Book Review: The Healthy Gluten-Free Life

Feb 12, 2012 by

*Disclaimer: I did receive a copy of this book for free to review. My opinions, however, are solely my own.

One of the first things I do when I get a new cookbook is sit down with my pen and post-it notes and go through it and mark the recipes I want to try. Like the true organized freak I am, I’ll write the name of the recipe on the part that sticks out and then on the inner part, make a list of the items I’d need to buy if I wanted to make the recipe.

Let me just say that the first thing I loved about this book was the size. I know some people may disagree that it’s going to take up too much room, but I am a visual person and almost always won’t make a recipe unless I can see how it’s supposed to look. And in The Healthy Gluten-Free Life, each recipe has at least one large color photo and some also have extras of the steps along the way. It’s large, like the size of a a special issue Vogue. Not that I buy those. Ahem.

I sat at my breakfast bar for a good hour (note the wine glass which is essential in the process) perusing this book and its photos, making my notes.

All the recipes in this book are soy-free, dairy-free, and egg-free along with being gluten-free so they’re great for people with multiple allergies or food intolerances. But what I was really looking for was a few “Paleo” recipes made without grain and with natural sweeteners that would be good to review for my page and there was quite a few! I finally decided I would make at least three recipes, two cookie ones with the kids and the turkey burgers for dinner. There are also smoothies, roasted nuts, Italian meatballs, sloppy joes, macadamia bars,  Coco Loco Bananas, and others that fit nicely within a grain-free Paleo lifestyle.

The first cookies we decided to make were the No’Oatmeal Cookies. The kids were excited to help as always and if this hat isn’t the cutest damn thing on the face of the planet, I’m not sure what is.

They were made with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, pulsed in a food processor to create a oatmeal-like consistency without the oatmeal, and sweetened with a small amount of honey and applesauce. Mine did not come out nearly as pretty as the author’s but the consistency and flavor was right on.

The second cookies we decided to make only had five ingredients, so how can you not try them? They were the Almond Coconut Orange ones, which were made only with almond meal, a little honey, coconut oil, shredded coconut, and orange zest. Despite not having the typical eggs and baking soda associated with cookies, the consistency of these cookies were fantastic. Soft and chewy with a slightly crunchy edge.

The flavor was a little lacking for me but that may be because I like strong flavors. They weren’t bad at all, but I would have added some almond extract to really bring the flavor home with the orange zest. And I also think that the base ingredients of these cookies would be an awesome palette to experiment and try other flavors

Lastly, I decided to step away from the baking (I cannot stop myself around cookies) and try a more savory dish. I picked up all the ingredients for the turkey burgers. These were a huge hit. They were easy to put together, smelled great cooking and tasted awesome. Mike and I ate them topped with a little feta and the flavor was right on.

I am looking forward to trying a few more recipes from this book and even adapting some to make my own. Following recipes is not easy for me since I am also a recipe developer, but the colorful pictures, lovely written into, and simple yet flavorful recipes make this a book I’m glad I have in my arsenal.

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