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Category Archive: Allergies

Here are all the SuperVegan blog posts categorized under Allergies. XML

  1. I'm eating something delicious!

    I’m eating something delicious!

    A few years ago, after a series of mysterious and serious illnesses, a new doctor tested me for food allergies and discovered that I have many, including but not limited to: dairy, gluten, corn and sugar. Once I had eliminated the culprits from my diet, I felt much better, but was also exhausted by all the cooking I had to for myself. I had heard the legend of the Natural Products Expo West told to me for the last few years. A multi-day convention that is the Mecca for all things natural, including home-goods, beauty products, clothing and most importantly for this little alternative eater…food! After spending two full, exhausting days tasting, sampling, and feasting and two more days recovering and day dreaming about what I had devoured, I can say the Expo lived up to the hype. This expo proved that there are thoughtful, inspired food companies out there in America (and also Canada) who are attempting to make my limited diet easier and more delicious. Before I go for a run to burn off some convention calories I will share with you, in no particular order, my favorite gluten-free/ vegan eats. Continue Reading…

  2. This is the second post in a series about yours truly going gluten-free. Read the first post here.

    Where we last left off, in July 2009, I had completed many weeks of elimination diets (no potential allergens for weeks!) that ended with the realization that avoiding wheat made my gastrointestinal issues lessen noticeably and my acne unexpectedly lighten. *Whew*

    Once you figured out you were probably gluten-intolerant, what did you do?
    Looking back at those way-frustrating weeks, it was so obvious that the consumption of wheat made me sick, and the avoidance of wheat made me (at least a little) better. So, what did I do? I went back to eating gluten. Obviously.

    At the end of those first two gluten-free weeks, I had every intention of strictly keeping up my diet. But then my birthday rolled around (September 5 — write it down, I like whole-leaf teas!), and my parents dropped by with cake among brownie atop cookie from Peacefood Cafe, and I figured a little brownie bite couldn’t hurt, and hey, it would be just plain rude if I didn’t eat a cookie, etcetera.

    Over the following week I ate at least a cupcake a day, and, wouldn’t you know it, my stomach went back to the way it was, and my acne returned full-force. I couldn’t believe how quickly things snapped back, like I’d done nothing at all.

    After eating through my store of birthday sweets, I got serious again and stuck with the diet through the rest of September, October, November, and December. Continue Reading…

  3. I’ve been reading about Cafe Gratitude for awhile now. I was a victim of second-hand excitement when the second outpost of this San Francisco eatery opened on Los Angeles’ Larchmont Boulevard and people’s enthusiasm reached a fever pitch. I listened to people rave about the food. I read about the famous people that can often be seen dining there. But I’d go to their website, look at the menu and lose all interest. Every single item on the menu is named I AM _______. Like, I AM GORGEOUS. I AM MYSTICAL. I AM TRANSCENDING. I AM ABOUT TO SHOVE THIS FORK IN MY RIGHT EYE. I couldn’t do it. I can’t stand that dirty fucking hippy shit, no matter how delicious their shit may be.

    Yesterday, I had to pick a spot to have lunch with a friend coming from the other side of the LAiverse, who is gluten, dairy and sugar free, and it seemed like this just might be the time to give Gratitude a try. Everything is organic, everything is vegan, and almost everything is gluten-free, or can be made so.

    If you can overlook the inspirational messages placed on everything (successories for restaurants), down to the water carafes, the place is nice. It’s modern, airy design is welcoming and pleasant. If you can overlook the scene going on in there, then you might need to get your eyes checked. I had lunch with Aaron Paul from TeeVee’s Breaking Bad, Carey Mulligan from half the movies out right now, the first vegan chef to win a Food Network challenge Chloe Coscarelli, and a woman who looked too much like Snooki to not be Snooki. As my friend so astutely pointed out, it’s not that often that you feel like you live in “L.A.” — this was definitely one of those times.

    After a lot of “Seriously?!”s, head shaking, and sighs of disapproval over the menu, here’s what we ate:

    I had the I AM EXTRAORDINARY, or, as I ordered it, the BLT, mainly because I was super curious about their coconut bacon. My friend got LIBERATED aka raw pesto pasta with kelp noodles.

    The food is way better than the gimmicky names make it sound. My sandwich was delicious; the toasted panini was big and crunchy and the spicy cashew aioli, crispy chipotle-maple coconut, romaine lettuce, tomato and avocado were a perfect blend of flavors. The spicy and the chipotle really came through more than anything, and the coconut bacon was crunchy, a trait most vegan BLTs are missing, with the coconut flavor only coming through as an afterthought. The side salad was reminiscent of the one at Urth Caffe, though missing the tomatoes and nuts, which really makes it.

    The pesto was also really great. The kelp noodles, which sounded gross, were not kelpy at all. There were fresh roma tomatoes, Kalmata olives, spinach and Brazil nut parmesan sprinkled on top. It was creamy and flavorful, and didn’t taste uncooked, just cold, like sesame noodles at an asian restaurant.

    We were both tempted by the dessert menu, and again, my friend was braver than me,

    ordering the Key Lime Torte (I Am Awakening), a “creamy avocado-lime custard topped with whipped cream on a pecan butter crust,” and I had a scoop of vanilla coconut and cashew milk ice cream with caramel sauce, called I AM PRAISING VANILLA ICE CREAM, but isn’t. The Key lime torte was way better than I expected, though bitter, as I find most avocado based desserts to be. The ice cream was OK, though not a convincing Ice Cream replica. It was gritty and tasted like it was made from coconut milk, cashew milk and ice, with a drop of vanilla. The caramel sauce was a nice treat for a vegan person to be able to order, and I’m glad I did, it was the highlight of the bowl.

    Not to sound ungrateful, but it’s a shame the food was so good, cause now I want to eat there regularly, despite the atrocious name game, affirmation based art work, and celeb-studded clientele. If you are in the middle of L.A. and want all the hippy-dom of Venice Beach multiplied by Berkeley plus the star power of Hollywood while you eat vegan food, put this place on your list.

  4. Attention vegan nerds or those who love one! If you find yourself making a run to Fry’s Electronics in El Segundo for an adapter, hard drive, or $10.99 Blu Ray of Total Recall around meal time, there’s vegan pizza right across the street! There’s also a vegan burger at The Counter, vegan everything at Veggie Grill and a Whole Foods the size of one of the bigger Hawaiian Islands. Hurrah for Plaza El Segundo!

    This was my first visit to Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza but it was my second time in a matter of weeks learning the same exact lesson that will change my life forever. Two words: Truffle. Oil.

    Sammy’s looks like any other chain restaurant, but has a whole separate menu for vegans and gluten-freeites, which makes them good people (cause businesses are people now, right?). Vegans can choose between Tapas, Salads, Wraps, Tacos, Pasta, even Oak Roasted Gardein Chick’n! I went with the Vegan Margherita Pizza, which comes on a special whole wheat crust (the regular crust has honey and the artisan has butter) and is topped with Daiya cheese. After becoming full-on addicted to the Truffle Fries at Wurstküche, I thought I’d truffle up my pizza, too and added the toppings of the Brie Cheese & Truffle Oil Artisan Thin Crust Pizza– fresh sauteed wild mushrooms and truffle oil. This might be the best decision I have ever made. Now, I have been spoiled by having a Pitfire Pizza (and Fresh Brothers) within walking distance, so the bar has been set real high.

    Sammy’s pizza was good, the crust was a little chewy and the daiya a bit sparse, but the addition of the truffle oil and ‘shrooms with the basil and tomatoes was brilliant. I ate the whole thing minus half the crust and immediately upon exiting the restaurant, walked directly over to Home Goods and purchased a bottle of White Truffle Oil on sale for $12.99 that I now plan on drizzling atop everything in my life.

  5. Ah, diners. Who doesn’t love the ability to order pancakes with a caesar salad, anytime, day or night? But what if you want some Larb and Palak Paneer? Some Yakitori and Bulgogi? What do you do if you really want Indian but your date has a hankering for Thai? Compromise?! Not in West Hollywood, you don’t. Fresheast, a pan-asian fast-casual restaurant accommodates a variety of palettes, vegans, carnivores & celiacs (salad or quinoa can be subbed-in), and your car (parking in the Pavillions lot!). It may not be open twenty-four hours in a row (though 3 am is basically all night in LA) and it may not have a counter to sit at, but it does have a juice bar, locally sourced produce, and environmentally friendly materials.

    The menu on-line doesn’t show it, but most items on it can be made vegan by substituting lightly fried tofu– in-store there’s a helpful little vegan symbol next to those dishes. Here’s a run down of my mega-lunch there, rated on a Moods Of Buddha scale.

    fresheast Juice: $3.95
    Orange, lemon, apple, cucumber, spinach, kale, red beets
    I do not believe vegetables should be in desert or in a drinking glass, so this is not something I would ever order ordinarily, but I wasn’t feeling brave enough to try the cantaloupe based Melonade, as I don’t enjoy Listeria. It was pretty good though, once I let it settle, with the spinach and kale being undetectable and the beety citrusness shining through.

    Red Lentil Soup: $3.95
    This was, by far, the most delicious part of the meal. It was bursting with flavor, thick, hearty, hot and yum! I’d go there just for a bowl.

    Spicy Garlic Noodles: $8.95
    Wheat noodles, seasonal vegtables, garlic, cilantro, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce
    2nd place winner. The noodles were flavorful and not too spicy to scare away a mouth wimp. Definitely tasted like a healthier, fresher version of your average noodle dish.

    Palak Paneer: $8.95
    Spinach, fenugreek leaves, paneer cheese or tofu, yogurt (or not), red lentil dal, brown rice
    I eat Indian food enough to know that Paneer means both ‘cheese’ and ‘move-on, little lady’, so this was fun. A little bland for my taste though, or maybe I just don’t care for fenugreek.

    Green Coconut Water Curry: $9.95
    Jidori Chicken (read: tofu), thai green curry, onion, brown rice
    I love all the ingredients that comprise this dish, but the dish itself was not so loveable. Water curry? Why would you use flavorless, evaporating water when you could use coconut milk? I don’t get it. Also, way off on the rice to protein ratio.

    Indian Vegetable Curry: $8.95
    fresh seasonal vegetables, onion, tomato, red lentil dal, brown rice
    This was my least favorite of the feast. It tasted the way mold smells, even though it was fresh. ‘Nuff said. That said, everything went through me just fine, and I’ve heard rumors that those negative reviews on yelp are spiteful acts of fired employees. Party foul.

    fresheast was good, and the lengths that the owner and chef go to in order to be so vegan friendly and thoughtful are laudable, but in this new & improved highly competitive world of vegan eating, they need to go a step or two further. First, they need to double up on the spices and seasonings in their sauces the same way the do in their soup. Then, they need to marinate the tofu in said sauces overnight. If the tofu has more flavor, so will the entree as a whole, and they need it. Right now, each one’s soy just tasted like plain fried tofu. I don’t walk around naked, and neither should my tofu. Dress them up the same way the interior of the restaurant is (all feng shui’d and modern and pretty) and this place will be on all the Best Of lists.

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