In all the discussions online and out in the world about gluten-free, one thing seems to get lost in the din. Truly, we all need to understand, gluten free people are just busy, regular people, and they are not going away. No amount of complaining about how hard it is to cook for them will change anything.
They are here, get used to it.
One author who was gluten free before anybody was jumping on the bandwagon is Carol Fenster. She maintains an invaluable website that is a resource for the gluten avoider. She’s been developing recipes that work for GF people for almost 20 years. I’ve written about Carol before, read my interview here.
Fenster is a respected expert, and has been living GF since it was a real endeavor just to get some non-wheat flours. That’s how Carol knows just how GF people really live.
They are busy. They want to get dinner on the table. Just like everybody else.
To meet this need, Fenster has put out yet another book, in which she has curated just the quick, easy, super popular recipes from her giant library of winning GF recipes.
Her brand new, 100 Best Quick Gluten Free Recipes meets that need, or as she puts it, solves the “refrigerator stare-down.” If you want one small volume to put on the kitchen shelf, grab this one. Keep her hefty 1000 Best Gluten Free Recipes on the sturdy bookshelf in the dining room, where you can peruse it at your leisure.
This one, you will grab when hunger has preceded your meal plan. You’ll be glad you did.
Whether you are an old hand at this GF thing, or a newbie, you will be able to jump right in. The book starts with a very concise introduction to the reasons for avoiding gluten, a guide to flours, and the brands of ingredients that are safe. A handy list of pantry items to stock will set you up for success. There are even some menus in case you just want Fenster’s sure hand to guide you to putting a meal together.
Then the recipes that most people need are all there, Breakfast and Breads, Soups, Salads, Sandwiches and Snacks, Grains Beans and Pasta, Mains, Desserts. Greatest hits from older books, plus lots of new recipes, and updated versions of old favorites.
What more could you want, when you walk in the door and need a GF meal?
Microwave Muffin in a Mug
Excerpted from 100 BEST QUICK GLUTEN-FREE RECIPES © 2014 by Carol Fenster. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: about 60 to 70 seconds
Use this muffin recipe when you’re pressed for time. Although you could make the whole muffins from start to finish quickly right when you need them, here’s the most efficient way: Whisk together the dry ingredients the night before and put them in a covered bowl on the countertop. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, molasses, and oil until smooth and then refrigerate, tightly covered. Next morning, grease the mugs, then whisk together the dry and wet ingredients, and divide the batter evenly among the mugs. Cook in the microwave and, in a minute you will have fresh, hot, über-healthy muffins. Eat them immediately right out of the mug! Easy!
1 cup ground flax meal
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder
[1/2] teaspoon apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice
[1/4] teaspoon salt
1 large egg
[1/4] cup molasses (not blackstrap)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1. Grease 4 shallow, microwave-safe coffee mugs (the size of the mugs will determine how high the muffins will rise and how quickly they will cook). In a small bowl, whisk together the flax meal, walnuts, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt until well blended. Add the egg, molasses, and oil, and whisk until thoroughly blended. The batter will be droopy-soft. Divide the batter among mugs. Place the mugs on saucers or plates to catch any drips.
2. Microwave on High power for 60 to 70 seconds. The muffins will rise up and possibly fall over the side of the mug (depending on the mug size); the saucer catches the drips. The muffins are done when they are no longer shiny; cooking time may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave oven. (They won’t brown like muffins baked in a regular oven.) Remove from the microwave and cool slightly before eating right out of the mug. Or, run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen and remove the muffin from the mug. Serve immediately.
STORAGE: These muffins are best eaten immediately after cooking.
Per serving: 345 calories; 10g protein; 23g total fat; 11g fiber; 28g carbohydrates; 47mg cholesterol; 290mg sodium
NOTE: These muffins are very versatile. Instead of flax meal, use gluten-free oat flour. Rather than molasses, use maple syrup. Replace the apple pie spice with ground cinnamon. Use melted coconut oil rather than canola oil. The possibilities are endless, and finished taste and texture will vary depending on your modifications, but this allows you to tailor this muffin recipe to suit your needs.