Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June Cookbook Review: Unbelievably Gluten Free by Anne Byrn

Unbelievably Gluten-Free: 128 Delicious Recipes: Dinner Dishes You Never Thought You'd Be Able to Eat Again
Unbelievably gluten-free pizza! Unbelievably gluten-free fried chicken! Unbelievably gluten-free pasta! Plus breads, dumplings, fritters, pies, cakes, puddings, and more. For the 30 million Americans who have an allergy or sensitivity to gluten, and their families, who want to reclaim the dinner experience of everyone eating the same thing; Anne Byrn creates 125 amazing dishes where the gluten is gone, and never missed.

Author also of The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free, and other cookbooks, Anne Byrn knows how to deliver incredible flavors. She replaces wheat, barley, and rye with gluten-free ingredients and employs creative techniques for achieving flawless textures and consistencies. These are recipes that taste as good, not almost as good, as they should: Tomato Panzanella Salad. Baked French Onion Soup. Spaghetti Carbonara. Grilled Chicken and Pesto Pizza. The Best GF Meat Loaf. Plus dessert: Warm Lemon Pudding Cake, Gluten- Free Red Velvet Cake, Fresh Orange Cupcakes, Old-Fashioned Peach and Blueberry Cobbler, and Gluten-Free Saucepan Brownies.

Includes how to convert favorite recipes and tips for eating gluten-free on a budget.
Publisher: Workman Publishing Group
Publication Date: October 30, 2012

Purchase:  Amazon

Kat's Review

This cookbook was written by a veteran cookbook writer, and it shows in the clarity of the instructions.  What I liked about each recipe was that there's a note about whether it can be converted to dairy free, which is a big deal in my house right now since my son is currently dairy free.  There are also many great photos accompanying the recipes, making it easy to see what a recipe should look like when all is said and done.

From this cookbook, I made:  Sweet Onion Dip, 5 Minute Hummus, French Baked Pork Chops, Spaghetti Carbonara, Stir Fried Broccoli & Veggies over Rice Noodles, Easy Fried Rice, Baked Eggplant & Zucchini Parmesan.

I didn't get around to making any desserts, but there is a nice variety to choose from.  Many of the baked goods recipes start with a baking mix, which to some people might seem like cheating, but is fine to me.  The only problem was that many called for Gluten Free Bisquick, which I haven't been able to find in Canada.  I could substitute, true, but whenever a particular product is called for, I try to stay true to the recipe. 

I had success with every recipe I tried.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow, and unlike some gluten free recipes I've tried lately, they were all full of flavour.  My dishes ended up looking remarkably similar to the photos in the book, another plus.  This would make a great book for beginners.  Many recipes call for premade crusts or use baking mixes, reducing the chance of error and shortening prep times considerably.  I'm not a novice in the kitchen, but with two kids in the house, I like my meal prep to be quick and efficient.  This cookbook is perfect for that.  You can pull off almost any recipe in this book without much fuss.

Verdict

I would recommend this book for people looking for quick meals that are easy to pull together, and who don't mind taking shortcuts like using baking mixes.  There is certainly a place on my shelf for cookbooks that have more complicated recipes, but if I'm looking to make something that tastes great but doesn't require a ton of effort, this book is a good choice.  Plus, the onion dip is one of the best I've ever tasted.  I served it at Father's Day, and it passed the family taste test.   

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