The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag

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

Posts Tagged ‘gluten 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

The Best Wheat Free Granola Bars, ever!

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Wheat Free Granola Bars

Going to school full time and working at a school makes meal planning difficult. Commuting to and from school for graduate school and student teaching makes meal planning essential. I always make my lunch in the morning or the night before. I don’t have time to leave school for a quick fix meal on the go during lunch time, so packing good food is important. I’ve noticed that on days that I go running, that my energy is pretty low after a full day of student teaching.

Have you guys seen the price of wheat free products? They’re ridiculous! Seriously, I can’t rationalize (or afford) paying seven dollars for a box of lame bars or cereal. I’m stubborn and I love whole foods. Which means that my life is a little more difficult, but often a lot more delicious.

I think these little granola bars are the perfect after school snack for days when I’m training for my first 10K run. I’m happy to report that this last week I was doing four mile runs!

My inspiration for these bars came from a recipe via All Recipes that I modified to suit my tastes and wheat free ways.

Don’t forget to cut these bad boys after letting them sit for a couple of minutes! If you don’t cut them into long rectangles, they’ll turn into one giant rad granola bar of goodness.

– 2 cups rolled oats
– 1/2 cup of maple syrup
– 1/2 cup of olive oil
– 1/2 cup of apple sauce
– 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon of allspice
– 1 teaspoon of nutmet
– 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF flour
– 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
– 1/4 cup of dried apricots, diced
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup of shredded coconut
– 1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped
– 1/2 cup of pecans, chopped
– 1 egg, beaten
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

– Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan (I used olive oil to grease my pan).

– In a large bowl, mix together the oats, spices, gluten free flour, raisins, apricots, pecans, walnuts and salt.

– Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients: pour in the maple syrup, apple sauce, beaten egg, oil and vanilla.

– Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

– Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges.

– Cool for 2 – 4 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm.

– Don’t let these bad boys cool to much before cutting.

Variations on a theme & serving suggestions: These granola bars are versatile, allowing for different ingredients. Imagine if you will peanut butter & chocolate chip granola bars, dried cherry & almond granola bars, or banana & walnut granola bars. All totally possible by tweaking a few things with this recipe.

These bars are so decadent you could serve them as a desert with a little scoop of sorbet or ice cream. Instant win!

Happy Eating!

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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Gluten & Dairy Free Chocolate Cookies

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gluten free vegan cookies

Dear Feedbag Readers,

I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting you. The past couple of months have been so busy it’s not even funny. I’ve stayed true to my new way of eating since my spring cleanse. I’m primarily dairy free (other than organic yogurt), gluten free, sugar free, and off the coffee. I think it’s kind of a miracle considering I’ve been working at a restaurant and going to grad school. I’m super excited about being a in a grad program – but when I get home from school and a restaurant shift the last thing I feel like doing is cooking.

These cookies have saved me on mornings where I don’t have time to make a healthy breakfast. I’ve had more than one morning when I wake up from only having a few hours of sleep after reading or working on a project all night. I grab a cookie and make a quick cup of green tea (maté is my favorite thing in the world right now) and head out to school. Initially, Matty put this recipe together as a hybrid of a recipe he found online and adapted. The original recipe is here.

I’m not such a fan of stevia and so instead we used bananas and a little honey as sweetener. Also, we added a few other ingredients, like raisins and shredded coconut which helped with the texture.

– 1 cup of brown rice flour
– 1 cup of garbanzo bean flour
– 1/2 cup of dutch cocoa powder
– 1 teaspoon of baking soda
– 3/4 teaspoon of salt
– 3/4 cup of coconut milk
– 1/2 cup of almond butter
– 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup of cashews
– 1/2 cup of raisins
– 2 bananas, mashed
– 5 teaspoons of honey
– 1/4 cup of shredded coconut


– Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

– In a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients, and then add the wet ingredients – saving the almond butter for last (as it’s the stickiest)

– Using two spoons, dish out cookies about two inches in diameter about an inch apart on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

– Bake for 10 – 15 minutes (you can check the doneness by using the old tried and true toothpick method – also your house will start to smell awesome!)

– Let these babies cool off a bit and eat warm or store in an airtight container for a quick treat on the go.

Serving Suggestion: For a totally decadent dessert serve with a scoop of Coconut Bliss Ice Cream and a homemade cup of chai!

Makes about 2 dozen radtastic cookies!!!

Written by Patrice Helmar

July 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm

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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Matty’s Caramelized Onion Hummus

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Matty's Hummus

My buddy Liz Gifford let me have a copy of a cool magazine she subscribes to called Ready Made. I’d never heard of the magazine but it had so many ideas for making neat things. I’ve thumbed through the magazine for the past few months looking at soap recipes and different cool d.i.y. projects. I kept coming back to a recipe for caramelized onion hummus that sounded amazing.

Matt is the master hummus maker in our house. Matty modified the recipe from the magazine and made one of the best bowls of hummus I’ve ever sampled. Caramelized onion hummus is better than putting a bow-tie on a french bulldog -> It’s the best thing ever. If you don’t like caramelized onions, there’s probably something wrong with you.

Make this hummus! It’s sooooooooooo good.

– 1 large medium onion (we used yellow)
– 3 Tbsp. olive oil
– 1 tsp. honey
– 4 to 5 garlic cloves, halved
– 1 can of garbanzo beans (rinsed & drained) or around 2 1/2 cups soaked & cooked
– 2 Tbsp. Tahini
– 1 lemon, juiced
– 1/4 cup of olive oil
– 2 1/4 Tbsp. plain yogurt
– sea salt & pepper to taste
– 1 Tbsp. Aleppo pepper for topping

– Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
– Add chopped onions and honey stir and cook for 10 minutes.
– Add garlic and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often.
– Remove onion, garlic, honey combo and let cool.
– While onion mixture is cooling use a food processor to combine the rest of the ingredients
– Add more olive oil or water for a creamier texture
– Add onion, garlic, honey mixture to bean mixture and process until smooth
– Let it hang in the fridge for a couple of hours to cool and get even more delicious.

Serving suggestion:
– Use this hummus as a creamy base for a salad dressing, eat it with carrots, rice cakes, or the traditional pita bread.