A few months ago I was invited to the coolest dinner party. Jason, from Fresh Jax, invited me and a guest to attend an all natural, vegan, gluten-free, healthy, delicious food tasting. My good friend Marika joined me for this Vegan deliciousness. My boyfriend had an event that night and honestly I am not sure how long he would have lasted without meat. The dinner was a nice time for she and I to catch up and to oo and ah over cashew cheese and quinoa stuffed red pepper like health food nerds (don’t worry we had some wine to complement our healthy food). Jason, along with his wife Hilary and Chef Johnny Vines created an amazing dinner that was purely plant based and nutrient full.
You may recognize Jason and Hilary (pic above: aren’t they cute? seriously they smile like this all the time), for the past 2 1/2 years they have been frequenting The Riverside Arts Market Downtown and most recently Jaxson’s Night Market the third Thursday of the month Downtown.
They specialize in hot sauce, pastries, spices and most recently they came out with a Quinoa Cookbook. My favorites are the Everything Sauce and Coconut Bacon.
Hilary and Jason met while they were both working in the corporate world as design specialists. Their idea to create Fresh Jax started at their wedding. Their infamous hot sauce was actually a gift to attendees at their wedding. People loved it so much they suggested bottling it. The rest is history. Hilary is also a yoga instructor. Their dream is to open up a storefront where they will have GMO free, gfree and dairy free healthy foods to go Monday thru Friday, a yoga studio and farm to table dinners once a week. Until then, check them out at the Riverside Arts Market or Jaxson’s Night Market. Not only is their food delicious, they are super nice people too.
On November 15th, the first gluten-free expo in Jacksonville will be held at the Hyatt Riverfront in Downtown Jacksonville from 10am-3pm. The event will feature national bloggers, doctors, dietary experts such as:
- Julia McRae: Certified Nutritionist. She herself suffered with Ulcerative Colitis in her youth.
- Desire Anderson: brings 10 years of experience as an outdoor educator and has worked at various camps and educational institutions throughout the nation. She has a wide and adventurous background, in travel, art, woodworking, science education and outdoor, off-grid living and cooking.
- Jen Eccleston: author of the blog “my BIG FAT grain free life” and owner of Jen Tilly Tea. Using humor and quite frankly, crybaby moments, she seeks to deal with food allergies, bowel health and autoimmune disease while retaining her belief that allergen free food really CAN taste delicious.
- Shannon Ford, Mrs. United States 2011, an advocate for Celiac Disease Awareness. After being diagnosed in 2009, it became Shannon’s goal to bring more attention to the illness and advocate for better labeling of our nation’s food supply.
I am really excited that we will have an entire day dedicated to gluten-free. I look forward to learning and sharing ideas around living healthy gluten-free.
Tickets are only $10 for adults and discount tickets for seniors and military. There will be an expo hall where gluten-free and other allergen free items will be available for sample. Participants include some of my favorite brands: Glutino, Udi’s, Enjoy Life and more.
Are you planning to attend? What do you hope to get out of a gluten-free expo?
For more information and to purchase tickets click here…
Our Sponsor, Naturally Smart Frozen Dessert, is continuing to sweeten up the Jacksonville frozen dessert market. Their founder, Mark Patterson, has really been pounding the pavement. I see him everywhere. Usually I run into him at the local coffee shop early in the morning where he is preparing to continue to spread the word about Naturally Smart. Some places you may have seen Naturally Smart:
1. At one of the many tastings they have participated in…
2. Around town in the Naturally-Smart.com van…
3. At Fresh Market, Winn Dixie, Grassroots Market and Whole Foods….
4. On the news…
Naturally Smart a healthy alternative to ice cream | Gatorsports.com
The “SMART” Dessert | One Spark
Naturally Smart frozen dessert | News – Home – News4Jax
Smart People Eat Dessert
Jacksonville Business Journal
We are very excited for Naturally Smart Frozen Dessert. It is nice to see a local “passion” succeed. Have you tried it? What do you think? Check out our previous sponsor post on Naturally Smart.
While I don’t claim to be a book critic I will say this is one book that I’ll be referring to quite a bit. When I was asked to write a review by Christi Silbaugh, author of Mom, What’s for Dinner I must say I was a little skeptical. Living with celiac disease I wondered how could she understand, truly understand, what I would need someone living with Celiac Disease. But after flipping through the first few pages of Gluten-Free Made Easy I could tell she got it!
Gluten-Free Made Easy is a book for all the gluten-free eaters and health enthusiasts everywhere. It is formatted very similar to other gluten-free cook books I have seen. The book helps explain: what is gluten, where is gluten hidden, where do I find gluten ingredients and how can I fit gluten-free into my budget. In addition there are tips and tricks all through the book such as:
- on pg 49: “The Batter Barrier: Gluten-free batter is sometimes thicker, sometimes thinner and always different than traditional batter. It will take time to get accustomed to the texture of gluten-free flours. For now, trust the recipe.”
- on pg 145: “The secret to moist fish. An over cooked fish is a dry fish. It is best to remove the fish from the oven when it’s jucy and has changed color…. if the fish starts to brown… it is probably overdone.”
- on page 6: “Try restaurants with a large number of gluten-free dishes such as Mexican, Chinese, Indian, and other ethnic cuisines.”
This cookbook is very easy to understand, the directions are simple and many of the ingredients are things I already had around my house. I also like that the recipes don’t rely on hand making everything from scratch with 10-12 different steps. The recipes reference a lot of really good gluten-free products and they seem like great recipes for children on gluten-free diets.
I made the Potatoes Au Gratin (p158) and Dry Rubbed Tilapia (p142). They were DELICIOUS! and I can’t wait to try the Homemade Baked Tater Tots (p73), Italian Sausage Lasagna Cups (p93) and the Cauliflower Pizza Crust (p99).
The pictures are beautiful; at first glance I was immediately hungry. While I love this book I do have a few critiques:
- The calorie and fat counts are not posted and many of the items seem high in fat and calories.
- Since many people are gluten-free and dairy-free it would have been nice to include some dairy substitute ideas.
- It would be nice to see the overall preparation times at the top so people can pick recipes based on time allotted (It took close to 1 and a half hours to prepare the Potatoes Au Gratin).
The book is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Books and Things. I recommend it for you and your family.
With much anticipation, Earth Fare is now open in Jacksonville, FL. A cross between Whole Foods, Native Sun and Grassroots Natural Market, this Asheville North Carolina native is FULL of gluten-free options. Here are some of my highlights:
Meat and Seafood: They provide humane meats and keep smaller quantities on hand and order more frequently so that meats and seafood stay fresh. They source their meats and sea food from all over the world but are looking to reach out to local seafood and meat sources.
Family Meal Night: Every Thursday from 4-8pm up to six kids eat free with one adult dinner purchase (only $5) and they will prepare gluten-free meals for your family.
Gluten free Goods: They have distributed gluten-free goods throughout the store rather than having all gluten-free items in one aisle. Look for wood grained shelves and the gluten-free signs. These shelves are HUGE, it is not just one column and one row of gluten-free goods it is rows and columns of gluten-free goodness. They even have some local gluten-free items such as FreshJax hot sauce and Sweet Pete’s. The prices for gluten-free items vary.
Local 100: Look for the signs that say Local 100 this means that the produce came within 100 miles.
Gfree makeup: They have two different brands of gluten-free make up that are also vegan.
Specializing in REAL FOOD, we think Earth Fare is going to be a huge hit. They do their best to avoid foods that contain antibiotics; artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, fats; high fructose corn syrup and bromated or bleached flour. We can’t wait to make this a part of our regular shopping routine.
GIVEAWAY: Thank you for your comments about your favorite gluten-free brand. We have picked a winner and will announce soon.
Whenever work takes me to St. John’s County I always have to stop at Present Moment Cafe in St.Augustine.
Everything is raw and everything is gluten-free and dairy-free. Everything I have ever had has been delicious. It is located on King Street across US-1 from the hub-bub of Historic St. Augustine.
Today I had the house pizza and a piece of chocolate marble torte with drunken bananas. My belly is happy!!
Filed under Dining, Travel
What a great summer it has been! This summer I…
Ate a yummy Stuffed Portabello at The Cafe at the Cummer,
took a little kayak trip for Visit Jacksonville,
indulged in gluten-free onion rings and a burger at Epik Burger,
was moved at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta,
happily indulged in a “Skinny Elvis” home-made by my love to mimic the Fat Elvis from The Vortex in Atlanta,
I started taking weekly walks on the beach to collect sharks teeth,
Celebrated 4th of July with my love,
had a lovely dinner with our friends from FreshJax,
enjoyed some summer veggies,
won the Jacksonville Scene beach volleyball championship,
and wore a silly hat to watch the Cubs take on the Braves in Chicago.
Thank you Summer of 2014. You were good to me!
Filed under Uncategorized