Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap

It's no surprise that, no matter how spacious the house, guests and family members always head for kitchen like homing pigeons. That's where all the action is. And it's the cook who sets it in motion.

A good meal can leave a lasting impression; it can even make your day. And turning out a favorite desert can make an otherwise ordinary meal into something memorable.

All you need is some standard kitchen equipment, plus a few basics skills and recipes, and you're on your way. When you have the ability to cook, you can reward yourself and family with homemade treats, tailoring every last details to your own tastes.

You can perk up your entire office with a simple batch of cookies or cupcakes. Or cater to a child's special birthday wish. Bake a loaf of bread, and you'll make any house smell like a home.

As long as your pantry is well stocked with the basics, nothing is out of reach. And none of that has to change when you're gluten free.

First, a few basics. Gluten is the protein found primarily in wheat, barley, and rye. It is found in all conventional breads and pastas and is also frequently hidden in ingredients such as maltodextrin and dextrin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, malt or malt flavoring, and modified food starch, all of which are often derived from gluten-containing ingredients.

Increasingly, there are all sorts of people who eat a gluten-free diet in varying degrees, from the strictly gluten-free to the occasional gluten-free foods dabber. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which, in response to the ingestion of gluten, the body attacks itself by destroying villi, the fingerlike projections in the lining of the small intestine that are responsible for absorption of nutrients.

The only treatment is to follow a completely gluten-free diet. Recent research indicates that celiac disease affects as many as 1 in 133 Americans, most of whom remain undiagnosed.

Many others who do not have celiac disease choose to enjoy the benefits of a gluten-free diet as well, including those suffering from nonceliac gluten sensitivity, family members of celiacs, and those seeking various other general health benefits from the diet.

Whether you're new to eating gluten-free and fear that the creative foodie part of your life is gone forever, or you've been gluten-free for a while and have resigned yourself to lowered expectations and expensive, store-bought gluten-free foods that leave you cold, help in on the way. Everything's going to be just fine.

This book as a natural extension of the Web site, represents the culmination of many of hard work, experimentation, and perfection of recipes created in response to the demands of readers. You, too, can be in on the secret, and learn to feed yourself, your family, and your guests fabulous gluten-free-food--while still keeping an eye on the household budget.

Think of how liberating it will be to satisfy your heart's desire in the kitchen, no worries about gluten or about the grocery bill. You'll soon feel freer to entertain, knowing that you can make a tasty, satisfying meal, complete with dessert, for everyone, even the most discriminating foodies.

The recipes in this book are not about making time-consuming, complicated, restaurant-quality food. They're about traditional staples, easy dinners, and comfort foods--the things that we all crave these days (the gluten-free among us even more).

This approach will not only save you money but will allow you to feed your family consciously and deliberately--something that we all should do more often. And you'll read the rewards when you hear your children literally sing while they eat their dinner.

This book will also:

  • Share a whole bunch of strategies for saving money at the market every week, and in the kitchen every day.
  • Teach you how to build meals around naturally gluten-free foods and how to ''piggyback'' one dish off of another to save time and money.
  • Show you the basic foods and kitchen equipment that you really need (hint: there's not much) and give you advice on how to stock your kitchen with the ingredients that are the most versatile for gluten-free cooking.

There are few simple skills you can master that will dramatically expand your meal repertoire, and this book will share all of them--there is no need to get bored just because you're on a budget.