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Gluten-Free Recipes

Gluten-Free Recipe of the Week

Pavlovas (Cream-Filled Meringues)

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Pavlovas are Australian in origin and supposedly were created for Anna Pavlova, a famous ballerina. It is like a meringue, but while a meringue is meant to be dry and crispy throughout, a pavlova should have a crisp outside and have marshmallow texture within.

Pavlovas can be made a day or so in advance, as long as you store them airtight. Do not attempt to make this recipe in humid or rainy weather, or in a kitchen where you have just been boiling pasta. The air will be too moist. 


  • 3 extra large egg whites or 4 large egg whites (egg substitute won’t work)
  • 1 cup regular sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp white wine vinegarGluten-Free Pavlova
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • whipped cream (recipe for homemade whipped cream below)
  • fresh fruit, i.e. sliced strawberries, peaches, blueberries (optional)
  • chocolate sauce (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Draw an 8” circle on parchment paper and place paper on a baking sheet.

3. In a totally clean and grease-free bowl (preferably glass or metal), whisk egg whites until very stiff. Add half the sugar and beat until mix forms peaks again. Beat in remaining sugar until mix forms peaks again.

4. Add vanilla, vinegar and cornstarch. Beat again to peaks.

5. Spoon out the meringue onto the prepared sheet and spread to cover the circle. Pile the meringue up around the edges to form a case, and form little swirls on outside edges.

6. Bake in the oven for about 1-1/4 hours, until firm. When cooked properly, the meringue should easily lift up from the parchment paper. If it still seems sticky, cook for a longer period of time, and checking every 5 minutes. You can also check by cutting a very small piece from outside edge to see if the middle is still marshmallow like. The meringue will expand slightly and might look cracked and should remain very pale, golden brown. 

7. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove from parchment paper.

8. Fill with whipped cream flavored with gluten-free liqueur, or plain cream with fruit. To make your own, combine 1 cup heavy or whipping cream, 1 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp gluten-free liqueur. Whip until stiff.

9. Drizzle chocolate sauce around the plate and lightly over the pavlovas. Enjoy!

Tips/Alternatives: Fill the pavlova with cream/fruit only about 1 hour before serving. That gives time for the topping to soften the crisp outer layer of the pavlova, so when you eat it, the marshmallowy inside and cream topping merge together.

Pavlovas can be served with any filling - lemon curd, raspberry, blueberry or chocolate sauce, fresh fruit and freshly whipped cream - so choose your favorite!

For a variation, pipe or spoon the meringue into 8-10 large round mounds that are 3 inches wide on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner. With the back of a spoon, create an indentation in the middle of the mound for holding the filling once meringue is baked.

You can also draw a 3-4” heart shaped outline on the parchment paper and fill in shape with a spoon of mix or pipe mix into outline with a piping bag and decorative pipe. (See picture)

In this case, reduce oven temperature to 250°F. Bake small pavlovas for 50-60 minutes, or until the meringues are crisp, white (not tan), dry to the touch on the outside, and barely cracked. The interiors should have a marshmallow-like consistency. Check on meringues at least once during the baking time. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking too much, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn the pan around.

Tags: Dessert

Shrimp, Lobster and Herbed Cucumber Salad

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Although I am not of Lithuanian descent, I have taught Lithuanian cooking classes for many years and spent a month in the capital city, studying Lithuanian food and culture. This is my favorite of various recipes I have seen or tasted. I like the clean, fresh taste. Sometimes I go overboard with the dill and it tastes a bit bitter, so beware!

Lobster transforms this salad into a celebration meal fit for a wedding, but feel free to leave out the fish. It works just as nicely as a vegetarian cucumber salad. If using shrimp, go for overall quality rather than fresh vs. frozen. 


  • 1 European/English seedless cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and cut into ½-inch cubes. You can also thinly slice the cucumber.
  • 3-4 tsp hot pepper jelly (optional)Gluten-Free Shrimp and Lobster Salad
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream (full fat is most traditional, but you can use lite sour cream)
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill or more to taste, plus additional dill for garnish
  • 2 tbsp chopped green of green onions
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ½ lb cooked, shelled shrimp
  • 1/4-1/2 lb lobster tail or claw meat


1. Melt the hot pepper jelly in the microwave in a 2 c jug or bowl for about 15 seconds, then stir in the sour cream with the salt, dill, parsley, green onions, pepper and sugar.  Add the cucumber and mix well. The pepper jelly gives a slight bite to the salad and the sugar in the jelly mellows the acidity.

2. Add shrimp and some of the lobster chopped.  Keep the nicest whole pieces of lobster as a garnish.  Taste for seasoning.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

3. Stir and sprinkle with additional dill to serve.  Scoop portions of salad onto either complete Romaine lettuce leaves or cups of Bibb lettuce. Garnish with slices of lobster tail or complete piece of claw meat.  Serve with tiny fingerling potatoes and a tomato bruschetta salad or carrot salad for more color.

Tips/Alternatives: Some recipes add chopped hard boiled egg, horseradish and mustard to this recipe. Also try smoked trout, fresh trout or smoked salmon instead of the shrimp.  You can, of course, make this without the fish as an excellent cucumber salad.

Apart from the sour cream version above, I love making this with crème fraiche. You can also make it with half lemon yogurt and half lite mayo. I don't recommend using non-fat sour cream. Calorie totals vary by brand, but as a rough guide:

  • 1 cup lite sour cream is 280 calories,
  • 1 cup mix of gluten-free lemon yogurt and lite mayo is 380 calories
  • 1 cup of crème fraiche is 540 calories. (I make my own crème fraiche with a 50/50 mix of heavy cream and lite sour cream, warmed and left to thicken)

The traditional recipe adds 1-2 tbsp capers for an extra pickled flavor.

Tags: Lunch, Dinner

Yogurt Cheese

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering


  • 2 lb. of low fat, plain Greek yogurt - drained (Draining instructions are below.  Yogurt must be drained 24 hours in advance of preparing the recipe.) Yogurt Cheese
  • Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. of salt – to your taste
  • Good grinding of fresh pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green of green onion or chives
  • Fresh celery leaves from a bunch of celery, finely chopped.



  1. Spoon yogurt into at least 3 coffee filters.
  2. Place the yogurt and coffee filters in a colander and place a plate on top that fits inside the colander to press down on the yogurt. 
  3. Then, place something that weighs about 3 lbs. on top of the plate (a few soup cans will work).
  4. Rest colander on the rim of an 8 cup bowl and leave to drain for 24 hours in refrigerator.


  1. Mix all ingredients together, taste and adjust seasoning. Refrigerate and use instead of cream cheese on bagels, as a dip with vegetables, scoop into tiny balls and place on salad, stirred into recipes in place of cream.  Add cooked salad shrimp to make a dip.

Tip from Oonagh: Think of adding different herbs, chopped vegetables etc. to each of the drained coffee filters.  You can try these combinations of ingredients as well to change up the flavor of the yogurt cheese:

  • Cilantro with roasted red pepper and hot chili
  • Basil and chopped sun dried tomato
  • Lemon thyme, basil, artichokes, add oregano and/or mint
  • Lots more honey, cinnamon, chopped nuts and raisins
  • Chopped fresh spinach and chopped cooked bacon
Tags: Appetizers/Snacks

Antipasto Platter

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Gluten-free Antipasto Platter

This is one of my favorite appetizers for parties. Simply arrange the following on a nice platter or tray.

Sliced Italian meats - My supermarket carries two brands of Italian-style sliced meats, labeled gluten-free and in sealed packaging (no need to worry about a deli slicer). One brand even offers a packet of a variety of salamis that are excellent for an antipasto platter.

Artichokes - I don’t buy the jars of marinated artichokes, I find they are far too vinegary for my taste, so I prefer to drain a jar of regular, in brine, quartered artichoke hearts and leave them in homemade vinaigrette or a store-bought gluten-free Italian dressing that’s not too vinegary.

Freshly roasted red bell peppers - I roast my own in the oven or on the barbecue instead of buying the jars. Once you have tasted freshly roasted bell peppers, you won’t go back to the jars. I also marinate small balls of mozzarella in the same homemade vinaigrette so the background flavors are the same.

Pickled onions - Being British, we love pickled onions with cheese and French bread.  Unfortunately, the pickled onions I used to eat are made with malt vinegar, so we can’t eat that anymore. I make my own:

1. Peel a red or Vidalia onion, quarter it, thinly slice, and separate the slices. 

2. Place onion slices in a glass jar and cover with apple cider vinegar (you can also use red or white wine vinegar). Add ½-1 teaspoon of salt and some pickling spice, if you have it.

3. Cover the jar with non-reactive lid and let set until you’re ready to eat.

Marinated mushroomsSee recipe here.

Gluten-free crostini See recipe here.

Tags: Appetizers/Snacks

Avocado, Mango and Shrimp Salad

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

This dish goes great on a bed of lettuce as its own meal or used as a side dish with grilled salmon, tilapia, etc. You can also keep it simple and serve in a bowl with gluten-free tortilla chips.

Shrimp Avocado and Mango Salad with Goat Cheese


1-2 ripe, sweet mangoes

3/4–1 lb. fresh, sweet pineapple with skin attached, prepared

Green tops of 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 Tbsp. hot pepper jelly

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large ripe but firm avocado, prepared

½ lb. cooked salad shrimp

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Pinch of salt

Add oregano, lemon, thyme, basil for different flavors


1. To prepare the mango: Stand the mango upright with the pointed end up, slice down either side of the flat inner stone to get two pieces like small shoulder pads.  Using a sharp knife carefully cut through the flesh to the skin in a “tic tac toe” pattern. Press the middle of the skin one direction while pushing the edges in the opposite direction (turning it inside out).  This makes the mango pieces stand individually upright so you can cut them off the skin with a sharp knife or scoop them with a spoon.  Return to the semi-peeled mango and follow the curve of the stone to cut off the remaining skin/flesh in two pieces. Cut these pieces away from skin.

2. To prepare the pineapple: I buy the semicircular pieces of fresh golden pineapple. Cut off the skin, remove core and any bits of “eyes” still left in flesh. Normally the pineapple needs to be cut in half through the length of the slice, and then cut into small pieces.

3. Put pepper jelly into a 3-4 cup mixing bowl and microwave for 10-20 seconds to melt the jelly. Add lime juice, lime rind, cilantro (if using), olive oil, onions and salt. Mix well. Stir in shrimp.

4. Stir in mango and pineapple. Taste now if you want but in only one hour the salsa will blend and mellow to a very different flavor with no ‘raw’ taste.

5. Prepare and add avocado just prior to serving, as it will darken. Halve the avocado and remove the stone. Cut down through the flesh to the skin in slices. Then cut crosswise to make a “tic tac toe” pattern so the end result is small, diced pieces of avocado. Insert a serving spoon between skin and flesh and ease out the cubes of avocado. Add avocado to mango and shrimp. 

Tags: Lunch, Dinner, Dairy-Free

Blueberry Lemon Crumb Cake

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Blueberry Lemon Crumb Cake

This is based on a wheat-flour recipe from a local farm stand in New Hampshire. It’s one of those recipes that requires only ingredients you probably already have and plenty of fresh fruit.  I made it with a mix of fresh strawberries, peaches and blueberries, then I made a version with just blueberries.  In New Hampshire, we can get tiny Maine wild blueberries, but regular blueberries are fine. If you use frozen berries, the cooking time will be significantly longer and the cake far moister. Note that if you use a strong gluten-free flour with lots of brown rice or bean flour, it will be dryer and you will need to add 1-2 Tbsp. more buttermilk. I put this quantity in 1 x 9” cake pan and next time divided it between the 2x8” shallow holes of a Wilton Giant whoopie pie pan.  In New Hamshire, we can easily buy fresh buttermilk, not processed.

For an egg-free version, I have used a substitute of 1+1/2 Tbsp. water, 1+1/2 Tbsp. oil, and 1+1/2 tsp. baking powder as a 1 egg substitution in addition to ingredients below.  I find it's more of a shortbread style finish not a cake.  This recipe can be easily made dairy-free as well.


  • 2 oz .(½ stick) soft butter or substitute
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup gluten-free flour
  • 2 Tbsp. almond meal
  • 1 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. xanthan gum
  • 2 Tbsp. Oil (I used regular olive oil)
  • ¼ cup buttermilk (add 1 tsp. lemon juice to almond milk etc. for dairy-free)
  • Zest of ½-1 lemon
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (roughly half of a 1 pint shell)


Mix together:

  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 375* and grease pan.
  2. Place all cake ingredients except blueberries in bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes until creamy and fluffy.  If the mixture looks too stiff add 1-2 Tbsp. more buttermilk.
  3. Scrape into greased pan and smooth surface.  Sprinkle blueberries evenly on top.
  4. Top with crumb topping.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until risen and golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven, let cool and then serve.  We often use vanilla yogurt instead of whipped cream or ice cream.
Tags: Dessert

Quinoa Peanut Soup (Sopa de Mani)

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Quinoa Peanut Soup

EatingWell said, “This spicy vegetable, quinoa and peanut soup recipe is a modern take on a traditional Bolivian soup recipe called Sopa de Mani. Serve this healthy quinoa soup recipe as a starter or make it a heartier meal by adding diced cooked chicken or turkey breast to the soup.”

I saw this on in March/April 2013 as part of a series of quinoa recipes.  It was similar to a recipe I make with brown rice, curry and peanut butter, so I married the recipes. They used hot sauce like Tabasco, but you can use whatever you like and can tolerate.  This only has a slight bite of heat, not runny nose and tingling lips. They used just a regular potato, but I use frozen butternut squash since I like the way it disintegrates to a smooth and creamy soup base. I have also made it with sweet potato which is better nutritionally than a regular potato. Quinoa is a naturally gluten-free, usually also labeled organic and therefore non-gmo, and is a grain from South America known as a “super grain” or “mother of all grains.” It contains all the essential amino acids and is high in protein and fiber. I find it is cheapest at Costco's.  The price has rocketed in recent years. Do make sure to rinse it in a sieve with tiny holes before use even if the packet says pre-rinsed.  It has a chemical smell from the naturally occurring insect repellent known as saponin that needs rinsing off. We happily eat this on its own for dinner just with some bread.

For Halloween, use the sweet potato and perhaps food coloring to make it orange-y colored.  Think of adding some canned, solid pack pumpkin. Far too often in New Hampshire, Halloween is very cold or rainy so a bowl of spicy hot soup would be ideal. Serve it in a pumpkin ceramic tureen or hollow out small or large pumpkins. And remember garlic keeps the vampires away.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 medium to large carrots, peeled and chopped into small dice
  • 2 stalks of celery, washed, quartered lengthwise and cut into ½ inch pieces.  
  • ½ x 20 oz. bag of frozen, cubed butternut squash or 1 sweet potato peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.  (My local market in New Hampshire normally carries frozen butternut squash, but I know it's not so easily available in warmer states all year.)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (Rinse it well before using.  I do this even if packaging says pre-washed.)
  • 1 tsp. Penzeys smoked paprika (has flavor and gives a slight bite. Cans of Szego paprika in the grocery store are almost tasteless.)
  • 1 tsp. Penzeys Arizona Dreaming, slightly spicy, tasty, salt-free seasoning (ancho, chipotle, jalapeňo, cocoa, smoke flavoring, onion, garlic, lemon, red pepper)
  • 6 cups gluten-free vegetable broth or reduced-sodium gluten-free chicken broth or water plus gluten-free chicken stock concentrate.
  • 1 cup Asian-style coconut milk or whole 15 oz can.  (Do not use piňa colada coconut milk, it is full of sugar which tastes really strange with a soup.)
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into small dice
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (I like crunchy for texture. You can use another nut butter or you can leave out nut butter altogether. It's still good.)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, carrots, celery, sweet potato or squash, quinoa, smoked paprika, and Arizona dreaming, then add stock. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is cooked and the vegetables are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Depending on how well the lid fits on saucepan, the soup might have evaporated more or still be runny after cooking for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Soup will be thick, stir in coconut milk.
  4. Stir in red bell pepper and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes more. Stir in peanut butter until it is combined into the soup. Peanut butter will thicken soup more. Remove from heat.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning.  I normally don't add extra salt, but do add ordinary pepper or more hot seasonings to your taste. I've also served this with some chopped cooked chicken on top, or some spicy sausage, turkey drumstick (but quinoa and peanut butter are protein rich anyway).
  6. I had leftover baby zucchini to use up so I added two of them cut into small dice with the coconut milk. Think of adding a handful of chopped (frozen) spinach.
Tags: Soups/Stews, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free

Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Refrigerate:  1 hour
Cook Time:  6 minutes
Makes 8 appetizer servings.


  • 1/2 cup Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tbsp.Thai Kitchen Premium Fish Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh lemon grass
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch strips
  • Bamboo skewers
  • 1/2 cup Thai Kitchen Peanut Satay Sauce


  1. Mix coconut milk, fish sauce, curry paste and lemon grass in small bowl until well blended. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; toss to coat well.
  2. Refrigerate 1 hour or longer for extra flavor. Remove chicken from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Thread chicken strips onto skewers.
  3. Broil or grill over medium-high heat 3 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with Peanut Satay Sauce for dipping.

Thai Kitchen Tip:  Soak bamboo skewers thoroughly in water for at least 30 minutes before threading with chicken. This prevents them from burning when on the grill.


Tags: Dinner, Dairy-Free

Raspberry White Balsamic Vinaigrette

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Raspberry White Balsamic Vinaigrette

I used this on a salad with fresh Brie, caramelized almonds, fresh raspberries and peaches (nectarines, mangoes.) Drizzle on grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon.


  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 55 g) raspberries fresh or frozen – measure frozen before thawing
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml)  raspberry balsamic vinegar + 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) white Balsamic vinegar or 3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar.
  • 3 Tbsp. (45ml) olive oil
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) gf Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. (15ml) raspberry jam or jelly
  • 1 roasted garlic clove or pinch of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Note: I find balsamic vinegar has a more mellow flavor.


  1. I put everything in scrupulously clean jam jar and mash the raspberries.  Or use an immersion blender.
  2. You can also add 1-3 tsp. poppy seeds
  3. You can also add sour cream or plain yogurt to make a creamy dressing.  Start at 1 Tbsp. and taste.
  4. Add some green of green onion, fresh parsley. (A friend used dried onions, but I didn't like them.)

Remember that all ingredients will differ in flavor according to brands, and your taste can differ to mine, so taste.

Remember when you refrigerate the dressing, the olive oil will solidify like melted, chilled butter.  Let it come to room temperature before serving.

Tags: Appetizers/Snacks, Side Dishes

Salad with Strawberries (Nectarines, Peaches) and Goat Cheese Dressing

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Strawberry Salad

I’m not a fan of a strong tasting goat cheese.  This is how I make this recipe, but your taste will be different from mine and your goat cheese could be stronger.  Using different herbs and olive oils will all make a difference to the final taste. 

It is so easy to grow fresh herbs in containers, even on an apartment balcony and bring them in for the winter in the north. Try it - the flavors added are wonderful. I grow parsley, chives, thyme, lemon thyme, rosemary, sage, basil, Thai basil, oregano and my own lettuce. My students love being able to crush the fresh herbs, smell them and then taste the difference they make to a recipe.


  • 4 oz. (roughly 1/2 cup) plain goat cheese.  Far too many of the cheeses that contain herbs, are only dried herbs and they really don't taste the same as fresh.
  • At least 1/4 cup of milk or cream to thin down the goat cheese so it is pourable.  I’m not a fan of a thick dressing.
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1-2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives or green of a thin green onion. Thick green onions are too strong.
  • I like to add some fresh celery leaves when I have fresh celery – about 1 Tbsp.


  1. Mix all together, taste and then refrigerate for at least one hour.  Then taste and decide to add more herbs, thin dressing a bit more, add a little fresh lemon juice or white balsamic vinegar.  I also like to add fresh lemon thyme that goes well with fish, some chopped basil or spicy Thai basil or cilantro.
  2. The basic parsley and chives dressing goes well with salad greens and strawberries.  Add different herbs on just salad greens, leave thicker and use different herbs as a sauce for fish, chicken etc. Some markets sell mixed packs of fresh herbs so you can experiment. Farmers markets often have a selection of herbs you can buy.

About Chef Oonagh

Chef Oonagh's son was diagnosed with celiac disease over 5 years ago with no previous symptoms.  She has non-celiac gluten sensitivity ('gluten sensitivity') and also has cousins with celiac disease. 'Like' Chef Oonagh at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook where she posts links to her recipes, her Delicious Gluten Free Cooking cookbook (over 200 pages), appearances on the local ABC station, products, her classes, and where you can meet her when she speaks at conferences nationwide. E-mail at [email protected]. Chef Oonagh has a culinary arts degree, trained in London and Switzerland and lives in New Hampshire.

Tags: Lunch, Appetizers/Snacks, Side Dishes
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