Switching to a gluten-free diet is no small feat; there is much to learn about preparing a kitchen that is safe for g-free cooking, looking out for hidden gluten in ingredients and converting old favorite recipes into gluten-free dishes.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck -- co-host of daytime talk show "The View," a contestant on "Survivor: The Australian Outback," and a fairly polarizing public figure -- has personally gone through this transition. Her new cookbook, "Deliciously G-Free," serves as a resource for home cooks trying to make this change.
In the book, Hasselbeck shares a bit of her history with food. Having come from a rich culture of home-cooked Italian foods (read: lots and lots of pastas, not at all g-free friendly), it was a real challenge for her to adapt when diagnosed with celiac disease as an adult. She expresses the frustrations she felt during this transition process, and how it led her to write a book that shares all her gluten-free cooking discoveries.
The value of this cookbook, which comes after her "The G-Free Diet" tome, is that it provides the gluten-free cook with the tools to convert all of their favorite recipes. With just a little creativity -- and a bit of tinkering -- nearly any dish can be become gluten-free, Hasselbeck reassures.
"Deliciously G-Free" devotes a good amount of time explaining the best ways to prepare a g-free kitchen -- because even if your recipe is gluten-free, gluten can still find a way onto your plate. For example, Hasselback suggests storing glutenous food below g-free food products to ensure no gluten crumbs contaminate your g-free food -- whether it be in the fridge or in the cupboards, it is better to be safe, she explains.
The main drawback we have with "Deliciously G-Free" is that the recipes themselves are not very creative. With the help of chef Jennifer Iserloh, Hasselbeck converted many classic dishes such as Chicken Marsala, Baked Penne and Double Chocolate Brownies into gluten-free versions, but it would have been nice to see a bit more culinary inventiveness.
Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5
A valuable resource: Hasselbeck's flour glossary details different types of gluten-free flours and starches and describes their textural and flavor profiles, making converting recipes that much easier. She has even developed four "power flour" recipes that she suggests you prepare ahead of time and keep on hand to make baking a breeze.
A nice touch: The recipes provide measurements for the use of "flour power" as well as mixing the individual flours on the fly.
Would you buy Elisabeth Hasselbeck's new book? Leave us a comment below!
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