Gluten Free Brazil Nut Bars

Gluten Free Brazil Nut Bars


Cathedral LeónIt’s been a long time since my last post—nine weeks! Maybe you thought I fell of the edge of the earth, but no, I was in Spain for most of the time and then getting back to normal life. Yes, it was a great trip! We stayed in Carlos’s home town of León, in the Northwest of Spain, where he takes a number of students each year for a summer abroad program.

León is a town of some 140,000 people. It’s a beautiful town know for it’s gothic Cathedral, also called the House of Light because of the large stained glass windows that illuminate the interior of the structure. León is also recognized and included in the Memory of the World program by UNESCO as being the birthplace of modern democracy, when in 1188 the city hosted the first European parliament.

In March 2014, two Spanish historians claimed to have identified the true Holy Grail, (remember Monty Python and Indiana Jones?); it sits in the Basilica of San Isidoro, in León. I’d seen the cup several times before, it’s known as the goblet of Doña Urraca, and until now it sat in a case in the museum’s antique library. This summer, it has it’s own special room with low lights and the cup is well protected in a large glass case.

Many people also visit León because it is a city along the Saint James trail to the city of Santiago where many pilgrims travel each year for religious reasons, or just for a good time getting out in nature.

Some of the highlights of my trip this summer were visiting Barcelona and touring Casa Batlló by architect Antoni Gaudí; spending an afternoon at the beach; visiting Carlos’s uncle and seeing his field of spelt; a day trip to Salamanca to visit some friends (if you ever go to Spain you must visit Salamanca to see one of the most beautiful town squares in the world!); an overnight trip in the company of friends to a small village nestled in the mountains of León—enjoying the company and eating lots of paella! And that reminds me of food…

Spelt Field

This week the members of TheRecipeRedux group are posting snack bars. I’m not too crazy for the typical snack bars with oatmeal and puffed rice. I think an apple or a banana make a tastier and healthier snack, but yeah, sometimes it’s nice to have something a little out of the ordinary so I came up with gluten free Brazil nut bars that are flourless and are made with cocoa powder. Both the nuts and the cocoa are loaded with magnesium, and I’ll be talking about that in upcoming posts. Believe me, it’s good for you!

Brazil Nut Bars

Prep Time: 17 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 42 minutes

Yield: 8 bars

Serving Size: 1 bar

Brazil Nut Bars

These flourless gluten free Brazil nut bars with cocoa are a great source of magnesium!


  • 1 cup Brazil nuts
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/3 cup organic brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 packets stevia
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Plain yogurt (optional topping)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°
  2. Ground the Brazil nuts in a food processor until it resembles sand.
  3. Place the nuts in a mixing bowl and stir the cocoa powder, stevia, salt, and the baking powder.
  4. In a separate bowl, mash the banana well and add the eggs, olive oil, brown rice syrup, and
  5. vanilla.
  6. Lightly oil a 7X9 inch pan, or an 8X8 inch pan with olive oil.
  7. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake 25-30 minute, or until and inserted toothpick comes out clean.


Black Rice with BBQ Mango Shrimp

Black Rice with BBQ Mango Shrimp



I knew it wouldn’t be long for black rice to be on my dinner table after seeing it at Trader Joe’s. I had seen this rice posted on a visual menu of a Spanish arrocería (restaurant specializing in rice dishes), and I was curious to try it. The question became, what to do with it? A couple of dishes caught my attention on Pinterest. What caught my eye was the use of an orange colored food against the purple black color of the rice. Considering the time of the year, and for my taste, I decided it could be none other than black rice with BBQ mango shrimp.

Black rice is also know as “forbidden rice” because it was reserved for the Chinese Emperor, in the belief that the rice promoted health and longevity. What it has in common with brown rice is a similar chewiness and nutty flavor, and the nutritional benefits from the bran. Both types of rice are also effective for controlling weight, as compared to white rice (Nutrition Research).

What black offers that brown rice lacks are anthocyanin pigments that give the grain its purplish color. One very good thing to know about that is that you’ll have a lower risk of atherosclerosis by eating this food and other foods with the purplish hue like blueberries, beets, grapes, eggplant, and acai berries.

And if you’d like to hear a fun fact about black rice, you might be interested in knowing that you can use the rice as a natural dark purple dye. You might keep that in mind next time you want to color Easter eggs.

The mango shrimp marinade is delicious and it is loosely inspired by a marinated shrimp recipe by Emeril LaGasse. For my recipe, the shrimp is cooked on the bbq, but you can pan fry it if you prefer. Wipe of some of the marinade off the shrimp and cook it in about 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil.

Now it’s your turn to try this healthy food. The rice is easy to make and it cooks up in about 35-40 minutes, even though the package indicated 30 minutes. What do you think about the black-purplish color? Be sure to let me know how you like it.

Additional Resource:

Black Rice with BBQ Mango Shrimp

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Black Rice with BBQ Mango Shrimp


  • Black Rice with Mango Shrimp
  • For the shrimp and the marinade:
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 Serrano chile, minced
  • 1/3 cup mango puree
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • For the Rice:
  • 1-1/2 cups black rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • For the Garnish:
  • 2 green onions, chopped into thirds and then shredded lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves


    For the Rice:
  1. In a 10-inch casserole pan, sauté the onions in 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil and cook them until they are translucent.
  2. Place 2 cups black rice in a sieve and rinse under cold water.
  3. Add the rice to the onions along with the bay leaf, the salt, and 4 cups of water.
  4. Bring the water to a simmer and cook on medium-low for 30-40 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
  5. For the Shrimp:
  6. Place the peeled and deveined shrimp in a bowl with all the ingredients for the marinade and allow it to sit 30 minutes in the fridge.
  7. You can start to cook the rice while the shrimp is marinating.
  8. When your are ready to grill the shrimp heat the grill for 10 minutes on high (propane grill) and cook the shrimp about 3 minutes one each side. They will turn a shrink up and turn a whitish color when they are done. Be careful not to over cook them or they will be too dry.
  9. To Serve:
  10. Spoon the rice onto a platter, top with the shrimp, and cover with the cilantro and green onion garnish.

Black Rice with BBQ Mango Shrimp

This recipe is also posted at Hearth and Soul, Tuesday’s Table, and The Yuck Stops Here.

Rainbow Chopped Salad

Rainbow Chopped Salad




School is out and we are officially in summer. Actually it’s been out for a couple of weeks already, but it’s only just now sunk into my mind. This is the time of year to shed the extra pounds that were put on over winter. There’s no need to diet, really. By eating more fresh vegetable salads, fresh fruit and less bread, and getting out to walk, bike, or swim more often, the extra pounds fall off. The summer heat helps, too, because the body enjoys fresh foods and drinks even more.

Today in Tempe, Arizona, it’s 109°, about 48° C. Living in the desert I’ve learned to plan the day. Wake up early, ideally about 6:30 – 7:30, but in practice more like 7-8, and take a walk early because later on it will be far too hot. I also do my shopping early in the morning, or late evening around 8:00 p.m.—after the sun has gone down and it’s cooler outside.

Living in a hell hole desert you appreciate light cold soups like tomato gazpacho, vichyssoise, and avocado gazpacho; and salads with a mix of veggies and protein, like: Lipsmacking Orange Salad, Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon, and Roasted Bell Pepper with Tuna and Orzo. Who in their right mind would want to turn on the oven? It’s time to enjoy fresh cold foods straight out of the fridge.

Andalucia, an area in southern Spain, is a region of the country where the weather can be similar to Arizona. The Andalucians have been fighting the heat for centuries and they serve up a number of cold dishes, like: salmorejo (like gazpacho but thicker), ajo blanco (garlic almond soup), ensaladilla rusa (Russian Salad), tortilla de patata (potato omelet), and boquerones en escabeche (brined anchovies).

Is it hot where you live? Maybe you should link to one of the refreshing foods above, or try my rainbow chopped salad below. It’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and delicious!


Rainbow Chopped Salad

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: about 12 cups

Serving Size: 8 servings about 1-1/2 cups each

Rainbow Chopped Salad


    For the Salad!
  • 4 cups lettuce, washed and shredded
  • 1-1/2 cups black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups corn
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato, chopped
  • 2 avocados, peeled seeded and chopped
  • 1-1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
  • For the Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon siracha


  1. Place the lettuce on a large serving platter.
  2. Put the chopped salad vegetables on top of the bed of salad in vertical lines.
  3. Top with the sliced red onions.
  4. Pour the salad dressing over the entire area of the salad.

 Weight Watcher Points Plus: 5 points per serving

Nutrition Facts Rainbow Chopped Salad

Rainbow Chopped Salad

This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulTuesday’s Table, and The Yuck Stops Here.


Blueberry Nut Butter Sandwich

Blueberry Nut Butter Sandwich



Have you ever discovered something so obvious that you wonder, why didn’t I see that before? That’s the way I felt when I realized what I’d been missing all these years by not knowing how good a blueberry nut butter sandwich is. It was like a V8 moment. I wanted to slap my forehead and say, “What a dummy, I could have been enjoying a blueberry nut butter sandwich all these years.”

Yesterday I wanted a nut butter sandwich but without the jam or jelly, and then the idea came to me, why not try it with blueberries? I’d been eating peanut butter with bananas since I was a little girl, why hadn’t I tried it with berries? I spread almond butter on a piece of whole wheat bread, topped it with fresh blueberries and took a bite. What a surprise! Why would anyone ever come up with the idea of making jam to put on toast when this fresh fruit tastes so fresh and juicy?

You might be thinking, why put up a post for something so simple, I mean…, blueberry nut butter sandwich? Really?

Yes. Really.

If I didn’t write this post today you could go years, like me, without ever having it cross your mind to make a blueberry nut butter sandwich. That would be sad, and I would feel guilty for not having shared my find with you, even though you might think it is trite. But if you try it, I know you’ll agree with me that this sandwich is worth the post.

Sometimes the most delicious and memorable foods are the simplest. And sometimes they are just to obvious to even be seen, but if you let yourself relax and let your eyes gaze casually over the foods in the fridge, you might just have a V8 moment.


Blueberry Open Face Nut Butter Sandwich

Prep Time: 1 minute

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 4 minutes

Serves: 1

Blueberry Open Face Nut Butter Sandwich


  • 1/2 whole wheat bagel
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, washed and drained


  1. Lightly toast the bagel.
  2. Spread the almond button on the bagel and top with the blueberries.

 Weight Watcher’s Point Plus Value: 7


Blueberry Nut Butter Sandwich 2


This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulTuesday’s Table, and Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays.

Chai Tea Biryani

Chai Tea Biryani




It’s National Vegetarian Week, and I’m doing my bit to create awareness about the benefits of eating less meat by sharing my recipe for vegan chai tea biryani rice.

There are many reasons why people become vegetarians, but probably the 3 most common reasons are: for better health, compassion for the animals, and to better the health of the planet.

According to “Nine billion land animals (and billions more aquatic animals) are raised and killed for food each year in the United States—that’s more than 1 million animals every hour.” There are several things wrong with this figure: It’s an unnecessary waste animal life, water resources, and land, and it’s unsustainable.

One book that I can recommend you to read about the unsustainability of the current practice of harvesting animals is Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman. This book is written for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

Whether we eat meat or not, by making a few changes in our diet, in the direction of eating less meat, we will be doing better for our own health, the well-being of animals and for the health of the planet.

This week the friendly women at theRecipeReDux challenged the group members to come up with a recipe that uses tea–like that was really a challenge. For me it had to be something with chai tea, or a variation of it. This biryani rice dish uses chai tea as the base liquid and it’s delicious! It’s also dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. Try it and let me know what you think about it.

You might also like the following recipes to celebrate National Vegetarian Week. They are all super yummy!

Wicked Vegan White Beans (vegan)

Mediterranean Garden Lasagna (vegetarian)

Vegetable Shu Mai (vegan)

Spicy Marinated Tofu (vegan)


Chai Tea Biryani

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Serves: 4

Chai Tea Biryani


  • Chai Tea Biryani
  • For the Tea:
  • 2-1/3 cups water
  • 1 teabag of chai tea
  • 2 1/3-inch slices of ginger
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • For the Rice:
  • 1 cup Brown Jasmine Rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons chai tea
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Garnish:
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley


    For the Tea:
  1. Place 2-1/2 cups water in a small pot along with 1 bag of chai tea, 2 slices of ginger from a piece of ginger about 1-inch in diameter, 5 cardamom pods, 1 star anise, and 5 black peppercorns. Bring the water to a simmer and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the tea from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the tea. You should have 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of liquid remaining. If you are short of this amount add water to make up the difference.
  4. For the Rice:
  5. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan and sauté the onion until it is transparent.
  6. Add the salt, turmeric, cumin and raisins. Stir well.
  7. Add the tea, coconut milk, rice, and bay leaf. Stir, and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pot tightly and cook on low heat until the rice absorbs the liquid, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. When with rice is done, fluff it up with a fork and then garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley, raisins and cashews.


This recipe is also posted at Hearth and SoulTuesday’s Table, and Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays.

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Mango Banana Smoothie and the Benefits of Mango

Mango Banana Smoothie



You might be thinking “Hmm, another smoothie recipe,” without giving it too much thought. But there are a few reasons why you should give this smoothie some consideration. Why? First of all, and let’s face it, what we really want is great taste; but there are also important nutritional, health, and cooking benefits mangos give:

Nutritional benefits: In just one cup of mango you get 100% of your daily vitamin C recommended nutritional needs (RDA), 35% of your vitamin A requirements, and 12% of your fiber needs, all this and only 100 calories.

The Health Benefits: You might think that you would gain a lot of weight from eating such a sweet fruit, but studies show that mango may aid to reduce body fat and it may also help to control blood sugar levels. Like papaya, it also aids digestion because it contains an enzyme with digestive properties. Research also shows that mango may help prevent breast cancer.

Culinary Benefits: The enzyme that aids with digestion also acts as a tenderizer for meat, pork and poultry. Next time you plan to BBQ, make a mango marinade. Not only will the food taste better, it will be more tender.

Now to the best part—the smoothie! If you asked me how to describe this drink I’d say it’s naturally sweet, creamy and luscious. The smoothie gets its sweetness from the mango and the banana. Select ripe fruit, cut it up and freeze it; this way you will not need to add ice which will only make the smoothie more watery and icy. This drink is seriously good and it will replace your ice-cream cravings.

Did you know that mango originated in India about 5000 years ago? It’s said that Buddha meditated under a mango tree. If it’s good enough for Buddha, it’s good enough for me, my family, and my healthy eating habits. Make mango banana smoothie a part of your day!

 Related Post:  Grilled Ono Fish with Mango Salsa 

Mango Banana Smoothie and the Benefits of Mango

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 10 ounce glasses

Serving Size: About 10 ounces

Calories: 238


  • ½ pound mango peeled, seeded and frozen
  • 1 banana, peeled and frozen
  • 1-1/4 cups non-fat milk, almond milk or soy milk
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Place the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth, about 15 seconds.

 Weight Watcher Points Plus: 6 points per serving

Mango Banana Smoothie Nutrition Facts

This recipe is also posted at Hearth and Soul,  Tuesday’s Table, and Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays.


Mango Banana Smoothie 2

Vegetable Shu Mai – #SundaySupper

Vegetable Shu Mai 2


Happy Mother’s Day! When I signed up to take part in the Supper Sunday Movement’s Mother’s Day event, I knew right away that I wanted to make Shu Mai! And it gets better because I’m making vegetable shu mai!

A couple of weeks ago I posted a recipe for my favorite pork shu mai and I believe that some of my vegetarian and vegan readers were disappointed with that choice. Beef, pork, and poultry do occasionally appear on my plate, but I prefer with vegetable dishes most often. So today’s recipe is for all you veggie lovers out there. This recipe is also to celebrate my mother on Mother’s Day. Years ago my mother and I signed up and took cooking lessons together at Montana Mercantile, in Brentwood, California. It was a lot of fun taking the classes together and even more fun getting into the kitchen and trying out all the recipes we learned. We learned French cuisine, Italian, and Chinese. My favorite at the time was Chinese—I loved making and eating spring rolls and dumplings, soups and stir-fries. I still do, but not as often.

My Mom is an excellent cook too! Both she and my dad loved having the whole family—eight of us including my grandmother—sit down for long drawn out Sunday evening meal. She’d spend all day in the kitchen making the meal with all the trimmings, she’d put out the special china and crystal glasses and we have memorable meal. The food was fantastic, it always was. The most memorable thing about the meals was just being in good company with the family and enjoying the moment. The Sunday Supper Movement is doing an important job of bringing back Sunday family meals, and I support the group’s mission. In the company of family you can learn social skills like giving, receiving, accepting, listening, getting along with others, treating others well, and you can also learn to appreciate good food. So l’d like to thank my mom for being a good teacher, great cook, and a loving mother.

Vegetable Shu Mai – #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 46 minutes

Yield: about 35 shu mai

Serving Size: 7 servings, 5 each

Vegetable Shu Mai – #SundaySupper


  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 pound napa cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, and more if needed
  • 1 ounce dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1-½ tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ can water chestnuts, finely chopped (from 8-ounce can)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion tops
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 35 won ton wrappers


  1. Bring a 1 cup of water to a boil and then add the dried mushrooms to the water. Remove the pot from the heat and let the mushrooms soak for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the shredded carrot and the shredded cabbage together in a large bowl and toss well to combine.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. When the oil is hot add ½ the cabbage mixture and cook until the cabbage starts to shrink, and then add the remaining cabbage and cook until it is tender, about 8 minutes.
  4. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Turn off the heat and add the water chestnuts, cilantro, green onions, and black pepper.
  6. Drain and rinse the mushrooms. Cut off the stem and discard it. Chop the mushrooms into ¼ size pieces. Add them to the cabbage and place the cabbage mixture in a colander to drain out excess moisture, and then squeeze out the excess moisture.
  7. Place about a tablespoon of the filling and place it in the middle of a wrapper. bring up the sides of the wrapper up and twist the sides of the wrapper clockwise. This will form clockwise pleats around the filling. Place all 5 fingers around the middle of the pouch and lightly push down so the bottom of the dumpling forms a flat base. As you push down some of the filling will ooze up through the center. This is expected and desired for the finished dumpling. Keep the Shu Mai covered with a lightly damped tea towel or paper towel until your are ready to steam them.
  8. Pour water into a 12-inch skillet until it reaches the level of about 3/4 inch. Place a steamer basket into the skillet and place an oiled plate on top of the steamer.
  9. Arrange the shu mai on top of the plate spaced ½-inch to 1-inch away from one another. Do not allow them to touch or they will stick together
  10. Cover the pan and steam about 6 to 8 minutes until they are cooked through and then serve immediately with the sauce.
  11. Check the water level and add more if necessary, and repeat the steaming process until they are all cooked.
  12. If you like, you can pan fry the shu mai after steaming it. Add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil to a pan and cook the dumplings on the bottom and on 2 sides.
  13. For the Sauce:
  14. Get out two small dipping bowls, about ¾ cup in size.
  15. Place 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar and ¼ teaspoon sesame oil into each bowl; or use 1-1/2 tablespoon lite soy to 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil.

Shu mai can be eaten just after steaming, or you may also pan fry it if you like after steaming.

Vegetable Shu Mai

Points Plus Value 33: Points Plus value per serving 5 – there are 7 servings.

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This weekend, we are celebrating MOMS around the world with our Mother’s Day Sunday Supper Menu. What’s on your menu for Mother’s Day this year? Drop by and say hello to our host for this week, Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake (tell her Happy Mother’s Day while you’re there), and then check out this awesome menu that we have planned!

Mother’s Day Breakfast:

Mother’s Day Appetizers:

Mother’s Day Soups, Salads and Sides:

Mother’s Day Main Dishes:

Mother’s Day Desserts:

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Goat Cheese and Peppers Cracker Canapé

Goat Cheese and Peppers Canapé



“I received free samples of Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax and Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic from Dare Foods Incorporated mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Dare Foods Incorporated and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”


Dare Foods and TheRecipeRedux are joining forces during celiac disease awareness month to promote education about the disease, and I am doing my bit to help out by providing some information and a recipe for goat cheese and peppers cracker canapé.

The first thing most people would ask is what is Celiac Disease and who is affected by it? It is a intestinal disease that damages the small intestine when a person with celiac disease eats a food containing gluten. When a person with celiac disease eats a food with gluten the body responds by destroying the villi, that line the small intestine and which aid in the absorption of nutrients.

It is estimated that 1% of Americans has celiac disease, and it affects men, women and children across the board. For many individuals it can take as long as 6-10 years to get diagnosed, and there is no pharmaceutical cure for the disease. The only cure for people with this disease is a 100% gluten free diet. To learn more about the disease and the symptoms click this link.

To help people with celiac disease Dare Foods has released 2 new gluten free products, Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax, and Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic.

Benton Crackers

Up until a month ago I thought that any gluten free food item probably tasted inferior to other baked goods, until I learned that baked items like crackers and quick breads, that don’t require yeast can taste just as good or even better than items with gluten. There are two reasons for this: they don’t need gluten, and added gluten, in the case of crackers, only makes them tougher and less crispy. I was pleasantly surprised by of taste of these crackers. They taste just as good as the other Breton crackers that I often buy. I think anyone who likes crackers will enjoy Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax, and Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic.

Goat Cheese and Peppers Cracker Canapé 3

Goat Cheese and Peppers Cracker Canapé

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: about 16

Serving Size: 3 to 4 canapés per person

Goat Cheese and Peppers Cracker Canapé


  • 1 box Breton Gluten Free Cracker, Original with Flax or Herb and Garlic
  • 1 ounce roll goat cheese
  • 1 jar roasted bell peppers
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 bunch dill (3-4 tablespoons will suffice if you have it on hand)


  1. Carefully slice the goat cheese into medallions about 1/4 inch thick and place one medallion on top of each cracker.
  2. Slice the bell peppers into strips about 1/4 inch wide by 2-1/2 to 3 inches long.
  3. If you have two different colors of peppers, place them side by side and roll them into a spiral and then place the spiral on top of the cheese.
  4. For variety roll some of the spiral peppers with a single color.
  5. Top the canapés with 1-3 capers and a sprig of dill, or dill alone, or capers alone


Goat Cheese and Peppers Canapé 2


This recipe is also posted on Hearth and Soul,  SimpleSupperTuesday, and Full Plate Thursday

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cracker Sandwich

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cracker Sandwich




“I received free samples of Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax and Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic from Dare Foods Incorporated mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Dare Foods Incorporated and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”


Dare Foods is sponsoring a contest for the members of theRecipeRedux to spread the word about celiac disease awareness month. So I want to share some facts with you about this disease:

Prevalence of Celiac Disease in the United States

  • In average healthy people: 1 in 133
  • In people with related symptoms: 1 in 56
  • Celiac disease affects at least 3 million Americans.
  • The average length of time it takes for a symptomatic person to be diagnosed with celiac disease in the US is four years; this type of delay dramatically increases an individual’s risk of developing autoimmune disorders, neurological problems, osteoporosis and even cancer.
  • The number of people with celiac disease in the U.S. is roughly equal to the number of people living in the state of Nevada.
  • The incidence of autoimmune diseases in the general US population is 3.5%. In a 1999 study, Ventura, found that those diagnosed with celiac disease between 2-4 years of age had a 10.5% chance of developing an autoimmune disorder. Additional findings are outlined in the table below:

(The above facts come from The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center)

Fortunately for those people who suffer from Celiac disease, which is caused by eating foods with gluten, there are now more gluten free products on the grocery shelves for them. Dare Foods has just put out a new line of gluten free crackers: Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic, and Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax, and they taste very good!

Up until a month ago I would have turned up my nose at gluten free (GF) bread and crackers. However, I recently learned that there is an important difference between GF bread and GF crackers. GF baking expert, Shauna James Ahern, explains on her blog GlutenFreeGirl, that baked goods which don’t require the development of gluten, like crackers, brownies, and quick breads, turn out very well as a GF product because “they don’t need the stretchy elastic qualities of gluten”, whereas loaf breads are more problematic because they require gluten development. This is why Benton gluten free crackers taste so good—they are naturally better without gluten. There are 2 flavors you can try: Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic, and Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax, and you’ll be pleased to know they are lower in sodium compared to other crackers.

Benton Crackers

The recipe I’m sharing is simple, but it like it, like it, yes I do! It’s a peanut butter and jelly cracker sandwich and I’m spreading the PB and jelly on the Gluten Free Original Cracker with Flax. This is a fun and healthy snack that your kids will also love! Peanut butter sandwiches are great, but the peanut butter and jelly cracker sandwich has an edge over the classic sandwich because you can dunk it in milk and it won’t get all soggy like bread sandwiches do, unless you keep it in the milk too long. You can make other variations of the cracker sandwich, too: peanut butter with apple, peanut butter and chocolate spread, peanut butter and banana, or peanut butter and tangerine. They are all fun, easy to make and delicious. Try them!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cracker Sandwich

Total Time: 7 minutes

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cracker Sandwich


  • 1 box Benton Gluten Free Original with Flax
  • 1 jar peanut butter
  • jelly of your choice, strawberry, apricot, blueberry or other
  • 1 jar chocolate spread of your choice
  • banana
  • apple
  • tangerine


  1. Spread peanut butter on as many crackers you want to eat.
  2. Cover the peanut butter with the topping of your choice, and top with a second cracker or eat it as an open-face sandwich.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cracker Sandwich


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Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon Salad

Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon Salad


Ina Friday falls on the first Friday of the month when a group of bloggers come together to blog about one of Ina Garten recipes and make the food from the original recipe. Another option we have is to create a new recipe, or modify one of her recipes after being inspired by it. I’m taking the second road and developing a similar recipe, but with a couple of twists.


It’s good to be back this week for Ina Friday because I’m excited about the salad I’m sharing with you today. From the title you already know it’s arugula, shrimp and watermelon salad, but what you don’t learn from the title is how good this salad tastes. It’s the definition of yum. What makes this salad interesting is the blending of peppery, sweet, salty, creamy and piquant.

I first saw this healthy vegetarian recipe on Ina’s website. Adding the shrimp was an idea I got from a restaurant in New York that served a watermelon salad with octopus. Unfortunately the name of the restaurant is gone from my mind, but the memory of the salad is still wafting around in my head. I recall the dish would have been better without some of the ingredients but what stood out was the octopus with the watermelon. The sweet and salty seawater flavor fused really well with the fruit and whatever green it was. I know more people, especially kids, would have reservations about eating octopus, and it’s not so easy to find either, so I decided to use shrimp instead. Cooking the shrimp in olive oil with garlic added another complimentary layer of flavor, too. Who would thought garlic together with watermelon, but it works!

And by the way, if you have never been to New York City, you must go, and take a suitcase full of money with you. The city is not cheap. There are fun things you can do for no money like riding the free ferry to Staten Island and back, walking in Central Park, walking on the Highline, or visiting and walking around Times Square. You probably get the picture by now—take some good walking shoes. You’ll need money for the attractions, great restaurants, sight seeing activities, boat rides, and theater. We saw the Book of Mormons. What an introduction to the theater for my 16 year-old son. Hilarious!


Disclaimer: the link below is an affiliate link and I may earn a commission if you click on it and make a purchase. I use affiliate links to offset the cost of running the blog.

Related Amazon Products: Farberware Millennium Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set

Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon Salad


    For the Salad:
  • ½ pount medium shrimp, raw
  • 2 ounces baby arugula leaves, rinsed under cold water
  • ½ pound seedless watermelon, 3/4-inch cube (without the rind)
  • 3 to 4 thin slices red onion, cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (1 figured in 1/8 teaspoon salt)
  • For the Shrimp:
  • ½ pound shrimp, medium size, washed and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon feta cheese


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil with 1 teaspoon minced garlic in a small skillet. When the garlic starts to turn white, stir and count 10 seconds and then add the shrimp. Stir it around well.
  2. When the shrimp are white on the bottom side flip them over, cover with a lid and remove the pan from the heat. Allow them to finish cooking with the steam for 3 minutes.
  3. Place the arugula, watermelon, red onion and ¼ cup feta cheese in large bowl. Drizzle 2 teaspoons olive oil over the salad, followed by the 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lightly toss the salad.
  4. Add ½ the shrimp and the juice from the pan to the salad and toss lightly.
  5. Place the remaining shrimp on top of the salad and decorate with some of the red onion. Top with one tablespoon feta cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

**Cooking time for the shimp is about 2-1/2 minutes and there are 3 minutes unattended time while the shimp steam finishes in the pan.

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 9 per serving and there are 2 servings.

Arugula Salad Nutrition Facts

Arugula, Shrimp and Watermelon Salad 2

Please visit the other member participating in Ina Friday to see what delicious food they’ve cooked up: