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





Simple Summer Suppers

of fishing, an action-packed swim meet, a couple of hard-won tennis sets—whatever your pleasure—sit back and spend the late afternoon relaxing over good food and cool drinks. Gather friends and family around to tell favorite tall tales of the fish that got away or the ball in the rough with our simple Tuscan-inspired menu.

Chilled Sparkling Wine
Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Rosemary, and Garlic
Penne Pasta with Feta, Tomato, and Basil
White Beans with Tomato and Red Onion
Roasted Red, Yellow, and Orange Peppers and Zucchini
Rustic Flat Bread (Focaccia)
Gluten–Free Crumb Cake and Iced Coffee or Tea


Pour some sparkling wine to help set a festive tone as people assemble in easy chairs and you light the grill. Italian Porsecco and Spanish Cava are delicious and sometimes less costly alternatives to Champagnes. Set out little dishes of store-bought marinated olives (or see our recipe archive for a simple recipe) and toasted almonds to nibble.

Our supper is easy to pull together because most of the prep work can be done before you're ready to pour that first glass of wine. Marinate the chicken in the lemon, rosemary and garlic marinade, roast the peppers, and bake the Crumb Cake the day before. Roast the zucchini, make the White Beans with Tomato and Red Onions, and the Penne Pasta an hour or so ahead. Make a rustic flat bread and warm it slightly just before you serve supper to freshen it up. Wash the berries and set them aside. You'll have to slice the peaches at the last minute so they won't discolor.

When the grill is hot, cook the chicken and bring out the rest of the food. You'll all enjoy a meal that features savory grilled and roasted flavors, colorful summer vegetables and herbs bursting with freshness. A smorgasbord for the palate.

Save room for dessert. Our crumb cake may be simple, but one taste will leave you hankering for another piece. Serve it on colorful plates with freshly sliced summer peaches and berries on the side. Pour everyone a big glass of iced coffee or tea and you'll all have something to drink while you wait for the sun to set.


Serves 8

¾ cup Paul Newman’s Olive Oil & Vinegar Dressing
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon rind
5 garlic cloves, minced
¾ teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
8 (6 ounce) skinned chicken breasts, cut in half

  1. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
  2. Place chicken in bowl and toss to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours (overnight is best), turning occasionally.
  3. Preheat and prepare barbecue. Grill chicken over medium heat, basting occasionally with marinade. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until done, turning every 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer to clean serving platter and serve warm.

©2006 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts


Serves 4 as a main dish
Serves 8 as a side dish

1 pound penne pasta*
¼ cup chicken stock
¼ cup prepared pesto
8 ounces feta cheese cut into cubes
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup corn, cooked until just tender
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. In large mixing bowl, toss cooked warm pasta with chicken stock and pesto.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and toss with pasta. Adjust seasonings.
  4. Can be served hot or at room temperature. Keep tightly covered until ready to serve.

*if using gluten-free pasta (we recommend Tinkyada® or Schaar®), cook until slightly softer than normal and add a couple tablespoons extra broth and pesto to keep pasta moist.

©2006 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts


Serves 8

2 (15.5 ounces) cans cannellini beans* (about 3½ cups)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
4 large firm ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 teaspoons dried oregano
Coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper

  1. Rinse beans with water and drain. Spread beans onto a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Place them in a medium bowl with the onion and tomato. Toss with olive oil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.
    (Can be made up to one day ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Allow to come to room temperature before serving).

* We recommend Goya® Cannellini Beans

©2006 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts


Vegetable platter can be covered with plastic wrap and held at room temperature for up to two hours or refrigerated. Serve at room temperature or warm slightly in microwave before serving.

Serves 8

2 red, 2 yellow, and 2 orange bell peppers of same approximate size

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Put rack on lowest shelf. Line a large cookie sheet with foil.
  2. Cut each pepper in half length-wise and remove seeds and fiber.
  3. Place peppers open sides down on foil-lined cookie sheet and place on bottom rack of oven.
  4. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until blackened around edges and slightly blackened on top. Peppers should be tender to the touch. Remove cookie sheet from oven and fold foil over peppers to create a pocket; tightly crimp and seal edges. Allow to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Open foil pocket and peel skin off peppers. Arrange on serving platter with vegetables below.

Roasted Zucchini

2 medium zucchini
Extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Wash, trim, and dry zucchini. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Cut each half into three sections. Place zucchini on shallow baking pan. Drizzle olive oil over zucchini sections and gently coat each one; lay them cut-side down on the pan. Place on bottom rack of oven. Roast about 12 minutes, until tender, lightly browned, and caramelized. Arrange on platter with other vegetables.

©2006 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts


Makes one 8 or 9-inch round bread.
Recipe can be doubled.

1½ cup Bread Flour Mix A*
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 packet (¼ oz.) of dry, quick-rise yeast granules
1 teaspoon olive oil
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon water, heated to 110°F
Olive oil
Fresh rosemary
Sea salt

  1. Spray an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray and lightly dust with rice flour or sprinkle with cornmeal.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl of electric mixer. Pour warm water (110°F) and olive oil into mixing bowl; mix until just blended. Scrape bowl and beaters, and then beat at high speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Spoon dough into prepared pan and spread it out to the sides with a spatula. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (about 80°F) for about 40 minutes. Bread should be approximately double in height.
  4. Place rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F while bread is rising.
  5. Sprinkle olive oil over top and carefully spread it into a thin film over the entire surface of the bread (use your fingers to do this for best results). Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt (or other toppings of your choice).
  6. Bake 8-inch bread for 20-25 minutes, 15-20 minutes for 9-inch bread. Bread should be medium golden in color and cooked through. Remove bread from pan and cool on a rack for 15 minutes; slice and serve.

Cook's Notes:
Bread can be prepared in advance; bake according to directions. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack. Wrap well in plastic wrap and then foil. Bread can be stored in refrigerator for up to three days or freezer for up to three weeks; wrap well in plastic wrap and then foil. Defrost in plastic wrap. Rewarm in 350°F preheated oven for 10-15 minutes; sprinkle bread with a bit of water and wrap in foil, but open the foil for the last five minutes.

Dry ingredients can be mixed ahead and stored in plastic containers for future use. Do not add yeast until just ready to bake bread.

* This recipe makes 3 cups of Bread Flour Mix A: 1 cup millet flour, ½ cup sorghum flour, ½ cup corn starch, ½ cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch), ½ cup potato starch (not potato flour). Find directions for mixing and measuring gluten-free flours in our column Our Gluten-Free Philosophy, 6/03 in the gluten-free archive on this Website.

© 2009 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts

Food Philosopher’s® Gluten–Free


Makes one 9-inch tube cake

1/3 cup Canola oil
1¼ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups brown rice flour mix*
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream (room temperature)**

*see “Gluten–Free Flour Mixes” in our Recipe Archive
**Best with regular sour cream (not low fat)

  1. Prepare Crumb Topping (see below).
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Position rack in center of oven. Spray a 9-inch tube pan with removable bottom with cooking spray (do not use an Angel Food cake pan).
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Beat eggs in large bowl of electric until well blended. Add sugar one tablespoon at a time, and beat until creamy colored and light. Add vanilla, flour mixture, sour cream, and oil and beat at medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Do not over beat.
  5. Spread batter into prepared pan. Top with Crumb Topping (recipe below).
  6. Place in center of oven and bake about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Do not open oven for first 45 minutes.
  7. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Remove sides of pan and cool completely on rack. To remove cake from bottom: use two pancake turners to lift cake unto a cake plate. It is easier to remove the cake from the pan if it is cold.

Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Can be made a day ahead. Store cake covered tightly with plastic wrap in refrigerator. Best when eaten within three days of baking.

Food Philosopher's® Gluten-Free

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown rice flour mix
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  1. Combine flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and xanthan gum in a small bowl; stir to blend. Pour in butter and stir until all dry ingredients are moistened. Gently break into medium and small (the size of M&Ms®) sized crumb pieces with spoon.

©2006 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts