Many people have found that eating a gluten-free (GF) diet helps them to feel better, think more clearly, and have more energy. Vicky Pearl, author of Gluten-Free Goes Gourmet: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Corn-free, Low Glycemic, Kosher, takes the process of GF cooking to a new level in this compilation of recipes. Not only does she guide her readers into the gluten-free world with ease, but she also provides them with healthy, kosher recipes that avoid dairy, corn, and high sugar.
She writes, “If there is just one thing that you take away from this book, it’s that this journey is meant to be beautiful and exciting. Beautiful in the sense that it is wonderful to feel as good as you can and to be the most healthful person you can be, and exciting how with the right tools and guidance, your story can be exhilaratingly successful.”
Gluten-Free Goes Gourmet begins with a comprehensive glossary of the ingredients used in her recipes and offers helpful tips about characteristics, additional uses, and storage.
Illustrating an affinity for adjectives and alliteration, the chapters are titled:
-Delicious Dips and Drinks
-Marvelous Meat and Poultry
-Magnificent Mock Dairy
-Stellar Side Dishes
-Creative Cakes and Cookies
On page 29, the author offers us the recipe for hummus dip served with veggies and crackers from the recipe on page 196. The dip is quite good and versatile, serving as a base for experimenting with your favorite flavors. For the gluten-free half of my family, the crackers proved tasty; for the regular eaters, they were rather unappealing. When I make them again, I might bake them a bit longer as they weren’t exactly crispy. I might also brush them with egg whites and sprinkle with salt at stage two in the baking process. Because the cracker dough was more like batter, there was no possibility of rolling them out. Instead, I poured the batter onto a lined baking sheet and spread it around just a bit. I made half a batch, and it nearly filled a cookie sheet.
Avoiding dairy in addition to gluten might mean no desserts or unappealing dessert recipes. No so in Gluten-Free Goes Gourmet. There are some really interesting dessert ideas based predominantly on fruit. I made the Strawberry Banana Ice Cream (page 220), and for a vegan ice cream, it was quite creamy and smooth. I used coconut milk and coconut sugar rather than agave for an even lower glycemic index. The sugar’s tan tint muted the red color of the ice cream, but it tasted quite nice. I’m not a big fan of banana flavoring in anything other than banana bread, but a small scoop of this ice cream made for a very healthy and tasty dessert.
I also had good success preparing the Dinner Rolls on (page 192), and the Zucchini Mushroom Frittata (page 182) was quite tasty as well. I don’t believe the frittata can serve 8-10 as it says in the recipe. I made it for lunch for my family of four, and there was only one serving left over. One family member felt the agave made the dish too sweet, and we all felt that the dish could have been made with more eggs to increase the volume and make it feel more like a frittata rather than a zucchini casserole. Nonetheless, the recipe was tasty.
Although the traditional foods that aren’t included in this book (corn, dairy, gluten, and lots of sugar) are prevalent in most of our diets, the recipes in this cookbook are delicious enough that most people wouldn’t miss them. There are accurate photographs of each dish, and the directions for preparation of each recipe are simple and accurate. The ingredients needed for each dish are easy to find and are probably already present in most kitchens where folks are trying to accommodate a gluten free diet. Gluten-Free Goes Gourmet would make a terrific addition to any kitchen bound by these dietary restrictions.
I have a vegan guest coming to stay for a week, and with the gluten free diet I’m trying to follow, I’ll be making quite a few of the recipes in this book to satisfy us both. – by Lisa George, RFT Contributor, Chef Latigo Ranch, Kremmling, Colorado
Try the delicious hummus recipe from Gluten-free Goes Gourmet.
Interested in more gluten-free and/or vegetarian cookbooks? Check these out:
Read our review of World Food Cafe.
Read our review of Great Gluten-free Eats from Around the World.
Read our review of The Passionate Vegetable.