Since my new cookbook, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy: 100 Recipes For the Food You Love—Fast!, is coming out in a few short weeks (an early print copy is even on its way to me right right right now!), I thought I’d give you a sneak peak at the sort of advice & recipes you can expect to see in it. Not to mention why you might like to buy a copy, even if you already have My First Cookbook.
Much of this information is in the new book in one form or another. Here’s a peak behind the curtain, with the official publication date of November 6 just 33 days away! But if you preorder, you will almost certainly receive it by the end of this month:
1. Pick a focal point, and build the meal around it. Not every part of the meal has to be perfect – or even homemade. But if you’re building a meal around the bread (say, with sandwiches or heroes), that’s where you put your effort. No one will notice or care that all they’re eating for dinner is sliced turkey sandwiches if you serve it to them on a freshly made gluten-free yeast free English muffin (page 55 of My New Cookbook – at least that was the page in the page proofs!).
**UPDATE: The Yeast-Free English Muffins recipe is definitely on page 55. I just got my early copy in the mail!!**
2. Stock your freezer with a few days’ supply of frozen vegetables, to fill in when you’re caught out. Some vegetables freeze super well, like French green beans (haricot vert), especially when they’re frozen in a bag that allows them to move about, instead of a box that can pinch and squeeze.
3. Eggs (especially fried eggs) can turn a side dish (like some simple fried rice with some veg) into a satisfying meal.
4. Master a few favorite dishes to take the sting out of planning a whole week’s worth of meals. Practice new about-to-be-favorites on the weekend, when you’re not as rushed … and you’re not super hungry.
5. Poach some boneless chicken in store-bought prepared chicken stock, add some cornstarch to create a sauce, and serve it with an easy starch like pasta and frozen veg. By the way, poaching chicken in chicken stock always seems a little bit unfair to the chicken. Like I’m making it into a cannibal or something. I may or may not be completely alone in this.
6. Consider investing in a pressure cooker. What they can turn out in 20 minutes flat is nothing short of epic. And, rest assured, they no longer are in danger of exploding from built-up pressure. Practice safe cooking! I’m here for you.
7. If you are down to the wire and you’re still not sure what you’re going to make, don’t panic. Just set a large pot of water to boil. Take a breath, have a glass of wine and let your mind wander. Decide on pasta or boiling small potatoes, and you’re just minutes away. Choose rice, and just pour off some of the hot water, estimate the volume and add that volume of rice. Cover the pot, lower to a simmer and set a timer for 16 minutes. Fluff and serve. Works.every.time.
8. Always keep a tightly wrapped disk of gluten-free pie crust in your refrigerator (or at least in your freezer). Wrap some protein in it. Instant celebratory meal.
9. Bake a week’s supply of gluten-free sandwich bread every weekend. For my family, that’s 2 loaves of bread. Slice and freeze half of whatever you make (for me, 1 loaf). Use the rest fresh over 2-3 days, then slice and freeze anything that remains. Pull slices out of the freezer and defrost with a light toast before making sandwiches with it. If you’re skittish about baking your own yeast bread, start with the White Sandwich Bread on page 104 of My First Cookbook.
10. Learn how to boil gluten-free pasta al dente so it can be made ahead—and even reheated. Don’t know how to do that? Always end up with gooey gummy rice pasta? I have a no-fail method. Wanna learn?
P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of My Cookbooks! I can’t keep the blog going without your support, and the new book is coming out so soon!