Announcements

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!

Carol Fenster on PBS-TV in 2015

When you watch cooking shows on TV, you probably don’t think about all the food preparation behind the scenes. Having taped several TV shows over the years, I have learned that appearing on TV is a lot of work. Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at my latest experience:

Carol Fenster with hostess, Sheryl Borden, on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden" on PBS-TV

Carol Fenster with hostess, Sheryl Borden, on “Creative Living with Sheryl Borden” on PBS-TV

Gluten-Free on PBS
Each year, I tape three segments for a show approaching its 40th 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.

This year, I was promoting my latest cookbook, 100 Best Quick Gluten-Free Recipes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). The goal of the book is to prepare dishes in less than 30 minutes, though many are ready in far less time. Some TV stations provide a food stylist to prepare and plate the food attractively for the camera. However, at PBS, I do all the work to get the food ready.

How I Plan My Appearance
I selected a simple theme for each of the three segments each between 6 and 9 minutes long: [1] Coconut Flour, [2] Gazpacho, and [3] Black Quinoa. 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 that Sheryl and I will focus on.

I fly in the day before, do the grocery shopping, and get as much ready as possible such as chopping vegetables, measuring ingredients, and so on so we’re ready to tape when the studio opens the next morning. Then an assistant helps with last-minute details during taping. It is not like the Food Network, which has a huge cast and lots of people to help with the food preparation. But we have lots of fun and the staff—mostly students at the university—is terrific.

Segment 1: Coconut Flour
Of all the flours we use in gluten-free baking, I get the most questions about coconut flour. Perhaps because it is a flour with high protein and fiber? Maybe because it can be used for the Paleo baking, instead of grain-based flour? Or, perhaps because coconut simply tastes good? Or, all of the above!

After discussing how many foods are coconut-based (yogurt, waters, chips, desserts, etc.) I focused on how difficult it is to use coconut flour in baking and how important it is to use a recipe designed for coconut flour. This is because coconut flour soaks up far more liquid than other flours, so we use less of it. In fact, it takes about 4 times as much liquid to hydrate coconut flour as it does rice flour.  And, most coconut-flour recipes call for many, many eggs.. perhaps an egg for every quarter-cup of flour.

In addition, in certain types of baked goods it is important to blend coconut flour with other flours for a more pleasing result. So, experimenting on your own can result in disaster unless you follow a recipe specifically designed for coconut flour. One of the more frequent distress phone calls I get is from bakers whose baked goods have failed while trying to adapt coconut flour in their own recipes.

I demonstrated how to make Coconut Macaroons, one of my favorite cookies. They have lots of yummy sweetened shredded coconut, plus coconut flour, and coconut-flavored extract and they are super-simple. For extra glitz, drizzle them with chocolate frosting.

Segment 2: Gazpacho
For the second segment, I focused on the Spanish soup known as Gazpacho. Gazpacho is really vegetables served in a tomato-based liquid. Tomatoes are an important source of lycopene and other nutrients, plus all of the other vegetables in this dish make it truly a nutritious dish.

Though it sounds innocent, traditional Gazpacho is often thickened with bread. But I think Gazpacho tastes better without it, so I showed how to make a quick and easy Gazpacho that serves two (since I get lots of requests for small-batch recipes to meet the needs of small households. See below for the recipe. One of the goals of 100 Best Quick Gluten-Free Recipes is to offer meals that can be ready in less than 30 minutes. With this recipe, it is only 10 minutes—plus some chilling time.

Quick and Easy Gazpacho for Two
Reprinted with permission from 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Fenster (Avery/Penguin, 2011)

This cool refreshing “liquid” salad is perfect for hot-weather dining because no cooking is required. I use canned tomato juice which contains salt, so if you use unsalted tomato juice just add salt to taste. Double the recipe to serve four.

Serves 2

Quick and Easy Gazpacho

Quick and Easy Gazpacho

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour

1 1/3 cups canned tomato juice, divided (two 5.5-ounce cans), divided
2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
¼ to ½ small jalapeno, seeds and veins removed, coarsely chopped (or to taste)
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 English cucumber, diced, plus very thin half-slices for garnish
½ celery rib, finely chopped
1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided

[1] In a food processor, puree ¾ cup of the tomato juice along with the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and lime juice.

[2] Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the cucumber, celery, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, and the remaining tomato juice. Divide evenly among two soup bowls or goblets and chill for at least an hour to let the flavors meld. Serve chilled, garnished with a half-slice of cucumber and the remaining cilantro as garnish.

Segment 3: Black Quinoa Salad

I strongly believe that our gluten-free diets should include lots of gluten-free whole grains, so I always try to focus at least one segment focusing about whole grains. This year, my third segment focused on black quinoa which is related to regular, tan quinoa as well as reddish-brown quinoa.

What many people don’t realize is that we can treat cooked whole grains like mixed greens, add chopped vegetables, nuts, and fruit and toss them with salad dressing for a cold salad that tastes great anytime, but especially for hot weather. So, that is what I do in this flavorful recipe that is stunningly gorgeous, especially when served on a stark-white plate. There recipe for Black Quinoa Salad is here

Where to Watch “Creative Living with Sheryl Borden “
“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 http://kenw.org/creative-living-home-page. The segments I taped will air during the 2015-2016 season and that is a long ways away, so check your local PBS station for air times. Send me an email at carol@carolfenster.com when you see it in your area.

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