What inspired you to write your book?
I’ve been writing almost all my life in some form or another. I was the EIC of my high school yearbook; a staff writer for my college yearbook; I’ve published peer-reviewed scientific papers and a dissertation for my PhD in Biochemistry; I’ve written grants, legal papers and patents. My experience has been mainly technical writing and I wanted to put those skills to use doing something I love.
In order to not waste food and reduce the amount of food packaging, I began writing up a dinner menu each week to allocate out proteins, fresh produce or other ingredients. It saves a lot of time and money. My initial idea was that it would be useful to have an electric copy of the menus and recipes. I wanted to share the menus because it might make life easier for someone else. I ended up documenting our transition from eating “junk food” to clean eating.
The first volume (a free PDF is available on my website) contains research level information about the potential sources of gluten, cross-contamination as well as my crazy back-story. This cookbook is a collection of our favorite recipes that are naturally gluten-free and casein-free because the ingredients are mostly whole unprocessed real food. It was a great joy to pull our favorite recipes together for this eCookbook. My pictures have come a long way, too. 😉
About your Book:
The Weekly Menu Cookbook is a collection of gluten-free, casein-free recipes from a variety of cultures using mostly fresh vegetables, lean proteins, healthy grains and lots of spices! It’s all about real food made with minimal ingredients to avoid a pile-on of processed food. The dinners are delicious, quick and easy to make.
The author, Deana, has a PhD in Biochemistry and a law degree. As a first year patent attorney, she became bizarrely ill from an unpredictable combination of events. Propelled into an interesting journey with food and healing, she turned her lab training and technical writing skills toward research and recipe development. Initial frustration with gluten eventually developed into a passion and love of cooking.
Because she had to cook almost every meal at home, Deana started writing a weekly dinner menu to save time and money. In order to reduce food waste, most recipes are scaled for 2-3 people unless it’s a soup that freezes well or can be repurposed. She published a series of eCookbooks, The Weekly Menu I-III, in order to share the menus. This cookbook is a collection of favorite recipes from all three volumes organized by appetizers, soups, salads, main courses, side dishes and baked goodies.
Cuisine Style or Food Genre
Gluten-Free and Healthy Real Food
Sample Recipe or Food Advice
Rice Noodles with Kale Pesto
8 oz GF pad thai rice noodles
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Juice from 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
4 cups organic kale, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Trim the ends off the kale and discard the stems. Wash, rinse and dry the kale and the lemon.
Toast the pine nuts in a medium skillet over medium low heat, stirring often to prevent burning or sticking. Set aside and let cool.
To make the pesto, add the toasted pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice and zest to a food processor. Pulse until well combined. Add the kale and pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides several times. Add salt and pepper. Slowly stream the olive oil while pulsing until the pesto thickens. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Boil filtered water in a large saucepan and cook the pasta according to the directions (usually 4-5 minutes). Drain then add the pesto and pasta back into the saucepan and toss to coat the pasta with the pesto. Serve immediately.
What formats are your books in: eBook
How do you see writing a food/cookbook as different from writing other genres of books?
Honestly, I haven’t written other types of books so it’s hard for me to know. It seems like the main character in a cookbook is the food and it’s filled with the same love and passion that a writer feels for their characters. But it’s probably not a sexy as a YA novel or historical romance. It’s certainly not as mundane as a patent.
Advice to someone that is thinking about or currently working on a food book or cookbook
If you are thinking about it, go for it! There is so much joy in the process. You can never have too many cookbooks with so many ideas, flavors and styles in the world. It’s food, it’s love, it’s fun!
Editing your own cookbook is hard. You really need an extra set of eyes and even then mistakes get by, but you can always fix errors and update electronic books. As I’m finishing mine, I’m thinking about helping other indie authors with editing or developing their cookbooks, too.
As far as recipe development, keep track of what you are doing. I like to type up the recipe before I execute the dish so that I can keep track of changes as I go. It really helps as I test different flavors or methods, especially cooking times and temperatures.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I decided to publish via Amazon because it was really easy to upload my word document. I’m new to self-publishing and still learning about the other formats. I have discovered iBook author and fell in love with the cookbook template. I transferred the recipes and better quality pictures to the template and published the iBook version. I’m so impressed with the results. I’m still working on finding a way to publish a print copy.
Deana cooks real food from unprocessed ingredients to make simple and naturally gluten-free, casein-free/dairy-free meals. She had to start eating gluten-free in November of 2010. Over the years, she and her husband transitioned from eating a lot of comfort or “junk food” to much cleaner cooking using fresh veggies, lean proteins, healthy grains and lots of spice! She has written a series of self-published eCookbooks, The Weekly Menus I-III and The Weekly Menu Cookbook (a collection of GFCF favorites). It’s good food, it’s love, it’s fun!