Forks Over Knives

I wholeheartedly recommend that you see this movie if you have the chance! "Forks Over Knives" is an inspiring, informative and encouraging documentary about having a whole foods, plant based diet. I was amazed and excited after seeing this film and it also made me feel really good about the way I eat, as well as wish that everyone could have the opportunity to see this film! I also learned a lot from the research in the documentary and look forward to reading some of the books and studies done by the two main men in it; Dr. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. It was amazing to learn about the affect that eating a whole foods, plant based diet can have on disease; specifically its relation to controlling or even reversing degenerative diseases.

I have seen many food documentaries, like "Food Inc." for example, but this one was more focused and didn't feel quite as overwhelming or broad. I also did not feel like they came across pointing fingers or blaming people or glorifying vegans, but instead wanting to educate and inform society of their findings - findings so incredible that everyone should stop and take a moment to look at them. It made me want to go to all the people I love in my life and ask them to watch this movie, because I love them and because I believe this. I believe food can heal. I have seen it with my own mother, who after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis went on a very strict vegan-like diet. She is not cured, but she is amazingly healthy with very mild symptoms, most of which she attributes to her diet. Also, from a film standpoint, it was incredibly organized and kept me interested the entire time. It was really well done and in the end I wanted more!

Also, I ran into a woman after our viewing. Her name is Lori and she works at Bob's Red Mill. I actually recognized her from "the mill" and from all the help she has given me in previous visits regarding gluten free products and other various questions. It was really great to meet her and we briefly chatted about the film and being vegan. She also said she knows both of the doctors and said such wonderful things about them. Everything about the documentary, from the actual film, to meeting Lori and hearing her opinion on the men was so inspiring and reassuring!


I recommend checking out the film's website:


And seeing the documentary!

PS - They will be talking about it on Oprah tomorrow!

Happy Eating!


Happy Birthday Husband!

Dear Andrew,

I love you. You are my favorite person in the whole world, my best friend, my husband. You have made me the happiest woman in the world and I cherish each and every moment I have with you. Sometimes I do not know where I end and you begin... all I know is that God created us for each other. Today is your birthday and yet I am the one who has received the greatest gift of all. Here is to many more years of enjoying some of the most delicious things life has to offer.

Happy Birthday Puddin'
I love you.

Your wife,


Featured Recipe: Polenta Cannellini Bean Torte with Caponata

While a majority of the recipes in the Flying Apron's cookbook are baked goods, such as cookies, muffins, pies and cakes, there are some delicious meals as well. In fact the first one I tried was the Italian Mushroom Apron Pockets with a Homemade Marinara Sauce that rivaled my mothers. Everything was so absolutely wonderful about them. From the fact that they were "pockets" with pinched edges, to the mingling of herbs and vegetables on my taste buds, to my love of having a dipping sauce. I was so impressed, as I honestly did not think they would turn out (I have had my fair share of failed attempts to make anything with a crust). They reminded me of little calzones and froze incredibly well for later suppers. Now I have to try the Indian Curry Apron Pockets. Mmm...

Another meal I have made, and the one I am featuring, is the Polenta Cannellini Bean Torte with Caponata. Not only was this tasty and packed with flavor, but it was a beautiful dish and fun to make. The torte was easy to put together and the caponata topping was delicious and Andrew raved about the rich flavor. It was a beautiful, delicious, hearty meal - what more could you ask for? Another helping, I suppose.


Portobello Vegan Trattoria - Vegan, Gluten Free, Portland Restaurant Review

Get ready, it's another post about pizza...

Flash back to 1987, when Belinda Carlisle released a song with this lyric: "Oh baby, do you know what that's worth? Oh, heaven is a place on earth." Flash forward to present day. I just experienced heaven on earth. And this song runs through my head every time I think about that fateful day.

Cheesy? Yes.
(I am sorry, it had to be said).

So, I have been hearing things about this vegan restaurant in Portland for awhile now. It's called Portobello Vegan Trattoria and they offer an ever-changing seasonal menu with gluten free options. I had looked at their online menu a handful of times, but had not gone yet.

Anyway, a couple of months passed and thanks to LivingSocial, I got a sweet deal and my hair cut at Fancy! Hair Salon, which just so happens to be located next to Portobello. My hairdresser, Lu (love her!) and I had a mouth-watering conversation about vegan, gluten free food and she mentioned Portobello. After talking and getting a great haircut - I knew it was a must try!

We got there on a Friday at 5:30pm, which is when the open for dinner. Unfortunately we waited in the freezing cold with other patrons for nearly 15 minutes, before they unlocked the doors. I felt as though it was a bit of an off-night for them (I hope), as they were still assembling menus when we entered and it took a long time for them to even seat everyone, even though the restaurant was empty. I forgave them as soon as I sat down. Why?

Because they have awesome tables and a really beautiful wall made from recycled wood. Every table has a cute glass bottle full of water and they have letter-pressed menu covers. They offer the kind of vegan food you have to go to a restaurant to get, it's fancy! The biggest reason I forgave them? They have gluten free, vegan, pizza dough.

Andrew and I looked no further than the list of pizza selections. I ordered the Daiya pizza, which came with Italian Daiya cheese, basil and the most delicious home made pizza sauce ever. The crust was... well, lets just say I honestly thought they made a mistake and didn't give me gluten free crust. It was crispy and delicious like an Italian pizza crust. I told Andrew I bet my crust was even better than his non-GF. He was too busy inhaling his pizza to hear me. He ordered the Arrabiata pissa. It came with hot peppers, sausage, garlic, spice chili, fennel marinara, Daiya and chili oil. It was fancy. Again, I questioned the "vegan-ness" of the sausage. Too good to be true.

I felt like I was in a scene from "Eat, Pray, Love". I felt like I was sitting in some cute little Italian restaurant in Italy eating the world's best pizza. I savored each and every hot bite. And for $11, I could barely eat half of it! The left overs were equally as enjoyable.

Andrew declared it his new favorite restaurant (I still remain Blossoming Lotus loyal, how have I not had that post yet?!). I declared it "fancy ocassions" and "birthday dinner" worthy. But here is the best part - it is also "every day" worthy. We both got 2 massive pizzas for less than the price we would pay for an over done, cheese-less, gf-vegan pizza at Oasis Cafe on Hawthorne. In fact, we could have split one pizza and been comfortably full. Though, when I mentioned this to Andrew, he protested that it's so good and he would want a whole one to himself.

There were other items on the menu we want to try, but I fear we'll never be able to order anything other than the pizza. Andrew's golden birthday is this month and he has already put in his request for dinner...

Please excuse the iPhone photo. It does no justice!


Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free Cookbooks!

Lately, I have been asked by a handful of people where I find my recipes. When not hand-crafting my own recipes (that sounds really arrogant), I am flipping through the pages of some really wonderful cookbooks. Below is a list of all the cookbooks in my house. You can click on any of them for more information via Amazon.com. The ones with an asterisk (*) after them, are ones I just received (thanks Santa!) or were inherited via the husband, and that I have not had the pleasure of using yet. The others are tried and true.

Vegan/Gluten-Free/(Mostly)Refined Sugar Free Cookbooks:

- The Gluten Free Vegan
- Flying Apron's Gluten-Free and Vegan Baking Cookbook
- Babycakes Bakery Cookbook
- The Virtuous Vegan
- Melissa's Marvelous Meatless Meals*

Vegan Cookbooks (with easy converting possibilities!):

- The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen
- Get Naked Fast!
- The Skinny B*tch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook
- Student's Go Vegan Cookbook*
- Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet*
- Vegan Cooking for One*

Vegetarian Cookbooks

- Essential Vegetarian
- The Big Book of Vegetarian*

I also love my loyal subscription to Vegetarian Times and am currently awaiting my first issues of VegNews (a vegan mag) and LivingWithout (a food allergy mag).

Another resource I love are my fellow bloggers. You can find links to the right of my page, with my personal favorite being The Gluten Free Goddess. Seriously, Karina's blog was a huge help in my early days and now my most trusted and loved online resource! She most certainly deserves her title!

May these cookbooks and other resources guide you to a healthier self!