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.
Karen 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.”
Here’s a sample recipe from Gloriously Gluten-free.
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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/