This past weekend I worked my second event for Enjoy Life, and I got to work at one of my favorite events – the Gluten& Allergen Free Wellness Event! I’ve attended two of these events (in Charlotte and Raleigh) in the past year, so I’ve gotten close with Nikki (the coordinator), and her daughter. This made me even more excited to go. Since this one was in Kansas, I couldn’t wait to meet a brand new set of local vendors and allergy bloggers.
After I flew in on Saturday morning, Nikki was kind enough to pass my contact information along to one of the local bloggers, who offered to drive me to the blogger dinner that night! Jennifer from Be Free Bakers and Marisa Bode from Feud with Food picked me up a little early so I could visit the Sprouts Food Market (we don’t have those here, but a lot of bloggers I follow talk about it all the time) and the brand new Whole Foods (the foodie type of sightseeing). Marisa and I bonded right away – it is so cool to meet other people in this field and automatically become friends over shared interests. In this case, chocolate and not letting our food allergies get in the way of dessert ha. Final verdict: Sprouts FM is awesome – there is so much variety! And I was super impressed with the set-up, selection and size of the new Whole Foods in Olathe. I found products there (like Eating Evolved coconut butter cups and Organic Gemini Tigernuts) that I’ve only ever seen online! Marisa and Jennifer also introduced me to a few new brands of chocolate that I’d never seen before. Yum!
The dinner itself was at YaYa’s Euro Bistro. They had a lot of options marked as gluten-free, and additional accommodations could be made (ie. not serving the beef carpaccio with bread, like we did). Nikki ordered a couple of beef carpaccio appetizers for the table. The beef was reeeeally thinly sliced and served with roasted red peppers, arugula and cracked pepper. So good! Before ordering, I had to ask the waiter a bunch of questions about what I could/couldn’t eat, and he was very knowledgeable and extremely helpful. I was so impressed!
I ended up getting the crab cakes (made with quinoa instead of wheat) with a pureed pepper sauce, and a side portion of the kale salad, which had onions, chickpeas and golden raisins mixed in with a honey vinaigrette. These were both excellent! The outside of the crab cakes were crispy, and even though I don’t usually like quinoa, I liked these. The added red pepper sauce was a great touch. The kale salad was also delicious! I’m not very creative when it comes to describing things, but I really liked the blend of the spicy chickpeas, and the sweet raisins and vinaigrette all mixed in with the kale. It was a great meal!
Check back in tomorrow for a recap of the vendors at the event!