Monday, 17 June 2013

Book Review - The Complete Gluten-Free Whole Grains Cookbook

This one isn't vegan, though there are loads of vegan-, and vegetarian-friendly recipes (marked as such) and often all that is needed in the vegetarian-friendly recipes to make them vegan is a non-dairy milk switch.

The book is substantial, has many pictures (though of course some are not vegan-friendly), and a nice introductory section. This looks at both gluten and whole grains in general; touching on soaking and sprouting as well, and includes a nice section relating to each of the grains used in the book in detail; going into forms, history, how to cook and store, as well as nutritional profiles. Interesting reading, and helpful information.

I do like that this book does give recipes for a huge range of gluten-free grains, going beyond just quinoa and rice, and that it offers recipes for all meals and snacks. Pity that they aren't all vegan, but I just skipped over the chapters which were completely meat centric.

The recipes themselves are laid out one to a page (mostly), with nice introductions, a side bar of tips and hints, and both cup and weight measurements. Each recipe also has a nutritional analysis bar, and notes what the recipe is a source of, for example; an excellent source of iron, a good source of B vitamins and contains high amounts of fiber. Helpful if that is important to you.

The recipes I made were a little hit and miss, though with more hits, and the misses were more along the lines of personal taste preferences than anything wrong with the recipe. The recipes I made -
Page 74 Fennel-Scented Tomato and Wild Rice Soup
This was OK, but I felt the earthiness of the wild rice didn't really shine with the tomato, and the lovely anise flavours of the fennel got lost a little too. I think the wild rice and fennel combination is a good one, but not to sure about the tomato.

Page 88 Cold Soba Noodles
Loved this one! Super simple to make and very tasty. I could see the addition of finely chopped vegetables not going amiss either.

Page 95 Cranberry Pecan Millet Salad
Simple and tasty. I did need to add a little salt, and also tossed in a few red pepper flakes as the flavours were a little neutral. Nice base to add things too, and the citrus under-notes were nice.

Page 158 (Soba Noodles with) Broccoli Sauce
Though I served the broccoli sauce part over rice not soba noodles. It was very tasty, and I'm sure would be lovely with soba noodles too, but it wasn't very saucy. The sauce on the broccoli was very thick, stuck mainly on the broccoli, I would have liked double the amount to get a really saucy feel.

Page 168 Khitchuri with Tomatoes and Green Peppers
Comfort food this one. Warm and hearty, with just the right amount of spice, this one wraps you in a hug of warm goodness. Very easy, and tasty.

Page 184 Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
I liked this one but H was not so keen. The crust is quite thin, and while most crisp is a little bit chewy and he prefers soft pillow-y pizza crusts. I'm stoked to have a GF pizza crust recipe which is so simple to make!!

Recommended? For the gluten-free, yes, indeed, especially if there are some meat eaters and some vegans in the mix as there are recipes for both. This book would make a great gift for someone who is GF but not vegan, to introduce them to vegan options (and so they can cook for you!!).

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