April Peveteaux Demystifies Gluten
April Peveteaux, the blogger behind Gluten is My Bitch has a new book, The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet. In it she takes our hand and guides us into the world of GF living in a way that makes it all seem not only possible, but tasty as well. April took some time to chat with us about her GF philosophy as well as some practical advice.
Dédé Wilson: April, thank you for your hard work for the gluten-free community! Transitioning to a GF lifestyle can be so daunting and your humor and practical approach makes it less so. Can you remember the early days when you realized this was going to be your diet from that moment forward? What were some of the things that helped you begin going gluten free? Would love to hear about products or recipes or maybe even a mind-set that was helpful.
April Peveteaux: Thank you!
It IS a rough transition, but I have to say the beginning was a bit easier for me since I had recently added food writing to my repertoire (I’m a parenting and lifestyle writer and editor). So I was used to experimenting in the kitchen, thank the maker.
I was determined to remake everything I knew I would miss using gluten-free flours and a lot of finger crossing. I started with breakfast and immediately gluten-freed my favorite lemon ricotta pancake recipe (it’s one of my very first blog posts on Gluten Is My Bitch!) I worked my way through family recipes and enjoyed the challenge. (This is also when I discovered gluten-free batter is not to be licked off the spoon if you want to enjoy your chocolate cake.)
I gradually transitioned from using gluten-free flour blends to experimenting with all-purpose gluten-free flour you can buy already mixed. I much prefer that route for almost every recipe (not all of them!) and I work hard to figure out how to make it easier on those of us who are craving chocolate chip cookies, and fast.
The toughest part came when I realized if I wanted to have fried chicken, cake, bread and even Chinese food—I had to make it myself. I love cooking and discovering new ways of eating gluten-free, but I’d love a break even more. Not being able to just order in when I’m tired of whipping up some magic is still a huge bummer.
I do fine with GF pasta, English muffins, scones, pretzels…but I have to say I still haven’t found the GF bagel of my dreams. Close but…do you have any bagel sources for us? Do you have a GF item you are still searching for?
I recently had Canyon Bakehouse’s new gluten-free everything bagels and I loved them. In fact, they sent me plain and everything and my gluten-eating family also loved them so much that when I went out of town for a long weekend, I came home to no more bagels.
My local bakery, Rising Hearts, also makes an amazing gluten-free bagel. In fact, I find that going local with a bakery that makes things fresh is the best way to go when you’re trying to find pastries, cakes and bagels. Gluten-free desserts just don’t sit well.
With that said, I’m dying for a gluten-free puff pastry. Someone please get on that!!!
How about a commercial GF product you just love that you want to turn us onto? For me, I make sure everyone knows about Food for Life English Muffins. I just love them.
Now I need to try those! Thanks for the tip.
Fresh gluten-free pastas found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store like RP’s have completely changed my pasta game. I can simplify the ingredients in any pasta dish now and enjoy the texture and flavor of pasta without dressing it up with a million ingredients.
My house is never without gluten-free matzo from Yehuda. We use it as crackers, after-school pizzas and anything else we can think of. I love that matzo and am so grateful that my local grocery stores keep it in stock year-round.
Your book, The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheetis a great read. The Meal Plan section is particularly helpful. What go-to recipes are on your rotation right now this summer?
I’ve been enjoying the BBQ Chicken Salad at least once a week. It just makes me happy and feels fresh like summer. Like I should be eating outdoors all the time!
I’m also making the BBQ Spare Ribs this weekend, so clearly I’m in full barbecue mode, as one should be in summer.
Tuna Tartare is my favorite appetizer for the hot months (and let’s be honest, beyond) and my kids make sure we have Strawberry Lemonade on hand as well. Yes, we eat and drink well in our household.
What ingredient(s) should every GF pantry have?
Fresh or dried herbs (and can I include red pepper flakes???? They’re my fave!) You can add loads of flavor to everything—scrambled eggs, greens, roasted chicken and so much more. You want to make food that makes you forget you’re missing out on gluten, and the better the flavor, the more satisfying your meal will be.
I would mix and match your fruits and accouterments on your sundae so it can please everyone bellying up to the dessert bar!
April, thank you so much for your time and your new book.