Coyote Kitchen in Boone NC

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Coyote Kitchen is hands down my favorite restaurant in the whole world.  And that’s not an exaggeration.  I have been in love with this place since my college days at Appalachian State.  Coyote Kitchen serves “Southwest Caribbean Soulfood” that is super flavorful and has eclectic ingredient combinations.

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They cater to customers with specific dietary needs such as gluten free or vegan, and serve antibiotic/hormone free meats!

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Eating gluten free at Coyote Kitchen is a breeze.  With the exception of their flour tortillas for the burritos, the majority of their food is gluten free.  They even have a designated gluten free fryer, so the french fries and corn chips are a go!

Their sweet potato fries are to die for. (I’d like to think of myself as a connoisseur of sweet potato fries).  Sweet, savory, crunchy and smokey with a kick.  And their house chipotle ranch is the icing on the cake.  I dare you to not eat the whole plate.

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I used to always order one of their massive burritos but now that I’m gluten free, I’ve started ordering their boats, which are equally as massive.  Listen to these ingredients:  coconut rice, roasted sweet potatoes, grilled pineapple, fried plantations…this place knows what they’re doing.

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This time I ordered the MOAB and had them replace the tofu with tempeh.

If you’re going to go the soy route, definitely stick with tempeh over tofu.  Tempeh is fermented while tofu is unfermented and can actual do more harm than good to your body. (especially to your thyroid)

Here she is.. in all her glory!

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Their portions are HUGE so I always have yummy leftovers for the next day.

If you are ever in the Boone NC area, I beg you to go try this place.  This foodie is a fan for life.

-glutenfreemrs-

FARM BURGER, Atlanta GA

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While down in G.A. for Christmas, the husband and I stopped in for lunch at FARM BURGER in Dunwoody.  They offer grass-fed beef and hormone free meat and produce from local farms.  While their fries are not gluten free (fried in same oil as non gluten free items), they do offer gluten free buns!

You had me at grass-fed!

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FARM BURGER provides a fun, casual dining experience and even has an ice cream bar!

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You can sit at a table or at the food bar to get in on all of the action.

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Even though they specialize in grass-fed beef, I opted for a chicken burger (I know, why?!) I had eaten a lot of beef that week, ok!?  They offer specialty burgers on their menu but I decided to build my own.  I ordered a chicken burger on a gluten free bun with sauteed mushrooms, garlic and wait for it…goat cheese.

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Unlike many gluten free buns, their bun did not get soggy or fall apart on me! I was impressed.  My chicken was moist, yet had a crispy sear on the outside.  And you can’t go wrong with mushrooms and goat cheese.  I could live off of goat cheese.

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We loved our burgers and will most definitely return again.  FARM BURGER also has locations in Decatur and Buckhead as well as Asheville, NC.

Finding restaurants that serve grass-fed/hormone and antibiotic free meat is such rarity these days, so I give this place a solid 10!

-glutenfreemrs-

TRUE Crafted Pizza, Charlotte NC

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TRUE Crafted Pizza is a locally owned pizza joint located in the Stonecrest Shopping Center that has been open for almost a year.  They just recently started offering gluten free pizzas so the husband and I checked this place out over the holidays.

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This is a great promise indeed.

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As we were ordering we noticed an old Hollywood movie being played on a projector. How cool is that?!

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This place has a fun, family-friendly environment.

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Even got to spy on this guy while waiting for our food.

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I ordered the Gluten Free Four Cheese White Pizza which was topped with mozzarella, fresh ricotta, fontina and parmesan cheese, fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil.  I also added broccoli rabe to mine.

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The crust was thin, crunchy and perfectly baked.  The husband couldn’t even tell it was gluten free when he tried a bite! And let me tell you, they did not hold back on the broccoli rabe.

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They have other gluten free pizzas that sound amazing such as the Margherita and the Sausage and Peppers.

If you live in Charlotte and want some delicious pizza with fresh gluten free/dairy free options, this is your place.  We’ll be back for sure!

-glutenfreemrs-

Peppermint Bark

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Peppermint Bark is one of my absolute favorite holiday treats! There is nothing like combining chocolate with mint!

One of my coworkers brought in treats for our team at school today.  She was so excited to share with me that along with some desserts she made, she also made some gluten free peppermint bark!

It just amazes me when people go out of their way like that! It’s so thoughtful.  She even brought me the recipe so I could double check before eating any.

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And boy, did I eat some!

They just have five simple ingredients:  dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, candy canes, shortening and peppermint extract.

These delicious treats will satisfy any sweet tooth!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 8 large candy canes, chopped/crushed
  • 4 tsp shortening, preferably organic (Spectrum Organics is a great brand)
  • 4 tsp peppermint extract
  • parchment paper

Instructions:

  1. In a double boiler, or metal bowl resting over hot water, melt the dark chocolate chips with 2 tsp of shortening and 2 tsp of peppermint extract over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Once melted, pour the chocolate onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet and smooth out with a spatula. Slide the cookie sheet into your fridge and allow the dark chocolate layer to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Clean out the bowl and melt the white chocolate chips with 2 tsp of shortening and 2 tsp of peppermint extract, stirring frequently.
  4. Once the white chocolate is melted, pour over the top of the cooled dark chocolate.
  5. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the warm white chocolate topping, pressing any bigger pieces into the chocolate to make sure they stick.
  6. Cool for at least 45 minutes in the fridge.
  7. Cut into bite sized pieces.  They will store in an airtight container for 7-10 days.

Most peppermint bark recipes should be naturally gluten free because of the ingredients used, but you should always double check each brand you use.

These are so decadent, they will definitely test your self control! I dare you to try and just eat 1 or 2!

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Gluten Free Granola Bars

During the holidays the husband and I always seem to be traveling a bunch and it can be tricky finding healthy snacks on road trip or when visiting family and friends.  I have found some great gluten free granola bars over the past few months that we stock up on beforehand so we have snacks handy throughout our whole trip.  The husband (who’s not gluten free) actually loves all of these as well!

1. LARABAR

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LARABAR makes amazing gluten free granola bars.  Most of them only contain about 3-4 basic ingredients.  For example, the chocolate chip cook dough (my personal favorite) contains cashews, dates, chocolate chips and sea salt.  That’s it! I love being able to actually read and understand what the ingredients are in something I eat.  They always label whether each bar is gluten free and/or dairy free so you know exactly what you’re eating.

2. KIND Bars

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KIND Bars also have great gluten free, dairy free, NON-GMO labeling.  For those of you that like your granola bars to be a bit crunchy, these are the way to go.  My favorite one is their Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew.

3. NATURE’S PATH

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I love anything gluten free from this brand.  They have amazing cereals, buckwheat pancakes, granola bars and much more.  They have organic ingredients and label NON-GMO, so you really can’t go wrong with Nature’s Path.  A while back, before I went gluten free, the husband actually started getting their Sunrise Crunchy Vanilla cereal without even realizing it was gluten free!

4. BAKERY ON MAIN

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BAKERY ON MAIN has delicious, chewy granola bars with several flavor combinations like Chocolate Almond (my favorite), Apple Cinnamon and Peanut Butter Chocolate.  These can be found in health food stores like Whole Foods or if you live a Charlotte, a local health food store called Healthy Home Market carries them.

You should be able to find most of these brands Harris TeeterTrader Joe’s, or even some Walmart’s.

I hope this has helped any of you who are on the hunt for tasty, healthy, gluten free snacks!

-glutenfreemrs-

F.A.R.M. Cafe in Boone

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I am so very excited to tell you about this find! Some friends and I were in Boone, N.C. this weekend to cut down trees from a Christmas tree farm.  We stopped into F.A.R.M. Cafe for lunch in Boone, not knowing anything about the organization.

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If you’re familiar with the Boone area it’s downtown across from Mast General Store where the Boone Drug used to be.

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F.A.R.M. Cafe is a “non-profit, pay-what-you-can community cafe that provides high quality and delicious meals produced from local sources whenever possible, served in a restaurant where everybody eats regardless of means.”

Their mission statement is:

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This is a donations-based cafe so they provide a suggested donation for each dish but if you are unable to donate, you can volunteer an hour of your time in exchange for your meal.  How awesome is that?!

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They purchase most of their produce from local farmers in the area and also “receive produce and other food donations from businesses and individuals within our community.”

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“The idea for F.A.R.M. Cafe began in 2009 when a group of citizens from High Country United Church of Christ who were concerned about the area’s unmet hunger needs discussed a community kitchen concept that was operating successfully in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was called One World Cafe.”

According to the 2011 U.S. Census, 20% of Watauga County residents live at or below poverty level, so this is an amazing organization to help provide healthy, affordable meals to local families.

They even offer a “pay it forward” meal token option where you can purchase a token as a gift certificate or to donate back to pay for someone else’s meal.

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The day we went for lunch, they were offering the perfect thing to warm you up on a cold day:  chili!

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The first thing I noticed was that they had all of their menu items clearly labeled with Vegan, Gluten Free and/or Dairy Free for those with dietary needs.  Man, I was in heaven!

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Obviously I couldn’t order the grilled cheese, but upon one of the server’s recommendations, I ordered half veggie/half meat chili with a garden salad.  I was incredibly impressed with the flavor of both the soup and salad.  We were all very satisfied with our meal and ready to go brave the cold air again!

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If you wanted a warm drink on your way out, they had a hot chocolate stand set up for donations.

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F.A.R.M. Cafe is “funded through direct donations of dining patrons as well as annual fundraising projects, outside contributors and grants,” so if you are interested in donating to this amazing movement, check out this WISH LIST from their website.

Go check this place out if you’re ever in the Boone area for lunch! You’ll be helping a great cause and eating some delicious, healthy food.

-glutenfreemrs-

Pumpkin Spice Banana Pancakes

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A few weeks ago I was at a weekend get-a-way with some friend’s down in the G.A. mountains.  One of my girlfriends that came is also gluten free and she brought almond meal so that we could make our own gluten free pancakes for breakfast.  I had never heard of using almond meal instead of flour! I was shocked at how the texture and flavor was so similar to regular pancakes and how easy it was! Almond meal is low in carbohydrates and high in protein, so it is definitely a healthy alternative to flour.

We just used three basic ingredients:  eggs, bananas and almond meal; and it was delicious.  But while visiting my family over Thanksgiving break, I decided to try these pancakes again and doctor them up with vanilla and pumpkin spice.

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Ingredients:

  • 5 bananas
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mix*
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

* If you don’t have pumpkin spice mix on hand, it can be made from mixing cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger.  I didn’t have any on hand so I made a rather large batch to save with:

  • 3 TBS cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp cloves

If making your own pumpkin spice, mix cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves together in a bowl.

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Mash all of the bananas in the peels with your hands.  It will get a little messy but messy’s fun, right?!

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Whisk eggs and bananas together until blended.

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Add in almond meal 1 cup at a time and whisk together until thickened.

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Mix in pumpkin spice, vanilla and salt.

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If you have a pancake griddle, great! If not, any old skillet will do the trick!  Heat your griddle or skillet to medium heat.  I like to pour my mix into a measuring cup so it’s easier to pour smaller amounts onto the pan.

Add a small amount of oil for each batch that you make.  We had coconut oil on hand, but any type of oil will do.  Pour your batter into the skillet and cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes.  I always take a peak underneath to help me see if they’re ready to flip.

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Pancakes can take a while to make when you’re not using a griddle, so I transferred mine batch by batch to a baking dish and kept them on low in the oven to keep them warm.

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Douse your pancakes in butter and maple syrup and dig in!

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They are just as good (if not better!) than regular flour pancakes.  My parents and the husband loved them! The bananas are sweet and make the pancakes so moist, and the pumpkin spice gives them a little extra kick of flavor.  If you like yours super pumpkin-y, you can always add an extra 1/2 tsp or dust some on the top of the pancakes when they’re done.

Here’s the recipe for you:

Ingredients:

  • 5 bananas
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mix*
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

* If you don’t have pumpkin spice mix on hand, it can be made from mixing cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger.  I didn’t have any on hand so I made a rather large batch to save with:

  • 3 TBS cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp cloves

Instructions:  makes 4-5 servings

  1. If making your own pumpkin spice, mix cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves together in a bowl.
  2. Mash all of the bananas in the peels with your hands.
  3. Whisk eggs and bananas together until blended.
  4. Add in almond meal 1 cup at a time and whisk together until thickened.
  5. Mix in pumpkin spice, vanilla and salt.
  6. Heat griddle or skillet to medium heat.
  7. Add a small amount of oil for each batch that you make. Pour batter into the skillet and cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes.
  8. Douse pancakes in butter and maple syrup and dig in!

These are definitely going to become a regular Saturday morning breakfast at our house! Hope you enjoy them!

-glutenfreemrs-