My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


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fruity pebble puffmaranth

This morning was poppin’!

My mom was curious to try puffed amaranth cereal so I popped some for us to share.  She added hers to a bowl of EnviroKidz gluten free peanut butter cereal and liked it.  She tried a spoonful plain and wasn’t as big of a fan.  It is very plain tasting but I just love the texture and have so much fun with the mix-ins.

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I picked up a variety of freeze dried, no sweetener added, fruit recently and thought it would be an awesome addition for this cereal.  Kind of a fun play off of fruity pebbles.  Only quite a bit healthier. 

In the bowl were bananas, strawberries, blueberries + mango.  It added so much delicious, fruity crunch!

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I also topped it with a glob of PB and almonds.

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Then came the almond milk, with a little honey whisked in.

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Here you can check out my popped amaranth tutorial.  I also have a few more puffmaranth recipes on my recipe page.  Such a fun change of pace for breakfast. 

Pouring in the milk is a bit dangerous.  It creates a wave in the bowl.  There is always some spillage. ;)

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After breakfast, we relaxed around the house, which was so nice.  I did manage to put in another light fixture today though.  This one took quite a bit longer, and was definitely frustrating.  But it’s up and looks great!  The new fixture is in the bathroom.  We’re just adding a few little touches in there, to make it a little more “us.”  We eventually want to remodel the bathroom, but that won’t be happening for some time.

Kenna is a bed hog.

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And Dakota wasn’t happy about it.  She’s really prissy and will rarely lie on the hardwood floors.

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We finally saw the sun today, but it was extremely windy!  It was only in the mid 60’s but the rest of the week is looking much better.  We drove around through town and had to stop by my mom + dad’s very first house!  My dad moved to Ft. Collins while dating my mom.  He bought this house, and after they got engaged she moved to Colorado with him.  To make a long story short, the real estate [dad’s biz] was tanking and my mom couldn’t get a speech teaching job without a masters, so they moved back a year later.  I can’t believe our first house was in the same town!  There are some other coincidences about our relationships.  We started dating the same year + month in college as my parents and my mom and I are both slightly older than the husbands.  We also both got married the same amount of years into the relationship.  Pretty funny!

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We took my mom to one of our favorite spots, Equinox Brewing.  My mom’s not a beer fan really at all, but gave the golden ale a try.  She needed something a bit fruitier. :)

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I of course had a half pint of the brown ale.  mmmm

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After the brewery, we hit up another brewery, but for food!  This is actually a brand new restaurant at Fort Collins Brewery.  It’s called Gravity 1020.  When I heard a new “farm to fork” restaurant was coming to Ft. Collins, I could hardly wait.  There are a ton of restaurants in Fort Collins, but so far, only a handful that I really like.

I checked out the menu ahead of time and called to ask about gluten free/vegetarian options.  The menu was much smaller than I had anticipated with what looked like only one veggie option.  It was for a parmesan veggie risotto that sounded fabulous, but I wanted to make sure it was something I could eat.  When I called to ask about it, they informed me that it was made with chicken broth, not veggie broth.  I was completely shocked about this.  I bet quite a lot of people order this dish, thinking it’s vegetarian!

It was a 7 entree menu + 2 sandwiches, with no vegetarian options.  For a new restaurant, featuring local/organic fare, I was quite disappointed.  The kind employee on the phone informed me there was a cremini mushroom sandwich that they could most likely serve to me without the bread on salad, but when we arrived, I found out that wouldn’t be possible.

I still kept a positive attitude and searched the menu a bit more.  Out of 3 salads, only 1 was veggie.  I ordered the baby romaine salad with pistachios + oranges.  I also ordered the daily soup special, which was cream of mushroom [made with veggie broth].

The consistency was smooth and it was extremely flavorful.  The melted cheese on top and cremini mushrooms were delicious.  The only thing I didn’t like was that it was quite spicy.  I don’t think the spice was needed at all.  The flavors were perfect and the spiciness interrupted them.

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Chris ordered the fish and chips, which he said were really good.  The orange fennel slaw was just okay. 

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My salad came out and looked delicious.  The portion was quite large, which you seldom find for a salad!  The lettuce was outstanding.  I know that’s weird to say, but it was the softest, fluffiest lettuce you’ve ever eaten.

It was served with a house made vinaigrette, that was infused with their pomegranate wheat beer. [I realize beer is not gluten free, but for some reason my stomach has been tolerating beer fine.  Very odd.] The dressing was really tasty.  Not too oily and a nice mellow fruity flavor.  The salad came with pomegranate seeds, and fresh local goat cheese, which were for some reason not mentioned on the menu.  I’m not complaining about local goat cheese, as it was amazing.  However, if you’re not a fan of goat cheese or pom seeds, it would be a surprise when the salad is set in front of you.  The main components, oranges + pistachios, were sparse.  Overall, I loved the salad, but wanted more pistachios. :)

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My mom ordered the same salad + local pork slider appetizer.  She said her first bite, with just the pork, was amazing.  They infuse one of their beers into the sauce.  However, the second bite set her mouth on fire.  Something in the slaw was overwhelmingly spicy.  There was absolutely no mention of this being a spicy dish on the menu.  Major bummer.  She ordered the polenta “fries” appetizer instead, which she said were good.

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When dining out and spending good money, I definitely really analyze the meal.  Overall, I was just a bit surprised.  I think the biggest shortcomings were the small number of entrees, no vegetarian entree option[s], and not being specific enough with menu descriptions.  It’s extremely common around here, especially new restaurants featuring local foods, to have a handful of vegetarian options [if not vegan], and a lot of times a gluten free menu.  I know their menu will be changing frequently, with what’s in season, so I’m hoping they might expand it a bit too.  We’ll see!  The quality of the food was definitely top notch and the presentation was great.   

Lights out!


Reader Comments (58)

Ashley you are super creative!! My husband loves his fruity pebbles :) and maybe, I could convince him to eat this every so often. Another reason why I really need to get me some amaranth!! Looks great! And I am glad your having such a great time with your mom visiting!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAri@ThE DiVa DiSh

The lettuce in your salad does look especially fluffy! It looks delicious, but hopefully you will have more options next time!

That breakfast really looks delish!
I've never have had dried strawberries. Mmm...

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTine

Freeze dried fruit sounds good! I have never seen it, we have only the "regular" version of dried fruit, full of added sugars.. but I make my own dried apples, plums and pears.

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLenna

As much as im use to not having any good vegan options when i go out to eat, it still is a bummer when a salad is all you can eat:(

I love those freeze dried fruit!! A lady at the gym i work out gave me a bag after she saw me eating my overnight oats in the morning and she always puts them on her oatmeal. I love that there is no added sugar and they are a bit tart!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterallison

I remember when you were doing that experiment with soy/gluten/dairy/etc. - have you totally ditched gluten after that?

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessy

The title of this post brought me waaaay back to my child hood.. then I kind of felt nauseous thinking about the absurd amount of sugar in the cereal. Your version.. MUCH better. Looks fantastic!

Mmm the idea of freeze dried fruit sounds awesome! I love their crunch, and it'd be a really great addition to a cereal bowl.

I'm sure that the restaurant will change around its menu once they get customer feedback. There are probably quite a few vegetarians that come in and ask about options.

Aww, Dakota and Kenna are cute :)

Sorry that the menu wasn't too extensive :(

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

I love that bowl of cereal!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

You make plain cereal look so good! :) Glad the experience turned out better than you expected. I am the same way when we go out. I definitely set high expectations and desire the best when spending good money on food. I don't think that there is anything wrong with that. Glad you had a great weekend Ashley!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

It would have been hard for me to keep a positive attitude at the restaurant - I always feel if I'm paying to eat there, then I should enjoy what I have!

Can't beat larger salad portions at restaurants, can you? Nice meal!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGena

when we first moved to colorado the downstairs to our townhome was hardwood and bunker would NOT walk on it! he would stand on the stairs and whine til one of us would go pick him up (all 100 lbs of him) and move him to a downstairs carpet. finally we just let him figure it out on his own ;)

Butter lettuce is my favorite and I rarely buy it since it's so expensive. It is so buttery, light and fluffy! Looks like you're having a great time with your mom! As for the amaranth. I need to get my hands on some. I buy puffed millet because I love the texture and that you can add so much to it to make fun flavors! I've gotten my kids hooked on it too. They love creating their own cereal flavor.

Too bad the menu -- and you're right about the risotto chicken/veggie broth thing -- it was smart of you to ask!

The fruity pebble spin on breakfast looks great! very creative.
Too bad about that restaurant, it seems like it has some potential.

Looks like you had a wonderful time with your mom!

Your pup is too funny, ours does the same thing with the couch and our bed :P

I get really annoyed when I don't feel like a restaurant offers enough choices or that I could simply make better food at home for less money. Hopefully there will be more selections soon! :)

I finally bought some amaranth so I will try popping it.

Too bad about the restaurant. I have been having a similar experience as well. In a town nearby, they have 3 amazing, organic, local restaurants, all with very interesting menus. Yet, there are only a few vegetarian options, 1 or no vegan options, and once you strip out the meat, cheese etc. out of menu dishes, they aren't very interesting or satisfying. Seems with the "local" trend in this area, dishes that are heavy on the cheese and meat are on the rise.

It sounds like you and your mom are having a great time! I tried to pop amaranth a couple of days ago and it was a huge fail. It just sat there, no popping! I'll have to give it another try this week.

Oh wow, I love the cereal. I wouldn't be able to eat it due to my health issues, but I would take it over fruity pebbles any day! The mushrooms soup, did it taste good?

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJason Sandeman

I've read that people who have a gluten sensitivity can sometimes handle beer and sourdough because the fermentation process digests most of the gluten so you don't have to. I get migraines from gluten, but I seem to do okay with small amounts of sourdough bread. If you try sourdough, it would be interesting to hear how your body handles it.

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

My mom isn't a big beer fan either but I always have her try mine. It's funny to watch the look on her face when she tries different beers.

Hmmm... maybe it's just me, but I'd take a big bowlful of this over Fruity Pebbles ANY DAY!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRiss

What a cool breakfast! I generally eat my cereal dry (weird I know) so the freeze dried fruit might be a little funny!

Yeah...might get a little pasty! ;)

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Haha!! My mom always winces a bit...but she's a good sport!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Oooooh, thanks for the info!!! I seriously miss bread and LOVE sourdough. The thought that I might be able to handle it, is quite exciting. :)

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

The flavor was great. I wrote more detail about it in the post.

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Sounds like the heat wasn't hot enough! You have to wait until the pan is really hot and then put the amaranth in. Not sure if you added it in the beginning and were waiting for it to start popping?

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I know what you mean. They definitely center things around meat and cheese, which I don't blame them for. There are great ethical sources for that around here! However, it just astonishes me that they would overlook a veggie option. It's like a guarantee in Colorado restaurants..haha

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I thought it was butter lettuce but the menu said baby romaine...their descriptions were pretty off! haha

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I can't imagine eating a bowl now! My all time favorite used to be cinnamon toast crunch. :)

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Over the past few months, I've been experimenting with different forms of gluten. I still need to try bread made with spelt and test out a few more low gluten grains. However, I have definitely come to the conclusion that gluten was the culprit of my discomfort. Whole soy and dairy seem to be fine. I've had little bites of things with gluten here and there, and it seems that the reaction comes exactly 24hrs later. When I don't eat gluten for days in a row, I feel about 75-80% better than before the beginning of my cleanse. When I do eat gluten, I become extremely bloated, even worse than before starting my experiment. That's the short version. :)

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You & your mom are too cute! It looks like you are having a great time!! How wonderful!

Love the colorful cereal...the more color, the better is my motto!:)

Have you tried the restaurant, Ingredient? I love the name & always curious if they have good food when I pass.

Enjoy a beautiful warm & sunny day!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee

sorry to hear that things were so limited...ugh! and that you called ahead and still ended up getting the run around and not much to choose from. frustrating!

the reason why beer may be ok for you, even tho it has gluten, is that it's fermented. fermented anything, i.e. kefir, yogurt, cheese, are easier to digest than say straight up milk.

I tried a "cheezy" popped amaranth type the other day-- similar to HEAB's cookie dough dough boy :-) I mixed PB and nooch, and added some chopped dark chocolate, coconut, banana and dried fruit. It was SOOOO good :)
Have a good day with the mom!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmilia

I have been gone for 7 days on vacation and this recipe was exactly what I NEEDED to come home to! :)

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

that cereal looks awesome!! Yum!

Ohhh my lord, gorgeous lady!! Slash is that dehydrated fruit?! I loveee

This looks so amazing! I love fruity (real fruit) cereal!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlexa @ Simple Eats

Grown up Fruity Pebbles.. this is so clever. I lived off the Post Fruity Pebbles as a kid... mmmm.

catching up on your posts from the last few days and your house is looking AMAZING! love the kitchen and I'm so glad you went with the quilt in the guest room! :)

I once got a house salad at a restaurant and it came with bacon!! The menu did not even MENTION it, I found it so annoying and weird. Especially, since I had to send it back since it was in tiny little bits all over the plate and I don't eat pork. So odd how restaurants work sometimes!

Mmm I'm loving the fruity pebbles spin first I didnt like freeze dried fruit but its oddly addicting after a few bites! :)

Looks wonderful and a happy throwback to my childhood. :-)

I can't believe that they used chicken broth for a mushroom risotto. I would have ordered that in my veg days and been very disappointed! Glad you were able to find something to eat!

I was the same way!!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

That's horrible!!

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thank you thank you!! Come visit!! :)

May 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

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