Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gluten Free Ham and Cheese Biscuits

I love that moment when you’re in a familiar restaurant, just waiting with a friend, not expecting to have any gluten free options, and you look to your left and what do you see….

daisycakes gluten free

Not only a new gluten free option – you see a GLUTEN FREE BISCUIT!

Thank you DaisyCakes for continuing to not only make the most delicious gluten free cupcakes:

but also for trying new gluten free recipes!

daisycakes gluten free2

This gluten free ham and cheese biscuit was amazing!

The biscuit was soft and doughy with that perfect amount of butter. And after my INTENSE workout, this biscuit really hit the spot!

The next time you’re in Durham, check out DaisyCakes! In fact, I’ll meet you there! Smile

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Five Guys Burgers and Fries Gluten Free

This past Friday I was heading out of town, when Parrish called and said he could meet me for lunch in Chapel Hill. I suggested Brixx, since I knew I could get a gluten free pizza.

But as soon as we got out of the car, we both could smell Five Guys. The burgers. The fries. We changed our mind. No to pizza; Yes to Five Guys!

five guys grill gluten free

For us gluten free folks, we can order a burger or a hot dog sans bun. Let the cashier know that you would like a glove change too.

I didn’t realize that a glove change was necessary but when I ordered my hot dog with no bun, I was asked if it was an allergy. I said yes, and the gentleman taking my order called out to the kitchen “Allergy here. Change the gloves.” To which, all the staff in the kitchen responded by repeating. It was amazing.

Bonus: We can eat the fries!

And their fries are amazing! Handcut and cooked in peanut oil. Man, if you’re going to eat french fries, they better be worth it right?!

I really enjoyed my meal at Five Guys, and am happy to know that I have an easy option when I’m travelling on the road.

What about you?

Have you had a good experience at Five Guys?

Do you have another fast food restaurant that you trust?

Monday, May 27, 2013

How to Throw a Gluten Free Party

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you had a great weekend! I had a lot of fun, packed in to just a few days! I have a lot of fun to recap here on the blog, but I thought I would start with my sister Susan’s Engagement Party.

Saturday I traveled down to Boiling Springs, South Carolina to celebrate my sister Susan and her fiance Jerry’s upcoming wedding. It was such a happy day, with absolutely beautiful weather!

When I started planning the party, I decided to throw the party in between lunch and supper. I knew only needing to plan snacks would be easier, and particularly only gluten free snacks would be easier than planning an entire meal.

For the menu, I decided to do two dishes that required cooking, and two that just required prep. That way I could feel less stressed about timing. 

The menu:


The veggie strips and fruit skewers were the easy part:


I prepped pepper, carrot, and celery strips the night before. Day of, I spooned fat free ranch dip into small cups and stuck in a serving of dippers. That way folks could grab these easily. Leftover strips and dip went into a dish on the side, that way once the pre-made cups ran out, guests could still snack without me prepping more cups.


My Mom and Bestie helped prep the fruit skewers two hours before the party:


Who doesn’t love strawberries, pineapple, and grapes?!

Especially when dipped into Orange Creamsicle dip!?


The dip was from one of my favorite blog’s Iowa Girl Eats. You can find the recipe HERE.

I will say though, that the dip was VERY sweet. I think the next time I made it, I would use Fat Free Cool Whip instead of Marshmallow Fluff. That would take down the sweetness factor.

It was delicious though! Both the veggies and fruit were great, and the prep was easy!

The buffalo chicken dip was the only dish that needed to be cooked the day of, and unfortunately I forgot to snap a picture! I will say though, that it was a BIG HIT, and lots of folks were asking for the recipe. You can find that RECIPE HERE. I love this recipe, because it’s actually a lighter version of buffalo chicken dip but you can’t taste the difference!

But the REAL hit was the BLT Ranch Pasta Salad!


Man oh Man! Delicious!

It was my first time trying this recipe, so I was nervous about how it would turn out. Then again, all the ingredients were great, so how could it not work?!

Gluten Free BLT Ranch Pasta Salad

adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

You’ll need:

One bag gluten free pasta in spirals (I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Vegetable Spirals)

One block Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheese, cut into cubes

One can of diced tomatoes, juice drained

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup thinly chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce

One pound bacon, baked crisp and roughly chopped (how to bake bacon HERE)

1 to 2 cups Hidden Valley Farms Ranch Dressing (feel free to use low fat or fat free, just be sure to check for the gluten free label on the back!)

Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and then let the pasta cool. I placed the noodles in the fridge for half an hour to speed up the cooling process.

Once cool, poor the noodles into a large bowl and add in the rest of the prepped ingredients! Start with just one cups of ranch dressing, and keep adding until it’s the right amount of moist. You want the dressing to stick to the noodles and hold the ingredients together, but you don’t want it to be soupy.



All of my dishes were gluten free, but no one could tell. Especially the pasta salad!


In fact, until folks started asking me for recipes, I’m not sure gluten free even came up in the conversation!

Along with the food, there was a tasty treat to wash it all down:



I rarely drink lemonade, just because of the sugar content, but on a special occasion…


it sure is refreshing! So summery. Love.

The party was so much fun. It was great to be able to see so many friends and family members, especially when we’re all celebrating such a happy occasion!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gluten Free Cheese Fondue, Muffins…and Rain


Today is my last day in a 10 day stretch at work, and I couldn’t be more excited! Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but….everything in moderation right?!

Winking smile

Not in moderation:


cheese fondue!

Last night was girl’s night at The Little Dipper in Durham, and ladies get cheese fondue and chocolate fondue for only $9! Seriously, what is better than a big pot of melted cheese?

And I have such great girlfriends, who were willing to spoon cheese out onto their bread instead of glutening the whole pot! We chose the Havarti Dill cheese fondue, my absolute favorite, and it did not disappoint!

So good.

Also so good:


this gluten free lemon poppy seed muffin from local bakery: Hummingbird Bakery. Right down the street from my work, this little muffin was incredible! Soft, moist with just the right amount of lemon punch. So stinkin’ good.

Not so good:


Gosh darn rainy mornings. I know when it’s a billion degrees this summer, I will be wishing for rain. But this week, I’m over it. I’m ready for a long stretch of sunshine. You know who else is tired of rainy mornings?

Max and Hazel!

It seems silly that dogs would be afraid of rain, but my two little fur babies will not get their puppy paws wet until they absolutely can’t hold it. Fraidy cats puppies.

I hope you have a great day!

I’m headed to bestie’s house tomorrow, can’t wait!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hunger in Haiti

As I rummaged through the freezer this morning, I couldn’t help but groan when I realized we were out of frozen fruit for my morning smoothie. Irritated but not angry, I grabbed a banana and a yogurt and headed out the door.

But on my drive to work, I remembered the blog post I read last night. A blog post that I know will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Some images can’t be unseen, and as much as I would love to turn a blind eye to world hunger, I can’t.

And for that I am both grateful and sad.

Grateful that God keeps giving me these doses of perspective, and sad that I live in a world where someone is eating cookies made of dirt.

As a person who eats gluten free, I often feel as if “there is nothing I can eat”. But my friends, there are people who actually have NOTHING they can eat. And so they satiate that pang of hunger with a cookie made of dirt. A cookie made of DIRT.

We may not be able to eat gluten, but there are so many wonderful things we can eat. So today, I encourage you to take a glimpse into the huge issue of world hunger. And I encourage you to share this glimpse with those around you, by reading this blog post:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

They’re Back….

Big salads are back!

wednesday 033

Easy. Fast. Filling. It’s all about the Big Salad.

Crisp lettuce, grape tomatoes, avocado, Cabot cheese, Perdue gluten free chicken tenders, bell pepper, and scallion


My favorite part is definitely the avocado with the chicken. Crunchy with creamy – it’s the best!

wednesday 026

For dressing Parrish and I go back and forth between Wishbone Buffalo Ranch and Cilantro Shallot Vinaigrette. Both are good, but we didn’t have cilantro on had last night, so Buffalo Ranch it was!

The only thing that could make this salad better would be crispy bacon. But let’s face it, crispy bacon makes everything better.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Warrior Gluten Free Frozen Pizza

This past weekend I was a “Weekend Warrior”, meaning that I worked both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was a big sale day at work, so I didn’t make it home until well after 7pm.

I don’t know about you, but my supper schedule is pretty prompt. I like to eat around 6:30, and 5:30 would be even better. So 7:30/8:00 pm on Saturday was pushing it.

So I skipped my plan of roasted sweet potatoes and kale quesadillas, and tried a new to me gluten free frozen pizza:


Daiya Mushroom & Roasted Garlic Pizza

I love Against the Grain Frozen Pizzas, but nutritionally, they aren’t….the best. Delicious…yes. Low in calories…not so much. So I snagged this Daiya pizza last week, hoping that it would be good.


I won’t say it’s bad….but…it’s not good.

First, let’s look at the baking instructions:


500 degrees? Interesting. I followed the instructions perfectly and at ONLY ten minutes:


My pizza was burnt on one side completely, and a some of it had bottomed out.

And I don’t have a notoriously hot oven. So I’m not really sure that that was about.

Once I trimmed off the burnt edges, I will say that the flavor of the pizza was good, meaning that the big chunks of garlic were delicious! But the crust…even though burnt….didn’t taste all the way cooked.

So would I buy it again? No.

But I will try to recreate the garlic and mushroom combo on a Udi’s gluten free crust – Yes!

What about you? What’s your go-to gluten free frozen pizza?

Happy Monday!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Crazy for Zumba

I never thought I would be one of these people.

I never thought that I would plan my schedule around fitness classes. That I would give up a yummy home-cooked supper to exercise. That I would research shoes to help me work out better.

But friends, that is what Zumba has done to me!

I am positively obsessed with Zumba!

It is such an amazing workout! I don’t think I have sweat as much working out in a LONG time. And I’m not some amazing dancer, but it doesn’t matter! No one is looking around. Everyone is looking at our amazing instructor and concentrating their hardest!

I had actually gone down a pants size right before starting Zumba, but now I’m getting ready to go down again!

I had to buy new workout pants because my old pants kept sweating off my body! It’s hard to keep up when you’re yanking up your pants every 10 seconds.

And I never get bored. And I never give up! There is something about the length of time you’re dancing, combined with the changing of moves, that keeps you moving even though you’re exhausted.

The calories burned are pretty motivating too…..

I’m so happy that my co-worker Katie and great friend Elizabeth got me started! I was so intimidated to Zumba before, and I hate that it kept me from this workout for so long! I love it!

Plus, we’re lucky here in Durham to have the BEST Zumba teacher ever – Lu! Her smile lights up the entire room! She has so much energy, and makes you feel like you’re doing a great job….even if you’re the most uncoordinated person in the group.

Zumba gives me so much energy. It keeps me motivated during the week to be more active, and gives me an AMAZING happiness after glow.

So yeah, I’m one of those people now.

I am CRAZY for Zumba. I wish I could do it everyday. I wish the class lasted longer than an hour. I find myself dancing at home in the kitchen while I cook.  I love it!

What about you?

Have you ever Zumba’d? Love it or Hate it?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Crunchy, Carby, Gluten Free Goodness

The mornings lately have been ROUGH.

We’re on Day A Million of rain and clouds here in NC, and it’s enough to make you get back in bed and pull the covers over your head. Hopefully there’s an end in sight, meaning that the rain is supposed to high tail it out of here tomorrow, but I’ll believe it when I see it….or don’t see it.

To cheer me up this morning, I had my new favorite breakfast. I wouldn’t call it my “go-to” breakfast, but it’s really just a bunch of empty carbs. Plus I have to eat a yogurt two hours after this breakfast, because it really has no staying power.

But, there is something about the crunchy, carby goodness….


so good! Some mornings I pop some blueberries or raspberries in there, but not this morning. This morning it’s just Nature’s Path Organic Gluten Free Whole O’s, soaking in Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. Simple and Satisfying.

AND after last nights Zumba class, I woke up STARVING this morning!


These O’s are not too sweet, and stay crunchy till the munch, crunch, munch, crunch, munch, crunch end.

Happy Wednesday!

Fingers Crossed for some sunshine!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Gluten Free Lunch on the Go: Kale Salad

I don’t know about you, but I can find kale at my local grocery store for SUPER CHEAP! It’s local too, and I can get a big ol’ bag of it for less than $2.

Every week I pick up a bag, not always knowing what I’m going to do with it. But I know I can add a little bit to a stir fry, a soup, or a smoothie easily.

Last week I forgot to buy romaine lettuce. Funnily enough, I didn’t realize it until I went to pack my salad for lunch that morning. Kale to the rescue!

kale salad

In a large bowl, I combined small, bite-size pieces of kale with 2-3 tablespoons of that super yummy Cilantro Shallot Vinaigrette that I love. To me, the key to a good kale salad is: THE MASSAGE.

Once I added the vinaigrette to the salad, I used my hands to basically knead the kale with the vinaigrette for about 5 minutes. That cuts the bitterness from kale, and makes it less tough. Massaging the kale also reduces it in size a bit, so I keep massaging until that happens.

Then I added sliced roma tomatoes and big chunks of avocado. Mmmmmm avocado.

Packed it up and enjoyed it for lunch later that day! And you know, the vinaigrette had enough acid in it, that the avocado barely browned!

Next time, I would love to add some shaved purple cabbage and carrots for more crunch. But even a simple kale salad was delicious!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Gluten Free Raleigh – Kimbap Cafe

Last night I had a LIFE CHANGING meal.

Seriously friends.


Kimbap in Raleigh is a Korean-Inspired restaurant with a real focus on local, fresh foods. They literally had a list of like 10 farms on the wall that their offerings for the night came from, and the cool thing is that I actually recognized the names!

All of their meats come from local meat vendors that I know, love, and trust. I knew the meal was going to be special, but I had no idea it would be the best meal I’ve eaten in a LOOOOOONG time!

Parrish and I were having trouble choosing, so we decided to share a few different dishes. Our first course:

gluten free shrimp dumplings

Crispy, chewy, and full of flavor. I can’t event remember the last time I ate a nice crispy dumpling! And in a restaurant?! Probably never. Ugh. So good.

Our second course:

the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Ever. Ever. Seriously. Ever.

Toasted Seaweed rolls filled with pork belly, shiitake mushrooms, sweet red peppers, and cilantro.

I can’t even describe it. I’m not going to do it justice. Salted pork belly is delicious on its own. Throw in shiitake mushrooms deep in flavor and a hint of crisp, sweetness from the peppers. Man. So good.

Third course:

A flavorful broth with DELICIOUS bits of brisket, local greens, local egg, spongy rice cakes, and scallion.

So much flavor. So many textures. Honestly I was tempted to snatch Parrish’s spoon and eat it all myself.

The final course:

The perfect portion of a gluten free chocolate torte. Rich, sweet, dark, chocolatey. I know I’ve said it like 10 times already, but….


Over 75% of Kimbap’s menu is gluten free! The service was great; the food was incredible.

I CAN’T WAIT to eat there again!!

And honestly, I think you should plan a trip to Raleigh.

We can meet for lunch, go shopping, and then eat at Kimbap again for supper.

And maybe we’ll get some take out for the road!