Gluten-Free, Hassle Free Book Review and Giveaway

A Simple, Sane, Dietitian-Approved Program for Eating Your Way Back to Health.

The overall tone of this book is calm, comforting, and reassuring.  You can turn to any page in the book and find help.

The author, Marlisa Brown was a chef before she was a dietitian. Her mother has diagnosed celiac. Marlisa always tested negative, but she is definitely gluten intolerant. She lives the diet, and helps many others with her Total Wellness private practice and Gluten Free Easy website. Now she can help you with her new book.

The set up

Gluten-Free, Hassle Free is both a reference and a cook book. It is divided into 3 sections.

  1. Making the Change.
  2. Making Gluten-Free Living Simple.
  3. Making your Life Healthy, Happy, and Uncomplicated.

Gluten free, simple, healthy, happy, and uncomplicated. Isn’t that what we all want? Gluten Free Hassle Free will cheerfully help.

Some specifics

This is a comprehensive book, for the beginner and the experienced gluten free-er.

Do you like lists? There are many. Including menus and snack ideas. Also gluten free resources, from associations to manufactures. Even how to cook gluten free grains and beans.

How to read labels

What if it does not say gluten free? It could be naturally gluten free and not say so on the label. Or the manufacturer may choose not to spend the extra dollars to certify it is gluten free. The book has 23 pages of lists of safe, not safe, and questionable items.

Marlisa teaches what to look for and what questions to ask. Read carefully to be safe, and save money.

Where to find missing nutrition?

Detailed lists show food sources for difficult to get nutrients. These include thiamin, niacin, folate, B12, calcium and iron.

Do you want to cook?

Choose from over 100 recipes, everything from appetizers to desserts.

Try Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries, good and healthy. They are seasoned with onion and garlic powder, paprika, and fragrant cinnamon. (It is OK to start smiling).

A recipe I want to try is Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Crepes, made with sorghum flour. What a lovely special occasion meal.

There are also a few pages on successfully creating your own gluten free recipes. Including tips for baked goods with just the right texture.

Flour blends used in the recipes combine whole grain gluten free flour and refined starches. I like to use even fewer refined starches, but acknowledge that it is a challenge. So this is a small compliant, considering the scope of this book.

Marlisa notes her next book will use only gluten whole grains.

Prefer to dine out? Without nasty after effects?

A whole chapter is devoted to dining out. How to choose a restaurant, talking to the staff, ordering, and double checking. All without creating a fuss or ill will.

And the book includes cards of gluten free information you can bring to the restaurant, or take on your travels. Copy from the book or print from the Gluten Free Easy web site. Dining out cards are available in 14 languages and are specific to each country’s cuisine.  It is interesting to see the national dishes in English, and the foreign language in print.

Do you want an authentic Greek, Thai, or Japanese meal? And need to speak the language? Take a dining card with you.


Gluten-Free, Hassle Free also tackles the emotional challenges of the diet and lifestyle. Offering simple steps to deal with anger, embarrassment, depression, feeling hurt or overwhelmed, even culinary boredom.

Win a copy of Gluten-Free, Hassle Free

Leave a comment below by January 13, 2010. A winner will be announced Thursday January 14, 2010.

Kitchen Therapy disclosure

I received 2 copies of Gluten Free, Hassle Free, free. One will be sent to the random winner. One is already dog eared and will be kept for me.

A Dozen Gifts for Cooks

Having the right tool in the kitchen can make the difference between joy and frustration. We have been in many home kitchens, and have used many tools, over many years. Some quality tools are inexpensive, some are investments.

Do you need some recommendations? Here are some that add pleasure to my day.

Some are available locally, some are harder to find. Buy local when you can. I have included links to our Kitchen Hardware Store if you can’t.

For the cook

Microplane zester for fine citrus zest, zingy fresh ginger root, fragrant nutmeg, airy mounds of parmesan… I am found of saying “add zest to your life”.

Silicone spatulas so your scraper will not melt into your sauce. You will only need to purchase these once. One piece models are the best, so the scraper doesn’t separate from the handle. And get several sizes, for big bowls and skinny jars.

Scoops in many sizes, makes portioning muffins, cookies, and meatballs easy. And less messy.

Citrus reamer for fresh juice, to enliven dull dishes. Wood is the best. I have owned fancy schamcy ones, but none better.

A good, sturdy peeler. Get it in red so you find it in the jumble of the tool drawer.

Pretty ramekins for individual servings. These make you feel special.

Custard cups for super quick gluten free Wonder Buns.

Pressure cookers for slow cooked tenderness, fast.

For the cook and the gardener

Excalibur food dehydrator for dried tomatoes and cinnamon apple slices. Next year we will also dry sage and blackberry leaves for herbal teas.

Water bath canning set for pickles (beet, beans, cauliflower, cucumber, peppers) and jams (plum, ground cherry, raspberry, tomato, tomatillo).

The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich. This is an updated version of the book we used repeatedly this summer to “put food by”. Vincent made eight different kinds of pickles that are going to be holiday gifts this winter.

For the cook and the reader

Hungry Planet What the World Eats by Peter Menzel. For those who want some anthropology with their food. IMHO, everyone should read this book. It includes beautiful pictures of families in 24 countries, and what they eat in a week. And notes the average health care cost per person for each country.

What do you want for Christmas?