Gluten-Free and Good

Am I the only person in America still eating wheat? It sometimes feels that way. Since I am a carbo-obsessive, going so far to arrange my vacations around baking, I’m very grateful not to suffer from celiac disease or gluten-allergy, and since I am extremely set in my ways, I’m very glad not to have to learn new ways to bake with xanthan gum and rice flour.

But if I were, I would have plenty of help and would hardly go hungry. In fact, I could probably eat pretty much as I do now, particularly with the help of these books.

Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Elana Amsterdam, Celestial Arts 2011, $16.99 softcover, 104 pages

In Gluten-Free Cupcakes Elena Amsterdam uses almond and coconut flours to answer any craving for these trendy sweets. She bakes charming cupcakes in gluten-free ice cream cones, homey flavors like apple spice or honey walnut, and a whole chapter on chocolate cupcakes from mocha chip to flourless white chocolate. She’s even got a vegan chocolate frosting and offers a chapter of savory muffins like Parmesan and Scallion Goat Cheese.

You would think that Asian food would be an easy option for avoiding gluten; all that rice. But that leaves out noodles, dumplings, and scallion pancakes, and the all-important soy sauce that glazes nearly every bite, not to mention hoisin and oyster sauces that are routinely thickened with wheat flour.

The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen by Laura B. Russell, Celestial Arts 2011, $22.99 softcover, 201 pages

In The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, Laura B. Russell helps you navigate Asian flavors, finding flavorful substitutes for soy and running through options from skewers to dumplings, seafood to tofu. She even offers “sips and sweets” including a tart and tangy blueberry drinking vinegar and five spice berry crisp.

But perhaps the toughest thing about gluten-free cooking, is finding a tasty and safe dinner option after a long and busy day. Quick-Fix Gluten Free by Robert M. Landolphi will get you through that moment when you’re ready to chew on the kitchen counter.  Some of the recipes rely on shortcuts like gluten-free cake mix, but others are real cooking, like a grilled pizza crust made with tapioca and brown rice flours, flaxseed meal, and potato starch.

Quick-Fix Gluten Free by Robert M. Landolphi, Andrews McMeel 2011, $16.99 softcover, 201 pages

With recipes from comfort classics to international favorites, there’s always something to eat.

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About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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