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Gluten-free, Wheat-free living

Winter Solstice 2011

Sample our seasonal favorites, below, or stroll through our archives. All of our recipes are A Fork in the Road originals unless otherwise noted.


Holiday Layered Dip


Goat Cheese and Onion Enchiladas


A Fork in the Road's Beef Stew Provencal


Gluten-Free "Toffee" Bites


Gluten-Free Brownies with Nutella and Toasted Chile Pine Nuts

Holiday Layered Dip


This is SO easy, you'll be amazed. The recipe belongs to my friend JJ. You could use cream cheese if you prefer, but the slightly sweet and softer mascarpone is better. With the 3 layers, it makes a pretty appetizer that's easy to double or triple. Bring to room temperature before serving. We pair this with our favorite GF crackers or rice chips.

1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese (We buy these at Whole Foods.)

¼ cup your favorite basil pesto (We buy the Whole Foods brand in the deli.)

¼ cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and minced

Remove the mascarpone from the plastic container it comes in, and divide it in half. Freeze ½ for another use (or make another dip) and set aside 1/2. Wash the plastic container well and line with plastic wrap. Place pesto layer on bottom and smooth with a spoon. Gently layer sundried tomatoes right on top of the pesto, and finished with 4 ounces (half portion) mascarpone. I spread the soft mascarpone with the back of a spoon. Fold plastic wrap over and put plastic lid back on. Pop in the freezer until about 3 hours before your party. 3 hours before serving, remove from freezer and fold back plastic wrap from top of container. Invert onto a serving plate, peel off remaining plastic, and let dip disk sit at room temperature (thawing) until you're ready to serve. Surround with your favorite gluten-free crackers or chips. Then finish with the pesto – all in the same container the cheese came in. It's not quite as easy to "unmold," but you can do it by running a sharp knife around the outside and pressing slightly on the side of the plastic container to loosen the dip. OR, you can make it a little more festive. Serves about 6.

Goat Cheese and Onion Enchiladas


These stacked enchiladas are our creation. The sauce is thick and rich, almost like a mole. What makes the sauce so different is the combination of chiles. The Chimayo chiles are incredible. Check out El Potrero Trading Post to order,

If you prefer a completely vegetarian sauce, use vegetable broth instead of beef broth, but the flavor will be milder. We make these stacked for convenience. You can easily make traditional "rolled" enchiladas as well. Great holiday meal for a crowd.


3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons gluten-free flour (use your favorite GF blend)

¼ cup regular chili powder (Whole Foods has a good brand in its bulk foods section.) and add enough Chimayo or New Mexico ground chile to bring the mixture up to 1/3 (see Cook's Note below.)

1 tablespoon regular paprika

1 tablespoon hot paprika (if you can't find this, use regular paprika)

1 tablespoon smoked paprika (Try to find this if you can. It's incredible!)

2 cups beef broth (Pacific brand is GF.)

21 ounces tomato puree (I buy a 28-ounce can and pour off 7 ounces.)

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons (or more to taste) chocolate (I just use semi-sweet chocolate chips.)

Salt to taste (you should need very little)

In a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir in GF flour and cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder mixture and paprikas. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, tomato puree, oregano, cumin, and garlic powder. Add chocolate and salt as needed. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer about 10 minutes. Makes about 4 2/3 cups – enough for 12 traditional rolled enchiladas or 1 large pan of stacked enchiladas. Sauce freezes beautifully.


¾ to 1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated and divided into two equal piles

¼ pound Pepper Jack cheese, grated

4 ounces goat cheese

½ large red onion, minced finely

24 corn tortillas (We're using Sprouted Corn tortillas tonight.)


In a small bowl, combine goat cheese and red onion. Mix well. Form into a log, about 1-inch in diameter, and slice goat cheese about 1/4-inch thick for stacked enchiladas. For rolled enchiladas, divide log into 12 equal portions.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large casserole pan (9 X 13 is a little small. If you must use this pan size, put about 2/3 of the ingredients in this pan and 1/3 into an 8-inch square pan.), ladle a little enchilada sauce to cover pan bottom. Place 6 tortillas on pan bottom. Cover with half the Cheddar cheese. Place 6 tortillas over bottom layer of Cheddar and ladle on enough sauce to lightly cover second layer of tortillas. Evenly sprinkle goat cheese and onion over second layer of tortillas. Cover with 6 more tortillas, more sauce, and the remainder of the Cheddar cheese. Finish with a final layer of 6 tortillas, more sauce to cover last layer or tortillas well. Top with grated Pepper Jack cheese. You'll probably have some sauce left.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Let rest about 5 to 8 minutes before cutting. Makes 12 large stacked enchilada portions or 24 rolled enchiladas. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, and your favorite pinto beans and rice.

Cook's Note: Chili powder and ground chiles are not interchangeable. Chili powder is a mélange of spices and salt. Ground chiles are just ground chile pods.


I'm always looking for easy holiday meals. This beef stew is a winner. Rich and hearty, tender beyond belief. It's reminiscent of "Boeuf Bourguignon." You can also substitute balsamic vinegar for the wine.

1 ½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into pieces

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, diced

1 rib celery, thinly sliced

8 medium Cremini mushrooms, washed, patted dry, and sliced (stems OK if they're not woody)

4 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal

3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes with skins on, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 cup tomato sauce

½ cup burgundy, malbec, or your favorite rich red wine (OK to substitute water or balsamic vinegar for wine)

½ cup beef broth

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon medium-hot New Mexico ground chile (NOT chili powder. OK to substitute ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper for 1 teaspoon medium-hot New Mexico ground chile.)

1 teaspoon black pepper

¾ teaspoon salt

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary Sour cream for garnish, optional

Place veggies in bottom of 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Place chuck roast on top and add remaining ingredients. Cook on LOW 8 hours. Correct salt to taste. Ladle into bowls. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a crunchy GF bread. Serves 6.

Gluten-Free "Toffee" Bites


This came to me via my friend Susan Sternlieb. It's an ingenious recipe that works so simply, you won't believe it!

1 cup butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 (7-ounce) box of your favorite, plain gluten-free crackers (I use Schar GF Table Crackers. You won't need all the crackers, just enough to cover the bottom of your baking sheet.

1 12-ounce bag GF semi-sweet chocolate chips

8-ounce bag of Hershey's Heath "Bits O Brickle" – (Look in baking section near chocolate chips.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet (with a rim) with foil, and spray foil with canola spray. In a medium saucepan melt butter and sugar and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (on a low boil) about 5 minutes. Place a layer of crackers –as close together as possible – on the cookie sheet, completely covering the floor of the pan. Pour the brown sugar/butter mixture over the crackers and bake about 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove crackers from oven and immediately pour the entire 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips over the hot, candy-coated crackers, spreading them with the back of a large spoon as the chocolate melts to "frost" the crackers. Sprinkle chocolate layer with brickle bits. Cool to room temp, then chill in fridge as long as you can stand it! Break crackers into pieces like peanut brittle. Makes about 100 bite-sized pieces of GF toffee.

Gluten-Free Brownies with Nutella and Toasted Chile Pine Nuts


Chewy and not-too-sweet, these brownies satisfy that chocolate craving and stay fresh and moist for at least five days in an air-tight container stored at room temp. These keep well up to a week in the fridge. The Nutella adds an element of creaminess and the toasted chile pine nuts remind you that this is not your grandmother's brownie recipe!

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ½ cups gluten-free flour (see my favorite blend)

2/3 cup butter

¼ cup water

12 ounces GF semi-sweet chocolate chips (such as Nestlé's or Tropical Source)

5 eggs

4 teaspoons vanilla (Rodelle and McCormick's are gluten-free.)

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon or more medium-heat New Mexico ground chile

Nutella hazelnut spread (see Cook's Note below)

2/3 cup toasted pine nuts (recipe below)

2 teaspoons medium heat New Mexico ground chiles

Adjust oven baking rack to center position and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch X 13-inch baking pan with canola oil. Line the bottom/sides of the baking pan with a double layer of foil and spray foil with canola oil. (Foil liner/"handles" will help you remove brownies later.)

In a medium bowl, combine gluten-free flour, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum. Mix well and set aside. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine sugar, butter, water, and vanilla. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Add chocolate chips and stir constantly until melted and well-combined. Remove mixture from heat and add eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition. Slowly add flour mixture, stirring well until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees 40 to 50 minutes (I usually bake mine about 45 to 47 minutes) or until a toothpick comes out with wet crumbs. Cool in pan on a wire rack about 30 to 40 minutes. Run a knife around outer edge of brownies, then – using foil "handles" overhanging pan – gently lift out brownies and finish cooling on rack. When completely cooled (about 90 minutes), cut into 42 squares (7 rows, 6 pieces in each row).

Cook's Note: If adding Nutella, spread a thin layer of the hazelnut spread on the brownies just before cutting. Then garnish with toasted chile pine nuts. Cut and serve.

Toasting Pine Nuts

Place pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium to low heat and stir frequently. In about 5 minutes, they will start to toast/emit an amazing fragrance. Keep stirring, nuts burn easily. When the nuts are uniformly golden, remove from heat and pour onto a piece of foil to cool. When nuts are cool enough to handle, place in a zip-top bag, add ground chiles, seal bag and shake well.

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