Welcome to Creative Cooking Gluten Free!
My name is Jenny, in June 2008 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and with that came changes in the way that I eat and live my life. It hasn’t been the easiest of changes but it’s been a good challenge for me as I have learned more about my life, my love for food, and love for helping others than I ever thought I would.
I am a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Providence with an Associate in Science in Culinary Arts (’12) and a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Nutrition (’14). Beginning September 2014 I will continue to pursue my goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian by completing my Dietetic Internship at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Here at Creative Cooking Gluten Free you will find many recipes that I have reformulated to be gluten-free along with naturally gluten-free recipes. I believe that a huge part of the gluten-free lifestyle is being able to adapt to the changes and not feel as though you have to give up what you love. Instead you need to be given the tools to adapt and adjust what you love to fit your lifestyle and diet. That is why I started by reformulation of recipes that I loved and creatively making them gluten-free.
Not only have I had to change my diet but Bryan has also had to change his as well. Thankfully he is a really good sport about it and trying all my different creations. I told him that I will not make two meals each night, so either he had to learn to cook for himself or eat my gluten-free meals. He chose to eat what I made. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll be having some gluten containing items in our house for him, it’s not like he can never have it again, but I just won’t be making any of it. He is extremely careful (sometimes even more than me) about cross contamination and cross contact. I know and understand that many people find the “split kitchen” controversial, but I don’t think it is necessary to deprive him of food that he can eat. To take precautions, gluten-free items are labeled as such (peanut butter, etc.), everything is washed and sanitized very well, we have separate toasters, and utensils as well, and we just stay on top of things.
I am not the only one with a special diet, Bryan has a few food allergies and intolerances that he needs to watch out for. His include an Onion allergy, Oral Allergy Syndrome and is Lactose Intolerant. So in addition to gluten-free recipes you will also find that many of them are also onion free and instead of using milk, we use soy milk or rice milk (except for a few recipes like whipped cream). Here is a little guide to some of the food allergy acronyms you will find on the site : GF = Gluten Free, OF = Onion Free, DF = Dairy Free, NF = Nut Free, SF = Soy Free, EF = Egg Free
I’ve been experimenting with different recipes, flours etc. and have had some very interesting out comes…those of which have not made it to this blog but instead the trash. It’s been fun and that’s all that matters to me.
In the Fall of 2010 I decided to take a huge step and apply to culinary school. Not just any culinary school, but my dream school since high school, Johnson & Wales University. Even though this is not strictly a gluten-free program, I am completed my degrees as gluten-free as I possibly could. The Chefs that I had during my three years at Johnson & Wales were outstanding and were encouraging and enthusiastic about me working with gluten-free flours. The programs were challenging, but I loved them. I feel honored to be a part of JWU community, and Alumni, and to have been taught by these talented and inspiring Chefs.
In May of 2013 I was awarded both the Feinstein Enriching America Award and the Founders Award from the University. In addition to those two awards I was inducted into the Alpha Beta Kappa National Honor Society and the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, completed my AmeriCorps Service, and was awarded over $21,000 in scholarships and grants to finish my senior year (hard work pays off!). In lieu of completing my experiential education internship for my Associate Degree in a restaurant, I opted to work with the Community Service Office on campus and worked at a local soup kitchen cooking for 250+ guests in need every Thursday , preparing meals for families utilizing the Ronald McDonald House of Providence, and working with local children to decorate cookies that were then distributed to local Providence organizations and shelters. For the academic year 2012-2013 I held the position as Vice President of the Sans Gluten Club, which won Best New Club on campus, and was elected President of the club for the 2013-2014 academic year. In addition to my studies, and work with the Sans Gluten club I was a volunteer and intern at the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nutrition, and Liver Disease at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, RI.
During the last five years of writing Creative Cooking Gluten Free, I have had the pleasure of working with many great companies such as Rudi’s Gluten Free, Udi’s Gluten Free, Canyon Bakehouse, Bakery on Maine, Le Creuset, Betty Crocker, Edgeware, and many more. You can find my recipes on EatSmart Products, Wholesome Sweeteners, and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.
Over the years my culinary library and skills have grown and I hope that they will continue to grow over the years to come. A mix of gluten-free cookbooks along with “regular” cookbooks and books on techniques currently reside in my library. I truly believe it is important to be able to adapt and reformulate every day recipes to meet your dietary restrictions. You will see many of the cookbooks that I love referred to on the blog.
Keep checking back for new recipes and resources for gluten-free living.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Creative Cooking Gluten Free, product reviews, giveaways etc by e-mailing CreativeCookingGF(at)Gmail(Dot)Com (firstname.lastname@example.org). All e-mails will be responded to with-in 72 business hours.
Check out my first live cooking demo for Cooking With Class with Chef Terranova – This demo was part of a five demo series that aired in May of 2013 in honor of Celiac Awareness Month!