Strawberry/Banana/Pineapple “Ice Cream” in just Minutes!!! (dairy-free)

(For more great recipes and all of the grocery shopping tips you need to ensure that you select the most additive-free versions of every ingredient you need to make over 150 natural recipes, check out my book “Eating Additive-Free“!)

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Guess who went OUT for dinner?! (Thanks, Dolce Cafe!)

Yep! It’s true! I went out to dinner this weekend, and I have the pictures to prove it (click any pics to enlarge)! ūüėČ

To many, I am surely known as the girl who never goes out to eat. And, for the most part, that has been true for the past 4 1/2 years since learning about all of the additives that are hidden in so many foods…and how incredibly sensitive I am to them!

Until now, it just hasn’t been worth the risk for me to dine out…and certainly not worth the hassle of interrogating the wait staff with a million questions only to determine that it’s impossible for me to eat there, anyway. And, most importantly, it’s generally not worth the anxiety that rushes over me as I wonder if what they’re serving me really is as additive-free as they think it is. And, of course,¬†nothing is worth the inevitable disappointment that sets in later as I realize that I am having a physical reaction to something that must’ve slipped past the radar. Ugh! Perhaps some of you can relate? Really, it’s quickly¬†become¬†more “fun” to stay home and do all of the work myself. LOL!

That is…until I realized that Omaha cake decorator, Gina Sterns, was opening her own restaurant,¬†Dolce Cafe, in Omaha (at 124th & Maple) and that she was determined for folks with food sensitivities and allergies to be able to dine at her cafe along with everyone else. And, yes, even people like….me!

How can this be achieved?

Well, it’s simple – by providing total transparency of the ingredients!

Gina and her staff are incredibly gracious about answering as many questions as one may have about what ingredients are used in their dishes.

As stated as part of the the Dolce Cafe Concept (which greets diners at the door), at Dolce “We believe customers have the right to ‘know their food’ when dining out. We are happy and willing to answer any questions about ingredients and preparation of every item on our menu.”¬†

As a diner who must ask¬†TONS of these types of questions, I can assure you that not every restaurant is so “happy and willing” to answer them. But my experience at Dolce was very pleasant, and not once did I feel that I was¬†“burdening”¬†the staff – heck, they even brought a few packages to my table from the kitchen so I could verify the ingredients for myself! And they were pleasant and helpful with each question I¬†posed¬†and with each of their corresponding trips to the kitchen to inquire with the chef or to check a product label.

I¬†decided to keep it pretty simple on my first visit by ordering a dish called “Naked Grilled Salmon.” In the end, there were only 5 ingredients used to prepare my entire plate: wild salmon, salt, pepper, scallions, and broccoli. And it was delicious!! I also enjoyed a side salad featuring lots of yummy veggies and a dressing prepared in-house from olive oil, white wine vinegar and fresh herbs…a true “Grocery Geek’s” delight! Oh, and apparently in culinary school they must teach some¬†magic tricks for grilling salmon because mine never turns out this moist and delicous when I prepare it at home!!! (I guess it really does pay to leave some things to the professionals. LOL!)

At Dolce Cafe, they also source organically raised ingredients when possible and they work with many local farmers — I LOVE THIS! I can’t wait until my next visit because I’m definitely going to try one of Dolce’s local, grass-fed beef dishes featuring cuts from Range West Beef of Marquette, NE!

Have you eaten at Dolce? If so, please leave a comment below to let us know what you liked? If you haven’t been there yet, what are you waiting for?!

Also, if you’ve discovered any¬†other Omaha eateries that cater well to food allergies/sensitivies, please share your experiences by commenting below!

 

Simple Dinner: Crockpot Roasted Chicken

It really doesn’t get much easier than this! Throw a few ingredients in the crock pot in the morning, and enjoy a delicious dinner! And PLEASE stop buying those wrinkly old¬†roasted chickens from the deli. Eeeeewwww!

(For more great recipes and all of the grocery shopping tips you need to ensure that you select the most additive-free versions of every ingredient you need to make over 150 natural recipes, check out my book “Eating Additive-Free“!)

1 whole chicken (look for “natural” versions with no broth or solutions)
1 onion, sliced
1 head/bulb garlic, cut in half so cloves are cut in half
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Place 3/4 of the onion slices in bottom of crock pot.

Remove chicken innards (if any) and rinse the chicken inside and out (also remove neck if there is one, and save it for making broth if you’d like).

Place remaining onion slices and all of the garlic (with skin is fine) into the chicken cavity.

Place the chicken, breast side down, in the crock pot on top of the onions. Sprinkle chicken with salt/pepper. You don’t need to add any water, but if you prefer to, go ahead and dump a couple of inches in the bottom of the crock pot.

Cover and cook on low until internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees. My crock pot cooks it in about 5 hours, but cooking times will vary. Serve with a potato or rice dish and some yummy veggies and/or salad. Yummy and super easy!!!

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