Saturday, November 16, 2013

Some gluten-free cookbook recommendations

I have mentioned this before, but despite the fact that my blog is called "A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust" I do not have an iron stomach. In fact, I have been dealing with some major digestive issues lately that I have attempted to decode by some elimination diets. One of the eliminations I tried recently was to go gluten-free, which actually didn't work for me, but in the process I learned a lot about going gluten-free. I really think a gluten-free lifestyle can be beneficial for all people, not just those who suffer from Celiac's.

125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Fenster

Despite the fact that I normally prefer cookbooks with pictures and glossy pages, neither of which this book has, it actually has some tasty sounding recipes such as
  • savory leek-onion bread pudding 
  • peperonata on soft polenta 
  • vegetable tikka masala 
  • chili corn bread casserole 
  • falafel with dill yogurt sauce 
  • apple-fennel slaw
  • roasted fennel with garlic and thyme
  • Thai corn chowder
But I think what is most useful in this cookbook is the introductory information Fenster provides her readers about effectively going gluten-free without feeling deprived. The language is very accessible and she makes the process feel surmountable. There is a section on staples for the gluten-free pantry and she explains all of the gluten-free flours that are available.

Gluten-Free Makeovers by Beth Hillson

The gluten-free makeovers in this book are primarily baking related, which makes sense since gluten is a big part of the baking process. Once again, the most valuable part of this cookbook comes from the introductory information. Hillson talks about the differences between celiac, gluten intolerance, and wheat allergies, but most effective is her chart for building your own gluten-free flour blend if you want to experiment with your own blends and not just follow hers. If you enjoy baking and find yourself having to go gluten-free, I highly recommend this title. Just as with Fenster's title above, it is written in a very conversational style and empowers the reader to feel as if the gluten-free lifestyle will not be one of depravation.

Everyday Gluten-Free Slow Cooking by Kimberly Mayone and Kitty Broihier

This is my favorite cookbook of the three. Even though I didn't end up going gluten-free permanently, I loved the ideas presented in this cookbook and will be using my slow cooker more often as a result. Things I had never thought to do in the slow cooker before like frittatas, roasting nuts, and making oatmeal overnight so it's ready in the morning suddenly made so much sense. One of my favorite recipes from this book involves making a Spanish tortilla, but instead of slicing potatoes really thin which takes time and patience (unless you have a mandoline which creates its own new set of problems - the possibility of losing a finger for one) Mayone and Broihier call for using kettle cooked potato chips instead. Not only a practical idea, but a delicious one as well. So for those people who need to go gluten-free and lament over how difficult it can be, this book presents itself as a very no-muss, no-fuss way of going about it. Out of all the gluten-free cookbooks I've looked through, this one made it seem easy.


  1. Good luck with your digestion - I have struggled with mine for years! My latest and most successful approach to date is to take acid reflux medicine before breakfast and dinner (about 30 minutes before) and then take a good probiotic with the meal. The ones you keep in the fridge seem to work the best! Cheers

  2. Hope you find out what's bothering you. We tried gluten-free on a whim and didn't feel one bit better or different, so I guess neither of us needs to worry about it. BUT I have several GF friends and I'm always looking for easy ideas when I have them over for a meal.

  3. Ugh. Stomach problems are so difficult to deal with. Hopefully you'll figure out what is going on soon. For people that do need to go gluten-free, all of the cookbooks that are out there right now must be a wonderful resource.

  4. I'm sorry to hear about your digestive issues, I hope you can figure it out soon. These are wonderful resources, I'm going to pass your post onto my sister-in-law, who has two daughters with Celiac's.

  5. Some great recommendations there. I'm not gluten intolerant and don't need a gluten free diet, but after doing a major cleanse recently I felt so good without it that I've definitely been trying to reduce my gluten intake.

    Good luck with sorting out your digestive troubles - hope you find a solution.

  6. Gluten definitely bloats me in excess so I do agree with the idea that even non-celiac patients can benefit from a gluten free diet...My daughter had major digestion issues from the time she was quite small and we had to do all kinds of eliminations and allergy testing. Her culprits were...High fructose corn syrup and red skinned apples. She can eat green or yellow but not red...weird but true

  7. Hope you get things worked out soon. Hey, I saw a gluten free cookbook available on Goodreads page. It's under their giveaways.

  8. Thanks for the recommendations! I just ordered Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking based on great reviews, but I like the sound of these too, and will add them to my wish list.

  9. My son and I tried going gluten-free for a couple of months last year (we both have lots of medical problems). GF didn't seem to do much for either of us, but it was an interesting experiment - like you, I learned a lot about it!

    Unfortunately, we do both have dairy intolerances....I very much miss cheese!

    I didn;t have the benefit of any GF cookbooks when we tried it - these all look great!


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