Spinach Triangles

Spinach Triangles (Recipe)

These gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free appetizers are not only incredible tasting, they are low in fat, and have been enthusiastically devoured at every event I have taken them to. Plus they look so elegant.

The cheezy taste comes from a blending of raw almonds, chickpea miso, mirin, roasted red peppers, and nutritional yeast. Although they look like something that is made from phyllo dough -- I use rice paper wrappers, cut in half -- and the end result is not only appealing -- but gluten free!

You can buy rice paper wrappers at any Asian grocery store. Make sure that you get the ones that have only these three ingredients: Rice, water, salt. (I find that the ones that contain tapioca don't work nearly as well.) Be sure to use organic spinach -- since conventionally grown spinach is one of the more heavily pesticided crops.


1 pound organic baby spinach washed
water for cooking the spinach
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion --diced

1/2 cup raw almonds -- ground to a coarse flour
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup Eden Mirin (sweet rice cooking wine)
1 tsp lemon juice
3 TBS roasted red pepper pieces (I like Mediteranean Organics)
3 TBS South River Chickpea Miso (this makes them soy free)
1 tsp umboshi plumb paste
1/4 cup nutritional Yeast flakes (Do NOT confuse with bakers yeast NOR brewer's yeast-- also this is optional -- they still taste pretty cheezy without this ingredient)
1 tsp onion powder
1 TBS dried basil
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp Eden Agar Flakes
1 TBS arrowroot powder

1 package rice paper wrappers
olive oil vegetable spray


1.Wash the spinach and place it into a large covered pot with about 1/4 inch of water in the botton and heat it on medium until the spinach completely shrinks. Then, place the spinach into a large strainer and press and squeeze it over the sink until you remove every drop of liquid that you can, then place it on a cutting board and chop it with a knife in all directions about 30 times. Set aside.

2) Place the tsp of olive oil into a cast iron skillet, turn on high, when hot add the onion, stir frequently until it starts to brown. Then add the chopped spinach and cook for about 2 minutes more --to further remove moisture. Stir frequently. Turn off heat and let set.

3) Place the almonds into a blender (I use a Vitamix for this) and add the water and blend until totally smooth, then add all the rest of the ingredients -- except for the rice paper and the olive oil spray, blend until completely smooth and yellow orange colored. Then transfer the contents of the blender to the skillet with the onions. Use a spatula to get every drop that you can from the blender. blend everything in the skillet well.

4) Take a large pot (or other container large enough to dunk a rice paper wrapper into) and put about an inch of water into the bottom and warm it on the stove. Warm water softens the rice wrappers more quickly -- but don't make it so hot that you can't quickly dip your fingers into it, without burning yourself. Clear a large workspace on your counter or table. Get a large cookie tray (I use airbake pans and get great results) and rub olive oil on it and set it nearby. Open the package of rice papers and set them out and place the pan with the spinach near these. Take one of the rice papers and dunk it in the water for about 2 seconds, pull it out and fold it in half. Time this right and the paper should neatly break in two. Set each half down on the counter so that each half circle is orientated with it's arch to the left or right. Repeat this with as many more circles as you have room for on your counter. Then scoop up about 1 rounded teaspoonful of the spinach filling and place it on the rice wrapper in the corner nearest you, do this for each half circle. By this time, the first half circle of rice paper should be starting to get sticky. Fold a small triangle of wrapper over the filling (away from you) and continue folding small triangles until the whole thing is securely and tightly folded

up. Place the triangle on the tray. Repeat this process until you have used up all the filling. Do NOT allow any of the triangle to touch! When the tray is filled, lightly spray the triangles with olive oil spray and broil them in a preheated oven on high --about 5 inches from the heating element. Watch them closely. As soon as they start to brown, remove the tray from the oven, turn the triangles over and brown the other side.

You can serve these fresh and hot -- or later on after they have cooled. Great for lunch boxes too!

About 60% of Americans have the genes that predispose them to becoming gluten sensitive.

Recent research (By Dr. Kenneth Fine) suggests that about half of these people have detectable immunological reactions to gluten, and the majority will NEVER meet the classic definition of celiac disease -- even though gluten IS triggering an autoimmune reaction in their body which may affect many organs or tissues other then the small intestine.

Recipe for these GFCF Penguins is in my book!

Are You Educated on Genetic Engineering?

Biotechnology is the new frontier. Yet, few people in our country right now, have any idea, just how dramatically Genetic Engineering is poised to change our lives. Proponents believe biotech holds the possibility of doing some great things, and I believe it might have some great applications, but there is also evidence that this technology if misapplied or allowed out of the lab/hospital setting, could have significant and even disasterous consequences for our health, and well being. The problem is, there is so much money to be made right now in biotech, and so little required in terms of safety testing, and no requirement for product labeling, that human hubris and capitalism being what they are, I think we are headed for some difficult lessons -- before appropriate safeguards are put in place. I believe at the very least, people should have the option of taking the risk of exposure or avoiding this risk if they so choose. (But that is currently NOT the case.) Please watch the video below (it is less then 20 minutes long) of how one mother (who just happened to be a wall street food analyst) woke up to this issue. Then go explore this site: Seeds of Deception to learn the facts so that you can protect yourself and your family.

Should you avoid Genetically Engineered Foods?

Check this out -- Vitamin D

Many of us probably have suboptimal levels of vitamin D, which can be a contributing factor to the development of many of the related conditions and symptoms more common in those who are gluten sensitive. Watch this video -- It's worth the investment of thirty minutes of your time. I should mention however, that while some authorities consider D3 superior to D2, there is good data that if D2 is taken in reasonable amounts (like 1000-2000 iu daily -- not the huge megadoses that some doctors recommend taking on a weekly basis) that D2 is very effective. (And for someone like me who prefers to minimize any possible exposure to prions which may contaminate animal derrived substances -- of which D3 is one -- this is very good news.)

Dietition Jack Norris has great info on Vitamin D here. Be sure also to read Vitamin D Researcher/MD Michael Hollick's book, The UV Advantage.

Recurrent Abdominal Pain (R.A.P.)

Pre Celiac Disease?

As soon as my daughter could talk she began to report to me that her tummy almost always hurt. Although it didn't become really bad until she was about 8 years old -- this I believe was due to long term exclusive breastfeeding. Throughout her early years, I raised the issue of her chronic abdominal pain with our family doctor on many occaisions, and he would assure me that nothing was wrong, that RAP was very common in children and usually due to emotional issues. When it increased in severity we went to see another doctor -- he thought she might have ulcers -- but that test came back negative and the other tests he ran showed that she was in good health. He thought she was fine too. Eventually I learned about gluten from a friend and well you can read the rest of this story by clicking on the links to articles at the top of this page. However the main point I wish to make here is this: In looking back, it is clear to me now that my daughter -- probably from birth was reacting to gluten. Her fussiness, her greenish stools, her starting to nurse and then pulling off and crying, and then years of tummy aches -- all suggest that gluten was causing her issues from the very beginning. On many occaisions I suspected that wheat might be affecting her -- but its withdrawal never entirely resolved her issues. Now of course I know that gluten is not just in wheat, but also barley, spelt, rye, oats and lots of things made from these. RAP is very common and most the time, it's cause is never found. I would urge anyone who's child is suffering, to explore the possibility that gluten might be the cause of their distress.

Why is Gluten so Problematic?

August of 2009 Scientific American published this very in-depth article on Celiac Disease:


With this quote in it:

"Gluten, however, has a peculiar structure: it is unusually rich in the amino acids glutamine and proline. This property renders part of the molecule impervious to our protein-chopping machinery, leaving small protein fragments, or peptides, intact."

However one thing the article left unanswered. I want to know what is the scientific basis for so many doctors believing that antigliadin antibodies are non-specific and are not (by themselves) indicitive of a problem? The article said that anti-gliadin antibodies are NOT considered specific to celiac disease because they are often found in people who do not have celiac disease. But given that it has only been about 65 years that the medical profession has even made the connection between celiac disease and gluten, and only SIX years since the medical profession realized the incidence was at least TEN TIMES more common then they previously thought....why are they still assuming that anti-gliadin antibodies are nonspecific?

Could it be that all those people who do have antigliadin antibodies in their systems, but don't show damage to the villi are still having a dangerous reaction to gluten? Should the definition of celiac disease be altered...or else dropped altogether and simply be part of a condition called gluten sensitivity which may or may not create visible damage to the villi of the small intestine?

Taxonomic Relationship Amongst Grains

Taxonomic Relationship Amongst Grains
Only the Hordeae tribe make their own gluten -- but oats can absorb gluten if they are grown or stored near gluten containing grains.