Friday, January 8, 2010

2010 Review: Cookbooks from a Food Allergic POV

Photo ©2010 by Heidi Bayer.  All Rights Reserved.

Managing my own food allergies along with those of my husband and twelve year old can be daunting.  After twelve years I think I've got it down.  It still takes a good two hours of my day, every day.  Here are five cookbooks in my kitchen cabinet that I use often.

The first cookbook is the one that I will say I could not live without is:

1.  SPECIAL FOODS FOR SPECIAL KIDS by Todd Adelman and Jodi Behrend
A huge shout out to Todd and Jodi for devising this cookbook. Parents and kids will enjoy sitting down and devouring this book together. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Todd through one of his taste testers. This cookbook is so well thought out and written that I have not found a recipe yet that didn't come out perfectly.  From the snickerdoodles to the cornbread and main dishes, this is a must have for any food allergic parent. The recipes are clear and the line art illustrations are wonderful.  It also has excellent substitution suggestions for those of us with multiple food allergies.

2.  VEGAN LUNCHBOX by Jennifer McCann
Although some of the recipes are a bit daunting and time consuming, who can argue with trying to get more veggies into your children?  The recipe for Sneaky Mama's Tomato Sauce incoporates kale without sacrificing color or taste.  This book is worth it just for Jennifer's recipe and her step by step instructions for sushi rice.  You'll never order out for vegan sushi again! 

This is a difficult book for us since we avoid chickpeas, quadrapeds, lentils and nuts; however, I mention it because of some of the incredibly tasty recipes for veggies and the different way of looking at food preparation.  Of gastronomic and nutritional interest to us are the Syrian mushrooms, the carrot spread, cauliflower saute and the white bean dip.  Claudia presents simple, delicious recipes for everyday food. Additionally, learning how to integrate a dried lime into lamb stew (for those of us who can have quadrapeds) is a real taste enhancer and the chicken dish with honey and rosewater is perfect for a cold winter night.

4.  THE GOODHOUSEKEEPING COOKBOOK edited by Susan Westmoreland
Solid recipes and an updated appendix make this book a must have in every cook's library  I've used many of these recipes as a base and substituted ingredients when necessary with very little disappointment.

5.  MEXICAN EVERYDAY by Rick Bayless and 
ROSA'S NEW MEXICAN TABLE by Roberto Santibanez
These two books are for everyone who loves Mexican food.  Rick's book is contains recipes that can be made within an hour, where Roberto's book is for advanced cooks who really want to dive into Mexican food like your abuela (grandmother) did.  Roberto's book taught me how to make amazing pinto beans from scratch after eight years of trial and error.  His recipe is simple, and I'm not going to reveal it here - buy the book, it's worth it!  Rick's book contains a wonderful skillet upside down cake which easy and deliciouso! (of course I had to change it to be gluten free, egg free and dairy free, but I found it wasn't difficult!)  We eat a lot of Mexican food since we find that it is very forgiving to food allergics and it agrees with our tastes and our cravings.  We couldn't live without these two books.

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