Tag Archives: gluten free jacksonville

Gluten Free Delights

Recently, Kristy Luschen the owner of Gluten Free Delights Florida reached out to me about trying some of her gluten-free desserts.  She recently started her gluten-free dessert company and wants to get the word out to those following a gluten-free diet as well as restaurants who are looking for a gluten-free option at their restaurant.

gluten free jacksonville gluten free delights Kristy brought me a strawberry cream cake, chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting, and a cheesecake topped with dark chocolate.  They sounded (and looked) delicious! Since her desserts also have dairy (I am dairy free too) I had to rely on my go-to taste tester: my husband!

gluten free jacksonville gluten free delights Kristy went gluten-free a while back when she thought she may have had gluten-sensitivity or Celiac Disease.  During that time she experimented with different gluten-free desserts and other recipes. While her kitchen is not designated gluten-free she makes every effort to clean, make sure all gluten-containing ingredients are out of sight and avoid cross contamination.

gluten free jacksonville gluten free delights Chocolate salted caramel

My husband found this one tasty- the icing had a salty taste which really balanced out the chocolate cake.  The cake could be a little bit more moist (this is always a challenge with gluten-free cakes) or just pair with a glass of milk or add a bit more icing 🙂 He loved the flavor of the icing.

gluten free jacksonville gluten free delightsStrawberry Cream Cake
This was my husband’s favorite so far and overall.  He said it was SO GOOD. My husband stated that it reminded him of the strawberry cake that they have at French Pantry that is so delicious.  It has a nice fruity creamy strawberry taste and has real strawberry chunks.  My husband said it tasted really fresh.

Chocolate cheesecake

While my husband is not typically a cheesecake fan he said the cheesecake and graham cracker flavors tasted amazing together. I know as far as gluten-free options go it is usually quite hard to find a good graham cracker crust. It was so tasty it may not even need the chocolate part or maybe a little less.

I highly recommend that you try out Gluten Free Delights. Visit her website and place an order. It is always nice to support local people trying to do good things in our community. And no matter what diet you are on you always need to allow a splurge every now and then. For more information visit her Facebook page: Gluten Free Delights on Facebook

What are your favorite desserts? So you normally order gluten-free dessert if it is available? Who has the best gluten-free dessert?

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Foo Dog Curry Traders a Gluten-Free Facility

foo dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

Since June 1, 2017 I have been dreaming of eating at Foo Dog Curry Traders located in Riverside. What is a Food Dog you ask? According to a quick google search: ” Chinese guardian lions or Imperial guardian lions that are a common representation of the lion in imperial China.” Once I got over the interesting name I quickly learned that this is a dedicated gluten-free restaurant.

Foo Dog’s Philosophy “Let’s abandon trying to retrofit classic European and American recipes to please a more health conscience patron as well as all-consuming food lovers. Let’s look to the cultures that have mastered tasty vegetarian and gluten free diets for centuries. Southeast Asian and Indian cuisine are the perfect inspirations to create beautiful food that is delicious, and healthy. Let’s apply that tradition to fit a wide array of dietary preferences. All the people can eat great food together.” I just love this!!!

The want to give our community an eatery that is delicious and meets a diverse array of dietary restrictions. All of their food is naturally gluten free and begins its life vegan. Beyond that, the choices are yours to make. They want to provide a clean, affordable, diverse, and delicious food with a conscience.

The owner of Foo Dog is also the owner of 13 Gypsies around the corner. Their culinary team is experienced and passionate. They hail from different walks of life with a broad range of interests and backgrounds. Professional Cooking, Catering, Music, Art, and Management… but they all share a love of food. But seriously, who doesn’t love food?

I visited in Early August with much anticipation. It is an order at the counter restaurant with very reasonable prices and quick service. I thought they would be slammed it being 7pm on a Friday. However, we got there during a rare lull which gave us plenty of time to chat with two very friendly staff members and ask all sorts of questions. My first question of course: Are you really a dedicated gluten-free facility? And they were like yep! Is everything really made fresh in house? Again yep! They were very patient as my husband and I tried to decide what we wanted to get and of course we had to share everything. We decided on an appetizer, a rice dish and a noodle dish. Food Dog Curry Traders also has a variety of assorted sodas so we got two which came highly recommended one tasted like hot of the grill pancakes and the other was a version of basic cola.

food dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

Ban Mi Spring Rolls with Pork

We started off with the Ban Mi Spring Rolls with pork. These were so fresh. I just love spring rolls that taste fresh and are not fried. This was such a great introduction to the enormous flavors we were about to experience. It came with a side of vegan mayonnaise which I quickly mixed with their chili garlic sauce that was amazing!

food dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

Chick Pea Spinach Masala with Jasmine Rice

Next was the Chick Pea Spinach Masala with Jasmine Rice. The flavors were just amazing. I had done a little research from other food reviews and this came highly recommended and it was well worth the recommendation. It has a little bit of spice but nothing that should scare you off. The portion sizes are just right not too large but you definitely leave feeling fulfilled. They serve them in environmentally friendly boxes that you could easily take home.

food dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

Chicken Laksa with Rice Noodles

Lastly was the Chicken Laksa with Rice Noodles. This had a more curry flavor and was a tad bit sweet. I loved how different it was from the Masala and it went so great with a little bit of the chili garlic sauce.

food dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

Pancakes and Kola Drinks!

These are our sodas! They were so sweet but it went nicely with our dishes which we added a little spice to so it was a nice offset.  The White Gourd Drink seriously tasted like pancakes you have to try it!

I had a great experience, felt great after wards (well maybe a little hopped up on sugar) and even though it is about 30 minutes from where I live I am going to find a way to visit once a week- I love it that much!

food dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

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Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan

gluten free jacksonville eggplant parmesanSo about this time of year each year I get an eggplant in my Front Porch Pickings Veggie Bin. I have tried all sorts of recipes- eggplant dip, grilled eggplant, broiled eggplant but nothing really did it for me until I tried making eggplant parmesan. I just love the crispy outside and the thick and meat-like texture of the inside. I also like anything drizzled/smothered in tomato sauce. I always add some sort of meat to it sometimes baked chicken and often times just some ground turkey breast. I put it over spaghetti or sometimes some spiralized zucchini.

The recipe I am sharing today is used with Gillian’s Gluten-free breadcrumbs I have also used 4C Gluten Free Bread crumbs and Ground Ian’s Italian Style Croutons. I have to say the ground (in my Magic Bullet) Ian’s Italian Style Croutons are my all time favorite. However, the Gillian’s sticks a little bit better.

Ingredients
1 eggplant
1 cup of Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
1 egg
2-3 dashes of oregano, basil or other italian seasonings
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese (I am dairy free so I typically forgo the cheese and it is still quite yummy)
1 tbsp olive oil or cooking spray

Instructions

-Preheat oven to 375
-Grease a baking pan with olive oil or cooking spray
-Get out two bowls – in one put the egg beaten, in the other put the breadcrumbs with parmesan and italian seasoning
-Slice the eggplant into about 1/2 inch round sections
-Dip the eggplant slice in egg then into the breadcrumb mixture continue until all round sections have been coated and put on the pan
– Spray coat the eggplant and add any additional Italian seasoning you prefer
– Cook for 10 minutes per side for a total of 20 minutes
– Let cool 2-3 minutes

To finish:
Pair with your favorite pasta sauce, gluten-free noodles and the meat of your choice (or you can go with no meat)

gluten free jacksonville eggplant parmesangluten free jacksonville eggplant parmesangluten free jacksonville eggplant parmesangluten free jacksonville eggplant parmesan

Anything you would do differently? What is your favorite gluten-free Italian dish?

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Epik Burger: Burgers of Epic Proportions

gluten free jacksonville epik burgerI recently met with Korey Konopasek, owner and Chef of the very gluten-free friendly restaurant Epik Burger on Atlantic Between Kernan and Hodges. While I have been to Epik Burger many times I had yet to meet the mastermind behind the deliciousness. Epik Burger has been open for 4 years and this restaurant is his dream. Before becoming a restaurant owner Korey was Director of Operations for Food Service at the University of North Florida.  While at UNF he came across many students with various allergies and knew when he finally opened a restaurant of his own it would need to accommodate a variety of food allergies.  He also wanted a place his mom could enjoy- she is living with Celiac Disease.

While talking with Korey he shared that he wanted a place people could come on a regular basis not just on the occasion when they were wanting to splurge on a greasy burger. Epik Burger is also known for their vegan and vegetarian options. While they are not a completely gluten-free establishment, they take extraordinary steps to avoid cross contamination.  There is nothing put in the fryers that have gluten in them and they have a separate toaster for the gluten-free buns.  They also use separate utensils for gluten-free preparations.

We enjoyed the Vegan BBQ Burger with a side of onion rings and the Epicurean Burger with a side of their truffle fries.  Their menu features a variety of flavors that go beyond just a lettuce and tomato topping.  Some of the interesting burgers are: PB and Burger, Vietnamese Burger, Fruit and Cheese Burger and the Buffalo Fried Burger.  Here is a link to their full menu. 

Korey and his wife recently expanded their restaurant offerings and opened Empire City Gastropub nearby.  

gluten free jacksonville epik burger

Meet Korey- Owner and Chef of Epik Burger as well as their new restaurant Empire City Gastropub.

gluten free jacksonville epik burger

I had the Vegan BBQ Burger with a gluten-free bun which includes BBQ sauce, vegan cheddar, cole slaw and an onion ring.  I got it with a side of onion rings because I don’t know anywhere else I can get gluten-free onion rings.  They make them with a gluten-free batter and gluten-free beer.  They make all of their onion rings this way.  The burger was amazing.  Loved the chunks of chick peas in the vegan burger and the onion ring gave it a nice crunch.  The onion rings have a nice cross between a beer batter and tempura so they are nice and crunchy.

gluten free jacksonville epik burger

We also tried the Epicurean Burger which is one of their award winning burgers with a side of their truffle fries. It includes Maytag Bleu Cheese-Truffle Mousse, Pancetta, Mushrooms,
Blackberry Jam, Balsamic Mayo, Green Onions and Parmesan Cheese on a gluten-free bun. The flavors are so unique and go so well together.  This is an awesome burger!

gluten free jacksonville epik burger

It was totally worth the splurge!  See you soon Epik Burger!

Make sure to not only check out Epik Burger but stop by Empire City Gastropub.  They have gluten-free items at Empire City- things like Bi Bim Bap- a tasty korean dish, burgers, shrimp fried rice, salads, and so much more.  See their menu here.

Have you been to either?  What is your favorite?

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Sponsor Post: Wine and Chocolate 5K

I like wine
gluten free jacksonville gluten free wine

I like to run

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And now I get to combine the two at the Wine and Chocolate 5K in San Marco.

wine17-266x200gluten free jacksonville wine and chocolate 5k

Join 1st Place Sports and Tropical Smoothie Cafe on Saturday April 22nd at 4:30pm in San Marco Square for the Wine and Chocolate 5K. This will be my very first Wine and Chocolate Run and you can’t beat getting a souvenir wine glass and wine and chocolate post race. I am very excited!

It is rare that there is an event that time of day, it should be beautiful and it takes you through the beautiful San Marco Neighborhoods. I haven’t run since the Gate River Run so I am excited for a much shorter run.  Check out their Facebook event page for more info.

This blog is sponsored by 1st Place Sports and Tropical Smoothie Cafe. You should try an Acai Berry Boost TM with Acai, pomegranate, banana, blueberries & strawberries.

tropical smoothie gluten free jacksonville

 

Are you running?

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Fresh Jax: Gluten Free Goodness

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxI was recently contacted by Jason at FreshJax to stop by and see their almost one year old store. I have known about FreshJax for a few years now through their strong presence at the Riverside Arts Market and just hadn’t had the time to make it to their store. Prior to opening their store they invited me to a wonderful gluten-free dairy free meal that was delicious.  Fresh Jax is the brain child of one of the sweetest couples you will meet, Jason and Hilary.

As I walked in I was kindly greeted by one of 2 staff working at the counter. I asked for Jason and was asked if I would like a tour while I waited.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxAs I approached the cafe counter I could quickly see chili, broccoli soup, donuts, kale wraps, yoga bars, a TON of amazing spices and a nice menu of fresh to order food options. The thing that is so hard to believe is that their entire menu is clean and the ENTIRE STORE IS GMO-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE AND DAIRY-FREE. No joke! Staff are not even allowed to come in with gluten-containing foods.gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

How do they do it?? They use a ton of locally sources fruits and vegetables and use a variety of replacement options such as organic coconut milk and organic maple syrup.  They also have a vast array of spices that they create in house.  A sample of their amazing spices include:

  • Bold Bayou perfect for pasta, potatoes, corn on the cob or as a marinade. It is made from Ancho Peppers so it is not too spicy but has a nice flavor.gluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Grill Master: one of their most popular seasonings this time of year as people start firing up their grills. Great on burgers!gluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Their signature coconut bacon that tastes just like bacon.  Great to add to on saladsgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Thai Coconut Curry includes real coconut and thai spices
  • Himalayan Sea Saltgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Italian Herb Blendgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • A tofu scramble spice that makes tofu taste just like scrambled eggsgluten free jacksonville fresh jax

They also have an entire case full of Kambucha and turmeric drinks. Turmeric is all the rage right now for its ability to decrease inflammation in the body which is very helpful for those of us living with Celiac Disease and other gluten-related illnesses.

They support a ton of local products such as 5 Points Candle Co. – they are organic soybean food grade essential oil with wood wick and a 60 hour burn. They are colorless so you are not breathing artificial coloring as they burn.

I tried their sushi bowl which is made of home made pickled veggies, carrots, ginger, seasoned rice with wasabi and cashew cream, black sesame seeds and guacamole. The flavors of the pickled veggies and the cream and guacamole make you forget that there isn’t ahi tuna in it. It was delicious and so fresh!gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

In addition to the cafe, spices and local products they also have a yoga studio attached. They have thought of everything! They offer 40 classes a month and they pride themselves on providing restorative yoga for every body! It is a beautiful space and you can purchase a class pass or a regular membership. They also host cooking classes and movie nights.gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxgluten free jacksonville fresh jax

They recently started catering office lunches to provide a healthy option during work meetings.  They are now offering boxed lunches for $15 per person that includes a kale wrap, yoga bar, cashew cheese and healthy chips, clean pickle and a pass for a free yoga class!  Here is an example of the yoga wrap they use for their wraps.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

I love this place! Not only is it a really nice environment, it is nice to support a business that is owned by passionate people who love what they do and believe and live out the mission of their organization. As I left I tried the chocolate donut with blueberry jelly.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxOMG! I was just thinking about how much I miss Dunkin Donuts chocolate donuts and this hit the spot and tasted just like it and yes it is organic, gluten-free and dairy free (I seriously asked 3 or 4 times because I couldn’t believe it).gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

If you are in the area- they are near 2-95 and Gate Parkway- I suggest you stop by.  Not only is it delicious but you are supporting this great couple who are truly following their dream.  gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

Update: As of June 30th Fresh Jax has announced that they will be closing their store. However, you can still find all of their delicious spices and food at the Riverside Arts Market each Saturday.

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Gluten-free and Vegan Six Course Meal at Super Food and Brew 

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewOn Saturday, August 20 I attended a Gluten-free/Vegan wine dinner at one of my favorite Downtown spots- Super Food and Brew. Over 30 people gathered to taste traditional meat dishes transformed into gluten-free/vegan deliciousness without a bit of compromise on taste.  I was lucky enough to dine with Jessica from Jax Vegan Love.  We had a great time sharing our opinions of the food and our favorite restaurants.  If you aren’t following her on Facebook you definitely should!
gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe first course was a  beet carpaccio.  The beets were sliced thin and the accompanying dressing was delightful.  It also included tempeh crumbles to add a little protein.

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe second course was a Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai Salad.  I am a big fan of thai food and the flavors were spot on.


gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe third course was an eggplant involtini with ratatouille.  Don’t even get me to try to pronounce this dish.  It was the first of the hot dishes that were served and I could have sworn there was cheese or meat in this dish.  But it was completely gluten-free/vegan

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe fourth course was a Forest Mushroom Risotto.  This was so creamy I swear there was butter in here.

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe fifth course was a Carrot Osso Buco over Cauliflower Grits.  Traditionally this is served with some sort of beef and for those (usually the vegan’s date) that were meat eaters they graciously added a nice steak with this dish.  I am not a vegan, but I am dairy free and this was such a nice treat.  However, I was extremely full.

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe grand finale was a Coconut fig bar, fresh Berry Nut Cream bar and a chocolate Tart with salted Oat Crust. We each got our own plate of these three desserts and they easily could have been shared with my table mate.

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewI know you are thinking right now- I want to go.  When is the next one?  Well you are in luck!  Dale from Super Food and Brew is going to do another one since this one was so successful!  For all of the latest updates on events and restaurant openings please make sure you are following us on Facebook.

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New Gluten-Free Additions to Candy Apple Cafe and Cocktails’ Menu

In honor of Summer Candy Apple Cafe and Cocktails has added some new additions to their menu and many are gluten-free!  In case you are unfamiliar with Candy Apple Cafe and Cocktails- they are co-located with Sweet Pete’s  in Downtown, Jacksonville. The Candy Apple Café and Cocktails is a full service restaurant located in Downtown Jacksonville that serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch daily, as well as dinner Tuesday –Saturday. With a menu of French and Southern fusion cuisine, a full bar, and three private event spaces, The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails celebrates the decadence of everyday life. Here is a snippit of some of their food:

gluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktailsgluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktailsgluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktailsgluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktailsgluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktailsgluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktails

Their new gluten-free menu items include:

Brunch

VEGAN HASH GF/VA ($11)
roasted red potatoes, wild mushrooms, haricot vert, baby carrots and wilted spinach with romesco sauce

Appetizers, Soup, Salads,Sandwiches

BEEF TENDERLOIN TARTARE GF ($13)
house chips, soft boiled egg

HOUSE CHIPS GF ($6)
with smoked bacon dip

WEDGE CAESAR GF without crouton ($10/7)
sweet gem lettuce, boquerones, crouton, pepper-parmesan dressing

FRENCH ONION SOUP GF without crouton ($8)
sherry, caramelized onions, gruyere

Entrees

HERB ROASTED CHICKEN MOUTARDE GF ($24)
potato dauphinoise, grilled asparagus

SHORT RIB POT-AU- FEU GF without baguette ($28)
oxtail, bone marrow, celery root, cornichon, toasted baguette

WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO GF/VA without reggiano ($17)
lobster and chanterelles, sage beurre noissette, shaved reggiano

For more information click here. Have you been before? What did you think?

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Time Out Sports Grill Gluten-Free

gluten free jacksonville time out sports grillIn honor of March Madness I thought it appropriate to share a Jacksonville Sports Bar that is taking strides to be safe for those with Celiac and other gluten-free allergies, Time Out Sports Grill. Located in a strip mall on Beach Boulevard between San Pablo and Hodges you almost drive right by this place. But once you are inside, there are many large TVs, a game area and a large bar. Almost every time I am here this place is packed and there is some exciting game going on.

The night we were here the Jacksonville Scene Kickball league was there having a great time. I went with my husband and a friend of ours Rita and everyone ordered a gluten-free dish. gluten free jacksonville time out sports grill flat breadsOne of the most exciting things is they have a gluten-free fryer. While eating fried foods every day is not a healthy choice, when watching sports who doesn’t enjoy some wings and fries! gluten free jacksonville time out sports grill wingsIn addition to having a dedicated gluten-free fryer they also have gluten-free flat breads that are delicious and gluten-free beer.

If you are in the area and in the mood for a sports bar definitely check this place out!

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Amazing Foods For Health Pancakes and Cinnamon Raisin Cookies

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes and cookies

On a lazy Sunday I decided to do some gluten-free baking. Recently Amazing Foods For Health sent me gluten-free pancakes and gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookie mix. While I try not to eat too many carbs and processed foods, after running the Gate River Run I had a few extra calories to spare and my husband absolutely loves oatmeal raisin cookies so I had a willing assistant to help with the taste testing.
gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

Gluten Free Pancakes

I started the morning with some pancakes. The ingredients were easy and things that I almost always have on hand.  Nothing is more annoying than weird ingredients that I have to make a special trip to the grocery store for. gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

We are dairy-free as well we we used So Delicious almond milk instead of regular milk and added in some extra flax seed for added fiber.gluten free jacksonville so delicous almond milk

The pancakes batter came out thicker than I usually make so I added in some water .gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

I followed the instructions on the box and they still came out pretty thick but they cooked really nicely and were delicious! I paired it with some turkey bacon and a cup of coffee and it was a nice little breakfast!

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods pancakes

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

While I had the mixing bowl out I figured I would go ahead and make the cookies too! Again the ingredients were easy and the only real pre-planning was to leave the butter out to soften.

gluten free jacksonville amazing foods oatmeal raisin cookies

I used Earth Balance instead of regular butter. gluten free jacksonville earth balance
gluten free jacksonville amazing foods oatmeal raisin cookies

While the box stated that it made 30 cookies this batch only made 18 cookies and take note they don’t get much bigger than the size they are when you put on the cookie sheet.  Also they came out a little dry, I may substitute coconut oil instead of the Earth Balance next time so they come out a little more chewy.  But they were delicious and I can honestly say that half of the plate below was gone within 10 minutes!
gluten free jacksonville amazing foods oatmeal raisin cookies

All in all they were both delicious.  I don’t think you would even notice that they are gluten-free.  They cooked easy and tasted so yummy. Looks like the only place to purchase these items in Jacksonville is the Walmart Supercenter on San Pablo Road S.

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