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Entries in Special Dietary Needs (49)

Sunday
Jun192016

Catch a Healthy Habit in Fairfield: New Summer Menu, Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free

Unassumingly tucked away amongst the store-fronts in downtown Fairfield is Catch a Healthy Habit. Maybe you’ve not been in a while…maybe you’ve never been at all, or you’ve been curious, but you’ve never been. The Cafe has been in Fairfield for over six years and in New Haven for two years prior to opening in Fairfield.

This casual, health-based, raw, gluten-free and vegan eatery focuses on clean eating. Their products are organic and non-GMO and the tastes and presentations are delicious and beautiful. They recently launched their new Spring/Summer menu and Stephanie Webster, armed with her camera, and I had the opportunity to stop in and sample some of the newest goodies to grace the menu. The food is gorgeously plated, visually stunning, allowing the naturally vibrant colors of spring to take center stage. As the weather heats up and we shed our outer layers we still need to satisfy our hunger without feeling weighted down.

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Wednesday
May252016

The Uber-Guide to Connecticut’s Asian Markets

“From wonder into wonder existence opens,” said Laozi, the founder of Tao Buddhism.

He might have been speaking of the joys of the table, so central to Asian culture for millennia---and to Connecticut foodies today. 

Almost 160,000 people of Asian descent call Connecticut home, and a considerable number of grocery stores in the state support the diverse cooking traditions of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. True to both their Asian roots and the universal principle of making the best of fresh ingredients, quite often the most modest such store will have a produce section and a fish section---in one case, at least, featuring live fish.

Your guide to the best East and Southeast Asian markets of Connecticut appears below.

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Wednesday
May042016

Recap: Paleo + Plate Pop Up Event

Westport realtor Judy Michaelis launched her Pop-Up Chef Series with a cocktail party at a listing in Wilton, CT last week, highlighting Chef Danielle Hartog's new Paleo friendly personal chef & catering service Paleo + Plate.

Chef Hartog developed a special menu for the evening, focusing on fresh ingredients and innovative Paleo preparation. Guest mingled throughout the space while the hors d’oeuvres offered in the open plan kitchen included: Asian Meatballs in a Cashew Sesame Sauce, Deconstructed Shrimp Guacamole, Grilled Vegetable Lollipops, Bacon-Wrapped Avocado with fresh aioli, Pistachio Chicken Skewer with a strawberry glaze and Spring Gazpacho Shooters. Paleo Watermelon + Cucumber margaritas surprised many guests -- “Are these Paleo?” while Paleo brownies and cookies rounded out the evening.

Chef Hartog holds monthly Paleo dinners at her studio in Westport and offers private chef service in-home as well. Her concept is centered around the Paleo style of eating and she describes her food as “bold on taste and high on health; food that is whole, unprocessed, seasonal, nourishing and exciting."

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Wednesday
Apr062016

Free & Company Kitchen: Saving the World One Brownie at a Time (Gluten, Dairy & Refined Sugar Free)

What do brownies and superfoods have in common? Some of you might jump up and shout, “Why chocolate, of course!” while the rest of you might scratch your heads and wonder. What if I told you that the Free & Company Kitchen’s incredible baked goods are all super-food based? Additionally, every one of their items is gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free, sweetened only with organic maple syrup. Some of their products are also egg and nut-free. For those of you with food sensitivities or who have children who do, this small, newly launched company should be on your radar. It should also be noted that these edibles aren’t for just vegetarians, vegans or celiac patients; they’re truly for everyone. 

Founded on the premise that snacks can be familiar and comforting and still good for you, Chef Lynne Pasquale sets out to prove this possible one brownie at a time. She has, so far, won over even the most discerning of palates, myself included. 

I met with Chef Pasquale at her bakery last week where we had a chance to chat. 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan222016

Cake Box Bakery Opening in Westport: Delicious Baked Good + Gluten & Nut Free Desserts

This just in from Westportnow.

Cake Box, a bakery offering cakes, cookies, cupcakes and coffee as well as nut-free and gluten-free baked goods, will open Feb. 2 in the lower level of 10 Bay St., behind the former Post 154 Restaurant, according to Robert Byrnes, a Ridgefield resident, who co-owns the business with his wife, Jordan Gregory.

The couple also own two bakeries in Ridgefield, Cake Box at 1 Big Shop Lane since April 2010, and Swoon, a nut-free, gluten-free bakery at 109 Danbury Road.

Read more about Cake Box Bakery here.

Read more about Swoon Gluten Free Bakery here. 

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Sunday
Sep062015

B. Good Opens in Fairfield: Real Food...Fast

It started well over 10 years ago in Boston. Two boyhood friends and a dream – a dream to open a restaurant featuring healthy, wholesome food. The company’s founders, Jon and Anthony grew up eating nutritious food from Anthony’s Uncle Faris’s kitchen. When the two friends went off to college they over indulged on fast food. While they loved this way of eating, they hated how it made them look and feel. And so the two decided to open a business together based on the simple premise that they would offer people “fast” food by making it “real” – Food “made by people, not factories.” As they embarked on this journey, they heeded Uncle Faris’ other pieces of advice: “Take it easy, Live life, and most of all ‘be good.’” And with this b.good was born. 

With many successful restaurants already established in New England, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Toronto, Canada, the newest location has just opened in my town of Fairfield. (Greenwich will also open its door shortly.) 

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Tuesday
Feb032015

Fairfield gets Freshii! Nutritious Healthy Food For People On The Go

Fairfield has worked its way up the food chain, offering all sorts of great dining opportunities for those with even the most discerning palates. With all the new restaurant openings, there was one thing that was lacking in the town’s culinary offerings; a really good health-food based option. Until now - enter Freshii. 

Sandwiched in between The Fairfield University Bookstore and Chef’s Table is Freshii, recently opened by owner Jonathan Blob who also owns the Westport location. Although word had not yet really gotten out, the restaurant was bustling the two times I went in, first to check it out, then when I returned to chat with Blob. 

The store, long and narrow, airy and bright, evokes a fresh, healthy attitude. Bright green, leaf-colored chairs are neatly lined up against the long counter space on one wall just below a large mirror reflecting the words...EAT. ENERGIZE. from the opposing wall. The light woods and grass-like covered wall lend themselves perfectly to an eatery of this type. A large menu board lists many and varied options. There are choices for breakfast, smoothies, juices, salads, wraps, bowls, soups and burritos.

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Wednesday
Jan072015

Bowls of Love Cookbook by Stamford Resident, Ali Rakowski: Paleo & Gluten Free

One of the first Paleo soup cookbooks to hit the stands, Bowls of Love by Ali Rakowski is a seasonal soup cookbook with dozens of fresh, healthy recipes that are 100% Paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free.

Bowls of Love takes the concept of holistic health from the stove to your bowl, combining vegetables, locally sourced meat and homemade stock to create a plethora of soups that are both healthy and delicious. Based on the Paleo Diet, the recipes in this cookbook consist of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, healthy oils, nuts and seeds.

Unlike other Paleo cookbooks on the market, Bowls of Love has one main distinction – it focuses on the fact that every food we eat has a story. Each meal has a memory attached to it, and every plate and bowl holds those stories.

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Sunday
Oct262014

Guide To Great Caterers in Fairfield County: Holiday Catering Made Easy

A stack of gifts. Cards with cute holiday stamps. Family parties. Work parties. Kids’ parties. Cocktail parties. Concerts. Shopping. Even more shopping. And now you want me to host a party of my own or host eighteen relatives?? Your holiday to-do list is quickly making the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” look like a lullaby with all the items that are mentioned-that partridge atop that pear tree has nothin’ on you and your list. So...save yourself some gray hairs and a freak-out by booking one of these delightful, highly capable, and creative caterers to take over the food-portion of your entertaining obligations this season. They will do you proud and you can actually relax and enjoy an evening before you have to wrap that 200th gift. And with that, may there be peace on earth. + CTbites readers get special discounts. See below.

 Here is our Guide To 9 Great Caterers in Fairfield County:

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Tuesday
Oct072014

Behind the Scenes @ Fresh & RIPE: Connecticut's Craft Juice Movement

We are in the midst of a craft food and beverage movement. Craft cocktails, craft beer, craft butchers, so why not craft juice? The New Haven-based FreshBev Craft Juicery, best known by its RIPE bar juice and Project Fresh product lines, is seeking to define the craft juice movement, one cold-pressed bottle of fresh vegetables and fruits at a time.

I had the opportunity to visit the New Haven factory (read: I was nosy and curious, so I invited myself over) to meet the folks behind the juice, taste some juice, and was excited to find a Connecticut business succeeding in the emerging and highly competitive juice market. First a little history. In 2008, frustrated by the abundance of preservative-laden shelf-stable cocktail mixers, founders Michel Boissy and Ryan Guimond took to their kitchen to create a natural and fresh juice for cocktails, beginning with everyone’s favorite cocktail staple, the margarita.

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