Cooking intriguing and tasty international dishes is a fun, creative adventure for me. The idea of doing so without the use of gluten, cheese, cream, butter, or eggs makes me want to give up before starting. This daunting task is tackled masterfully by Allyson Kramer in her new cookbook, Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats from Around the World that features glueten-free, vegan recipes from all over the world.
The chapters are organized by regions: Africa, Europe, South and Central America, Asian, Canada, and Mexico. There is a helpful global ingredient guide that serves as an excellent dictionary for the unique ingredients found in some of the recipes. She also provides a grocery guide for on-line shopping for hard-to-find items.
When the author of a cookbook is also a talented photographer, she is bound to capture the realistic images of the dishes she has created, and this book is a grand example of that. More than half of the recipes are accompanied by a photo, and I found it boosted my confidence in tackling unusual dishes.
Living in rural Colorado 30 minutes from the nearest stoplight and 90 minutes from a grocery store with more than five isles, I felt limited in the dishes I could attempt from Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats from Around the World. I don’t have access to Asian or African markets, and my source for vegan ‘dairy’ products is very limited. In the gluten free section of our grocery store, I’ve not seen animal crackers nor do they sell vegan marshmallows. If I lived in a more urban environment, I’m sure finding these ingredients wouldn’t be so challenging.
Surprisingly Delicious Flavors
We are big fans of the pumpkin fritters (page 114) modeled after the Chilean-style sopapillas, and even my very big, meat eating, gluten loving son came back for seconds. The Parmesan Cheese Mix (pg 68), made with almond meal and nutritional yeast, is quite tasty on GF pasta as well as salads. It doesn’t stay crunchy, but it adds nice flavor reminiscent of real Parmesan.
as I was mixing together the ingredients for the “Pain Ordinaire” bread loaf, I was very skeptical. I followed the recipe exactly, yet the batter was very runny. There wasn’t a chance I could have brushed the top of the unbaked loaf with olive oil; it was just soupy. It needed to bake quite a bit longer than called for, but that may be due to our high altitude. However, I was delighted with the outcome. It tastes much better warm out of the oven than it does two days later, but that is the case for nearly every gluten-free bread loaf I’ve tried.
For people on restricted diets who have become accustomed to eating the same old easy thing week after week, Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats from Around the World opens the door to new taste bud experiences. This new cookbook can make gluten free vegan meals exciting instead of daunting. — by Lisa George, RFT Contributor, www.latigotrails.com