Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On a Shoestring

Eating Gluten-Free can be expensive, but don't fret, Nicole Hunn, author of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, has written a cookbook to offer you some tricks, tips, and great recipes for being a gluten free household. The first forty pages or so focuses on the tips and tricks- where to find coupons, including lists of company websites, buying staples in bulk, and how to piggyback your meals.  As someone on a tight grocery budget, I would say I already practice most of what she discusses, for instance, baking chicken on Monday, using leftover chicken for chicken nachos, tacos, or salad throughout the rest of the week. Meal planning and focusing on what is seasonal and what is fresh, plus what is on sale is key, and Nicole can give you quite a few pointers if you are feeling lost.

She has what she calls her foundation items, which should pretty much always be made and ready to go in the fridge, like chicken stock, pastry and/or pastry dough, and sauce options. From there you can have the base to breakfast pastries, homemade crackers, bagels, or scones, just to name a few. There's a better large selection of bread recipes, which in general, is not something I make, but her soft pretzel recipe did intrigue me.

I only managed to take a picture of the dough and not the final product as they were gone faster than I imagined.  The dough was very sticky, as to be expected, and I didn't actually get them to wrap like pretzels should, but instead ended up making pretzel nubs- more bite size.  They were delicious, and just a tiny little hair off from a soft pretzel like you could buy at a fair or inside the mall.

What's nice is her recipes aren't difficult or overly fancy, instead they are the type of dishes you might be missing and wish you cold still have.  For instance, noodle kugel, gnocchi, pot pie, lo mein, chicken and dumplings, and many more. And since it's all about being on a budget, most recipes have a break down of how much it is if you follow her tips and recipes, vs. if you had bought a premade option of the same dish or dessert. I think for less than $20 this could be a great cookbook for anyone to have in their cookbook collection.

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