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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 Healthline.com 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 www.CarolFenster.com

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 Red Beans & Rice to Welcome the New Year

Some cultures believe that eating legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) on New Year’s brings good fortune during the coming year. For example, Southerners eat black-eyed peas for good luck. Apparently, the belief that legumes symbolize money stems from the fact that they swell when cooked in water (much like your food fortune should grow during the year).

Gluten-Free Red Beans & Rice

Red Beans & Rice is the perfect dish to welcome the new year.

Whether this ritual truly delivers is unknown, but one thing is certain: beans are one of the healthiest foods on earth. They provide important nutrients and fiber (the average person needs between 25 and 38 grams of fiber per day; most of us only get around 15). Plus, beans are extraordinarily inexpensive and low in fat and calories. And, they are a good choice for people wanting to eat a plant-based diet.

Gluten-Free Red Beans & Rice

Reprinted with permission from Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus by Carol Fenster (Avery/Penguin Group, 2004)

1  small yellow onion, chopped

1  celery stalk, chopped

3  garlic cloves, minced

1  teaspoon olive oil

1  pound dried red beans (not kidney beans)

1  teaspoon dried basil

1  teaspoon dried tarragon

1  teaspoon dried rosemary

1  1/2  teaspoons salt

1  teaspoon black pepper

1/3  cup brown sugar, packed

2  dashes hot pepper sauce

2  bay leaves

1  smoked ham hock (trimmed of fat, chopped) or 2 links Andouille sausage, sliced

Water to cover beans

4  cups cooked white or brown rice

1  tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

[1] In large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil until translucent.

[2]  Rinse and pick over beans to remove stones or debris. Add to saucepan along with basil, tarragon, rosemary, salt, black pepper, brown sugar, hot pepper sauce, and bay leaves.

[3] Trim as much fat as possible from ham hock and add to beans. Add enough water to cover beans and simmer over medium heat for 2 hours. Serve over rice. Garnish with parsley. Serves 6.

Carol’s Tips
[1] Be sure to use red beans, not kidney beans. If you use kidney beans, this dish looks like chili. You’ll find red beans (which are smaller than kidney beans) near the other dried beans in the grocery store.

[2] If you prefer to save time by starting with canned red beans, rinse them thoroughly (this removes nearly 40% of the sodium). A good rule is to rinse until the water runs clear. For this recipe, put the rinsed beans in the pot and add enough water to just cover the beans, adding more if needed as the dish cooks.

[3] If you want the smoky flavor, minus the ham hock so it can be a vegan dish, add a little smoked salt, a dash of smoke seasoning. Both of these items are available in your grocery store.

[4] The correct way to “pick over” dry beans is to spread them out a plate or platter so you can see every bean and throw away ones that are broken or discolored. Also, look for twigs and other debris and discard.

[5] The correct way to “rinse” dry beans after they are picked over is to put them in a bowl of water and swish them with your fingers to dislodge any dirt. I found that beans that look clean actually release some dirt, so don’t be fooled by clean-looking beans. Finally, lift the beans out with a slotted spoon into a sieve and run cold water over them to remove any final dirt. Lifting them out (rather than pouring them directly into the sieve) assures that the dirt is left behind in the bowl.

[6] For more recipes with beans, get the free, downloadable booklet “Pulses in the Gluten-Free Diet” that I co-authored with Shelley Case, one of North America’s leading dietitians. Download at http://www.pulsecanada.com/pulses-and-the-gluten-free-diet.com. In case you’re wondering, the word “pulse” is the term commonly used in Canada and Europe for what Americans call dry beans, peas, and lentils.

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