Tuesday, November 26, 2013

500 Gluten Free Dishes

by Carol Beckerman

I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me sooner to review a cookbook. I have been loving this cookbook and cooking from it for a few months now. Now, yes, I am gluten-free, so my cookbooks are of the gluten-free variety. But don't let that turn you off if you aren't on a gluten-free diet! And if you are gluten-free, I highly recommend this one from the 500 series.

First of all, the book itself is small, which is perfect for those like me who have a painfully small kitchen and need to maximize space. It easily lays flat (non of that cookbook stand nonsense) and won't take up a lot of room on your counter (or windowsill, if you're like me). Best of all, the recipes are easy to follow. Yes, they require things like white rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, etc. But such is the life of a gluten-free cook/baker. You learn to live with it. And though I've only been cooking from this book for a few months, I already have a few go-to recipes.

The breakfast recipes in this cookbook are great. I don't like starting my day wired for sugar: cereal, french toast, waffles, etc. Every once-in-a-while I'll go for sweets in the morning, but, typically, I prefer savory dishes in the morning. And this cookbook doesn't disappoint: savory cheese & onion hotcakes, cheese & ham mini muffins (which I love and have made over and over), and the ham & cheese strata (for special occasions).

There are also great lunch options for those of us who can't just go out and grab a sandwich at work. Two of my favorites are the cranberry & pecan baked wild rice with shallots and the quinoa & avocado salad with orange dressing. They're perfect to take to work. They're make-ahead dishes that can last you through the week and are served cool.

The other great thing about this book is that it offers variations on each dish. There are dairy free options, different spice and herb combinations; it's super useful. I don't know that it's necessarily "the only compendium of gluten-free dishes you'll ever need," but it is a great staple to have in your gluten-free kitchen.

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