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Reviews: Allergy-Friendly & Gluten-Free Cookbooks

Published in 2016

N’ice Cream [1]
N'ice Cream Book Jacket[2] [1]By Virpi Mikkonen and Tuulia Talvio
Avery Publishing, $25

Judging this book by its cover, and the inviting pictures within, we may have found the sweetest new summer companion. With nary an introduction, the authors begin buddying up to us with creamy concoctions ranging from simple Vanilla “ice cream to decadent Chocolate Creamsicles with White Chocolate Glaze.

They then appeal to our desires for instant gratification with an entire chapter of frozen banana-based treats. A broad selection of creative ice pops, sorbets, “milkshakes,” “ice cream” cakes, cookie sandwiches and homemade toppings round out the more than 80 cool recipes.

As an added bonus, every recipe churned out by these authors is free of dairy, eggs, gluten, soy and refined sugars, and icons are included to denote nut-free options. – Alisa Fleming

Pure Delicious

By  Heather Christo
Pure Delicious Cover[2] [2]Pam Krauss Books, $30

When a chef discovers that both she and her daughters have food allergies, she has two choices: throw in the towel on her career or learn to cook in delicious new ways. Heather Christo opted for the latter and has bestowed her talent upon the food allergy community in this heart-warming hardback cookbook.

Bound by a need to create food free of gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish, Christo prepares everything from scratch (right down to potsticker dough and faux “sour cream”) using simple, flavorful ingredients. The 150-plus recipes in this inclusive collection hit on nearly every craving with gourmet, yet doable, twists, while richly hued photography reminds us how comforting real food can be. – Alisa Fleming

Made with Love

9780147529831-fullsize-cmyk (3) [3]By Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie
Appetite by Random House, $24.95

A special delivery has arrived from the mother-daughter duo behind Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and Lettuce Love Café, two famed gluten-free and vegan restaurants in southwestern Ontario. The caring pair has released their first cookbook, and it’s a beautiful expression of their passion for wholesome home cooking as well as the not-so-occasional sweet treat.

The hefty paperback was made to stand the test of time, housing over 100 dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, and meat-free recipes to pass down through the generations. There are many old favorites, such as Waffles, Eggless Quiche and Red Velvet Cupcakes, but the generous smattering of stunning photography may entice you to create new traditions around unique recipes like the Lemon-Basil Lasagna, Banana-Butterscotch Loaf or Chocolate Radical Cookies.

Published in 2015

5 Ingredients or Less Slow Cooker Cookbook [4]
5ingredients_hres [4]By Stephanie O’Dea
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24.99

Known as “the crockpot lady,” this author has always taken a less is more approach – below budget meals that take minutes to make, and now recipes that  require a mere handful of foods to whip up family-friendly fare. Aside from the freebies (salt, pepper, water and cooking spray), every dish in this full color cookbook holds true to its minimalist promise. Some of the standouts include Simple Granola, Smoked Sausage and Beans, Winter Vegetable Stew, Rosemary-Crusted Lamb, Sweet Chipotle-Glazed Meatballs and Party Punch for Twenty.

Since Stephanie O’Dea’s family is affected by celiac disease, every recipe is tested gluten-free. Other top allergens are sparsely used in this expansive collection, with the exception of dairy, which is more liberally splashed throughout. – Alisa Fleming


YUM Cover-High ResA [5]By Theresa Nicassio

D&D Publishing, $35

Lush photos of plant life intertwine with wholesome eats in this healthy lifestyle cookbook. As a gourmet raw chef, Theresa Nicassio embraces food in its natural state through an array of fresh smoothies, salads and creamy desserts. But for cooler months, she heats things up with numerous cooked recipes like Angeline’s Favorite Hot Chocolate, Creamy Carrot & Ginger Soup, Crustless Cheesy Broccoli Quiche and Snicker-doodles.

Beyond the nutritious creations, Nicassio expresses her “inclusive” awareness on every page. She strives to introduce something new and useful to each reader, regardless of dietary needs, and does so warmly by inviting us into her family with lessons, images and anecdotes.

All of the 180+ recipes in this lovely hardcover are gluten-free and plant-based (free of dairy, eggs, meat and fish). Plus a thorough allergen chart cross-references other food concerns, including nuts, soy, corn, grains, citrus, potatoes, nightshades, beans and sugar. – Alisa Fleming

Next page: More 2015 Cookbook Reviews

The Easy Vegan Cookbook [6]
Easy Vegan Cookbook cover [6]By Kathy Hester
Page Street Publishing, $21.99

Perhaps the best everyday collection to settle on my bookshelf in years, this title focuses on what we eat most: meals. Light soups, hearty stews, comforting pastas, kid-focused fare and enticing ethnic cuisine promise to keep your menu varied and healthy throughout the week. But don’t worry; there is also a delightfully sweet ending of brownies, cake and crisp to satisfy your sugar cravings.
Though  naturally free of dairy, eggs and seafood, author Kathy Hester is mindful of other top allergen needs, too. The entire 80-recipe collection is gluten-free accessible, most recipes can be made soy-free, and through the “Staples” include some nut-based recipes, nut-free notes appear throughout. She even includes an allergy-friendly Cauliflower Ricotta to make her Almost Effortless Lasagna a dish to be enjoyed by all. – Alisa Fleming


Blender Girl Smoothie [7]The Blender Girl Smoothies [8] 
By Tess Masters
Ten Speed Press, $16

Arguably the most nutrient-dense new cookbook of the 2015 summer season, Tess Masters takes our taste bud on a tour through orchards, farmlands and the tropics, embracing the naturally sweet flavors and diversity of produce available in our everyday markets. She entices with recipe titles like Orange Ecstasy, gets us to eat our greens with sneaky fusions like Pineapple Kiwi Cavalcade, and intrigues with the blends like Summer Stoner and Black Magic.

This beautiful resource includes ample ingredient information and intriguing tips, plus each of the 100 approachable recipes is paired with a brilliantly hued photo that beckons the reader to reach right in and take a sip. As a bonus, every last drop is free of dairy, eggs, gluten and peanuts, while  nuts and soy are used quite minimally. –Alisa Fleming


dessert fork [9]The Dessert Fork [10]
By Cindy Gordon
Createspace, $20

Known online as the Vegetarian Mamma, Cindy Gordon keeps it short and sweet with this 40-recipe collection that manages to cover almost every conceivable kid-friendly occasion. Using a small arsenal of pantry essentials and shortcut ingredients, she ensures there are cookies for lunchboxes, frosted cakes for celebrations, treats for the holidays, and sugary delights to make summer special.
For her two sons with multiple food allergies, Gordon keeps her formulas free of peanuts, tree nuts and gluten. Soy is used sparsely in this cookbook, though you must be mindful of the brands you choose for ingredients such as chocolate and shortening. Milk and egg make more frequent appearances, but veteran vegan bakers should be able to swap in substitutes with ease. –Alisa Fleming


GF around the world [11]Gluten Free Around the World [12]
By Aviva Kanoff
Brio, $29.99

From the assortment of cuisine to the layout and photographs, this quirky collection could easily be described as a food-obsessed traveler’s scrapbook. Through we longed for more descriptions on the local eats, Aviva Kanoff shares her adventures with us through lifestyle pictures and flavorful recipes like Mexican Street Corn, Indonesian Fried Rice, French Coq Au Vin with Saffron Quinoa and Indian Lamb Curry.
Aside from wheat, Kanoff doesn’t address top allergens, but the international theme offers an array of naturally free-from delights and many that are easily adaptable for moderately experienced top allergen-free cooks. –Alisa Fleming


Published in 2014

Allergy Free Piess [13]The Allergy-Free Cook Makes Pies and Desserts [14]
By Laurie Sadowski
Book Publishing Company, $14.95

It takes a talented recipe creator like Laurie Sadowski to remind us just how to many different sweets can be conquered without a drop of dairy, speck of gluten or crack of an egg. The latest in her cookbook series warms us up with pies and their comfort food kin (from tarts to cobblers), mixes in creamy layers of decadence (like trifles and cheesecakes), and finishes with a generous scoop of frozen dessert recipes.
Unlike many other gluten- and dairy-free publications, The Allergy-Free Cook avoids all soy, keeps her use of nuts to a few recipes and shuns standard flour blends. Each baked recipe is customized with individual flours and starches for perfect flaky crusts, crisp-tender toppings and moist pudding cakes. The writing is also dotted with helpful tips and guides on troubleshooting, substituting and easy ingredient alternatives. –Alisa Fleming


cooking allergy free- jenna short [15]

Cooking Allergy-Free [16]
By Jenna Short
Taunton Press, $29.95

Within this beautiful hardcover, Jenna Short creatively transforms mundane everyday cuisine into a doable culinary adventure. She intertwines vivid photography and beloved classics with whimsical recipes, like Oatmeal and Fig Crumble Wedges, Bloody Mary Salad and Lemon Thyme Potato Gratin.

Readers avoiding the Top 8 allergens should keep an open mind, as this cookbook was written both for you and for those without as many restrictions. The author may include optional feta, use all-purpose flour with a gluten-free alternative, or simply forgo a substitution if she feels wheat, eggs, fish or nuts are essential to the formula. But with 150 recipes, all marked with allergen-free icons it’s safe to say there’s plenty for everyone. –Alisa Fleming

Next page: 2014 Cookbook Reviews


Published in 2014

The Complete Coconut Cookbook [17]
By Camilla V. Saulsbury
coconut cookbookRobert Rose, $24.95

Flakes, flour, butter, milk, cream, oil, aminos, water, sugar… coconut really does have it all. No wonder this versatile drupe has become a darling of the allergen-free community and the latest focus in Camilla Saulsbury’s cookbook collection. Her polar passions – cooking competitions and endurance racing – come together in this health-minded publication that is free of dairy, eggs, meat, peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, grains, corn, fish and refined sugars.

Saulsbury begins with a thorough look at coconut, from its health effects to its many facets as an ingredient, before continuing on with 200 neatly organized recipes. Interspersed with a smattering of polished photos, the recipes have a wholesome and simplistic appeal, with shakes, vegetables, and baked goods aplenty. And coconut doesn’t merely make a cameo; in most cases, it’s the star of the show. Don’t be surprised to find yourself counting the coconut when you come across recipes like Essential Coconut Pancakes, Dark Chocolate Muffins, Potato Masala, and Butterscotch Blondies, where it pops up at least four times in the ingredients. –Alisa Fleming


Let us all eat cake resized [18]Let Us All Eat Cake [19]
By Catherine Ruehle
Ten Speed Press, $24.99

As a professional pastry chef and accommodating bakery owner, Catherine Ruehle began championing allergy-friendly recipes long before her own needs emerged. It was during her fourth appearance on the Food Network Challenge when she experienced hand paralysis that kept her from further competing. The diagnosis was rheumatoid arthritis, and her solution for symptom relief: living gluten and dairy-free.

Unwilling to concede to celebrations without a forkful of tender pastry and frosting, Ruehle whipped up her new cookbook, Let Us All Eat Cake. Paired with vivid photography, the recipes cover nearly every cake imaginable. The Boston Cream Pie balances light sponge cake layers with rich dairy-free custard while the Pink Princess Cake shows just how delicate gluten-free can be.

Though several of the recipes use egg and a few contain other top allergens, all are gluten- and soy-free and Ruehle provides a food allergy index to identify which recipes are also vegan, dairy- or nut-free. –Alisa Fleming

AF pantry resizedThe Allergy-Free Pantry [20]
By Collette Martin
The Experiment, $19.95

Have you considered making your own pancake mix, mayonnaise or fresh pasta, only to find the task too daunting without gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts and soy? if so, then The Allergy Free Pantry could become your favorite cooking companion.

This do-it-yourself handbook offers from-scratch essentials, like dairy alternatives and everyday condiments, before advancing to meal, snack and dessert recipes that are laid out like a bible for allergen-free families.

The ample tips and photography are straight from the kitchen of author Colette Martin – to help ensure that the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Muffins emerge perfectly tender, the Animal Crackers have that audible crunch, and the Pot Pie becomes a new family favorite. –Alisa Fleming


Decadent GF vegan baking resized [21]Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking  [22]
By Cara Reed
Page Street Publishing, $19.99

You might think donuts and cupcakes without wheat, eggs and dairy would be enough, but it’s the unique opening and closing recipe chapters that make this cookbook rise above the rest. Cara Reed sets the stage for her comforting style with a collage of homespun photography and the first section title: Childhood Favorites. She immediately draws us in with the Girl Scout cookie favorites, followed by churros, cheez-its and “pop tarts” aplenty.

The chapters move on to recipes for highly approachable cookies, bars, pastries and breads before topping it all off with the simplistic, yet dazzling finale of from-scratch recipes for flavored whip “creams”, dessert sauces, homemade food dyes and sprinkles, in rainbow or chocolate.

Nuts dot just a handful of recipes in Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking, and can often be omitted. Savvy soy-free bakers can enjoy most of the goodies with easy ingredient swaps for oil, margarine and the occasional dairy substitute. –Alisa Fleming 


Blender Girl [23]The Blender Girl [24]
By Tess Masters
Ten Speed Press, $19.99 paperback

An actress and voice-over artist, Tess Masters uses vivid photography and her natural vitality to glamorize eating green in this best-selling cookbook. Like a health spa handbook for home, the reader is briskly introduced to sprouting, superfoods and essentials on digestive health, before being whisked into a stunning display of nutrient-dense vegan, gluten-free and peanut-free recipes. Ranging from detoxifying drinks to comforting meals and creamy desserts, all have easy preparation thanks to the use of (you guessed it) a blender.

Recipes like the Green Queen and Mango Fire and Ice showcase Masters’ sassy side and display her devotion to a high-raw lifestyle. But for drizzly days, the cookbook still beckons with earthy pastas, egg-free crepes and rich dairy-free sauces. –Alisa Fleming


FODMAP-Diet-Cookbook [25]The Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook [26]
By Sue Shepherd, PhD
The Experiment, $19.95 paperback

From IBS to gluten sensitivity, FODMAPs (an array of difficult-to-digest carbs) have been singled out as potential culprits in digestive disorders. FODMAPs are found in milk, beans, soy, nuts, and some fruits and vegetables. Wheat, barley and rye also contain FODMAPs, and research is striving to determine whether those with gluten sensitivity on a gluten-free diet may actually be benefiting from reduced FODMAP intake.

In her second cookbook, dietitian Sue Shepherd, inventor of the low-FODMAP diet, brings to the table 150 appetizing, low-FODMAP (and gluten-free) recipes, covering all bases from breakfast to dessert. –Patrick Bennett 


GF-Family-Favorites-Cookbook [27]Gluten-Free Family Favorites [28]
By Kelli and Peter Bronski
The Experiment, $19.95 paperback

The husband-and-wife team behind the popular Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking are back with a cookbook for the busy family. Their 75 new gluten-free recipes include kid favorites such as Blueberry Mini Muffins, Chicken Fingers and Fish Sticks. But there are plenty of easy options for more refined palates, like the Pumpkin Gnocchi Nuggets and Asian Quinoa Salad. Recipes include modifications for those avoiding dairy, nuts or eggs.

The book also includes a wealth of helpful tips: from keeping a gluten-free kitchen to label reading and a section on reducing those gluten-free grocery bills. This is an excellent addition to the family cookbook collection. –Patrick Bennett


Whole-Life-Nutrition-Cookbook [29]

The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook [30]
By Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre, MS, CN
Grand Central Life & Style, $26 paperback

Mastery of the culinary arts meets nutritional science in this behemoth third edition. It’s been expanded to include over 300 recipes that are gluten-free, and now also dairy-free. New chapters address whole food diets, digestive health, and the use of cultured foods with beneficial bacteria.

Simplicity, health and natural flavor are essential to Segersten, a cooking instructor. She dishes up the basics on cooking whole, gluten-free grains and making homemade milk alternatives, but even her more elaborate cuisine can be made with ease and farm-to-fork ingredients. Many of the recipes are free of top allergens or offer alternatives, and the baking shuns refined sweeteners and gums. –Alisa Fleming


Brassicas-Cookbook [31]Brassicas [32]
By Laura B. Russell
Ten Speed Press, $23 hardcover

Lauded as nutritional stars, yet frowned upon by picky eaters, the Brassicaceae family is finally getting its day in the sun with this 80-recipe collection. Laura Russell first addresses flavor profiles, preparation and cooking techniques to work with the sometimes strong presence of this powerhouse clan. She then puts her recommendations to work: mild brassicas are gently seasoned in the Mizuna Salad with Cumin-Roasted Cauliflower while a peppery vegetal is paired with natural sweetness in the Turnip and Apple Salsa, and a bolder botanical is set ablaze in the Spicy Kale Fried Rice.

Russell cooks exclusively gluten-free and addresses multiple food allergies. Brassicas has a special diet table to note at a glance which recipes contain dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, coconut or sesame. –Alisa Fleming

See Also: Allergy, Gluten-Free Resource Book Reviews [33]

By Alexa Croft
Kulia Media, $24.95 paperback

Lexie Croft, author of Lexie’s Kitchen, is back with an impressive ‘everyday’ recipe book. Each of her 68 recipes, presented with beautiful color photographs and typography, are free of gluten, dairy, eggs and soy. Some recipes are free of nuts and other key allergens too; a handy chart guides the reader on suitability.

Croft covers the full spectrum: from Breakfast Smoothies in fun flavors such as Cheery Cherry and Lemon-Aid, to restaurant-worthy Stroganoff and Chicken Milanese. Treats aren’t forgotten: there are classics like Vanilla Cupcakes, plus items you won’t see every day, like homemade Graham Crackers and Marshmallows (make your own S’mores!).

Whatever your diet needs, these recipes will add excitement, taste and health to your kitchen. –Patrick Bennett

Sweet Debbies - high res cover [36]Sweet Debbie`s Organic Treats [37]
By Debbie Adler
Harlequin Nonfiction, $19.95 paperback

Sassy Debbie Adler (aka Sweet Debbie) reveals the secrets behind her L.A. bakery’s delectable Top 8- and gluten-free desserts. Inspired by her son with allergies, Adler takes allergy-friendly baking to new and healthier heights, shunning sugar for fruit purees and stevia, without sacrificing any goodness.

Her recipes include muffins, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, donuts and breads. For a real treat, try the Girl Scout Brownies – with a combination of caramel and chocolate sauces. And for a holiday party, the Mocha Italian Espresso Cupcakes are bound to vanish quickly. –Patrick Bennett

cover [38]Cooking For Your Gluten-Free Teen [39]
By Carlyn Berghoff & Sarah Berghoff McClure
Andrews McMeel Publishing, $19.99 paperback

Carlyn Berghoff’s family has been in the restaurant business in Chicago for more than 100 years, but this chef ’s world turned upside-down when her daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease. Now Berghoff and her daughter, Sarah, have collaborated to write a wonderful cookbook aimed squarely at gluten-free teens. It’s one that puts forbidden favorites back on the menu.

Teen staples like pizza, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets and fish sticks are sure to please, but every recipe in this book sounds and looks delicious. The book is not free of other allergens, but nut-containing recipes are few. All are easy to make, so budding cooks will enjoy experimenting along with Berghoff’s thoughtful advice for living healthy and gluten-free. –Patrick Bennett

Next page: More Cookbook Reviews!

Published in 2013

Amst_Paleo Cooking from Elanas Pantry

Paleo Cooking from EIana’s Pantry [40]
By Elana Amsterdam
Ten Speed Press, $17.99 paperback 

Never mind that author Elana Amsterdam shuns gluten, grains, dairy, legumes (including soy and peanuts), excessive sugars, and most night- shades. Her cuisine asserts its flavorful presence, and reminds us that food really is at its best when it remains uncomplicated. In this book, her recipes average a mere five to eight ingredients.

Hitting The New York Times best-seller list within a month of its release, Paleo Cooking taps into a synergistic combination of beauty, taste, health and simplicity. The author knows this territory well, since she began dabbling in primitive dining a decade ago, long before the term “paleo” was uttered by talk show hosts.

Though Paleo Cooking contains grain-free twists on traditional comforts, the recipe focus is on practical everyday eating rather than substitutes. I swiftly scheduled the Cran-Apple Power Bars, Healing Vegetable Bisque, Paleo Shepherds Pie and Flour-less Nut-free Brownies into our weekly menu. –Alisa Fleming

Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free [41]Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free_3D
By Ricki Heller
Sellers Publishing, $22.95 paperback

Author and holistic nutritionist Ricki Heller proves that dessert can be healthful, and still taste sinfully good. From the cover’s chocolate-frosted vanilla cupcakes to ultra-fudgy brownies and dairy-free cheesecake, she offers an inventive 100 recipes free of gluten, dairy, eggs – and refined sugar. Plus, many avoid soy and corn.

Heller shows impressive range: her recipes roam from breakfast treats to cookies, cakes, pies, bars, squares, cakes, tarts and no-bake goodies. They require only basic familiarity with gluten-free baking, and make ample use of emerging ingredients such as coconut flour, seeds, psyllium husk and stevia for sweetening.

She offers helpful explanations on the properties of gluten-free flours, starches, egg replacers, milk alternatives and binders. It’s a great book for satisfying the sweet tooth, without the guilt. –Gwen Smith

Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle [42]Buss_Sweet Cravings tiny [43]
By Kyra Bussanich
Ten Speed Press, $18.99 hardcover

When Kyra Bussanich appeared on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars in 2011, she didn’t tell the judges her creations were gluten-free. But that didn’t stop her from winning. Now with her first cookbook, Bussanich gives anyone the tools and secrets needed to bake 50 delicious and gluten-free desserts: cupcakes, pies, cookies and more.

The recipes, conveniently ranked from easy to advanced, are shown off in lush, full-page photographs. For a delectable treat, try the egg-free Strawberry Shortcake. Or see what the Cupcake Wars judges were raving about with the Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes.

While many of her recipes call for nuts or other top allergens, Bussanich, who has celiac disease, has created a superb gluten-free dessert cookbook. –Patrick Bennett

The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Cakes and Cookies [44]Allergy Free Cook C&C_COVER_hi-res [45]
By Laurie Sadowski
Book Publishing Co., $14.95 paperback 

With the persona of a quintessential homemaker, author Laurie Sadowski is baking her way through every treat imaginable, while simultaneously shunning gluten, dairy, eggs and soy.

Her first book, The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread, was already an established favorite in my gluten-free collection. Now, I’m eager to dunk Laurie’s NOreo (Oreo-style) Chocolate Sandwich Cookies into a tall glass of rice milk and serve her maple-drizzled French Toast Cupcakes to my sweets-loving husband.

Beyond the enticing titles, I simply love that Laurie’s recipes work and that she takes the time to customize the flours in each dessert, rather than relying on a single gluten-free baking blend. Since the Allergy-Free Cook rarely relies on nut flours, experienced nut-free bakers should have little difficulty in using most of her recipes. –Alisa Fleming

The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals [46]Food Allergy Mama's [47]
By Kelly Rudnicki
Avery, $19    

With her first book, she made cookies with Martha Stewart, but the Food Allergy Mama is no domestic diva. Rather, Kelly Rudnicki has a great sense of down-home cooking, creating easy and imaginative allergy-friendly meals that will delight your family.

The mother of five describes her new cookbook as written for the food allergy mom “who isn’t a pro in the kitchen, who doesn’t have time to shop at multiple stores, and who probably is juggling kids, homework and carpools.” Sound familiar?

The recipes – free of dairy, eggs and nuts – are kid-friendly, but so flavorful that adults will be lobbying for seconds. Among Rudnicki’s best are Chicken Dumpling Stew, Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs, roast chicken, slow stews and dairy-free lasagna. Creative soups and salads, and as always with this mama, amazing cookies. –Gwen Smith

Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking [48]Cybele Allergy-Free and Easy cooking
By Cybele Pascal
Ten Speed Press, $22 

“Wouldn’t it be great if someone came up with a guidebook for day-to-day allergy-free cooking?” Cybele Pascal had often thought. Since she was already an acclaimed allergy-free author, Cybele, now Allergic Living’s Food Editor, decided to it herself.

The result is this terrific book of 75 comfort food recipes, free of the Top 8 allergens, gluten and sesame, and all a cinch to prepare in 30 minutes.

From the kid-pleasing Creamy Mac ’n Cheese (made with Daiya vegan cheddar) and Shepherd’s Pie to her 30-minute English Beef Stew and the more sophisticated Thai Noodle Salad with Chicken, these are clearly recipes you will turn to again and again. This book has family favorite written all over it. –Gwen Smith

Next: Cookbook Reviews from 2012

Published in 2012

Learning to Bake Allergen-Free [49]Learning to Bake Allergen-Free.Cover [50]
By Colette Martin
The Experiment Publishing, $19.95 

Allergy-free baking expert Colette Martin subtitles her book: “A crash course for busy parents on baking without wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy or nuts”.

How apt, since you will learn a mountain from Martin’s lessons and recipes, whether you’re a novice or more experienced baker. She gives great guidance on egg replacers, explains mysteries such as why more baking powder is used when there are no wheat or eggs, and even helps you figure out when your gluten-free baking is done.

Martin starts off with the simplest  blueberry muffins and banana bread, and moves you along through cookies and on to doughs and pies and ultimately, chocolate treats. There are more than 70 allergy-friendly recipes and page after page of invaluable baking advice. This book is a must-have. –Gwen Smith

The Gluten-Free Cookbook  [51]the gluetenfree cookbook [52]
By Fiona Hunter 
DK Publishing, $25 

This 352-page hardcover features gorgeous photography, 230 recipes from breakfast to dinner and dessert as well as excellent nutritional information. (Author Fiona Hunter is a nutritionist.)

Among the many gluten-free (not dairy-free) recipes is an impressive selection of pasta and mains, almost all of which can be made in 30 minutes, and a tempting array of savory pies and breads.

My one concern is that the author uses the term “gluten-free all-purpose flour” but doesn’t include her own recipe or say which of the blends on the market are her go-tos. That would have been helpful. –Gwen Smith

The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook  [53]Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook,eGalley-1-1 [54]
By Elizabeth Gordon
Lyons Press, $24.95 

As a big fan of Elizabeth Gordon’s Allergy-Free Desserts, I confess to waiting eagerly, but with a little trepidation, for her second book. Why the wariness? It wasn’t doubt about her skills; before she developed food allergies as an adult, Gordon was a pastry chef who trained at the Institute for Culinary Education in New York City.

My question was: could she really dial it down to comfort food? The answer is, she sure can.

All the good stuff your family and mine have been hankering for (since much of it is off-limits for allergies) is in this book: nachos, Buffalo wings, potato salad, corned beef and cabbage, chicken pot pie, even corn dogs. And all without gluten, dairy, soy, nuts or eggs. –Gwen Smith

The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen [55]Jard_Dairy-Free-and-Gluten-Free-Kitchen [56]
By Denise Jardine
Ten Speed Press, $19.99 

Popular author Denise Jardine is back with an updated version of her well-known Dairy-Free Living. It features 50 new recipes, reduced sugar and fat content, and an expanded Basics section.

Jardine has a gift for flavorful approaches to healthy fare, with recipes like Carrot and Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Mushroom Kale Lasagna, Curried Stuffed Zucchini and a variety of pleasing fish and chicken dishes.

While aimed primarily at those living dairy-free and gluten-free, the text flags when other top allergens are also avoided. The rustic gluten-free pizza on the cover draws the reader’s eye, but it is the variety on the inside that most impresses. –Gwen Smith

The Gluten-Free Baking Book [57]GF Baking cover [58]
By Donna Washburn & Heather Butt
Robert Rose Inc., $27.95

If you live by the bread maker, you have to know the work of Donna Washburn and Heather Butt. And now they’re back with a marvelous idea: a gluten-free baking book aimed directly at couples and singles.

No more watching as that half cake or loaf goes stale. There are 12- to 15-slice breads; two-serving pizzas and mini cakes; small muffin, cupcake and cookie yields; not to mention calorie counts, nutrient info and helpful GF baking guidance.

To make their desserts more nutritious, the pair has upped the fibre and calcium and decreased the sugar, fat and salt. Almost-guilt-free New York-style Cheesecake, anyone? –Gwen Smith

Welcoming Kitchen [59]
By Kim Lutzgiftguide-2011 welcoming-kitchen book CROP
Sterling Publishing, $17.95

The subtitle on Kim Lutz’s book is “200 delicious allergen & gluten-free vegan recipes”. That’s a hard-to-find combination, but this book shows that life with food restrictions is only limited by imagination.

Lutz shows plenty of the latter with her easy-to-make, kid-friendly recipes. Among those that must be tried: Black Bean or Lentil Burgers, Kitchen Sink Soup or Mexican Lasagna. –Gwen Smith

Next: Cookbook Reviews 2011

Published in 2011

Gluten-Free Baking  [60]
By Phil Vickery 
Firefly Books, $24.95 

Gluten free baking book

The misperception that people with celiac disease or any kind of gluten intolerance have to give up baked goods – or settle for sad facsimiles of the breads and cakes they once enjoyed – is heartbreaking to Phil Vickery. The award-winning British chef insists that gluten-free goodies are easy to make, and sets out to prove that they can taste every bit as good as their gluten-laden counterparts.

Vickery, whose previous book Seriously Good: Gluten-Free Cooking became an international best-seller, spent a year developing the 70 recipes in his latest release, Gluten-Free Baking.

Don’t be fooled by the cover’s chocolate fudge cake. While Vickery includes plenty of dessert recipes – from Chocolate Caramel Rocky Road Shortbread to Strawberry Tart with Crushed Meringue & Mint – the book features a handful of savory recipes as well, including Yorkshire pudding and Indian-style flat bread. –Kim Shiffman

Gluten-Free Cupcakes [61]
By Elana Amsterdam
Celestial Arts, $16.99 

Gluten Free Cupcakes_3

It’s fair to say the cupcake trend is here to stay. Boutique cupcake bakeries continue to do swift business and cookbooks created around the two-bite indulgences that fly off the bookstore shelves. It’s no surprise then that a gluten-free author has joined the party.

Popular food blogger and author Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Cupcakes features recipes made with coconut and almond flour (not for you, nut-allergic!). Divided into sections such as Fruity Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes and Special Occasion Cupcakes, the recipes are helpfully labeled with a “sweetness level” of low, medium or high.

We can’t wait to try the Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes (sweetness: high), which are baked inside gluten-free cones and look amazingly like a soft-serve ice cream cone – but, of course, won’t melt. –Kim Shiffman

For Elana’s tantalizing lime cupcakes recipe, see www.allergicliving.com/cupcake [62]


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