Review by Patricia Gallagher
Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook
By Camilla V. Saulsbury
A beautifully illustrated cookbook containing 281 whole-grain recipes.
Author Camilla Saulsbury was raised on wholesome foods prepared by both of her parents. Avid gardeners, they cooked with a minimal amount of meat and primarily used the fresh vegetables and fruits they raised.
Camilla has been involved in the world of food for almost 20 years, winning several of the country’s top cooking competitions, including the $100,000 National Chicken Cook-Off, the $50,000 Build a Better Burger Contest, the Food Network’s $25,000 Ultimate Recipe Showdown (Cookies Episode), and Top Chef Desserts $5000 Viewer Challenge. She is the author of 20 cookbooks and has made multiple appearances on the Food Network, has been featured in the New York Times, made appearances on Today, Good Morning America-Health, BetterTV and QVC, and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). Her work has appeared in such magazines as Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, Woman’s Day, Woman’s World, Cosmo Girl, Quick & Simple, Country Woman, Sunset, Cook’s Country, and Vegetarian Times.
I felt that was quite a pedigree for her to author this cook book on such a popular and timely as well as controversial subject “gluten free”.
Bob’s Red Mill is the number one supplier of consumer whole grains in North America. Every day they go to great lengths to ensure the integrity of their products — even building a separate gluten-free packaging division complete with specialized machinery to make sure that their products maintain their gluten-free purity. Cross contamination is a big concern in the GF world. It makes sense that they would have this new cookbook to help converts to Gluten Free.
The Gluten-Free Grain Primer at the beginning of the book goes into detail of not only explaining what the grain is but also how to prepare it. The excellent health benefits are listed also for each grain.
The Gluten-Free Pantry lists items with hidden gluten including but not limited to meats, flavoring and popsicles.
The dirty dozen and the clean fifteen is an eye opening list of what is safe to buy non-organic and when you should buy only organic. Partial list of the least contaminated with pesticides are asparagus, sweet corn, kiwifruit and sweet potatoes. Among the most contaminated list are apples, celery, peaches and kale.
A glossary goes on to list shelf-stable tomato products, dried fruits, legumes, and canned beans. The proper ways to toast whole nuts and seeds and continues to explain milks, dairy and non dairy. Fats and oils, sugars, vinegars are also explained in depth.
Now that you’re educated it’s time to try the recipes. Our Chef tester is not normally gluten free but has some experience in special diets for eaters that are highly allergic and some with serious illness. Although she was happy with the way many recipes turned out she commented that some ingredients used in very small quantities were very expensive and in localities not as cosmopolitan as her city would be difficult to find except online. She also felt many recipes needed the seasonings punched up notch.
Interestingly reviewers on Amazon.com all raved about the book and recipes with no quibbles or constructive comments. That’s highly unusual in the cookbook world. We all add our two cents or dash of special seasoning right?
Here are the recipes we tested:
Multigrain Blueberry Muffins pg 273
The flavor of amaranth takes some getting used to, but there was a lot to like in these muffins. The tester states she was concerned about using a tablespoon of baking powder but you could not taste it. They looked great and had a nice color.
Chorizo, Kale, Teff Soup pg 118
The soup was pretty good as tested.
Russian Butternut Squash and Buckwheat soup pg 95
This soup was very good especially when served the following day. Tester said she really liked the addition of the buckwheat. Slightly under seasoned though.
Chocolate, Lime and Coconut cake pg 305
The cake had an earthy taste and was more brownie like than cake. It was not the tester’s husbands favorite.