Reviews: Allergy-Friendly & Gluten-Free Cookbooks
Book reviews by Alisa Fleming
Published in 2016
The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook
By Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Little, Brown and Company, $32
Pretty but playful, this full-color cookbook covers the classics with loads of latkes for Hanukkah, assorted cookies for Christmas and plenty of pies for Thanksgiving. But Isa Moskowitz draws outside the lines with culinary imaginatino that must be celebrated. Whether it’s a Super Bowl Philly Cheesesteak Casserole, Mardi Gras Corn Fritters with Tomato Jam or a night at the Oscars with Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes, you’ll always find a reason to revel in her more than 200 recipes.
This festive collection doesn’t dish up many top allergen-free eats. However, it is completely free of dairy, eggs, meat and seafood. Plus, it opens with substitution tips for gluten, nuts and soy. – Alisa Fleming
The Perfect Blend
By Tess Masters
Ten Speed Press, $19.99
You’ll be a whiz at healthy cuisine thanks to the innovative layout of Tess Masters’ latest blender-inspired cookbook. Releasing just in time for New Year’s resolutions, the chapters are organized by dietary ambitions, including energy, immunity, weight loss, low carb, probiotic promoting and more. has optional “boosters” that ensure you’ll be mixing nourishing new foods into your regular routine.
Nutritious tidbits abound, while the brilliant photography showcases the beauty of real food. Although nuts and soy are used quite liberally, all 100 recipes are purely plant-based, dairy- free, egg-free and gluten-free.
By Zsu Dever
Vegan Heritage Pres, $21.95
We’re spilling the beans on this trendy new title, which promises easy meringues and omelets without cracking an egg. In fact, vegan quiche, crepes, cookies, burgers and beyond are Whipped up with one emerging allergy-friendly ingredient: the cooking liquid from legumes.
The author provides the techniques for transforming the liquid into fluffy peaks, an easy emulsifier or the perfect baking binder. Every recipe is free of dairy, eggs, meat and seafood, and notations indicate gluten-, nut- and soy-free options. There are even specially created treats, like Gluten-Free Artisan Bread and Nut-Free Macaron Shells.
Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebration
By Danielle Walker
Ten Speed Press, $35
Don’t be surprised if you start seeking out special occasions to enjoy the recipes in this all-inclusive cookbook. From birthday bashes to game day gatherings, an intimate Valentine’s dinner to a festive Christmas, Danielle Walker allows us to revel in the endless edible possibilities.
Nearly every turn of the page unearths an eye-catching photo and an inspired grain-free creation to challenge doubting guests. Walker serves several tastes of tradition, but delights like Butternut Sage Carbonara and Champagne Chocolate Strawberries share new reasons to raise a glass.
Every morsel in this classic hardcover is free of gluten, soy, peanuts and, for the most part, dairy. However, tree nuts, seeds, eggs and seafood are abundant, with only a modest selection of options for family with multiple food allergies.
The Sparkle Kitchen Cookbook
By Brittany Barton
It’s clear from the title and the contents that Brittany Barton doesn’t like junk. She keeps everything clean with a tidy layout, whole food ingredients and succinct instructions.
Nonetheless, pops of color pictures are infused throughout to let us know that food free of nuts, gluten, grains, dairy, soy, seeds, corn and refined sugars is anything but boring. The pristine pages include 72 year-round recipes, with a satisfying emphasis on the comforting flavors of fall. – A.F.
The 2-Step Low-FODMAP Eating Plan
By Sue Shepherd
The Experiment, $19.95
You’ve tested clear for food allergies, but have a vague-sounding diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Fortunately a low-FODMAP diet, which limits problematic short-chain carbohydrates, has proven effective for millions with IBS. Still confused? Not to worry. In this book, Sue Shepherd, the research dietitian who developed the low-FODMAP diet, breaks the science down into easy to digest bites.
Over one-third of this tome is organized with quick references and simple strategies for effectively eliminating high-FODMAP foods (step 1) and later reintroducing them (step 2).
The remainder is a beautiful full-color assortment of adventurous, comfort and even kid-friendly dishes that explore new flavors and reinvent old favorites. Beyond IBS concerns, the recipes are a boon for those with celiac disease, but Shepherd liberally uses other top allergens.
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