Red Robin's Gluten-Free Veggie Burger and Sweet Potato Fries

Red Robin's Gluten-Free Veggie Burger |

We recently found out that we had about a week to prepare for a three-month trip.  So we rushed out to finish up Christmas shopping.

Then we found ourselves starving.  So we rushed to see if the closest restaurant—Red Robin (where we have not eaten for years!)—served gluten-free veggie food nowadays.

Not only did they have gluten-free veggie food, but they also had a dedicated fryer.  Which meant one could actually order fries and not have to worry about cross-contamination.

(Okay, so this is not the healthiest version of plant-based food.  But when the waitress said they had a dedicated fryer, I totally forgot that I could order a salad instead of fries, and I ordered the fries.  Apparently, I just had to test this out.)

As you can see in the photo above, after I removed the cheese from the veggie burger, it looked a little sad.  Or maybe it was due to the (artificial-looking) gluten-free bun?

These things happen.  Few people order gluten-free buns, compared to the masses, so I understand why a business might not invest in a more glamorous bun.

Regardless, this gluten-free veggie burger tasted delicious!  Maybe this was because I was starving?  Or maybe not!  Between the avocado, the greens, and the salsa-like sauce, the flavors came together really well (and I'm not one to like salsa on my veggie burger, so something was really nice here).

Red Robin's Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Fries |

The kind waitress actually suggested that I not order the sweet potato fries.  She said the house fries tasted much better.

But since sweet potatoes are so healthy for us, I wanted to test them out.  And she was right, right, right.

The sweet potato fries were definitely lacking something.  I'm not sure what.  They didn't taste sweet.  They didn't taste flavorful.  So just a head's up that a salad would have tasted (and been) much better to eat!

But it is so refreshing to see a restaurant like Red Robin really try to meet the needs that people have today.  Like the need to eat healthier.

So, with deep gratitude, here's to encouraging healthier plant-based and gluten-free options...out there on the road!

It would be so special to hear your thoughts—and about your experiences—so we can learn from each other.  Definitely click the share buttons, and leave comments, below.  XO

A Week-Long Thanksgiving Feast: Plant-Based and Gluten-Free

Thanksgiving Week 2017 |

While housesitting over Thanksgiving week, we had a professional-style kitchen to play in (not a mini travel kitchen!).  So I was excited to make plant-based and gluten-free Thanksgiving food all week.  =)

Thanksgiving Week 2017 |

Since we were so busy shopping and prepping, our first meal needed to be quick and easy.  We enjoyed herb salad with pecans and vinaigrette dressing, plus roasted veggies (squash, blue fingerling potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, and sweet onions).  This provided so much food that it piled high, like a mountain, on a large plate.  It was unexpectedly filling!

Thanksgiving Week 2017 |

In a quest to make a gluten-free vegan version of Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie, I tested tofu as a pie ingredient.  And the leftover tofu made exquisite plant-based scrambled "eggs."  By some miracle, we accidentally figured out the correct seasoning.  I'm literally salivating again, just looking at this photo.  The veggies were so beautiful.

Thanksgiving Week 2017 |

Always longing for my grandma's and my mom's amazing Thanksgiving food—especially their stuffing—I tried to make it, but without the two animal ingredients and without gluten.  I could tell those ingredients were missing, but it was still delicious.  Even though I chose gluten-free bread that was too dry to use for this recipe.  Even though I added too much veggie broth.  But now I know what to keep practicing, because nobody makes stuffing like theirs!

Thanksgiving Week 2017 |

On Thanksgiving day itself, we were so lucky to be invited to a meal that had hearty veggie and gluten-free dishes—a feast!  Roasted root veggies, green beans, brussel sprouts, rice/quinoa, amazing mushroom gravy, and mashed potatoes.  I made the cranberry sauce (no white sugar), and we brought (Kite Hill "cream cheese") stuffed celery, baby snack carrots, sparkling apple cider, and pumpkin pie (that I didn't make =).

Thanksgiving Week 2017 |

For those who eat gluten, but not meat, there was a vegan holiday "turkey," with stuffing in its center.  It was so sweet to see meat eaters curious to taste it—and then watch them love the taste of it!  How exciting that they were such fun and adventurous eaters!

Thanksgiving Week 2017 |

In the quest to make a gluten-free vegan version of Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie, I made six pies.  And guess what?  Not one of them tasted similar enough to Libby's for me to feel confident enough to bring them to Thanksgiving dinner.  (My taste buds really miss Libby's!)

However, I'm so grateful to have had this opportunity to learn more about ingredient substitutions.  The flax eggs worked perfectly.  Sweetened condensed coconut milk created a candied flavor.  Agave and date sugar were missing the texture and flavor I was seeking.  My homemade plant-based condensed milk did not behave like animal condensed milk.  Libby's official Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe even had a final consistency closer to pudding.  What an experience!


Even though I was making all those pumpkin pies, I actually bought a gluten-free vegan pumpkin pie, as a foolproof backup, to take to Thanksgiving dinner.  What could go wrong?!

Humorously, it was also missing a sweet pumpkin taste (poor thing, tasted a bit more like cardboard).  Fortunately, one person at Thanksgiving dinner had not been raised on Libby's recipe, so he thought it was great.  =)

But it was all great.  Because this wasn't anything a little vegan whipped cream couldn't fix.  (And who doesn't want six pumpkin pies Thanksgiving week?!)

Even better, instead of missing my favorite Thanksgiving food, I now look forward making them a whole lot more often, until I get their plant-based and gluten-free version just right.

It would be so special to hear your thoughts—and about your experiences—so we can learn from each other.  Definitely click the share buttons, and leave comments, below.  XO