Jennifer's Way Kitchen

Easy Allergen-Free, Anti-Inflammatory Recipes for a Delicious Life


By Jennifer Esposito

With Eve Adamson

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$42.00 CAD



  1. Hardcover $32.00 $42.00 CAD
  2. ebook $14.99 $19.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 26, 2017. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Jennifer Esposito, actress and owner of the beloved New York City-based Jennifer’s Way Bakery, shares 100+ delicious, anti-inflammatory, allergen-free recipes that will help bring the joy back to eating for everyone.

Crunchy pizza, warm toasted bread, soft chewy cookies-who doesn’t love them? Do they love us back, though? Jennifer Esposito, health advocate, actress, and creator of Jennifer’s Way Bakery, says they can.

Clean, simple food is all we want or need. But how do we eat deliciously, not feel deprived, stay healthy, and beat the dreaded inflammation that plagues us all? The Jennifer’s Way Kitchen cookbook is the answer everyone has been waiting for. It’s full of easy-to-follow, mouthwatering recipes that will reduce inflammation-which is the single best thing anyone can do for his or her body.

Jennifer Esposito struggled with her health her entire life and was finally diagnosed as a food-allergy sufferer with severe celiac disease. Now she opens up her kitchen to you and shares the cherished recipes that helped save her life and regain her health.

The goal is to change the way you think about food. An avocado turns into a decadent chocolate mousse. A delicious, crunchy loaf of bread is made without any grains or allergens. And a head of cauliflower turns into that decadent pizza you thought you’d never have again. Whether you’re a food-allergy sufferer, a celiac, someone looking to improve their health by beating inflammation, or just a lover of good healthy food, this book is for you. So let’s get into the kitchen and take back your health.



How It All Began

It all started with a chocolate chip cookie. Warm, ooey-gooey, and sweet—chocolaty chunks inside a soft, tender cookie with the perfect crunchy exterior. I baked them every year at Christmastime, and what a treat they were! I remember that chocolate-chip-cookie aroma seeping into every room in the house. I remember eating them just after they came out of the oven. But most of all, I remember the thrill of making them with my sister. That’s what really made those simple chocolate chip cookies so special. It was tradition. It was comfort. Baking them made me feel happy and connected. It completed the holidays for me.

Ever since I was a kid, food has been a huge part of my life. Birthday parties with friends and family meant homemade chocolate cake. Saturday mornings meant fresh-made pancakes and French toast covered in butter and real maple syrup. Sunday Italian dinners started at three in the afternoon and went on for hours. For me, the love of food, and especially of sharing food with the people I love, was one of the most important aspects of growing up.

As an adult, my world suddenly tilted. After 20 years of unanswered health questions and misdiagnoses (you can read more about that in my first book, Jennifer’s Way), I was diagnosed with a devastating case of celiac disease. I learned that the thing I loved with such a passion was also the cause of my illness. Food was my enemy. How could this be? How could something I loved so dearly, something that gave me life and so much happiness, be killing me slowly?

I felt betrayed. I was a mess (to say the very least)—forced to face a new, uncertain future where food was suddenly safe or not safe, where restrictions and limits dictated every choice I made. When fear seeps in, baking cookies isn’t an easy option anymore, and that left a hole in my life. I knew I needed to give myself time to heal, learn, and grow. I came to terms with what my diagnosis would mean and slowly learned to change my lifestyle to rebuild my health. While food could certainly hurt me, I learned that it could also be lifesaving. Soul-saving too.

But it would take some time to get to that place. At first, I struggled to understand all the things I could no longer eat. Gluten, which I was told at diagnosis I could never eat again, I understood. I was already mourning all the things I could no longer enjoy—bread and bagels, pizza and pasta, cake and those dearly beloved chocolate chip cookies. But I gradually began to discover that in my case (and for many others with autoimmune or other chronic conditions), what I couldn’t eat went far beyond gluten. I also reacted negatively to dairy products, eggs, soy, and refined sugar. This was a long learning process, as I kept discovering more and more foods I couldn’t eat without worsening my symptoms. The more items I had to cross of my “Okay” list, the more my food landscape seemed barren and depressing. In my lowest moments I was so ill that it was difficult to summon the energy or optimism to do anything about it. I became severely malnourished, but I didn’t know how to fix it safely. I used what little energy I had to search for answers about how to heal myself and also get the essential vitamins and minerals I needed.

I knew my mourning was about more than the laundry list of foods I’d cut out of my life. I needed to find some kind of peace and joy with food again, because if I couldn’t find that, eating hardly seemed worth the effort. For me, losing the joy was even worse than losing any particular food I loved. Sure, I missed bagels, but even more I missed the sense of community and belonging that food had always contributed to my life.

Where was the joy? I certainly wasn’t finding it at the supermarket. The “gluten-free” foods most stores had to offer were filled with empty calories, preservatives, loads of sodium, and tons of sugar, not to mention the blatant presence of other allergens I could no longer eat. These processed “health foods” had no redeeming qualities, especially not good taste. To me, they tasted like cardboard, or a damp sponge.

I longed for that joy, along with a way to heal myself. Was it too much to ask to have both in my life? Finally, as with so many other things in life, I realized that if what I wanted didn’t exist, I was going to have to create it myself. I was going to have to get back in the kitchen, where I had started all those years before, making those chocolate chip cookies in the fullness of food freedom. This too would be a long learning process, and I would make many mistakes, but I would learn by trial and error how to cook and bake for my life now—for my new normal. No matter how difficult, I was determined to get there. I wanted to find my food freedom again.

I began with simple meals that were naturally gluten free, with lean proteins and tons of vegetables; fish with more vegetables, or vegetables and beans. Surely vegetables would heal me if gluten was hurting me, right? Wrong. Even on this supposedly pure diet, I still felt ill—not to mention uninspired. So, I thought, maybe I would enjoy baking more than day after day of steaming endless greens. I began to experiment with gluten-free baking, which is a real challenge. I made many failed cakes, cookies, breads, and what were supposed to be muffins. But I kept trying, kept experimenting, kept changing the formula, and finally, finally I discovered some tricks that really worked.

I began to bake foods that tasted good and, even better, foods that were also nutritionally rich. I baked cakes and breads and muffins that were delicious. I was in heaven! But then I began to feel even more ill, and I realized that all I was eating were my baked goods. They didn’t contain gluten, or any of the other allergens I could no longer eat, but one cannot live on gluten-free bread alone. There had to be a middle ground, or a way in, to a lifestyle that was both satisfying and deeply nutritious.

At that point, I realized I needed to go back to the drawing board and get to know the true underlying issue: my gut. It became extremely clear to me that my gut was “angry” with every food choice I made, and I knew I needed some professional advice to help heal it. I began working closely with my doctor, who also has celiac disease, so he understood exactly what I was going through. He explained to me that I had a leaky gut and what that meant for my body and diet. Damage to my digestive tract had created small tears in the lining, and these tears were allowing food particles to get into my bloodstream before they were digested. The problem was causing my immune system to overreact. Healing my gut would keep the food where it belonged and calm the overzealous immune response.

I went on a quest for more information. I read everything I could and made myself a guinea pig in my quest to heal. I took L-glutamine, which is good for healing the gut lining, and herbs that my doctor mixed up for me. I also began to pay very close attention to the state of my gut—how I felt when I ate or didn’t eat, and how I felt when I ate different things. I started to realize that the gut is more important than I could have imagined. As my doctor always says (I’m pretty sure Hippocrates said it first), “The root of all disease begins in the gut.”

I learned a lot more, once I really started paying attention to both the quiet and loaded messages my gut was sending me daily: mood changes, brain fog, exhaustion, even hair falling out. I learned that my mood in particular was directly connected to the state of my gut. When my stomach didn’t feel well, I felt more down and depressed. I realized that I developed pain in my chest and tightness in my throat when I ate vegetables, especially raw. My gut wasn’t sufficiently healed to digest all that fiber, and I had a particular problem with beans. All of those safe, gluten-free veggies had been working against me the whole time.

I also realized the importance of the quality of my food. I started paying attention to where my food came from, how it was grown, and whether or not it was organic. The cleaner and purer my food source, the better I began to feel. Slowly, after much time and patience, my gut began to stabilize. I still had flares, but overall, I felt better. I began to enjoy food again, at a deeper level, because the food I ate that tasted so good was also repairing my health rather than hurting me.

After many years of stockpiling information, concocting messes and successes in the kitchen, and nurturing a happier gut, I began blogging at, which has now turned into, about my experience with this tricky disease. I wanted to share all the information I had uncovered with anyone who might want to listen. Up until this point, the people in the celiac community I’d tapped into were my only allies—they truly understood this journey I was on. I wanted my blog to give back to a community that had helped me so much. It soon became a one-stop shop, not only for information about celiac disease but also for my favorite recipes and food advice. I also quickly became a celiac advocate, speaking out about what this disease really means for the people living, struggling, and thriving with it. Being in the public eye helped me expand my mission and reach beyond my small corner of the Internet. The blog opened a new path to connect, through emails, texts, and tweets, to people from all around the world. Readers need answers and help. They want to know what they can do for their health on a daily basis, beyond what their doctors have told them. I wanted, and needed, to find a way to respond to everyone else out there just like me.

My answer was to collect everything I’d learned into a book, Jennifer’s Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease—What Doctors Don’t Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again. And I didn’t stop there—I opened my tiny bakery, Jennifer’s Way, on East 10th Street in New York City, which continues to be a safe haven for anyone dealing with gluten and allergy issues. I brought all my favorite and most beloved recipes into that bakery and I baked and baked: bagels, breads, cupcakes, cookies, and an assortment of other delights. I saw firsthand that it wasn’t just about the bagel or a safe treat. It is about giving people a piece of their lives back. Being able to celebrate a birthday with an actual cake again, or just enjoying a cookie without worry, means so much more than just giving someone some food to eat. It is giving someone freedom.

The response from people wanting clean, safe, delicious food has been overwhelming. And it wasn’t only from other celiacs and people who suffered with autoimmune diseases—it was also from moms who would come by looking for school-safe snacks for their children to share with friends. It was from people struggling with other health issues, and it was also from people who are healthy, but want to stay that way. It was from the savvy shoppers and foodies who knew that they wanted only the best ingredients in their food. It was from people who just know a damn good cookie when they eat one. It was coming from all directions. I soon realized that people wanted my products who couldn’t come to my bakery, and so I began shipping them. It’s a big job, but it is my pleasure and my life’s mission.

But there is more to my mission than baking cookies. I realized there was still something missing. People continue to ask me the same two questions: But how do you live? and What do you eat every day? I get these two questions more than any others, not just from people with celiac disease but from those with other autoimmune diseases, as well as those who just feel better when they eat cleaner. That’s when I conceived this book.

This book is a guide for anyone who wants to reclaim health. In it, I tell you what I do and how I eat, but it is also much more than what I do in my day-to-day to stay on top of my health. This is a book about eliminating the true villain that lurks within us all: inflammation. Throughout my journey knowingly living with celiac disease for the past eight years, this is the one problem that always resurfaces. It is a problem not just for those dealing with autoimmune diseases, but for many other chronic health issues. It’s a nasty word, inflammation, and it causes disease in anyone. That’s why I made this book a guide to everything I do and make and eat to keep inflammation down and stay healthy, while still enjoying the wonderful flavors of the foods I love. By no means is eating to combat inflammation boring or unflavorful. I couldn’t do it if that were the case because the pleasure of food is one of the biggest joys in life.

This book is a cookbook, but it is different than most cookbooks. Not only does every recipe have major anti-inflammatory components, but all recipes are also completely free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, and refined sugars (the foods that are most likely to be problems for many people). The recipes are organized around three key modes:

1. PURE Recipes for Healing: This covers what to eat to help the body decrease inflammation and allow the immune system and gut to rest. I read a wonderful book that said (I’m paraphrasing): The gut is the queen of the castle and if she is upset, she will take down the kingdom. This couldn’t be more correct. This is why anyone and everyone can benefit from eating Pure. Yes, it’s especially helpful for those dealing with autoimmune issues, but it is also for all who want to allow the body to do some healing. In times of inflammation, this is the chapter to live in. You will find recipes like gut-healing Bone Broth (here), soups, mashes, gentle dishes of meat or fish with cooked vegetables, and healing tonics.

Honestly, this is how I eat most of the time. For me, I find it truly helps with the constant inflammation that comes from having an autoimmune disease. Maybe you will want to live here too. It’s more restrictive, but it feels so good when your inflammation subsides, so for me it is more than worthwhile.

The Pure recipes contain no grains at all. They also don’t contain nuts, seeds, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, or potatoes), or raw vegetables, which can be difficult to digest. I also recommend staying away from coffee, alcohol, and other stimulants when you are eating Pure.

2. CLEAN Recipes for Living: When you feel good and inflammation is down, this section covers what to eat on a daily basis to maintain your health. The recipes are all clean, allergen free, and nourishing, but they reintroduce some things you were not eating when you were eating Pure—things a healed gut can manage now and then, like some gluten-free grains, small amounts of nuts and seeds, and nightshade vegetables, to name a few. You can also try some raw vegetables (like salads), and you can add coffee back if you really want it; just stick to organic coffee. But I’d also try to drink green tea too, just for its anti-inflammatory benefits. If you want to add back alcohol, look for types without gluten (of course) and with the least possible sugar, and keep it to a minimum.

3. INDULGENT Recipes for Splurging (in Moderation): These are my kick-your-heels-up, play-like-a-kid recipes. In this section, you’ll add a little more natural sweetener to some of the recipes, and you will also find recipes that are a little richer, but still nutrient dense, nourishing, and delicious. These recipes are for enjoying once in a while. From Fauxstess Cupcakes (like the version you ate when you were a kid, but safe—see here), to Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna (here) and Jennifer’s Famous BBQ Baby Back Ribs (here), every recipe is still clean… just a little bit more decadent.

Best of all, I created every single one of these recipes with joy. I strive to recapture the deliciousness of those free-eating days in every section of this book, without ever compromising your gut health or food sensitivities. Are you feeling inflamed or bloated or overly tired but you still want dessert? I’ve got just the thing for you. Are you feeling great and want to celebrate a special occasion? I provide exactly what you crave. Are you bored of the same old things every day, and just want to spice up your normal menu? I will help you expand your culinary boundaries without sacrificing your health or launching you into a week of down days. I don’t want to focus on everything you can’t have. This cookbook is about all the glorious, amazing, delectable, nutrient-rich foods you can enjoy and will get to enjoy every single day, and still keep that inflammation at bay. I have never believed in depriving myself of anything I crave, and that is how most of these recipes were conceived. I just wasn’t willing to eat foods that weren’t fun and delicious—crunchy, tasty, yummy, savory, ooey-gooey. It’s the only way I want to eat, for the rest of my life.

The book begins with advice on ingredient quality, how to keep an allergen-free and inflammation-free kitchen, and the tools and equipment that can make cooking easier for you. I’ve also sprinkled some thoughts and advice on some of the therapies and lifestyle interventions I use throughout the book.

Then, the recipes. But I didn’t want them to be organized like every other cookbook, by meals or ingredients. Instead, I organized the recipes according to how I eat, why, and in what order. Living with an autoimmune disease means your body is in a constant state of defense against internal attack, and that’s why it’s so important to keep inflammation down and eat nutrient-dense foods. This is how you stay on top of your life, in every way, even if you don’t have an autoimmune disease. Because we all know that on some days, we feel okay, and on other days, we don’t. On some days, we can get through the day as long as we are fueled with clean, nutrient-dense foods, and on other days, we aren’t feeling so well and need to nurture the gut a little more carefully. And then there are those days when we feel strong and good and want a treat.

I didn’t organize these recipes by meals because I also never want to tell you what you should eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. So I’ve organized the recipes by type of food, such as breads, soups, mashes, smoothies, or sweet things. If you’re like me, you might have soup for breakfast, mashed butternut squash for lunch, and a smoothie for dinner, and I want you to feel that you can do that here.

This is how I live. This is what I know. If you want to enjoy delicious food but still eat clean, quench the fire of inflammation, be strong, nurture your gut, boost your immunity, and take control of your health in ways you might not have been able to do before, come join me at the table. Your days of deprivation and believing you can no longer eat food that is both delicious and safe for you are over. This is your guide and your safe haven, and everything between these two covers is guaranteed to keep you living safe, pure, clean, indulgent… and free.

Welcome to My World

If you are reading this book, I’m guessing we have a lot in common. I love life and all it brings, but I especially love the food. I love making it and sharing it. I love the joy it brings to people. Food didn’t always bring me joy, though. For too many years, I struggled with my undiagnosed chronic illness, celiac disease, and food became the enemy.

Living with chronic disease isn’t so different from regular life, but it is much more difficult. Every bite you take, every hour of sleep missed, every stressful toxic environment you’re in, every pill you take or supplement you choose—all can have a dramatic effect on your long- and short-term health and happiness. This is true for everyone, but it is amplified for those with a chronic illness.

Who wants to live that way, having to be so careful all the time? For me it was not an option, and that has made all the difference. I’m not saying that I don’t have hard days, because I do; but I have found foods, rituals, eliminations, and a new way to look at my situation. Since my last book, I have been asked by so many who read it, “Now what? How do I LIVE?” Well, I’ve been stockpiling these recipes and life tips to share with you ever since the first person asked me that question, and I promise I have some great tools for all who want to take back control of their health. In doing this, you must take a good look at not only your food, but all the inflammatory triggers in your life. If you don’t, a clean, healthy diet will be rendered useless. Yes, useless.

Okay, let’s get started. First, here are the top two major things in life that I’ve found kick that nasty inflammation into high gear for all of us: stress and toxins. Here’s what I do about them.


Stress is the number-one most potent way to inflame not just your body but also your heart, mind, and soul, and it is the one that gives me the most trouble. I will be honest. I am still trying to win this battle. I am a work-in-progress, as we all are. Life is hard and stress is a part of it. This is something I’ve had to come to terms with: Sometimes, things happen to you in your life that are not happy or pleasant. Sometimes, things happen that are downright brutal. When things like this happen to me—like a diagnosis of celiac disease, to name just one of many things that have happened to me—it can leave me in a hole. To get out of that hole, I’ve learned to look for the lesson and consider every experience, good or bad, as a learning opportunity for growth. For example, if I had never been diagnosed with celiac disease, I wouldn’t be writing this book, and I wouldn’t have as my life’s purpose helping people from around the world who struggle with health issues. That has meant more to me than pretty much anything else in my life (other than my pups).

But finding the lesson isn’t always easy in the moment. Here are some things I do to help me climb out of the hole and get through the immediate real-time stress:

ACCEPTANCE. Life happens, and then you grow. You can waste a lot of energy wanting something not to be the way it is, but that won’t change anything. There are always things you can change (especially the way you think about something), but accepting reality instead of living in denial can make a huge difference in how much stress you feel about a certain situation. Take a diagnosis, for example (although this works for anything). You can wish you didn’t have a chronic health issue. You can be angry about it. You can try to blame someone or something. You can get depressed about it, or get anxiety about it, or just be generally pissed off that your life has taken a turn for the worse. You can lose hope and see no future for yourself. Or you can accept your situation, take a deep breath, and decide that this is now part of your reality, and that’s okay. Only then can you finally move forward with your life and start working on finding your new normal.

SELF-CARE AND KINDNESS. It’s easy to be hard on yourself. So many of us do this. You say negative things to yourself. You deprive yourself. You make yourself suffer. None of that does any good. When you are having health issues, or emotional issues, or both, what you really need is self-care. You are hurting, and you don’t need to make it worse on yourself. Give yourself a break. Think positive things about yourself, and say positive things to yourself. It may seem difficult at first, but it’s a habit to be negative, and it’s a habit to be kind to yourself. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

MEDITATION. Along this windy, curvy road called life, I can’t always see what’s around the next corner. When I get to it, I don’t always like what is there. To deal with the stress that comes with living life this way, I have found that meditation really helps. For years, people told me I should meditate, but I never thought it was for me. Then I hit a really crazy, hard time many years ago (this was before I was diagnosed), and I began searching everywhere for some peace. Finally, I decided to give meditation a try, and it became the single best thing I could do for myself. Meditation is self-care at its most powerful. In order to give both your body and mind a rest, you need to be able to find true silence, and that’s what meditation does. If you are like me, working even when you are sleeping, constantly busy in body and mind (making plans, writing recipes, singing songs, my mind always moving), meditation is the only time when I can really get silent and allow body and mind to just be.

So how do you do it? I suggest starting slow and following just one rule: Be kind to yourself. You don’t have be perfect or get it “right.” There is no “right.” Just sit quietly, close your eyes, and pay attention to your breath. Breathe in through your nose for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds, and exhale for five seconds. While you do this, if thoughts come into your mind, gently say to yourself, “Now now.” Sometimes I like to repeat three words to myself, over and over, like a mantra: “Peace, love, light.” Eventually, I can feel my body and mind start to release.

You could also listen to guided meditations. Personally, I love doing this and there are hundreds of them out there. Deepak Chopra has some amazing meditations you can download that have helped me tremendously.

The more you do this, the easier it gets and the more you will crave it. Please try it. It is the single best thing you can do for your health, your happiness, and your life.



On Sale
Sep 26, 2017
Page Count
304 pages

Jennifer Esposito

About the Author

Jennifer Esposito is an award-winning actress who has appeared in numerous roles in film, TV, and on stage, from Academy Award Best Picture-winning movies to network television hits to acclaimed cable dramas. She is the owner and CEO of Jennifer’s Way Bakery in New York City, and the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Jennifer’s Way.

Learn more about this author