Simply Gluten Free Recipes | Where’s the Coffee?

20 Mar

The combination of four hours sleep in the last 48 hours, jet-lag and three glasses of wine at dinner had me desperately in need of coffee.

No problem, I am in Seattle – home of Starbucks and Seattle’s Best, coffee shops on every corner, or so I was told.

As I had awakened way before the 6:30 am opening of the restaurant in my hotel I took to the drizzly streets in search of a cappuccino donned in a raincoat I haven’t worn in over 10 years. After my usually trustworthy Blackberry’s GPS failed repeatedly to find me a nearby Starbucks and wondering for over an hour I finally asked a woman on the street where the closest Starbucks was. Her puzzled look made me nervous. Seriously! This is Seattle.

The kind woman informed she didn’t know where a Starbucks was but pointed me in the direction of Uptown Espresso which was blissfully close and finally I was able to obtain my much needed jolt of caffeine.

I am in Seattle to attend the first International Food Blogger Conference but this is also the home of my sister and her family so I arrived a few days early.

If I have any claim to fame at all it is that I am the sister of award wining novelist Katherine O’Neal (author of historical romance novel that take place in exotic locales around the world) and sister-in-law of noted film critic and author William Arnold (former critic for the Seattle P.I. and author of Shadowland and China Gate) both of whom are reluctant and reclusive local celebrities. They have lived in Seattle for years and years and yesterday gave me a tour of the city like no other.

We circled the entire city seeing the usual Seattle sites – the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, The Arboretum, The University of Washington, the Waterfront but along the way they pointed out little spots that are not on any normal tour. Such as the apartment where Kurt Cobain bought his heroin and the headstone marking the grave retail legend John Nordstrom (Bruce and Brandon Lee are buried there too but for me Nordstrom’s grave was somewhat of a holy grail experience).
There is nothing more fascinating than touring a beautiful city with someone who loves that city and is truly knowledgeable. I got a behind the scenes look at this Emerald City that was peppered with lots of comments such as “that is where so-and-so lives, he was Paul Newman’s best friend…” and “this recording studio is the birthplace of the alternative music movement that brought us Nirvana and Pearl Jam” and “would you like to see Francis Farmer‘s West Seattle home?” As my sister is also a Celiac tons of gluten-free restuaunts and bakeries were pointed out to me along the way.

As we drove up and down hills, around waterfronts and over bridges I also got a history lesson of this fascinating city that has seen its share of boom and bust. From lumber to gold to technology, Seattle has ridden the highs and lows of the major economic cycles in the past century and a half. It is a city that seems to be able to adapt and yet maintain its original charm.

It seems I’ve seen just about everything here in Seattle except a Starbucks.

Where’s the Coffee? – Simply Gluten Free




Gluten Free Crunchy Chicken Peanut Salad Recipe

15 Mar

I love crispy, crunchy salads – something about eating lots of crispy salad makes me feel so virtuous (and as if I deserve dessert afterwards!). I will often order a big main dish salad a at restaurants for dinner. I mean after all, salad is gluten free, right? Well, yes and sometimes NO.
I unthinkingly ordered a crunchy peanut salad at a restaurant not too long ago without checking if it was gluten free. I know, I know – always, always check! But I didn’t and had to pay the consequences afterward.

I loved the salad but hated the way I felt 2 hours later (and all through the night, and the next day…) so I decided to make my own version of that salad as a gluten recipe at home where I could be certain it was indeed gluten free.

This recipe is packed full of crisp veggies and for even more crunch, some fried mung bean vermicelli noodles. You can get the mung bean vermicelli noodles at an Asian market or in the ethnic section of the grocery store; they are sometimes called cellophane or glass noodles. They come in various thicknesses and for this recipe I used really thin ones (vermicelli). They are basically a dried noodle made from starch and water and can be reconstituted and used in soups, stir fries and spring rolls. When they are fried briefly in hot oil they puff up dramatically and add amazing crunch and texture plus a little touch of the exotic to salads. Don’t be afraid of frying the noodles, it is easy to do, takes just a few seconds and will make people think you are some fancy schmancy chef.

I added some protein to the salad by shredding up some rotisserie chicken but can use tofu instead or just leave it out altogether if you want a vegetarian meal. For the dressing I used a NEW gluten free Asian dressing from San-J (the people who bring you gluten free soy sauce) Tamari Peanut Asian Dressing.

This recipe makes a ton of salad – it serves at least 6 as a main dish and is a really great pot luck dish. Just make it up to the point of adding the fried noodles, peanuts and dressing, place in a bowl topped with some damp paper towels, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate it and it will stay crunchy for a day or two. Take the fried noodles, peanuts and dressing separately and toss just before serving.

And do you want to know what else? I made this huge bowl of goodness for just a bit more than it cost me to get a very similar salad for one at the restaurant – and I didn’t get gluten poisoned!
Gluten Free Crunchy Chicken Peanut Salad


1 head Napa cabbage, shredded
1 small head red cabbage, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
4 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups shredded carrots
2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 English (hothouse) cucumber, julienned
2 cups shredded carrots
4 ounces snow peas, thinly sliced
8 ounces bean sprouts
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 ounces mung bean vermicelli noodles
Cooking oil
1½ cups San-J Tamari Peanut Asian Dressing
2 cups dry roasted, salted peanuts
Kosher or fine sea salt and pepper


Combine the Napa cabbage, red cabbage, shredded chicken, carrots, green onions, cucumbers, carrots, snow peas, bean sprouts and cilantro in a very large mixing bowl.

Using your hands, gently pull the mung bean vermicelli noodles apart into smaller portions. Place some paper towels on 2 dinner plates. In a small skillet add an inch of cooking oil (the smaller the skillet, the less oil you need) and heat the oil until it ripples but does not smoke. Fry one small handful of noodles at a time until they puff up, about 5 seconds, flip over with tongs and fry the other side for a second or two. Remove from oil with tongs, place on the prepared plate and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat until all the noodles are fried.

Add the dressing to the vegetable/chicken mixture and toss well to coat. Crumble the fried mung bean vermicelli noodles into the salad; add the peanuts, season with about a teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper, toss again and serve.

A gluten free recipe that serves 6.

Ready for dessert?

Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

Resource :

Gluten Free Cooking: Some tips to go the Gluten free Way

7 Mar

Gluten free is the buzzword these days with a majority of the people suffering from Celiac that makes people sick and tosses the digestive system out of its normal course. A Gluten free diet is the best option after organic food products. It’s the answer to all the digestive problems faced by people suffering from Celiac. Gluten free cooking is all about knowing the ways and means of substituting gluten free grains for wheat, barley and rye. Amaranth, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Quinoa, Rice flours, Sorghum are some of the food products that can be included in your diet while avoiding gluten laden products.

While shopping for grocery make sure that you are picking up food material that has been labeled as Gluten free. If you have the slightest doubt about the presence of Gluten in any of the processed food material make sure that you check with the manufacturer to clear your doubts. Even a small doze of Gluten can create really big problems especially if you are on a gluten free diet. Look out for food packages that have been certified as Gluten free by one of the certification agencies.

Mark out the areas in the kitchen and the refrigerator where gluten free food products are going to be stored. Make sure that utensils and grills used to cook gluten laden food are not mixed around with Gluten free foods. Have a Gluten free cook book handy every time you cook your meals so that you have a variety of recipes to tickle your taste buds.

Many of the companies that are involved in food processing have introduced products that are Gluten free and available across the counter. You can easily try out a variety of these products, decide your favorite ones and then make it a part of your regular diet. In the mean time don’t stop experimenting with the Gluten free recipes that you are preparing at home. Home made Gluten free recipes can be easily prepared with the help of raw material that is Gluten free.

While going out make sure whatever you have for your lunch or even for snacks must not have a tinge of Gluten. Carry homemade gluten free cookies in case you are going out for coffee with a friend or order for gluten free food products as many restaurants have started serving Gluten free products for people who are suffering from Celiac.

Its quite easy to get and prepare gluten free recipes at home you just need to research in the right direction. Your local library is a great place to find an assortment of gluten-free cookbooks which you can review for yourself before buying.


Gluten Free Apple Pie Parfait Recipe

28 Feb

There are times when being gluten free can be downright frustrating. For instance, let’s say you all of a sudden have an unquenchable craving for apple pie and yet you live in a town that is sadly remiss in having a gluten free bakery.
Sure you could make gluten free pie crust dough, wait an hour or two for it to chill, roll the dough, cut the apples, flavor them up, assemble it all up and put your pie in the oven for yet another hour and then you can (finally) quell your craving.

While I literally wrote a book on making gluten free desserts, even I don’t want to do that at 6:30PM on a Tuesday night after a long day’s work.  So what’s a girl to do?

Make gluten free apple pie parfaits, that’s what!  Sweet, cinnamony apple chunks layered with maple sweetened non-fat Greek Yogurt (for dairy free you could substitute dairy free sour cream or even dairy free ice cream) and a crunchy, gluten free graham cracker almond crumble.

This simple yet spectacular dessert takes about 20 minutes to prepare, perfect when you want an easy and light dessert that feels and tastes anything but – the perfect thing for when the hankering for apple pie strikes but you haven’t the time or energy to make one.

What really makes this parfait special is the crumble. Seriously, if you want any left to actually layer in your parfait hide it from the kids (and your spouse) until you finish up – otherwise it will all be nibbled away! I took some S’moreables (gluten free graham style crackers from Kinnikinnick) crushed them up coarsely, tossed the crumbs with some sliced almonds, coated with a bit of honey and a touch of oil and baked it for about 15 minutes. I am already thinking of anything and everything I can to top with this awesome mix!!

Gluten Free Apple Pie Parfaits


12 S’moreables (gluten free graham style crackers from Kinnikinnick)
1 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grapeseed (or other neutral flavored) oil
4 large sweet apples (such as Fuji or Honeycrisp)
Gluten-free non-stick cooking spray
1/8 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup Greek yogurt (non-fat, low fat or full fat)
4 teaspoon maple syrup


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place your gluten free graham crackers in a plastic bag and crush them until you have some crumbs and larger (about ¼ inch) pieces. Combine in a mixing bowl with the almonds, honey and oil. Toss until the honey and oil coat the crumbs and almonds. Spread in an even layer on an un-greased baking sheet and bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the mixture is crisp, fragrant and browned – it will crispy up a little more as it cools and should be a little clumpy. Let cool.

While the crumble is baking prepare the apples; core and cut into 1 inch chunks. Spray a large skillet with a lid with some gluten-free non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the apples, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and vanilla and toss well to coat. Cover the skillet and let cook until the apples are softened, about 8 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove the lid, increase heat to high and cook until the liquid has thicken up to a syrup and coats the apples. Let cool.

Mix the yogurt with the maple syrup. For each parfait place a layer of apples into a goblet or dessert dish, top with some of the yogurt and then add a handful of the crumble. Repeat the layers. I think this is best served while the apples are still warm.

A gluten free recipe that makes 4 large or 6 smaller parfaits.

Ready for more dessert?

Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.


Gluten Free Nut Free Thai Amazing Chicken Recipe

21 Feb

Chicken and broccoli gluten free recipe. Broccoli and chicken gluten free recipe. {sigh} Healthy, convenient and inexpensive sure, but also kind of boring! Alas! As I opened my fridge, all I saw was chicken and broccoli. Fortunately I have a well-stocked gluten free pantry and was able to turn boring into, well…. amazing.
There is a little Thai restaurant close by to me that I love; the food is great and for the most part gluten free, they keep a bottle of gluten free soy sauce on hand for me in case I order sushi and the atmosphere is friendly and homey. As much as I love it, I don’t always want to go out when I have a hankering for my favorite meal there – Amazing Chicken.

With a little espionage (saying things like “this is so delicious, what goes into the recipe?”) and experimenting I came up with my own version of Amazing Chicken that I can get on the table in less time than it takes to get into the car, drive to the Thai place  – and for considerably less money!

The main ingredient in most Thai Amazing Chicken is peanut butter but I decided to make my recipe nut-free with Sunbutter, a peanut butter alternative made with roasted sunflower seeds. I have grown to really love the depth of flavor it adds to sauces. I used the natural crunch version, but any of their varieties would work just as well.

This recipe is not just gluten free, nut free, soy free and dairy free, quick and easy to prepare, and healthy as all get out, it is also (wait for it…) AMAZING!

The lesson here? Chicken and broccoli does not have to be boring if you have a well-stocked pantry!

Gluten Free Nut Free Thai Amazing Chicken


½ cup Sunbutter
3 tablespoons gluten free Thai fish sauce
Juice of 1 fresh lime
4 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how much kick you want)
½ cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated with a microplane grater
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated or mined
Kosher or fine sea salt and pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 or 4 half breasts) – cut into 1 inch pieces
8 cups broccoli florets
1 teaspoon sesame seeds – optional garnish


Combine the Sunbutter, fish sauce, lime juice honey (or agave) red pepper flakes and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and toss in the oil for about 15 seconds. Add the chicken pieces and cook, stirring frequently, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add the broccoli, stir to coat, cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the broccoli is crisp tender and the chicken is cooked through – about 3 more minutes.

Add about ¼ of the Sunbutter sauce to the chicken and broccoli, toss to coat, place in a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side.

Serve with rice or gluten free rice noodles.

A gluten free recipe that serves 6.

Ready for dessert?

Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

Resource :

Gluten Free Guilt Free Fudge Sauce Recipe

13 Feb

I just can’t think about February without thinking about chocolate. Hmmm… I wonder why? Is it because Valentine’s Day is sitting right there in the middle of the month threatening to derail all of our good diet intentions with its bounty of fancy truffles, chocolate dipped strawberries and other fabulous, chocolate-laden gluten free (and many not so gluten free) treats?

It must be a plot of some sort. After all, we start the year with our resolutions – to lose weight, eat healthier, cut sugar out of our diets, eat less fat, exercise more…the list goes on. So we eagerly get started with great resolve, it is new and we are determined. And most of us, while we face challenges, start to feel better by the end of the January. This keeps us going a little longer. And then right there, smack dab in the middle of February, is a day that basically revolves around chocolate and sugar with some hearts thrown in.

If we just ate a nice chocolate or treat on the day, that would be no problem, but we don’t. We eat half a box (at least) of chocolates because, well, it’s a gift after all and we don’t want to be rude do we? And then maybe we celebrate the day with a special, calorie and fat laden meal that ends with, yep!… more chocolate. And if we don’t have someone special in our lives to give us chocolates and take us out to dinner, we may fill the void with pints of ice cream topped with fudge sauce or whatever the sugar-filled, fat laden food of our choice is.

If we just stepped off the path of healthier eating for the one day, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal – the problem is that once we meander off the path, sometimes it seems much more interesting to continue in that direction and it can be a very difficult time getting back on it.

Am I saying don’t have chocolate on Valentine’s Day. NO! After all that, would be paramount to heresy. What I am saying is eat one of those lovely truffles and hide the rest in your freezer. Have those chocolate dipped strawberries or ice cream with fudge sauce but do it in a more health-minded manner. In other words indulge guilt free.

This is a guilt free fudge sauce that feels and tastes indulgent but is actually refined sugar free and practically fat free! It takes under 10 minutes to prepare and lasts about 10 days in the fridge.

This sauce gets its rich flavor and luxurious texture thanks to a combo of unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut sugar, a touch of instant espresso powder (not essential but it really deepens the chocolate flavor), pure vanilla extract and dark, almost caramelly organic raw blue agave from Wholesome Sweeteners.

Dip strawberries (or any fruit really) into it, spoon it on top of ice cream (for a really guilt free dessert try making a sundae with my almost instant cherry frozen yogurt) or just lick it off a spoon. You will feel all the fudgy chocolate love without bouncing off the walls or derailing all your good dietary progress.
Gluten Free Guilt Free Fudge Sauce


1 cup water
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup organic raw blue agave (dark agave)
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (optional)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


Combine the water, coconut sugar, agave, cocoa powder and espresso powder (if using) in a heavy sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring until smooth. Boil for 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Whisk in the vanilla and let cool for about an hour – the sauce will thicken more as it cools.

Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 10 days. Serve warm or cold. The sauce can be re-heated for a hot fudge sauce by microwaving for a minute or so on high power.

A gluten free, refined sugar free recipe that makes about 1½ cups of sauce.

Ready for more dessert?

Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

Resource :

Gluten Free Cereal and Milk Donuts Recipe Gluten Free Cereal and Milk Donuts Recipe

10 Feb

When one is married to a gluten free food blogger and recipe developer I suppose one feels obligated to try everything said food blogger and recipe developer cooks. And when one really likes what they try, they may be inclined to do more than have just a taste. And when one does more (a lot more) than taste, one may just tend to put on a few pounds.
Thus was the case with my hubby. There were lots of treats being created in my kitchen this past holiday season, not just professionally but personally too. (I should also mention that in addition to the “trying” of recipes developed he also has a penitent for stealing cookies and marshmallows intended to be given away as gifts.)

So the hubby came to me asking for help in shedding a few of the unwanted pounds that he has “inexplicitly” put on. I was happy to oblige, I don’t mind being the food police and to him the whole weight loss thing seems daunting and mysterious.

Well the truth of the matter is it’s pretty simple. You want to lose weight you need to cut calories. It’s just math – you need to burn more than you consume. In my experience the best way to do this is to cut back on starches, carbohydrates and fats, to cut out sugar, fried food and dairy (and of course, gluten) and to consume plenty of veggies, lean, protein and some fruit. And to eat less – but when you eat less you need to make every calorie count – more nutrition packed foods to fuel the body. And to cut Krispy Kreme doughnuts!

The problem with being the food police is there is no such thing as the “good cop”. You are always the bad cop, saying “no”, watching the “suspect” like a hawk and smacking their hand if they reach for something they shouldn’t. It is a pretty thankless job, instead of being the hero that you are, you become the enemy – the person standing between them and culinary happiness. You become the brunt of grouchy rants, dirty looks and not-too-flattering nicknames like “food Nazi”, harbinger of EVIL” and others too dirty to write in public.

But I have also learned that the trick to staying on any kind of diet (or eating plan as I like to call it) is to indulge in a few modified treats here and there that help curb the urge for bad things like, oh, Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

With that in mind I made some baked donuts that were not just gluten free but also dairy and sugar free. And I decided to throw in another treat relegated to the “not ‘til you lose the weight” category; cereal and milk. Thus Cereal and Milk donuts were born. A little bit of starch and carbs, a tiny bit of fat but a zillion calories less than regular doughnuts (that’s a rough estimate) and none of the forbidden things like gluten, sugar, dairy and frying.

Are these donuts just like a Krispy Kreme. Nope. Not gonna lie to you. Are they tasty, sweet and satisfying? Yep. You bet! Will they keep the hubby from sneaking off to grab a hot doughnut from the K.K. drive through? Well, they’re donuts, not invisible-24-hour-surveillance-devices with a stun gun, so your guess is as good as mine – but they stand a really, really good chance.

These donuts are plenty sweet thanks to Zero, a calorie free sweetener from Wholesome Sweeteners with a carbohydrate content of 0 and a glycemic index of 0. I was not about to use artificial sweeteners, I don’t care for the taste of stevia (sorry all you stevia lovers and proponents, I just don’t like it), my go-to refined sugar free alternative of Agave has calories and Xylitol not only has some calories and carbs but causes tummy issues for the hubby. Zero comes from sugar and tastes a lot like sugar. I even made powdered sugar from it for my donut topping!

So if you’re trying to shed a few pounds or just trying to eat a cleaner diet, these just may help you stay on track. I know that in my home I have gone from “wicked diet witch of the West” to “the most wonderful woman in the world”. At least for today!
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free Cereal and Milk Donuts


Gluten free, non-stick cooking spray
2 cups fruit juice sweetened brown rice crisps or toasted rice cereal
1 ½ cups gluten free flour blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
2 large eggs
2 cup Zero sweetener – use divided
2 tablespoons agave nectar
¼ cup grapeseed (or other neutral tasting) oil
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract – use divided
¾ cup rice milk
1 teaspoon corn or tapioca starch


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two – 6 count donut pans with cooking spray.

Pour the cereal into a baking pan and cook for 7 – 8 minutes or just until fragrant. Let cool.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, add 1 cup of Zero sweetener, the agave, 2 teaspoons vanilla and ½ cup rice milk. Whisk to combine, add to the flour mixture and mix well. Add 1 cup of the toasted cereal to the batter and stir.

Fill the donut pans about 2/3 full and bake for 13 – 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of a donut comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. You may need to run a knife around the edges to help remove (especially if you fill them too full).

Place the remaining cup of Zero into a blender with the corn or tapioca starch. Blend on high speed until it resembles powdered sugar. Pour into a mixing bowl; add the remaining teaspoon of vanilla and remaining ¼ cup of rice milk. Stir until it turns into a thick frosting (you may need to add a drop or two more of rice milk if it is too thick – it should be spreadable).

Frost each donut and then dip the frosted side into the remaining cereal.

These donuts are best eaten the day they are made.

A gluten free recipe that makes 12 donuts that won’t sabotage your diet.

Ready for more breakfast treats and desserts?

Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.