Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Review: Gluten-Free on a Budget

We eat gluten free, so I was excited to try some recipes from this book!  The first thing I noticed was that every recipe has a picture – a must in the cookbooks I like.  I like to see a picture of what the recipe is supposed to look like to determine if it is appetizing.

When I first glanced through the recipes, there were quite a few that I was looking forward to trying, including Cream of Chicken Soup, Southwestern Corn Chowder, Nut Encrusted White Fish, Three Cheese White Sauce Lasagna, Creamy Italian Chicken, Creamy Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, Chicken Enchiladas, Navajo Tacos, and the Peanut Butter Delights.   I was especially excited about the Navajo Tacos.  I have never had them, but my husband spent some time on the Navajo Reservation during his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He has talked about the fry bread before, and I knew he would look forward to trying this recipe!

Most gluten free cookbooks have a mix (or several!) that they use for their recipes.  Each book has a different mix.  This is often a hindrance for me to cook, because it seems to involve extra work, with a 3 year old and a baby I want to be able to make stuff that is easy.  This book does not have a mix!  Yay!  It lists all the ingredients necessary in each recipe.   This made me like the book right away! 

One flour that the book uses a lot is Sorghum flour.  When we went to make the Navajo Tacos, I thought we had some, but we didn’t.  It isn’t a flour that I regularly use, and the closet store that would stock it is 30 minutes away.  So we substituted a black bean flour.  Of course the recipe still worked and the fry bread was delicious!! They stayed moist and were not crumbly, an important and difficult task to achieve with gluten-free bread. My husband wanted to eat it with butter and honey to dip it in.  I’m not a fan of honey, so I ate mine with only butter.  Then I tried it with some salted caramel chocolate hazelnut spread.  It was delicious both ways!  I am sure that we will make this recipe over and over again!  My husband thought they tasted close enough to how wheat Navajo Tacos would taste – which is always a difficult task with gluten free bread!

My 3 year old daughter wanted to make cookies, so we tried the Peanut Butter Delights.  I love how simple this recipe was, with only 3 ingredients I could get everything together quickly and let me daughter do all the stirring, her favorite part of cooking.  She did great even with the natural peanut butter.  She also thought it was so fun to use the fork to flatten the cookies down and did not want me to help with that part of the job!  These cookies didn’t last the night; my husband ate half of them as soon as he got home from work. 

Having never cooked fish before (usually I only allow it to be cooked outside on the grill), but I wanted to try the Nut Encrusted White Fish.  We had tilapia, which thankfully doesn’t smell too fishy!  I always have almond and hazelnut flour on hand, and think either would be great to use in this recipe.  The recipe also called for parmesan cheese, and I thought that was the perfect addition!  I couldn’t believe how good it tasted!  I think I will start adding parmesan cheese to whatever bedded meat I make.

I was pleased that I enjoyed all three of the recipes that I have tried and am looking forward to trying more.  I am excited to try the cream of chicken recipe.  There were quite a few recipes I liked before I met my husband, that call for cream of chicken soup that I will be looking forward to making  a gluten free version.  I think this a great book for a gluten free household – it has a good variety of different recipes from different food genres that are easy to make and are good tasting food!  There is even a recipe for Hawaiian Haystacks.  I love that there are recipes in here that we have missed since going gluten free!