Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Coconut (Gluten Free) Bars

chocolate chip peanut butter coconut bars

Recipe time again!! My Namaste Perfect Flour Blend is going to expire in a few months and I have a lot left..and I have plenty of coconut on hand as well as always having chocolate chips.

I found this recipe that appears to be from Nestle.  I made a few adjustments on the ingredients. The original recipe was not gluten free but it seemed fine to adapt to gluten free with the right flour.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks

I used:

  • 1 cup of Turbinado sugar.
  • about 1 1/2 cups of Enjoy Life chocolate chips. (End of a bag of mini chips and then dark chocolate morsels)
  • 4 tablespoons of half and half because I wanted a little more moisture in the dough (It was the dairy I had open. I’ll use milk next time.)
  • about 1/2-1/3 cup of Trader Joe’s roasted coconut. (I think any coconut is probably fine and shredded might work better. I used the coconut I had that wasn’t as dry either.)
  • and just to be obvious – 1 /2 cups of Namaste Perfect Flour Blend. (The cookie mix is probably good too.)

Additional notes:

  • The recipe says “Until the center sets.” I went until the edge started to brown which was a little longer than the recommended time.
  • It might work better in a 9×13 pan instead of an 8×11 pan.
  • I cut out a small chunk to taste when it was still warm. I think it’s probably better if you wait until it’s completely cool to cut/serve.

Recipe: Cheeseburger Casserole

Another recipe where substitutions should be totally fine. I cannot eat “cream of x” soup so yogurt gets uses when this is being made to eat at home. Since “cream of x” soup is easier and cheaper that gets uses for work pot luck events. Your final product will also depend on the quality of ingredients used. (Obviously, but it seemed worth noting?) You can also mix this up ahead of time and bake it later.
16oz ground beef or bison
32oz frozen hash browns (shredded or diced)
12oz*** grated cheese (I use good cheddar)
1 can cream of celery**
1 medium onion*
1-2 bell peppers* (mix green and red/yellow/orange)
2 stalks celery*
8oz*** bacon*
bacon grease*
*add more or less as you like or leave out completely
**500g tub of full fat greek yogurt can be substituted; it is different, but doesn’t have the stuff that is in the cream of soup
***I add cheese and bacon until it looks right to me. Use your best judgement.
kosher salt
garlic granules
  • Slice bacon in 1/4” slivers (I place it in the freezer for 30 or so before slicing it so it’s firm and easier to slice)
  • Place bacon in cold skillet and cook on medium stirring frequently until bacon is cooked, but not quite crisp, drain and set aside, save the bacon grease
  • Chop vegetables into 1/2 inch (ish) pieces and set aside
  • Brown beef with plenty of salt, ground black pepper, and garlic granules, adding a few spoonfuls of bacon grease is completely optional but it adds richness
  • As soon as no more pink is showing on meat add veggies and cook for a few minutes (not looking to make the veggies completely soft just jumpstarting the cooking process and getting the meat juice and bacon grease on them)
  • Set Oven to 350 Degrees
  • In a large bowl add the hash browns, cream of celery, more black pepper, cheese, bacon, and the meat + veggie mixture and mix thoroughly
  • Place in a 9×13 casserole (be sure to spray it with non-stick spray or grease it with butter) and bake until center is bubbly (45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on how hot/cold the entire mixture is when it goes into the oven)

Recipe: Meal in Foil

This is one of those recipes that comes ‘from mom’ so that means this is just one variation. This is a very useful recipe because it’s more like a template. You pick the pieces you prefer. Since this is so versatile it’s also great for ‘working around’ limitations like food allergies.


Step 1: lay down 3-4 pieces of celery as a foundation on a good sized sheet of foil
Allergic to celery? Use another vegetable with similar density. This stage is important because it gives the meat something to rest on as it cooks. You probably won’t want to eat the celery. (Super thick asparagus would work too, but then you don’t want to eat it. Onion)


Step 2: place 6-8oz beef/bison patty on top of celery. Obviously you can use any meat you want.
(If you’re a vegetarian, try a large portabella mushroom top. But you might need to adjust cooking time.)



Step 3: season meat to taste (I use kosher salt, garlic granules, and fresh ground black pepper) Obviously, you’ll want to pick the spices you prefer.


Step 4: optional: layer fresh jalapeño slices on the seasoned patty. Or, if you don’t like jalapeño pepper, try bell pepper.



Step 5: place a slice of onion on top of the meat. The onion comes out very delicious. DO NOT place the onion on the bottom, it caramelizes and doesn’t hold up to the heat.



Step 6: stack potatoes on top of the onion. Obviously, another easy place for variation. Use a root vegetable if you can’t or don’t eat potatoes.



Step 7: bring ends of foil together and fold down then fold up sides


Step 8: place on a baking sheet and bake at 400º F for an hour and a half. Make sure the wrapped foil packages are centered in the oven. These do end up a little tall so you might need to lower a rack.

You’ll probably want to add additional flavors/seasoning to the potatoes. Pick your favorite: butter, cheese, chives, etc. You’ll note that no butter or oil was included inside the foil.

When feeding 2 people, make 4 to 6 at a time for leftovers. This makes a nice meal to freeze. You can freeze a single cooked meal all together in a container. Thaw in the fridge, and then re-heat. Other vegetable alternates include carrots, turnips, and mushrooms. I imagine you could use squash too.

When we eat this the only additional food added is another vegetable – usually something easy from the freezer like peas and carrots.

Pinto beans recipe

This will work for black beans too. We prefer pinto beans. My awesome husband usually makes 2 to 3 pounds of beans at a time. The beans freeze extremely well. We keep beans on hand in the chest freezer because it’s an easy way to get a dinner started. Or, put some in a food processor and – wallah – bean dip.

So, here’s his recipe. Not mine. I bake, he cooks.

Use good quality bacon. Also, note the recipe is for one pound.

Pinto Beans:

1 lb pinto beans
1 whole medium to large onion roughly chopped
several stalks of celery roughly chopped (I don’t always use celery and the amount usually varies between half as much celery as onion and equal parts)
32oz vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 – 2/3 lb bacon chopped and cooked
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp garlic granules/powder
1 tsp cumin
up to 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper (This is entirely based on how spicy you prefer. I like spicy.)
lots of fresh ground black pepper

* Sort and rinse the beans
* Add them to a pot with 3x their volume in liquid (I always use 32-48oz of vegetable or chicken broth) and bring to a boil for 5 minutes
* Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour
* Add onions, celery, bacon and return to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 to 2.5 hours
* Add the spices sometime after the 1 hour mark, not before

Vanilla Spice Gluten free bars

I took this recipe from the Namaste Foods website and adapted it for my low histamine diet and allergies. I don’t have any dairy allergies so I was happy to use butter and milk. I’d throw nuts in if you can eat them.

Vanilla Spice GF cake bars

1 1/2 cups of Namaste Foods Gluten Free Perfect Bread Flour
1/2 cup oil or butter – I used butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses (I started with a half cup but didn’t fill it up cause I was like OMG SO MUCH MOLASSES)
1/2 cup milk (should be able to use whatever is ok for your diet)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla (1 1/2 tsp might work too)
1/2 tsp cardamon

I used a stand mixer and made sure to mix eggs/sugar/butter until it was a little fluffy and then mixed all ingredients together until it looked fluffy and smooth.

Preheat oven to 350.

Use a greased 9X13 pan. 8×11 would probably work too.

Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. I think I gave it an extra 5 minutes.

I call them cake bars because they look like bars/brownies but are much lighter in texture. Also, I thought they tested better once completely cooled.

Baking! Cookies!

My feet hurt… But I don’t mind because it’s from standing in the kitchen making cookies. Not only did I feel well enough –  no migraines – no sick – no allergic reactions – to bake but I managed to be smart about it too. It’s amazing how much easier it is to bake cookies if you have a stand mixer AND measure out most ingredients before you start mixing.

Furthermore, everything I made is guaranteed free of anything I’m allergic to. Thank you Enjoy Life foods and Sunbutter.

It’s surprisingly hard to find a chocolate chip cookie recipe that doesn’t have something extra in it – like espresso powder – or nuts. Martha Stewart has a very good recipe though. I’ll use it again.




Pumpkin Pie

I’m allergic to cinnamon. I love pumpkin pie. I managed to successfully test out a recipe found online. I adjusted the spices.

For 2 pies:

1 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp cardamom

It’s probably better to call it cinnamon free spiced pumpkin pie.

Recipe: Pasta sauce with [MEAT] and [PASTA]

1 lb meat of your choice (we have used ground bison, chicken tenders, ground italian sausage, and various forms of link sausage)
1/2 medium onion (red or yellow) chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
2 medium carrots chopped
1 bunch of asparagus with the tough ends trimmed off (about a pound)
2 jars pasta sauce (our favorite brand is Blumetti’s, but any brand that doesn’t have water in it, or at least doesn’t have water as first ingredient will work)
1 package pasta (we typically use whole wheat pasta, either spaghetti, linguine, or penne lately)
1-6 cloves garlic (cook with the onion, carrot and celery)
dried oregano
dried basil
grated parmesan

* Cook the meat and set aside (I slice the chicken tenders into small bits before cooking, and typically will boil the link sausages and then slice them, otherwise just brown the ground meat, ground meat or chicken is usually seasoned with garlic salt and pepper)
* Place a small amount of oil in a saute pan (pan choice is really up to you) and heat it over medium heat, then add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until soft (few minutes at most)
* Add the asparagus to the onion, carrot, celery mixture, and cook for a minute or two (this is optional)
* Combine meat, veggies, and sauce in a large pan (I prefer to use a pan that will also accomodate the pasta once it is cooked)
* Bring mixture to a simmer, and let it simmer for however long you want, the longer the better (I try to at least give it 30 minutes)
* I add dried oregano, basil, and/or grated parmesan to the sauce depending on what I feel like and what kind I have (cheaper sauce I am more likely to doctor)
* Cook pasta according to directions
* Add drained pasta to sauce, mix well, serve, and enjoy

Note: This isn’t my recipe. This is my husband’s recipe. Honestly, he’s a better cook than I am because he likes to cook. I can cook and cook well enough, I’m out of practice at this point though. (He’s been cooking while I’m in school so I have more time for things like homework and other household chores.) Cooking I do is usually limited to baking and my own mother’s recipes. That being said, this is a very reliable recipe that will do better with better quality foods. We’ve had it bomb with less than good spaghetti sauce and asparagus is excellent in spaghetti sauce.