Ask a Chef: Elana Amsterdam

May 8 2013, 10:30 AM

"Ask A Chef" is part of an on-going series in which we pose a single question to a local culinary luminary.

May is Celiac Awareness Month, so it seems only appropriate to seek out Boulder blogger Elana Amsterdam, who was diagnosed with celiac disease long before most people had heard the term gluten-free. Amsterdam has become a go-to resource for the alternative diet (her blog regularly sees more than 500,000 unique visitors a month) and she has written three books: the Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (Random House, 2009), Gluten-Free Cupcakes (2011), and Paleo Cooking From Elana's Pantry (2013).

5280: What advice would you give someone who is looking to adapt a gluten-free diet?

EA: Don’t give up. Give it 60 days, and you’ll see improvement in both your health and in how you feel. I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1998, and went gluten-free then. My health and digestion improved, but I still had a long way to go. I went grain free in 2001, eliminating gluten as well as all grains including rice, corn, quinoa, and millet, and I feel so much better without digesting grain. I feel like certain people can’t digest grain, and I’m one of them.

Dish tip: Food editor Amanda M. Faison has made Amsterdam's recipe for fig tapenade with walnut crackers many times.

Bonus: Elana's Pantry is also a terrific resource for those with nut, dairy, egg, and other allergies. Click here for recipes that adhere to special diets.

—Photo courtesy of Elana’s Pantry