Glen Ellen Star Paleo Pickup Dinner

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Starting Wednesday, September 16, and every following Wednesday through October 28, Glen Ellen Star will be creating a paleo pickup dinner menu. The offer coincides with the Lurong Living Challenge, a seven week CrossFit competition that combines diet and fitness to foster results.

Chef Ari Weiswasser, a CrossFit devotee composed a menu that is compliant with the Challenge’s “Elite Diet” for the competition. Knowing firsthand the lack of paleo-focused dining options, Chef Weiswasser wanted to create a menu that provides those participating in the challenge with an accessible and delicious way to fuel their dedication to the challenge. Each meal is available for $27.50 per person per menu.

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Pickup is available each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. starting Wednesday, September 16, 2015 through Wednesday October 28, 2015 by reservation only; reservations must be made no later than Sunday night of the corresponding week at reservations@glenellenstar.com.

ABOUT: Located in Sonoma County, Glen Ellen Star, from husband and wife team Chef Ari Weiswasser and Erinn Benziger-Weiswasser, transforms California cuisine. Inspired by local, seasonal ingredients, Chef Ari Weiswasser marries simple California ingredients with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. Resembling a quaint farmhouse that invokes the rural and rustic feeling of California wine country, Glen Ellen Star is an inviting, neighborhood-friendly restaurant that consistently exceeds expectations. Glen Ellen Star is open for dinner Sunday – Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information, follow Glen Ellen Star on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

WHERE: Glen Ellen Star
13648 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA 95442
http://glenellenstar.com

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Bakeology

Snickerdoodles- with almond milk Vanilla Chai Shortbread- with almond milk

There is a common misconception that gluten-free products are all healthier than their gluten-filled counterparts, but in reality many processed GF foods contain more fat and sugar to make up for the lack of gluten. Because of this, NOBREAD is always on the hunt for GF products that are not just tasty, but HEALTHY as well. Bakeology cookie bites definitely fit the bill thanks to their short ingredient list and perfectly sweet, but not artificial, taste.

Bakeology was started by a mother/daughter duo with a passion for baking. Although it took time for the duo to devise the perfect flour mix and find the right ingredients to make delicious cookies that were both gluten free AND vegan, they certainly achieved their goal in the end. Using a mix of almond flour, white rice flour, and tapioca starch, the team perfected the texture. For a hint of sweetness, they mixed in cane juice, vanilla and spices, as well as chocolate chips in their Chocolate Chip cookies. Other cookie flavors include Snickerdoodle and Vanilla Chai Shortbread. You definitely can’t go wrong with their bestseller, the Chocolate Chip cookies. The taste is rich, and even my gluten-eating friends agreed they never would have known the cookies were gluten-free!

Currently Bakeology’s cookie bites are only available in stores in California, but you can order them online, too. Trust me, one bite and you will be raving about your new go-to treat. Gluten-free, vegan, and healthy!!

Buy yours here!

LA Vegan Smart Brunch

LA Vegan Smart Brunch – Sunday July 12th, 2015

Tucked away in downtown LA’s budding art’s district are a bunch of graffiti-laden buildings housing co-ops, lofts and restaurants. A couple days ago, The Container Yard, one of these warehouse buildings, opened up its doors to host a Vegan brunch for guests to educate themselves on a healthy and vegan lifestyle (and to try out some goodies while at it!) The event was hosted by Miami’s @BADASSVEGAN (trainer/health pro, John Lewis) and @VEGANFOODSHARE who also hosted a similar brunch in Miami earlier this year.

The indoor/outdoor space displayed great art and photographs, had graffiti artists working outside, a DJ and plenty of beverages to keep us cool under the hot LA sun. Along with the hosts mentioned above, the event was sponsored by VeganSmart, a gluten, soy and dairy free protein powder, that comes in a variety of different flavors such as vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. Guests were able to taste the various flavors in delicious protein shake samples. My favorite snack was definitely the ice cream, which was just as creamy and flavorful as any regular dairy ice cream. The best part of all was that the above-mentioned treats were gluten-free as well!

See below for more images of the event!

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ginnybakes

When it comes to gluten-free sweets, I’m your girl. I’ve tried just about every brand of GF dessert, and from the best gluten-free chocolate chip cookie to the best gluten-free doughnut, I have a favorite brand for each. Recently, I was introduced to ginnybakes, a nutritious organic, gluten-free, non-gmo line of baked goods. One bite had me sold!

I relate to ginnybakes’ brand and concept in many ways. Their philosophy is to “nourish your mind and body” and create nutritious, yet delicious, gluten-free goodies. All treats are made in a dedicated gluten free facility too! “Gluten-free” is more than a diet; it’s a way of living. Ginny’s passion for nutrition and healthy balanced living comes across in her baked goods. All ginnybakes products are handmade and all ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation. I used to say you should avoid eating anything that comes out of a package, but this is one packaged good that is fresh and healthy– I HIGHLY recommend it.

The brand comes in many forms ranging from baking mixes and cookies, to crumbles and bars. I’m a huge fan of their cookies, with chocolate chip oatmeal, chocolate chip, and cranberry pistachio being my favorites. The cookies also come in several other flavors including butter crisp and sweet cinnamon. I’m typically a chocaholic, but the cranberry pistachio is addicting!!  For the calorie counters, the cookies are only 50 calories! And if you’re always on the go, ginnybakes cookies are sold in snack-bags! The ginnyminis are just over 100 calories, and they are the perfect, satiating snack while you’re out and about.

Lastly, ginnybakes also makes vegan cookies, and all ginnybakes products are kosher too! If you haven’t checked out ginnybakes yet, you are truly missing out. Click here to learn more… and buy, of course! 

 

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Ram’s Head Inn

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The Ram’s Head Inn, located on the East End of Shelter Island, is the go-to place when heading out east for a weekend escape. In the summer, the Inn is most popular for Wedding’s! The Inn is large enough to host a ceremony, dinner and dancing down by the beach area, but it still maintains a simple yet sophisticated feel.

From the service, to the amenities, to the cuisine, everything about Ram’s Head Inn is elegant. Room’s are on the smaller side, but this is forgivable considering the vast amount of activities that will keep you on the move outside.

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What To Do in The Area:

  • Sag Harbor- Before gracing Shelter Island with your presence, spend some time in Sag Harbor. Cute shops line the main street, featuring anything from high-end clothing to casual beach-wear, candy, and toys!
  •  The Tuck Shop- This family-owned ice cream shop is one of my favorite places to go on Shelter Island. Super casual with incredible ice cream!
  • Sunset Beach- This is Shelter Island’s place to “see and be seen.” And yes, to catch the ultimate sunset! Great food & drinks, too!

Where To Dine:

  • Ram’s Head-  I highly recommend going to Ram’s Head on a beautiful summer night to enjoy a delicious meal and a beautiful sunset. There are plenty of gluten free options including potato crusted fluke, Pan Seared Sea Scallops, and a Prosciutto and Arugula salad. Check out all gluten free options and our thoughts on the restaurant in our review! 

Amenities:

  • Beach- Walk down the hill from the hotel and wah-lah! You’re own private beach. Kayaks, paddle boards, and tanning lounges are available for your use!
  • Tennis Courts- If you’re in the mood for activities, the property has a tennis court and an area to play bocce ball and cornhole!
  • Bar- Get drinks before dinner or end your evening with a night-cap at the Inn’s bar, located right at the entrance.

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Ram’s Head Inn is quaint and adorable, and perfect when you are in need of a relaxing getaway. Thank you, Ram’s Head, for the wonderful, calming day!

Nice Cream

If you’re like me, you constantly stalk food blogs for inspiration (mostly for what meal will garner the most Instagram hits, but occasionally to actually find stuff to feed myself with). If this is the case, you might have happened upon a vegan favorite called nice cream…the sweet treat without the cream! And, if you’re like me, you get super anxious and overwhelmed by the shear number of versions this delicious dessert can make. However, do not be afraid! I have complied a recipe that is straight in the “no fear zone” of cooking handbooks everywhere. Put this guide in your arsenal because you will use it all the time.

There are lots of ways to make nice cream, from the different bases to the flavor concoctions, but the same is true for every nice cream recipe…it’s essentially blended frozen fruit. Simple. You can choose to be all classy and whatnot and add cacao nibs or matcha to the mixture or you can literally buy frozen fruit and blend it. Either way, you’re on trend, healthy, and most importantly Instagram will love you. Now, all you need is a Pinterest-y mason jar set up and you’re good to go!

There is one trick only to a successful nice cream. Add more frozen fruit than liquid. The liquid should be any non-dairy milk (lactose free milk also works if you’re not a fan of soy/almond or vegan products). If you want a more steady, smooth base, add a banana or a half cup of any nut butter to the mix. Those ingredients will give you the creamy texture of ice cream without the lactose component. And voi la! Nice cream!

What you will need:
1) A blender
2) Frozen fruit of your choice
3) non lactose milk of your choice
4) Bananas AND/OR
5) Nut butter of your choice

Here’s what I did:

2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup almond milk
1 banana (chopped)

Blend until smooth. Serve. Post a picture to Instagram. Feel relevant.

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Bob’s Red Mill

For three decades, the Founder of Bob’s Red Mill, Bob Moore, has been producing the nation’s most sought after oats generated in stone mills. Bob prides his business on trust, honesty, and integrity, using clear packaging so consumers can see the contents of each product and trust its quality. Best of all, years ago, Bob saw the importance of catering to consumers with all dietary restrictions and preferences, and took drastic measures to ensure gluten-free consumers would be able to enjoy his product as well!

All products marked with a gluten-free symbol are produced in a dedicated facility and batch tested for gluten content. Some products, however, are wheat free, but ultimately NOT gluten-free as they are produced in a facility with grains containing gluten. Some of Bob’s 100% gluten-free items include gluten-free thick rolled oats, gluten-free muesli, gluten-free mixes, and gluten-free seeds! Bob’s gluten-free flours come in a variety from brown rice to white rice, to hazelnut to cornmeal flour.

I’m a HUGE fan of the gluten-free brownie mix flour. Simply add butter (or a dairy free alternative), egg, a little vanilla extract and wah-lah! Delicious brownies created in just minutes!

Buy your Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free products here! 

Langham Place

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Langham Place, located on 5th Avenue, is the quintessential Midtown New York City Hotel. The hotel is popular for out-of-town business folks who come to the area for a quick meeting or two and need a place to crash, as well as for families and tourists looking to set up home-base for a few days and enjoy all NYC has to offer.

Given its proximity to Midtown, Times Square, Bryant Park, Union Square, Penn Station, and Herald Square, you may say that Langham Place is located in the center of the city! The hotel is perfect for tourists, or locals like myself looking for a weekend getaway, and you will not be disappointed by your Langham Place stay. From the service and amenities, to the cuisine, everything about Langham Place is high-class. Oh, and the rooms are incredible, not to mention they have spacious, classy, beautiful, and remarkable views!

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

What To Do in The Area:

  • You’re on 5th Ave! Shop! 16th Street- 24th Street on 5th Avenue is my favorite shopping in the City.
  •  Empire State Building- Located on 33rd and 5th, just blocks from the hotel!
Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Where To Dine:

  • Ai Fiori- Langham Place is home to the Altamarea Group’s Michelin Star winning restaurant, Ai Fiori! The food is absolutely delicious, and you are in for a wonderful New York City dining experience! Check out all gluten free options and our thoughts on the restaurant in our review! 
  • Measure Lounge- Also attached to the hotel. Follow an amazing dinner at Ai Fiori with cocktails from Measure Lounge. American & British comfort food, seasonal cocktails, and live jazz!
Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Amenities:

  • Spa- Chuan Body & Soul- Currently under renovation but will be back and better than ever in Fall 2015!
  • Fitness Center- Cardio and strength machines, personal trainers, and a sauna!
Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Langham Place lives up to its motto of “Luxury at its Best,” and it is the perfect NYC hotel. Thank you, Langham Place, for treating me like royalty… It was hard to leave! Check out The Staycationers for more of our stay!

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

Photo Credit: Daniela Spector

WTRMLN WTR

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I’m happy to announce that you can beat the heat with this new summer treat: Watermelon Water! Unlike many fruit juices that use artificial sweeteners or extra sugar, Watermelon Water is all natural and uses watermelon flesh, watermelon rind, and organic lemon. It is literally like drinking a watermelon- not even water is added!

Better yet, each melon is non-GMO, hand skinned, and cold-pressed, and not to mention, the drink is completely gluten free! With 6x the electrolytes as sports drinks, Watermelon Water makes the perfect workout beverage. But hey, who said hydrating was solely reserved for athletes? Craving something deliciously hydrating that was more flavorful than lemon-water, yet relatively low in calories, I decided to give Watermelon Water a try, and I am so happy I did.

With one sip of the freshly cold-pressed juiced watermelon, I was immediately transported to the white sands of a beautiful beach, without a worry in the world. The taste was so crisp, with just the perfect amount of sweetness and a refreshing boost. There are only 90 calories per bottle and the drink is packed with vitamin C, making Watermelon Water the perfect treat to quench your thirst, while also leaving you feeling rejuvenated and healthy.

Watermelon Water is only in a few select stores, but you can order from their online website and have it shipped straight to your door. Watermelon Water definitely tastes like “summer in a bottle” and ensures that you’ll be hydrated and healthy!

Taccozzette Con Stracotto with gluten free pasta at OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria

NOBREAD TOP 5

News Flash: you don’t have to miss pasta when you’re gluten free! We’ve rounded up our favorite brands and styles of NOBREAD approved pasta!

1. Jovial 

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Jovial is one of our favorite brands. They’re an Italian company that sets the bar high and makes amazing pasta with brown rice flour. Their fusilli is the perfect shape to hold a thick bolognese sauce!

2. Tolerant 

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Tolerant makes their pastas with either red lentils or black beans. Not only are they simple and delicious, but they’re also organic and non-GMO! Regular pasta can be nutritionally empty, but one serving of red lentil penne has 13 grams of fiber and 21 grams of protein!

3. Amy’s 
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Amy’s makes delicious prepared foods, and their lasagna is no exception! This frozen lasagna is made with gluten free rice pasta, ricotta, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, and peas. So delicious and easy!

4. Ancient Harvest 

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Ancient Harvest makes a colorful corn and quinoa flour pasta that will steal the show at your table! Their product is organic, kosher, and non-GMO. Plus, you’d never be able to tell it’s gluten free. The texture and taste is superb!

5. Pasta Prima 
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Pasta Prima makes all natural cheese raviolis! The dough is made with corn and rice flour, and it is filled with a delicious blend of parmesan, romano, asiago, mozzarella, and ricotta cheese. So indulgent! I’d serve it with a nutty pesto sauce!

Keurig

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I’m sure you’ve heard of the Keurig machine by now. The single serve coffee machine has exploded in popularity, transforming people’s morning routines. I love how simple the design is! I keep a wide variety of K-Cups, which are little flavor pods, in my kitchen. Of course, the best part about the K-Cups is that they are gluten free! What’s awesome is that the Keurig makes so much more than just coffee. Companies that manufacture K-Cups also produce flavors like chai and hot chocolate, and you can even make iced tea! Seriously, the options are killer. There are over 400 varieties from 60 different brands. That means if you can’t live without Dunkin or even Tazo tea, your Keurig can make it! Check out their website to find the brewer size right for your kitchen and order a sample pack of K-Cups to discover your new favorite! I’m kind of obsessed with the caramel vanilla cream coffee from Green Mountain…

Where to Buy: http://www.keurig.com/content/brewers

Daiya

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Daiya is a much-loved company that makes some of the best vegan cheeses out there. They have a wide range of products that are all gluten free! The cheeses are a great source of calcium and B12. There are a lot of flavors and styles. The cheese blocks are perfect for slicing and shredding yourself and they are available in jalapeño havarti, cheddar, jack and smoked gouda. For someone who is dairy free, it’s a blessing to be able to have so many different options and get out of that faux cheddar rut! If you’d prefer pre-sliced, Daiya makes that as well. Provolone is my favorite sliced option. For pizzas and tacos, go for the shredded! The mozzarella has upped my homemade pizza game. But if making your own pizza dough is too much work, Daiya has a solution:  gluten free frozen pizzas! There’s Cheeze Lover’s, Margherita, Fire-roasted Vegetable, and Mushroom & Roasted Garlic. The fire roasted vegetable is my favorite, with red onions, green and yellow bell peppers, roasted garlic, tomatoes, basil, and lots of mozzarella cheese! I also love their cream cheese, and you can’t even guess that it’s dairy free! Plus, they have strawberry flavor. How awesome is that? I’m most excited to tell you guys about their new GF Cheezecake! They’re rich and creamy with a delicious gluten free crust! There’s classic New York style, key lime, strawberry, and chocolate. Life changing! I topped the chocolate Cheezecake with fresh raspberries– it might just be my new favorite dessert. Check out Daiya’s website for recipe ideas and to find a store near you!

Where to find: http://us.daiyadev.com/