Gluten-free in Paris

When I lived in London, I loved being able to hop on the Eurostar and 3 hours later arrive in Paris. To me it really was one of the greatest perks of living in London. Paris has such amazing food, wine, fashion, gardens, art – you name it – and it was hard for me to make a trip there without indulging at least a little bit (or a lot) in all of these. The problem started when I became more and more aware of my gluten intolerance and started changing my lifestyle to accommodate that intolerance rather than blindly eating whatever I wanted and enduring the familiar bloating and exhaustion that would then haunt me for days. Continue reading

I Dream of Macaroons

DSC00039newsletter

Our first Member Specials are here! We are so excited to be able to offer 100% raw organic chocolate macaroons made exclusively for the Tasteful Pantry by one of LA’s best (in our opinion, THE best) vegan restaurants, Café Gratitude. Made from the finest all-natural ingredients, this delicious chocolate macaroon will envelope your taste buds with its rich chocolate flavor and hearty coconut texture. Continue reading

Korean BBQ beef (GF, DF)

As we say goodbye to summer and head into fall, I thought I would make a hearty dish that could be cooked either outside on the grill or inside on the stove. I love how the marinade for the beef gives the dish sweet + salty + spicy elements. The best part is that it is super easy to make and can be prepared with many different variations. The first variation is the type of meat involved. A lot of Korean BBQ beef recipes use short ribs. I personally like going to the Japanese market and buying Shabu Shabu meat (Shabu Shabu is Japanese hot pot where the meat is sliced super thin). The marinade can also be used on other meats (e.g. chicken, pork). The second variation is how the dish is served. Tonight, I decided to have it in the traditional style, over rice and with some roasted broccoli. There really is something about beef + white rice, but that is another story. I’ve also done this beef as the filling in a Latin/Korean taco using a corn tortilla (yes I am trying emulate the LA food truck trend), and as lettuce cups using iceberg lettuce. And, since my stomach is not a fan of onions, I left the onions out of this recipe – it still was delicious. Continue reading

Made To Order DIY Donuts – GF and Vegan Too!

We recently discovered a new concept in donuts right here in LA (Highland Park to be exact) and were so excited to hear that they had gluten-free and vegan options! Donut Friend, which is opening on Sept 24, is a new kind of donut shop that doesn’t make their donuts the night before – they make them to order. With an interesting assortment of flavors like Apple Pie, The Jelly Sound (strawberry jam, ricotta, sugar glaze, olive oil), and toppings like basil, sriracha, Gruyère, and of course all your normal chocolatey, fruit and sugar glazes, Donut Friend definitely seems like it’s aiming to give our taste buds a whirl. Continue reading

Korean Green Onion Pancake (GF, DF)

Korean green onion pancakes

While we’re on the topic of Asian food, here’s a super easy recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free Korean green onion pancakes made with rice flour, from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen. Normally made with wheat flour, the switch to rice flour is a seamless one for this recipe. Perfect for an afternoon snack or dinner accompaniment. Or for a heartier version, chop up your favorite protein or even kimchi and add to the batter (use about 1/3 cup per pancake). Enjoy! Continue reading

My Secret Noodle Escape

Ok, well not so secret. Whenever I feel like having gluten-free noodles that aren’t “adjusted” versions of wheat-based noodles, my go-to is Vietnamese food. Pho, to be precise. To be fair, there are some really great alternative pasta’s out there (my favorites are quinoa and corn-based pastas), but sometimes it’s nice to know that the noodles that come with the dish were supposed to come with the dish because they taste the best that way. That’s how I feel about Pho. For those of you not familiar with it, Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup noodle dish made with rice noodles that come in a delicious broth topped with a selection of meat and/or meatballs, bean sprouts, mint leaves, and jalapeno slices. It is the PERFECT comfort food. Many Vietnamese restaurants also have non-Pho rice-noodle (vermicelli) and rice dishes, which tend to be deliciously gluten and dairy-free as well. Continue reading

Nut and Herb-Stuffed Salmon (GF, DF, SF)

Salmon

 

I tried out this recipe from epicurious.com the other day and it was delicious – flavorful and with a hint of an exotic (at least for me) middle eastern flavor. Without the Tahini sauce, this dish is naturally gluten, dairy and soy-free. I did have to make an unforeseen modification – thinking I had walnuts, I didn’t buy any at the store, but when I got home I found I only had pine nuts and pecans (pine nut + pecan = walnut, right?) so I used those instead. I’m actually glad I made the substitution, as walnuts tend to leave a bitter aftertaste. I also didn’t have any kitchen twine but that didn’t prove to be an issue – the two pieces of salmon stayed together very well in the oven 🙂 Paired with some roasted broccoli with garlic, this was a great summer meal! Enjoy!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Walnut-and-Herb-Stuffed-Salmon-with-Spicy-Tahini-Sauce-51178400?mbid=rotdNL&spMailingID=5612258&spUserID=MzcxMzk0NjM5MjMS1&spJobID=327569895&spReportId=MzI3NTY5ODk1S0

 

Back to School Allergy Planning Guide

http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/resourcespre.php?id=81&

A helpful article on allergy-friendly back to school planning. At the Tasteful Pantry, we offer a variety of products, as well as a monthly Treat Box, that can be customized for your child’s food allergies. We are strict about what counts as nut-free – any food we sell or include in a Treat Box that is labeled nut-free must also be produced in a peanut and treenut-free facility. Check us out at www.tastefulpantry.com

Vegan gelato on the Westside!

Chocolate cream cheese walnut, pistachio, and mint chocolate chip

Chocolate cream cheese walnut, pistachio, and mint chocolate chip

I love it when I unexpectedly find new allergy-friendly places! While waiting for my movie at the Landmark Theatre in West LA, I wandered across the street for a tea but instead found Maddy’s, a cute new vegan café that serves sandwiches, salads, baked goods and an impressive variety of vegan gelatos. Even though they were closed, the owner was inside and probably saw me boring a hole with my eyes into his gelato display, so he kindly opened up and invited us in.

Boy were we in for a treat! He had a selection of about 15 different flavors, ranging from fruity sorbets (a special limited edition plum from a friendly farm in Northern CA) to rich creamy gelatos. And what was an added bonus was that each flavor had a little (s) or (a) by the name to indicate whether it was made with almond or soy milk – super helpful for someone like me who is allergic to almonds. After a few tastes, I ended up getting the chocolate cream cheese walnut and it was as chocolatey and creamy as I could only hope for. Plus the walnuts added an element of crunch and heartiness. They also had gluten-free cones, which looked great and I was tempted to try, but I didn’t want to overdo it 🙂 I have to say, this was definitely one of the best vegan gelatos/ice creams I have ever had….also I would be remiss not to mention the yummy looking carrot-cake cookie sandwich in the bakery case (you read that right – two carrot-cake flavored cookies sandwiched around a layer of vegan cream), but alas it wasn’t gluten-free. The owner however assured me that he was working on some gluten-free baked goods so I will definitely be back! What a terrific and indulgent find to cap off the holiday weekend!