The Missing Ingredient ® Gluten-free/ Grain-free Recipe- Roasted Baked Red Peppers stuffed with Lentils-

This is a great recipe for those unexpected holiday guests. Easy to make, and will last for three days in the refrigerator.








1 cup Lentils (soaked overnight)

4 medium size red peppers

1 ½ cups fresh chicken stock (if you are using a store bought stock make sure it’s gluten-free)

½ cup finely chopped shallots

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 cup finely chopped kale

1- garlic clove pressed

1-tablespoon fresh basil leaves finely chopped

¼ teaspoon of French sea salt

6 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano

1  cup of your favorite tomato sauce


Preparing the lentils

***Soak Lentils overnight in warm water. Then rinse twice before using. If I’m working with gluten-free grains or legumes I use this simple step to help minimize the phytic acid found in these foods. The soaked lentils will turn into about 2 ½ cups.


Preparing the Red Peppers

 Preheat oven to 425

1-Wash the red peppers and place them in the oven directly on the middle rack.

2- Roast the peppers for about twenty minutes, turning them every five minutes.

3- Let peppers cool enough so that you can handle them. The roasted pepper should still have firmness to them. On a cutting board cut the tops off and save the pepper portion and discard the stem. If you want to take the outside skin of the pepper off you can. I like to leave it on.

4- Place the peppers standing upright in a baking dish and set aside.

5- Finely chop the remaining pepper from the cut top for use in the stuffing.

Preparing the stuffing


Reduce oven to 375

1- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.

2- Add garlic and shallots and stir constantly for about 1 minute. You don’t want to brown the garlic.

3- Add the carrots, celery, kale, chopped red pepper, basil, and salt.

5- Let it cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the carrots and kale have soften. Stirring the mixture every few minutes.

6- Stir in the soaked lentils and combine thoroughly.

7- Stir in 1 ½ cups Gluten-free chicken stock

8- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, Stirring frequently

9- Stir in 4 tablespoons of  tomato sauce and cook another 10 minutes uncovered stirring frequently.

10- Remove from heat and stir in 4 tablespoons of Parmigiano. Stir till combined.

11- With a large spoon fill each pepper with the lentil stuffing.

12- Cover each one with some tomato sauce. (Don’t drown them.)

13- Sprinkle the top of each stuffed pepper with the remaining Parmigiano

14-Tightly cover with tin foil and cook for 40-50 minutes or until you can easily puncture the pepper with a knife.


++ If you would like to cover the peppers with the remaining tomato sauce feel free. I prefer to put the sauce, and some extra Parma on the table so my guests can add more if they’d like.



Serve with a mixed green salad or on its own.



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The Missing Ingredient ® Gluten-free recipes; Tomato, Fig, Feta Salad

This easy to make recipe is always a hit. I served it the other night with beef tenderloin and roasted rosemary potatoes. Everyone loved it.



2 ripe tomatoes

5 fresh Mission or Kalamata figs quartered

3 tablespoons Organic extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

4 fresh basil leaves finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh feta cheese crumbled


1- slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices

2- Arrange tomatoes on a large serving dish

3- Place figs on top of the tomatoes

4- Crumble the feta cheese and cover the figs and tomatoes

5- Sprinkle with chopped basil

6- Combine Olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and salt to make the dressing

7- Pour dressing evenly over the top of the tomatoes, figs and feta.

It’s that easy!


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Celiac Disease Awareness Day

September 13th, is National Celiac Awareness Day in honor of Dr. Samuel Gee, a pioneer in celiac disease research. Thank you to Celiac Sprue Association and Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska for introducing US Senate Resolution 550 and a big thank you to the US Senate for passing Resolution 550 to promote celiac disease awareness.

 Do something today to help raise the awareness of Celiac Disease. This can be as easy as talking to one person about Celiac, then they tell someone and so on. Also, I think it’s important to remember that there are so many people that have not been diagnosed and are feeling ill. So please take a minute out of your day to send out good energy or a prayer for all of those people who are suffering , and are being told that nothing is wrong with them , yet no one has tested them for Celiac Disease.

Have a healthy Day!

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The Missing Ingredient Gluten-free Recipes: Simple Corn Salad

With the end of summer upon us, I wanted to share a simple corn recipe. This season here in N.Y, the fresh local tomatoes and corn have been spectacular, and soon will no longer be available. So don’t miss out!



4 ears of fresh corn

3 plum tomatoes sliced

1 avocado cut in 1/4 inch slices

2 tablespoons first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

4 fresh basil leaves

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Pinch of Himalayan salt


1-Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.

2-Drop the 4 ears of corn into the pot, cover and cook for 1 minute.

3- Remove corn and place in cold water.

4- Dry the corn with a paper towel then remove the kernels with a knife or corn peeler.

5- Place the corn in a large serving bowl.

6- Add the cut tomatoes and avocado slices

7- Sprinkle with torn basil leaves

8- Then add the fresh lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt.

9- Toss and serve.

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The Missing Ingredient,Gluten-free Tapas: Roasted Anaheim peppers stuffed with drunken goat cheese.

This recipe falls into my favorite category, easy to make and fun to eat! You can serve it as a side dish with meat or rice, or as a part of a Tapas spread. On the topic of traditional Tapas, so many of the dishes are already gluten-free and the majority of others are easy to adapt. So go make some Tapas!


½ lb Drunken goat cheese ( this cheese is soaked in red wine giving the outside of the cheese a thin purple rind)

2 Anaheim peppers ( I use these peppers because the are easy to find in most grocery stores, and are available year round. They also have a nice mild flavor and roast well.

***See Note below for a variation of the recipe for you Prosciutto de Parma lovers.

Preparation: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

1- Place peppers on a flat surface.

2- With a sharp knife, cut the pepper creating a capital I

3- Gently peel back the sides of the pepper so you can easily remove the seeds.

4 – Run the pepper under cold water to remove any loose seeds.

5- Dry the pepper inside and out using a paper towel

6- Grate the cheese, using the large side of the grater.

7- Stuff the two peppers with the cheese. Then squeeze the two sides of the peppers together to close them.

8- Place a piece of aluminum foil on the middle rack in your oven.

9- Place peppers in oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until pepper is soft and slightly blistered.

Note: You can also mix a little bit of shredded Prosciutto de Parma into the shredded cheese and then stuff the peppers, then roast . Add a little hot sauce on the plate.





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Gluten free recipes: Acorn Squash stuffed with sweet and spicy pork

This recipe is a great way to get your family to eat squash. The Missing Ingredient special sauce is an easy alternative to packaged duck sauce and gives this dish an Asian flare.  ENJOY!

2 Acorn squash

3 thinly sliced center cut pork chops w/out bone

1 clove garlic chopped

1 medium carrot shredded

1 ½ cup chopped Bok Choy

1 ½ cup chopped shitake mushrooms

4 slices butter

4 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons extra virgin oil


The Missing Ingredient Special Sauce:

4 tablespoons Apricot jam

2 tablespoons Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce  (yes it’s gluten free)

1 to 2 tablespoon fresh orange or tangerine juice



1cup Lundberg Jubilee wild rice (Lundberg Jubilee is my favorite both in taste and color)

2 cups fresh chicken broth (you can use a store bought GF broth)



To prepare Squash:

1- Preheat oven to 375

2- Cut the Squash in half. Then trim both ends so it can sit flat on a plate.

3- With a teaspoon clean out seeds and any stringy fibers.

4- Place the squash face down on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

5- Remove from oven and turn squash over so the meat side is up. Take one slice of butter and smear over the top of the squash. Place the remaining butter in the middle and sprinkle with one tablespoon of brown sugar.

5- Place them back in the oven for another 30 minutes.


To prepare Wild Rice:

1- Place one cup of wild rice and two cups GF chicken stock in a saucepan with a lid.

2- Bring to boil then stir once and cover and reduce to low heat. Follow cooking time on package.



Preparing the Pork:

1- Baste pork chops with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place chops on a grill pan and place in oven on broil.  Broil 20 minutes: 10 minutes per side.

2- Remove the pork chops and cut them into small cubes and cover with foil.


Now we’ll bring it all together with the Veggies:


1- In a medium size saucepan heat the olive oil.

2-Add the garlic, Bok Choy, carrots, shitake mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes.


3- Add the cubed pork and the cooked rice. Then stir in the sauce.

4-Scoop out the mixture and place in the center of squash.

5-Serve immediately.

For leftovers: wrap in foil and heat for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.


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Autumn in New York signals the turning of the leaves, comfortable temperatures and the start of big tree fruit (such as apples and pears )and winter squash season.

Winter squash taste great, is filled with nutrition and can easily be made into soups and side dishes.

Since we had our first Nor’easter two weeks ago I thought it was a good time to post this soup recipe.


1 Large Butternut squash peeled, cored and cubed

1 Large carrot diced

1 large clove of garlic diced

½ large onion chopped

2 Tablespoons extra virgin raw unfiltered coconut oil

3 cups homemade chicken stock

1 cup of water

2 tablespoon of Celtic Sea Salt

¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of fresh ginger (grated)


1)   In a large pot sauté squash, carrot, onions, garlic in coconut oil over medium heat. Toss the mixture in the pot to make sure it is covered with the oil.

2)   Once the carrots are tender, add the chicken stock and water (simmer about 20 minutes)

3)   Cover pot and reduce heat.  Cook for 20-30 minutes; stir occasionally

4)   Stir in sea salt, pepper and ginger. Then remove from heat to cool.

5)   Pour warm mixture into a glass blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  Pour back into pot and simmer for 5-10 minutes-then enjoy!




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Celiac Disease Foundation South Florida Chapter invites you to join us for a Gluten Free fun filled evening with Frank Baldassare from the GF cooking show The Missing Ingredient


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Don’t throw out that Halloween Pumpkin just yet! Turn it into great Gluten-Free food.

Make the most of your Halloween pumpkin! It not just a decoration, it’s also great to eat. If you didn’t carve out your Jack O’ Lantern, you have a perfectly healthy pumpkin ready to be turned into a GF food.

Here are some ideas to get the most out of your pumpkin!

Pumpkin Filling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash pumpkin and remove stem

Using a serrated knife cut your pumpkin in half.

Remove seeds and stringy fibers, place the seeds in warm water to clean

Place seeds on paper towel and set aside.

Then place the two halves of the pumpkin on a cookie sheet: cut side down.

Bake for 40- 45 minutes, then let them cool so you can easily handle them

With an ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop out the inside of the pumpkin

Place in the freezer and use at Thanksgiving to make your favorite gluten free pumpkin pie recipe.

 Pumpkin Seeds 

Here are a couple of ways you can roast pumpkin seeds:

Using salt:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place seeds on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt.

Using butter:

Melt butter (goat or cow), then pour into a large mixing bowl.

Then add seeds, salt (to taste); toss to cover the seeds with the salt and butter mixture.

Place seeds on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown. (approx 30 minutes)

Or, if you prefer Oil instead of butter:

In a large bowl place one to two tablespoons of either raw organic unfiltered coconut oil or Olive oil and sea salt.

Toss the seeds in the bowl to cover them with the oil and salt.

Place on cookie sheet and bake until golden brown (approximately 30 minutes)

Once they are out of the oven and still hot, have some fun and experiment. Try some cayenne pepper or hot sauce on them for a kick. You really can’t screw them up. So you might as well have some fun!










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The Missing Ingredient Gluten-free Recipes: Gluten-free Persian Cooking

Last week, I attended a Persian cooking class taught by a lovely lady named Parvaneh. My friend Michelle had asked her if she would come to her home and teach a group of us the art of Persian cooking.  It was a blast!  “Parvaneh is a patient, knowledgeable teacher. These combined qualities and her lovely energy made for a fun filled afternoon of cooking and eating by all.

Since Parvaneh is of Persian descent, she taught us how to put together a Persian feast in one afternoon by using traditional family recipes that were handed down to her by her father.

Parvaneh gave each one of us a job to do so that we could all share in the experience. The day flew by as we prepared Persian rice, Mast O Bademjan, Persian meatballs, Persian Salad, Mast Esphenaj and for dessert a gluten-free Ranginak.  After the table was set, our group sat down and enjoyed the feast we had prepared together. I realized that the oldest form of social networking is the preparing and sharing of food.

Not only is Parvaneh a self-taught cook, who can whip up one heck of a Persian feast, she also makes her own raw cheeses and yogurts. Prior to the class, Michelle had told her my gluten-free story-, which wasn’t a problem since all the dishes were naturally gluten-free-except for the bread.  When I arrived at class, Parvaneh had made me a loaf of fresh, gluten free bread. She informed me that she had never made gluten free bread before. But when I tasted it, it blew me away.  I spread some of her homemade herb cheese on the bread and I was in gluten-free heaven. The rest of the class noticed my gluten-free Bliss and followed my lead even though they didn’t have to eat gluten free. The gluten free bread and homemade cheese was so good, it never stood a chance of making it to the table for our feast.

What I found most interesting about Persian cooking is the healing qualities in the spices they use.   For example: Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, and new studies reveal its use in treating Alzheimer patients, Cumin helps boost immune function; and Coriander aids in proper digestion. These ancient cultures somehow knew the benefits of these spices and I’m sure that is what has contributed to their longevity.  Having Celiac disease, I love anything that is natural, delicious and helps my digestion and immune function.

Parvenah was kind enough to share her recipe for her Persian spice mix, and also a recipe for Mast Esphenaj.  Thank you Parvaneh.

To contact Parveneh:

Persian Spices: Courtesy of Parvaneh

What you’ll need:

2 tablespoons    ground   Cinnamon

½ teaspoon        ground   Cardamom

½ teaspoon        ground   Pepper

¼ teaspoon        ground   Turmeric

1 teaspoon          ground   Nutmeg

1 teaspoon          ground   Cumin

½ teaspoon         ground   Coriander

Combine all the spices and mix well. Store in an airtight jar

Mast Esphenaj: Courtesy of Pavaneh

 What you’ll need:

4 cups Yogurt

1 large onion peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 cups frozen spinach coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon Persian spices

¼ teaspoon Saffron – dissolve in 1 tablespoon of hot water

4 tablespoons of Olive oil

Juice from ½ a large lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

To Prepare:

1- Defrost spinach

2- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over a medium flame

3- Add the chopped onions and sauté until they are golden brown.

4- Add Persian spices, salt, pepper, and the dissolved Saffron and mix well.

5- Add chopped spinach and cook until spinach is tender (approximately 5-10 minutes)

6- Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Mix well

7- Place the mixture in a deep serving dish and chill for approximately one hour.

8- Add yogurt and fold into mixture.

Serve as a side dish with rice and meat dishes.

Nooshe Jan!





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