May 03

Celiac Awareness Month Day 3: Silk® Cashewmilk

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For decades, Americans’ go-to option for non-dairy milk was soy, but that has changed in recent years. Last year, almond milk (my favorite) took the crown from soy as the non-dairy king. But a new entrant is angling for a slice of the pie: Silk, one of the top dairy-free brands, has started selling cashew milk in the US. It’s advertised as “the first cashew milk in the refrigerated case.”

As an avid almond milk drinker, I did get excited when I heard about this new non-dairy option. I’m not a fan of rice or hemp milk, but another nut milk? Sign me up!  And as a fan of cashews— I love the taste and that they have a lower fat content that most other nuts and offer monosaturated fats, just like you find in olive oil—I was excited to finally try this new product from Silk!

Silk has long been known for its delicious soy, almond and coconut beverages. Creamy Cashew represents the release of the first cashew milk in the refrigerated case, and is a continuation of the brand’s commitment to bring a variety of nutritious and delicious plant-based products to consumers, as well as its innovation in the dairy alternative category.

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Silk® Cashewmilk is irresistibly creamy but with fewer calories and more calcium than skim milk, and no saturated fat. Just like their Almond milk, Silk’s Cashew Milk has 50% more calcium to be exact, AND 50% of your daily recommended value for B12. The original Cashew Milk has 25% less calories and the unsweetened Cashew Milk has 1/3 the calories of skim milk.

Silk Cashew Milk is dairy free, soy free, lactose free, gluten free, casein free, free of MSG, and verified non-GMO. There are no artificial colors, flavors or funny business.

Whether you’re using it with cereal, blending it up in a smoothie, stirring it into your favorite cream-based recipes or sipping it from a cool glass, you get delicious flavor without the dairy.

It is smooth, creamy, slightly sweet and a tiny bit nutty, just what you would expect from cashews.

Have you tried Silk Cashewmilk?! What’s your favorite type of non-dairy milk? 

Click below to get a 75 cent off coupon for any Silk product. Also, head over to Silk’s website to enter for a chance to win a Summer Prize Pack worth up to $500! Last day to enter is June 30!

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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Silk through their partnership with BzzAgent. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.   

 

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This entry was posted in Beverage, dairy free, nuts, Product Review, Soy free and tagged , , , , on 3 May, 2015.

May 02

CELIAC AWARENESS MONTH DAY 2: Gluten Free Element Rice Cakes & Giveaway

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I like rice cakes and I might be one of the few people who do. But if you are one of those who people who stays away from rice cakes, you should think again! Rice and corn cakes can be delicious, especially when covered in chocolate! Yes you heard that right; chocolate covered rice and corn cakes! I have found my new healthy dessert and I can crunch happy.

Element Snacks was created by Nadia and Fred, both of whom grew up in Europe (Nadia from Italy and Fred from Sweden).  They both grew up on real food and fresh ingredients, no Twinkies or Kool-aid. They believe in feeling great and nurturing our bodies and minds at the same time.  They also believe that food should be simple, yet flavorful. Combing fun and moderation is their way to healthy eating We’re humans so we can’t be expected to eat healthy 100% of the time, and splurging on snacks that do not contain highly processed junk and bad chemicals is the best way to splurge.

Element Snacks are produced in Italy, with ingredients sourced from small local farms, and manufactured in a way that reduces the impact on the environment and is more efficient.

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Let’s start with Element Dark Chocolate Rice Cakes.  These are just what they sound like, rice cakes, made from non-GMO Italian rice, that are coated with premium, 60% Dark, Italian Chocolate. Everything in this treat is naturally nutritious and good for you.  This chocolate coated snack cakes are not only gluten free, but also vegan, contain no hydrogenated oils, no trans fats, no high fructose corn syrup, no yeast, no artificial flavors, no preservatives and are non-GMO. 

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Dark Chocolate Rice Cakes are not the only thing Element Snacks is making. They have a full line of rice and corn cakes, with flavors including:

The rice cake tastes savory, without any salt. It was thin, crunchy, and did not crumble in your hands. But it is that layer of chocolate that just makes these explode with flavor.  These are so amazing.  Delicious.  Nutritious.  And YUM!!  Dark chocolate only sweetens the deal.  I only wish I had more!

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I keep on talking about how healthy these are, so let’s talk about nutrition. A serving of Element Dark Chocolate Rice Cakes is 1 rice cake.  It has 80 calories. 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of fiber and 1 gram of protein.  These won’t fill you up, but you will have the sweet and savory taste to leave you feeling fulfilled, and this is much healthier than most desserts anyways! One rice cake will provide you with 20 mg sodium, 0 cholesterol and 5 grams of sugar; I try not to eat anything with more than 6 grams of sugar per serving, so these pass the test. They are cholesterol free. 

Dark Chocolate Rice

Dark Chocolate Rice

Not only can you enjoy Element Snacks as a snack, but you can also use the rice and corn cakes to make some delicious recipes, including this one below for Coconut Milk Panna Cotta Element Parfait. I’m drooling just typing this!

Recipe_Coconut-milk-Panna-Cotta

For more recipe ideas, click here.

So where can you get some Element Snacks? Element Snacks are sold at numerous stores nationwide, including natural food stores, convenient stores, and so many more. You can also purchase Element Snacks on their online shop or via Amazon.  

Life is too short to snack badly. So chocolate lovers, dessert lovers, if you are looking for a satisfying dessert without all the calories, sugar, and added junk, Element Snacks might be right for you! And, thanks to Element Snacks generosity, they have offered to give one reader the chance to win a mixed case!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end on May 11, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only.

 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review. 

 

42 Comments

This entry was posted in chocolate, dairy free, dessert, Giveaway, Product Review, Snack, Vegan and tagged , , , , , , on 2 May, 2015.

May 01

CELIAC AWARENESS MONTH Day 1: Lucy’s Gluten Free Cookies & Brownie Crisps GIVEAWAY

Hello and welcome to our MONTH-LONG CELEBRATION for Celiac Disease Awareness Month! It’s May 1st and we’re celebrating our first day of giveaways and fun with Lucy’s Gluten Free Cookies!

I love when my favorite brands come out with new products and today I am excited to share with you two new products from Lucy’s

Expanding both the cookie line and the brand as a whole, Lucy’s, maker of allergy-friendly and gluten-free baked desserts, just introduced the new Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Brownie Crisps last month! With a mission of baking life better, Lucy’s provides consumers with healthier and better tasting snacks and pre-packaged desserts.

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Following Lucy’s dedicated bakery standards, the new Triple Chocolate Brownie Crisp is gluten free, allergy-friendly and made without wheat, diary milk, butter, eggs, casein, peanuts or tree nuts. Expertly crafted with a delicious mix of 72 percent dark chocolate chunks, chocolate chips, cocoa, and Madagascar vanilla, this decadent treat is only 100 calories per serving making it easy to enjoy delicious desserts while adhering to special diets. In addition, Brownie Crisps are also Non-GMO Project Verified, certified vegan and certified Kosher Pareve.

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Lucy’s Triple Chocolate Brownie Crisp is available in a 4.5 oz resealable pouch. This treat is a a wonderful mixture of deep, rich chocolate flavor with a satisfying crispy snap. The combination of dark chocolates will transport you to chocolate-lover’s heaven.

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Lucy’s new Chocolate Chocolate Chunk cookies were my favorite. They are rich, delicious and the perfect mix of chocolate with more chocolate! Made from simple, old-fashioned, nutrient-rich ingredients, the Chocolate Chocolate Chunk cookies are Non-GMO Project Verified and certified vegan. With only 45 calories per cookie, this new flavor will help you eat smart and enjoy at the same time!

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“At Lucy’s, we understand how hard it is to find a dessert that is both enjoyable and appropriate for special diets. As we continue to grow, we explore new ways of bringing people better-for-you baked goods and are excited to be sharing our newest creation at this year’s Natural Products Expo West,” said Dr. Lucy Gibney, Founder and Chairman of Lucy’s. “We are looking forward to hearing feedback from attendees at the show and educating consumers on how choosing a healthier dessert is no longer the hardest part of your trip to the grocery store!”

And what better way than to kick off Celiac Awareness Month than with a giveaway?! One lucky reader will win a box of the new Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies! To enter, simply click on the rafflecopter below.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end on May 9, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only. 

About Lucy’s

Through the brand Lucy’s, Dr. Lucy’s LLC creates and markets delicious, high quality, convenient foods for people with and without special dietary considerations.  On the market since December 2007, Lucy’s currently offers a line of gluten-free allergy-friendly cookies baked without wheat, gluten, dairy milk, butter, eggs, casein, peanuts or tree nuts. Lucy’s incorporates a three component allergen control program that includes selectively sourcing raw materials, testing for trace allergens in an on-site lab and baking in a dedicated facility. Lucy’s cookies are available at over 7,000 stores nationally including Whole Foods, Wegman’s, VONS, Albertsons and more.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review. 

50% off 1st Love With Food Gluten Free Box

36 Comments

This entry was posted in chocolate, cookie, dairy free, dessert, Giveaway, Kosher, nut free, Product Review, Vegan and tagged , , , , , , , , , on 1 May, 2015.

Apr 30

Celiac Awareness Month begins tomorrow

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May is Celiac Awareness Month! It is a very special month for those of us with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, gluten-intolerance or another reaction gluten to help spread awareness so others can fully understand that gluten free is not just a fad for us!

Many manufacturers offer special deals on gluten free products each year during May (check their websites to find out exactly what those deals will entail), and celiac associations often promote awareness with public relations campaigns urging people at risk to get tested. All month long I will be featuring some of my favorite brands – some you know and some new brands you might not be aware of yet – bloggers, and tips with lots of giveaways, discounts, and fun!

Here’s a list of some of the brands that will be featured this month:

Lucy’s

Element Snacks

SILK

Skinny Shirataki Noodles 

NuNaturals

Pretzel Crisps

Enjoy Life Foods

Walker’s Shortbread

Van’s

GlutenAway

Love With Food

50% off 1st Love With Food Gluten Free Box

Zoye

Barbara’s

Milton’s Crackers 

Send Me Gluten Free

Send Me Gluten Free: Gluten Free Subscription Box

Freeda Vitamins

Coromega

GoodBelly 

Wellaby’s

Morningpep

World Foods

BerryCart Subscription Box

AppleGate

Triumph Dining 

Hey! Gluten Free Subscription Box

Rodan & Fields

Mayacamas

Mrs. Leeper’s

Total Tea

 

What will you do in May to spread the word about CELIAC DISEASE? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!

And make sure to come back and check Gluten-Free N-Y-C everyday (and/or visit my social media on Twitter, FacebookPintrest, and Instagram) to see what is featured each day in May and for the chance to win some awesome prizes!

 

10 Comments

This entry was posted in Giveaway and tagged on 30 April, 2015.

Apr 29

Domestik Adjustable Wine & Spirit Aerator Review and Mother’s Day Giveaway (promo code LUVMOM25 for 25% off!)

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The first Aerator designed for both wine and spirits – takes the place of 3 separate aerators—adjusts for the lightest of whites to the boldest of reds & a host of spirits. The 3-in-1 design eliminates the need for multiple devices, and less clutter in your kitchen. I love the fact that I have one bar accessory that does it all. And Jeremy likes that there’s less clutter :)

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Domestik’s Aerator instantly improves less expensive wines and allows quality wines to fully develop by softening and integrating tannins for enhanced flavor and aroma within minutes!

Use Promo Code LUVMOM25 to save 25% off now! 

First off, let’s start with this: “What is Aeration?” I’m sure some of you are wondering what I am talking about. Wines and spirits benefit from “breathing” to release intended flavors and aromas. An aerator simply speeds up the process, maximizing the exposure to the surrounding air allowing you to enjoy your beverage immediately.

So no more waiting or decanting. You can now enjoy smooth, rich flavor in the time it takes to fill your glass. Simply hold over your glass and pour through. It’s really that easy.

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This Aerator has six settings. If the wine or spirit is light and color and body, start with a lower— less aeration – setting, 0-3. If it is darker, bolder, or a young or inexpensive wine, try a higher— more aeration— setting, 3-6.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 5.59.51 PMBefore you start, it’s important to always try a small taste without aeration, then choose a setting, sample, and adjust from there. There is not right or wrong, it’s really a matter of personal preference.

How does it work? Aeration begins by pouring over the unique “umbrella” creating more surface area.  After flowing through a series of holes to incorporate air, your wine or spirit is channeled through a “vortex” funnel and into your glass. Experiment to find the setting perfect for you and your beverage selection.

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Everything that I’ve poured through it tastes smoother, better blended and more expensive. Or, have you ever bought a cheap bottle of wine just to open it and not like it? Well now you don’t need to waste that unwanted wine. Simply use Domestik’s Aerator and the wine will improve instantly. I actually had a pretty low-end wine in the fridge that I just could not drink, but I hate throwing food away/wasting alcohol. I couldn’t believe the difference I tasted after using the aerator!

Aerators are not only for red wines. Aeration benefits white wine & spirits in the same way – for enhanced aroma, balanced flavors & a smooth finish. You can also use this Aerator to enjoy complex and balanced flavors in Scotch, Whiskey, Vodka, Tequila and more, with a smoother, extended finish. It’s a great way to impress your guests too. 
 
Domestik’s Aerator is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day (or any other holiday!), especially if your mom is a wine lover! The box also includes a no-drip stand and travel pouch, making it great for not only parties at home, but for travel, beach trips, BBQ’s and so much more.

So how can you get one of these? You can purchase Domestik’s Aerator online via Amazon, for yourself or as a gift, for only $29.99! And you can save 25% off with promo code LUVMOM25(valid until May 6, 2015)

And, today is someone’s lucky day! I have one Domestik’s Aerator to giveaway to one lucky reader! With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I think this would make a great gift idea! To enter the giveaway, simple click on the rafflecopter below.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end on May 5, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review. 

13 Comments

This entry was posted in Alcohol, Beverage, Giveaway, Product Review and tagged , , , on 29 April, 2015.

Apr 28

NYC Green Festival Expo 2015 Recap

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Over the weekend I attend the NYC Green Festival Expo at the Javits Center. Green Festival® is America’s largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event, now in its 14 th year! The Green Festival Expo was attended by more than 21,000 New Yorkers and offered a vibrant, dynamic marketplace for innovative green products and services. During the weekend-long celebration of Earth Day, I had the opportunity to discover new, practical and easy ways to live healthier, more sustainable lives at Green Festival Expo with thousands of products offered by new brands, national and local businesses and pioneering thinkers in the sustainability field. I met community leaders, innovators, and brand representatives who were all so kind and eager to share their information. 

At the festival there were at least a dozen, if not more, food vendors offering gluten free, vegan, non-GMO, organic samples and hands-on demos. 

Below is a photo recap of my time at the Green Festival Expo!

Tiny But Mighty non-GMO local popcorn

Tiny But Mighty non-GMO local popcorn

PlusBar pea protein energy bar

PlusBar pea protein energy bar

Way Better Snacks new flavors include Siracha and Honey & Onion

Way Better Snacks new flavors include Sriracha and Honey & Onion

Love that Follow Your Heart Vegan products are also gluten free!

Love that Follow Your Heart Vegan products are also gluten free!

local pasta sauce  from Michaels of Brooklyn

local pasta sauce from Michaels of Brooklyn

DF Mavens makes my favorite gluten free & dairy free ice cream (some flavors are also soy free!)

DF Mavens makes my favorite gluten free & dairy free ice cream (some flavors are also soy free!)

Jin-Ja, blend of fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, green tea, mint & lemon, a different kind of all natural drink!

Jin-Ja, blend of fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, green tea, mint & lemon, a different kind of all natural drink!

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Little Me Tea has only 6 grams of serving per juice box!

Little Me Tea has only 6 grams of serving per juice box!

Pamela's full line of GF products

Pamela’s full line of GF products

Sol Cuisines newest meat-less products

Sol Cuisines newest meat-less products are GF!

Hope Hummua

Hope Hummua

OxyBO2ST  - The Oxygen cocktail is a delicious drink that is made from all natural OxyBo2st juice and is infused with a huge dose of pure Oxygen.

OxyBO2ST – The Oxygen cocktail is a delicious drink that is made from all natural OxyBo2st juice and is infused with a huge dose of pure Oxygen.

One of the best things I learned about at the Expo is the Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project. 

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The Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project, a Manhattan rooftop farm, addresses food insecurity by producing 400 pounds of produce annually for a local food pantry serving 700 people. The Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project (HKFP) was created in 2010 to address food insecurity in our west mid-town neighborhood, especially the scarcity of affordable fresh produce. Ongoing gentrification in our area has attracted expensive markets that are unaffordable for many low-income neighbors, making it difficult for these families to consume healthy diets. The farm, run exclusively by volunteers using sustainable organic methods, consists of 52 inexpensive kiddie pools that are used as planting beds and 20 vertical planters attached to the perimeter railing of the roof. The size of their crop is especially noteworthy, because they grow far more lightweight vegetables, such as leafy greens, than heavy vegetables, such as potatoes. With the farm being located in the same building as the food pantry, they are able to deliver the crop without transportation-related spoilage and pollution.

To bring additional fresh produce into the neighborhood, they run a CSA program in partnership with a family-owned organic farm in Andover, New Jersey. The CSA operates weekly during the growing season, and HKFP enables low-income residents to benefit from the CSA by subsidizing their membership dues. Anyone can sign up for the CSA, with weekly (full share) and biweekly (half share) options available. I recently signed up and I am super excited to be a part of my first CSA for only $12.75 every other week, I will get fresh fruits and vegetables all summer long. 

 

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This entry was posted in event, New York City and tagged , on 28 April, 2015.

Apr 27

Kitopia Silicone Baking Cups Review + Giveaway

If you love making delicious cupcakes, muffins and other tasty treats with your family, then you need these professional-grade Party Time Silicone Baking Cups. These 12 reusable cups are made of 100% non-stick, commercial quality silicone that can withstand thousands of uses without showing the least amount of wear. Not only do they come in fun and festive colors your kids will love, but they are dishwasher safe to ensure optimal sanitation and can be neatly stacked and stored in their own transparent storage container.

Silicone Baking Cups look just like paper muffin liners, complete with the little ribs on the sides of the cups. As an alternative to the traditional paper wrapper, silicone cups are nonstick and reusable, and because they can stand on their own, there is no need to use a muffin tin, just place them on a sheet pan and you are ready to bake!

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Once you buy Silicone Baking Cups, you will never need to buy another container of paper or aluminum baking cups or even metal muffin tins, pan spray or other baking equipment ever again! Plus, you will never have to deal with the mess of greasing cupcake tins again! Double yes! That is because these stand-alone, flexible, non-stick silicone baking cups are designed to withstand the highest heats and the most freezing temperatures, can can be used for making cupcakes, muffins, gelatins, chocolate shells, frozen yogurt, ice cream and much, much more. 

These handy, versatile Party Time Silicone Baking Cups can be placed directly on a baking sheet and don’t need to be greased. No more running to the store last minute to buy paper holders or baking spray. 

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They are enough to hold any type of batter in place and can withstand temperatures of up to 475 degrees F and as cold as -75 degrees F. Then you can peel them right off simply and easily without ever worrying about your bake products sticking or breaking. The strong, industrial strength design can withstand the harshest uses, and help you make the perfect cupcake every time. They are built tough to resist stains and to never lose their shape or strength no matter how many times you use them.

I was impressed with their durability and Super easy clean up. There was very little residue left in the cups after I popped out my muffins, and cleaning up is a breeze! The cups easily clean in soap and water, and are dishwasher safe for an even easy clean up. With just a little soap and warm water I was quickly, and easily, able to clean each cup. 

Using FDA Food Grade Silicone, these Baking Cups are engineered to spread heat evenly over every surface simultaneously, so you never have to worry about baking products that are lopsided, burned, have dark edges or an overcooked bottom. The feature OptiBake TM technology guarantees the optimal baking performance so you can make the tastiest, fluffiest, most flavorful cupcakes and other baked items you’ve ever had in your entire life. And if you are worried about harsh chemicals and safety, you don’t have to be. These Silicone Baking Cups are made of the same high quality, BPA-Free, FDA approved food grade silicone that are used in commercial kitchens and industrial bakeries everywhere. 

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Plus, your purchase of these Party Time Silicone Baking Cups includes a FREE recipe book and baking guide that includes 25 of the most popular and delicious cupcakes and other baked products that are fun and delicious to make, either on your own or with your children. Plus, you will receive exclusive discounts on all future purchases within our product line. It’s cupcake party time all the time with Party Time Silicone Baking Cups!

 

Have you tried Silicone Baking Cups? Well, not only did Kitopia send me a set of 12 Baking Cups, but they have also offered to give one lucky reader the chance to win a set of their own! To enter, simply click on the rafflecopter below. 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on May 14, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to US residents only. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Healthy Snacks Delivered Monthly

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This entry was posted in Giveaway, Product Review and tagged , on 27 April, 2015.

Apr 26

Mother’s Day Giveaway featuring Puritan’s Pride Aromappeal Essential Oils

Want to spoil your mom (or yourself) this Mother’s Day?

With Mother’s Day approaching, you might be struggling to figure out what to get for those wonderful moms in your life. How about essential oils to help her relax and feel her best?

I am excited to be working with Puritan’s Pride on this awesome Mother’s Day gift idea and giveaway!

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Not sure which oil is right for you? You can take this fun quiz to find out!

Now for the giveaway! One lucky reader will win a prize pack from Puritan’s Pride featuring all the products from this review! To learn more, make sure to read all the rules below and then enter through the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends on May 4, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only.

 And for all my readers, use promo code AROMAMD  for $5 off a $25 purchase in Aromatherapy.  This code expires 6/30/2015.

Puritan’s Pride® began over 40 years ago, with the mission of making the finest quality nutritional supplements available at the best value to their customers. Today, the company remains true to its original commitment and serves millions of loyal customers. Puritan’s Pride manufactures thousands of vitamins, minerals, herbs and other nutritional supplements in their state-of-the art facilities located throughout the U.S. As part of the company’s commitment to quality, Puritan’s Pride only uses ingredients from suppliers worldwide that meet their Quality Assurance Standards, as well as Good Manufacturing Practices food quality standards.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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This entry was posted in Giveaway, oil, Product Review and tagged , , on 26 April, 2015.

Apr 24

Gluten Free Options at Balkanika // Hell’s Kitchen NYC

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Specializing in Balkan & Mediterranean Foods, Wines, and Beers, Balkanika offers a little bit of the old and the new; creative tapas spreads and healthy vegetarian & vegan dishes, hearty old-world recipes, kebabs, home-made yogurt and some unique creations.

Balkan Cuisine is delicious and tempting. Balkan cuisine encompasses recipes from all of the Balkan Countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania,  Albania and Slovenia, which all blend together to form a lovely cuisine of fresh flavors.

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Balkan cuisine is heavily influenced by Mediterranean cooking but additionally “spiced up” with cultural and geographical diversity between four seas, mountain ranges, valleys and big rivers of Southeastern Europe.

At Balkanika you will find plenty of gluten free options on the menu including:

Mezzes

Salads

Entrees

I was very impressed with the waiters knowledge of which menu items were/were not gluten free. They keep a sheet with all gluten free options in the kitchen, which he did check once just to confirm. He was right.

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Since we were at a Balkan restaurant, we opted for a bottle of Muscat from Macedonia. It was on the dryer side, with a musky, and “earthy” aftertaste according to Jeremy, with fresh-grape, peach and acidic flavors.

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Hummus, Olive Tapenade, Tzatziki, Fava, Babahganush, & Acili Ezme

 

We started off with 6 mezzes. One mezze costs $7, and the choice of 6 is $18. So, of course we got 6. All 6 spreads were absolutely delicious. The babaganush was very basily. Different from any babaganush I’ve ever had. There was very little eggplant and no smokey flavor, but delicious nonetheless. The olive tampenade was also unique in that it was not purred, but rather ground into very fine pieces. I am definitely trying this at home!

You can request cucumbers and carrots instead of pita, to enjoy the spreads.

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I ordered the Chicken Shishkebab. The chicken was tender and juicy, not something I am used to when I order shish kebabs (it’s usually dry). It was by far the best middle eastern chicken I’ve ever had, and I would order it again. The basmati rice was also delicious. How they get rice to taste that good is beyond me.

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Jeremy ordered the Spicy Lamb Sausage served with furnisto potatoes and sliced peppers. When the dish arrived, I think we were both a little taken aback with the sausages. They looked like breakfast sausages you would get at a diner, or  McDonald’s. But once we tried them we were blown away with the flavor. It wasn’t too spicy, which I enjoyed, and we devoured them.

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Balkanika on Urbanspoon

4 Comments

This entry was posted in Hell's Kitchen, Mediterranean, New York City, Restaurant Review and tagged , , , on 24 April, 2015.

Apr 23

Colors 100% Gluten Free Restaurant // NoHo, NYC

colors

Colors Restaurant is different not only because they serve only gluten free food, or that they source locally and use non GMO products, but also because it is a non-profit restaurant owned by Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United.

ROC was formed to help restaurant workers displaced by the World Trade Center tragedy and has since grown into the leading national restaurant workers’ rights organization.

Since their opening in 2006, Colors has gone through many transformations and launched our gluten the free menu in 2014. 

Menus change frequently due to seasonal chances so it is best to call during opening hours to get the latest updates. But some dishes will always be on the menu, including the dish they are known for; Buttermilk Fried Chicken.

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Colors offers an array of complimentary gluten free bread including a cheddar roll and homemade biscuit.

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A full bar is available including, both gluten free and non-gluten free beer, wine, cocktails and liquor.

The red sangria ($12) is delicious and not overly fruity and sweet, but not too strong either.

We started with the fried calamari, served over a spicy sauce. It was delicious and such a treat to have fried calamari.

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For dinner we tried three different entrees. Of course we just had to order the Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($18). The Fried Chicken was out of this world. It was moist, flaky and just incredible. Jeremy said this was one of the best fried chicken dishes he’s ever had, regardless of being gluten free or not.

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We also tried the Mussels & Frites ($20). The mussels were served in a delicious broth of spring onion, garlic and white wine. The portion size was quite large, I couldn’t finish all the mussels, and I was sharing!

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The frites are actually more like thin potato wedges, served on the side.

The third dish was tried was the Slow Braised Short Ribs ($28) with parsnip puree, purple potatoes and horseradish. The short ribs were mouthwatering and falling off the bone. Again, the portion size was quite generous and we did not leave hungry.

I rarely order dessert when I go out but since this was a special occasion we ordered the vegan Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Tarte topped with whipped coconut cream.

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The tarte was dense but not overly sweet. I am usually a big chocolate lover, but I do have to say this was not the best chocolate dessert I’ve ever had. And I do have to admit the whipped coconut cream was probably my favorite part.

Over all we had a great, worry-free meal. There was nothing subpar about this meal, which can often be the case with gluten free food.

Happy Hour is available at the bar from 5-7:30pm and drinks only costs $5. Great deal, and I can not wait to go back and try something else from the menu!

Colors serves the community through their CHOW Institute (COLORS Hospitality & Opportunities for Workers) which offers professional development classes to restaurant workers seeking advancement within the industry.

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This entry was posted in New York City, NoHo, Restaurant Review and tagged , , on 23 April, 2015.