Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday Motivation 05/30/2016

"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning. "

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Motivation 05/23/2016

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

~ Thomas Edison

Sunday, May 22, 2016

EAT: Fresh Kitchen, Tampa (Hyde Park/SoHo), FL

If you are in Tampa, FL in the Hyde Park/SoHo area, run, don't walk to Fresh Kitchen. It is a gluten free restaurant that focuses on the Whole Food/Paleo movement and part of the Ciccio Restaurant Group, owner of several restaurants in the area. It is easy to find on South Howard Ave., but the parking can be tricky. The whole area is hip, trendy, up and coming active, and healthy. I spotted Fresh Kitchen one evening during a stay in Tampa and vowed to return the next day for lunch. I was leaving that day and needed to grab lunch early, so I arrived around 10:45am as instructed by one of the staff members the night before. Fresh Kitchen opens at 11am, but she said they usually have everything ready to go by 10:45am. Apparently, many other people had the same idea! We stood in line and the place was packed the whole time I was there. Even the local firemen stopped by for lunch.
How can one go wrong in a restaurant where everything is gluten free?  There were so many options, it was hard to choose. The format of the restaurant is you order at the counter as you walk down the serving line, a la Chipotle. First, you choose your bases, then your veggies, then proteins, and finally sauces. The hardest part is deciding what to order.

Your choices are determined by the bowl you select. The choices are varied and some I had never heard of before. Sweet Potato Pasta (gluten free, of course) was one choice I had to try. The servers were all helpful and more that happy to tell you the ingredients of each item, which is great for those who have other allergies besides gluten.
When complete, my bowl was so full I knew my eyes were bigger than my stomach. The flavors were great of each item. I had the Sweet Potato Pasta and the Coconut Rice as my bases. Brussel sprouts and eggplant were my veggie choices. I decided on the Beef and Pesto Chicken for my proteins. I decided against any sauces with my other food allergies, and the food did not need it. So tasty and filling!
My lunch companion ordered a similar bowl, but tried the Almond Chicken as his protein with a sprinkle of cheese on top. He was very pleased with his bowl as well. He said the Coconut Sriracha sauce was very good.

Fresh Kitchen also has a nice variety of beverage options, from fresh pressed juices to interesting teas. The fresh pressed juices were tasty (grabbed on the evening before to save for breakfast that morning) and the teas were flavorful without being too sweet.

I would highly recommend checking out Fresh Kitchen the next time you are in Tampa. The ease of ordering a safe meal for food allergies and everything being gluten free is a great option for those who struggle to find tasty gluten free meals out. The best part is that your non-gluten free friends will enjoy the flavors and options as well. Wish Fresh Kitchen had more locations!

Fresh Kitchen
1350 South Howard Ave.
Tampa FL 33606

Friday, May 20, 2016

EAT: The Katherine Brasserie and Bar, The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel,Winston Salem, NC

The Katherine Brasserie and Bar is located in the old RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company Headquarters, the building the Empire State Building is modeled after, in Winston Salem, NC. The Headquarters is now a boutique hotel called The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel and Private Residences. Being a native to Winston Salem, I was excited to try out The Katherine and to see what changes were made from the original building.
The Katherine does not have a gluten free menu, but our server was very knowledgeable about ingredients and was happy to check with the bartender and the chef on ingredients. The menu has a great selection of appetizers. I know many times based on my food allergies, I do not even have one appetizer option, so to see so many was great. We started out with the Seared Sea Scallops, complete with Black Truffle and English Pea Risotto. Very tasty and the scallops were cooked to perfection.
We also started with the Trio de Pates, but as you can see from the picture, only two of them were gluten free. Also, no crostini. The Rabbit Rillettes and the Foie Gras Torchon were gluten free, but the chef recommended against the Wild Boar and Fig Terrine due to Bourbon. I know many people can consume distilled grain alcohols with no problems, but unfortunately, I am not one of them, so I avoid them. The dish was finished with a Plum Puree, whole grain mustard, and pickled vegetables. The pates were delish! Would definitely order them again and wish the portion size was larger. I am not sure I have ever eaten Rabbit before, but I was pleased with this pate. Also, this is the best foie gras I have had other than in Las Vegas.
Our server was so helpful that she mentioned that the French Fries were gluten free and fried in a dedicated fryer! Of course, this meant we had to order them! I ordered the Dry Aged Burger, which came with the fries. I ordered the burger without the bun, and while I was told they dry age the burger in house, I was not blown away by it. The fries were the winning part of that dish!
My dinner companion ordered the Grilled Poulet Rouge (chicken) with Asparagus and Cherry Vinaigrette. Instead of the Olive Oil Crushed Potatoes, he went with the French Fries. He was not blown away by the dish, but said it was very good. He said the Pates and Fries were the best.
I really appreciated the care our server took to make sure we both had gluten free and corn free meals. I always appreciate when a server does not know an answer, but gladly asks the chef. Those of us with food allergies appreciate that level of care.
If you get a chance to visit The Katherine, named after the matriarch of the RJ Reynolds family, but sure to check it out. Reservations on Open Table are a must, unless you want to dine in the bar. Be sure to also check out The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel while dining to see that the history of the RJ Reynolds Headquarters building remain.

The Katherine Brasserie and Bar
Inside The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel
51 East 4th St.
Winston Salem, NC 27101

Retested For Food Allergies

Yesterday, I received the results of my Food Allergy tests. I was retesting after several years to see if any of my food allergies have changed. This is so important to make sure you are not developing new allergies and if you can add back food previously allergenic. Of course, my severe allergies have not improved. Those will be foods I will avoid for the rest of my life. They include wheat, gluten, and corn. I had several mild allergies improve, but that may be from not eating them for several years. I will add them back slowly to see how I feel. I have several new allergies that will now make me live a more Paleo lifestyle. I am now allergic to rice and oats, so now no grains at all. Unfortunately, I ate those as my carbs, and now, I will have to clean up my diet again to make sure I am not eating foods I am allergic to. Also, allergic to cocoa?!? Not fun! A piece of dark chocolate was a great and easy gluten free, corn free option for dessert when you need a sweet treat. I will have to regroup and find some alternatives.

I will be posting new recipes as I find them, but let me know if you have experience with the Paleo Diet. I would love to hear from you!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Motivation 05/16/2016

"Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray."

~ Rumi

Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday Motivation 05/09/2016

"On the razor-thin edge of your fear lies the portal to a vast ocean of opportunity. Go ahead and step through."

~ Becky Vollmer

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Monday Motivation 05/02/2016

"Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don't let anyone limit your dreams." 

~ Donovan Bailey