Staying Healthy: Pleasanton author pens new cookbook on eating gluten-free from the Instant Pot

Cookbook offers 100 new tasty and nutritious recipes

Jane Bonacci of Pleasanton is a longtime food writer and recipe developer with a popular food blog at The Heritage Cook. When she needed to go gluten-free in 2012, her cooking took a turn in that direction.

Her newest book, "The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook, Revised & Expanded," premieres this Tuesday, with 100 tasty recipes that are also nutritious and convenient.

Bonacci partnered in this effort with culinary instructor Sara De Leeuw, founder of the food blog, "My Imperfect Kitchen," who teaches classes on Instant Pot cooking.

"Sara and I met online because we are both food people," Bonacci said. "I had a short turnaround on the book and knew I needed someone else to help me with half of it. We split it down the middle and each came up with half the recipes."

A shorter version came out in the fall.

"It was a popular book and we wanted to make it even better," Bonacci said "There is an entire chapter on Asian cooking."

The recipes focus on dishes that are most problematic for gluten-sensitive cooks, such as main-course dinners that typically have a grain component. They give regular and gluten-free options, and range from hearty breakfast dishes like "Creamy Poblano Frittata" and warming soups like a "Creamy and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup" to "Mom's Old-Fashioned Pot Roast," "Gluten-Free Lasagna with Meat Sauce," and "Pork Tenderloin Marsala with Wheat-Free Pasta."

Publisher Harvard Common Press handled the photography, for a colorful edition.

The book also has dessert recipes, including "Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding," "New York Style Cheesecake," "Double Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake" and "Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake."

"I've cooked my whole life -- my grandmother and mother taught me," Bonacci said. "I was baking bread from scratch when I was 12."

She said she now has "way too many cookbooks" on her kitchen shelves -- she estimates the number at 400.

"I just pick up cookbooks and read them -- I read them like most people read novels," she said, laughing. "I have first editions, and some are autographed to me. Others I bought randomly."

Bonacci said her new book will help cooks get the most from their Instant Pot, and will help people who love their pots but now, by doctor's orders or by choice, must go gluten-free.

She noted the appliance has been a top seller at Christmastime for the last few years, and suggests it be given for Mother's Day along with her book, which will sell on Amazon for $16.37.

"Today's electric pressure cookers -- including the Instant Pot -- can be used in place of your rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, warmer, etc., and of course for pressure cooking," Bonacci said. "They help you make healthy food fast and most of the cooking time is hands-off."

"They are a great time-saver helping you get delicious meals for your family on the table in no time," she added.

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