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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Cooking Stir Up Delicious Dishes—and Adapt Old Favorites—Without the Gluten - Introduction

DK Publishing logoDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks
Photo: Gluten gaffe Heed these words of caution, and you’ll be better prepared to avoid accidentally eating gluten. © Provided by DKBooks Gluten gaffe Heed these words of caution, and you’ll be better prepared to avoid accidentally eating gluten.

Quick tip Check these sidebars for hints and tricks to make your gluten-free life easier.

Photo: Gluten-free gab Look to these sidebars for definitions of words you might not be familiar with. © Provided by DKBooks Gluten-free gab Look to these sidebars for definitions of words you might not be familiar with.

Gluten-free gab Look to these sidebars for definitions of words you might not be familiar with.

Photo: Quick tip Check these sidebars for hints and tricks to make your gluten-free life easier. © Provided by DKBooks Quick tip Check these sidebars for hints and tricks to make your gluten-free life easier.

Gluten gaffe Heed these words of caution, and you’ll be better prepared to avoid accidentally eating gluten.

Introduction

Avoiding gluten may seem daunting at first, especially when you think about all the foods and ingredients you have to give up, but hold on. You’re about to be very pleasantly surprised at how easy and delicious gluten-free cooking can be.

As you read the following chapters, you’ll quickly discover that gluten-free cooking and eating doesn’t mean you have to forego your favorite foods. You’ll be able to enjoy many, if not most, of the foods you’re accustomed to eating—just without the gluten.

Packed with more than 200 recipes, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Cooking helps you create delicious, gluten-free meals you’ll love. (In fact, you can serve these dishes to even those who can tolerate gluten—I bet they won’t even know the difference!) And because gluten and dairy sensitivities often go hand-in-hand, I give you tips throughout for kicking the dairy to the curb, too.

I hope you enjoy the recipes and meal plans in this guide. I wrote it with the hope that the newly diagnosed gluten intolerant would see how easy it is to follow a gluten-free diet and so gluten-free veterans would discover some fresh, new ideas.

I’ve been gluten free for more than 5 years and dairy free for more than 20. It’s definitely worth the effort of restructuring some of my foods when I consider how much better I feel gluten and dairy free. I wish you similar results!


How this guide is organized

This guide is divided into six parts:

Part 1, Gluten-Free Basics, explains what gluten is and what you need to know about cooking and eating gluten free. You’ll learn what types of flours you need, how to stock your kitchen, how to read labels when purchasing foods, and how to avoid cross-contamination in your kitchen.

Part 2, Bountiful Breakfasts and Breads, offers you lots of recipes for what most people consider the most difficult gluten-free meal. Part 2 shows you how to make quick breakfasts for every day as well as breakfasts for slower-paced weekend breakfasts and brunches.

Part 3, Lunchtime! includes an array of good-for-you lunches, whether you have kitchen time to prepare your meal or for on-the-go lunches. From soups to sandwiches to snacks, you’ll love these lunchtime treats.

Part 4, What’s for Dinner? gives you loads of mouthwatering answers for this daily question. Traditional meaty favorites as well as very-veggie dishes are included, all gluten free. Feeling adventurous? You’ll really have fun with the homemade pasta and pizza recipes.

Part 5, Super Sides, contains recipes to augment your gluten-free meals. From pastas to veggies, you’ll love filling your plate with these side dishes.

Part 6, Sweet Treats, shows you how to make delicious, gluten-free treats your whole family will enjoy. (You don’t have to tell them they’re gluten free!)


*Foods to Watch Out For

Throughout the guide, you’ll see some asterisks (*) next to certain foods or ingredients. I’ve included these to warn you to check the food’s ingredients before eating. Some might contain hidden (or not-so-hidden) gluten. For example, some brands of soy sauce, such as La Choy, don’t contain wheat or gluten, but many others do.

Get into the smart habit of reading all labels. Be especially wary of those foods marked with an asterisk.


Extras

To help make your gluten-free journey a success, I’ve sprinkled additional information along the way. Here’s what to look for:


Acknowledgments

It is with deep gratitude that I want to thank my husband, Mark, my champion in life. I also want to thank my Circle of Love and other friends who surrounded me with their support and friendship to help me succeed with Alternative Cook, and my PEO chapter, who has given sisterly love and support. A special thanks goes to my mother and sister, who have endured my endeavors since day 1. And thank you, Scott. Alternative Cook wouldn’t “be” without you.

Thank you to Marilyn Allen of Allen O’Shea Agency for introducing me to Alpha Books and thank you to my editors: Tom Stevens, Christy Wagner, and Kayla Dugger. It is great working with you. Your ideas have made this guide a valuable resource for the gluten-free population.

Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Wangen, the Gluten-Free Doctor and author of Healthier Without Wheat for his endorsement on the cover. Dr. Wangen is a board certified physician who specializes in digestive disorders and food allergies. He is a founder of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment Center.

Special thanks to Peter Reinhart, CCP (the author of 8 books including The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and four-time James Beard Award winner), for his endorsement on the cover. He is a full-time Chef on Assignment at Johnson & Wales University where he teaches courses on baking, food, and culture.

And of course, thank you reader, for adopting a diet that could positively influence your lifestyle.


Special thanks to the technical reviewer

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Cooking was reviewed by an expert who double-checked the accuracy of what you’ll learn here, to help us ensure that this guide gives you everything you need to know about cooking without gluten. Special thanks are extended to Jennifer S. Anderson.


Trademarks

All terms mentioned in this guide that are known to be or are suspected of being trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized. Alpha Books and Penguin Group (USA) Inc. cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this guide should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.


Disclaimer

The instruction, methods, meals, recipes, and foods recommended or described in this guide are not specific to any one individual’s medical condition or circumstance and should not be construed as a medical diagnosis or treatment for a particular ailment or condition or deemed a substitute for professional medical advice. Although the author has endeavored to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information in this guide, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or inconsistency herein. Recipes are designed to be followed exactly as written. You should seek medical advice before beginning any new dietetic regimen and obtain an “approved” food list from your nutritionist and doctor for your individual condition. Because the ingredients of processed foods can change without warning, it is very important to read all ingredient lists each time, before consumption, to ascertain whether a product fits within your recommended dietary guidelines and is on your “approved food list.”

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