Toffe Covered Gluten-Free Coffee Cake for All

This morning I shared an idea i had been playing with for a decadent gluten-free toffee covered coffee cake with a friend of mine. Her response was that she wanted Gluten-Free AND healthy. After some thought, I sent her this response:

These days there are two reasons for giving up gluten. One is that the person has a true sensitivity to gluten and becomes ill from eating even a small amount. The other reason is because it’s a popular trend. Perhaps a person is trying to avoid GMOs or has read a certain book and thinks they’ll took like Cheryl Tiegs once they lose their “wheat belly”.

People from the second group always have the option to indulge every once in a while and have a sumptuous dessert in a restaurant. For those of us with a true gluten sensitivity that option does not exist. The only thing I MAY be able to get from the dessert menu of a restaurant is a fruit plate, sorbet, or a scoop of ice cream IF it’s a flavor that actually IS gluten-free. Even the “flourless chocolate cakes” offered in many establishments are not GF because the chef has coated the pan with butter and FLOUR to keep his cake from sticking.

There’s a GF bakery that I checked out when i was visiting a friend in a large city last April. Their offerings were beautiful and, frankly, I was a little intimidated after seeing their presentations. I bought a brownie and a couple muffins. Happily I didn’t try them till after leaving the store. They were GF, dairy-free, taste-free, grainy bits of Styrofoam. In each case I took a bite, spit it out and threw away the rest of the pastry because it just wasn’t worth the calories.

I have to admit I gained a size developing the recipes for my cookbook this summer, but normally I only bake when I’m going to some event or for a special occasion where there will be lots of people to share the goodies. Till I came up with my brownie recipe, I hadn’t eaten a brownie in years because the couple times I bought Gf ones they were terrible and I pitched them. As for the toffee topping recipe I sent my friend. I haven’t had a sticky bun in years, not only because of the gluten, but because most places also include cinnamon which makes me have severe cardiac arrhythmia that would turn me from physician to patient. Planning a Toffee covered coffee cake to take to an event this weekend has already assuaged years of cravings and I haven’t had a bite yet!

As a physician, as well as a person with gluten intolerance, I know that it’s very hard to get someone to give up an ingredient that means NEVER again indulging in their favorite foods. I think people with gluten intolerance deserve to have fabulous alternatives so that, though they may suffer from a medical condition, they don’t have to feel punished or deprived for the rest of their lives. And so, my new little cookbook was born. To balance the rich, delectable pastries I was not willing to give up, “Gluten-Free with Dr. Jeri” also has tons of healthy appetizer, salad, soup, side and main dish options as well as a few low glycemic cookies and muffins (recipes that I have offered to my diabetic patients in the past).

Whatever your reasons for being Gluten-Free, I hope that every once in a while you have a slice of pure decadence. You deserve it!



Cover of Healing is Believing

Cover of Healing is Believing

My new book, Healing is Believing is scheduled to be released April 1.

Jeri’s Gazpacho

One of the things I’ve missed most since going gluten free is Gazpacho, but my recipe calls for a past made of bread crumbs and olive oil and this mixture is what turns a giant bowl of salsa into a rich, creamy summer soup. Problem is, when the weather is warm enough to crave Gazpacho, it’s too warm to turn on the oven to bake bread in my Arizona home. Happily the problem was solved for me last week when I discovered Udie’s gluten free bread at Trader Joe’s. It’s the first commercially made gluten free bread I’ve found that isn’t heavy as a brick and actually tastes like bread.

I’ve made the recipe twice with this bread and it’s as good as the original, so I now can share it with you all.


1/4 large sweet onion (or 1/2 small)

3 or 4 cloves garlic

3 Serrano chilies (pith and seeds removed)

Put above items into food processor and process until very fine then add:

1 English cucumber (peeled and seeded)

1 lbs tomatoes ( seeded) – may use canned

2 red bell peppers (pith and seeds removed)

1 tsp dry Basil

2 tsp dry Dill Weed

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp -sugar

process into a coarse puree and pour into a large bowl next:

2-3 oz French Bread

2 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp Balsamic vinegar

1-2 tbsp Red Wine

one 12 oz can of V-8 vegetable juice

Put the bread into the food processor and process until fine crumbs. With processor still on, slowly add olive oil till mixture forms a shiny paste. Add the remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly. Pour into the bowl of pureed vegetables and mix. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Keeps 2-3 days in refrigerator but it’s best the first day.

Serve with bowls of diced condiments such as cucumber, red bell pepper, zucchini, avocado, green onions and sour cream. I always serve Poblano or green jalapeno sauce on the side.


Tortilla Pizza

This one is for my friend Dick who hates to cook but loves pizza. It’s also for my diabetic patients who believe that they only have time to cook Ramen noodles for lunch. This option provides protein, fiber, veggies and it’s PIZZA. Who doesn’t love pizza?


One burrito size corn tortilla (or the whole wheat or “low carb” variety if you’re not on a gluten free diet)

2 Tbsp. prepared pasta sauce or pesto

1/4 cup shredded part skim milk Mozzarella cheese

1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

2-3 tbsp of the toppings of your choice:

 sliced garlic, basil leaves, chopped spinach,diced bell peppers,    diced onion, crushed chili peepers, diced turkey or ham, turkey pepperoni slices or anything elce your imagination can concieve of


If you’re using a corn tortilla, spray with cooking spray and nuke for 20 seconds. If  you use any other type of tortilla you can skip this step

Assemble your pizza on a microwave safe dish

Microwave for 2-3 minutes till cheese is bubbly and everything is heated through.

Stove top:

Warm a little olive oil in a large skillett on medium heat

Cook the tortilla for a minute till it begins to brown

Turn the tortilla over, add your toppings and cook partially covered on medium heat till the toppings are warm, the cheese is melted and the “crust” is crispy

Mexican Version

(This was the main stay of my diet throughout my residency. The alternate meal was microwave popcorn 🙂

Put a third of  a cup of sharp cheddar cheese on a tortilla, microwave for 45 seconds, top with a few spoons of your favorite salsa, roll like a Burrito and Voila! Dinner is served





Jeri’s Cranberry Salsa

This has been one of my favorite holiday recipes for years. It’s great as a side to turkey or fish and it isn’t bad on ice cream either 🙂  My only advice when making this salsa is to do a double recipe.  It’s so good you’ll have to keep tasting it to make sure it’s “just right” and it’s always nice if there is some left over for the company it’s been prepared for!

1 bag cranberries

3 fresh Serrano chilies seeds and core removed & finely diced

1 tbsp. orange zest

juice of 1/2 orange

1 small bunch cilantro, leaves only (about 5 tbsp. after chopping)

2 tbsp. tequila (may substitute orange juice )

1 tbsp. fresh ginger finely grated

dash cumin

1/3-1/2 cup honey to taste

¼ tsp orange extract for extra flavor


Wash & drain cilantro leaves and chop in food processor.  Add diced chilies, ginger, cumin, orange peel, orange juice and tequila and blend thoroughly.  Add cranberries and process until they are coarsely chopped.  Turn into a bowl and add honey to taste.  Allow to stand in refrigerator at least 8 hours or over night before serving.  Keeps several days.


Jeri’s Gluten Free Everything Cookies

High fiber and full of flavor, these cookies have always been a favorite at work and social gatherings.

1 stick butter

¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

¾ cup blanched almond flour

1 tbsp coconut flour

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 cup gluten free rolled oats *

½ cup unsweetened finely grated coconut (my bag says macaroon coconut)

1 cup currants (less squishy than cooked raisins)

¾ to 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts broken into small pieces


Drop onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

Bake at 350 ° oven for 11-13 minutes till golden brown

Makes 2 dozen

* Even gluten free oats may not be suitable for children with celiac disease.

Jeri’s Mushroom Almond Pate

I love serving this as an appetizer for a fancy company meal. Even the meat eaters who come to my home have always found it to be wonderfully decadent and satisfying.

1 cup slivered blanched almonds

½ stick butter

1 tbsp olive or walnut or almond oil

1 small onion finely diced

2-3 cloves garlic finely diced

¾ pound cremimi mushrooms sliced

Dash each rosemary and thyme

Salt and pepper to taste


Lightly toast the almonds 350 for 5-7 minutes

Sautee onions in butter and oil till soft add garlic for a minute then add mushrooms and sauté till liquid is evaporated

Put almonds in a food processor with 1-2 tbsp oil and process till creamy. Add mushroom-onion mixture and pulse till fairly smooth

Turn into a mold (or a small bowl will do) lined with plastic wrap, cover and refrigerate. It will keep in the fridge for several days.

Remove from fridge 20 min before serving time and turn out onto a plate.  Serve with crusty bread or crackers.

My favorite gluten free bread recipe is the Rosemary Olive bread from Elena Amsterdam’s book “The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook”.  Check out her web site:





Jeri’s Corn and Crab Chowder

This recipe has satisfied all the longings I’ve had for a creamy soup that I’ve had  since I had to give up gluten. I have tried to lighten it up with regular milk and it was disappointing. I think a light coconut milk would be a better light or non-dairy alternative.

5 oz white onion finely diced (about half of one large white onion)

1-2 tbsp butter

2 ½ cups half and half

¼ cup water

1/2 tsp salt

5 cups fresh corn cut off the cob (about 5 ears. Scrape the milk from the cobs too)

1 tsp sugar if the corn is not very sweet

½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp fresh ginger root finely grated

Optional: ½ – 1 tsp Thai green curry paste

Sprigs of cilantro to garnish

8 oz pasteurized refrigerated lump crab meat

2 mild New Mexico chilies roasted, peeled, seeded and diced


Sweat the onions in the butter till soft but not brown

Add remaining ingredients except for the crab and chilies and bring to a simmer. Cook for 8 minutes. Puree with an emersion blender till about half the corn is smooth and the rest is still kernels and return to the pot to simmer for 2 more minutes to allow the natural corn starch to thicken soup. Add the crab and chilies and heat till warm. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

Serves four.  Serve fresh.




Jeri’s Gluten Free Nut Cookies

1 stick butter

¾ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

3 Tbsp coconut flour

½ cup blanched almond flour

¾ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


Mix melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla and baking soda with mixer

Add coconut flour, mix then allow mixture to sit for a couple minutes to thicken

Add rest of ingredients


Drop by heaping tbsp onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

Bake at 350 11-13 minutes

Baked goods made with coconut flour look brown before they are done. Check the edges for doneness

Let cookies cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from cookie sheet or they will fall apart

Makes 2 dozen

VARIATION: add 1/2 tsp cinnamon


Aluminum Foil Fish

This one is not only easy and healthy, it’s pretty and tasty enough to serve to company!

For each serving use:

1 fresh 8 ounce fish fillet (I like salmon but you can use Tilapia, trout or any other fish or even a boneless skinless chicken breast)

1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 small tomato seeded and diced

2 green onions sliced

1 zucchini diced

Roasted garlic, basil and sun-dried tomato flavor Mrs. Dash

Extra garlic powder to taste

olive oil


Preheat oven to 450°

Cut a large square of heavy duty aluminum foil

Put a little olive oil in the center of the foil then lay the fish on it skin side down

Sprinkle the fish with Mrs. Dash and garlic powder

Mix all veggies together and put on top of fish

Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash.

Fold up sides and seal the foil into an air tight pouch

Place the pouch on a baking sheet and bake for about 18-20 minutes

Serve on steamed rice and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese


You can use the same method with any flavors Mrs. Dash or fresh herbs and veggie combinations or you can just use some herbs and a few slices of orange and lemon on the fish. If you’re not using veggies, decrease the cooking time to about 12-15 minutes.