Summary: "What is Sopa Seca de Fideo?" you may ask? Be prepared to fall head over heels in love with this classic Mexican side dish, vegan and gluten free style, of course! Traditionally, this dish is made with vermicelli and chicken broth, but we are preparing this dish with a vegan and gluten free flair and, trust us, you are not sacrificing taste by any means. Be prepared to delight your tastebuds with garlic, onions, chiles and tomatoes.
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“What is Sopa Seca de Fideo?” you may ask? Be prepared to fall head over heels in love with this classic Mexican side dish, vegan and gluten free style, of course!

Traditionally this dish is made with vermicelli and chicken broth, but we are preparing this dish with a vegan and gluten free flair and, trust us, you are not sacrificing taste by any means. Be prepared to delight your tastebuds with garlic, onions, chiles and tomatoes.

This delicious recipe is adapted from one of our favorite cookbooks Aprovecho: A Mexican-American Border Cookbook. It is not a vegan and gluten free cookbook, but what we love about it is that it is full of simple, delicious recipes that can be easily adapted to the vegan and gluten free diet.

Vegan and Gluten Free Sopa Seca de Fideo

8 oz gluten free pasta
2 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 anaheim chiles, stemmed, seeded and chopped. (You can cheat and buy a 4 oz can of diced green chiles)
3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed peas
2 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

Here comes the fun part: place the pasta in a plastic bag in one layer. Get a rolling pin, a mallet, anything heavy, and smash the heck out of those noodles so that they are in small pieces. In a 10-inch frying pan, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the onion, garlic, and chiles. Cook, stirring often, until they are soft, but be careful not to burn. This will be approximately 5 minutes. Now add the noodles and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the oregano, tomatoes, broth and peas and bring the whole mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Salt and pepper to taste.

This is dish is delicious served with simple black beans, salsa, and warm tortillas. Maybe even a little avocado on the side!

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Summary: Sometimes it can be difficult to follow a perfect diet. Even for those who know the importance of a pure organic diet of whole foods, it can be difficult to maintain that during times that are busier than normal. When a busy schedule kicks in, the need for convenience can take over. Luckily, you don't have to sacrifice health for convenience.
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Sometimes it can be difficult to follow a perfect diet. Even for those who know the importance of a pure organic diet of whole foods, it can be difficult to maintain that during times that are busier than normal. When a busy schedule kicks in, the need for convenience can take over. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice health for convenience.

Kolat was founded by a nutritionist who realized that even she had a hard time following her own nutrition advice. She created Kolat, a nutrient-rich super food, to assist those who need food packed with antioxidants, essential minerals, healthy fats, and phytonutrients, but who don’t have a ton of time. Kolat foods have 50% of the Recommended Daily Value of vitamins per serving, making it a perfect food for adults and kids.

Kolat offers four products:

Ranked among the highest in overall antioxidant potential, blueberries and omega 3 rich walnuts are known for their immune-boosting effects and brain-health promoting properties. Combined with cinnamon, a warming spice known for its ability to stimulate many vital functions including your circulatory system and your metabolism. Giving you that extra boost, this superfood fusion will make you feel like you can conquer the world … or at the very least, tackle that looming deadline you’ve been putting off!

  • Blueberry Cinnamon Walnut, packed with cinnamon, blueberries, Organic Coconut oil and dates. It’s full of Vitamins:A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, C, D2, E, K.
  • Cherry Vanilla Almond, made with almonds, dates, cherries, organic coconut oil and natural vanilla. Full of A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, C, D2, E, K.
  • Dark Chocolate Coconut, a rich, delicious blend of almonds, shredded coconut, dates, organic coconut oil, natural vanilla and unsweetened cocoa powder. This mix contains vital Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, C, D2, E, K.
  • Espresso Hazlenut, a decadent mix of hazelnuts, almonds, dates, ground espresso bean and organic coconut oil. It contains Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, C, D2, E, K.

When we got our hands on the Blueberry Cinnamon Walnut Fruit and Almond Butter, as well as the Dark Chocolate Coconut Fruit and Almond Butter, we were, admittedly, dubious. We’ve had holistic whole packaged foods that, while they may have been good for us, were not very palatable. Luckily, Kolat did not disappoint.

The Blueberry Cinnamon Walnut Fruit & Almond Butter smells beautifully of cinnamon, with a full, nutty aroma. The taste is full and rich, and this delicious mixture is filling and satisfying. It tastes unbelievable with apple slices and carrot sticks. It’s a perfect snack in between meals, and would be perfect for the kiddo’s lunchbox.

The Dark Chocolate Coconut is unbelievably decadent. It’s a rich, nutty flavor that feels like dessert and not like a superfood. It feels indulgent but it’s so good for you. This is one of their best sellers and we can see why, it’s rich and delicious. It tastes perfect with sliced pears and strawberries.

If you’d like to try Kolat, it is in distribution many states, and available on Amazon.com.

kola nut butter

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Summary: Vegan and gluten-free cheese has come a long way. Gone are the days of unpalatable soy cheeses with crumbly or rubbery textures. Not only are delicious every day vegan cheeses available, but so are artisan vegan cheeses such as those made by vegan cheese company Kite Hill.
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Vegan and gluten-free cheese has come a long way. Gone are the days of unpalatable soy cheeses with crumbly or rubbery textures. Not only are delicious every day vegan cheeses available, but so are artisan vegan cheeses such as those made by vegan cheese company Kite Hill.

Kite Hill artisan non-dairy cheeses are the first vegan cheeses to ever be featured in Whole Foods Market’s cheese department. Kite Hill makes their vegan artisanal cheeses in the same way that traditional dairy cheese is made. All of their cheeses are made from a proprietary nut milk blend, after which it is pasteurized and blended with lactose-free culture and naturally occurring enzymes. As the mixture curds, the curd is distributed into cheese molds and aged.

The Kite Hill cheese we sampled is their White Alder cheese, a soft ripened cheese, similar to brie. The cheese came in a round wooden box, and was carefully wrapped to preserve it. It has a soft rind, in which there is very creamy cheese. The taste of the cheese is soft, which is perfect for those who don’t like a strung cheese. Because it is such a soft taste, it pairs really well with seasoned, gluten free crackers, taking on any flavor that it may have. It would also be delicious spread on tortilla chips and carrot chips. While Kite Hill recommends pairing it with white grapes, we paired it with strawberry, apple slices, dried cherries and dark chocolate, and it was an absolutely delicious offering. We can also see this tasting delicious as grilled cheese, with some gluten-free bread and perhaps some tomato or pesto.

Kite Hill recommends pairing this vegan cheese with a dry white wine or champagne, but if you’re a non-drinker, it would taste delicious with sparkling cider.

Kite Hill vegan artisanal cheeses are available at Whole Foods markets everywhere, or check their store locator for the store nearest you.

kite hill vegan white alder cheese

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Summary: We love unique flavor combinations, especially when made as a soda syrup. It takes the soda to a sophisticated level, and offers a surprise for guests. The combination of pear and rosemary offers a delightful combination with light pear flavor, with an unexpected depth brought by the rosemary.

We love unique flavor combinations, especially when made as a soda syrup. It takes the soda to a sophisticated level, and offers a surprise for guests to whom you may be serving this delicious beverage. The pear and rosemary offers a delightful combination with light pear flavor, and an unexpected depth brought by the rosemary.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Pear Rosemary Soda Syrup

3 ripe pears, sliced
6 springs of rosemary
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the pears, rosemary, sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once it boils, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the pears and rosemary sprigs. Place in airtight container and store. When ready to serve, combine several tablespoons, to taste, with soda water and ice.

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Summary: Soda doesn't have to be nasty colas with high fructose syrup, it can be delicious beverages that can be a special treat, without feeling gross after you drink it. One of our favorite discoveries is Nature's Flavors, which crafts USDA Certified syrups with no toxins, chemicals, or synthetics. Their syrups are vegan, gluten and alcohol-free, as well as kosher.

Soda doesn’t have to be nasty colas with high fructose syrup, it can be delicious beverages that can be a special treat, without feeling gross after you drink it. One of our favorite discoveries is Nature’s Flavors, which crafts USDA Certified syrups with no toxins, chemicals, or synthetics. Their syrups are vegan, gluten and alcohol-free, as well as kosher.

While they have many flavors, their mango chili syrup caught our attention because we love the mix of sweet and spicy. Here is our favorite recipe for mango chili soda.

Vegan, Gluten-Free and Organic Mango Chili Soda

1 cup of filtered water
1 cup of organic, vegan sugar
1/2 cup Natures Flavors mango chili syrup

Bring all of the ingredients to a boil in a heavy saucepan, then turn down the heat to low-medium, letting the syrup simmer until it’s reduced to about half of it’s volume. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Transfer it to a glass bottle with a tight seal. When ready to serve, combine syrup with carbonated water over ice. Start with a few tablespoons, taste, and add more if you’d like a stronger taste.

To add to this soda, consider additions such mint or blackberries to add a unique flavor to the beverage.

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Summary: Happy No Turkey Day! Jess, here, from Caviar Taste on a Vegetarian Diet. One of my favorite parts of No Turkey Day (AKA, Thanksgiving) is strategizing how to cook for the day. I know, sounds lame to some, but I love making the whole day as simple and stress-free as possible. As such, I lug out my trusty slow cookers, and cook as many dishes as possible in them, to keep burners and the oven free.
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Happy No Turkey Day! Jess, here, from Caviar Taste on a Vegetarian Diet. One of my favorite parts of No Turkey Day (AKA, Thanksgiving) is strategizing how to cook for the day. I know, sounds lame to some, but I love making the whole day as simple and stress-free as possible. As such, I lug out my trusty slow cookers, and cook as many dishes as possible in them, to keep burners and the oven free.

My husband is a huge fan of green bean casserole, but I’m not a fan of the nasty stuff in the commercial canned condensed soup so commonly used to make it. Not to mention, those soups are definitely not vegan or gluten-free. Luckily, this recipe fulfills my desires to cook Thanksgiving Day dishes in the slow cooker, and not have nasty canned soup in my green bean casserole.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole

2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch length
2 tbs olive oil
12 oz fresh white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons gluten free flour
1 carton creamy potato soup, we like Imagine with added garlic or leek flavor
1 cup gluten free bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)

Clean and trim green beans, then cut in half. Blanch them by putting them into boiling, slightly salted water. Cook for approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Spoon them out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon, and immediately drop them into a bowl filled with cold water and ice. Blanching stops the green beans from cooking further. Drain the beans and set them aside.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, and white wine (if using) and cook approximately 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic, and saute until translucent, about another 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate skillet or saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of the potato soup over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the soup. Cook for about a minute, then pour in rest of potato soup. Continue cooking, constantly whisking, while soup thickens, about another 2-3 minutes.

In slow cooker, combine green beans, mushroom mixture, and potato soup, mixing thoroughly. Set slow cooker to cook for 4-6 hours, depending on how much time you need.

When ready to serve, transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with gluten free crumbs. Enjoy!

And a few extra tips to make your day a bit easier:

  • Chop all of the vegetables you’ll be using a day or two ahead of time, and put them into different resealable plastic bags, labeled with the dish for which they’re intended.
  • If you’re making a big batch of mashed potatoes, wash them all at once in your dishwasher (hold the soap!).
  • Use a mellon baller to scoop out the tops of apples, then stick tea lights into the indentations for pretty and simple table decor.
  • Being meat-free means that it’s easy to end up with a starch-heavy table. Replace that rice with cauliflower rice: grate a head of cauliflower with a cheese grater, zap in the microwave for a minute or two, and toss with vegan butter, or whatever mix-ins you like with your rice.
  • To punch up your gravy, add a few splashes of gluten-free soy sauce

And don’t forget to ask your guests for help if you need it – people are happy to pitch in!

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Summary: We clearly can't get enough of pumpkin recipes! This recipe is so easy and delicious, that it makes it a prime candidate for a holiday party or potluck.

We clearly can’t get enough of pumpkin recipes! This recipe is so easy and delicious, that it makes it a prime candidate for a holiday party or potluck.

Delicious Vegan and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spread

1 cup organic canned pumpkin
16 oz of your favorite cream cheese
1/3 cup cup vegan sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
2 tsp vanilla

In a mixer, or with a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and mix thoroughly, until it is fluffy again, and the grains of sugar have disintegrated. Add the rest of the ingredients, mixing well until the spread is creamy and smooth. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until time to serve.

It’s that easy! This dip tastes delicious on apple slices, your favorite gluten-free and vegan muffins, or our favorite, Pamela’s vegan, gluten-free ginger almond cookies.

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Summary: We were very excited to be invited to the Boulder Native Foods Cafe Pre-Openinig Party! Well, maybe party isn't the right word - but they are treating us to lunch, and we get to go this weekend! (they officially open next Tuesday, May 29th).
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We were very excited to be invited to the Boulder Native Foods Cafe Pre-Openinig Party! Well, maybe party isn’t the right word – but they are treating us to lunch, and we get to go this weekend! (they officially open next Tuesday, May 29th).

Here is what our invitation said:


Dear Special Friend of Native Foods,

We are incredibly excited to invite you to join us for a Complimentary Meal in celebration of the first Native Foods Cafe in Boulder, Colorado.

We are open to the public on May 29th, but invite you to join us prior to opening as a way to thank you for welcoming us to the community and to fine tune the last details of our training and introduce you to our new team members who are so excited to meet, greet and feed you!

Please CLICK HERE to RSVP for any one of our complimentary lunches or dinners this Friday, May 25th or Saturday, May 26th, for you and up to 3 of your friends!

This invitation is being sent to a select group of Native Foods friends. Please do not forward this link around! It’s just for you, our special guests. All food (including dessert) is free. All beer and wine will be served at $2 each with 100% of the proceeds being donated to five great local charities.

We can’t wait to see you and meet all our new friends in Boulder!

Eat Peace,
The Native Foods Family

We’ll be sure to report back!

native-foods-cafe-boulder-pre-opening-invitation

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Summary: We are so excited that Native Foods Cafe is coming to Boulder, Colorado soon! The all vegan fast food and vegan comfort food (including gluten-free vegan food!) is currently setting up shop in the location previously filled by Rumbi Grill, at 29th Street Mall next door to the Smiling Moose Cafe. Rumour has it that they will be open by May, and judging by the progress we see whenever we are in the area, we think that is probably right. The Native Foods Cafe Boulder menu is already up by the door, and it looks fantastic. They are set to become the first openly kid-friendly vegan restaurant in Boulder (with a separate child-friendly menu), and they even have separate gluten-free and soy-free menus! Here is a small taste (no pun intended!) of the Boulder Native Foods Cafe menu:
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We are so excited that Native Foods Cafe is coming to Boulder, Colorado soon! The all vegan fast food and vegan comfort food (including gluten-free vegan food!) is currently setting up shop in the location previously filled by Rumbi Grill, at 29th Street Mall next door to the Smiling Moose Cafe, which has a wonderful vegan vegetable soup and lots of other vegan, and gluten free, options as well). Rumour has it that they will be open by May, and judging by the progress we see whenever we are in the area, we think that is probably right. The Native Foods Cafe Boulder menu is already up by the door, and it looks fantastic. They are set to become the first openly kid-friendly vegan restaurant in Boulder (with a separate child-friendly menu), and they even have separate gluten-free and soy-free menus! And we love that they are not only all vegan, but whenever possible use only organic and locally-sourced ingredients (all of their food is made fresh, from scratch). Here is a small taste (no pun intended!) of the Boulder Native Foods Cafe menu – remember that anything that sounds non-vegan (such as cheese, or meat) is actually their vegan version:

Nuevo Native Nachos
Homemade corn tortilla chips covered in black beans, Native Taco Meat, Native Chipotle Crema, Native Cheese, salsa fresca, and guacamole. Topped with corn, green onions, cilantro and jalapenos. (YUM!)

Tandoori Kabobs
Grilled skewers of Native Original Seitan and tofu, marinated in Tandoori spices, topped with mango-apple chutney and served on a bed of baby greens with our homemade raita yogurt sauce.

Native Chicken Wings
Our crispy battered Native Chicken wings. Ranch dressing on the side.

Chili Cheese Fries
Seasoned potato fries smothered in our homemade Native Chili. Topped with Native Cheese and diced red onions.

And that’s just the appetizers! Their full menu includes such amazing sounding items as a “Double Cheeseburger Deluxe Pizza”, featuring crumbled seitan smothered with marinara sauce, melted cheddar cheese, pickles, onions and tomato, and topped with a “secret sweet mustard sauce”; the “Soul Bowl” featuring vegan fried chicken, red beans, rice, steamed veggies, kale and ranch and barbecue sauce; a portobello and sausage burger; and a “Chicago Dip Au Jus” with “thinly sliced Native Peppered Seitan piled high on a freshly baked baguette smothered with our homemade “giardiniera extraordinaire,” and au jus to dip.”

Let us repeat: YUM!

And their desserts are too decadent to even mention here; just think lots of chocolate, cheesecake, and cupcakes.

Native Foods Cafe is a small chain which started in Southern California and now has locations in Portland, Chicago, and Boulder.

Here is how Native Foods Cafe describes themselves, and their origins:


Native Foods Cafe is a vegan restaurant designed to meet the needs of today’s discriminating, health-conscious diners looking for great-tasting food… both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Native Foods was founded 17 years ago by acclaimed vegan chef Tanya Petrovna. Author of two cookbooks (and working on a third!), Chef Tanya has been featured on the Food Network, in many publications and has made many TV and radio appearances. Native Foods Café is her vision and she works full-time as Executive Chef.

Chef Tanya’s roots are firmly grounded in the culinary world. Chef Tanya was raised in a gourmet household and she helped her father at catering events as a teenager. In her family, mealtime was a celebration of taste, texture and companionship, which always began in the backyard garden. Family vacations were global explorations of food and culture, visiting relatives in far off lands and discovering ethnic flavors and traditions.

Her idea for a vegetarian restaurant came to her at a very young age.

After developing a lifelong bond with her cat Muchka at a very young age, Tanya then met (and pet!) a dairy cow on a family vacation which forever changed her perspective on animals. She loves them! So Tanya’s quest began: how to maintain a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet using 100% plant-based foods. Well, much to Tanya’s delight, she learned that contrary to the fears and concerns of some people, it’s not only possible to live a healthy vegetarian lifestyle, but it’s also healthier for the planet as well as its people.

The result is Native Foods Café, which serves delicious, healthy, fun food that honors the environment and harms not a single animal in the making.

We at the Happy Gluten Free Vegan are awaiting their Boulder opening with excitement and anticipation; we are sure that we will be frequent visitors, and we can’t wait to say “Welcome to Boulder” in person!

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