Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Where in the World is Carol?

Carol's in the kitchen, cooking up recipes for her next cookbook and

Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

Join Carol at the National Western Complex, Expo Hall level 2 in Denver on April 21,10:30 am during the GFAF Expo Conference. See you there!

Gluten-Free TV: Inside a PBS Studio

Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes of those food shows on television?  Each year, I tape three segments for a show in its 34th year called “Creative Living with Sheryl Borden” on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). It is taped in a lovely studio with a great kitchen on a university campus in New Mexico. Sheryl is a delightful hostess, always curious about how we prepare gluten-free food, and she is a joy to work with.

Gluten-Free on the set of Creative Living at PBS

Carol Fenster and Sheryl Borden at Creative Living, PBS

I selected a simple theme for each of the 3 segments: whole grains, vegetables, and beans. Despite simple themes, preparing for these tapings takes a lot of planning and preparation. You should see my “to-do” list!

Before I leave, I write the script for each segment, emphasizing the main points for Sheryl and me to focus on. I fly in the day before, do the grocery shopping, and get everything ready such as chopping vegetables, measuring ingredients, and so on so we’re ready to tape when the studio opens the next morning.

I never sleep well on the night before these tapings.  The scripts keep running through my mind and I worry that I’ll forget a critical ingredient or a major point. But I found that expertly-applied makeup and an upbeat attitude gets me through the taping and then, not surprisingly, I sleep really well that night!


We started with the vegetable segment. It went smoothly (I didn’t drop anything, flub my lines, or forget a step). I showed many varieties of vegetables and ways of preparing them including serving them raw or steaming them in a basket to keep them out of water and preserve their nutrients.

Vegetables at PBS

Vegetables at PBS

I stressed the importance of eating vegetables in a rainbow of hues (see photo)  for optimum nutrients, and how to get kids to eat vegetables…such as serving baby carrots with a Ranch dressing dip. Another way is sticking small broccoli florets into hummus, calling it a “forest. “

But did you know that roasting vegetables is one of tastiest ways to serve them? Surprisingly, it mellows and caramelizes the flavors. Try this easy Roasted Cauliflower, sprinkling it with curry powder this time, then experiment later with dried herbs or possibly a dusting of Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Cauliflower with Curry Powder

1              small head cauliflower, florets halved

1              tablespoon olive oil

½             teaspoon curry powder (or your favorite dried herb or Parmesan)

Salt and pepper

[1] Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

[2] Line 13×9-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and coat with cooking spray. Toss cauliflower with oil. Arrange cut side down on baking sheet and dust with curry powder.

[3] Roast 25 to 30 minutes, or until cauliflower starts to caramelize on bottom. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Whole Grains

Everyone knows that I never a miss a chance to promote more whole grains in our diet. For the second segment,  I discussed the various kinds of grains, the definition of a whole grain (has 3 parts: bran, endosperm, and germ), benefits of getting 3 to 5 servings daily, and that the fiber from whole grains can actually increase longevity (new research in Wall Street Journal, March, 2011).

Wild Rice Salad

Wild Rice Salad at PBS

I demonstrated one of my favorite dishes to serve at dinner parties: Wild Rice Salad from my forthcoming book, 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes (Avery/Penguin Group, 2011.   You didn’t know wild rice was a grain? Technically, it’s the seed of a grass but very nutritious with loads of fiber and I love its chewy heartiness.  This recipe is not only gluten-free, it’s also vegan.

Wild Rice Salad

Reprinted with permission from 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes (Avery/Penguin Group, July, 2011)

3          cups vegetable broth, such as Imagine No-chicken

1          cup wild rice, rinsed 3 times and drained

½         teaspoon sea salt

1          cup fresh snow peas, halved diagonally

4          green onions, chopped

1/2       cup chopped dried apricots

1/4       cup chopped toasted walnuts

2          tablespoons fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish

1/4       cup freshly-squeezed orange juice

2          tablespoons sherry vinegar

2          teaspoons grated orange zest

1          medium garlic clove, minced

1/4       teaspoon sea salt

1/8       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1          teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Lettuce for lining bowl or platter

[1] In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Add the wild rice and salt. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until done, about 45 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid, then transfer the wild rice to a serving bowl.

[2] While the wild rice cooks, bring a small pan of boiling water to a boil. Add the snow peas and cook 1 minute, then drain and immerse in cold water to stop cooking. Add them to the serving bowl, along with the green onions, apricots, walnuts, and parsley.

[2] In small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, orange zest, garlic, salt, and pepper until well blended. Whisk in the oil until slightly thickened. Drizzle it over the salad and toss to coat well. Serve on a lettuce-lined bowl or platter at room temperature, garnished with parsley. Or, chill for 4 hours, let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, and then serve. Serves 4.

Everything went well, except I forgot the snow peas and dried apricots … oops!  Oh well, it’s important to keep going when taping. And, besides, the salad still looked good without it. That’s TV for you!


The final segment focused on beans, dried peas, and lentils. In Canada, they call them “pulses” and they funded the project so that’s why the booklet I co-authored with Shelley Cast called Pulses in the Gluten-Free Diet. I am amazed at what beans do for your gluten-free baking. They obviously provide important nutrients like B-vitamins and fiber, but they also make our baked goods, like these cupcakes, amazingly moist. And the shelf-life increases as well. I like to travel with baked goods made with beans because they stay fresh longer.

Using Beans and Lentils in Gluten-Free Cooking

Using Beans and Lentils in Gluten-Free Cooking

For this segment, I showed how to make these delicious cupcakes, using a puree made from black beans. The beans disappear into the batter and you don’t know they’re there. The film crew pounced on these cupcakes as soon as we finished taping. I served them with fresh strawberries and a dusting of powdered sugar, but you could also top them with your favorite frosting.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Reprinted with permission from Pulses in the Gluten-Free Diet by Shelley Case and Carol Fenster

(free booklet available from Pulse Canada at

Makes 6 cupcakes or an 8-inch cake

1             cup Brown Rice Flour Blend (see below)

¾             cup granulated sugar

1/3         cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

½             teaspoon baking soda

½             teaspoon xanthan gum

¼             teaspoon table salt

½             cup hot (120 degrees) water

½             cup Black Bean Puree, at room temperature (see below)

1              large egg, at room temperature

¼             cup canola oil

1 ½         teaspoons cider vinegar

1 ½         teaspoons vanilla extract

Powdered sugar for dusting

[1] Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 6-cup nonstick (gray, not black) muffin pan or line with paper liners.

[2] In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour blend, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Add the black bean puree and egg and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Add the hot water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla and beat until thoroughly blended. Divide the batter evenly in the pans.

[3] Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pans 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely on the wire rack. Dust the tops with powdered sugar and serve.

Black Bean Puree: Rinse and drain a 15-ounce can of black beans (also called turtle beans). Place in food processor, add ¼ cup hot water, and puree until the mixture is very smooth, about 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Refrigerate or freeze unused bean puree.

Brown Rice Flour Blend: 1 ½ cups brown rice flour, 1 ½ cups potato starch, and 1 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch). Blend thoroughly. Store, tightly closed, in dark, dry place.

“Creative Living with Sheryl Borden” airs in all 50 states in over 118 PBS stations in the U.S., Canada, Guam, and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to

1 comment to Gluten-Free TV: Inside a PBS Studio

  • Janet

    I served the cupcakes for Easter dinner dessert tonight. They were excellent–they crowned perfectly and were moist with a good hold-together texture. I improvised on frosting: I beat a cup of confectioner’s sugar into 3 oz. of cream cheese and added a little vanilla. Delish. Even my hockey-playing, gluten-eating, picky-boy nephews liked them. Thank you for the inspiration. I needed that.

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