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September 26, 2014

Kreation Kafe- Gluten Free in Santa Monica, CA

One of my best friends just recently moved to Santa Monica and I couldn't be more excited for her! Santa Monica is such a beautiful beach town filled with healthy eateries, boutique shops and a perfect spot to spend a girls weekend. She, being dairy free, we have an unspoken understanding of how crucial our diet is to our daily life. We are notorious for speaking up for the other half and asking all the right questions when dining out. Lets just say she gets it, and to a Celiac, that's a priceless thing.

 A few weekends ago I was excited to explore Santa Monica celebrating her birthday and taking advantage of several eateries that offer dietary specific menus. My favorite for the weekend was hands down Kreation Kafe. We liked this place so much for lunch on Saturday, we went back Sunday morning and had breakfast! Kreation Kafe is a Persian influenced cafe that prides themselves on the simple belief that all meals are always "healthy and organic". We indulged on several dishes which were fresh, nutritious, delicious and kept us full the entire day. Below is a recap of our picks, which I highly recommend if you are interested in eating gluten free while exploring Santa Monica. 

{Good morning happy latte!} 

{Baguette (fresh, light, moist & so good!}

 {Hot Tapas Sampler}

Corn (grilled & seasoned) + Tomatoes (roasted with olive oil, herbs, and a touch of garlic) + Rosemary Roasted Potatoes (fresh rosemary, olive oil, and our house potato seasoning.) + Forbidden Rice (non-rich and simply prepared with our vegetable medley.)

{Organic Chicken Breast Kabob (glazed with roasted tomato relish)}

{Huevos Cancun (three organic eggs scrambled with cilantro, topped with roasted corn and black bean salsa, and fresh avocado)}

{Amazon Amazebowl (acai, gluten free granola, apples, strawberries, & bananas)}

Kreation Kafe also has an extensive juice bar for rebooting, grounding, flourishing, and detoxing. All are organic, gluten free, and 100% raw! Great way to start your day, energize or afternoon, or healthy nightcap. 

Kreation Kafe Contact 

1023 Montana Ave Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 458-4880

1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291
(310) 314-7778

Follow Kreation Kafe on:

Thank you Kreation Kafe for providing a food haven for my BFF and I! Not only do we enjoy catching up on life but love doing so while chowing down on numerous gluten free and dairy free bites.

September 2, 2014

Gluten Free Kale & Watermelon Summer Salad

With Labor Day marking the official end of Summer, I am not ready to give up outdoor meals and warmer month traditions.  Luckily for us watermelons are still stacked high at the grocery store reminding us that summer is nowhere close to being over. With the temperature still hovering in the 70s at night time, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven. So in an attempt to use 2 refreshing ingredients, watermelon and kale, I am happy to say I came across Hungry, Healthy Happy's Kale and Watermelon Salad and drooled over this fresh dish incorporating creamy feta, crunchy pecans, and a blend of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and vinegar for the dressing. I was equally excited to see that all ingredients were naturally gluten free, and I didn't even have to think of making any modifications to the recipe.

Thank you Dannii for creating a healthy summer dish that can be enjoyed by all, all year long. For other healthy, refreshing and delicious recipes, follow Dannii on Facebook and Twitter.

February 27, 2014

Review: Gluten Free Girl Scouts Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

As a Celiac with the opportunity to try the highly anticipated gluten free Girl Scout cookie that launched this year, I feel it is my duty to the gluten free community and to the Girl Scouts foundation to provide feedback. I first blogged about the possibility of the Girl Scouts launching a gluten free cookie in June 2012 HERE and am excited that progress has been made!

First and foremost I would like to thank the Girl Scouts of the United States of America for acknowledging those with a gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance and/or Celiac Disease. Speaking on behalf of the gluten free community, we are excited for the opportunity  to order a box of Girl Scout cookies, just like everyone else.

From ABC Smart Cookie's website

The Cookie: Gluten Free Goodness
Since it’s estimated that three million people have problems when they eat foods that contain gluten*, ABC and our council partners expect this cookie to be a huge success. Our new bite size Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookie:

  • Made with real chocolate chips and real butter
  • Does NOT contain artificial flavors, colors,
  • high fructose corn syrup, palm or hydrogenated oils
  • Available in a 5 ounce resealable foil pouch with
  • 12 pouches per case

The cookie is made of rice and tapioca flours, as well as "real chocolate chips and real butter" and cane sugars. "They contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no high fructose corn syrup, no palm oil, and no hydrogenated oils," the website says. Four bite-sized cookies have 130 calories.

I would be doing a disservice to both parties if I were not to provide my honest opinion, so here we go! Being a Celiac, I do not want to settle. The gluten free world has made huge strides over the years, so why stop now?

  • Size: Score- 7/10 about the size of a quarter. I don't know about you, but for some reason being a Celiac my gluten free options tend to be half the size of their gluten filled counter part, whether it is sliced bread, muffins or in this case cookies, I am not sure why some manufactures cannot produce a cookie that is a "normal" size

  • Quantity: Score 8/10 20 cookies/package, literally just like the movie- Gone in 60 Seconds!
  • Flavor & Texture: Score 9/10 I have to admit I could eat the whole bag, because they are a "pop in your mouth" kind of size, but they were dry compared to my favorite cookie brands. The chocolate chips are big, which I love but the shortbread a little too crumbly
  • Packaging: Score 7/10- again, not wanting to be singled out here, but why can't these be packaged like all other Girl Scout cookies? The packaging resembles a heavier plastic bag (similar to a chip bag, HALF full!)
  • Price: Score - 6/10 $5.00 for 20 cookies (All other Girl Scout cookies are $4.00/box). I am a firm believer that just because something says "gluten free" doesn't mean it has to cost more!
  • Availability: Score- 7/10 Although I am happy I was able to try these because I live close to Orange County, CA, I wished more people across the US were given the opportunity to try them as well. I can only hope that others throughout the country will be given the same opportunity some day. Test market list HERE
Total Score: 44/60- C-

Overall, I applaud the Girl Scouts of the United States of America for including over 3 million Americans who are on a strict gluten free diet, although like any product, there are a few areas that need improvement.

American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2001, 2006; University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, Celiac Disease Facts and Figures, CeliacDisease.net.

February 17, 2014

Gluten Free Finds at Costco (Part 4)

Another super successful Costco trip this past Saturday in the books! Its great, every time we stop in we always come across new products that are gluten free! Costco never disappoints! I found these at the Morena Blvd. location. Click on the product name to be redirected to the product's website.

Check out my previous gf finds at other San Diego locations:

Updated 11/16/12- Part 1 click HERE
Updated 3/13/2013- Part 2 click HERE

Updated 8/1/13- Part 3 click HERE

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Mixed Seeds (Sunflower & Flax Seeds), Rice Flour (White, Brown & Sweet Rice), Egg White, Hi Oleic Safflower Oil, Tapioca Flour, Sugar Cane Fiber, Granulated Sugar, Yeast, Pear Juice Concentrate, Plum Puree (Prune Juice Concentrate, Dried Plums,) Modified Cellulose, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Baking Powder (Glucono Delta Lactone & Calcium Carbonate) Cellulose Gum, Orange Citrus Fiber. *Contains Egg Whites.

Sabra Hummus Dipping Singles 16- 2oz cups- $6.49
Ingredients: Cooked Chickpeas [Chickpeas (Garbanzos), Water], Tahini (Ground Sesame), Soybean Oil, Garlic, Salt, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate Added To Maintain Freshness.

INGREDIENTS: Basmati Rice (Water, Basmati Rice, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Ginger, Garlic), Sauce (Water, Coconut Milk [Coconut Extract, Water], Green Bell Peppers, Onions, Cane Sugar, Garlic, Fresh Basil, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Ginger, Green Curry Paste [Fresh Green Chilies, Garlic, Wild Ginger, Shallot, Lemongrass, Salt, Kaffir Lime, Sugar, Galangal, Spices, Pepper], Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Cornstarch, Spices, Lemongrass Extract (Soybean Oil, Lemongrass Extractives), Chicken (Chicken Breast, Water, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Cornstarch, Sea Salt, Garlic).Contains: Coconut

Mission Hill Bistro Angus Steak Tips 32 oz with Vegetables $9.99

Ingredients:  water, coconut milk (coconut milk, guar gum), baby corn, onions, bamboo shoots, tomatoes, carrots, red curry paste (red chili, garlic, salt, onions, spices), red peppers, green peppers, sunflower oil, lemongrass, galangal, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, sea salt, cane sugar, kaffir lime leaves

ingredients: Organic Chicken Stock (Chicken Meat with Natural Juices, Salt, Cane Sugar, Maltodextrin, Dried Onion, Potato Starch, Dried Garlic, Turmeric, Spice Extract), Water, Organic Carrots, Roasted Organic Potatoes, Organic Navy Beans, Organic Chicken Meat, Organic Tomato Puree (Water, Organic Tomato Paste), Organic Cream from Organic Milk, Zucchini, Contains less than 2% of Organic Rice Starch, Organic Green Beans, Organic White Rice Flour, Organic Spice, Organic Garlic, Sea Salt, Organic Parmesan Cheese (Organic Milk Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Organic Dehydrated Onion, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Flavoring, Organic Chicken Fat, Organic Vegetables (Carrots, Onions, Celery), Dehydrated Organic Onions, Organic Cane Juice

Tasty Bites Madras Lentils 6/10 oz pouches $9.99
INGREDIENTS: Water, Tomatoes, Lentils, Red Beans, Onions, Cream, Salt, Butter, Sunflower Oil, Chilies, Cumin. Contains: Milk.

Ingredients: dry roasted California almonds, cane sugar, responsibly-sourced palm fruit oil, sea salt.

Ingredients: organic golden flaxseed


SkinnyPop Popcorn 12 oz- $5.49
Ingredients: All natural popcorn, sunflower oil and salt.

INGREDIENTS: Vegetable Stock (Water, onions, celery, carrots, sea salt, garlic, spices), Corns, Potatoes, Onions, Tomato Paste (Tomatoes, salt), Black Beans, Diced Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomato Juice and Sea Salt), Red Peppers, Green Chilies (Green chili peppers, water, salt), Celery, Herbs, Lime Juice, Garlic, Olive Oil, Spices, Sea Salt.

Nuevo Grille All Natural Handmade Beef Tamales 10/ 5oz- $10.99
stone ground corn (corn, water, lime), beef (beef, water, salt), water, lard, jalapenos (jalapeno peppers, water, vinegar, salt, spices), red chiles, salt, tomato paste, corn starch, corn oil, garlic (garlic, citric acid), dehydrated chicken broth.