The Food Philosopher: Gluten-Free Recipes, Health and Nutrition, Diet and Weight Loss


The Food Philosopher



Ribs for Dinner Tonight!

brings the family home and to the table in a hurry. But many people don't think about making ribs unless they are having friends over for a barbecue. Others don't think about making ribs, period; they only eat ribs at restaurants. But why wait another day when you can have succulent, tender, baby back ribs tonight at your dinner table? Try our special southern spice rub and our no fuss method for cooking the ribs. We've put together a simple but lively menu that will have you and your family looking forward all day to eating dinner at home.

Spinach Salad with Toasted Pecans, Dried Cranberries
And Your Favorite Creamy Dressing

Baby Back Ribs with Southern Rub
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary and Thyme
Steamed Vegetables

Gluten–Free Lemon Squares
Iced Decaffeinated Coffee


Start your meal with a colorful salad of baby spinach, toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and a favorite creamy dressing (a tangy Parmesan or bleu cheese goes well, and you can buy a good quality one at the store). Toast the nuts ahead of time on a backing sheet in a preheated oven at 350°F for four to six minutes. Toss the spinach and dried cranberries with the dressing, arrange on salad plates, and sprinkle the nuts on top.

After your first course comes what you've all been waiting for. Bring out the ribs with some fragrant roasted sweet potatoes and a simple steamed vegetable. You can bake the ribs the night before and reheat them in foil, or you can tantalize those who walk in the door by starting them earlier in the day. Sprinkle thickly sliced sweet potatoes with a few drops of olive oil and fresh rosemary and thyme and roast in a small baking dish in the oven along with the ribs for the last 45 minutes. For another quick side dish, steam some broccoli, asparagus, or another favorite vegetable.

Top off your meal with some delicious lemon squares. An easy, classic dessert that you can make in minutes, it's the perfect way to end this festive family dinner. Linger a little longer with some iced decaffeinated coffee and enjoy your time together.


Featured Menu Archive


Yields 1¾ cups Rub
Serves 4–6

2 slabs babyback ribs (4–6 pounds total)
1 cup barbecue sauce

Southern Rub Mixture

¼ cup paprika
¼ cup cracked black pepper
¼ cup chili powder
¼ cup sea salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
½ teaspoon ground cayenne.
1 tablespoon dried thyme

  1. Combine all nine Southern Rub Mixture ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Transfer to airtight container. (Leftover rub mixture can be stored for up to 1 year in a cool, dry place).
  2. Measure 5 tablespoons of rub* into a large zip–top plastic bag. Put meat inside and shake until it is evenly coated with rub. Chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Bring meat to room temperature. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line large roasting pan with foil. Place ribs on pan, bone side up. Cook for 60 minutes. Remove pan from oven and turn ribs over. Return pan to oven and cook another 60 minutes.
  4. Turn temperature to 350°F. Continue to cool another 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and lightly baste ribs with favorite BBQ sauce. Return to oven and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Allow ribs to sit for 10 minutes before slicing into individual ribs. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.
  6. If grilling meat, preheat grill to 300°F. Continue to cook as above.

*Cook’s note:
When using rubs, apply them to food that is completely dry. Although how much spice rub you use is very individual, a general rule is 3 tablespoons per 1 pound of food. When cooking for children, adjust to 1 tablespoon per baby rib rack

©2004 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts

Food Philosopher’s® Gluten–Free


Yields 16 pieces


1 cup brown rice flour mix*
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
5 tablespoons butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
Baking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 8–inch square baking pan.
  2. Put flour, xanthan gum, butter, and sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Mix on low speed until crumbly. Press into bottom of baking pan.
  3. Bake in center of oven for 15 minutes.

Lemon Filling

3 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown rice flour mix*
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon rind
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

  1. Beat eggs in large bowl of electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Add sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, lemon juice, lemon rind, and lemon extract. Beat until well blended. Pour onto partially baked crust.
  2. Bake in center of oven for 20 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack. Cut into 16 squares or triangles; remove from baking pan onto serving plate. Sift powdered sugar over the tops.

*see “Gluten–Free Flour Mixes” in our Recipe Archive

© 2002 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts