Friday, May 21, 2010

6 Products I'm Loving Right Now

1. Frank's Hot Sauce

I'm obsessed with this stuff. Since being back from L.A., for some reason I have a heightened taste for spicy food. I like everything spicer now than I did a few months ago. I honestly have no idea why that is. When I was at school, my roommates kept Frank's Hot Sauce around but never really used it, so one day I mixed it into a can of tuna and I've never looked back. Its the perfect balance of spice and flavor, and there are only a few ingredients, which I am always a fan of. I put it on stir fry, any kind of meat, dip veggies in it, etc. If you like spice, you'll love this stuff!

2. Namaste Pizza Crust mix

I finally found a pizza crust mix that I can truly eat without any adaptations. Let me tell you, this absolutely makes my day. Most crust mixes are ridden with potato flour, potato starch or cornstarch, making them off limits for me. This mix is not only free of those things but it also doesn't call for eggs, so I can make it just as directed and still feel fine after eating it. Not to mention it has a delicious blend of spices that make it totally craveable. And Namaste makes a bunch of other mixes as well, including brownies and cake!

3. Bear Naked Granola
Because I'm allergic to not only wheat but sugar, corn, amaranth, spelt, and barley, eating cereal is pretty much out of the question at breakfast. I usually live happily off oatmeal, but every once in a while, I'll treat myself to Bear Naked granola. Not all of the flavors are safe for my allergies, but there are a
few flavors I can eat. They contain no wheat or sugar, and are free of nasty additives and preservatives including high fructose corn syrup. They are pretty heavy in calories, but you only need a little to satisfy a morning sweet tooth!

4.Daiya cheese substitute
This stuff is amazing. I first tried it at Pizza Fusion, a pizza place on Sunset Blvd that serves gluten free vegan pizza. Ever since trying it there and loving it, I've been searching for it and they finally carry it at Whole Foods! This cheese melts well, tastes great, and is dairy, casein, soy and GMO free. Its made with like tapioca flour and canola oil. I have no idea how it works but it does and I love it. Thank goodness I can finally eat pizza, quesadillas and other mexican dishes I've missed so much.

5. Bob's Red Mill ground flaxseed

Lately, I've been adding this stuff to everything. Flax is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and it's nutty flavor makes it a great addition to oatmeal, smoothies, ice cream, you name it! I make sure to eat at least a tablespoon every day, usually at breakfast time. Plus, it makes a great egg replac
er. Just add a tablespoon to 3 tablespoons warm water, let sit for 10 minutes, and voila, you have a substance that has the consistency of an egg with a flavor that is to die for in baked goods.

6. Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss ice cream

I've covered So Delicious's line of fruit juice sweetened soy ice cream, but I've recently discovered coconut ice cream, which is safe for people with soy allergies. Luna and Larry use all natural organic ingredients, leaving out sugar and all the common allergens. There are multiple flavors to choose from including cherry amaretto, chocolate peanut butter and pineapple coconut (which used to be my favorite Haagen Daas flavor). Best of all, I can usually find at least a few different flavors at my regular grocery store!

I usually always have these products on hand because they are amazing. I'll probably be doing a similar product review every month because I just got a job at a family owned gluten free grocery store and I'll be testing out new products all the time! Great job right?

Anyways, if you haven't tried some of these products, please do, then leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it!

Looking forward to hearing your feedback :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Radio Room

I'm back, finally!

Sorry for the long hiatus. I moved back to Pullman, only to find myself immersed in the excitement of graduation and unmotivated to update my blog. In fact, I wasn't really even keeping up with my diet, so now that I'm back home I'm taking the time to get healthy again. Which means keeping up with my blog!

I also should probably inform you all that I am now back to eating meat. Its definitely a bummer since I really wanted that lifestyle for myself, but for health reasons, veganism isn't in the cards for me. My diet is already so restricted that it just wasn't feasible to cut out meat as well. However, I still loooove vegan food so I'll be reviewing restaurants and making recipes that are vegan, even though I won't be eating that way all the time anymore.

So, that being said, the reason for this post is to review the Radio Room.

The restaurant is located on Alberta Street in north Portland, where its more common to find vegan places than not. This particular place has a little something for everyone. They serve meat, but indicate which menu items are gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan. I was thrilled. That meant I didn't have to ask a million questions about ingredients to find out if I could eat certain things.

But that's not even the best news.

One of their gluten free items was Calamari, a personal favorite of mine that I had to give up when I gave up wheat, since most calamari is breaded and fried. This calamari was dusted with rice flour and flash fried, meaning not only could I eat it, but its a little healthier than its deep fried cousins.

Because the calamari was an appetizer, I also ordered a side of seasonal veggies. Currently, their seasonal vegetable is asparagus, and it was sauteed in oil and some spices that were absolutely to die for. And I must say, it was nice that my friend Timur could enjoy a meal without having to follow my strict diet. He ordered a cheesesteak sandwich and fries, which also looked delicious and very, very off limits ;-). Best of all, the entire tab for both of us came to $15. I'm a sucker for places that suit my limited post-college pre-job budget.

I highly recommend you check this place out. Not only was the food great, but it seemed like it was very lively in the evenings; music, all sorts of stuff going on there. Plus, they post flyers for other events going on around Portland, so you can plan your whole social calendar with a single visit!

One little disclaimer: because of my tomato and corn allergies, the menu was a little more limited to me than those who are just gluten free or vegan. There are quite a few gluten free and vegan dishes that include tomatoes and corn, so if you can eat those things you've got yourself quite a selection. But I am in no way dissatisfied with my experience!

Well, its great to be back! I hope you all will stay tuned, because I'll be updating a lot more now that I'm settled back home. Looking forward to sharing some great stuff with you!