Gluten-free goodness

05/08/2013 12:00 AM

05/07/2013 5:10 PM

Anne Byrn, the Cake Mix Doctor, will be at the South Carolina Book Festival on May 18. In her new book, Unbelievably Gluten-Free, Byrn has taken 128 recipes and converted them into delicious gluten-free dishes that taste just as good as the originals.

She might start with an already gluten-free mix and “doctor it up” with other ingredients to achieve the rich tastes that everyone enjoys. Byrn also includes tips and tricks to achieve flawless textures and consistencies.

Some tips include:

• Add cornmeal to baking mixes with rice flour to avoid the gritty texture often associated with gluten-free foods.
• Use chickpea flour as a binding agent in fritters.
• Thicken soups and stews through evaporation or use purees, potatoes or cream instead of flour.

The book also includes dairy-free variations, special-occasion menus and tips for converting recipes and eating gluten-free on a budget.

In addition to Byrn’s book, there are a couple of other new titles that might be of interest to those dealing with celiac disease or trying to live gluten-free:

Cooking for your Gluten-Free Teen: Everyday foods that your family will love , by Carlyn Berghoff. Berghoff’s family owns one of Chicago’s landmark restaurants where Berghoff is a chef. She wrote this book after her teenage daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease and the whole family had to learn new habits for cooking, snacking and dining out.

Her tips include how to stock a gluten-free kitchen, what commercial foods and mixes are recommended for use, tips for eating out (at school and restaurants), support groups and even questions to ask your doctor and pharmacist relating to celiac disease and gluten-free prescriptions.

Recipes range from white bread and drop biscuits to quesadillas, pasta salad, pizza, crispy fish and chicken and a wide range of cookies, pies and puddings.

Let’s Eat Out! Allergy Free Passport is a new how-to guide that instructs people with food sensitivities or allergies how to eat what they want, where they want and when they want, whether in their own localities or traveling abroad. Let’s Eat Out! is a visa to the world of eating out for people who normally have to worry constantly about having a bad reaction to a meal, giving them a full range of info about cuisines, ingredients, preparations, what questions to ask and how to ask and helping them communicate their food requirements, order allergy-free menu items and enjoy allergy-free meals anywhere in the world.

Let’s Eat Out! addresses seven popular cuisines (American, Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Mexican and Thai) and gives people the tools to enjoy each cuisine anywhere in the world while avoiding 10 of the most prevalent allergens (gluten, peanuts, soy, fish, eggs, dairy, wheat, nuts, corn, shellfish). It covers more than 175 specific menu items; 200 breakfast and beverage suggestions; 300 questions to ask and how to say them in the specific language; 130 snack and light meal ideas; 50 global airlines; hundreds of tips from 15 chefs and culinary experts; 10 health, medical and nutritional experts; and 20 long-term sufferers of various food allergies with extensive experience in dining out throughout the world.

Let’s Eat Out! Allergy Free Passport retails for $24.95. For purchasing info, visit or call (312) 952-4900.

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