One frequent question I get from low-histamine vegans is whether or not you can eat this way at restaurants. While it’s common for most vegans to primarily eat at home, depending on their location and schedule, eating out is something we all do, at least every once in a while.

So is it possible to get your food low-histamine AND cruelty-free?

The not-so-easy answer is…yes…and no.

I’ve found, as a vegan myself, that vegan-friendly options tend to exist primarily in urbanized areas. The closer you travel to major cities, the more likely you’ll find the word “vegan” on the menu OR stand-alone vegan restaurants (a highlight of any day). Unfortunately, the more rural you get, the less likely you are to find a something that is completely meat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free.

Which is why, when I know I’m going to the country, I always bring backups.

Taking all of this into consideration, if you are going vegan AND low-histamine at the same time, you may start to freak out a little when going to your favorite local restaurants for the first time since “the switch”. Plus, the waiter may think you are absolutely bonkers when you order the salad with no dressing, no tomatoes, no spinach, and no croutons.

“Sooooo….lettuce then? That will be $7.50.” Exactly.

And truly, finding vegan options for me is like a sport, as well as a learned skill.

For example, I know which mexican restaurants in my area have vegetarian options (easily made vegan) and are a snap to order from, and which mexican restaurants I should avoid at all costs because they can’t manage to bring me a bean burrito WITHOUT. CHEESE. I know where to order an Italian dinner without freaking out (too much) about the possibility of dairy in it, and how to get a vegan pizza on the fly. And, like most people, I also know all the restaurants that have let me down in the past, which I’ll never return to…because they are just jerks. Am I right?

This type of thing naturally takes time…and a little patience.

And so, if you’re trying to throw low-histamine into the mix, I’m going to tell you the honest truth: if you SERIOUSLY have histamine intolerance, complete with flair ups/rashes/crippled with a stomach-ache for days because you ate one. wrong. thing. then please remember that anytime you eat out, you are essentially playing with fire.

Yup, you’re leaving your fate up to your waiter, Anthony.

Or Sandra, whichever.

I mean YES, I think if you played your cards right, went to a flexible restaurant that you are familiar with, and ordered something simple, I’m sure you could manage to pull off low-histamine and vegan. However, please remember that you are always running the risk that there has been a cross-contamination, potentially throwing your system out of whack.

That being said, as a vegan, I know that I am always at a risk when eating at non-vegan restaurants. Unbeknownst to me, there could always be dairy or egg or something else in said dish that I’m unaware of (soilent green anyone?). BUT, I also remember that I need to live a little too, and that TRUST is part of the process. So I do my best and try to not sweat it (too much).

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For me, Christmas should always involve two things: picturesque snow views outside my window and delicious moan-worthy vegan cookies. I usually get the cookies, but the snow…well, snow in December is one of those rare things that *close to never* happens in the south.

So I was more than surprised this past weekend, when dreams became a reality yo!

Our little snowstorm, which is now being referred to as “The Fast and the Flurry-ist 2017”, crept up with a quickness and dropped itself down without apology. Experiencing a massive hit of snow on a late Friday afternoon was enough to make me feel merry and bright, but waking up on Saturday morning to a stunning winter wonderland in my backyard???

I was over. the. moon. 😀 Or as Stimpy would say, “JOOOOOOOYYYY!”

And yes, I’m still allowed to have the same response as a 5 year old when I see snow. So there.

I’m also allowed to act like a 5 year old when I get snow AND cookies simultaneously.

And yes, I’m referring to these deliciously simple Gluten-Free Vegan Sandwich Cookies, which have been “hit by a truck load of mixed nuts” and squished with melted gooey marshmallows.

Because what holiday would be complete without mixed nuts, the food AND the film!? #snowdayandamovie

If you’re a fan of “Mixed Nuts” the movie, then you’re in good company. It sure doesn’t feel like Christmas until I see Liev Schreiber dance with Steve Martin, Madeline Khan rap in an elevator, and Adam Sandler play the ukulele.

True, there are so many things for me to wonder Adam, but I got 99 problems and these cookies ain’t one.

So if you want to get into the holiday spirit and kick back with a few laughs, I highly recommend watching this movie while you enjoy a few stacks of these sandwich cookies! They only take about 15 minutes of active prep + 10 minutes bake time. Plus? There’s no shame when your treats are gluten-free + dairy-free + egg-free + peanut-free + cruelty-free!

I can only dream that the snow will come back in time for Christmas, but luckily, “in every pothole there is hope”, and I can still live it up with my cookie fix.

So from me to you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Raising my glass to you and yours, with many thanks and hopes for 2018. Woot woot! ♥

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Holiday GF Vegan Mixed Nuts + Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies

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Vegan party food can be tricky to serve if you are trying to satisfy tastes across the board.

Picky eaters, or guests that think vegan food is “weird” can certainly throw a wrench (or candy cane?) into your holiday festivities. When I first went vegan back in 2010, I can testify that I personally struggled with trying to create dishes that would satisfy both the veg and the anti-veg, in hopes of being spared from any furrowed brows or open attacks.

Thankfully, despite self-doubts that set in minutes before any party, I’ve always had an overall positive reaction to my vegan party food.

Yes, there have been times when someone got a little too sloshed on spiked cider and rolled out their list of complaints about vegans, or got hung up on the letters V, E, G, A, N, written in that exact order on the index card in front of my party dish. But mostly, I’ve been quite successful in my attempts to please the hungry crowd (and avoid the line of fire).

Because at the end of the day, when your food tastes good, it makes people happy.

And I always aim to make people happy, ESPECIALLY when it comes to food.

Which is why I know that these BBQ Cranberry Bean Balls are the perfect vegan appetizer for any holiday party. Not only are they sweet and tangy with a hint of smoke and fresh herbs, but are gluten-free, soy-free, and can be made from start to finish in less than 30 minutes! And if you’re really pressed for time, it ain’t no thang to make them a day ahead of time, pop them in a travel dish, and heat on arrival.

Giving you more time to pick out the right shoes and ask your husband for his opinion on color swatches 5 minutes before it’s time to walk out the door.

Either way, I’m sure you’ll have a Merry Christmas serving these BBQ “appys”, while singing a little bit of the Ramones. I don’t know about you, but I “don’t want to fight tonight” over what’s being served at the food table.

Let’s just all get along, k?

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Vegan Party Food: BBQ & Cranberry Bean Balls

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I have a confession guys: I’ve made pumpkin pie TWICE already this month. And you know what? I don’t even feel bad about it.

If there is one person to blame though, I can certainly point fingers at my son, who has been pestering asking me since September to please please please make pumpkin pie mom. Thankfully, I finally caved- I mean, how many times can I say no to a 5-year-old AND pie in the same day? Especially when it takes only 10 minutes of my time and is vegan + gluten-free, there’s just no reason not to be granter of wishes.

Besides, when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I can barely make it to the dessert; I’m usually stuffed to the rafters and strung out on gravy. Even if I try to “shake my food down to my toes” (doesn’t everyone do that?), I can still only manage to moan-eat a sliver of pie.

All the more reason to just say “screw it” and make pie NOW.

However, if you like to “save” treats like this for special occasions, this pie is not only a classic but the easiest thing you can make for Thanksgiving dinner. With a no-bake filling and frozen pie shell (*gasp!*), you can have it done in no time, leaving you to tackle the rest of your holiday prep.

Because who has time to make a pumpkin pie from scratch these days?

Personally, I can live with myself and take a few shortcuts. If you want to be adventurous though and make your own pie crust, by all means, go for it! I’ve been making this easy filling for years, and used it with a variety of crusts, from raw to store-bought to homemade. It’s always delicious, no matter what you choose!

On a serious note, I’m so thankful for you dear reader. Here’s me sending you lots of gratitude for stopping by today and supporting something I’m passionate about. Things may slow down on the blog over the holidays (it’s that life thing you know), but rest assured, I’m looking forward to another year of sharing easy plant-based recipes (and some surprises too!). I’m super thankful that I’ve been able to devote as much time as I have towards “Bohemian”, so here’s raising my invisible glass to that:)

I hope you all have a beautiful holiday, filled with lots of love, family, and friends. You deserve it.

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Quick Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie (10 Min + No-Bake Filling!)

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