Apple Ginger Walnut Gluten Free Muffins

Teaching people how to live a gluten-free life has been my mission for a long time.

The first time I see a patient after getting their lab results is both the best and the worst of times.

Finally, they have answers.

They are not crazy. Their problem isn’t all in their head, it is in their body.

Now they have a diagnosis of celiac disease or gluten intolerance. They can begin to heal.

And then the realization kick in.

They can’t have bread anymore, or pasta, or pizza, or cupcakes or pastry or….



This is when I get to show you the newest place I’m spreading the word.

Click on over to The Stem- Stemilt’s blog, for the first guest blog on the site. Mine :)


The recipe for Apple Ginger Walnut Gluten Free Muffins is over there.

You’ll need these three mixes to make them.

Whole grain flour mix

White flour mix

Pixie Dust

Gluten-free Apple Ginger Walnut Muffins topped with Kerrygold USA butter. Recipe by GFDoctor
Gluten-free Apple Ginger Walnut Muffins topped with Kerrygold USA butter

Update:  I shared this photo with Kerrygold USA. They were running a #SnackStory contest, and I won a year of butter and cheese!  So excited, my family adores their healthy products.

Since I already had one person ask, I used the reduced fat butter because it was part of the food from our Cross Country Invitational that made it into my fridge.  Only ingredients are cream and salt, not weird fake add ins


Maple Pear Pecan Bacon Coffeecake, Gluten Free

Maple Pear Pecan Bacon Coffeecake.

That is quite a mouthful.

How in the world did this one come about?
Gluten free Maple Pecan Pear Bacon CoffeeCake
Gluten free Maple Pecan Pear Bacon CoffeeCake

Simple, I’ve been playing with a new technique for creating the structure of gluten-free cakes.

I love cake, always have, but I don’t like the texture of many gluten free cakes.

They come out stiff, gummy, flat or hard.

Not the soft crumb structure and airy lightness of Wheat based cakes.

Yes, I said  Bacon Coffecake.

So I’ve had my mad scientist hat on for a while, fooling around with different beating times, different flour combinations, different binding agents and different leaveners.

Wouldn’t you know it is as simple as changing the order of addition of ingredients?

As simple as making sure to beat well after a couple of additions.

 LOVE when it is like this to create the structure.

Then I start to play with the flavors of the season.

‘Round my neck of the woods, it’s starting to feel like fall.

We’ve had a week of cloudy and rainy weather, the kind of time when staying inside and working on a jigsaw puzzle seems like a fine way to spend an afternoon with Grandmom.  Especially since she adores coffeecake, and it is her first visit in 3 years to see her grandbabies (who are 14 now).

I asked the girls what kind of flavor they wanted as long as it started out from Fresh Pear.  I was fortunate to receive a gift this week from Stemilt of their current harvest.  

Full of fresh Anjou pears and crisp apples, it was a breath of fall fruit.  While you are over there checking out the terrific fruits, go ahead and download the ideas for lunch boxes.  We can all use a few more ideas in the months ahead.

Luckily, I had a day or so for the fruit to come to perfect ripeness for decision making.  My girls are food focused, and healthy eaters.  

When they built on each other’s ideas to come to this combination of Maple Pear Pecan and Bacon for our coffeecake, it was just inspired.

Combined with my new technique, we had a winner.

Such a great fun time making and eating it, we almost finished the cake in one sitting.  I’d encourage you to share it with more people.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Maple Pear Pecan Bacon Coffeecake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Inspired by my 14 year old twins, this combination of Fresh Pear, Pecans, Maple Syrup and Bacon makes for a tender and tasty cake. Want it to be vegetarian? Leave out the bacon.
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 142 grams 1 cup white flour mix grams (1 cup)
  • 124 grams whole grain flour mix (¾ cup)
  • 4 grams baking powder
  • 4 grams baking soda
  • 3 grams salt
  • 1 stick butter ¼ pound at room temperature
  • 10 grams (1 packed tablespoon) pixie dust
  • 110 grams organic cane sugar (½ cup plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup pecans-chopped fine
  • 51 grams sweet rice flour (⅓ cup)
  • 85 grams maple syrup- grade B (¼ cup)
  • 40 grams brown sugar (¼ cup)
  • 4 tablespoons Cold butter cut into 6-8 pieces
  • 12 pieces of bacon - cooked and cut into small dice
  • 2 ripe Anjou pears- cut into small pieces. I don’t bother to peel if they are organic.
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease a 9x12 pan, I use a glass pan to be able to watch the progress of the crust.
  3. Stir together in a bowl till the mixture is an evenly colored one: both flour mixtures, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Reserve till later.
  4. In a stand mixer bowl, place softened butter, beat till light and fluffy.
  5. Add pixie dust and continue to beat on medium for 2 minutes
  6. Add sugar in dribs and drabs (slowly) till the sugar is all added.
  7. Beat the mixture for 3-5 minutes.
  8. I use this time to cut up the pears.
  9. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  10. Beat for -5 minutes once the last egg is added.
  11. This is when I mix up the crumb topping.
  12. Stir together the pecans, sweet rice flour, maple syrup, brown sugar till all the pieces of pecan are coated in the flour.
  13. Stir in the butter bits, and moosh them together.
  14. Reserve for topping.
  15. Back at the batter:
  16. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture slowly.
  17. Beat till well combined.
  18. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat another minute.
  19. The batter will be thick and spreadable.
  20. Pour and spread the batter evenly into the 9x12 pan.
  21. Sprinkle batter with the pears, bacon and crumb toppings.
  22. Bake for 55-60 minutes till the bottom is well browned, the edges are pulling away from the pan, the center is stable and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  23. Let it cool completely before serving. But if you HAVE to have a piece, let it sit at least 10 minutes before cutting.


Poof, done, dinner.- Gluten Free Brown Rice Penne, Kale and Sausage

Another of my quick Gluten-Free dinner posts.

This one is so incredibly easy, it almost doesn’t need words.

First make sure to choose a great pasta. Mine was Jovial Organic Brown Rice Penne


Then the greens. We adore Kale around my house so that was our choice but the Rainbow Chard would work just as well.  I tend to pick up a bag of these greens whenever I just haven’t had the time to harvest from my garden.  No excuses to not include greens in a meal, Cut N Clean are even washed.



Finally, I gather the sausage from a local source. Hempler’s is a Ferndale Washington based manufacturer.  No nitrates, no nitrites in these tasty treats. My family loves spicy so the Andouille was our pick, feel free to use Italian or Keilbasa if you would like a less spicy version.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gluten Free Brown Rice Penne, Kale and Sausage
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 package Jovial Brown Rice Pasta
  • 3 Hempler Andouille Sausages- cut in half and then into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Bag Cut and Clean Kale
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil (optional)
  • Parmesan Cheese (Optional)
  1. Cool pasta according to package directions.
  2. Drain, reserving 2+ cups of the cooking water.
  3. In same pot, while the pasta remains in your colander, place oil (if desired) and sausage.
  4. Cook sausages till well warmed and beginning to brown, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the bag of kale,stirring.
  6. Cook for 3-5 minutes till the kale wilts.
  7. Add back the pasta and as much of the pasta cooking water as you need to create a thin sauce on the pasta.
  8. Serve immediately, sprinkling with parmesan cheese as you wish.


Fresh Cherry Sorghum Salad with Mint

When a recipe is inspired by fresh ingredients, in season, how can you go wrong?

This dinner or lunch salad was a gathering from the garden, from the pantry, and from a gift to meld into this.

From the pantry, Bob’s Red Mill Grains of Discovery Sorghum Grain.
Cooks up so quickly and easily. Just rinse the grain, cover with water, bring to a boil and cover. 40 minutes later, tender pearls of whole grain toothsome nutrition.

Back to the pantry for dressing ingredients and a bit more protein. My teen athletes need quite a bit to keep their bodies healthy and growing
This salad has three sources: from the sorghum 1/4 cup has 5 grams
From the chickpeas and from the pink salmon.
Feel free to leave out the salmon if you want to make this vegan or vegetarian.

The dressing is one I use frequently
1 part vinegar 1 part oil and 1 tablespoon of honey.
Quick, slightly sweet and tart all at the same time. Feel free to use a bit more oil if you like it less tart.


For seasonings, I went to the garden and gathered a handful of mint leaves. These are chocolate mint, but any mint would do.

The spicy sweet cooling is a nice counterpoint to the softness of the chickpeas.

Finally, lots of fresh cherries, a quick stir and dinner is served.

Fresh Cherry Sorghum Salad with Mint
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A quickly made and easily modified recipe starting from the nutritional powerhouse of Bob's Red Mill Grains of Discovery Sorghum grain
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Sorghum Grain- rinsed
  • 3 cups water or vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup rice vinegar
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mild flavored honey
  • 1 can organic chickpeas- rinsed
  • 1 can pink salmon (optional)
  • 1 cup pitted and cut in half fresh cherries (approx 2 cups whole)
  • 2 tablespoons minced mint leaves
  • 4-8 lettuce leaves (optional)
  1. Cook sorghum following package instructions in water or stock.
  2. Place sorghum in large serving bowl.
  3. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Stir together vinegar, oil and honey.
  5. Pour over the sorghum grain and stir.
  6. Place chickpeas, salmon, cherries and mint into bowl and stir again.
  7. Serve over lettuce


If you would like a bit more inspiration to work with Sorghum grain, try this one.

Sorghum Salad With Cucumbers — Recipes for Health

Cooking the grains until they splay helps them absorb the dressing.



Bob’s Red Mill sent me a sample of their Grains of Discovery Sorghum. Creating this recipe was all my idea. After all, I still had cherries from Stemilt to use up.


Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad Gluten-Free, Vegan

Although I grew up in the heat and humidity of summers in New Jersey, my extended stay in the Pacific Northwest has turned me into a wimp.

When the thermometer rises above 75 in Bellingham, I wilt.
Cooking becomes a real chore, not joyful, just tedious. Well, except when I make a great Cold Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad Gluten-Free of course.

Having to teach a class to teens in the midst of the heat wave?

That is always fun.

I love to teach. Love kids understanding the whys and hows of turning great fresh, organic foods into a meal truly excites my locavore heart.
But having to cook again when I get home, not so much.
Maybe it’s because the Coop has air conditioning, and my home kitchen doesn’t?

To get inspired, toys help.
My newest is a beautiful Oxo Mandoline that I was fortunate to win at CampBlogAway in May, just like this one.

Excited didn’t begin to describe how I felt when I was chosen. I’ve wanted a mandoline for years. No other tool makes slicing incredibly thin slices, julienne and waffle cuts as easy as a mandoline.

Even with years of knife skills and training under my belt, no way would I be able to do that thin consistently.
This Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle salad gluten-free gave me free rein to play with my new toy. Gathering all the fresh, local produce from my fridge, then turning it into slender threads of crunch. Lucky for me this Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad would make life easy for dinner.

Bonus, I used up the leftover sauce we had made for the class. I love when leftovers get used up.

Playing with my Oxo Mandoline
Playing with my Oxo Mandoline

Shredding the carrots and zucchini into tiny julienne, slicing the onions paper thin.
All together a very satisfying half hour or so playing in the kitchen.
The Cashew Nut Sauce for this Noodle Salad might seem a bit daunting from the list of ingredients, but it gets thrown into a food processor and turned on to run till it is velvety. Easy, peasy.

Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad Gluten-Free
Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad Gluten-Free

And best of all, if you double the amounts you have lunch and dinner for another day for a family of 4. :)

Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad Gluten-Free, Vegan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This sauce is terrific for so many things, I made it for Vietnamese Salad rolls for my teen cooking class. My daughter thinks it is the best dip ever for broccoli. You can warm it as well for a dressing over hot vegetables too. Lots of protein for any vegetarian folks too. Packs for lunches easily and is even better once it sits for a couple of hours, perfect summer food.
Recipe type: Salad, entree, cold dish
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 8
  • 1 package of Asian rice noodles cooked according to package directions.
  • Drain in colander and rinse well to cool.
  • Vegetables:
  • These can be anything fresh and wonderful. I used
  • 1 zucchini- julienned
  • 2 large carrots- julienned
  • 1 Walla Walla onion- sliced as thin as possible
  • 1 stalk of Broccoli - stems julienned and florets cut small
  • a handful of sugar snap peas cut into small pieces
  • a package of organic tiny peppers in orange, red, yellow and chocolate brown cut into tiny shreds.
  • Feel free to combine any vegetables you love raw.
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup cashew nuts- roasted or raw (the roasted are deeper and richer in flavor)
  • ½ cup tahini paste or ¾ cup of sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic – approx 3 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger- a quarter sized chunk
  • 2 Tablespoons palm or coconut sugar- if you can't find either brown sugar will do.
  • 1 tablespoon red miso paste
  • 1 Tablespoon hot sauce or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk ( I used So Delicious Cooking Coconut Milk)
  • 1 fresh lime- entire insides without the peel- pulp and all
  • 2 T wheat free tamari soy sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth or more depending on the texture.
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  1. In a food processor, puree the cashew nuts, garlic, ginger, sugar and tahini (or sesame seeds) till finely chopped.
  2. Add the miso, tamarind paste and hot sauce.
  3. While the machine is running add coconut milk, lime juice, tamari sauce.
  4. Add vegetable broth and check texture. If it needs a bit more broth, add it now.
  5. Fold in the cilantro and keep refrigerated until noodle are ready.
  6. Pour sauce over noodles and vegetables, stir and eat.

This is an entry in the So Delicious and Go Dairy Free Spring Fling Dairy-Free Recipe Contest .

Vegan Vanilla Cookies- Recipe Redux

This month’s Recipe Redux started out with an interesting request.

Which kitchen gadget is indispensable in our kitchen?

There are so many that I use on a daily basis, but the one that gets the most use is a very simple scale.

Ever since I made the change from volume measurements to weight based measurements, my baked goods are routinely wonderful. There just isn’t the variations in quantity of flours, sugars or liquids that eyeballing in a cup can create.

This scale is my ideal.  It weighs accurately down to 1 gram.  So I can even weigh out spices.

Ozeri Touch Scale


By weight, all of my baked goods consistently turn out right the first time.

This Vegan Vanilla Cookie recipe is one I use routinely for school events.

No dairy, no gluten, no nuts to keep kiddos away.

Just a crisp, crunchy pair of cookies surrounding tender chocolate filling.

Vegan Vanilla Cookies with Chocolate Creme filling

Vegan Vanilla Cookies- Recipe Redux
  • ¾ cup Earth Balance buttery Vegan stick shortening
  • 10 grams (1 tablespoon)Pixie Dust
  • 8 grams vanilla extract
  • 575 grams cookie flour mix
  • 60 grams water
  • 500 grams (or to taste) mix-ins of your choice- nuts, chocolate chips, candy cane pieces, etc.
  1. Place the mixing bowl onto the scale and zero out the scale. Measure each of the ingredients into the mixer bowl in the order written, zeroing out the scale between each addition.
  2. Once all the ingredients are added to the bowl, place the bowl onto the mixer.
  3. Begin to beat slowly till the mixture comes together.
  4. Once it is all gathered together, increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
  5. The dough is then ready to be used as a cookie base or with mix-ins of your choice or rolled into a log 2 inches in diameter for slicing later.
  6. Place finished dough into the fridge to rest for a minimum of 4 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. If you held the dough in a ball, roll the dough out to ½ inch. Using cookie cutters, cut out festive shapes. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about ½ inch apart.
  9. Bake for 8 minutes
  10. If you mixed in items, then make one inch balls. Place them on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or till golden brown. The center will still be soft but will crisp up as they cool.
  11. If you held the dough in a log, just slice the log ½ inch thick and bake on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets for 8 minutes. If you roll the log in colored sugar, minced nuts or ground chocolate first, then the edges are all decorated when they come out of the oven.