A few months ago, I was introduced to a company called Hungry Root. Hungry Root’s mission, via their website is to: Unleash the flavor of vegetables, bring them to the center of your plate, and make them craveable.
OK picky people. I know what you are thinking… Vegetables and craveable are oxymorons! Not anymore. 🙂
Since going Paleo in 2011, I have been a proponent of obtaining most of my carbohydrates from fruits and especially vegetables. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Yes, I am the person who will roast root vegetables like carrots and parsnips until they are caramelized, and eat them for dessert! Maybe that sounds a little nutty, but when you start a true Paleo diet, you omit all processed sugars and so even vegetables when roasted can actually taste sweet!
I was really interested in Hungry Root, because they are making similar things with vegetables that we do on a daily basis, and yet, Hungry Root can ship meals pretty much really to cook with no prep involved other than heating oil in a pan, which is the perfect thing for busy people who need a quick and healthy meal! 🙂
This is the Cauliflower Coucous with Moroccan Almond Curry ($6). This VEGAN side is finely chopped raw cauliflower with a container of Moroccan almond curry made from fresh cilantro, parsley, mint, almonds, raisins and madras curry in the package. It’s super easy to prepare and you can eat the WHOLE container for only 121 calories. I don’t know about you, but I am a whole container kind of gal. 😉
And THIS is the Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Cashew Alfredo which contains Fresh-cut sweet potato noodles with creamy cashew alfredo (cashews, sesame tahini, garlic, Dijon mustard, Kosher salt, lemon juice, black pepper), tossed with curried carrots and chopped, roasted chickpeas. The cashew alfredo is absolutely ADDICTIVE. And BOOM, another vegan dish. P.S. There’s so much Vitamin A in the house in this dish, your eyes and skin will thank you just as much as your tastebuds!
The third item we tried was the Almond Chickpea Cookie Dough. Ingredients: Chickpeas, sweet potato, almond butter, sesame tahini, maple syrup, organic cane sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, vegan chocolate chips. And we loved it so much, we ate it raw. Because it was so HARD CORE yummy that way—and only 60 calories per serving!! 🙂 YAY. Cookies for everyone!!
Want to try out Hungry Root? Well, you’re in luck! The marketing team at Hungry Root sent me a special code to pass along to you so that you can save 20% OFF your order. Just type in KRISTY20 in the promo code field at check out. Also, they are currently running a promotion of FREE shipping for orders over $40. Click here to start shopping!
Last Monday, Andy and I attended a hospitality professionals meeting and I won a bag of groceries from Whole Foods Arden (Sacramento). They are also members of the group and brought the bag to give away at the meeting through a raffle of business cards of all the attendees.
We rarely buy quinoa, because it is a grain and not technically Paleo, but since it is a gluten free grain that is high in protein and the box was in the bag of groceries, I decided to make good use of it and post the recipe here as my thanks to Whole Foods! 🙂
Chili Lime Shrimp with Vegetables and Quinoa
Inspired by a Kaiser Permanente recipe
2 tsp chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Tbs teaspoon cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes (this will make the recipe moderately spicy, omit if you don’t prefer heat)
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper
20-24 uncooked, peeled and deveined medium-sized shrimp (roughly one pound)
Note: If you can’t find peeled and deveined shrimp, it’s pretty easy to do at home, it just takes about 15 more minutes to do it. After you peel back the shell, use a small knife to make an incision right on top of the vein and down to the tail. The vein will come practically on its own under running water. I also removed the tails for this recipe.
Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the shrimp, tossing them in the bowl until they are coated. Set aside and work on your vegetables.
2 Tbs olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 of a large red bell pepper
1/2 of a large yellow bell pepper
1/2 of a large yellow squash
1/2 of a large zucchini squash
1/2 of a large eggplant
1/2 of a large onion
1 1/2 cups of your favorite tomato (I used some cherry tomatoes left over from a veggie tray and one large heirloom tomato)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 of one bundle of cilantro
After you wash and chop up the vegetables (cube or cut each into bite sized pieces), set them aside and prepare the quinoa.
1 1/2 cup 365 Organic Quinoa
First, for a nuttier flavor, toast the quinoa in a skillet until it turns a little brown in color. Then prepare according to package directions. For even more flavor, cook the quinoa in a vegetable or chicken broth (substituting the water and using the same amount of broth in the directions on the package).
Prepare Vegetable Sauté:
While the quinoa is cooking, begin your vegetable sauté by heating the olive (or coconut oil) in a skillet and cooking the onion until it is translucent and then adding both the red and yellow bell peppers. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, then add the squashes, and then the eggplant. At this point the pan will be getting dry, so add a little water or white wine (1/2 cup), add the tomatoes and the garlic powder, and cook until vegetables are tender and the alcohol has cooked out of the mixture. Lastly, remove the pan from heat and add the cilantro leaves allowing them to wilt into the vegetables.
By this time the quinoa will be done or nearly done. Drain any excess water (or broth) out of the quinoa and set aside.
Cook the Shrimp:
Heat a pan big enough to accommodate the 24 shrimp and get the pan really hot. Place your shrimp in the pan, along with all the marinade and cook the shrimp 3-4 minutes (until they sear and turn color). Then add the shrimp to the vegetable pan, and place the vegetable pan back onto low heat. Fold all the ingredients together until everything is well combined and heated through.
Begin with the quinoa, and place the amount of your liking in a circle shape on a large plate. Make a nice big crater in the center of the plate, and fill it with the shrimp and vegetable sauté. Then garnish with a little more cilantro if you’d like.
You can also make this recipe with chicken if you don’t like seafood. I would marinate and cook it in the exact same fashion. 🙂
You can find Whole Foods Arden (Sacramento) on Facebook here and follow them on twitter here.
I am a fan of trying new things and I love getting surprises in the mail, so when I heard about Send Me Gluten Free, I immediately checked them out!
Send Me Gluten Free is a monthly subscription service that introduces you to new gluten free products. The company was kind enough to send me a sample box (just like I would get if I had a subscription to their service).
I didn’t want to describe/review the individual products I was sent, because they vary so much in individual boxes each month, but I will tell you that I enjoyed everything in the box, and there were even coupons/offers in the box along with the products. I want to thank the people at Send Me Gluten Free, as they must be mind readers!
But, to be honest, they sent me some REALLY addictive (yet organic, non GMO!! stuff), and I’m sure that’s pretty much the norm every month!! Some of these items included: Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter that can substitute peanut butter), Skinnypop popcorn (hello popcorn, I missed you!), some amazing chocolate coated pumpkin seeds called SuperSeedz (probably my fave in the box), and some Alter Eco chocolate. YESSSS!! Box already scarfed down. 😉
Along with the assortment of products, I also received an envelope in the box containing coupons good for gluten free products. I’ll definitely be using the one for SunButter spread.
Soooo, the Send Me Gluten Free subscriptions range from month-to-month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months (the 3, 6, and 12 months are prepaid in advance, and offer discounted rates that increase the discount the longer you commit to the service).
Each month, your box will contain 8-10 new gluten free products. You’ll get both full-size and sample size food, personal care items, supplements and household products that support your gluten free lifestyle. Your chosen subscription will automatically renew, but you can cancel at any time. You box will ship on the first Monday of each month.
Send Me Gluten Free requires all of their brand partners to be certified gluten-free or tested to the FDA standard of less than 20 parts per million.
Would you like to try a sample box from Send Me Gluten Free? You can enter to WIN one by commenting below AND sharing this post on Facebook with your friends. In your comment, please answer these questions: Why did you go gluten free & what is your favorite gluten free snack? Also, let me know in the comments that your shared with your friends and please tag cavegrrl.com when you do. Contest lasts until the end of April, and I will pick a winner at random.
Below is an example of the type of products found in a box, not the actual contents of what the winner will receive. It changes every month, that’s the fun of it!
PS!!: If you decide to subscribe, Cavegrrl.com readers can get a 20% off an subscription length by using discount code BLOG20 at checkout.
It’s time to make the donuts and time to choose a winner for the giveaway of the Dr. Bob’s Donuts and Doyos Complete Starter Kit that includes all three of Dr. Bob’s gluten free and vegan donut mixes, as well as a pan to make them in, a cooling rack and a vented lid.
I entered all of you for the number of times you commented, liked, shared, etc. this blog post and used random.org to generate a numbered list of all of you, and Andy picked a number at random (number 17). Number 17 is going to have a blast with this kit! I know I have with mine. 🙂
Before I reveal the winner, I would like to share the donuts I made today. I used the very last of my blonde mix (my favorite, by the way) to create a honey vanilla donut with honey vanilla glaze.
I used the blonde mix in the standard way, except I added 1 tsp of vanilla and 2 Tbs of honey in the 1 cup of liquid mixture. (The standard recipe is one cup mix and one cup water). I also added 1/2 of the beans from one vanilla bean pod to the batter.
To make the glaze, I used 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1 Tbs butter, 2 Tbs honey, 1 packet of stevia, a pinch of salt, and the contents of the other half of the vanilla bean pod.
After you steam the donuts in the microwave, brush them with a mix of 2 Tbsp honey & 1 Tbs hot water. This makes them super moist inside and gives them a little more sweetness. Then glaze the donuts with your glaze and place them in the refrigerator to set. It’s that easy! 🙂
Now, let’s cut open the donut to find out the winner of the starter kit!
Congratulations to Mindie! You have won the starter kit and Dr. Bob’s will ship it directly to you. I will contact you privately to get your mailing address. Thanks again for your entry. I hope you’ll share some of the fun things you make on Dr. Bob’s Facebook page or the cavegrrl.com Facebook page. 🙂
If you didn’t win the contest, I have some buy one, get one FREE coupons (good for Dr. Bob’s Donuts and Doyos Roseville Store location only). Just email me with your address and will send one your way (one per family, until I run out of them).
And to those interested in buying Dr. Bob’s products online, I have a discount code for you! Just enter CAVEGRRL15 for 15% off of your online purchase! (Apply Your Coupon or Discount Code on Final Payment Screen)
You might recall a few blog posts back a certain donut I made for Andy: Gluten Free and Vegan Banana Maple Walnut Donuts with Banana Date Filling using Dr. Bob’s Blonde Mix. That was fine, but what about me? 😉 This time I decided to make a donut with a few of my favorite flavor combinations: Hazelnut and Chocolate!
First, I made the donut base with Dr. Bob’s Chocolate Mix and a few other ingredients:
3/4 cup Chocolate Mix
2 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Tbs Hazelnut Flour
2 Packets Stevia or Zylitol
3/4 cup of Hazelnut Coffee (or regular coffee if you do not have hazelnut)
3 Tbs Nut Milk of Your Choice
1 Tbs Frangelico or Sugar Free Hazelnut Syrup
Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and mix all of the liquid ingredients in a smaller-sized bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
I like to spray/grease my silicone pan with Coconut Oil Spray (which can be found at Trader Joe’s) before adding the donut batter to the it.
Then I microwaved for 2 minutes (yep, that’s all it takes) and the donuts were done!
Allow the donuts to cool, and for an extra flavor boost, poke holes in them with a fork, and using a pastry brush, dab them with more Frangelico or hazelnut syrup.
For the filling, I used a hazelnut spread called Nocciolata is Italy’s health-conscious answer for a chocolatey treat. Crafted using carefully selected ingredients, including dark chocolate from the Antillean Islands, Italian hazelnuts (with low-fat content), raw cane sugar, skimmed milk and Bourbon vanilla extract, this high-quality certified organic spread is also free from trans fats, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
For the topping, I just melted a little semisweet chocolate, 1 Tbsp of butter and a tiny bit more of the Frangelico. To ice the donuts, I carefully dipped them into the melted chocolate and set them on parchment paper. I then topped each one with toasted, chopped hazelnuts, then returned to each donut with a final drizzle of chocolate on their tops, so that the hazelnuts would stay in place.
And here’s the delectable cross-section. OMG. 😛
The good news? You can try making your very own with the Dr. Bob’s Complete Starter kit that Dr. Bob’s Donuts and Doyos and I are giving away!!
YES! Dr. Bob’s and I are giving away a Dr. Bob’s Complete Starter kit! This giveaway is only for those who live in the Continental USA.
The Complete Starter Kit includes a 100% food grade silicone heart shaped Vitamold, a bamboo drying rack, and a vented lid. The complete kit includes a regular size bag Chocolate unsweetened, Chocolate Sweetened and the Blonde Mix. This kit has a retail value of $89.97.
To be entered in the giveaway, comment below and tell me what kind of donuts you would create with your kit. Then for extra entries and an increased chance of winning the kit:
Like the Dr. Bob’s Donuts Facebook page and leave me a comment that you did.
Like the CAVEGRRL.COM Facebook page and leave me a comment that you did.
Follow CAVEGRRL on Instagram and leave me a comment that you did.
Follow Dr. Bob’s Donuts on Instagram and leave me a comment that you did.
Share this post on Facebook!!
You have until Friday, February 27th to enter! I will pick a winner at random on Saturday, February 28th and announce it on my Facebook page. Again, you must live in the Continental US to win and you must LOVE donuts!
GOOD LUCK!! 🙂
Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos is located at 336 Lincoln Street in old town Roseville. They are open 7 am to 5 pm Tuesday thru Sunday. For more information, you can call them at 916-742-5241. You can find Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos and tons of photos/ideas for donut creations on their Facebook page here and you can follow them on Twitter here. You can also follow them on Instagram here! 🙂
Last Friday, I stopped by a new place in Roseville called Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos. They’ve been open about 3 weeks now and are the first to serve steamed gluten free and vegan donuts in the area. At Dr. Bob’s, customers are able to fully customize their donuts with different glazes, syrups, puddings, and dozens of toppings. Taking their creations a step further, they can add up to two different kinds of dairy free frozen yogurt to make a DoYo. Donuts AND frozen yogurt? And it’s healthy? Where do I sign up? 🙂
During my visit, I spoke with Tasha Richard, owner and co-founder of Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos. She was neatly dressed in her chef’s attire, and though in the middle of a busy afternoon rush, she made time to answer some of my questions and chat with me about the her culinary background, food philosophies, and the shop itself.
Immediately, Tasha made a strong impression on me as a person who doesn’t want to change the world, but rather wants to help the world change. She and I have that in common as I have tried to help people who want to change their diet with this website and access to my Paleo and Primal recipes.
It’s been a long time coming, but I believe people are finally realizing that “food is medicine and medicine is your food”. There’s a direct correlation between sugar intake and disease. There’s also a connection between foods with highly processed ingredients (enriched flour, high fructose corn syrup) and obesity. It was exciting to interview Tasha because as she spoke to me about the donuts and her products at the shop, she transformed from a soft spoken business owner into a passionate health food advocate!
It wasn’t always like that for the Chef-Owner of Dr. Bob’s. After 25 years in the food industry and a typical American diet, Tasha had fallen into ill health with a myriad of digestive issues. Eventually she went to Hawaii and met Dr. Bob. Instead of prescription medicine, Dr. Bob placed her on an elimination diet. The elimination diet usually involves cutting out foods/ingredients to which people are commonly allergic such as milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, and soy. It took 2 years, but finally Tasha’s health improved and the gastrointestinal problems vanished. Her waistline did a vanishing act, too–she lost 80 pounds!
One of the keys to Tasha’s success and managing an elimination diet was developing a gluten and dairy free treat that reminded her of one of the things she loved and gave up: donuts! (To be honest, I miss those, too!) With her chef background, she worked on the mix for the donuts with Dr. Bob and came up with a blend of: Sprouted Brown Rice Flour, Criollo Cacao Powder, Yellow Pea Protein Powder, Peruvian Maca Powder, Golden Milled Flaxseed, Hemp Protein Powder, Cinnamon Powder, Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder, Moringa Leaf Powder, Tumeric Powder, Green Tea Powder, Ginger Powder, Probiotics, and Minerals.
The donut mix is vegan and common allergen free (no gluten, wheat, dairy, corn, eggs, or nuts) and now available for sale on their website and in the Roseville storefront.
So how does it work inside Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos? Well, here’s a look inside the shop:
First, you select a donut. You can choose from vanilla, chocolate, or even unsweetened chocolate. For the uninspired, there are also several premade donuts with glazes and fruit already on them. All of the donuts are kept warm in a glass cabinet.
After you select a donut, you can top it with any of the house made glazes and sauces. This one is the “Ultra Sauce” made with almond butter, organic cacao butter, organic coconut butter, and Dr. Bob’s G* Sweet (a sweetener made with a blend of cane sugar, coconut palm sugar, lo han guo, coconut water powder, and stevia) that is 6 times sweeter than table sugar–meaning you can use less of it and it still tastes very sweet. 🙂
After the sauce and glazing station, you can visit the frozen yogurt machine:
Then, more toppings are available on the fresh bar next to the yogurt machine. There is fresh fruit like strawberries and kiwi as well as a few different dairy free mousses and chia pudding. Tasha explained to me that some people skip the donuts altogether and just enjoy the puddings and fresh fruit together. It’s really a choose your own adventure at Dr. Bob’s.
Next and finally there is the dry bar of toppings. This station gives a little bit of crunch and texture to your creation. There are also a few different agave nectars and honey if you need a little more sweetness.
Looks pretty good! After you’re all done making your custom donut or DoYo, it’s time to pay. What to drink? There is a small coffee bar across from the cash register and there are also two fresh juices available daily. If you feeling generous and want to take some donuts into the office, they are available in packs of 4, 8, and 12. For pricing and menu, you can click here.
Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos is located at 336 Lincoln Street in old town Roseville. They are open 7 am to 8 pm Tuesday thru Sunday. For more information, you can call them at 916-742-5241. You can find Dr. Bob’s Donuts and DoYos and tons of photos/ideas for donut creations on their Facebook page here and you can follow them on Twitter here. You can also follow them on Instagram here! 🙂
I used to work at The Bonbonerie in Cincinnati, Ohio and the most amazing thing they make (other than their masterpiece wedding cakes—many of them creations by the incomparable Richard Prince) is their Büche de Noel (pictured below).
I never attempted to make one myself until this year, and just to raise the stakes, I made it Primal friendly! 🙂 I used coconut flour and eggs and made a simple sponge cake that would roll without falling apart. I am posting the recipe and hope you will try it yourself because it really is not that hard, but it takes a little effort and patience. And great ingredients.
I’d like to thank Challenge Butter, Bob’s Red Mill, and Pyure Organic Stevia for helping make my Büche de Noel taste amazing. They all sent me products that were used in cookies for my annual Ladies Gluten Free Cookie Exchange, (I’ll be writing about that very soon) and I am continuing to use their ingredients in other recipes that will be featured here on my website throughout the year.
First, prepare your filling and frosting.
For the Filling
20 Medjool dates soaked in hot water and drained
2 Tbs Challenge Butter
sea salt to taste
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until the filling becomes a caramel texture.
For the Buttercream:
1 stick Challenge Butter
1 cup Pyure Organic Stevia
1/2 cup coconut oil (solid, not melted)
1/4 melted semisweet chocolate
1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
This is another food processor item. Start with the Pyure Organic Stevia. Pulse the product in the food processor until it becomes a fine powder. Then add the Challenge Butter and coconut oil and blend together until you have a buttercream-like substance. Add the cocoa and vanilla extract. When ingredients are combined completely, add in the melted chocolate. The chocolate will heat up the butter and coconut oil and mixture will look rather runny. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place into your refrigerator while you make the chocolate bark and the cake. Next, prepare your chocolate “bark”.
2 cups dark or semisweet chocolate (broken into pieces)
1/2-3/4 cup coconut oil
Melt your chocolate pieces and the coconut oil in the microwave 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each 20 seconds. Do not overheat. Stir until the mixture is completely smooth and spread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator until semi-solid. Then take out the sheet and with the twines of a fork, drag lines across the chocolate to create a “bark” texture. Then return the pan to the refrigerator to solidify completely.
8 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour
(plus 1-2 Tbsp more for dusting your baking pan)
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
4 tbsp Pyure Organic Stevia
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
Juice of 1 large orange
Rind of 1 large orange
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of it with coconut oil or butter. Then lightly dust with Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour and tap off the excess.
Separate the eggs into 8 yolks and 8 whites. Whip the egg whites with the lemon juice and cream of tartar, until firm peaks can be formed. You can do this with a stand mixer, a hand mixer or you can do it like I did by hand. If you do it by hand it’s quite a workout!
In a separate bowl, whisk together the Pyure Organic Stevia, The Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour, the orange juice, orange zest, salt, vanilla and egg yolks. Once you have combined those ingredients completely fold in 1/4 of the egg white mixture. Once the first 1/4 has been folded in, fold in another 1/4 of the egg white mixture. Continue adding portions of the egg whites, while folding until you have a complete incorporation of the two mixtures.
Pour your batter into your prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and place a sheet of parchment paper directly over the top. Then roll the hot cake into a “jellyroll” and then let it cool while it’s still rolled tight. Remove your date paste and the buttercream from the refrigerator. The date paste will be a perfect spreading consistency, but the buttercream will be pretty solid. To get it to the right texture, simply stir it around and it will loosen up pretty well the closer it gets to room temperature.
Now it’s time to unroll and fill your Büche de Noel. At this point, the cake should look like this (below):
Fill your cake with the date paste and then spread a thin layer of chocolate buttercream over that. It should look like this (below):
Then roll up cake and frost with the remaining buttercream. Now it should look like this (below):
Next, break up the chocolate bark you made and place it on the cake so that the cake looks like a fallen log. I added some toasted coconut to resemble lichen and some seeds and dried fruit so it really looks like a little forest bed. When you slice the Büche de Noel it will look like this in the middle (pictured below).
I plan on making this cake every year (perhaps with different frostings and fillings, but keeping it free of gluten and added sugar). I hope you will attempt this recipe as it is not too tricky with practice and patience.
I hope all of you had a safe New Year’s and I wish you all the best for 2015! Cheers 🙂
Andy and I were excited to work with Chicago Fire because it’s so close to home and we had actually been there before a few times (thanks to a $100 gift card that I won at a Christmas party my boss threw last year). Don’t ever try to win Christmas Carol Word Jumble against me. You will lose! 😉
We were able to actually use the gift card twice, so we had already tasted their fabulous version of gluten free pizza and already had a favorite wine we like to drink with our dinner (the Windy City Red blend that Boeger Winery creates just for Chicago Fire). 🙂 We already knew the service was great and were lucky enough once to have a server who had adopted a gluten free diet as well. I am seeing that more often in restaurants and it is very comforting.
It’s been a head-spinning 3 weeks since our visit (my apologies to the team at Chicago Fire for not being a little more timely on this piece–life has been absolutely crazy lately with multiple visits to San Francisco, training for a 20 mile race, working 45 hours a week, and being in the process of moving happening all at once). Still, I remember what a great time Andy and I had that night, and we always enjoy the food at the restaurant. So, here’s a recap of what we ordered:
Starter drinkys!! It was Friday night and I was ready for one of the cocktails I had seen earlier in the day on Chicago Fire’s inventive drink menu! I was interested because I saw a few descriptions that were not going to be sweet (like a lot of other drink menus unfortunately are). I picked the Basil Lemonade with Tito’s vodka muddled with fresh basil & lemon juice over ice. It hit the spot, just as I had imagined it would. Basil and lemon together in my drink, yes please! 🙂 Andy had a glass of Bolla Chianti. OK, now we’re all set…
In an effort to make the entire meal gluten-free, we chose the Baked Artichoke for an appetizer. It’s a whole artichoke, doused with lemony caesar sauce and topped with fresh parmesan cheese. Chicago Fire has quite a Greek influence in their menu and many things are flavored with lemon and garlic. That’s a plus in my book and in Andy’s, too because he is half Greek. 🙂 My favorite part of the artichoke was the cheese on top that had slightly browned and gotten crispy, and the way it tasted with fresh lemon juice on it. It was a great lead in to the salad we ordered.
Next up we tried the Chicken Pesto Salad, which is a favorite of mine. It is made of Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, pesto-marinated artichoke hearts and red onion. We ordered the house made pesto ranch dressing on the side. Pesto is one of my favorite sauces and the dressing that comes with the salad is addictive. 😉 The chicken on the salad was grilled perfectly. I recommend ordering a large size salad because it is perfect for sharing if you are a party of two and plan on ordering a pizza as well.
I wanted to mention the wine pairing we had. This time, we did not order the Windy City Red that we usually drink, but instead went with a Greg Norman 2012 (Santa Barbara) Pinot Noir (because of the lighter nature of ingredients in our salad and our pizza). We chose the Greg Norman Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara) because it was a better value than the other Pinot Noir on the wine list (La Crema).
By now it was pizza time! We decided on the gluten free Greek pizza. The Greek is topped with Gyro meat, white Sauce, Artichoke Hearts, Kalamata Olives, Red Onion, Fresh Tomato, Feta Cheese & Pepperoncini and served with what else? Tzatziki on the side. Love it. My favorite part of the pizza (other than the super crispy edges on the crust were the little slices of Gyro meat that had also gotten super crispy/crunchy in the pizza oven. We squeezed the lemon juice over the slices for an extra burst of flavor and the tzatziki lemon combo was just paradise. It’s a real treat for Andy and I to eat pizza/things with crust/bread at all even if it is gluten free, so it was fun to try the Greek flavor combination on a crust. Bonus points for the presentation, one slice of pizza was slightly propped up with the ramekin that held the tzatziki sauce. Beautiful!
Thanks Chicago Fire, we’ll definitely be back for more very soon! We’ll continue to work our way around the menu of gluten free pizzas. We’ve already tried and given thumbs up to the Stockyard and Chicken Pesto on previous visits. 🙂
Chicago Fire has a loyalty program called Square Points. You can points as soon as you get a Square Points card from your server. By registering online, you’ll be able to redeem your points. Then you can earn more points when you buy food, drinks & merchandise. Some of the rewards from the Square Points membership include a free Deep Dish Delight on your birthday, a free specialty pizza for every 500 points, and free corkage. Of course the term FREE CORKAGE was music to our ears, so we decided to enroll in Square Points, too!
Are you hungry for a visit yet?!?! Good news for you if you aren’t near downtown but live closer to Folsom or Roseville, because in addition to the Midtown location on 2416 J Street, there are 3 other locations: Historic Folsom (Chicago Fire made its debut on Sutter Street in Folsom in March 2003), Folsom at Palladio, and in Roseville at Sunrise/Eureka.
Thanks for the wonderful hospitality and service all the way from the marketing team to the staff at Chicago Fire Midtown. We’ll see you again soon. 🙂
So picture this: I work in Roseville (as a graphic designer/life saver) from 8:30am-5pm, and last Wednesday Andy and I have to be at a Kings Pre-season game by 7:00pm. Factor in a 30 minute commute time, and 10-15 minutes to get to the game from my house, and there’s pretty much NO TIME to cook and have a meal before we go.
Enter National Pizza Month and zpizza! They have a gluten free menu and salads suitable for a busy person like me.
All I had to do was call them ahead of time and let them know I wanted to pick up my order just a little after 5:00pm. I browsed their website, and chose what looked interesting to me. I thought their website was fantastic at showing what and was not available in gluten free. All you have to do is check a little box in the upper right hand corner, and the gluten free items remain listed, while the gluten items are grayed out. See?
So two items on the menu immediately caught my eye, beginning with the Arugula Salad! The salad has cucumbers, caramelized onions, parmesan cheese, candied walnuts and guess what? Arugula! Sold! I added on some avocado and chicken breast for an extra charge.
The other menu item that grabbed my attention was the gluten free Italian pizza with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, ham, basil, pesto (yes!!) mozzarella cheese, and black olives. At first I was worried I didn’t order enough food, but as we ate, we both got really full. I guess we’re not used to having a treat as nice as pizza––even the gluten free variety––and any kind of dough is really filling. I had 3 pieces and it was so gooood. The crust was great and really crispy on the edges. The pesto was terrific and I only wish I had ordered extra on the side to dip the crust in! The crust had a nice buttery flavor and even a sort of flakey texture. I am glad I have Andy to eat the other 5 pieces, because I would have demolished them for sure! 😉
Now, onto the wine we had with dinner! 🙂
Andy brought over 2 different wines to have with dinner. The white wine he brought was a 2012 Chardonnay from Mercy Vineyards. The second wine he brought (yep, I am pretty lucky to have such premium wines with a take out dinner!!) was a Cinsaut from Miner’s Leap which is produced from 127 year-old vines in Clarksburg!
Andy said he chose the wine pairing to resist the traditional “pizza wines” like sangiovese or chianti, because this pizza had pesto on it and really lent itself to a lighter style of wine. Enter the Chardonnay from Mercy––a less oakey more fruit forward wine, but still a Chardonnay lover’s wine, and the Pinot Noir mimicky Cinsaut from Miner’s Leap. Try either of these two and you’ll just think wow.
Kind of too fancy for pizza, but hey, gluten free zpizza is pretty fancy–especially before a Sacramento Kings game, so OK I’ll take it. 🙂
PS: The Kings won the game against the Toronto Raptors, 113-106! 🙂