Among the perks of food blogging are the hot-off-the-press cookbooks that land on my doorstep. In exchange for a complimentary copy, publishers hope you will cozy up with the book, give it a good read, test drive a few of the recipes and give it a raving review.
But let me tell you, it can become quite overwhelming, especially when that stack grows to 12 books high. Aghhhh!
Lexie's Kitchen Book Review Policy
As much as I love reviewing cookbooks, I have decided to throw this out there to save everyone some time and money. If a cookbook is a good fit for this site and I feel the majority of my readers would enjoy it, there's a high probability I will review it. If the recipes are heavy on the eggs, sugar, processed food or have a drop of gluten in them, it's probably a no go. And if any of the recipes I try "don't work." It's definitely a no go. I feel this is only fair to my audience and their pocketbooks.
With that little bit out of the way, I am happy to say that I have found Carol Kicinski's latest Simply ... Gluten-Free Quick Meals; More than 100 Great Tasting Recipes for Good Food Fast to be a gem.
Yes, Carol uses some eggs. Yes, she uses some dairy. But Carol is consistently good about suggesting substitutes.
Carol is the author of the blog Simply Gluten-Free. She's big. Google "gluten-free" and hers is THE FIRST blog to show up in the results (I think I need to take her SEO guy to lunch). She has a heart of gold and is one smart gluten-free cookie. I think she has a winner in this latest book and here's why.
Cookbook Review: Simply ... Gluten-Free Quick Meals; More than 100 Great Tasting Recipes for Good Food Fast
Some Chapters I Love
- Simple Suppers
- Easy Entertaining
- Pantry Raid (I read THAT one wrong more than once!)
Some recipes in this book do call for dairy, however the Carol has provided substitutions for dairy (usually coconut or rice milk) and suggestions for other substitutions such arrowroot for cornstarch. So there are ways to work around allergies and intolerances and still cook out of this book—the only exception being the recipes that call for eggs. But still, there are plenty of other recipes in the book that we can enjoy.
A Theme and Menu Approach
ALL-AMERICAN MEATLOAF DINNER MENU
Mini Meat Loaves (left out the egg)
PIE FOR DINNER MENU
Polenta Potpies (left out the cheese)
The book is black and white with a few pages of color photography. The recipes are well laid out and directions are easy to follow.
To Buy or Not to Buy
If you are gluten-free and dairy-free: Buy if you are comfortable using non-dairy substitutes (soy cream cheese, Daiya, etc. or just leaving it out) and know that some recipes may simply be challenging to make without the real deal.
If you are gluten-free, dairy-free AND egg-free: Buy knowing that there may be a handful of recipes that just may be too difficult or impossible to make without these ingredients (like salmon cakes and breakfast quesadillas).