January 6, 2015 / 9:18 AM / 4 years ago

Jason Roberts cookbook aims to lure busy back to kitchen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Celebrity chef and television personality Jason Roberts hopes to persuade even the most time-pressed, budget-conscious eater to think beyond pre-packaged food with his new cookbook.

With more than 100 recipes, “Good Food — Fast!: Deliciously Healthy Gluten-Free Meals for People on the Go” takes aim at the notion that good food takes time.

“Most of us are under the thumb of time and schedules,” Roberts said. “The idea was to come up with quick and simple recipes that you can cook in the comfort of your own home.”

The 40-year-old New Zealand native and former host of the television show “The Chew” spoke about cutting his teeth on French cuisine in Australia and his first cooking job at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Q: Why did you write a gluten-free book?

A: I have an intolerance for gluten, but the focus of the book is not what you can’t eat but what you can eat.

Q: Can you describe your approach in the book?

A: Less is more, ... that’s something that comes with time and wisdom. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to encourage people (away) from the notion that food is either good or healthy, never both. I believe food can be good and healthy and quick and simple.

Q: What was your culinary education?

A: My background is classical French. When I was 17 I moved to Australia and started my career. The first job I could get was at KFC. I started my apprenticeship in Tex-Mex, then moved on to Bistro Moncur in Sydney, where I really cut my teeth.

Q: What’s always in your pantry?

A: I always have gluten-free rolled oats. I use it for breakfast and as binding for bread. I have staples like any other chef: sea salt, good olive oil. ... Outside of that I use chia seeds as binding agents and sources of soluble fiber.

Q: What are your tips for the home cook?

A: Be confident. Food comes out better when you’re confident with it. Food can be very forgiving. Ingredients can be forgiving. Just try to eat healthy and use as many colors as you can. Also, be conscious of what is in your fridge and cupboard. Eating well is not as hard as you think unless you leave it to chance.

Editing by Patricia Reaney and Leslie Adler

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