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What’s for dinner? This age-old question is especially challenging for the millions of Americans who live without gluten––a protein in wheat and wheat-related grains. Like everyone else, they want a quick meal at the end of a long day––but it also has to be safe.
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Cooking without wheat once demanded hours in the kitchen making everything from scratch, but in her ground-breaking new cookbook, Carol reveals all her shortcuts, tips, and time-saving techniques from more than a decade as America’s foremost gluten-free cooking authority.
Here are her secrets, ideas so simple you can use them tonight.
SECRET #1: MINIMIZE INGREDIENTS
Carol reveals which flavor-intensive foods you can add to flavor your favorite dishes without measuring lots of ingredients. For example, Mexican salsa is packed with flavor and replaces multiple ingredients of tomatoes, chiles, salt, oregano, cilantro.... and so on. So, you can have a really quick soup using canned black beans, Mexican salsa, and a little broth or water.
SECRET #2: MINIMIZE EFFORT
Shave time off preparation and cleanup with Carol’s versatile flour blends and homemade mixes.
What is a flour blend? It’s a blend of gluten-free flours that perform well together, can be mixed up ahead of time and stored in your pantry, and then you measure it just like the wheat flour you used before you adopted a gluten-free diet.
Carol’s particular flour blend consists of sorghum flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour––items readily available at health food stores and often in your local grocery store. You can use this flour blend in all of the recipes in this book with confidence.
What is a homemade mix? It’s like any dry mix you buy in the store, only you make it yourself. It contains the flour blend, the leavening agents, and the other dry ingredients. Homemade mixes are an incredible time-saver. For example, you can whip up a bread mix which is then ready and waiting for you––just like the bread mixes you buy in the store––to be used in making sandwich bread, pizza, breadsticks, and dinner rolls.
You can also prepare cake mixes ahead of time to make any kind of cake; or prepare quick bread/muffin mixes or pancake/waffle mixes for your favorite breakfast foods.
Carol covers other ways to minimize effort in the kitchen such as using a food processor––instead of the usual electric mixer–– to instantly blend your cookie dough. In fact, in her Flourless Chocolate Cake she shows you how to grind the nuts in the food processor, then add the remaining ingredients on top of the nuts, and quickly blend the cake batter. In about 30 seconds it’s ready for the oven.
Speaking of your oven, Carol also shares her cutting-edge baking techniques to save you time. Remember the crusty, chewy French breads we once ate? Start your French bread dough to bake in a cold oven (prepared quickly with the bread mix, of course) and you can have bread ready in less than an hour. Make French baguettes––which are smaller and bake faster––and you can have bread in about 30 or 35 minutes. Your family and your guests will be so impressed.
SECRET #3: MAXIMIZE MEALS
Carol firmly believes that there is no such thing as leftovers. Armed with that conviction, she shows you how to “morph” tonight’s dinner into tomorrow’s lunch or next week’s dinner––without your family or guests even knowing it. For example, cook a roast chicken and use the bones for chicken broth, the chunks of meat for a chicken casserole, and any remaining chicken for chicken salad sandwiches. Using your freezer wisely is a key to this strategy.
She even provides an 8-week menu plan showing you in great detail how a single meal can be creatively “recreated.” For example, cook two pork tenderloins on Tuesday night and serve one; cut the other one into cubes, freeze it, and transform it into sweet-and-sour pork a few nights later.
Maximizing meals involves more than just the main dishes. Carol shows you time-savers like chopping a whole onion and freezing the portion you don’t need, rather than just chopping part of it and refrigerating the rest––which might be forgotten in the back of the vegetable crisper if you don’t plan your menus and follow that plan. In Carol’s web site package, she offers a clever, erasable memo board that you can use for menu planning or jot down what’s in the freezer so you don’t forget it.
Ideal for the following diets or lifestyles:
- Celiac disease
- Food allergies and intolerances
- Autism (gluten-free, casein-free diet)
- Auto-immune diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus)