The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag

A website celebrating and enumerating Juneau, Alaska's food culture

Posts Tagged ‘dairy free

Gluten Free Banana Walnut Pancakes

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flap jacks

I’m not the biggest pancake fan in the world, but I woke up with a craving for banana walnut pancakes. I suppose I was thinking of the pancakes at the Cup & Sauce in Portland, Oregon – even though they’re made with real flour. It’s been ages since I had a flap jack. Even more challenging than the gluten free aspect of these tasty rounds, is the fact that I made them dairy free. I used organic low-fat coconut milk instead of milk or water.

Fear not Dear Feedbag Reader, these aren’t tasteless hippie frisbees. These delicate perfect rounds are loaded with tiny banana and walnut bits in almost every bite. They’re made perfect with a little smart balance spread and a smatter of maple syrup.

This recipe makes enough pancake batter to feed your friends. If you’re not feeding a crowd, get an empty yogurt container to put the extra in the fridge. I’m even thinking about using the left over batter for muffins.

Dry Ingredients:
– 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour
– 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 3/4 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Wet Ingredients & Extras:
– 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
– 1 banana, diced
– 1/2 cup of apple sauce
– 2 cups of organic low-fat coconut milk (or 1 cup regular milk, one cup water)
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 tablespoon honey or raw agave nectar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 or 2 dashes of cinnamon


Combine the dry ingredients first – mixing well before integrating the wet ingredients, bananas, and nuts.

I used a non-stick pan and I’d recommend it. A nicely greased up iron skillet would work just fine too. Get your pan greased up, heated up on medium heat, and ready for a ladle full of this delicious batter. When little bubbles start forming on top of your pancake, it’s probably time to flip that bad boy over. I’d say I found a 1.5 – 2 minute interval for each side made the perfect pancake.

These gluten free flap jacks are better when they’re hot off the press.

Serving Suggestion: Top with a little smart balance spread and some warm maple syrup for a delicious breakfast treat.


Written by Patrice Helmar

November 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Wild Yam Noodles with Coconut Milk and Vegetables

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Autumn is beginning the ever too quick fast forward in Juneau. The leaves are falling, if not fallen. The chill of winter lingers in the sharp morning air. It’s time to get the house ready for winter: fill the oil tank up, get the flannel duvet out, and cook comfort food.

After over five months, I’m still entirely gluten free. I’ve also miraculously stayed off the coffee. I haven’t fallen into the sweet embrace of cheese again. In fact, the only dairy in my diet is organic low-fat yogurt. What may be the biggest surprise is that I’ve started running. I started the Couch to 5K app on my smart phone a little over nine weeks ago. Yesterday, without being chased by bear, I ran 3.5 miles on my own accord. It’s a little weird to write in my food blog about how much I look forward to running now.

This meal was inspired by a hungry trip to the grocery store after my run yesterday. The trail I ran in the valley is close to a nice market with fresh-ish vegetables and “ethnic” food. In Juneau, Alaska “ethnic” food means in most grocery stores, a single aisle filled with a league of all nations hit list of foods. These ethnic foods may include: curry, Asian noodles, Latin American hot sauce, couscous, hummus, tea, and maybe the odd can of dolmas.


– 1 package of wild yam or rice noodles

– 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
– 1 shallot, finely diced
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
– 1 bunch of green onions, white part finely chopped with green tops reserved for garnish
– 7 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
– 1 orange pepper, thinly sliced

– 1/2 block of extra firm tofu cubed, to garnish
– 1/2 can of coconut milk
– sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
– 1 Tablespoon of Madras (yellow) curry
– 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
– sriracha sauce to taste, to finish


– heat a sauce pan of water to boil and cook wild yam or rice noodles for specified time
– in a sauté pan, heat olive oil
– add chopped white part of green onions, shallot, and garlic
– season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and turmeric and cook 3-5 minutes
– add chopped mushrooms, orange pepper, add yellow curry powder, cook another 3 minutes or so
– when noodles are finished cooking, drain (don’t rinse)
– slowly add noodles to large sauté pan with tongs
– add 1/2 can of coconut milk, add a bit more sea salt and fresh ground pepper
– toss noodles and veggies with tongs and cook for 2 to 3 minutes
– plate in a shallow bowl
– garnish with tofu and green part of onions
– add sriracha to your taste

Serving suggestion:

If you don’t have a nut allergy chopped peanuts might also serve as garnish. Fresh cilantro and lemon grass would also work well with this dish. Unfortunately, the market I went to was out of all herbs other than parsley.

Pair this dish with a Czech Pilsner or a Japanese Kirin brew in a tall cold glass for delicious beer fun time!

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Day 17 & 18 – Spring Cleanse

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Whoops! I missed a day of blogging, it was inevitable after having a bit of a work bender yesterday. I’m still cleansing it up and hanging tough with the program. Yesterday was definitely a challenging day. I worked around 14 hours, all told. I had around an hour break where I made myself a shake for dinner but didn’t include all of my cleanse powder.

I had to work last night and the double scoop of cleanse powder can be a serious game ender. It’s nice in the evening to have a shake and relax for a bit before going to bed. Instinctively I knew that I couldn’t handle that much cleansing powder last night, otherwise I completely stuck with the program. I had a great lunch that I brought to work in the afternoon. When I went to work in the evening I brought a little handful of almonds to pump a little protein in my body to keep my mind sharp. Those friendly almonds saved my tail last night, seriously.

Today even though I went to bed around one in the morning I feel alert and with it. I woke up bright and early and tidied my house a little, took a shower, got my shake ready for the morning, and headed back down to work.

Today is the day that will really test me: 3 shakes and total meal replacement.

Yeah, I can have a little snack: some avocado, maybe an orange, a handful of nuts if things get tough. In terms of this program, this is the belly of the beast. The shakes really are meals in and of themselves packed with enough protein and nutrients so that I feel like I ate a big boy breakfast afterward. Admittedly, when I smell Matty’s home fries sizzling in our iron skillet in the morning a small part of me wants to weep.

This is the nitty grit time of the cleanse, the uphill victory lap to glory. I’ve got exactly ten more days to do this amazing thing for my body. To see how I feel without wheat, most dairy (besides organic yogurt), sugar, soy, most nasty processed meats (that I don’t normally eat anyway), caffeine, and of course alcohol.

I feel great and I’m starting to notice not so subtle changes in my attitude, appearance, etc. There are times though when I just need to rest and lie down. I’m hoping I’ll get some time to do that in the middle of this week before my show preview on Friday night.

Written by Patrice Helmar

May 10, 2011 at 11:52 am

Mini Egg Muffin Bombs

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egg muffins

I recently saw a recipe online that was for a similar type of muffin. This recipe was a total experiment, and one that I will modify a bit if I made again. I’ve added an egg to the brown rice and quinoa mixture in the recipe below. My little muffin bombs were good as they are, but they didn’t completely hold together as I initially made them.

Dear Feedbaggers, I ask you to do some experimenting of your own and report back to me if this new untested but slightly modified recipe works a bit better. It’s a slightly unconventional food blogging request but one I’m going to make.

I feel comfortable enough with these muffin bombs to put them out into the world. They’re incredibly tasty, perfect for a healthy breakfast or snack. However, they may require a bit of cooling down before you remove them from the muffin pan. I found that they’re delicious after being refrigerated, almost like a tiny quiche with whole grain goodness.

– 3 eggs, 1 egg white
– 3/4 cup of plain yogurt or dairy free substitute
– 1 1/4 cup of coconut milk
– 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa
– 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice
– 1/2 cup of shredded zucchini
– 2 small diced green onions
– 1 stalk of broccoli, the stem peeled and diced as well as the florets
– Fresh mint, a sprig or two chiffonade cut
– Greek oregano
– sea salt & pepper to taste

– Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
– Spray your muffin tins with cooking spray or coat with olive oil
– In a large mixing bowl mix brown rice, quinoa, yogurt, and coconut milk
– Add chopped vegetables, mint, and season with Greek oregano and sea salt & pepper to taste
– Whisk 1 egg and add to mixture
– With a mixing spoon or clean hands, mix the ingredients well
– In a separate bowl, whisk 2 eggs and 1 egg white with a bit of sea salt & pepper to top muffin bombs
– Using a 12 muffin tin, spoon about 1 tablespoon of mixture into each mould
– Spoon a tablespoon or 2 of egg mixture on top of muffin bombs, evenly distributing egg onto muffin tops
– Bake muffins in pre-heated oven for 15 – 18 minutes
– Allow to cool and set before serving

Serving Suggestion: Enjoy for breakfast or as savory lunch, perfect with a simple green salad.

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Day 4 – Spring Cleanse

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Dog at sunset

Today feels easier and I think I’m noticing a difference in my energy level. It was difficult getting out of bed this morning but once I did I got my act together pretty quickly. I had hot lemon water with ginger this morning and I really think it helped me get kick started at work. I’m noticing some differences in my body with this whole wheat-free/dairy-free deal. My skin feels clearer already – knock on wood. I seriously haven’t had the PMS break-out happen which is awesome. I’m wondering what that could be in direct relation to: which of the foods I’ve eliminated are giving me a hard time in the clear skin department?

Also I’ve noticed that my body has felt a little achy. I’m assuming that this may be part of the detox process, bad stuff moving though my body and causing inflammation or something. I’m interested to see how I feel once we start making smoothies this Saturday, as week two of the cleanse begins.

Dolly and I had a nice beach walk during my afternoon break. Spring is quickly fast forwarding into the summer bustle. I’m trying to really enjoy the Gastineau channel before the summer season begins. Out Thane, flocks of birds skirted and scuttled their way down the beach and into the grey afternoon sky. The saltwater air felt good on my face as I watched Dolls tear off down the beach like a tiny greyhound, with her multi-colored hair streaming out behind her like wings.

I listened a few of my favorite songs on Buddy Tabor’s, “Earth & Sky” album on the way home and let Dolly stick her head out the window as we drove through town up towards our small house on the hill.

I started a nice pot of garbanzo bean stew in the slow cooker at home this morning that I’m excited to share the recipe for. I tasted the broth during lunch time and added a few more ingredients. I’ve got my fingers crossed that by the time I get off work, I’ll have a delicious cleanse worthy meal.

Written by Patrice Helmar

April 26, 2011 at 4:29 pm

28 Day Spring Detox Time!

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beach flowers

Dear Feedbag,

I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting you. I’ve been working so much with the legislative session that I’ve barely had time to wash my clothes, shower, and make my way down the stairs to work every morning. The session is dragging on in a special way but I’m back to Feedbag and embarking on a food journey.

My friend and Seattle/Everett area based nutritionist, Kathleen Bundy is leading a spring detox program. I’ve decided to join up with a couple of local friends and follow the 28 day journey to radness. Allow me to be honest here and admit that it’s rare that I go a day without feta cheese or some kind of wheat product.

I may or may not have been born holding a tiny piece of Greek feta cheese in my tiny 8 pound 6 ounce newborn hand. Another fun fact for those that may not know me in real life: I was born with a full head of hair, wearing a little tuxedo, and smoking a cigarette –> true story.

Here’s Kathleen’s description of what a day on the detox plan looks like:

“So what does a day of detox eating look like? Well, you may have already guessed, all processed foods, stimulants and major allergens are cut out of the diet. That means no coffee, gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, or yeast. The focus is on whole foods and intake is supplemented with meal replacement protein shakes. The shakes contain a protein and vitamin/mineral combination, a cleanse powder, greens, and fiber.

Holy shinto! No coffee folks, yes I’m going to let my true love soar like a dove into the sunset for 28 days. I’m not sure how I’ll feel without it, but I know that if you love something and set it free and it comes back to you, that it means something. In terms of coffee coming back, it may just mean I’m seriously addicted and in love with the stuff. I’ve lived my life without coffee before and been okay with it. What worries me more is saying goodbye to feta cheese.

Kathleen kindly wrote me that, “It’s not goodbye forever! that’s important to remember.. makes it a little easier.”

Still, during this 28 days it might be wise for me to stay away from drum circles and/or fire dancers.

I’m excited about this cleanse and coming up with veggie based, incredible recipes to go along with it. I’ll be eating a clean diet of lean organic antibiotic free meat/fish, vegetables, nuts, herbal tea, mineral water, and wheat-free whole grains. I’ll try to post a recipe and my thoughts & reflections once a day. It’s a time to be gentle and kind to my body and remind do something really amazing for myself. What’s good for the body is usually good for the soul. I’m excited to see how I feel and what I’ll discover along the way. I may include a food journal, some recipes from my Juneau homies on the detox, and additional information from our fearless leader, Kathleen along the way.

If you’re interested in learning more about the detox plan visit Kathleen’s site.

I think I’ll start the program on Saturday. I’m waiting for my supplements and shakes to arrive and trying to plan some healthy meals and gather some good food to help me along the way.

Wish me luck!

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Written by Patrice Helmar

April 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm