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!

100 Best Quick Gluten-Free Recipes Cookbook Saves Time — The Essential Ingredient in Healthier Eating

Most of us cite “lack of “time” as the main reason we don’t prepare more of our own food. But living a gluten-free lifestyle means we can’t always grab a sandwich at a corner deli or the local drive-thru. We often prepare more of our own food to stay safe. We all get 24 hours a day to live our lives, but we gluten-free folks spend a disproportionately higher amount of those 24 hours involved in food preparation. I wrote my latest cookbook, 100 Best Quick Gluten-Free Recipes, to save you time. It publishes today, October 7, so look for it on store shelves or at Amazon.

Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice; Photo by Jason Wyche

Now here’s the good news: We’re better off preparing our own food. Read on….

Time as the Essential Ingredient?
We all know that cooking means assembling ingredients into dishes we like to eat. Survey information gathered for the Seattle Obesity Study suggests that people who spend more time preparing and cooking meals are more likely to have healthier diets. So, time is yet another ingredient.

They found that people who prepare their own food eat one-third more fruits and 18 percent more vegetables, per week. Furthermore, families who prepare their own food spend about $7 less per family member, per week. For a family of four, that’s $28 that can be spent in other ways. Over the course of a year, that weekly savings of $28 grows to almost $1500. Just imagine what you could do with an extra $1500 per year!

The study goes on to say that planning is one of the keys to success for health eating. I totally agree; in my talks with people around the country I sense a reluctance to plan grocery lists, do the shopping, and make a meal plan for the next week. Yet, time and again, time spent in planning turns out to be a key factor in eating well. In concluding, the study suggests using slow cookers and that’s my focus in today’s blog.

Slow Cookers: A Home Cook’s Best Friend
I am a big fan of slow cookers. I don’t have extensive experience with them, but they play an important role in my own kitchen. Although I cook many different foods in my slow cooker, I use it primarily for soups, stews, and meats. I use slow cookers in my brand new book, 100 Best Quick Gluten-Free Recipes.

Slow cookers (the term “crockpot” is a trademarked brand name) are a wonderful invention, but they are more of a “time-shifter” than a “time-saver.” The slow cooker doesn’t measure, cut, or brown the food—you still have to do that. But slow cookers allow you to schedule WHEN you perform those tasks. To me, the best thing about the slow cooker is that it cooks for you while you do something else. It won’t boil over, burn the food, or dry it out. A slow cooker allows you to be gone all day, or do other things while the food cooks untended. That’s a huge help when it comes to how you spend your hours in meal-preparation.

Here is one of my all-time favorite recipes—Red Beans with Rice—modified to work in a slow cooker, from my brand new cookbook 100 Best Quick Gluten-Free Recipes. The book makes a terrific gift, too. Enjoy!!

Slow Cooker Red Beans with Rice
Reprinted with permission from 100 Best Quick Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

You can cook this dish in a pot on the stovetop, but it is so much easier to just let a slow cooker do the job for you. To really speed things up, plan ahead to have cooked brown rice waiting in the fridge for a quick reheat. I use a salt-free Cajun seasoning by Spice Islands; if your seasoning contains salt, reduce the recipe’s salt to 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste. Leftovers are great!

1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 to 3 teaspoons prepared store-bought gluten-free Cajun seasoning blend
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 dashes hot pepper sauce, or to taste
2 gluten-free andouille sausage links, cut into [1/2-inch rounds (I use Boar’s Head)
1 cup dried red beans (not kidney beans)
4 cups water (or more as needed)
2 dashes hot pepper sauce, or to taste
4 cups hot, cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

[1] Place the onion, celery, garlic, Cajun seasoning, salt, brown sugar, hot pepper sauce, and sausage in a 4-quart slow cooker.

[2] Pick over the beans to remove stones or debris, then rinse thoroughly and add to the slow cooker. Add the water (it should cover the ingredients) and simmer on Low for 6 to 8 hours, until the water is absorbed and the beans and rice are tender. Taste and add more hot pepper sauce, if desired. Serve over hot cooked brown rice, sprinkled with the parsley.

STORAGE: Refrigerate leftovers, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.
Makes 4 servings (1 1/4 cups each)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Slow Cooker time: 6 to 8 hours

Per serving: 495 calories; 10g protein; 8g total fat; 17g fiber; 89g carbohydrates; 10mg cholesterol; 798mg sodium

Now available wherever books are sold. Makes a terrific gift.

Now available wherever books are sold. Makes a terrific gift.

One More Thing….Join Me at the Bookworm at Edwards, Colorado, November 13, 2014: 6 PM
If you are in the Edwards, Colorado area please join me at 6 PM at the Bookworm Bookstore for fun, some tips from me, and tasting recipes from my new book, 100 Best Quick Gluten-Free Recipes. Hope to see you there!


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