This particular vegan recipe was created from my craving of something fresh, mediterranean, and filling. Serve this gluten free pasta dish with a juicy orange and all the food groups are represented. It’s simple to make and satisfies hunger.
Here’s what you will need:
1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of parsley
1/4 teaspoon of red chili flakes
pinch of salt
Juice from 1/2 of lemon
Boil pasta, drain and add to large bowl. Add the olives, drained mushrooms, and peppers. Finely chop the garlic and add to olive oil, lemon juice, and spices. Drizzle over the pasta, stir, and serve. Enjoy!
How many times have I passed the White Dog Cafe? Many, many times. Sadly, I have only just dined at this beautiful and delicious restaurant and it was well worth the wait!
This farm to table treasure, offers locally sourced (no more than 50 mile radius), sustainable, and fresh food options. The menu changes according to the season, the restaurant cans and preserves food as well to enjoy all year round. Read their story here.
An allergy free menu is available for all those suffering with dietary restrictions including (but not limited to) shellfish, nuts, and gluten. There is also a vegetarian menu available and most items can be tweaked to accommodate vegans as well.
My menu included an amuse-bouche of roasted red beet with sorrel and lemon olive oil, which awakened my palette with a burst of bright flavor.
I am a creature of habit after all and even with many options to choose, I decided on the homemade hummus trio with fresh cut vegetables for my appetizer. Beet, red pepper, and garlic graced the table in small mason jars and served on a butcher block. What stands out the most about this hummus is the way it was left slightly chunky, which allowed every flavor and ingredient to shine.
My main course consisted of sauteed cruciferous and root vegetables with lemon olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic reduction glaze. The melody of flavors were in perfect harmony with each other and I found myself finishing the entire plate.
The meal would not be complete without dessert. Homemade blueberry coconut and grapefruit sorbet. This sweet and thirst quenching dessert was a real treat after a savory and healthy meal. The smooth, creamy and icy consistency melted in my mouth and satisfied my sweet tooth.
The atmosphere of the White Dog is decorated with a running theme of man’s best friend. Portraits of dogs, dog coat hooks, and knick knacks filter tastefully throughout the establishment. Even the bathroom contains paw prints embedded in the floor and wall tiles. Dim lighting gives the restaurant a warm and inviting glow. White Dog is spotless, the servers are friendly and approachable, more than willing to create something special to accommodate any health concern.
I absolutely recommend White Dog Cafe. If you have not yet, make a reservation and enjoy a delicious meal with a fabulous philosophy, atmosphere, and service.
I love to include recipes that are easy and satisfying, especially for those of us with dietary restrictions or interested in eating healthy.
I want to take a moment to backtrack a bit and list some of my favorite food brands, which include gluten free and vegan. It is important to mention that not all gluten free brands are equal and can have cross contamination. For instance, I cannot have any oats that claim to be gluten free. If you are extremely sensitive oats may bother you as well- beware.
King Arthur Flour is a delicious brand with a variety of gluten free options. I love the Bread and Pizza Crust Mix that can easily be converted to a vegan mix as well by using coconut butter and flax eggs.
Amy’s Kitchen offers gluten free, vegan, soy fee, nut free prepared meals and desserts in the frozen specialty section. I am a big fan of the tamale, burrito, and chocolate cake options.
For a sweet tooth, Enjoy Life and Amore Di Mona specialize in allergy free snacks and chocolate, which is a comfort knowing that I can still enjoy a treat every now and again without fear of a reaction.
Banza is my favorite gluten free, vegan pasta alternative. All of the pasta options are made with chickpea flour and are packed with protein, especially helpful for those on a vegan food diet.
Vegan meat alternative brand, Beyond Meat offers a delicious Beyond Burger void of soy and palm oil. This “burger” contains 20 grams of protein derived from pea protein.
Please leave a comment to share your favorite vegan and gluten free brands! Also, feel free to ask any questions about other food brands that I love.
Last month I visited Autograph Brasserie in Wayne Pennsylvania for the first time and enjoyed a fabulous dining experience. As previously mentioned in my review article, today I am featuring the scrumptious menu that Chef Ralph prepared. Keep in mind that if you suffer from multiple dietary restrictions, Autograph is a dining option for you. The entire staff and of course Chef Ralph are willing and happy to create a dish that you can enjoy without the stress and worry of contamination.
I began the night with fingerling potatoes in a balsamic glaze that Chef Ralph served while I was reviewing the menu. The potatoes were cooked perfectly, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside while the glaze was packed with flavor.
Roasted root vegetables followed and all I kept thinking was, “how can I reproduce this dish?” Although, part of the fun of dining out is having someone else create the meal for you, without all the work. This is definitely a dish that I would recommend for plant eaters and carnivore’s alike.
Autograph can accommodate all restrictions, including serving fresh gluten free rolls from a local baker with gourmet dipping olive oil. Most alcohol contains gluten as well and for true Celiacs, try the signature Autograph mocktails. The King Palmer is cool and refreshing and contains lemonade, iced tea, agave, and fresh lime juice.
Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables, versatile and filling. Chef Ralph created an absolutely delicious roasted cauliflower with fresh apple and scallions. This dish was seasoned perfectly and is a satisfying side dish, but could be served as a main.
However, my main included mushroom risotto. This showstopper really needs no description. Suffice it to say by the time the main course arrived I was stuffed, but it was so delish that I just had to take it home to enjoy later!
Please be sure to make a reservation at this lovely restaurant with delectable food options for everyone!
The night before Thanksgiving, I had the pleasure of dining at Autograph Brasserie located in Wayne Pennsylvania. The expansive restaurant sits in the heart of the main line within the Eagle Village shopping center, filled with beautiful and interesting boutiques.
As I walked into Autograph, I felt slightly embarrassed for my visible jaw drop. The honest truth is anyone entering this atmosphere is a little taken aback by the fabulous and large scale decor, completely unique atmosphere from albums and framed celebrity photographs mounted on the wall to themed dining spaces, and chandeliers made out of brass instruments. Each section has something to see and admire, which of course only enhance the experience.
I was seated in the Sycamore room, a magical environment with a stunning realistic sycamore tree as the focal point. Gold butterflies decorated the room and the celebrity photographs continued into the space. I was definitely in my element as one of my favorites, Sophia Loren was in this room! Chef Ralph greeted me at once and welcomed me. Only his passion for food and love for creating rivals his impressive career. The servers were all friendly, attentive, and accommodating. As you all know by now, I have several food allergies and restrictions, which can be a challenge when dining out. However, Chef Ralph was excited to follow all of my dietary concerns and present me with delicious options. More on the scrumptious menu to come!
During this time of year the Eagle Village shops really shine. Valley Forge Flowers is decorated with Christmas trimmings and the boutiques are selling the latest trends. Make a reservation at Autograph, enjoy an amazing meal and then plan an evening of shopping! Next week, I will be posting in detail my entire menu. Also, please do not forget to vote for Sugarpeel for Best Local Blogger– I promise it only takes a moment.
First let me say that I acknowledge that the restaurant that I am featuring must warrant such a title, which it does. Second, I recognize the fact that I have previously featured this restaurant, but it deserves another one.
I have been dining at Taqueria La Michoacana for over ten years. The atmosphere is lively and energetic. The decor is traditional and pays homage to the culture. Most of all, walking into the Mexican restaurant I feel the love and passion. There is a great sense of pride in preparing each dish and presenting an ambiance that is relaxing and friendly. This gem of a restaurant is tucked away in Norristown, PA- unassuming, not flashy just quality and authentic dishes.
Last weekend I went out to dinner with my family and was all ready to cherry pick vegan side dishes on the menu, except this was not necessary. La Michoacana now offers a complete list of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. I could have squealed in delight I was so happy. I began by munching on the delicious and freshly homemade corn tortilla chips served with three different types of salsa from spicy to hot. As my vegan tacos rounded the corner and ended up sitting in front of me, I was giddy. It may sound superficial to get so excited by a meal, but dining options can be challenging when you have restrictions, but when your favorite restaurant includes a menu that you can eat…heaven! I am going again tomorrow night then off to see the new Ghostbusters movie. I cannot stress this enough- if you love Mexican food, this is the place to try. If you have been disappointed in the past by bad Mexican food, this is the place to try. Check them out on Twitter @lamichacana301
Video and Photo credits: Aubrey Basla
As promised here is the detailed description of my most delicious meal, prepared by Chef Luke Rogers at the Liberté Urban Lounge Sofitel Philadelphia.
My special menu included five delectable courses, but Chef Luke added a bonus course.
Beet Tartare- orange, chili avocado oil, avocado, chickpea served with taro chips
Tomato Discovery- grilled cherry peppers, frisée, strawberry
Roasted Carrot Salad- pickled carrots, artichoke, watermelon radish
Watermelon Gazpacho- spicy ice
Eggplant Cannelloni- cauliflower, tomato, romesco, basil puree
Strawberry Popsicles- watermelon, strawberry pearls
Each course was more scrumptious than the next. I was impressed with the complexity of flavors in each dish. Bitter, sweet, salty, spicy all perfectly working in harmony to create a truly unique experience.
At The Sofitel Philadelphia, 240, 000 bees reside, providing honey for the guests. There is a beautiful rooftop garden with over 3,000 pounds of soil that produces most of the herbs provided for the meals. Chef Luke Rogers curates this fabulous garden and many of the items on my menu were picked fresh for my meal!
I have never gone to a restaurant, completed six courses and left feeling healthier. However, this was the case last week after eating one of the best meals of my life at the Liberté Urban Lounge in the Sofitel Hotel. The food was prepared by Executive Chef Luke Rogers. Let’s backtrack just a bit before I dive into the dining experience.
When I first decided to feature a hotel series on Sugarpeel, I wanted to capture the unique differentiators that make some of the best hotels in Philly special. Each one that I cover will focus on something different- whether it is food, stay, services. I focused on the Liberté Urban Lounge in the Sofitel. Prior to confirming my reservation, I gave my dietary restrictions to Chef Luke, convinced that it would be an inconvenience. Nothing could be further from the truth. Chef Luke agreed immediately and began his homework and prep for my visit.
As a Celiac, Vegan, and allergy sufferer it is usually an anxious experience to dine out. I also have an unsettled feeling wondering if there is a cross contamination in the kitchen that will leave me fishing for my Epipen. The moment I entered the Liberté Urban Lounge and sat down there was a beautiful personalized menu with a series of courses specifically designed by the Chef. I had a wave of relief; knowing that I would not have to worry and cautiously eat my food.
Each server was kinder than the next. I would like to personally thank Michael, Kurtis, and Mary who were exceptionally attentive, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to meet. The courses utilized all of the fresh ingredients that I could eat. Chef Luke played with textures, complex flavors, and modern plating. He describes his cuisine as “refined yet approachable.” Everyone should be able to experience a delicious meal.
Chef Luke leads by example by treating his staff with respect in order to foster a creative and healthy atmosphere in the kitchen. Fear is not the way to produce excellent food. To ensure this atmosphere, Chef Luke prefers a hands on approach by hiring each new employee, making sure that everyone is on the same page and works as a team. You will not see anyone throw a pan in his kitchen!
It was an overall inspiring experience as I often find myself struggling to create a satisfying meal without defaulting to something plain and flavorless.
The Sofitel is just minutes away from Rittenhouse Square, which is one of my favorite locations in the city. The park is beautiful, lively, and a great spot to people watch. Friends of Rittenhouse provide a complete guide of the events and happenings in the square. If you are staying in the area of the Sofitel, make sure to visit Rittenhouse, which has something for everyone, every age. If you love shopping, walk on Walnut street in the shopping district for luxury boutiques.
Stay tuned for my next post including a video and detailed description of the scrumptious menu customized by Chef Luke at Liberté Urban Lounge!
Happy Fourth of July! I hope everyone is having a safe and fun holiday weekend. I have some really delicious and simple recipe ideas that I would love to share with you. All would be wonderful to pack for the beach, a picnic, or if you are hosting a BBQ. If you have guests that suffer from Celiac disease or are vegans, these are the perfect recipes to offer.
My favorite kind of hummus…fresh and homemade. It is so simple to make hummus and the secret to making truly great hummus, fresh squeezed lemon. Using a white bean like Cannellini beans are an excellent alternative to traditional hummus. It creates a smoother, fluffier texture.
1 can of chick peas
pinch of parsley
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon of tahini paste
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Simply blend all ingredients at once until smooth and creamy. Use a blender or food processor.
Glutenfree Vegan Potato Salad
3 Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 celery stalk
8 black olives
1/4 red onion
1 teaspoon of turmeric
pinch of salt
pinch of parsley
1 tablespoon of Vegenaise
Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain and allow to fully cool. Chop the celery and red onion to small pieces. Finely chop the olives. Dice potatoes and add the celery, onion, and black olives. Stir in Vegenasise and spices. Serve and enjoy!
Mango Nice Cream (vegan)
1 frozen ripe mango
Simply blend the frozen mango in a food processor until smooth. Serve and enjoy!
It could be sweltering hot outside and I still crave soup. There is something comforting and filling about this type of meal. I like to make this vegan recipe for lunch time. I usually make a large pot and nibble all day long. I developed this healthy recipe after craving ramen noodle soup for months on end. It was time to take action. If you are suffering from celiac disease or simply on a gluten free diet this is the perfect option.
Here’s how to make this delectable vegan soup recipe!
2-4 oz of Thai rice noodles- depending how hungry you are
1/2 san marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
pinch of basil
1 container of veggie broth
2 medium carrots
1 medium yukon gold potato
1 teaspoon olive oil
Begin by adding the olive oil to a pan. Add the potato and carrots on low heat until slightly caramelized. Pour in veggie broth with coconut milk and tomatoes. Add seasoning and let simmer until carrots and potato are fork tender. Begin boiling water and cook rice noodles. Add the noodles to the pot to finish cooking. Serve and enjoy!