Thursday, January 31, 2013

Q & A With Nicole Hunn, Gluten Free on a Shoestring

January's featured cookbook was Nicole Hunn's latest: Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy.

She was gracious enough to agree to answer a few questions about gluten free living. 

Q. What piece of advice would you give to the parent of a child who has recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease to help make the transition to gluten free easier?

A. My son was so small when he was diagnosed that he didn't know the difference, but for a child old enough to know that his diet is changing, I'd pick his favorite food, and make it gluten-free. Part of the reason I do a lot of clone-type recipes on my blog is so that parents can change as little as possible about their children's diets, at least at first. And when I get emails about kids dancing around the kitchen as their mom makes their favorite food, safely gluten free, I get all choked up!

Q.  What made you decide to adopt a gluten free household, rather than only cooking gluten free for your son? 
A. Three reasons (the last doesn't scale): 1. It's so much easier! If I were making separate meals, I'd feel like a martyr. 2. This is my son's home, and his kinship with his two sisters means everything to me. A lot of that happens around food, quite naturally. I want to enhance that whenever possible. 3. I eat gluten free, too, because if I'm going to talk the talk, I've gotta walk to walk. And it makes it easier for me to develop recipes, too. Adversity leads to creativity.

Q. Your blog and cook books focus on how to make delicious, gluten free recipes that don’t cost a fortune. What are some tips for saving money when going gluten free?
A. I would suggest picking the one store-bought gluten-free item that you buy most often and is most expensive, and make it at home instead. That - and don't make impulse purchases of the latest and greatest gluten free packaged products. Do your research first - there's usually a blogger or other author who has done the homework for you.

Q. On the other hand, sometimes a splurge is worth it. Which gluten free ingredient do you never skimp on, and why?
A. Well, I'm not sure if it's a splurge, but I always have more than enough gluten-free flour on hand. For me, it's obviously a necessity, but I recommend that to my readers, too. When you have just a wee bit of flour, it's impossible to try new things. When you have enough, you can be open to new possibilities, new favorites.

Q.  What was the most difficult recipe to adapt to gluten free? Is there something you still haven’t been able to adapt to your satisfaction?
A. Well, I'm writing Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, which will be out December 2013, so at any given moment, I'm struggling with one yeasted bread recipe or another. And when I'm in the trenches, and it's failing 5 and 6 times, I'm fit to be tied! Every recipe I publish, in any form, has to succeed at least 2 times, or it isn't going to be shared. That means that I make most bread recipes at least 8 times before I even think about finalizing them. But in the end, it's so much fun. Except when I'm terribly frustrated. But immediately after the frustration, it's the time of my life!

Q.  For someone picking up one of your cookbooks for the first time, which recipe would you suggest they try first? Why?
A. I always recommend the White Sandwich Bread on page 104 of my first cookbook to readers who are hesitant to bake gluten-free bread. I've made it nearly 1,000 times myself over the years, and it's a consistent reader favorite because it's a very forgiving recipe and can make a big difference in your everyday gluten free life.  
I want to thank Nicole Hunn for this chance to gain some insight into who she is and what she does. 
Want to know more? Her website is
She has two cookbooks available for purchase: Gluten Free on a Shoestring: 125 Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap, and Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy
My review of her latest cookbook, Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy will posted soon!
Disclaimer: I purchased my copy of this cookbook, and am writing an unsolicited review. Ms. Hunn was kind enough to answer my questions with no strings attached.  The opinions in my review are mine alone.

1 comment :

  1. What a fantastic interview! I am a huge Nicole Hunn fan, I have both her books and eagerly await her upcoming one all about bread. And I follow her blog rather obsessively :)

    I'd love to know what your favorite recipes of her new book are. I haven't tried any breads yet, but I've made a few dinners and I love the yeasted pizza dough.