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.

Timtana Spice Muffins and Giveaway

timtana spice muffins

timtana spice muffins photo by vsimon

Please let me introduce you to timtana, a new gluten free whole grain flour. It is dark and handsome. A flour with substance.

Montana Gluten Free Processors are working with the Celiac Sprue Association, who called for volunteers to develop recipes for timtana flour. I like to try new foods and answered the call. They sent me a free #3 bag of timtana flour to work with.

Timtana flour is ground from a perennial grain, the plants grow every year without needing to be planted each spring.  Most other flours are from annual grains.

High protein

Timtana has more protein than amaranth, buckwheat, oat, millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum, and teff flours. Timtana is 5 grams of protein per 1/4 cup. The other flours are  3 or 4 grams. Refined starches, such as tapioca or corn, have zero protein.

High fiber

Timtana flour also has more fiber than the above gluten free flours, 5 grams per 1/4 cup. Compare that with 1 to 4 grams for other flours. Refined starches have zero fiber too.

Calcium and iron

Yep, timtana has them. Comparable to amaranth and teff flours. Refined starches? Zero again.

Easy to use? Too soon to tell.

I am batting .500 using timtana. The spice muffins worked great the first time. Pancakes did not, those need more work.

3 Giveaways, you may get to try it too.

Montana Gluten Free Processors want more people to play with timtana. So they are giving 3 lucky folks each a free #3 bag of flour.

Simply comment below by Wednesday, January 6. Winners will selected by random generator and announced Thursday, January 7. 

Dedicated gluten free producers.

I always like to know the farm to table story. From the Montana Gluten Free Producers website.

Our products are manufactured in a dedicated state of the art gluten free facility that only processes and packages our own gluten free products. The story however doesn’t begin there, to be truly gluten free you must start in the field. Montana Gluten Free Processors works directly with traditional farmers to grow our private seed stock on ground with at least 4 years history of no gluten grains being produced on the field. Only production from our proven healthy seed stock is acceptable for Montana Gluten Free production. Crops are planted, fields are inspected, and harvested, storage and transportation equipment is dedicated and inspected to insure purity and quality. We watch over our product from the field to the package to be certain that the product in our package is the best all natural gluten free product food you can buy.


Today I share my success. What I call Timtana Spice Muffins originated as pumpkin walnut muffins in Gourmet November 1997.

We offered our first gluten free client pumpkin muffins, made with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free blend flour. She said, repeatedly, we should open a gluten free bakery. Starting with those muffins.

I like to take a good recipe and make it better. Really, I love when that happens.

Timtana flour improves the nutrition and changes the flavor a bit. The pumpkin flavor disappears. Sweet spice, the flavor and the fragrance, now predominate. So I changed simply the name. 🙂

Simplify if you like.

Admittedly, this is along list of ingredients. You might omit the dates and walnuts, but I wouldn’t.

And you can substitute 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice if you do not like to measure out 4 different spices.

Timtana Spice Muffins

Yield: 12 metric measures
3/4 cup solid pack canned pumpkin 180 gm
1/2 cup oil 120 ml
1/4 cup buttermilk 60 ml
2 large eggs 100 ml
3 tablespoons molasses 45 gm
2 cups Timtana flour 240 gm
3/4 cup dark brown sugar 150 gm
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 6 gm
1 teaspoon xanthan 4 gm
1 teaspoon cinnamon 3 gm
1/2 tsp ginger 1 gm
1/4 tsp ground cloves 2 pinches
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 pinch
1/2 tsp salt 4 gm
1/4 teaspoon soda 2 gm
3/4 cup chopped dates 120 gm
3/4 cup chopped walnuts 90 gm

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk pumpkin, oil, buttermilk, eggs and molasses.

In a large bowl, whisk timtana flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, xanthan, spices, salt, and baking soda.

Add liquid ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Add dates and walnuts, combine well.

Divide equally into 12 muffin papers.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes so the xanthan can hydrate.

Bake for 20 minutes. Turn heat down to 350 and bake 10 more minutes.

More Timtana Recipes

Montana Gluten Free Processors has more recipes at their website.

And Gluten Free for Good has a recipe for Timtana Montana Orange Muffins.

The Montana Celiac Society has a recipe for Timtana Bagels.

What recipe would you like to try? Please share, and remember to comment for a chance to win.

Update 1-7-10 And the winners are:

Porsha, Danica, and Janice. Congratulations!!!