Category Archives: Recipe

Gluten Free Matzo Balls (kneidlach) and Soup

Matzo ball soup is at the core if every Passover Seder. Without matzo ball soup, it just isn’t a true Passover meal. Traditional matzo balls are made with “matzo meal.” Matzo meal is finely ground matzo, which just so happens to be made of flour.

Matzo balls are served in a simple chicken soup, which is naturally gluten free. But gluten free matzo balls? That’s a different story which required a great deal of experimentation, trial, and error.

To make matzo balls gluten free, the main ingredient, matzo meal, must be replaced. We found that matzo meal is quite heavy, whereas most gluten free flours are very light. This made making the gluten free matzo balls round in shape especially difficult.

We decided to focus on flavor over form:

Gfnoms’ mom tried many different recipes, including recipes we found online that utilized almond flour. These seemed promising because almond flour is one of the heavier gluten free flours. And indeed, the matzo balls made with almond flour were easy to shape into round balls, and they tasted fine –but not quite right. The almond flavor was strong and introduced a very “non-traditional” taste to the matzo balls that we didn’t love.

But Gfnoms’ mom didn’t give up. She wanted to find a gluten free matzo ball recipe that would taste like the traditional matzo balls that everyone else at the table would be enjoying. So she kept trying, and tasting, and trying again.

The matzo balls made with a gluten free flour mix (we used the Trader Joe’s brand mix) were the closest in taste to the traditional matzo balls but they were much harder to shape. In the end, we decided that flavor was more important than shape, so after trying nearly 10 different recipes, this is our recommendation for your gluten free passover matzo balls:

GF Matzo Balls!

Gluten Free Matzo Balls

Recipe is for ~15 matzo balls

3 medium eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1-2 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup Gluten Free flour mix (we used a Trader Joe’s brand but most store-bought gluten free flour mixes such as Bob’s Red Mill should work)

  • Mix together the eggs and the oil
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Add this mixture to the flour, mixing well with a fork
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before proceeding
  • Heat soup stock to a boil and drop shaped spoonfuls of batter in.
    • *Note: If the batter is too wet or runny to shape with your hands, use 2 teaspoons: one to scoop the batter and the other to drop the batter into the soup.
  • Make sure the matzo balls do not stick to the bottom of the pot. If they do, release them with a large spoon.
  • Let the balls float.
  • Cover the pot, lower the heat to a low simmer, and cook for 30-40 minutes.

*Note: Do not cook the matzo balls in the soup that will be served as it will get cloudy. Instead, use other chicken or vegetable stock (or even salted water in a pinch!)

The matzo balls will taste best if they are prepared on the same day that they are served. Transfer the cooked and hot matzo balls to your chicken soup (recipe below) and enjoy your seder.

Chicken Soup

This is a simple and tasty recipe that will be even better a day or two after it is cooked.

8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed (or equivalent amount of chicken and bones from other parts of the chicken.)
1 onion
1 peeled potato
6 celery stalks (use the stalks with leaves)
10 carrots, peeled
3 zucchini, unpeeled
1/3 bunch of Italian parsley
1/3 bunch of dill
3 bay leaves
14 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Remove the skin from the chicken and place in a large soup pot.
  • Add the clean vegetables, whole, to the pot
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and add the water.
  • Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
  • After the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for another 2 hours.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • The soup is ready when all of the vegetables are soft.

Happy passover!


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Falafel is one of the most popular meals in the middle east. It can be found on almost every street corner. Falafel is usually eaten out of a pita pocket, but thankfully for the gluten free community, many people enjoy their falafels on a plate, with the pita bread on the side or not at all. Gluten free pita is hard to find in Seattle and we have only found good gluten free pitas in natural groceries in the middle east. A falafel meal is delicious and filling with or without the GF pita! Falafel balls are made from a mix of garbanzo beans, spices, and herbs. They make for an excellent gluten free dish year round.


Typically, the falafel balls are topped with variety of salads and sauces. Tahini, hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pickles are our favorite additions.

(This recipe makes 20-30 falafel balls)
1 lbs (or about 2 ¼ cups) garbanzo beans soaked overnight*
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
1/2 bunch Italian parsley leaves
7-10 garlic cloves
1 small onion
1 small jalapeño
Vegetable oil (for frying)
A few tbsp of chickpea flour if needed

*Soaking garbanzo beans or chickpeas:

  • Soak 1 lb of picked over dried chickpeas in water (enough to cover) for 12 hours
  • Drain before using

Note that old chickpeas will not soften regardless of how long you soak them, so if the dried chickpeas are over a year old, toss them and buy a new batch!

1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp cumin
1/2-3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2-3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 Tbs salt
Dash of cardamom, nutmeg, and ground cloves


In a food processor, pulse the soaked beans with the cilantro and parsley. Add the spices, mixing well and pulsing in the food processor but still keeping a coarse consistency.

This falafel mix can be used immediately or it can be frozen and kept for up to 2-3 months. If you freeze the mix, let it thaw completely before proceeding with the next steps:

  • In a small deep pot, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil.
  • Create small balls of the falafel mix and drop them into the pot.
  • Deep fry uncovered for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

A note on forming the falafel balls before frying: if the mix is too soft, and the falafel balls won’t form into balls, sprinkle some chickpea flour into the mix and try forming falafel balls again. Repeat if necessary. If the mix becomes too dry, add a few teaspoons of water.

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Zucchini Garbanzo Bean Salad


Zucchini Garbanzo Bean Salad

8-10 servings

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s book “Jerusalem: A Cookbook”

A family BBQ was planned for Sunday and I knew that I would be gone for most of the day, so I had to do all of my preparations in advance.

I decided to make a salad that combines both cooked and raw ingredients. The cooked ingredients were prepared in advance, and the raw vegetables and dressing were added just before serving.

3 zucchini, cubed
⅓ cup dry garbanzo beans (or 1 can of garbanzo beans)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
extra virgin olive oil

1 pepper, cubed
10-12 radishes, cut
1 small red onion, cubed
6 -8 oz feta cheese, cubed

5 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
Lemon rind
1 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Soak the garbanzo beans overnight submerged in water and (GF) baking soda
  2. The next day, cook the garbanzo beans in clean water for about 30 minutes, or until soft. Drain. Heat a frying pan on medium heat and cover the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil. Add the  cardamom, allspice, cumin, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Pour garbanzo beans into the spices and fry over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring well.
  3. Sautée the zucchini: add just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan and heat well. Fry zucchini cubes about 5 minutes over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned but still somewhat firm.  Set aside to cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. When ready to serve: combine all dressing ingredients into a jar and shake well. (The dressing can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve).
  5. Just before serving, combine zucchini, fresh vegetables and cheese. Pour dressing, mix well.
  6. Warm garbanzo beans to room temperature and add to the salad.

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Almond Cookies and Nut Cake

It is my pleasure to introduce a new contributor to GFNoms’ own mother has decided to share her successes in gluten free baking and cooking with all of you. Ever since I started eating gluten free, she has been inspired to combine her wealth of cooking and baking knowledge with new information about Celiac needs and experimentation with gluten free ingredients. There have been triumphs and failures but the triumphs have been delicious and we look forward to sharing the recipes and insights here!

— GFNoms

Here she is:

Gluten free cooking is easy if you use regular recipes which naturally do not contain wheat, barley, or rye products. Stick to raw ingredients and use GF versions of ingredients such as spice mixtures, mayonnaise, soy sauce, yogurt, mustard etc …) and your food will be GF.

Some recipes that call for flour or other gluten-containing ingredients can be still made by replacing ingredients, but this requires some trial and error.

I’ll post gluten free recipes as I use them in my daily routine, based on my personal events, such as celebrating holidays, hosting guests, social gatherings, etc …

So please join my kitchen!

This weekend we are having guests come to stay with us. I do not know exactly what the plans are, so I’ll prepare some cakes and cookies that go well with coffee, tea, or a glass of wine.

Nut cake with dried fruit

 Nut and fruit cake

I have had this recipe for many years and I originally got it from my sister-in-law. I simply exchanged the regular flour with almond flour. The results were even tastier. The cake does tend to crumble a bit more, so be extra careful when slicing the cake.

3 eggs
1 cup almond flour / meal
3/4 tsp GF baking powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs cognac
7 oz (or 200 grams) mixed raw nuts such as pecans or walnuts coarsely chopped
12 oz (or 350 grams) dried fruit coarsely chopped (I used dried cranberries, apricots, and cherries)

Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Grease a loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom and all 4 walls of the pan with parchment paper.

Transfer the dough to the pan and bake for around 50 minutes in a 350 degree oven. When the cake is nice and brown and a toothpick comes out dry, take it out of the oven.

Let the cake cool thoroughly.

Remove from the pan with the help of the parchment paper. Peel away the paper and cut into thin slices with a sharp knife.

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Fluffy Almond Cookies

photo 4

(makes ~24 cookies)

9 oz (or 250 grams) almond flour or meal
7 oz (or 200 grams) powdered sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp almond extract
2 egg whites

Mix all of the dry ingredients

Beat the egg whites until they form peaks.

Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites and mix well.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Drop teaspoonfuls heaps of dough on the cookie sheet, leaving some space between each (the cookies will spread)

Place one sliced, preferably peeled almond on each cookie (see photo).

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the cookies are flat and golden.

Let the cookies cool before removing them from the parchment paper.

Store in an airtight box.

–GFNoms’ Mom

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Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl

This dish has made its way into our rotation and has become a favorite of mine! The fact that it is healthy is an added bonus! This recipe can also be done with a brown or wild rice, but we’ve found that quinoa is best.

The quinoa:

1 cup dry rinsed quinoa
1 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock

Bring quinoa and water to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes with the lid still on. Fluff gently with a fork and let cool.

The salad:

1/2 a cucumber, peeled and seeds removed. Cut into small cubes or chunks
1/2 package Tempeh cut into small cubes (gluten free)
1/2 – 3/4 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup kalamata olives cut into small quarters
1 – 1 1/2 lemons 
2 – 3 cups (or really, just a couple of handfuls) raw spinach cut in pieces
2 medium cloves of garlic
Olive oil for sauteing
3 tablespoons gluten reduced sodium free Tamari.

*note: some tempeh is not gluten free. Check the ingredients carefully! We like the Westsoy Original Tempeh

Saute garlic in olive oil. Once slightly brown, add the spinach and saute until completely wilted. Saute tempeh in tamari until it is brown. If the pan gets completely dry add another small splash of tamari.

Combine all of the ingredients together and squeeze the lemon. Mix. You may need to add a bit of salt and more lemon at the end. Eat warm or cold! 

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Fall Vegetable Curry

Turns out I’m not much of a blogger. But if at first you don’t succeed …. I forget the rest. But here’s a list of some places I have reviewed on Yelp.

No fun stories this time, just what we ate for dinner last night! And I should also note, that I am not a very good food photographer, and all I have is a lousy iPhone.

Here’s what you need and what to do:

Fall Vegetable Curry

1 ½ cups sweet potato diced (small)

1 ½ cups cauliflower florets
½ yellow onion
¼  can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes -undrained
½  cup vegetable broth
½ – 1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
plain greek yogurt

*you can also use madras chili powder instead of the curry powder and red pepper

rice: (cook the rice and add the cashews and a bit of salt if needed after rice is cooked)

¼ – ½ cup cashew pieces
1 cup basmati rice

– Over medium high heat, saute sweet potatoes for 5 minutes

– Decrease heat and add cauliflower, onion, curry powder, and red pepper flakes. Cook for a few minutes (3?), stirring the whole time
– Add broth, salt, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
– Cover, reduce heat to simmer until veggies are soft (15 – 20 minutes). Stir occasionally. Add salt to taste.
– Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with rice, and greek yogurt.

(This recipe was good for dinner for 2 people twice, so if you already have the spices it’s a really inexpensive meal!! )

Adapted from cooking light magazine Oct. 2010

Back to packing for the Texodus part 2!

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A Gluten Free, Fun-filled Road Trip

It’s been nearly a year since I left off, and sadly there were only a few entries to begin with. But do not despair; I am back.

The biggest challenge now is deciding where to begin. Should I start with the cross-country road trip with its amazing and the horrible GF dining experiences? Or should I start with trying to navigate GF wedding planning, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Passover?
I’ll suppose I’ll start at the beginning:
The Texodus began in Seattle, WA and eventually reached Austin, TX. Before embarking on this adventure, I had expected that the hardest part about eating gluten free on a road trip would be the small towns that one inevitably encounters on a cross-country trip. I was surprised to find that the cities –of all sizes- were just as challenging! My fiancé, Whole Foods, and Yelp were my best friends and guardians. While I didn’t do a phenomenal job at blogging here, my reliance on yelp inspired me to make an ongoing effort to review as many restaurants as I can in the context of gluten for the sake of the wonderful “search reviews” function on their site. (Btw: if you are reading this Yelp, please add this function to your mobile app)! I look up a restaurant, enter “gluten” in “search reviews” and voila! You find out everything anyone has said using this term. It can be incredibly helpful, unless nothing has been said, or it has only said by a gluten-fadist. This was part of my inspirations. I assume I’m not alone in using Yelp this way and any experiential information is so helpful. We also used Yelp the other way around, of course. Enter “gluten” in “search nearby” and go from there! I still use this almost every time I eat out –anywhere!
I won’t rewrite all of those here. If you’re interested in specific reviews see here: My yelp list.
1st stop: Portland, OR: my old home did not disappoint. We stopped downtown for the Sonny Bowl Food Cartwhere we had delicious veggie bowls with brown rice, garbanzos, sliced almonds, raisins, pineapple, zucchini, carrots, red peppers, tempeh, and kale. I highly recommend this to vegetarians, vegans, gluten-freeans, and meat-eaters. Next stop Lincoln City.
Lincoln City, OR: This destination was based on luck. Our friends were renting a house on the beach for a few days, so we stayed the night and grilled some great things. The stars of the show were mozzarella and rice stuffed peppadew peppers, stuffed portabella mushrooms, grilled pineapple, and a spicy cabbage and carrot slaw. I wish I could share these recipes with you … but I was not involved in the cooking. There were a few gluten mix-ups, but luckily everyone was cognizant and honest enough to steer me away from unintentionally glutened items. Even so, I did not go to bed hungry. The next morning brought another great discovery.
The delicious, probably-not-so-healthy smoothie: 
Rice or almond milk (vanilla)
Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
Peanut butter
Blend, drink
Next stop Blanco State Park:
Beautiful. This was our first night camping. We cooked a meal that we would eat many more times at many more campsites on the trip.
Camping veggie “stir fry” with rice, one pot, one pan, and one wooden spoon
San-J Teriyaki Sauce(Which we kept with us at all times).
1 zucchini
1 carrot
5 – 10 mushrooms
Red bell pepper
(Any combo of veggies would have worked. These were the basics that were always easy to find.)
Cook rice in camping pot (1:2 rice: water)
Cut veggies and sauté in pan with San-J
That’s all for now friends. Next stop California!


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