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


The Food Philosopher: Featured Menu



Friday Night Chili Supper

into their daily routines of work, school, music and sports practices. We like to look forward to something special at the end of a long week. A Friday night chili supper with the family and some close friends is just the thing to keep us motivated. Our menu also works well for a tailgate party if you find yourself going to a local Friday night football game. (But leave the ice cream home and just serve the cookies!) We try to keep all our meals interesting, colorful and delicious. You'll find that this one is no exception.


Gather around in your jeans and enjoy the crudite platter with some cold Corona® beers. We've paired bright green and red vegetables with the creamy texture and spice of guacamole. Buy a good store-made guacamole and you'll be able to prepare this hors d'oeuvre in no time at all.

Move to the table for spinach salad tossed with a creamy dressing, Spiced Party Pecans and dried cranberries. Prepare the Spiced Party Pecans earlier in the week. Use your favorite creamy salad dressing (a poppy seed or blue cheese goes well and you can buy a good quality one at the store). Toss the baby spinach leaves and dried cranberries at the last minute with the dressing. Arrange it on salad plates and sprinkle the nuts on top.

After your first course, indulge in our fabulous White Chicken and Bean Chili. Leave those images of red beans and ground round behind. We let tomatilloes and green chili peppers take the spotlight. This is a very special chili that you'll find yourself craving again and again. Like all chili, it can be made ahead of time. But serve it with our warm homemade corn muffins. They are so easy to prepare that you really can make them at the last minute (especially if you've prepped the ingredients and pan ahead of time).

End the meal with a store bought pumpkin ice cream and another homemade treat. Our gingersnaps can be made days ahead. Or you can make the dough, freeze it, and then bake the cookies right before dinner. Let the warm smells of cinnamon and spice welcome everyone home to this special end-of-week celebration.

Featured Menu Archive





Serves 4

8 cups baby spinach
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup Spiced Party Pecans (below)
Your favorite creamy salad dressing

  1. Toss spinach and dried cranberries with creamy dressing. Arrange on salad plates. Sprinkle the top of each salad with Spiced Party Pecans.

© 2002 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts


Yields 1½ cups

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1½ cups shelled pecan halves
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add pecans and sauté until lightly–browned, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the brown sugar and cook until lightly caramelized. Stir in chili powder, paprika, cumin, and salt. Add the lemon juice and cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Spread the pecans on a non–stick cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 4 minutes or until crisp.
  5. Transfer to bowl and serve warm.

© 2002 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts





Serves 4

4 medium–size tomatilloes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ pounds chicken, boneless, skinless and cut into 1 inch chunks
(dark meat gives a richer flavor)
1 cup chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 14 ounce can low sodium chicken broth
1 19 ounce can white beans (cannelloni), drained and rinsed
1 fresh jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup whole green chili peppers (about 4), charred and chopped (if using canned, drain liquid)
1½ teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Freshly grated black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place tomatilloes on baking pan lined with foil. Roast 10 minutes or until lightly brown and let cool. When cool, purée or mash. Set aside.
  2. In a 6–quart saucepan, sauté onions and garlic over medium heat until soft. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add chicken to saucepan and sauté over medium–high heat until sides are lightly browned. Add cumin, oregano, onions, and garlic and stir for one minute.
  4. Add chicken broth, white beans, jalapeño and green chili peppers, and roasted tomatilloes. Bring to boil and then simmer partially covered for 1 hour. Chili should have the consistency of a thick stew.
  5. Stir in salt and cilantro and season to taste. Serve warm with cornbread.

This recipe can be doubled.

© 2002 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts




Food Philosopher’s® Gluten–Free



Yields 9 muffins
or 1 8–inch round bread

1 cup corn meal
1 cup brown rice flour mix*
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ cup sugar
3½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup milk minus 1 tablespoon
1 egg, well–beaten
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Baking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray muffin pan or 8–inch round cake pan with baking spray.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl.
  3. Combine oil, milk, egg, and vanilla in another small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and gently stir to combine. Do not over–mix. Pour batter into muffin pan or 8–inch round cake pan.
  4. Bake 18 minutes for muffins or 23 minutes for bread. Remove from pan and serve immediately. Store in refrigerator.

Cook’s note: dry and wet ingredients can be prepped and held separately. Do not mix together until just before ready to bake.

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

© 2002 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts




Food Philosopher’s® Gluten–Free


40–50 cookies

¾ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
1 ¾ cups brown rice flour mix*
¼ cup sweet rice flour**
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ – ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar
Baking spray to grease cookie sheets

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Beat shortening and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer until creamy.
  3. Beat in egg and molasses and mix until smooth.
  4. Add in remaining ingredients and mix to form soft dough.
  5. Form into flat square shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Spray cookie sheet with baking spray. Roll dough into one–inch balls. Roll balls in confectioners' sugar and place on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for about 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool. Store in airtight container.

Cook’s note: can be stored in refrigerator for 2 weeks or frozen for up to 5 weeks. Uncooked dough will keep in freezer for 5 weeks.

*see "Gluten–Free Flour Mixes" in our Recipe ArchiveRecipe Archive

** available in natural food stores or online from Authentic Foods (see "Gluten–Free Flour Mixes" in our Recipe Archive) or other vendors.

© 2003 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts