Tag Archives: Gluten Free

Blueberry and Lemon Muffins. Paleo Style.

17 Jan



This blog and myself have not gone Paleo. Though, that would be a good excuse for my absence. Something like: ‘I hate everything and everyone. You can all just piss off. I am so miserable that I have to give up grains and beans that I might die and this blog is just not worth it anymore’! Now THAT would be an excuse.

Instead, same old – same old. Your girl is busy.

Don’t get me wrong here. I respect those who have made a commitment to a Paleo diet. I know someone who had terrible arthritis and has been Paleo for more than a year now, her symptoms are all but gone. There is no doubt that some people have allergies to food and have no idea that their health problems may be affected by what they are eating. It is certainly worth it to give an exclusion diet a shot if you feel like your health might be affected by an allergy.

With that in mind, I asked for this book for Christmas. See what the fuss was all about.


I had picked it up once before and thought that the basic nutrition principles were great, something that I would enjoy reading. Really concise and easy to follow. The recipes were also right along my lines of healthy and holistic eating. I do really enjoy the book and will have my way with adapting the recipes to my liking. Not that they need much, they are pretty great.

OK: the goods. These muffins caught my attention in that they would be a low-glycemic-protein-packed-snack-on-the-go type of treat. You know how I roll, this is my thing.

Why you should eat this? 

It’s cold/flu season! What you need now is antioxidants. Blueberries are full of antioxidants and these muffins are not shy of blueberry goodness. In fact, I feel as if the ingredients in this muffin that are not blueberries, are just there to showcase how much blueberry goodness there is in these muffins. Added bonus that the muffins are hearty in egg which makes them packed with protein and gluten-free which makes them low glycemic. Perfect snack to make you feel full until the next meal.

Rejoice in these muffins, guys. They are healthy and delicious.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Source: Diane Sanfillipo (Servings: 12)

  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • ½ cup coconut flour (I feel like you can use Almond flour or Oat flour if your not going Paleo here)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the eggs, butter or coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, and lemon juice/zest.


Fold in the blueberries.


Add mix to lined muffin pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.


They won’t rise very much, so keep an eye on how brown they get.

Eat warm with a slather of butter or just as they are.

Trust me. So good.



Gluten Free Banana Protein Pancakes

31 Aug

Well, I’m still hungry.

Here is what I came up with last night in a moment of desperation. That moment was about 11-ish. In case you missed my last post (ahem, how dare you) I am training for a half marathon and my metabolism is off the charts.

I know what it feels like to be Michael Phelps. Minus all the gold. Ok, perhaps I just know a little about what it is like to have Michael Phelps’ metabolism. And his long wing span, my arms are really long.

Anyhow, these pancakes are good. They were especially good as a guilt free midnight snack. Don’t limit your pancake consumption to weekend brunches, folks. Live a little. These pancakes are a dense and gooey version of the classic. Banana filled, with a nutty texture, sweet and cinnamon-y. Good. AND good for you. Full of protein, omega 3’s, potassium, fiber, and gluten free.

Golf claps.

I like my pancakes with fruit preserves (jams, jelly, marmalade, you get the idea) and fresh fruit. By all means you can put butter and maple syrup on these … and if the mood stikes you – NUTELLA (food of the gods).


Here I had them with guava jelly and almond butter…mmmmm.

Why you should eat these? 

Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent or reduce high blood pressure.

Potassium is also one of the most important electrolytes, which helps to regulate heart function and fluid balance. Very important for athletes (yes, I’m an athlete).

You shouldn’t need more reasons to eat these. Sugar free, gluten free, full of goodness, and so easy.

All you’ll need.

Gluten Free Banana Protein Pancakes (Servings: 6)

  • 2 small bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons oat flour (Can use ANY flour)
  • 3 tablespoons of protein powder (I like Hemp, can use any or none at all)
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) Coconut Milk (Can use water, milk, or almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend. Check consistency, depending on the flour you use, you may need a little more liquid. Add in a tablespoon at a time.


Heat a pan with oil or butter. I used coconut oil, it is a high heat oil and it imparts a sweet nutty flavor that I like.

Let the pan get hot, then add your batter. Turn down the heat to medium to medium low. The key here is slow and low. Cook on this side for about 7-10 minutes.


The pancake will get brown around the edges, then like a normal pancake, they will form small bubbles. Flip.


This side will take another 7-10 minutes to cook. Guys, they’re worth the wait.

Serve hot.

Eat happily, brush your teeth, and go to bed. I know I will.

Trust me, so good.





Gluten-Free Almond Sponge Cake

13 Jul

Raise your hand if you love strawberry shortcake. The dessert, not the cartoon.

Oh, you too?

Well, I am deeply devoted. The perfect summer time dessert. Yeah, yeah, yeah, ice cream is good, but you can have that ANY time of year and don’t even say frozen yogurt to me.

Here is my take on the perennial favorite: a gluten-free almond sponge cake, fresh strawberries, and a simple, sweet whipped cream. My goodness.

I made this for friends to enjoy on the 4th of July. Boy, did they ever. OK, I may or may not have also made bourbon and coke floats too…. which may or may not have impaired their judgement. But seriously, as a Chef, if you are NOT trying to impair the judgement of your diners with alcohol:  you’re not doing it right.

Float in question. Bourbon+Coke+Vanilla Ice Cream = happy guests.

Happy Birthday America.

Here I am on the holiday+the BBQ that I was invited to = reason for bourbon and coke floats.

Why you should eat this? 

Back to the headline: GLUTEN-FREE ALMOND SPONGE CAKE. ANNNNDDD it’s sugar free.

For just a second, forget about that float up there and imagine this guilt-free cake, with fresh in-season strawberries and a maybe the cashew cream  we discussed a few weeks ago. Super healthy, over-top-goodness.

The cake stands up with the help of almond flour (you will be making your own). Almonds being the sweethearts that they are nutrient dense, full of fiber, good fats, rich in vitamin E, potassium, and manganese. Almonds are essential for a healthy heart, protecting against heart disease with monounsaturated fats. They have been proven to lower LDL cholesterol and protect against diabetes.

I know, what are we waiting for!!

Gluten-Free Almond Sponge Cake 

  • 4 Eggs, Seperated
  • 1 ½ Cups Whole Almonds (will need 2 Cups ground)
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Oil and parchment a 9” cake or springform pan.

Separate the eggs. Add yolks to one bowl.

and whites to another.

Grind the almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Careful not to grind too much or you will end up with almond butter, which wouldn’t be terrible, but it won’t make a cake. AND that is what we are here for, cake.

Add to the bowl with egg yolks and the rest of the cake ingredients and whisk together.

Whip the egg whites with a whisk or mixer until peaks form.

With a spatula, gently (I SAID GENTLY) fold the egg whites into the almond mixture until well-combined.

This is well combined, you can do it. GENTLY.

Pour into the prepared pan and put into the oven. IF, you are the type of person who likes to do jumping jacks while a cake bakes… this is not the time. This cake’s height and airiness are dependent on those egg whites staying nice and fluffy. If you slam the oven door, check on the cake too much, or do jumping jacks in the kitchen while this cake bakes… you will have a flat cake. You do not want a flat cake.

Step away from the oven

Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking at 25 minutes with a toothpick.

As for the strawberries: I cut up fresh ones into quarters and sprinkle VERY lightly with powdered sugar. Let these sit in the fridge for an hour or so, to let the strawberries’ natural juices release and mix with the sugar.

Whipped topping? You know what to do here. Make your own.

Trust me, so good.


Gluten Free Walnut and Flax Cookies

31 May

I cut my finger.  A bad one. I guess that I was due. Considering I haven’t cut or burned myself in a long time. As a professional cook, these are our work hazards: cuts, scrapes, burns, jalepeno juice squirts in the eyeball… far from glamourous. I actually had to see a Doctor for this one. I knew that he couldn’t put it back together since I lopped the top of my finger off, but I needed the good Doctor to stop the bleeding, which he did. Right after he gave me a hard time for continuing to work all day with my hand in a bloody latex glove. SO GLAMOUROUS!

Doctor gave strict orders to stay out of the kitchen for a few days in order to keep the wound and bandages dry.

“Pretty certain I can do anything with one hand”. – Overly optimistic Nichole

I took 24 hours off.

Got to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate bridge, by hanging out with friends on the bay and eating food that I did not cook. Watched the firework spectacular. Stunning, though my heavily bandaged finger did not fit into my gloves, so my hand was freezing! Yep, I wore one glove on my right hand, like Michael Jackson.

Here is the crowd at East Beach waiting for the sun to set and fireworks to start.

The next day I was back at it (No worries, Doctor knows nothing about this blog). Cooking in my home kitchen and making things that I felt would make my finger feel better. It’s ANOTHER therapeutic recipe!

Cookies, because the coconut milk ice cream was a disaster … will need to fine tune that one and get back to you guys about it. These cookies on the other hand are solid. A friend gave out this recipe as part of a presentation on aging. She handed out copies of the recipe and I have held on to it for years, like that scary troll thing from Lord of the Rings… my precious.

I have actually made them so many times, that I know the ratios by heart and I have had my way with adapting it many ties over. Add raisins or dried cranberries or dried cherries, no dark chocolate, MORE dark chocolate. You get it. It’s a versatile cookie. Have I mentioned how healthy they are? Because that is the reason we’re here in the first place.

My finger. It hurts. Naturally I needed cookies to make it feel better. It’s a a super bonus that these cookies happen to be delicious and healthy. Which will ultimately help to heal my finger, which will get me back into the kitchen faster. Perfect sense.

Why you should eat this? 

First off: these have no gluten, and depending on the kind of chocolate you use, no dairy or sugar. (I choose, DARK chocolate, 70%) Gluten, dairy, sugar are acidic in the body. So the less of these you eat, the better you will feel. Simple.

Need more? OK, Walnuts make up the texture and most of the moisture in this cookie because of their fat content. Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. Rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E.  Nuts in general are also high in plant sterols and fat – mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3’s, in particular, alpha-linolenic acid ALA) that have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.

With all these healthy fats and minerals, my body will have a much easier time regenerating the top of my finger, I really need that to grow back.

Gluten & Dairy Free Walnut Cookies (Yield: 48)

Adapted by Elise Dubois, Via Susan Steele

  • 2 ½ c. Raw Walnuts
  • ⅔ c. Gluten Free Flour, I have used Brown rice flour & Oat Flour both worked very well
  • ⅓ c. Ground Flax
  • ⅔ c. Maple Syrup
  • ⅓ c. Dark Chocolate
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.


First up: make your own flax meal.

I keep flax seeds in the freezer, they have volatile oils (Omega 3’s) that will go rancid if not kept properly. Those volatile oils, they are the most effective when they are ground fresh, the bags of flax meal at your market, who knows how long they have been sitting there?

I take the whole seeds and throw them in my coffee grinder, give them a whirl and just like that, fresh ground flax meal.

You did get that coffee grinder, right?

Now take all of the dry ingredients and throw them in a food processor. Add Vanilla.

Then drizzle in your maple syrup. The dough will get really sticky here and the blade of your processor may or may not mix it very well. You can step in and mix by hand from here if needed.

Chef tip: If you like to make cookies (or meatballs), get yourself a mini ice cream scoop to create even portions.

These cookies do not spread, so after I scoop them out, I pressed down with a fork shape them into rounds.

So they now look like this.

Bake for 15 minutes.

These cookies won’t brown too much on top, they’ll get brown on the bottom. I think 15 minutes is a good amount of time for them to cook. You really would rather these cookies be under cooked than over. Under cooked will leave some moisture and days later they will still be edible. Over cook them and you might break a tooth.

Let cool, and enjoy! WITH NO GUILT!

So good, trust me.