All posts in Gluten-Free Recipes

Teach your kids to eat healthy foods, part 2

Teach your kids to eat healthy foods, part 2

Last month I joined forces with Karen Orlich, CEO of k.o. kidz, a green-living and organic lifestyle company, to compile some of the best tips (mom and kid tested!) to help you empower your kids to engage in healthy eating. Our tips included “encourage and reinforce” and “hosting ‘Lazy Suzan’ dinners”  This month we’re at it again with even more tips!

Tip # 3: Have some fun at the grocery store with Grocery Store Games!

Getting our kids to eat healthy foods can feel like a chore, and so can grocery shopping! Yet it’s important we do both, so why not combine the two and make your next trip to the market both fun for the kids and an outing you can feel good about as a parent?

Yes, we know, it’s not always easy to keep your child calm in a crowded grocery store. But then again, it’s important to not disengage them from the process completely…kids need to learn about food!

So, rather than placing your child in the cart and handing him/her a box of cookies to snack on while you hurry through the store, think about the grocery store as a learning environment full of COLORS, PLANTS and READING materials! (It’s also a great place to learn manners when interacting with store employees!) It’s with this point of view you can challenge your child to engage in foods and learn about what’s healthy and what’s not. Try these games out the next time you’re at the store:

Search for the Colors of the Rainbow: Bring a picture of a rainbow to the store and ask your child to find fruits or vegetables for two or three (or all!) colors of the rainbow. With this game, teach your children that a healthy diet is a colorful diet. The more colors, the better!Organic Produce

Count the Ingredients: As Michael Pollan reminds us, when we shop for packaged foods, it’s important to choose options with minimal ingredients (he suggests 5 ingredients or less). For kids who can count or are learning, ask them to count the ingredient labels on food packages. If there are more than 5, ask them to put it back and then explain why. (As your kids learn  to read, you can also challenge them to search for unhealthy ingredients like “sugar”, “high fructose corn syrup” or “trans fat”).

Tip #4: Make the ‘Common’ Foods Healthy

This is a great way to transition your kids to healthier eating.  It’s helpful (and fun!) to include them in the food preparation while also teaching them what ‘healthy’ really means.

Gluten Free PizzaPersonal Pizzas: Pizzas can be made from 100% whole wheat (always check the label for ‘whole’ wheat) sandwich rounds or tortillas (for a gluten-free version, check out Amy’s GF sandwich rounds or use 100% corn tortillas) with grilled onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc.  Or, simply bake (we use our toaster oven) the veggies on the bread with tomato sauce.  Olive oil with fresh basil and/or oregano is a delicious alternative to tomato sauce and herbs can be cut from a plant grown in your kitchen or garden.

Hot Dogs: The all American classic!  Unfortunately, traditional hot dogs are loaded with sodium and fat.  Try Applegate Organic Turkey hot dogs, rated #1 turkey dog by Health magazine.  Avoid the salt and high fructose corn syrup, store-bought versions and have the kid help make homemade ketchup (and relish!) with these easy, 15 minute or less recipes from Wellness Mama and Eating Well.

Macaroni & Cheese: The ultimate comfort food for all ages.  Have you looked at the chemical additives and preservatives in that powdered cheese pack?  We know – you’re busy and don’t have time to make your own cheese sauce.  Au contraire!

Start with GF organic brown rice pasta (for gluten-free version) or whole wheat macaroni (yes, your kids will eat it!). Grab a block of fresh organic cheese, cut into thin slices, and add to cooked, drained, warm macaroni (or any small pasta noodle) in pot.  Add light coating of olive oil and mix well with pasta.  Broccoli (or other veggies) can also be added to the pasta for flavor and an added health kick.  We stand the broccoli up to make ‘trees’ and ‘stumps’ in the macaroni ‘field’.  It’s ok to let kids play with their food once in a while if it helps get them to eat it, right?!

Dessert: Every kid wants DESSERT!  So choose tasty alternatives like:

Greek yogurt (double the protein of regular) with fresh fruit, applesauce, baked apple with cinnamon and raisins (core apple, fill with cinnamon and raisins, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to microwave-safe bowl, and ‘bake’ in the microwave until soft), or fruit smoothies (easy to mix in veggies and the kids won’t even know it).  Try one of these recipes from delish.comGF Dessert

We also discovered several websites with recipes for homemade fruit and nut bars (similar to Larabars, which are great GF treat!)  These are a great substitute for brownies and cookies!  An extensive recipe list can be found here.  Delicious and nutritious!  Yum!!

Do you have any tips to share? Like these suggestions? Would love to hear from you! Send me a tweet or post to my Facebook page!


Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Chia Seed Pancakes

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Chia Seed Pancakes

My gluten-free lemon blueberry chia seed pancakes are a great weekend treat for your pancake-loving family. In addition to being gluten-free, the batter is dairy and sugar/sweetener-free too. Enjoy!



  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.
  2. Separate the egg whites into a small bowl, then combine the egg yolks, 3/4 cup coconut milk and olive oil into another bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they begin to foam, then fold them into the other liquid ingredients and continue whisking until well combined.
  4. Stir in the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth. The batter should be slightly runny. If too thick, add remaining 1/4 c coconut milk.
  5. Stir in berries, chia seeds and lemon zest.
  6. Spoon out 1/4 c measurements of batter and pour onto hot non-stick griddle or pan (medium heat is sufficient). Flip when sides start to brown.
  7. Enjoy with a little pure maple syrup.



Veggie-Loaded Gluten-Free Meatloaf Muffins

Veggie-Loaded Gluten-Free Meatloaf Muffins

Who doesn’t LOVE meatloaf, especially when it’s gluten-free and loaded with veggies? This gluten-free meatloaf recipe is great for a family dinners or a night in with friends.  Serve it with a side of mixed greens and sautéed mushrooms. No one will ever know it’s gluten-free, so don’t be worried about serving it to your gluten-loving friends!


1 Lb 85% or 90% lean ground beef (I prefer grass-fed)
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1/4 cup fresh broccoli, chopped finely
1/2 pepper, diced  (any color is fine)
2 tbsp gluten-free worcester sauce (Lee & Perrins is great option)
2 eggs
3/4 cup cooked brown rice
2 tbsp dried oregano
1/4 cup spicy catsup, plus a little extra to top off muffins (you can use regular catsup if you don’t want these spicy)
Salt and pepper to taste

Note: If you’d like a sugar-free version, leave out the worcester sauce and replace the catsup with unsweetened catsup or tomato paste. 


Combine all ingredients  in a large bowl – make sure to mix them well together. Grease muffins cups with oil (I use coconut oil) and then fill each cup to the top with the meatloaf mixture. Use your extra catsup to top off each muffin.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until muffins reach a temperature of at least 160 degree.

Serve and enjoy to your gluten-free dinner guests!

 Photo by Adamphoto and found at


Help your dinner host prepare a gluten-free dinner with ease

Help your dinner host prepare a gluten-free dinner with ease

For someone who is not gluten-free, hosting a gluten-free dinner guest can be a stressful endeavor. Gatherings like baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties and holiday dinners may bring added complexity. For those who are gluten-free, consider using the steps below BEFORE your next get together to help your host prepare a menu with gluten-free options — he/she  will thank you! (Remember: Your host wants you to enjoy the evening, and that includes enjoying the food!)

This list of tips looks long…don’t worry!   You may need just one – or all – of these steps. Use the list as it suits you. 

1.  Call your host. Tell him/her that you are looking forward to the gathering and then explain that you are gluten-free. You may choose to mention that your gluten-free status is not a choice, but rather due to a health condition, and if you eat gluten you will become sick. (Some people don’t realize the reasons for a gluten-free diet, especially because it is seen as a fad diet right now).

2. If attending a casual gathering – such as dinner at your friend’s house – you might offer to bring a gluten-free dish to share. However depending on the occasion, this may not be appropriate.

3. Tell the host that you are happy to eat before you arrive at the gathering, but that you realize he/she may prefer to have food options available for you and other gluten-free guests. (After all, serving your guests food is what hosting a dinner is all about!)

4. If the gathering is more formal, like a baby or wedding shower, and is being held at a venue such as a restaurant or country club, let the host know that you would be happy to speak with the chef directly so that he/she doesn’t have to explain your dietary restrictions. In most cases you’ll find the host is very receptive to this idea and that the hosting venue can easily accommodate your needs.

5. If you and the host decide he/she will prepare some gluten-free dishes, offer up the following:

  • A list of naturally gluten-free foods. Tell your host there is absolutely NO need to go out to buy gluten-free products (e.g., bread, crackers, desserts, etc.) – fresh meats, vegetables and fruits, along with many grains, are naturally gluten-free.
  • A list of foods to AVOID. This includes wheat, rye, barley (and any foods that contain these ingredients). Check out “Gluten-Free Diet: What’s allowed, what’s not” by the Mayo Clinic for additional information.
  • Your own gluten-free recipes. If you’re gluten-free, you have lots of gluten-free recipes to share!

6. Once the menu has been chosen, ask the host to send you the recipes, so that you can double check that the ingredients are in fact gluten-free (This will be of great help to the host!)

7. For the recipes themselves, recommend specific brands of ingredients which you know are gluten free. If it’s in your pantry, you can text a picture of the food to the host so he/she knows what to buy at the grocery store. (I recently did this with a friend who was making chili for our get together. The recipe called for chicken stock, so I sent her a picture of a brand that is safe. She was very appreciative!).

8. If there will be appetizers, such as chips and dip or cheese and crackers, volunteer to bring a gluten-free plate. This will relieve your host of having to make both a gluten-free appetizer and dinner.

9. Check out this great step-by-step guide for entertaining gluten-free guests by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Pass it along to friends and family with whom you frequently share meals.

Note: While the above tips are helpful in preparing your host, keep in mind that his/her kitchen is likely not gluten-free. Therefore, there is always a risk of cross-contact with gluten-containing foods. It’s up to you to determine what you are comfortable with. 


Garlic Lover’s Hummus Recipe (Gluten-Free)

This recipe is not your store-bought hummus – it’s much better! When purchasing the ingredients, choose options that are free of preservatives and gluten-free. Pair this gluten-free treat with gluten-free crackers or cut veggies.


3 large garlic cloves, minced. 1/4 tsp reserved for garnishing

Fresh juice of 1 lemon, squeezed

1/4 cup of tahini

1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinse and liquid reserved

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup of reserved liquid from beans (or less if you prefer a thicker hummus)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Optional: 2 tbsp pine nuts for garnishing


  1. Mince the garlic cloves and reserve 1/4 tsp for later use.
  2. Add garlic, tahini and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds.
  3. Scrape contents from side of processor.
  4. Add the garbanzo beans, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and reserved liquid to the processor.
  5. Mix on high for 1 minute or until hummus has reached your desired smoothness.
  6. Spoon hummus into a serving bowl. Garnish with olive oil,  1/4 tbsp of minced garlic and pine nuts.

This recipe makes enough to serve 3-4 people as a light appetizer.


Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding (gluten-free and dairy-free)

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding (gluten-free and dairy-free)

This gluten-free and dairy-free pudding is an easy recipe and a crowd-pleaser! Your kids will love it!  Plus it contains chia-seeds, which are packed with soluble fiber and contain beneficial Omega-3 fats. (Check out what Dr. Oz has to say about these seeds.)


  • 1 can coconut milk (Trader Joe’s sells an option that does not contain any added thickeners)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For sweeter pudding, add:

1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1-2 tsp raw honey


  1. Combine and mix all ingredients.
  2. Pour contents into mason jars and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  3. Once ready, spoon out into bowls. Top with favorite nuts for a little added crunch!

Looking to incorporate more healthy recipes like this into your  food routine? Not sure how to get started? Contact me to schedule an introductory health coaching session and we’ll create your next steps!


Homemade Peanut (or Almond!) Butter Cups

These kid-approved peanut butter cups are a great alternative to store-bought versions like Reese’s. Plus, they’re super easy to make, which makes them mom-approved too!


  • 5-6 ounces mini chocolate chips (~ 1/2 bag of chips; Enjoy Life is a great brand free of soy, gluten, dairy and nuts)
  • 1 cup of natural crunchy peanut butter or almond butter (Trader Joe’s raw crunchy almond butter works great! If you don’t like crunchy nut butters, creamy is fine too.)
  • 1/8 cup coconut oil


  1. Place 10-12 mini cupcake liners onto a plate or in a muffin pan (you’ll place it in the freezer, so make sure whatever you choose fits!)
  2. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips in the bottom of the liners until they are 1/3 full.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in the microwave (~20 seconds) or on the stove until melted. In a small bowl, mix the oil with peanut or almond butter and stir until well-combined.
  4. Pour the coconut oil/nut butter mixture into the cupcake liners over the chocolate chips. Fill to the top
  5. Place cups into the freezer until frozen, about 45 minutes.
  6. Enjoy! Make sure to keep uneaten peanut butter cups in the freezer – once you take them out they will start to melt





Gluten-free websites that will help you go gluten-free and stay gluten-free.

Transitioning to a gluten-free diet can be a confusing and overwhelming process. When my health practitioner first recommended I remove gluten from my diet, I didn’t even know what gluten was! She gave me a list of foods that I couldn’t eat and sent me on my way.  I was left feeling lost and worried I wouldn’t get it right. And from this initial recommendation, it took many attempts for me to finally commit to the diet. Critical to my ultimate success? Easy-to-go-to resources including websites that spelled out how to go gluten-free and offered ideas for gluten-free substitutes so that I wouldn’t feel like my daily food routine was being turned upside down.

Here are my main go-to sites:

Living Without: As indicated on the site, Living Without is “The magazine for people with allergies and food sensitivities.” Packed with recipes and forums, there’s not much in terms of gluten-free that you can’t find on this site. This is the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’ website. Find up-to-date news and endless information related to health, food, medical research and more. The NFCA also offers free webinars and a list of gluten-free blogs.  This site is useful for anyone affected by Celiac Disease or a non-Celiac gluten sensitivity.

Whole Foods: Not only does Whole Foods offer a range of gluten-free products, but this market’s website contains over 1,300 gluten-free recipes. Simply do an “Advanced Search” in the recipe section of the site and filter by “Gluten-Free”.



PB&J and Banana Smoothie

This gluten-free and dairy-free smoothie is refreshing and loaded with goodness. It’s great for kids who love peanut butter and jelly, and moms who’d rather pass on the processed bread and jam.  You can use fresh or frozen berries. If you choose fresh, you may want to add a little ice to cool it off a bit. You may opt to add more greens…don’t worry, your kids won’t even know they’re there!

1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
1/2 cup greens (kale or spinach)
1/2 banana
3 tbsp whole flax seed
1 tbsp natural almond or peanut butter
1 1/2 cups filtered water
Optional: replace 1/2 cup of water with plain organic milk (non-dairy works too) to make it creamier.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy your gluten free breakfast! Great as a snack too!