Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March Cookbook Review: Fast & Simple Gluten Free

Fast and Simple Gluten-Free: 30 Minutes or Less to Fresh and Classic Favorites

Comforting Meals Everyone Will Love—Made in No Time!
Getting a hot, delicious, gluten-free meal to the table every night can seem like a challenge when time and growling stomachs are demanding food now! But you can turn the tables from stressed to dressed in no time with Fast and Simple Gluten-Free, your one-stop solution to creating fast, family-friendly meals in a half hour or less.

Inside, you’ll find more than 100 truly inspiring recipes for everything from Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Frosting to Green Chicken Enchiladas and Quinoa Tabbouleh, with many recipes requiring just 20 minutes or less from start to fork.

Author, mom, and g-free blogger Gretchen Brown will show you just how easy it is to create wholesome, wheat-free meals that you can feel good about—and that your family will love. Through streamlined ingredient lists and simple yet effective cooking techniques, you’ll learn how to pull together delicious dishes that taste as if you’ve spent hours slaving away in the kitchen, even though you haven’t!

(Cover & Description from Goodreads. Source.)
Publisher: Fair Winds Press
Publication Date: October 1, 2012

This book has much of what I like in a cookbook: quick recipes and good photos.  The meals are advertised as being 30 minutes or less to make, and I found that to be true.  From the book, I made:

Chicken Saltimbocca: This was so easy to make I can't believe I've never done it before.  The prosciutto adds the right amount of salty flavour, and the sauce keeps things moist. 

Lemon Chicken (I forgot to take a photo): This dish took very little time to put together, and the corn starch coating made the chicken crunchy and delicious.  Really concentrated flavour. 

Mozzarella Pizza with Pine Nuts & Arugula:  I couldn't find currants, but they would have added an extra element to this pizza.  a great mix of flavours, and something a bit more special than a typical pizza.

Red Curry Chicken Soup:  I have a standard coconut curry chicken soup I make on a regular basis, but this one is just as good.  The curry is not hot, and even my four year old liked it.

Arugula Salad with Oranges, Pomegranate Seeds & Parmesan Rounds: This is the perfect salad for when you want to impress guests.  The parmesan rounds look complicated to make, but they're not.

I would have made more but this month my son got sick and we had to put him on an elimination diet.  Things were a bit crazy for a while and I was pretty much making dishes I was familiar with and that were easy to put together. 

However, I have to say that I really like this cookbook.  There are so many recipes in there that I still want to try, including a giant chocolate chip cookie that's made in a skillet.  I mean, how awesome is that? 

This book delivers on its promises.  None of the dishes I made were difficult to put together, and they were all manageable within the 30 minute framework.  The flavour was great on everything, and my husband even begged me to make more of the lemon chicken.  However, many of the dishes look elegant and fancy.  The pizza and the arugula salad looked like dishes you would order from a restaurant, yet were simple to make.  The addition of a few unexpected ingredients like pine nuts or pomegranate seeds elevate these recipes beyond standard fare. 

Verdict:  I would recommend this cookbook to anyone looking for simple yet delicious gluten free meals.  They are manageable even for a beginner, and there's a wide enough variety of recipes to choose from that everyone should be able to find something they like.  I'm not done with this book yet, I already have several recipes bookmarked to try.  A good buy.

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