gave me hope when they released there white chocolate chips! I was so excited and immediately purchased a bag and to be honest I probably went through at least a bag a month this year! They are so good and work perfectly in my sweet Chex mix. Even my family loves them. I buy mine from Vitacost.com but you can also buy them through Pascha Chocolate directly HERE. Definitely give these a try if you are missing that white chocolate for your baking needs!
4. Vermont Smoke & Cure: These meat sticks are DELICIOUS. They are a great snack when you are on the go and want something quick and filling. What is so great about these is there entire facility and all of their products are free from the Top 8 Allergens: Milk, Eggs, Fish, Shellfish, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Wheat, and Soy. Their products are also gluten free, and contain no MSG. Their meat sticks come in 8 flavors. My favorites are the Honey Mustard Turkey, Beef BBQ and the Original Beef & Pork sticks. You can learn all about their products HERE on their website. I promise if you are a fan of jerky you will love these for snacking.
5. Very Berry Cherrios: When I saw these on the shelf I knew right away that I would love them. They are the same goodness that Cherrios always have been but also have a blend of natural berry flavors which include strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. These are gluten free, dairy free, no colors from artificial sources, no artificial flavors, and no high fructose corn syrup. These are great to eat on their own but I personally make my sweet Chex mix variety with these! They are the perfect flavor to have in a Berry Chex mix that includes the Pascha White Chocolate chips. I dust through a box of these Cherrios and always pick them up from my local Target. Definitely a must try if you are in to Cherrios!
Make sure to learn all about my favorites through 2018 by following me on other social media platforms below!
The GFAF Expo after a 3 year hiatus came back to Northern California. This was another great expo with lots of vendors excited to share their products and information. While I was the excited blogger ready to learn about all the products I had never even seen before and visit some of my tried and true favorites. Below is a list of 5 of my favorite finds for this expo in no particular order.
1. Bitchin’ Sauce
This sauce was seriously bitchin’. That is the best word to describe these sauces. They are made with a base of almonds while being 100% gluten free and vegan. Now while they do call these sauces, I considered them more of a dip/hummus alternative, but they were still amazing. I wanted to buy some right then but became sad when I realized they were not selling them! The dips were addicting and I was determined to try every flavor, which I did and don’t regret one bit. One of the best flavors was the HEAT but it definitely had a kick and would only be suitable for those who like added spice. The Cilantro Chile was also quite tasty but who am I kidding I would buy any of these flavors again! These would be a great appetizer for a party to have with either chips or veggie sticks. I will be looking for these in stores. http://www.bitchinsauce.com/
2. Mozaics Chips/Veggicopia
At the Mozaics Chips/Veggicopia stand I got to meet the brand's social media guru, Matthew. He talked to me and my dad about their products for a while explaining their processes. I was very impressed with how they handle the manufacturing to avoid cross contamination with dairy products. At the beginning of the week they start with the basic (dairy free flavors) and then at the end of the week do the flavors with the allergens, then they breakdown the equipment for cleaning and restart the next week. I was impressed with their manufacturing processes and also with how tasty their products were. The base ingredients in each chip are organic green peas, organic yellow split peas, organic potatoes and organic black beans. Followed by additional spices based on the flavor, my favorites flavors were Salsa and BBQ. What was interesting though is not only did they have chips they also had hummus and olives! The hummus was delicious and the green olives were just right on the flavor profile. I can’t wait to do a full taste test and let you all in on how great these products are. https://www.mozaicschips.com/ https://veggicopia.com/
3. Keli’s Hawaiian Sauces
Now I’ll admit right off the bat that I love Chinese/Japanese stir fry style sauces. I have been lacking a good Sweet-N-Sour sauce for a long time, which I now found through Keli’s! I tried their Polynesian Sweet-N-Sour and was immediately hooked. It was exactly what I have been missing. I was also a huge fan of their Teriyaki sauces, so much so that I bought 3 bottles right on the spot; the Polynesian Sweet-N-Sour, Pete’s Fire Teriyaki and Hawaiian Luau Teriyaki. What is really nice about the Teriyaki is that it is a little bit thicker than some other brands I have had. It has a really bold flavor and is really great with some rice, veggies and a protein of your choice. Keep in mind though that the Pete’s Fire is actually quite spicy and if that is not your thing then you can try any of their other Teriyaki varieties. Make sure to give these sauces a try, you will not regret it. http://www.trykelis.com/
4. BFree Foods
I want to thank BFree Foods again for being such a great blogger sponsor this year. They provided all of us bloggers with a fabulous breakfast to start of the expo Saturday morning filled with fresh fruit and their tasty bagels. Then to top it off they offered great deals on their products to everyone at the expo! It was $3 for 1 product or 2 for $5. Which anyone who shops gluten free on a regular basis knows this is a steal. I ended up buying 8 products for a grand total of just $20. What is so great about their products is they freeze really well and stay fresh for later use. To top everything off, their products are not only gluten free but free of the top 8 allergens and even vegan! The products are great and a real winner when it comes to the allergen friendly market. Make sure to give this company a try if you see them in your local grocery store. They even make a pita bread! According to their website they are now available at Wal-Mart as well. https://us.bfreefoods.com/
5. Sauce Goddess
I was kind of surprised to find the products that Sauce Goddess had here at the expo. The products this company had were so diverse I was kind of amazed. This company makes not only spice rubs but also BBQ sauces, caramel corn, jerky and relishes! Of course when I saw that pretty much 70% of what they made was spicy, I was hooked. Now keep in mind all of these products were not only gluten free but dairy free as well. We first started off with trying the caramel corn, now this wasn’t just any regular old caramel corn, this was spiced up caramel corn and each flavor got hotter and hotter. I was so impressed that I moved on to try all the BBQ sauces and even the relishes! I will definitely be ordering some of these products immediately to have on hand. https://saucegoddess.com/
The GFAF Expo will thankfully be coming back to Northern California in 2018. So if you missed it this year you can always make it next year! More information about the expo HERE at their website.
It was the beginning of our vacation and we were about to head off to our cruise ship. We woke up quite hungry and found Manna Life Food to be only about 3-4 blocks from our hotel. Being that it was completely gluten free I determined this was the safest place for my boyfriend and I to eat. I showed up right around when they opened at 11am and learned that they were also a plant based (vegan) establishment. This did not really bother me too much since I am dairy free as well.
I ended up really craving some falafel so I got the Roasted Veggie Bowl. This had raw falafel in eat which I did not realize till later. Despite that it was delicious and I really enjoyed it. I also got myself a side of acai pickles and red pepper hummus. Everything was really good and filling. I got my boyfriend an avocado arepa, this was different than the arepas we have had in California but I am sure it is a regional difference. Despite I got a taste and thought it was really good. He thoroughly enjoyed it along followed with a choco-chunk cookie. This was a double chocolate cookie, it was rich and a really good gluten free baked treat. As someone with celiac I would definitely stop by here again if I was in the Miami area.
It is that time of year again; time to start planning for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo! Yes the expo is coming back to Northern California. I know for the last few years we have not had the expo, which gives an even better reason to make sure you attend this year! I have been able to travel to Chicago a couple times over the last few years to be a blogger and can’t wait to participate near my home town.
This year the Expo is taking place November 18th and 19th at the San Mateo County Event Center-Fiesta Hall; address, time, directions and more can be found HERE. What is so great about this event is that it is 100% gluten free, so safe for those of us with celiac disease and if you have other allergies each booth puts up a sign checking off which allergens are in there products. This is a life saver because it covers even more allergens than the top 8; I am always looking for this sign to make sure the product is dairy free as well. By addressing multiple allergic ingredients this expo caters to the entire allergy community and each vendor will be able to speak to you in depth when it comes to what allergens are in there products or potentially cross contamination.
What I always look forward to most is trying new products. As a blogger I often think that I have tried every gluten free product out there, but this expo always proves me wrong. I always learn about new products and have a new favorite snack at the end of the expo. Make sure to get your tickets early because if you click HERE you can get your ticket early to save with the codes bellow. You do not want to miss out on these discounts. They will not be available if you wait to buy your tickets at the door. So make sure to take advantage of these early offers. If you see me make sure to say hello! I love meeting new people who apart of this community.
30% off w/ code EARLYBIRD (thru 10/17)
20% off w/ code ADVANCE (thru 11/17)
I absolutely love breakfast. It’s one of my favorite meals of the day because it almost always involves cereal either hot or cold. I definitely have a special place in my heart for warm cereal though. It makes my tummy feel good and I love adding a variety of toppings to give it texture. This makes me so thrilled that I got to partner with such a clean cereal company, Wildway. They create grain free granolas and instant hot cereals that are paleo friendly, free of wheat, oats, corn, grains, dairy and soy. They are made with 100% real food ingredients and even sweetener free! These cereals initially sounded too good to be true but man was I wrong! I learned so much from just reading there packaging that I hoped online to get more of an inside scoop on Wildway. I just loved there mission statement below;
Our mission is to inspire others to live a healthier, fuller life. It's the driving force behind our products, our brand, and our entire company. It's what makes us come alive. Come discover a few ways in which we are spreading that mission far and wide.
They are not only delicious but also NON-GMO, oil-free, and vegan. As Wildway would put it they are; Wildly Different. Wildly Delicious.
First up on top of my acai bowl I tried the Coconut Cashew granola. I love that these products are low in sodium and still taste great. I often times have problems with keeping my sodium levels at bay and it’s nice that I can eat a granola knowing that I’m not going overboard with the salt. This granola was mellow and was the perfect complement to my acai bowl. My dad gave it a try too and was a fan despite not being a proponent of coconut.
Next I opened up the Apple Cinnamon granola. I loved this one because it had big chunks of chewy dried apple in it. It gave my acai bowls great texture and the flavor of the apple with the cinnamon was just perfect. My dad was a fan of this one too and we dusted this bag in just 2 acai bowl dinners!
I opened up the Vanilla Bean Espresso granola when my mom was over. She’s a much bigger fan of coffee than my dad and I. I opened up the bag and immediately got a huge whiff of the espresso flavor. I actually liked this one more than I thought I would. Espresso often has a chocolatey taste which this did and I thoroughly enjoy chocolate.
I saved what I thought sounded like the best flavor, the Banana Nut, for last. We tried this flavor again on one of my homemade acai bowls. This is really the only way we eat granola so don’t be surprised that most of my reviews about granola involve smoothie bowls. Now on to how this granola actually tasted, it was delicious and clearly our favorite. We found this granola to be tasty and loved the banana pieces. I would definitely buy this one again in a heartbeat. This bag was almost completely gone after one dinner of acai bowls, that right there tells you how addicting it was. Both my dad and I ended up added more of this granola to our bowls mid meal. Definitely give these granolas a try when you see them at your local grocery store. They are completely worth it.
Below I got the opportunity to try Wildway Foods Grain Free hot cereals! Check out my video review to see me trying these first hand. I loved all of the flavors and appreciate the nutrition density of these products. They truly are all a win in my books.
*I received these products without charge in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are all my own.
I am a huge fan of jerky, I love all kinds and what I like even more is when a jerky is made with pure simple ingredients. The Wild Zora Meat Bars are made with just meat, veggies, fruits and spices. It’s simply simple and delicious, Wild Zora sent me 4 of their bars to try for my vlog; BBQ Beef, Chili Beef, Mediterranean Lamb and Curry Turkey. They also sent me a 5th bar that was Parmesan Beef, since I can’t have dairy I gave this one away but this is the only one that is made with dairy. All of their other flavors are made without dairy/milk. Below is my YouTube video review of trying all 4 of the meat bars! Make sure to check it out and give these bars a try. They are absolutely delicious and made with real food.
*I received these products without charge in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are all my own.
One of my favorite breakfasts is oats. I love having a creamy bowl filled with loads of flavors and that is exactly what Modern Oats delivers. What’s great about it though is it is actually done with whole ingredients and none of that junk you don’t want to be eating. They come in 8 different flavors now with their recent release of 2 new flavors. They are certified gluten free, vegan, and are NON-GMO. It’s not just oats in these cups; they’re filled with premium super fruits and omega rich nuts & seeds. You can see a full list of their ingredients HERE at their website.
I got the opportunity to try 6 of Modern Oat’s flavors. Below is my firsthand experience with each of these delicious oat cups.
First my dad and I tried 2 of the cups at the same time. You can see our firsthand reaction by watching the YouTube video below. First we dug into the Chocolate Cherry; I was really looking forward to this flavor because I love cherries and chocolate. This cup is actually made with rainer cherries which are my absolute favorite. The flavor of this cup was so good and I just loved all the pieces of goodies; cocoa nibs, cherries, coconut, almonds, pumpkins seeds, golden raisins, chia seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds. It was just so much flavor in one cup that I dusted this one the next morning for breakfast. The second one we tried was the Apple Walnut. This one was filled with just as many goodies and was delicious as well. We were a fan of the dried apple chunks and walnut pieces. Overall this one had a great flavor of cinnamon that both my dad and I thoroughly enjoyed.
Next round of oat cups we each tried a different flavor. My dad tried Nuts & Seeds which he thought was good he just wished the portion was larger. He was also pleasantly surprised to see pistachios in the cup, not a typical nut you think you’d find in an oatmeal cup. Since we like pretty much all nuts though this cup was a win, it was filled with a bounty of other nuts & seeds; hazelnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, hemp seeds and walnuts. What an array of deliciousness all in one little cup! Now for me I tried the cup that I knew my dad wouldn’t be interested in and that was the Mango Blackberry. He’s not a fan of mango so I knew I’d get this all to myself though. Surprisingly though the mango and blackberry flavors were subtle and were great compliments to one another. I enjoyed the large chunks of blackberry and mango throughout, along with a nice cinnamon and vanilla flavor that rounded this cup out nicely. I really like that these cups all have some cinnamon and vanilla in them, it really gives them a nice flavor that you would definitely been missing if those ingredients weren’t present.
We saved the best for last, the 5 Berry and Goji Blueberry flavors. We both took a bite of each other’s but ultimately I got the 5 Berry and dad got the Goji Blueberry. I enjoyed the 5 Berry, it had the perfect amount of sweetness a wide array of berries for my taste buds to enjoy. My dad’s was just as enjoyable, filled with loads of goji and blueberries. We both are huge fans of goji berries so this one was liked by both of us. It’s the only one we tried that even had goji berries so it was a nice one to end on. Overall all these blends are delicious and worth giving a try if you see them at your local grocery store. You can also buy them through their website which I have linked below if needed. Thanks again Modern Oats!
*I received these products without charge in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are all my own.
Tortilla chips are a snack that I have been a longtime fan of. I’m used to dipping my white or yellow corn chips into spicy salsas and yummy homemade bean dips. I’ve never really thought of a tortilla chip or any chip for that matter being nutrient dense, but that is what the focus is at Jackson’s Honest. This chip company has not only regular potato chips, but tortilla chips as well that they focus on creating a ‘Purposely, Nutritiously, Deliciously Chosen’ product. There main focus is being Nutrient-dense and here is a little bit about what they believe in.
We believe the center of gravity for the food chain will soon revolve around one critically important factor: nutrient density. For Jackson's Honest, the goal of nutrient density is simple to define: pack the most traditionally nourishing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into food as possible. This means coconut oil not canola oil; maple sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup; butter instead of margarine. Ancestrally important foods are the foods of the future; they worked for millennia in meeting the nutritional and metabolic demands of our ancestors. We think they can work just as well for our bodies in a modern day environment. This is why we choose coconut oil: nature's most potent source of lauric acid - a unique medium chain fatty acid with myriad beneficial properties for our bodies. It is why we choose heirloom varieties of potatoes and corn that represent thousands of years of genetic crop heritage. It is why we choose unrefined sea salt and Real Salt brand sea salts: the trace minerals and micronutrients add another layer of nutrition to the chips. In all of these ways and more we are dedicated to developing and making our products revolve around this critical keystone: it served our son and the rest of our kids' needs well and we hope it serves you also.
What is so great about this company is not only there mission but there goal to use real ingredients. They do this by using Non-GMO Potatoes, USDA Organic Corn, Real Salt, and cooking in coconut oil. They have a proprietary process to cook there chips in coconut oil and anyone who has cooked with it knows they must need one. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature and has very unique physical and chemical properties. There process involves low temperature frying but really none of us will truly know how they get such tasty chips. You can read my review below about each of the flavors or watch my dad and I take our first taste of each one in the YouTube video below. These tortilla chips are a new line of product for them so I’m thrilled to get my hands on these so soon.
We decided to start off with the basic Sprouted Red Corn chips first. These come in 10oz bags which are larger bags than the 5.5oz flavored varieties. I loved the texture of these chips when dipped in salsa! They were light and crispy and actually one of my favorite plain corn chips I’ve had. I would definitely buy these again.
The next bag I opened up was the Lime & Sea Salt which is made of white corn. The aroma of lime I smelled when I opened up this bag was significant. I couldn’t believe how limey these smelled. The smell wasn’t bad but it was definitely potent. Upon tasting these though the flavor was subtle and exactly what I was looking for when it comes to a lime flavored chip. These were a great compliment with salsa and one of my boyfriend and fathers favorites of the bunch.
The third bag I opened was the Salsa Fresca. Now these didn’t have the aroma of the lime chips but they definitely had more flavor in the actual chip itself. These were the only blue corn chips of the bunch. There was a dusting of a salsa flavored seasoning on the outside that was great with salsa but in my opinion even better on its own! I could see myself eating a bag of these for lunch, they were that good! Definitely give these a try if you’re looking for a chip to eat by themselves.
Now I saved the sweet flavor and in my opinion the best for last! The Maple Cinnamon was a nice final ending to my taste test after having all the savory flavors. I could literally finish this bag all by myself. These chips were white corn like the lime chips and just as delicious as all the other flavors. I claimed this bag to myself and would definitely buy these again. I thought of different ways you could use these and you could crunch them up and sprinkle them on top of an ice cream sundae. Definitely dozens of ways to use all of these chips, from nachos to a cobbler topping I can’t wait to experiment with all of these chips. Thanks again Jackson’s Honest for giving me the opportunity to try your new coconut oil corn chips. Check out my video review below!
*I received these products without charge in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are all my own
Knead No Gluten - Providing reviews, recipes, and more!