KIND

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Despite my best intentions to eat a complete meal, my on-the-go lifestyle often has me unable to do so! This is why I’m incredibly thankful for KIND Bars. For one, KIND Bars seem to be more widely available than any other healthy snack bar. While there are countless varieties of healthy (and more expensive) snack bars at health food stores, only KIND can be found at virtually any grocery/convenience store, Starbucks, and even in vending machines! But never mind the convenience—KIND Bars boast many more nutritional benefits than your typical vending machine snack. Not only are they made with recognizable ingredients, but also most bars have only 5 or less grams of sugar and at least 5 grams of fiber. With flavors like Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, they taste as delicious as a candy bar, just without all the sugar and processed ingredients.

My favorite attribute of KIND products is their variety. Not only do they offer 30 different varieties in their classic KIND bar line (which includes their Fruit & Nut, Plus, and Nuts & Spices subsets) they have several other lines, such as Healthy Grains, Breakfast, and STRONG & KIND bars, as well as high(er)-protein granola, which is great alone as well as on top of yogurt. Thankfully, all of their products are gluten-free so you don’t need to do any label reading in the store!

KIND, as a company, is just as wholesome as their bars. In fact their mission is not just to make healthy snacks, but also to live up to their name by spreading kindness around the world through acts both big and small as part of its KIND Movement. By supporting KIND, you are also supporting all of their charitable acts.

While KIND bars have been around since 2004, the company is constantly adding more flavors and lines, like their new Breakfast bars, so that customers can always find something they like and are never bored. I already had a few favorite flavors of KIND Bars (aka all the dark chocolate ones 😉 ), but the new Breakfast bars definitely give them a run for their money! Bars packed with KIND granola, but in a convenient package that can be eaten on-the-go without a spoon– sign me up!

To learn more about KIND and their offerings, check out their website, here!

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La Pasta

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La Pasta is a line of all-natural, freshly made pasta. Based out of Washington DC, La Pasta has been producing delicious pastas and gourmet sauces for over 30 years! La pasta prides itself on its quality; not only are no sugar enhancers used, but ingredients are healthy and simple. Best of all, La Pasta is allergy conscious and has a line of gluten-free pasta!

Often, restaurants will carry gluten-free pasta, and exclaim that all pastas can be made with the gluten-free alternative EXCEPT for the stuffed pastas a.k.a. ravioli and gnocchi. Well, I’m happy to announce that La Pasta has not one, but TWO, gluten-free raviolis! Gluten-free Mushroom Ravioli and Gluten-Free Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli. For the purist, these pasta dishes are a meal on their own. I, however, like to pair them with a sauce and a little protein for an even more complete meal.

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For those of you who like a classic pasta, La Pasta also makes Gluten-Free Fettuccine, Bucatini, and Linguine! All gluten-free pastas are certified GF and USDA Organic… what could be better?! The pastas are portioned well, and I recommend one package for two people. Lastly, I can’t forget to mention La Pasta’s signature sauces. All sauces are gluten-free, and like the pasta, ingredients used in the sauces are fresh and simple.

As much as I wish the La Pasta was sold everywhere, the brand is sold selectively in retail outlets, and here is a list of places they can be found!

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Sunny Side UP

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The sunny side up egg. So simple, yet sometimes so difficult to make. Well everyone, here’s what you do. Heat your pan on medium heat and drizzle the skillet with cooking oil, or spray with non-stick spray. Crack an egg on the side of the pan and delicately drop the egg on top of the pan. Let it set! If making multiple eggs, drop ’em all! Let the eggs cook without scrambling or shaking the pan until the eggs firm up and stop running. At this point, if you move the skillet, the egg(s) should slide right off the pan and onto your plate!

For a more filling and INCREDIBLY healthy meal, add a half avocado and some berries!

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Egg brand used: Organic Valley

GF Coconut Waffles

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Growing up, Friday night was Pizza Night and I lived for weekends full of waffles and pancakes. Well, when I went gluten-free I had to say bye to those childhood favorites. At the time, GF pizza just wasn’t the same and GF pancakes and waffles didn’t exist! Now, there are some pretty good store-bought brands (pictured above), and many companies have mastered the art of the perfect gluten-free pancake, waffle, and pizza mixes.

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I’ve been on the hunt for the best gluten-free waffle mix. First up: Cup4Cup

What You Will Need:

1 Pouch Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Pancake and Waffle Mix
6 Tbsp Dairy-Free butter
1 Large Egg
3/4 Cup SILK Coconut Milk
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)

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What You Will Do:

Pour Cup4Cup batter into a mixing bowl, and add egg, vanilla, and coconut milk. In a separate bowl, melt butter completely. Add butter to the mixing bowl and mix all ingredients. The batter will be thick, so if you don’t want your waffles to be super thick, simply add more coconut milk!

Pour batter into waffle maker. Let it cook for timed period, flip, and let cook again. Wah-lah!

** NOTE ** although I used dairy-free milk and butter, the waffles were NOT dairy-free, as milk products are included in the Cup4Cup flour.

Be creative and top your waffles with toppings of your choosing! I went with organic maple syrup, banana, strawberries, and Justin’s Maple Almond Butter. Delicious!

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Coconut Pancakes

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I love coconut. Coconut flakes, coconut milk, coconut ICE CREAM- you name it, I love it. So when I found a recipe for gluten-free pancakes made with coconut flour, I had to whip them up!

What You Will Need:
1/4 Cup Organic Coconut Flour
4 Eggs
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 Cup Coconut Milk or Almond Milk (we do this to keep our pancakes dairy-free, but regular milk works too!)
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
Toppings of your choosing!

What You Will Do:

In one bowl, first beat eggs and then add Vegetable Oil and Coconut Milk. Mix together.

In a separate bowl, combine Coconut Flour, Sugar, Salt, Baking Powder, and mix.

Pour dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, and mix until totally smooth and the two mixes are combined.

Heat pan on low-medium heat, and spray with olive oil or an alternative non-stick.

Pour batter onto pan. **NOTE** I found that the pancakes cooked super fast, and were more difficult to flip than pancakes I’ve made in the past using other flour, so make sure your pancakes are SMALL! 2-3 inch diameter, MAX.

Let cook for about 1 minute or until you see the top of the pancake batter start to firm. Flip and do the same on the other side.

Like macarons, the pancakes may have a mushier consistency. At first I was concerned this was a sign that the pancake was undercooked. But then I remembered all of the millions of macarons I’ve eaten, and noticed that the pancake consistency resembled that of a macaron.

Lastly, top with add-ons of your choosing! I opted for banana, dairy-free chocolate chips, and almond butter!!

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Gluten-Free TOAST

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Avocado toast was without a doubt the biggest food trend of 2015. And as the breakfast menu item skyrocketed in popularity, and became dare I say, an epidemic, so did gluten-free avocado toast. I mean, us gluten-free folk deserve to indulge, too, right?!

Well, why stop with avocado toast. Although we are ‘NOBREAD,’ we love great gluten-free bread, and love topping our GF goodness with different spreads and toppings!

What You Will Need:
One loaf of gluten-free bread (in this instance, we used Udi’s, but any GF bread works!)
Spreads of your choosing! (We used Justins Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and Vanilla Almond Butter, as well as Pillsbury Vanilla icing)
Fruit of your choosing, too!

What You Will Do:
Toast your gluten-free bread until lightly brown.
Spread icing/nut butters on toast, and top with fruit

That’s it. You’re done! Just like that, you have a BEAUTIFUL, filling breakfast or snack!

 

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Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Pancakes

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It’s 9AM on Christmas Eve, and I’m in the mood to cook. The best part? My family is home, so finally I have people to cook for! Growing up, my siblings and I started every morning with pancakes, so today is the perfect morning to test out my new gluten-free pancake mix and recipe!

What You Will Need:
1 Package of Pamela’s Gluten-Free Pancake & Baking Mix
1/2 Cup Water
1 Egg
2 Tsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Chocolate Chips (I use Enjoy Life)
Maple Syrup

What You Will Do:
Pour Pamela’s package into a large mixing bowl. Add in Water, Egg, and Vegetable Oil, and mix until combined. Add in Chocolate Chips.

Heat pan on Medium, and spray with olive oil. Pour batter onto pan — batter makes 4 pancakes!

Let cook until batter firms (~60-90 seconds) and flip once. Cook second side ~30-60 seconds.

Top pancakes with cinnamon, powdered sugar, and excess chocolate chips, and finish with an amount of maple syrup of your choosing.

Serve immediately!

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And just like that, you have a hearty, tasty, and filling NOBREAD-approved breakfast!

Check out more of Pamela’s gluten-free products here!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie

Nutrition (All batter):

  • Calories: 332.5
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Carbs: 39.75 g
  • Protein: 21.5 g

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp of applesauce
  • ½ tbsp. of Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/3 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Flour
  • 2 tbsp of powdered peanut butter

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Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and stir until a batter-like consistency is reached
  2. Pour and spread onto a plate in desired size/shape
  3. Place the plate in the microwave for 40 seconds

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Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Bites

Makes 12 bites 

Nutrition (for 3 bites): 

  • Calories: 71.25
  • Fat: 2.76 g
  • Carbs: 6.75 g
  • Protein: 4.74 g

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup of reduced fat mozzarella
  • ¼ cup of chopped spinach
  • ½ tsp of garlic powder
  • ½ tsp of pepper

** This dish is Vegetarian, NOT Vegan

Directions: 

  1. Cook quinoa if you haven’t done so already
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Combine and mix all ingredients into a bowl
  4. Spray mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray
  5. Fill muffin tin with a spoonful of the mixture (do not overflow)
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes

 

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NOBREAD’s Cafe Picks

Here at NOBREAD, we spend a lot of time in Coffee shops. And by a lot of time, I mean we choose a different coffee shop pretty much every day to set up shop and work… (and eat). The best part about coffee shops, other than scoping out the scene, is the plethora of coffee options to keep us caffeinated and awake throughout the day.

Regardless of what cafe you find us at, you will likely find us with Leaner Creamer in tow. This all-natural powdered coffee cream promotes weight-loss and appetite suppression, and is non-dairy and coconut oil based! It is a healthy compliment to your coffee will have you full and satisfied as you work away. Not only is it perfect for coffee, but it can also be used in several other classic, cafe dishes! I like to add it to oatmeal!

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Here are NOBREAD’s top five favorite coffee shops for any occasion. Whether you’re looking to take a break, to catch up with a friend, or simply to take in a peaceful atmosphere, you should definitely check these spots out!

Bluestone Lane 

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This Australian influenced café attracts crowds of eager “brunchers” hoping for a quick bite of wholesome, natural fare, as well as a taste of Bluestone’s popular coffee. Their brunch menu is all day and incredibly gluten-free! They carry gluten- and dairy-free bread so that you, too, can enjoy the famous avocado smash on toast.

The Elk 

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The Elk is the perfect spot for a solo lunch or place to meet a friend—with a huge selection of NOBREAD friendly menu items, from their market rice bowls, to yogurt bowls, you’ll definitely be leaving full and satisfied. Not to mention, The Elk has unlimited wi-fi!

Maman 

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An adorable café in SoHo, Maman boasts delicious baked goods and casual café fare. Grab a bite to eat during their breakfast, brunch, or lunch hours, or sip on some coffee while finishing up on some work. Definitely check out their variety of gluten-free salads—the zucchini noodles with black olives, basil, plum, and a kale-basil pesto is a personal favorite.

Chalait 

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Nestled in the heart of West Village, Chalait specializes in a signature line of matcha green tea beverages, while also serving up a variety of coffees and light breakfast and lunch options. For those dessert lovers, the gluten-free and vegan chocolate coconut cookie is a must!

Petite Coccotte 

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An adorable, tiny French café serving classic pastries and sandwiches; Petite Coccotte will have you feeling like you’re dining in a quaint café in the heart of Paris. The endive salad with walnuts and apples, and the roasted chicken sandwich (nobread) are clear winners.

El Dorado Maroma

The Ambiance:

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A huge pool with a swim-up bar, hammocks outlining the property, and private pools outside your door, El Dorado Maroma is where to go for your next Mexican escape! I had the opportunity to check out the resort this past October 2015, and I’m excited to report my findings! There are tons of restaurants, a fitness center, beach access, horseback riding, jet skiing, parasailing, and more.

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The Food:

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With 8 restaurants on site, you have no need to venture out of the resort for food! I have to say, I was INCREDIBLY impressed by the resort’s concern for those with dietary allergies and restrictions, and even more impressed by how gluten-friendly each restaurant was. At our first dinner, my friend notified me that not only was ‘GF’ noted on the menu next to nobread-approved dishes, but EVERY dish on the menu had a GF next to it. How often do you see that at non-dedicated gluten-free restaurants?! I’m pleased to report that EVERY restaurant we went to used a ‘GF’ to indicate their gluten-free options!

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For lunch every day, we ordered from Papitos Gourmet Beach Club. This is the resort’s beachside restaurant. Each day a different cuisine was featured; one day was all-things taco, the next was all-things BBQ, then all-things burger, etc! We were a huge fan of the tacos, so even on the days that they weren’t featured, we placed a special request! Ten tacos and ten margaritas for two people… not bad! I can’t forget to mention that we also went there for breakfast every morning. The breakfast buffet was extensive and had a ton of variety. I filled my plate every morning with classic bites such as fruit, eggs, and bacon, and traditional Mexican dishes such as sides of fried plantains. Before going to Mexico I don’t think I ever had a plantain… but thanks to El Dorado I’m now addicted!

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Each restaurant had a different theme, which we enjoyed. Mio was the Italian hotspot and was one of our favorites. We also tried Sabores for a Mexican-themed dinner and Lima Limon for a Peruvian-themed dinner. On our last night at the resort, a private Chef came to our Villa and cooked us a meal of a lifetime: sautéed scallops, surf & turf, and a vegetable medley, complete with a dessert of chocolate covered strawberries, chocolates, and fruit. That was my favorite part of the whole trip, and I highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity!

The Premises: 

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El Dorado is known as one of the most romantic resorts on the East Coast of Mexico, and not only are weddings held at the hotel, but it is common for couples to celebrate their honeymoons here too! If you go to the resort with your special someone, take advantage of the romantic, beachside dinner for two and the beachside spa!

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The resort is a bit under construction at the moment, but I look forward to seeing the finished resort upon its completion in 2016. Private villas are being built over the water, and each villa will have an infinity pool and glass flooring so you can feel as though you are walking on water!

 

For more info on El Dorado Maroma, click here! 

Hotel Bellevue

Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to. I was lucky enough to spend the past week in the country, and embrace it’s incredible views, blue water, and fresh and delicious cuisine. I visited Dubrovnik, Hvar, and Split, and had different, but amazing, experiences in each.

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Dubrovnik sits on top of a cliff, and you are guaranteed to have an incredible view from wherever you are. When it came down to choosing hotels, we chose Hotel Bellevue. I mean, in a city so lovely with amazing views everywhere you turn, it’s hard for a hotel to do wrong. But there is also a ton a hotel can do right, and Hotel Bellevue does just about everything right. The staff was incredibly friendly and knowledgable, the concierge gave us constant suggestions and was gracious when answering any questions we had (and we had A LOT), the restaurant was adorable, and the rooms were clean and welcoming.

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Now to the real reason why you’re reading this. The food. Gluten-free in Croatia is incredibly easy! Menus are filled with fresh seafood, there is no such thing as salad-dressing (just olive oil and vinegar served on the side), only alls-natural ingredients are used in dishes, AND EVERYTHING IS JUST SO FRESH! As I am dairy-free, too, I would always say to the server, “there is no cheese or butter on this, right?” These questions were met with confused eyes and questionable glares. Why? In Croatia (and most other European countries) dressings, sauces, gravies aren’t added to dishes the way they are in the U.S.!

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Breakfast was included in our stay at Hotel Bellevue, and the breakfast buffet was one of the most impressive breakfast spreads I have ever experienced. Eggs, bacon, potatoes in one area, fruit and antipasti in another, grains and breakfast pastries in another, yogurt off to the side, and much more was included in our daily breakfast spread! I’m not the biggest breakfast eater, but I actually woke up every morning excited to indulge. And indulge you should! You’ll can walk your meal off as you explore Old City or swim it off during your trip to the beach.

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I’ve been home for less than a week, and I’ve already recommended Hotel Bellevue to friends and family. I absolutely recommend staying here, and I am hoping to go back soon!!

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A Few of My Top Restaurant Picks:
Dubrovnik-
Moby Dick’s (Old City), Panorama (Top of the gondola)
Hvar– Restaurant Gariful, Dalmatino Hvar
Split– Paradox Wine & Cheese