Gloriously Gluten Free with Karen Wilson

Karen A. Wilson is the author of a fabulous gluten-free cookbook called Gloriously Gluten-free. It has delicious recipes and I highly recommend it. Today, Karen is sharing a little about herself and her book with us, as well as one of her favorite recipes.

close upKaren A .Wilson was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1999 after 30 years of illness.  She is a wife, mother of 2 grown daughters, grandmother of 4, doctor of naturopathy, chef and author.  She has lived all over the United States and also, in Italy and Spain during her time as an Air Force wife.  She has traveled to, and eaten her way through, over 30 countries, experiencing the cuisines in each nation and incorporating many of those cultures into her everyday cooking.  She and her husband of 31 years, Kevin, retired from the Air Force about 1 year ago to pursue their dream of homesteading.  They currently live on a small homestead farm in central Missouri.

INTERVIEW WITH KAREN WILSON
How did you come to write a cookbook? What was your inspiration?
When I was diagnosed back in 1999, there was practically nothing known about celiac disease!  In fact, much of the information that I received from the doctors and dietitians was totally incorrect.  So, I was pretty much on my own trying to learn how to convert recipes over.  The biggest challenge, as it is for anyone who changes to a gluten-free diet, is making the food edible!  This was especially frustrating for me since I’m a chef and have always baked and cooked any chance I got.  My poor family suffered through some pretty terrible food for a year or two as I was experimenting and learning to compensate.  I took copious notes so I could re-create things that had actually turned out right!  My inspiration for doing a cookbook began when people began telling me that they were sure that this couldn’t possibly be gluten-free!  I knew that I wanted to share that with others who were also struggling with this unbelievably tough way of life.  So, I kept notebooks filled with recipes and finally, was able to compile them all together into “Gloriously Gluten-free.”
Are you planning to write more?
I have had a lot of fun with my blog because it allows me to combine my love of cooking/baking with my love of photography and the knowledge I gained while getting my doctorate in naturopathy.  But, I have tons more recipes that I’ve created than the ones I’ve posted on my blog, so keep on the lookout for my next recipe book; it’s definitely in the planning stages.
What’s your favorite recipe?
It’s so hard to answer this question, because basically, anything that I can eat that tastes good is my favorite!! I love to bake most of all and I’m happiest when I’m creating a new recipe to share with friends and family.
What would you like to say to someone who is new to the gluten-free lifestyle?
To anyone who’s recently been diagnosed with celiac disease I would say—DON’T GIVE UP!  Most gastroenterologists that I’ve spoken to have told me that very few of their celiac patients actually follow the gluten-free diet because they think it’s too hard.  When you have celiac disease, every time you ingest gluten, you are doing permanent and irreversible damage to your body.  This is not something to play around with!  Believe me, I know how hard it is, but the long-term benefits are definitely worth the sacrifice.  That donut or bagel or piece of pizza really are the enemy and must be shunned! Don’t give up heart–there are tasty alternatives available.  I know that most of the GF products on the market still taste like sawdust (or worse) but my cookbook is filled with almost 300 recipes that have been taste-tested by non-GF eaters and pronounced “normal” and “delicious.”

Gloriously Gluten-Free cookbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a sample recipe from Gloriously Gluten-free.

BROWNIE COOKIES

2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
16 oz chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening, sugar, water, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, salt, xanthan gum, and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes; do not overbake or they will not be chewy. Cook 2 minutes on sheet before removing to wire rack. Makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen.

NOTE: These cookies are always and instant hit! I don’t often cook with shortening because it’s so bad for you, but in this case, it’s a must–the cookies will not turn out right if you substitute butter for the shortening.

Order GLORIOUSLY GLUTEN-FREE for $12.99 (includes shipping and handling). Just send an email to dockaren.glutenfree@gmail.com. It can either be paid for by check or by paypal. Once Karen receives your payment, she’ll send the book to you right away.

Connect with Karen on her blog http://glutenfreefoodphilosophy.blogspot.com/

Thank you!

Many thanks to my sweet mother, Terry, for making the beautiful cupcakes you see here and to my brother, Robert for taking the photos!
Who is Julia? You will see links to my novel on the side of the blog. The main character learns about the gluten-free life, while managing a family filled with hilarious secrets. “Julia the Secret Keeper” is available as a Kindle or Nook book right now and will soon be available as a paperback through Amazon. Stay tuned!

May Anniversary

May is my gluten-free anniversary. This was the month I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008. So many things have changed in my life since then. I never even heard of Celiac Disease before the GI mentioned it as a possibility. I had been sick on and off with various issues for most of my life and barely knew what gluten was. There are still folks out there who have never heard of Celiac. Yes, gluten-intolerance awareness is rising, but we still have work to do. Spread the word, know the signs, realize that it’s genetic and that others in your family may need to be tested. Get the word out and share my blog! Here I am, 6 years of trying my hardest to be gluten-free, and healthier than ever.

Why this Blog?

There are a lot of gluten-free recipes out there. A ton, in fact. It may be surprising for my readers to learn that I do not love to cook. It seems strange to me still that I enjoy writing this blog, dedicated to gluten-free recipes and information, so much. Before I was diagnosed with Celiac (6yrs ago), I took the easy way out with cooking. I’ve always hated recipes with 10 or 20 ingredients, cooking from scratch, all that. After being diagnosed, I searched through recipe books, got ideas from a friend, checked the internet… I didn’t find what I was looking for exactly. Yes, you can find tons of GF recipes. I wanted ones that made great-tasting food as quickly and easily as possible. Recipes with as few ingredients as possible. I wanted back the days where I could get cream of chicken soup out of a can (you can, in fact, buy that now at the health food store but it’s expensive) and make a quick casserole. Recipes for cream of chicken soup took so long and had more ingredients than I wanted them to. I read through tons of recipes, got ideas and formed the easiest recipe for it I could that would still taste great. This is what makes my blog different. This is a recipe blog for the gluten-free person that wants to eat everything she used to eat, but doesn’t want to spend all day in the kitchen and cook completely from scratch. I do offer some “from-scratch” recipes here. We all have the times when that is necessary or wanted. But the majority of the recipes you will see here are fast and easy. They have all been tried, tasted and certified delicious. I have some wonderful friends who have allowed me to share their recipes and the blog continues to grow. Eating gluten-free normally means you have to cook, but it doesn’t mean it has to take a long time or be difficult. I’ve researched so much about Celiac Disease over the years and learned so much about gluten-free baking, I love to share it! This blog has been an amazing project and I hope you stick around for my future updates! Leave a comment if you wish and tell me what you’d like to see me make next!