Monday, 15 August 2016

Raleigh GFAF Event recap!

This past weekend was the annual Raleigh GFAF Wellness Event - as always, it was full of good things to eat, people to meet, and lots of fun. But don't just take my word for it, let me show you:

Right, top to bottom: Grass-fed beef shawerma sandwich on GF pita; 
Salmon appetizer; Salad with GF pita croutons.
Left: GF cinnamon roll
The night before the event, the bloggers and speakers met for dinner at Fresh Levant Bistro, a 100% GF restaurant/bakery in Raleigh. As the name suggests, the menu is very much influenced by mediterranean cuisine and flavors. In addition to being conscious of food sensitivities, many of the ingredients are sustainably sourced - for instance, all of the beef and dairy used is grass-fed. All this is on top of the fact that everything I tried was delicious! I will definitely be back here as there are lots more things I want to try, especially their house-made savory flatbreads. I should mention their pastry case is filled with gorgeous treats too - I was too full for dessert after the dinner, but I just had to swing by the next day to get a cinnamon roll to take home with me!

On to the event itself! I know I've said it before, but it's so nice every once in a while to just taste whatever looks good, without having to make it myself or even ask questions. I know I'm pretty fortunate in this regard - although gluten isn't exactly easy to avoid in everyday situations, it is the only thing I have to be super careful about food-wise, so I get the privilege of experiencing carefree snacking at these events. People with additional allergies/sensitivities will still need to ask questions and be cautious, but I think there's still plenty for pretty much everyone here, whether it's food or connecting with other people and resources.

Some special NC products:
Top - Norm's Farms elderberry jams; Bull City Ciderworks
Middle - Bamboo Ladies bamboo pickles, made of guess what - yep, bamboo grown in the NC mountains, from a family recipe with some interesting history. Now there's something you don't see every day!
Bottom - Peggy Rose's pepper jellies and other condiments - the Habanero Ketchup is my favorite; Garnet Rose Soap Co handcrafted soaps
Local Raleigh & Durham bakeries:
Durham-based Cheenies cheese breads. These come ready to bake and, as you can see, can also be made into cute little sandwiches or even "waffled." 
JP's Pastries in Raleigh has now added bread along with their popular sweet treats. The strawberry frosting on this pretty pink cake was good enough to eat by the spoonful!
Baking mixes:
Ardenne Farms was sampling their baking mixes, including some very fluffy and soft pancakes.
Mina's offered a wide assortment of samples, all made from their regular flour blend and bread mix. The cranberry cake and the oatmeal raisin cookies, both made with the flour blend, were especially tasty.
A few more interesting things:
Top - assorted offerings from The Produce Box, a local-centric grocery delivery service
Middle - some grainless cookies from Our Paleo Family (L) using minimally processed ingredients, and flourless cookie from The Gluten- and Grain-Free Gourmet (R)
Bottom - Veggie Fries
Blogger bag, samples, etc:
Top - Goodies in my Blogger Team bag! Norm's Farms elderberry jam, a grainfree gingerbread cookie from Our Paleo Family, a nifty lunch bag from Cheenies, Glutino toaster pastries, some Wowbutter soy butter spread, Neat egg replacer made from chia and garbanzo beans, and a whole loaf of Udi's sandwich bread. Also, Itchy Pig, a children's story by Nicole Bruno Cox about a little pig with allergies.
Bottom right - The other tasty stuff I brought home! Various samples from many vendors, including Enjoy Life, Bakery on Main, Nature's Path, Kind, and others, plus some flavors of Milton's baked chips and a cake mix from Ardenne Farm. 
Bottom left - The full list of vendors, including food producers, support resources, and more.
A big thank you to all the vendors and sponsors! 

If you couldn't make it to the Raleigh event, don't worry - there is another event in Greensboro NC coming up on September 10th! 

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