Lettuce Wraps

It's what's for lunch! Getting over the 'sandwich for lunch' habit is not easy. Because sandwiches are so easy - and there's so much variety in breads and fillings. My near-daily lunch has become a couple of lettuce wraps with a variety of different filling options. Quick.Easy.Healthy (!).Yummy.

Here's my lunch in process.

Here it is, ready to go.

Looks good, doesn't it? That particular wrap is simply tuna (I like it with a touch of dill and lemon) sprinkled with Greek Sheep Feta (everything's better with a sprinkle of Greek Sheep Feta :-)

Here are some ideas for lettuce wrap fillings. Start with your favorite spread on the lettuce:

  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise, or Vegenaise, etc.
  • Avocado
  • Fruit Spread
  • Chutney
  • Cream Cheese

Then add your lunch protein:
  • Sliced Chicken, Turkey, or other meat
  • Turkey, Chicken, or Tuna Salad
  • A Burger, crumbled up

Add other toppings:
  • Roasted Red Peppers or Roasted Tomatoes
  • Grated Carrots
  • Your favorite cheese

Then just wrap it up and enjoy your fabulous lunch. (I'll bet you're already thinking of your own ways to fill a lettuce wrap). I think it's time to go eat lunch now....

Lettuce tip: be careful not to buy lettuce that is too narrow. You have to have enough width to wrap ..... or be very careful eating :-) If it's too wide, you can always trim it.

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Wheat-Free Peach Crisp

This time of year I have no self-control when I'm at the market. Surrounded by summer fruit at the beginning of it's peak, I wish there was a way to take it home and keep it from going bad too quickly (expecially when it's 100 degrees outside). I just keep running around Whole Foods, throwing all kinds of fruit in my basket, knowing full well I'm not going to be able to eat it all. *Sigh*

I got home and looked what I thought was a lot of peaches - 5. Well - it is a lot for just me to eat, especially considering I also bought strawberries and nectarines and apricots.

So I decided to make a Peach Crisp. Another perfect summer dessert. This is it before it went into the oven. Kind of boring looking, isn't it?

This is it after it came out of the oven. This recipe can be made using any kind of fruit - it's really an all-season kind of thing. Keep in mind that I really like to taste the natural fruit, so I don't add too much sugar. You can adjust the amount of sugar to your preference.

Hey - there are blueberries in that Peach Crisp! Well it turns out 5 medium peaches wasn't quite enough, so I threw in some blueberries. They added a lovely flavor, but still not quite enough fruit. Even though it was not as "full" as I would have liked, the Crisp still tasted delicious. I will be picking up some vanilla frozen yogurt today which will then make a complete meal... I mean dessert.

Peach Crisp


  • 6-7 Ripe Peaches
  • 2-3 Tbs Arrowroot or Cornstarch or Potato starch
  • 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1/3 cup Sorghum flour (or Brown rice flour)
  • 1/2 cup Almond flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 6 Tbs. cold butter substitute (or butter)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 - 2 Tbs Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  1. Peel and slice peaches. Mix in the vanilla and little lemon juice (Use less if the peaches are very juicy).
  2. Mix in the Arrowroot/Cornstarch/Potato Starch to thicken a bit and set aside
  3. Mix together the sugars, oats, flours, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder and blend well with a whisk or fork
  4. Cut the cold butter into small pieces OR grate the butter into the dry ingredients and work it together with your hands to until it's crumbly.
  5. Sprinkle the mix liberally over the peaches
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes. Let it cool for a while after you take it out so the juices firm up. Serve alone or with Frozen Vanilla (fill-in-the-blank)

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Balancing Wheat-Free Flours

Wheat-free baking is not so hard. Really. The first thing you need to do is accept that your wheat-free baked goods will Never have the same texture of wheat-based baked goods. That said, I have found that if you play around with ingredients, you can sometimes get pretty darn close.

You can buy packaged wheat-free flours at Whole Foods and other health food stores that are ready to use, but they can be rather pricey. You can also find them on Amazon, but you usually need to buy a lot to get a good price. That's fine if you bake a lot (raise your hand if that's you!), but if you don't you'll have lots of flour sitting around. Most of these mixes have ingredients that keep well, so it shouldn't be a problem. Honestly though, I've never used a mix - but I'm sure some of them are good.

I've read a lot about combining your own flours to make wheat-free mixes. I've tried a few different combinations, and now have one that I use exclusively when a recipe calls for "wheat-free or gluten-free mix." Some recipes specify what flours to use, and that makes it easy. But when they don't, here's what I use:

  • 1 part Sorghum Flour
  • 1 part Rice Flour (white or brown)
  • 1/2 part Potato Starch (Not Potato Flour
  • 1/2 part Tapioca Starch or Flour

I usually make a bunch and keep it on hand. For example, I'll do 3 cups of Rice flour, 3 cups of Sorghum flour, 2 cups of Potato starch, and 1 cup of Tapioca flour. I whisk it together and keep it available for when I want to bake a goodie.

Bob's Red Mill is a company that makes a lot of these flours. Many stores carry this brand. I find Sorghum flour is hard to find locally, so I usually order a box from Whole Foods. It keeps well.

Other flours I've had success with include Oat flour and Almond flour. Almond flour can be expensive, especially if it's made from blanched almonds (better tasting, IMO). You can make your own by blanching almonds and removing the skin - and then chopping them in a food processor until they are very fine (but not quite almond butter, please!). Time consuming, but easy. I just bought some Coconut flour that I thought I would play with. It's not likely I will use it a lot, because it is ridiculously expensive. But I'm curious to try it.

There are other ingredients that are helpful in wheat-free baking that are not typical household staples, like Xanthan Gum, which helps improve the texture of baked goods. Xanthan Gum is not a chemical (even though it sounds like it!). It's a natural substance. It is pricey, at about $10.00 for an 8-oz bag, but you generally only use 1-2 tsp at a time, so it lasts a long time. It needs to be refrigerated.

I hope this information is helpful if you're interested in experimenting with wheat-free baking. There a lots of other wheat-free flours out there to try. My experience has been that this type of baking is actually very forgiving - so you can play around with different types of flours that sound good to you, and probably get good results!

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No Baking Required

The joys of summer fruit, also known as What To Do When You Buy Too Much. Papaya, Cherries, Peaches, Blueberries. A little bowl of heaven. No recipe required.

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Wheat-Free Strawberry Muffins

Like many of you, I've been collecting recipes for years. But now with the open and free exchange online from food blogs and forums everywhere, it's simply gotten out of control. I spend a lot of time looking at recipes and pictures of food, trying out some as they are, and modifying some to meet my taste.

This recipe is an original. It's the peak of strawberry season, and I happened to have a lot of strawberries that needed to be consumed sooner rather than later. Having played with a lot of 'wheat' recipes to make them wheat-free, with some success, I felt I could make the leap to an original recipe and turn these strawberries into something wonderful (before they.....ummm....rotted). Oh - and if it matters to you, this recipe uses all gluten-free ingredients.

I love baking muffins and quick breads. You can take a basic recipe, and change it up on a whim, adding whatever ingredients suit your mood. This is one of those recipes - add blueberries, raspberries, cherries. Go ahead - get crazy! Me - I'm all about the dark chocolate!

They baked up wonderfully, and the extras did great in the freezer. I think if you didn't know, you couldn't even tell they are wheat-free.

Makes about 18 regular sized muffins.


  • 2 + cups fresh ripe strawberries, diced
  • 3 cups wheat-free mix (see note below)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Xanthun Gum
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cups chopped pecans, optional
  • chopped up chocolate or chocolate chips, optional
  • 2-3 Tbs milk, as needed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease muffin tins or use paper liners. Spray paper liners with cooking spray.
  1. Dice strawberries, and place in medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine wheat-free flour mix, sugars, cinnamon, salt and baking soda, baking powder, and Xanthun Gum in large bowl: mix well.
  3. Blend applesauce, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Add to flour mixture. If batter is too thick add a little milk to thin slightly.
  4. Add strawberries to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in optional pecans and/or chocolate. Divide batter into muffin tins.
  5. Bake for 18 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Remove muffins to rack to cool.
Relax. Pour tea. Eat muffin.

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