I dream of a day when I can go someplace and not have to wait to get my food photographed before I can eat it.

~Ken Kelley, husband & fellow food adventurer

Why this Lifestyle?

Since 1996, I’ve been sick. Always sick with something. I didn’t even know what gluten sensitive meant until exactly 20 years later. I was diagnosed with everything from fibromyalgia, chronic fatique, EBV, Hashimoto’s, mild Ehler’s Danlos, Reynaud’s Phenomenon, veinous insufficiency, persistent anxiety disorder, costocondritis, pre-diabetic and a slew of other ailments meant to keep me medicated and stuck in bed. I even had doctors who couldn’t understand what was going on tell me it’s in my head. After years of frustration, turning into that horrible friend that cancelled at the last minute, I vowed I would do what the doctors could not. I did the Google thing. And I said screw this. I am way too busy with living – to allow any diagnosis to get the better of me.

The moment I discovered what gluten sensitivity was – was the turning point in my life. I have never been formally diagnosed with Celiac. I just know my own experience. Taking wheat, rye, and barley out of my diet was the hardest thing in the world to do, (I LOVE BREAD & PASTA!) but it changed my life. No longer did I have random inflammation, excruiating pain, and stomach upset. I started feeling better. The same day I stopped gluten – I stopped coffee. Cold-turkey. There’s a chemical in coffee that has the same properties as the thyroid. When you have Hashi’s where your body attacks your thyroid, coffee just compounds the issue. I discovered Teeccino Dandelion Root Herbal Coffee – completely gluten-free! It’s not exactly coffee, but after over two years of living this lifestyle, I don’t remember what it tastes like anyway.

A few months later, after years of you sneezing and me being ill for the next 30 days, I discovered an incredible drink that I modified. Besides occasional migraines and costocondritis flare-ups, I haven’t been sick in over a year…. like this is from someone who lives for theatre and theatre peeps always share germs back and forth. I make this weird concoction of tea. I use an organic oregano tea bag, lemon ginger tea bag, spoonful of fermented turmeric, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper to activate tumeric properties, spoonful of coconut oil, packet of MonkFruit sugar, and almond milk creamer. Mix and drink. It will knock whatever ails you out of you.

So a year into my gluten-free foray, on July 3, 2017, my husband, Ken and I watched “What The Health” documentary and when it ended, we made a major decision. He took all the dairy, eggs, chicken, sandwich meat and the rack of ribs marinating in the fridge for the grill the next day and we tossed into the garbage, hesitantly starting our journey into a vegan lifestyle. If you knew my husband, you’d understand what a huge deal this was, how much the documentary impacted him. At one point, we were going to open a BBQ restaurant because he was known for his mouth-watering ribs, pulled pork, and beef brisket. Although many say that the documentary is all propoganda BS, it kick started us into a healthier lifestyle. So whether it is or isn’t, I don’t care. Understand, we are not one of those vegans who will spat at you for eating meat. Though we love animals, we chose this lifestyle for health reasons. (But yeah, I did get disgusted about what is found in milk. :P) Ken was all in, so I convinced him to also go gluten-free and he has for me.

Inspired by said theatre friends, we will share our favorite gluten-free and vegan restaurants, recipes and products that help with a gluten-free and vegan lifestyle – #IloveAmazon. Please feel free to suggest new restaurants to visit in Tampa Bay and new gluten-free and vegan products to try.

By the end of our first year, my energy had returned and Ken went from 3XL to 2XL and 50 to 44, his blood sugar reduced from upper 300 to 400 to mid 100s.  Proof that taking better care of yourself, eating whole foods and occasional faux meats and cheeses can make a tremendous difference. So we’ll do us and you do you.  I just hope I can entertain you along the way.

Deb Kelley, DKVK

Deb Kelley Vegan Kitchen

Our Favorite Gluten-Free & Vegan Brands

Dairy

Cheese

Violife ANYTHING (Feta, Mozzarella, Cheddar, etc.)
Daiya Cheddar slices
Daiya Swiss slices
Daiya Cheddar shreds
Daiya Mozzarella shreds
Daiya Pepperjack shreds
Kite Hill plain and herb cream cheese

Milk

Almond Breeze
So Delicious
Ripple
Aldi Brand
Wal-Mart Brand

Yogurt

Kite Hill regular and Greek

Butter

Earth Balance Organic Soy Free

Ice Cream

NadaMoo! Cookies and Cream
Almond Dream Toffee Almond Fudge
So Delicious Turtle Trails
Cado Avocado Ice Cream Chocolate
Cado Avocado Ice Cream Lemon

Meat

Beyond Meat Beyond Burger
Beyond Meat Hot Italian Sausage
Beyond Meat Sweet Italian Sausage
Beyond Meat Brats Sausage
Gardein Chick’n Scallopini
Gardein Chick’n Strips
Gardein Beefless Crumbles
Dixie Diner’s Club Beef (Not!) Strips
Dixie Diner’s Club Tangy Style Meatloaf (Not!)
Dixie Diner’s Club – Ham (Not!)

Egg Substitute

Namaste Foods Egg Replacer

Bread and Pasta

Sammy’s Bakery GF/Vegan Bread, Sourdough Bagels, Sub rolls
Ronzoni Gluten Free (4 grain blend) pasta

Snacks

Sensible Portions Sea Salt Veggie Chips
Daiya Cheezecake
Louisville Vegan Jerky
Earth Balance Vegan Aged White Cheddar Puffs

Supplements

Berry Green Superfood Powder with Organic Greens & Organic Fruits, Enzymes, Probiotics, Antioxidants, Vitamins, Minerals – Alkalize & Detox
Superfood Reds by Parker Naturals Organic Antioxidant Powder: Super Food Energy Mix With SuperFruits and SuperGreens

Food Adventures at Local Restaurants with Gluten-Free and Vegan Options

All meals pictured were eaten by Ken and I, and photographed by me. We will only list restaurants and meals we have personally enjoyed.

Thai

Jasmine Thai
13248 Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618

jasminethaicarrollwood.com

Gluten-free and vegan options are indicated on the menu.

Thai Legacy Restaurant
120 N Parsons Ave, Brandon, FL 33510

http://www.thailegacyrestaurant.com/

Several gluten-free and vegan options. Family-owned and operated. One of the best Thai restaurants in Tampa Bay.

Vietnamese

Simply Pho & Grill
13149 N Dale Mabry Hwy F, Tampa, FL 33618

https://simplyphotampa.com/

Minimal gluten-free and vegan options, but delicious.

Trang Viet Cuisine
230 E Bearss Ave, Tampa, FL 33613

https://www.photrangvietcuisine.com/

Gluten-free vegan options galore! Delicious and extremely affordable.

American

Seasons 52
204 N Westshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609

https://www.seasons52.com/locations/fl/tampa/tampa/4511

Very minimal gluten-free and vegan options, but the veggie plate is amazing. Discovered grilled kohlrabi for the first time – like cabbage and an apple had a baby.

The Cider Press Cafe
601 Central Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

www.ciderpresscafe.com

All vegan, but not necessarily gluten-free. I prefer going when it’s not the brunch menu because there are more options to choose from. My first time having the Beyond Meat Beyond Burger… and it was beyond expectations and fueled current addiction!

Love Food Central
2057 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33713

www.lovefoodcentral.com/

Gluten-free and vegan options are many!

Sage Biscuit Cafe
6656 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL 34210

www.sagebiscuitbradenton.com/

Not many choices, but gluten-free and vegan options are indicated on the menu.

Lovin Hut
1905 E Fletcher Ave, Tampa, FL 33612

www.lovinghut.us/tampa/menu/

All vegan, but not necessarily gluten-free. Still a lot of choices and a delicious inexpensive monthly buffet.

Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant
6575 Park Blvd N, Pinellas Park, FL 33781

https://www.lotusvegan.us/

Gluten-free and vegan options are indicated on the menu.

Leafy Greens
1626 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33712

https://www.leafygreenscafe.com/

All vegan, but not necessarily gluten-free. Many incredible raw choices.

Italian

Gourmet Pizza Company
610 S Armenia Ave, Tampa, FL 33609

www.gourmetpizza-company.com

Delicious thin gluten-free pizza with loads of veggie toppings and vegan cheese!

Ethiopean

Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant
3636 Henderson Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609

www.ethiopianrestauranttampa.com

You must taste this incredible Ethiopian food. It looks a little odd, but the taste is outstanding.

Caribbean / Spanish

Vegan International Co. Kitchen & Market
13751 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa,FL 33613

https://www.facebook.com/VeganInternationalCo/

Vegan Caribbean/Spanish food with some gluten-free options.

Soul Food

Ray’s Vegan Soul
169 Dr M.L.K. Jr St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

http://www.raysvegansoul.com

Oh my God, gluten-free vegan Southern cooking at its finest. The mac and cheese is my absolute favorite!

Mexican

Casa Tina’s
369 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698

https://www.facebook.com/pg/casatinas

Minimal gluten-free and vegan options.

Xtreme Tacos
6809 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33604

https://www.xtremetacos.com/

Minimal gluten-free and vegan options, but does offer delicious Portabello mushroom taco.

Indian

Bay Leaves Indian Cuisine
4023 W Waters Ave, Tampa, FL 33614

www.bayleavesindiancuisine.com/

Gluten-free and vegan options indicated on menu.

Udipi Cafe Pure Vegetarian Cuisine
14422 Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618

http://www.udipiusa.org/

Spicy, but several options.

Sushi

Origami Sushi
6507 W Waters Ave, Tampa, FL 33634

http://origamisushi.com/

A few veggie sushi options and a veggie burrito that’s amazing!

Kuchi Sushi & Hibachi
9206 Anderson Rd, Tampa, FL 33634

https://www.kuchitampa.com/

Lots of veggie sushi options like the amazing Sweet potato sushi.

Mediterranean

Mouna’s Delicacies – The Mediterranean Chickpea
3217 S MacDill Ave suite c, Tampa, FL 33629

https://www.facebook.com/themediterraneanchickpea

Tons of delicious vegan and gluten free options on the menu.

Fresh Bites
11665 Countryway Blvd, Tampa, FL 33626

freshbites.org/

Gluten-free and vegan options indicated on menu.

Desserts

HaleLife Bakery
3351 Tech Dr, Clearwater, FL 33762

https://www.halelifebakery.com/

Hands down, the best gluten-free and vegan bakery in town! Follow them on Facebook as they do monthly tasting events of their products and others that are vegan and gluten-free.

Oh My Donuts!
7902 Land O Lakes Blvd, Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638

http://ohmydonuts.co/

Gluten-free and vegan option for mini-donuts!

Sweet Soul

1101 S Howard Ave., Tampa, Florida 33607

https://www.facebook.com/sweetsoulsoho/

Three words: vanilla bean charcoal. You will never look at vegan ice cream the same again.

Tried and True Gluten-Free & Vegan Recipes

(Not necessarily healthy)

I’m completely blessed that Ken likes to cook, so I find the recipes and he works his magic. Sometimes we work together in the kitchen, but for the most part, that is his domain. I get the benefit of enjoying the many innovative end products.

Our Favorite Products

Cookbooks

  • Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats: Cut Out the Gluten and Enjoy an Even Healthier Vegan Diet with Recipes for Fabulous, Allergy-Free Fare

  • Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats From Around the World: Fantastic, Allergy-Free Ethnic Recipes

Apps

Whether you need an app that helps you find a local restaurant that can accomodate dietary restrictions, a recipe that meets your specific needs, or you are trying to determine if a particular product in the grocery store is gluten-free, these apps will help you navigate this lifestyle.

  • Happy Cow (Restaurant Finder)
  • Vanilla Bean (Restaurant Finder)
  • Now Find Me Gluten Free (Restaurant Finder)
  • Eat! GF (Product Finder and Gluten-Free Recipes)
  • Is It Vegan? (Product Scanner)
  • Allergy Eats (Restaurant Finder)
  • Food Monster (Recipe Finder)

Kitchen Products