Archive for the ‘Gluten free snacks’ Category

I’m going to apologize in advance for this one. I’m sure it has been done before, but for me, a Nutella sandwich with chocolate chip cookies as the “bread” is a natural outgrowth of two favorites: chocolate and nuts. It’s impossible to have just one. Hence, my apologies.

I used the Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix chocolate chip cookie recipe (see below). Shortly after I take them out of the oven, I drop a big, luscious dollop of Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread) on the underside of one cookie and top it with another cookie. Good gracious–watching that velvety chocolate squish out between the cookies is almost enough. Almost. It’s honestly one of the most simply delicious desserts I’ve had. I’m sure a scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t ruin the flavor party. These would also be very cute as mini cookie sandwiches.

Pamela’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter
(I have substituted 1/4 cup of the butter with 3 tablespoons canola oil.)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, large
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
1-1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (I like to use mini chips.)
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts


Yield: approximately 20 cookies
Preheat oven to 350°. Soften butter, add sugar, egg and vanilla, then beat together. Add Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix, chocolate chips (and nuts) mix thoroughly. Place tablespoon sized scoops of dough on a lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Flatten. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until edges start to brown. Let cookies cool slightly and use a spatula to remove from cookie sheet.

Load ’em up with Nutella and enjoy!


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At our house, a new school year means meltdowns — “oh, yeah, I have homework again” meltdown, mommy crying in her cereal mini-meltdown, and a new one for us this morning–refusing to go to school meltdown. There was some kicking and screaming.

Though some aspects of school starting are out of my control, this time of year also means another round of gluten-free lunches and snacks for Amelia. I’m always trying to come up with new snack options for her to keep things interesting. I wouldn’t want to eat the same thing every day and despite her insistence that whatever I send is “fine,” I know she likes it when I mix it up.

I haven’t made blueberry muffins since before Amelia was diagnosed with Celiac. She used to like them so much, she chose them for her birthday treat one year. So I decided to whip some up with my Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix. They were a big hit with Amelia, but Owen wasn’t shy about polishing off his share as well. I won’t tell you how many I ate.

Blueberry Muffins
(from Pamela’s Products web site–www.pamelasproducts.com)

1-3/4 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
1/4 cup melted butter, or oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 to 1 cup fruit- bananas, peaches, berries, etc. (If using raisins or dried fruit, add an additional 1/4 cup water)
Optional: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


Yield: approximately 6 to 7 muffins.

Mix all ingredients together and spoon 2/3 full into greased muffin pan (or use paper muffin cups). Bake in preheated 350º oven for approximately 25 minutes.

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When I worked for my college newspaper, a writer turned in a story with the following opening line…”Here’s a hot tip!” I happened to be in the newspaper office when the article was read by the editor. Let’s just say I’ve never started an article with “Here’s a hot tip!”…until now.

Here’s a hot tip! When I find a recipe on a web site, I e-mail it to myself (often an option on most food sites). I’m not a big fan of creating a “recipe box” for each site as they often encourage. Instead, within my e-mail account I’ve created folders to store e-mails I want to keep. One of the folders is entitled, “recipes to try.” It also works when I find something in a magazine–I find it on-line and e-mail it to myself. Voila! Since I’ve been doing this, I never forget recipes I’ve seen or have to go back searching for “such and such recipe I came across one day.” I have it at my fingertips. I love it!

One such recipe was Rachael Ray’s roasted jalapeno poppers. I wasn’t a regular consumer of jalapeno poppers in my former (wheat-eating) life, but once again, tell me I can’t have something and I’m ravenous for it. My recent trip to the south only piqued my interest in all things fried. Fried catfish, fried shrimp, fried ochre; I even saw fried corn on the cob on one menu. I couldn’t eat any of it, of course, so this recipe takes out the fried and replaces it with flav-a.

Roasted jalapeno poppers
Adapted from Rachael Ray’s recipe


  • 10-12 large jalapeno peppers
  • 2 ounces feta cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces shredded smoked pepper Jack cheese, or other hot pepper cheese, or extra-sharp Cheddar
    (I used pepper jack, which made them very spicy. If you want a milder flavor, substitute cheddar.)
  • 2 tablespoons minced green onion


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut each pepper off lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet. If peppers do not sit flat on the baking sheet, slice a thin piece off the bottom of the pepper so it will not roll around.

Mash the feta, cream cheese, shredded cheese and onion together and stuff the peppers with the mixture.

Roast for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is brown at the edges and bubbly.

These little boats of bubbly goodness brought tears to my eyes, and not just because they were super spicy. Their flavor is so perfect–the cheese is tangy, crusty and hot while the pepper takes on a sweetness in comparison, just tender enough but still has a bite. You must give these a try, and that, too, is a hot tip.

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Two fun treats today: I made a pina colada inspired smoothie–coconut milk, pineapple and ice. In the fridge I had some leftover coconut milk from my coconut bread pudding. It had thickened in the cold. I could have eaten it by the spoonful–delicious, thick, creamy, velvety coconut pudding. So I used several tablespoons of the coconut milk (you could also use the light version), a small can of pineapple tidbits and their juice and a handful of ice cubes. Blend it up for smooth, delicious, tropical, gluten free joy. The kids loved it. It would also be wonderful with bananas and oranges.

The other thing I’ve always thought of as a treat is taco night! We had tacos for dinner–a great gluten-free go-to.

I like to make my own taco seasoning just to make sure I’m not getting any of those starches they put in seasoning packets. First, I heat about a tablespoon of canola oil in a pan over medium high heat. I add one pound of ground turkey breast and get it browning, breaking it up with a spatula. Then I add about a tablespoon of chili powder, a tablespoon of Montreal Steak seasoning (comes in low sodium version now), 1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin, and a sprinkle of ground coriander. When all of the seasonings are incorporated and the turkey is cooked, I add about 1/3 cup of water and turn it down to medium low. Once the water has mostly cooked off, I stir in a couple shakes of hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot Original) to give it a kick.

It’s easy to find gf corn tortillas, both soft and hard. I like Mission soft corn tortillas and Ortega and Old El Paso both have hard taco shells which do not contain gluten ingredients. Be sure to read the labels. Toppers: cheese, tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, taco sauce (Ortega), sour cream (Daisy Lite).

I like to make enough of the meat mixture that I can use it in taco salads during the week. I add chips (My new fave is On the Border), canned beans, and other taco toppers and dress it with a mix of sour cream and salsa (On the Border Hot). I also sprinkle a few corn chips (Clancy’s brand from ALDI) on the top for some crunch. It’s so filling and pretty low in calories.

Wash it all down with the aforementioned pina colada smoothie! Perfection!

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I’m feeling rebellious. For dinner so far tonight I’ve had two plain pancakes, 5 Ener-G flax chips with red pepper hummus (ALDI) and a glass of orange juice–none of which were consumed while sitting down. And I’m not finished. I will eat as many carbs as I please (gluten-free, of course) this evening and I’m not going to look back.

The container of Nutella (my new favorite food which is basically hazelnuts, oil, cocoa and milk mixed together) says, “An example of a tasty yet balanced breakfast is a glass of skim milk, orange juice and Nutella on whole wheat bread.” I call it dessert. But if they want to call it breakfast, I’m all for it. I’ll just swap out the whole wheat bread and call it good. I can’t wait to get up in the morning!

I suppose my rebellion should end when I wake up in the morning, but the lure of Nutella spread on…something gluten free may prove too powerful.

And I’m not working out tonight. So there.

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I love to watch Anne Burrell cook–she’s on the Food Network. She’s a great teacher and makes things look easy. One of my new favorite things is roasted cauliflower, which Ms. Burrell shared on her show. Not only is it delicious, but a cup of raw cauliflower has only 25 calories. So…adding a little bit of olive oil doesn’t sabotage your healthy eating plan.


Roasted Cauliflower
One head roasted cauliflower
Olive oil to coat
Salt and pepper

1. Cut cauliflower into florets so they cover a foil lined baking sheet in one layer.
2. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Roast at 400 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes (stirring periodically), or until tender, brown and delicious. The toastier the better!
4. Add a bit more salt to taste if necessary. I sometimes add a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes before I roast to give them a little kick.

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