Orange Chiffon Cake

Orange or Lemon Chiffon Cake

Orange Chiffon Cake
Orange Chiffon Cake

(Gluten-free adaption by Shelley Goldbeck)


  • 1 and 3/4 cups cake flour (for gluten-free I use a combination of rice, almond, coconut, and/or sorghum flours and cornstarch, tapioca, potato and/or arrowroot. I have better luck with gluten-free baking if I use some almond or coconut flour).
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (or ¼ c honey)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (olive or coconut oil)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup water (I include the juice from two oranges or lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest
  • 6 egg whites (room temp is best for getting them fluffy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (or 1/3 c honey or other natural sweetener like agave)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. Add oil, egg yolks, water and lemon rind. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until peaks form. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, and beat until very stiff and shiny peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain. Turn batter into ungreased 10 inch tube/bundt pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (If you use honey, you may have to reduce the cooking temp and increase the time as honey browns easily.) Invert cake and cool completely in pan. When cool, loosen edges and shake pan to remove cake.

Decorate with powdered sugar and lemon/orange slices.

Variations on this cake recipe:

  1. White cake: no lemon, add 2 tsp vanilla
  2. Spice cake: remove lemon. Add 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp cloves, ¼ tsp allspice or to taste.
  3. Chocolate: remove lemon. Add ½ cup cocoa (or to taste)
  4. Add poppy seeds

Cake may be cut into pieces and frozen in single servings. You can also make cupcakes.

Vacation Weight Gain: Ten Tips to Keep Holiday Food from Going to “Waist”

woman-measuring-her-waist-100202732Post-vacation blues are not limited to dreading returning to work. Vacationers often lament gaining “ten pounds” on their vacations.

There is no need to gain weight on vacation. While it’s harder to adhere to a healthy diet when travelling, it’s not impossible. Here are some tips to avoid food going “to waist”!

  1. Stay the course. Your health is your greatest asset and doesn’t take vacations. A devil-may-care attitude about what you consume will cost you on many levels. Bingeing at buffets daily WILL affect your health, (although I’m all for a good feast once in a while!) Keep up your exercise regime as much as possible.
  2. Don’t over-imbibe. Alcohol is packed with empty calories that go straight to belly fat. In moderation your body can handle it but starting poolside happy hour at 10AM will fatigue your body. Drinking every day impairs your body’s repair-ability.
  3. Ask for special concessions and preparations. Restaurants are surprisingly accommodating if you ask. On our recent family trip to Disneyland, we found the park over-the-top helpful when we asked about their gluten and dairy-free options. At one restaurant on Main Street Disneyland, the chef himself took our order and assured us he, alone would prepare our meal. (Note: they did not advertise gluten-free, but many places in SoCal had GF menus).
  4. Always get a bar fridge in your hotel room, because…
  5. …the grocery store is your first stop. Buy cut-up veggies, fruit, nuts, healthy dips, almond milk. Keep them in the bar fridge (see #4). Not only can you save big bucks on food by shopping at the grocery store for some of your meals and snacks, it’s easier to eat clean when healthy snacks are available. (Pack baggies to carry and store snacks).
  6. Oh, and buy a case of bottled water. We often don’t drink enough water on vacation; dehydration triggers feelings of hunger. Keeping cold ones in the bar fridge helps you stay hydrated. Coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol all contribute to dehydration.
  7. Plan daily snacks. Packing a cooler bag with some fruits, nuts and veggies can head off the hangries that strike and help you avoid the temptation of unhealthy options generally available at tourist attractions.
  8. Make smoothies. I carry a small blender (Magic Bullet) when I travel with my grandtoys. They love smoothies for breakfast, desserts and snacks and it’s a great way to use overripe fruit. This trick saves huge money on breakfasts!
  9. Watch your portions. Restaurants, especially in the USA, serve mountains of food on one plate. My husband and I often share dishes and still have leftovers! If you can’t share, ask for a carton and immediately put half away to take with you. Also, it’s not a crime to leave some of your fries on the plate. If more people stopped eating, the portions might shrink!
  10. Scout restaurants in the area that have healthy choices. In California, we ate several times at Soup Plantation, a soup and salad restaurant, (called Sweet Tomatoes in Arizona). They featured gluten-free lemon muffins when we were there. The grandtoys were in heaven! We also ate frequently at Mother’s, which is a Southern California health food store chain with attached vegetarian restaurant. The grandtoys had Mother’s gluten-free pancakes and French toast several times as well as consuming a few peanut butter banana smoothies. I had baked sweet potatoes (better than fries), plates of steamed seasonal veggies and pita pockets filled with  shredded beets, carrots, with avocado and tomatoes. Yum!
photo belongs to
photo belongs to

Bonus Tip #11: Get back on the horse. It’s inevitable that your eating habits (aka diet) will be disrupted when you’re on vacation. So what if you come home a few pounds heavier? Resume your healthy practices and you’ll soon be back to your svelte self. Hopefully you tried some new healthy foods you can add to your repertoire.

Nasturtium Salad

Nasturtium SaladIn medium bowl, mix together:

  • 1 avocado peeled and cut into ½” (1.5 cm) cubes
  • 1 large (or 2 small) tomatoes, cut into ½” cubes
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • ½ long English cucumber, remove seeds and chop into 1 cm pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup washed Nasturtium petals (optional)*

Add dressing:

  • ¼ c extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half lemon
  • 1 small clove or ½ large clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp seasoning, your choice.  I have used:
    • Victorian Epicure “Spanish” (original flavour of this salad)
    • Victorian Epicure “Herbes de Province”
    • Mix of basil and oregano

Marinate for half hour (on the counter: tomatoes are best at room temperature)

*Nasturtiums are very easy to grow and they keep certain bad bugs away from your garden. The petals and leaves are edible. I only recommend eating home grown, organic flowers. They add a subtle but spicy tang to the taste of this salad but it’s still great without. Nasturtiums also make very pretty bouquets as they come in a variety of colours and patterns from pale yellow to pumpkin orange to fire truck red. They’re perfect for the dinner table because they have short stems; you can easily see over the flowers.