Thanks for joining me along the journey! I'd love to hear what you want to know ... do you have questions about sensory processing disorder, gluten-free/dairy-free diets, homeschooling, faith, life in general? Send me a note or post a comment and I'll try to write something that addresses your interests and questions!

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Cooking for Isaiah" Review

I've been busy :) Part of what has kept me busy is this excellent new cookbook full of dairy- and gluten-free recipes!  Written by the editor of the Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine (and a former bakery owner), the recipes were created for her adolescent son with gluten- and dairy-intolerances.  Her goal was to make GFCF foods that are just as yummy, or even more so, than their gluten- and dairy-filled counterparts.  And she succeeds! 

One of the things I like best about this cookbook is that she doesn't try to substitute a lot of soy products for the dairy; instead, she uses other ingredients and spices for flavor and texture, like mashed beans to make a creamy soup and adding sundried tomatoes to pancake mix to make wafflebread for sandwiches. 

Some of the recipes are a bit labor intensive, especially if you're just getting started.  For example, the chocolate silk pie (which I haven't yet tried but looks delicious!), requires that you (1) make Silvana's All-Purpose Flour Mix, (2) make chocolate cookies so you have them for (3) crushing the cookies for the crust -- not to mention all the rest of the work for the pie filling (which involves separating eggs and double-boiling multiple times).  You could buy store-bought gluten-free cookies to crush (if you can find them), but I would think best results would be using her own recipes. 

Other recipes, though, are super easy!  The first thing I tried was a recipe for pumpkin muffins with crumble topping -- once you've mixed the flour (which is easy, and only needs to be done every several recipes, as one batch will last a while), it's really very quick and simple to add the rest of the ingredients, pour into cupcake liners in a muffin tin, and bake.  And they were tasty, with a fantastically fluffy, crumbly texture!

The most recent recipe I tried was her "mom's banana bread" recipe.  Like the muffins, super fast and simple -- and this was at least as good, if not better, than any banana bread I've ever made.  Both my husband and my 6-year old ate it up in one afternoon, and they are both incredibly picky eaters, so that's really saying something.

I also love how creative she gets with things to make gluten-free foods fun and appetizing.  For example, she uses slices of the banana bread to make grilled peanut butter and bacon sandwiches (think grilled cheese, with peanut butter and bacon on banana bread instead of cheese on wheat).  So creative and exceptionally tasty!  She also uses the waffle iron to make all kinds of breads, both sweet and savory, particularly for making sandwiches (sandwich bread is the hardest to replicate in gluten-free varieties). 

While not unhealthy, the priority in this cookbook is taste -- she's not afraid to use oils and sugar and white (instead of brown) rice to make things tasty.  Some have criticized that there are healthier GFCF cookbooks on the market, and while I'm sure that's true, there are times I just want things to taste like they did when I cooked with gluten and dairy, even if it isn't uber healthy, and for that, this cookbook delivers.  There are still plenty of healthy options as well (recipes loaded with good veggies and proteins), giving it the perfect balance for my family.

In the foreward, Rachel Ray writes that it "boggles [her] tastebuds" that the recipes lack gluten and dairy, and given my husband's two-thumbs up approval of every recipe I've tried so far, I'd have to agree.  If you're trying to find innovative ideas and fantastic taste/texture recipes that will entice even your picky eaters to enjoy GFCF foods, this cookbook will be your new best friend :)  It is quickly becoming mine!

*Fine print:  I paid full price for this cookbook on Amazon and was not offered any incentive whatsoever for trying or reviewing it, nor do I expect to at any point in the future -- I'm quite certain nobody associated with publishing this book has any idea I'm alive or using the cookbook.  I'm just sharing a great thing I've found!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that looks great!

    I'm not sure I'll ever try that pie. Lord knows I do plenty of "making of ingredients," but that's really pushing it. :) I wonder if it would be in the book if it were titled "Cooking for Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ephraim and Zephaniah." :D