Black Bean Noodles with Miso Dressing (GF, DF, V)

Black bean miso noodles

Given that gluten-free diets have become so popular, it’s no surprise that new companies are popping up offering gluten-free alternatives for just about anything. There is gluten-free pasta made of rice, corn, quinoa, soy, and any combination of the above. The quality of these pastas has been getting better and better, however sometimes it is still difficult to make a gluten-free pasta without it turning to mush once cooked. Also many of these pasta alternatives often are full of carbohydrates and sugars, sometimes containing as much, if not more, grams of carbohydrates than their gluten-filled counterparts. We found a new kind of pasta that is actually made from black beans and that only has 17g of carbs per serving. Yup you heard that right – black beans! They’re also high in protein and fiber. And the true test of quality….they tasted pretty good! You can read more about the noodles in our full product review, but let’s just say we loved them!

I used these black bean noodles in a cold noodle salad with an asian miso flavor for a friend’s birthday party. The recipe is relatively easy but does require a lot of chopping and grating, although this isn’t so much of an issue if you have a food processor that has grating and chopping functions. I made two amendments to the original sauce recipe from epicurious.com, which were to add a little mirin (rice wine) and jalapeño. This dish makes a great side dish or even meal on its own if you add a protein source like tofu or chicken. Enjoy!  Continue reading

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Artificial Sweeteners May Have the Opposite Effect They’re Supposed To

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Breaking new scientific research emerged last week that showed that the consumption of artificial sweeteners may actually lead to more obesity and diabetes, two things that are just what many people use artificial sweeteners to avoid or minimize. The way they do this is not what you might expect – it’s through the bacteria that lives in our intestines. In the study, consumption of artificial sweeteners led to a change in the bacterial composition of volunteers’ intestines in such a way that the bacteria reacted to the chemical sweeteners by secreting substances that then provoked an inflammatory response similar to sugar overdose, promoting changes in the body’s ability to utilize sugar (aka glucose intolerance). Read more in the article below by Science DailyContinue reading

Bo Nuage: “Cloud Cakes” in LA

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Who wouldn’t want to visit a pastry shop called “beautiful clouds”? I recently discovered Bo Nuage at the suggestion of another gluten-free dairy-free friend, and I literally felt like a kid in a candy shop when I walked in the door. Not only is the small pastry shop on LA’s trendy Melrose Ave. adorable and welcoming, but their case of colorful, indulgent, meringue “cloud cakes” is absolutely magnetic. On top of that, their staff is very very well-versed in food allergy friendliness – the woman who helped us could not only speak to which flavors a gluten/dairy/nut allergic person could safely eat, but she could go into their sanitation practices to avoid cross contamination. All in a clear, friendly, unassuming way, which I find is rare for someone being peppered with a million questions. Continue reading

Yam Ice Cream (GF, DF)

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It’s 100 degrees in LA and that means it’s perfect weather for ice cream! Have you ever had or made dairy-free ice cream and felt that there was something missing? A creaminess, a thickness, a heartiness, that comes standard with every bite of dairy-full Haagen-Daz ice cream? Well we discovered the perfect ingredient to add this creaminess to non-dairy ice cream: yams! Although yams are one of the more starchy root vegetables out there, they contain complex carbohydrates and a healthy dose of fiber, vitamin B, vitamin C and minerals. Combine them with pumpkin-pie-esque spices and you’ve got yourself a wonderful pre-fall dessert that will remind your taste buds of the season ahead. If you can’t find yams, sweet potatoes work too!

Although this ice cream is great right out of the ice cream maker (and who could resist tasting the final product as soon as it’s done?), if you put it in tupperware and freeze it for a few hours or overnight, by the next day, it will have that firm but thick creamy consistency that before now, we could only find in full-dairy, full-fat creamy ice cream. We topped our final product with some light and crunchy vegan banana brittle from Urban Remedy, and that created a wonderful contrast in texture and flavor that just made it even better!

This recipe has a few different components that need to be done ahead of time, so we recommend you start the day before you intend to finish it.  Continue reading

Finally, Paleo Bread!

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Whether you follow a Paleo diet due to medical issues or personal preference, we all have that one food we miss. You know, the one you may have thrown a temper tantrum about when you realized it’s on your “do not eat” list. We totally understand.

One of the most readily available foods on the planet and staple in the American diet turns out to be the biggest no-no for paleo eaters: bread. Sandwiches, French toast, stuffing…you get where we’re going with this. Although we love the taste, we know the havoc it wreaks on our digestive system (and further) so we willingly choose not to eat it. It’s not always easy!

But we’ve got some good news for you! Danielle Walker of Against All Grain has cracked the code and created a moist, crusty and versatile Paleo bread. Yes, I said bread! It’s gluten-free, grain free, dairy-free and yeast free. Does it get any better than that? Continue reading

Is Gluten-Free Healthier?

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With the current popularity of gluten-free diets, many people ask if eating gluten-free is healthier. For people with Celiac disease (about 1 in 100 Americans), maintaining a strict gluten-free diet is a must – it is, in fact, the only treatment. However for the rest of us the question still remains.

Only in recent years have scientific studies emerged about the benefits of a gluten-free diet, and doctors have started diagnosing for non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), also known as gluten intolerance, which describes people who suffer gluten-related health issues without having Celiac disease.  Symptoms of NCGS can be similar to Celiac disease, i.e. bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, brain fog, headache, joint pain, weight gain/loss, skin rashes, to name a few. As uncomfortable as these symptoms may be, those with NCGS do not incur intestinal damage when consuming gluten, as is the case with Celiac. Continue reading

5 Reasons Monthly Food Boxes Have Become So Popular

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In an age where we are inundated with more choices but have less time to sift through them, monthly food boxes seem to be the perfect solution. Whether they’re boxes of snacks or ingredients for a meal, many monthly box services like The Tasteful Pantry (we couldn’t resist the shameless plug) aim to sift through the plethora of choices out there and curate a selection that is delivered straight to your door, just for you. This saves people time and money, since you don’t have to waste money on buying full-sized products that end up in the trash because they taste awful or don’t fit your diet or intended use. Below are 5 reasons we think monthly food boxes have become so popular. Any of these sound familiar to you? Continue reading