Fabulous Finds: Gluten Free Easily

by Maggie on May 8, 2011

By now I am quite sure you all know Shirley Braden.  She is the unstoppable woman behind the blog Gluten Free Easily (GFE).

I bumped into Shirley (virtually of course) for the first time on Twitter.    You’ll find her tweeting with most of the gluten-free community.  She is friends with all of the gluten-free blogging community and she makes sure to stop by everyone’s blog on a regular basis.

Shirley has been living gluten-free for 9 years and started her blog so she could spread the word about how to live on a gluten-free diet, easily.  She is an incredible advocate for gluten-free safety standards, and she has one of the biggest hearts in the world!

I had the good fortune of meeting Shirley live and in person last weekend when I was in Chicago at the Gluten Free and Allergen Free Expo.  It was so nice to meet her and spend some time with her.  I also got to watch her in action when she did a cooking demo.  She made her Flourless Gluten-Free Pizza and her Crustless Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie .  Both were so simple and so tasty (they were dairy-free too).

Gluten Free Easily In My Kitchen

I finally had the chance to try a couple of Shirley’s recipes in my own kitchen.  As soon as she posted her recipe for Refined Sugar-Free Chewy Granola Bars I knew I had to try them.

I happened to be heading out of town for a few days so I thought granola bars would make the perfect breakfast for the road.  I took enough for two days and I was looking forward to having a couple more when I got back from my travels.  What I didn’t realize is Pete loved them as much as I did and took it upon himself to finish the pan!

Needless to say, I’ve made them a few more times.  I make a couple of changes so they meet our dietary needs (I use coconut oil, less sugar, and a chia egg).  They turn out perfectly chewy every time.  And they’re packed full of nutritious benefits.  I made some before we drove to Chicago so I was able to share them with Shirley!  She approved.  Phew.

I am a vegetarian so I happen to eat a lot of veggies.  However, I have always had trouble with broccoli. In order to really enjoy it, I need to eat broccoli with a big swipe of dip or cooked with some sort of yummy sauce.  Pete loves steamed broccoli and I usually just quickly swallow my pieces (because darn it, it’s so good for me) and get on with the rest of my meal.  Well now I don’t have to do that anymore.

Enter Shirley and her recipe for Super-Charged Garlic Lemon Broccoli. It is so incredibly easy and so good (imagine broccoli with the benefit of lemon and garlic! Mmmm).  It’s basically steamed broccoli with salad dressing.  I sprinkled my Garlic and Lemon Broccoli with a little bit of nutritional yeast and used some of the leftover dressing for a side salad.  Naturally gluten-free and naturally easy. Totally Shirley’s style.

The last recipe I tried (I couldn’t resist) was Shirley’s Coconut Honey Whipped Cream.  It was as good as it sounds and as good as it looks!  So simple, and naturally gluten-free!

Shirley’s the mother of the gluten-free blogging community.  She connects with everyone, encourages everyone, supports everyone, and makes us all feel better every time!

Make sure you take some time to check out Shirley’s blog. You can also find Shirley and GFE on Facebook.

This is linked to The Book of Yum’s Adopt-A-Gluten-Free-Blogger event, check there for the round-up later this month.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Debi May 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Shirley rocks the gluten-free world! I loved her broccoli and made it for Thanksgiving last year along with her Carrot Coins. So easy to make and yummy to boot! So glad we all got to meet last weekend!


Maggie May 9, 2011 at 6:48 pm

You’re so right Debi! She does rock our GF world! I need to go back to that Carrot Coins recipe and check it out. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 I’m so glad we got to meet last weekend too, did your hubby enjoy himself?


Zoe May 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Maggie, you did a fabulous job! It is my every intention to “adopt” Shirley one day as I am also grateful for her and to her, which I am sure that many of us are. Saying she’s the mother of the gluten-free blogging community is very apt – she’s one of the biggest supports out there right now! As I’ve told her before (in a comment, I think) I really could not imagine the gluten-free blogosphere without her, she’s such an integral part of it.

Oh, I also love the granola bar picture with one of your kids in the background just waiting to pounce! 🙂


Maggie May 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Thank you Zoe. It was really easy to write this, but hard not to gush and go on and on about all the things Shirley does for the community. She’s a ball of fire isn’t she? That pic is Callum, I didn’t even have to stage that! He was back there and it turned out so cute. Now every time I take a pic he wants to be in on it!


Ricki May 9, 2011 at 6:49 am

A great adoption of Shirley! Who doesn’t love Shirley? She was one of the first in the GF community I met, too, and you are so right about how she connects with and encourages everyone. I am in awe of her energy and all the information she provides! The granola bars look sensational. And now that I know they will come out just fine if adapted to a vegan version, I’m on it! 😀


Maggie May 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Thank you Ricki! I had fun working on this adoption post. I agree with you, her energy is boundless! Let me know how your granola bars turn out. I think you will love them.


Shirley @ gfe May 9, 2011 at 9:38 am

Maggie, I’m so honored by your adoption and extremely kind words that I’m *almost* speechless. 😉 What a delight it was to meet you and your family at the Expo! It was a treat in every way to sample your vegan version of my chewy granola bars; they truly tasted great. 🙂 I had no idea that you didn’t like broccoli, but I’m glad I’ve now given you a way to enjoy it. And honey whipped cream is hard to beat, isn’t it? I don’t know why anyone uses traditional whipped cream any more. The honey whipped cream recipe is especially wonderful for those who need to eat dairy free, of course. Thanks, too, for sharing the success of my recipes at my Expo demo. I did want to point out that while my pumpkin pie recipe you linked to is naturally dairy free, the pizza recipe would require substitutions for all the dairy ingredients. I know that Tofutti was used for the cream cheese and Daiya was used for the mozzarella, but I don’t know which brand of dairy-free Parmesan was used. The pizza came out much softer, but people still seemed to like it. 🙂

Thanks so very much, Maggie, dear! xo,


Maggie May 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Ah Shirley, you are so welcome! It was truly and delight to meet you too and I am so glad that I got that cute pic! How lucky am I to be sharing granola bars with Shirley from GFE? Honey Whipped Cream is absolutely amazing. And the best part is if you have any leftovers, you can turn it into dairy-free ice cream! I could have gone on and on Shirley 🙂 You’re the best. xo


Alisa Cooks May 9, 2011 at 11:40 am

That is such a cute picture of you two Maggie!!

You did an awesome job with the recipes, I really want to try these.


Maggie May 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Thanks Alisa, I love the way that pic turned out!


Shirley @ gfe May 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Stopping back to thank everyone else for their lovely words, too. (Lost my manners there momentarily.) It’s really super easy to be nice and supportive when dealing with all of you! 🙂



The Healthy Apple May 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Great picture of both of you…and the gluten-free eats look fabulous. I’m loving these gluten-free granola bars…delicious and perfect for my snacks!


Maggie May 10, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Thanks The Healthy Apple 🙂 These granola bars are nothing but awesome! Hope you enjoy them.


Debi May 9, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Maggie, he enjoyed himself more than he’ll let on. You should’ve seen him licking his fingers and the paper plate when he finished the sample of Shirley’s pumpkin pie. He HATES pumpkin pie! I think he really enjoyed finally being able to connect the names I always throw at him with actual people. lol I think he really learned something, too. He hasn’t bought any gluten-full treats for himself and brought them home. Everything he’s buying is gf. 😀


Alta May 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

You’re right, Shirley is unstoppable…and that’s a great thing! I love having her as a powerful influence in the gluten-free community. And her recipes are great to boot! Love your photo of that granola bar. So awesome.


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