March 2014

Best Gluten-free Soups on the Go

Soup on the GO 2

I’m a college student, which means time management can be tricky.  Traveling to and from campus while having rushed lunches between classes requires some real food planning.  I can’t always find safe food options easily in the cafeteria since I need to avoid gluten, soy, peanuts, and other foods.  I’ve learned to love the versatility of ready to serve soups that can be eaten at room temperature or heated. These options offer a good variety of flavors and provide a range of dietary options such as vegan, vegetarian, meat, and dairy-free. They are perfect for bringing along on a fun filled road trip (tried and tested method by me)! Here are my top picks for gluten-free and soy-free on-the-go soup options. Lunch tip: Pair these with a prepacked fresh green salad for a healthy boost!

  1. Gluten-free Cafe’s Chicken Noodle Soup
  2. Dr. McDougall’s Black Bean Soup (vegetarian, vegan) — my favorite*
  3. Imagine’s Creamy Organic Potato Leek Soup (vegetarian, vegan)
  4. Pacific’s Organic Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque (vegetarian, contains dairy)




March 2014

Strawberry Banana Vanilla Protein Smoothie (dairy-free, vegan)


A bright pink smoothie will always be appealing to me.  Something about such a bubble-gum looking shade mixed with the fragrance of fresh fruit is just so enticing, especially in the last weeks (hopefully) of cold winter weather.  My favorite vanilla brown rice protein powder, which is gluten-free and allergen-free, alongside strawberries and bananas is an extra boost for getting the day started.  A much welcomed heat wave of 40 degree weather is on the agenda this week, so here’s to the coming glimpses of spring and more fruity healthful smoothies galore!


Strawberry Banana Vanilla Protein Smoothie (dairy free, vegan)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth.
  2. Serve cold and dream of spring and summer sunshine!




February 2014

Simple Green Boost Smoothie


Sometimes I get slightly too complacent in being careful with my food allergies and end up taking some chances that I know I should not. Usually right afterwards though, I relearn the lesson that nothing should come before health, especially not shortcuts and convenience. Today I’m back on the right track in healing and treating my body to fresh wholesome nutrients with a quick morning smoothie to kick start my day. The simplicity of three main ingredients and the vibrant green goodness they provide gives a burst of springtime to this otherwise bleak winter we’ve been having. Getting into the green smoothie habit is something I recommend for everyone suffering from the cold-season blues, and everyone else too for that matter!

Simple Green Boost Smoothie

Yields 1 serving

  • 1/2 large cucumber, peeled (peeling may reduce pesticide intake if conventional cucumber)
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup curly kale leaves (small handful)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • Optional: squeeze of fresh lemon juice and ice cubes
  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth.
  2. Drink it as soon as possible for the most nutrients.



February 2014

Stuffed Roasted Portobellos with Goat Cheese and Greens


I have my dad to thank for awakening my love of mushrooms. When I was a child, his stories of wild mushroom hunting while he prepared Michigan morels in wine and cream sauce (divine) made me interested in trying different varieties as an adult. Portobello mushrooms have quickly become one of my favorites, not just because of their rich taste and meaty texture but because they’re loaded with essential vitamins, fiber, and are a great source of potassium. I also find it fascinating that many varieties of mushrooms have anti-cancer properties due to their high phytochemical content which may help safeguard cells in the body from disease.

Recently my fiance brought home three huge portobello mushroom caps from the market (he had his own plans for them apparently, oops) which I quickly commandeered and turned into a goat-cheese stuffed delight. With the addition of fresh spinach and basil, the dish packed both indulgence and health into one vegetarian plate. The best part? It was an absolute breeze to make; no fuss, no chopping required and naturally gluten-free.


Stuffed Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese and Greens

  • 3 or 4 large Portobello mushroom caps
  • goat cheese to taste
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Remove the inner flaps/gils and stems from the mushroom caps and discard, (or save the stems for other recipes).
  3. Drizzle caps with olive oil on both sides, salt and pepper each side and set stem side up on a baking sheet or dish.
  4. Sprinkle desired amount of goat cheese, spinach, and basil on top of each mushroom cap and lightly drizzle with olive oil again (optional).
  5. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked and the goat cheese is melted. Serve hot or at room temperature. Optional: after removing from oven, add additional basil for a burst of fresh bold flavor.




January 2014

Healthy Triple Chocolate Dream Shake (Gluten-free)


Some of us with multiple food allergies and intolerance can face an uphill battle on maintaining a healthy weight. Let’s face it, it can really happen to anyone. Those of us who are underweight can feel a little overwhelmed while being constantly surrounded by weight loss advertisements, and those with a few extra pounds can feel equally pressured by the media to be thin.

With restricted food allergic diets however, it can see like a lot of extra planning to keep a balanced weight. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it might seem. Supplementing with a delicious protein packed smoothie or shake can make it fun and easy. Since the start of the year, I’ve made some great progress on my goal of adding a few pounds of healthy weight by adding shakes between meals (not cutting down on any meals). This adds extra calories, healthy fats, calcium, and more plant proteins that I might not have consumed otherwise.

If someone is on the road to losing a few pounds, they may consider replacing a regular large lunch with a protein packed shake that will fill them up and help keep them feeling full until later in the day.

This amazing shake I’ve been making and guzzling everyday this week seriously tastes like a decadent bite of chocolate cake–minus the unhealthy ingredients! I just had to give it a name worthy of its yummy goodness– triple chocolate dream shake. It uses some of my favorite gluten-free products (that also happen to be soy-free) including LaraBar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough fruit and nut bar, brown rice chocolate protein powder, and Almond Breeze unsweetened chocolate almond milk. Oooh chocolate dream, you’re making me melt!


Healthy Triple Chocolate Dream Shake (Gluten-free)

Yield: 1 large shake, or 2 smaller shakes.

  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender (I use Vitamix) and blend on high until a smooth consistency is achieved. (*Note: If a thinner consistency is desired, add additional ice or non-dairy milk).
  2. Serve cold.
  3. **For a regular treat with less protein, omit the added protein powder. Enjoy!