When RV Life Meets Quarantine Life

Like most of you, we’ve been isolating ourselves from most of the world in order to help “flatten the curve” and avoid getting or giving COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus). To be honest, we’ve kind of lost track of time and how long this has been going on. I was buried deep in the blur that is tax season when the pandemic hit the U.S., and while I work remotely, most of my coworkers work out of physical offices in Massachusetts. Since we’re already set up for remote work, most everyone was able to limit or eliminate their in-office hours, and clients were able to work with us digitally. We thought we’d be pushing hard to make the April 15 deadline, but once the deadline became July 15, things have become a whirlwind. David has been working hard as a mobile RV technician, and had been so busy that he had …

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Always Hungry: Gluten-Free Food Truck in Austin, Texas!

One of our favorite charming qualities of Austin is that there’s a food truck on nearly every street corner, and there are so many interesting restaurants in the region. We’ve been here since December, and to date we haven’t found a lot of dedicated gluten-free spaces, making Always Hungry a delicious date-night treat. Always Hungry is a little taco truck (technically a trailer) in the parking lot of the Spider House Cafe and Ballroom, run by two best friends with a knack for delicious corn-free Mexican-inspired food. The menu is short, and everything starts out vegan, with the option to add meat for the omnivores. We shared two little tacos to start: one with mushrooms, and one with jackfruit. Both are delicious and come with greens, guac, lemon cashew aioli, hemp hearts, pickled onions (which I generously gave to David), and cilantro (no thanks), on homemade almond flour tortillas. They …

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Zucchini Kill Bakery: Gluten-Free Vegan Treats in Austin, Texas!

We haven’t been talking too much about our travels… it’s about time we started doing that, right? Well, we’re near Austin, Texas until the end of April, and I think we’ve found our favorite bakery of all time: Zucchini Kill, a vegan womyn-owned bakery in Possum Park, a vegan paradise in Austin. There are several vegan food trucks in Possum Park, but only Zucchini Kill is a dedicated gluten-free business. They’re also soy-free, mostly corn-free (except occasional corn starch and xanthan gum, which is technically a corn product), and none of the most common allergens. They do use GF oats in a very small number of their treats, and the workers have all be fantastic about letting me read the ingredients before we buy anything. In addition to adorable and delicious donuts, cupcakes, Rebel Swrrrls, and Cream Coffins, they sell CBD-infused sodas and sweets, incense, Zucchini Kill swag (I’m totally …

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Cake Mix Quickie! Microwave Mug Cake – gluten-free, vegan

We really love microwave mug cakes around here. We often make them from scratch (but they’re experimental so we don’t have a tried-and-true recipe to share here yet!), but we really like these Enjoy Life brownie mixes, and it turns out they make amazing mug cakes! Ingredients 4 heaping teaspoons of Enjoy Life brownie mix 1 tbsp coconut oil 2 tbsp water Instructions Mix in a microwave safe mug or bowl (paper bowls work for this, but they can get soggy, and they’re not our first choice). It should be a thin pudding consistency. Microwave for 90 seconds. We have a 1000-watt microwave and 90 seconds is perfect for us. Other microwaves we’ve used have needed 60 seconds or 2 full minutes, so you’ll have to test your own microwave the first couple times you make this. When your cake looks 80-90% dry on top, it’s ready. Let cool for …

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Gluten-Free Vegan Taco Meat: grain-free, soy-free, with nut-free option

This is one of those quickie recipes we’ve used for years but never think much about it. I thought I’d share it here to go with our new cassava tortillas. Ingredients 1 cup walnuts or sunflower seeds 1 8oz can mushrooms, drained 1 tbsp chili powder 1 tbsp nutritional yeast 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp hot sauce (optional) Instructions Chop walnuts into very coarse pieces (a mini food processor makes this easy). Add remaining ingredients, and chop until combined and the mushrooms are in small pieces. Let flavors meld for a few minutes before serving. Store unused meat in the fridge, for up to 3 days. Notes Siete Foods Habanero Hot Sauce is our favorite. A walnut-sunflower seed combo is also delicious. Fresh mushrooms can be used instead of canned. Mushrooms can be omitted entirely, but a little moisture (such as water or a little coconut oil) will help bind …

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Creating a Gluten-Free Kitchen

A basket of gluten-free flours and baking ingredients, with a set of measuring spoons and cups on top.
RV life required downsizing a large cupboard of baking ingredients. It turns out that everything I need will fit into this basket in the cabinet over the stove. It took some trial and error to find my favorite flours, but nowadays I prefer teff, sorghum, and arrowroot. Psyllium husk and xanthan gum provide some of the binding that gluten normally provides in baked goods, but they’re not required and they’re used so sparingly that a small package lasts for years.

When I realized it was going to be impossible to avoid gluten contamination if I lived with a gluten-eater, we immediately decided to make the whole house gluten-free.

I wish I could say a mixed-gluten kitchen was easier in a sticks-and-bricks home, but our apartment kitchen at the time was a little smaller than our RV’s kitchen, so that’s not true. The fact is, it’s extremely difficult to maintain a mixed kitchen, and impossible for us personally. So in preparation for a very a deep cleaning, we sorted everything in the kitchen to decide what could stay and what must go.

Maybe this post will help you if you find yourself in a similar situation, following a celiac diagnosis or eliminating gluten for other health reasons.

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Gluten-Free Travel

Finding gluten-free food on the road can be tough. This is not a post about finding gluten-free restaurants, or about all the magical gluten-free dining experiences a traveler with celiac disease might find if only they were brave enough or bold enough. I am a super sensitive celiac. I am more sensitive than the average celiac, and it takes me longer to bounce back than many of my celiac peers. Once, I was glutened so badly by a careless restaurant that it took me over a year to feel “normal” again. Consequently, we don’t eat out much. So this is a post about where to find gluten-free groceries while traveling. Even before RV life, when we traveled, we brought a suitcase for our clothes and a suitcase for our food. (The food suitcase was usually bigger.) RV travel has made eating on the road MUCH easier and simpler, but there’s …

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Cherry Grunt: gluten-free, vegan, low-sugar dessert

I recently discovered fruit grunts: stove top cobblers that don’t require an oven, or much effort! I had a bag of cherries hanging out in my freezer, and decided to adapt this Farmer’s Almanac orchard fruit grunt recipe to make it vegan, gluten-free, and lower in sugar.

The view from above a saucepan of cherry dessert with 8 light yellow dumplings on top.
This worked well for a Saturday night dessert emergency!

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Vegan Chocolate Bark

A DIY Valentine’s Day treat. Ingredients 1 cup chocolate chips 1/4 cup any combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit Instructions Line a baking sheet, plate, or cutting board with parchment paper. In a double boiler (or a makeshift double boiler), melt the chocolate. Mix in the nuts/seeds/fruit, and then pour onto the parchment, spreading the mixture out to a thickness of 1/2″ or less. Allow to cool somewhere undisturbed, and break into pieces. Store leftovers in a sealed container someplace cool.

Chocolate “Magic Shell” Ice Cream Topping

A super easy chocolate sauce that hardens on cold ice cream. Ingredients 1/2 cup chocolate chips 2 tbsp coconut oil Instructions In a microwave-safe dish (like a glass measuring cup, or a half-pint or pint-sized mason jar), microwave the chocolate and coconut oil in 20-second bursts, stirring very well in between, until sauce is smooth (about 2 minutes). Notes Works well with any kind of chocolate chip– white chocolate is awesome, and if you’re looking for vegan or dairy-free white chocolate, we love No Whey White Polar Dream Bars. Enjoy Life makes allergy-friendly chocolate chips, too. Try peanut butter or sun butter instead of or in addition to the chocolate chips. Leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge for a week or two. Microwave in 20-second bursts to reheat, stirring between each burst. Be patient! Chocolate will burn or seize up very quickly, especially in the microwave where hot …

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