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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Bette has done her usual great job at describing Celiac Sprue, Gluten free living, using gluten free ingredients and baking and cooking with this challenging diet.
In this book Bette shows how to make up "mixes" for we who are gluten challenged. For example she explains cake and bread flour mixes, my two favorites, that can be made up in large quantities, mixed very well and stored for later use. This makes it as convenient to bake a gluten free cake, as it is to make one from one of those boxes from the grocery-baking aisle. There are many other mixes. (I counted 36.) One of my favorite everyday mixes is Onion Soup. I use it when cooking meats and stews. This one alone has saved my day when the children's activities take up all my time and energy and I just could not have sliced and diced and browned and simmered, etc, to get the onion base for the gravy just right.
Bette supplies recipes for lots of the hard to find things like Sweet and Sour sauce, Sweet Pickle relish, low-fat dressing and lots more. She also explains some very helpful substitutions like things to use in baking if you have lactose intolerance and Sprue (and the taste doesn't overwhelm in the final product).
Just seeing how Bette creates her mixes and uses them in her recipes is a great education. Once you start using this book you probably will get the courage to try out your own mixes or vary Bette's until it meets with your palates delight.
Her recipes are easy to use. She explains the directions well. The end product is delightful.
I love this book and refer to it often even when I am not using it to bake. I take it to the grocery store to use as a reference.
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209 of 224 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2002
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I read all the reviews before I bought this book and assumed it was a good book for people allergic to gluten looking for 'healthy' recipes. If you consider brown sugar, confectioner's sugar, white sugar, corn syrup, margarine, Butter Flavored Crisco, canned vegetables, and soda 'healthy' ingredients then by all means this book is for you. But, if you're like me and have health problems then I would suggest not buying this book. You'd be better off buying prepared gluten free flour and adapting recipes you already have.
Many of the meat and vegetable recipes are just wasting space in the book. How hard is it to prepare poached salmon, three bean salad, or cole slaw without gluten?
I am returning the book to Amazon because I cannot use it.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2000
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This really is a great book. The author goes beyond just recipes (although those alone are worth the price of the book!) to give us a whole lot of intersting and important information. This book caters to those with celiac disease, and there is a whole section of questions and answers in the front which addresses a number of relevant issues for those dealing with celiac and related diseases.
That being said, the best part about this book are the recipes! Hagman covers everything from soup to nuts. The ingredients are, for the most part, readily available at your grocery or health food store. There is a large section on breads, both rice-based and rice-free. She includes directions for making bread by hand or using several sizes of breadmakers. There are also some which omit eggs and dairy, a nice plus for those with additional sensitivities.
All in all this is a terrfic book, one which can liberate those dealing with wheat and gluten allergies, allowing us to "eat like the rest of the world." Don't hesitate!
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2000
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The bean-flour bread recipes alone make this book a worthwhile buy. No more dry, crumbly, grainy rice breads for me! Finally, individuals on a gf diet can have a bread with a texture just like wheat bread. Directions both for bread machines and for mixing by hand are included. Thanks to Bette, my gluten-free, dairy-free son will eat sandwiches again! This book also provides tips that are helpful for adapting recipes on your own, including descriptions of different flours and substitution recommendations. Plus, there is a wide variety of easy dinner recipes.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Bette Hagman has outdone herself with her third gluten-free cookbook! She has included many recipes that incorporate the newer use of bean flours as well as bread machines. She continues to come up with innovative new recipes for both breads and main dishes. It is a must for any gluten-free cook. I particularly enjoyed how easy the recipes are to do, and they are quick. I also appreciate the health-conscious attitude the book takes. As always, she provides quite a bit of excellent reference information and background to help people newly struggling with the gluten-free diet, as well as those who have been on it a long time. Definitely my favorite of the three!
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a mother of a large family, with a child who needs wheatfree, gluten free items, this book has been a great help. In it are simple easy to make recipies, that please even hard core wheat lovers! (Like my husband!) The recipies are easy for me to double, easy to fix on a moments notice, and our frequent guests have not even missed the wheat! From there, I have learned to adapt the basic principles of gluten free cooking to old time family favorites. This book is top of my list for ALL cookbooks, and has a treasured place on my book shelf.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have celiac disease, which is essentially an allergy to wheat protein, and I've been GF for 5 years now. (Why does that sound like I'm at an AA meeting?) Bette Hagman's books are the first couple of books that I got, and they're pretty good. *GFG-Fast & Healthy* is one of my favorites because it has some great recipes in it. However, I have no idea why she called it what she did. Maybe she lightened up some of the recipes compared to her 1950's style of cooking in the original GFG book, but after doing Ornish (*Eat More, Weigh Less*, Dean Ornish) for a couple years before I was diagnosed (familial high cholesterol), I can't imagine how anyone thinks that using this much butter, cheese, margarine, or butter-flavored Crisco (!!!) could be in any way labeled "healthy." Including recipes for salmon, curried shrimp, or mulligatawny soup was just silly. You can get those recipes in GF form anywhere. Maybe the title was wishful thinking.

However, some of my favorite recipes are in this book:

Pizza crust - p242 - 5 ingredients. Only 5! Tastes great, too. Husband prefers it to regular.

Spicy corn muffins - p103 - fantastic!

Banana bread - p98 - My first successful GF baked product.

Veggie muffins - p101 - tasty and good.

Salem crumpets as pizza crust - p95 - tasty for a change, but I like p242 better.

TK Kenyon
Author of Rabid: A Novel and Callous: A Novel
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for lots of "low sugar" recipes, this is not the book for you. But if you are a celiac or cook for a celiac (like I do) and you want to eat "normal" things, you've got to have this book! I rely heavily on this book so that I can make things for my husband like the rest of the world eats: pizza, cake, cookies, hamburger buns, and french bread just to name a few. (I think the french bread recipe is the best gluten-free thing I have ever had!) I really don't use the main course recipes that much since I don't find it hard to cook gluten-free dinners, but I LOVE being able to pull this book off the shelf and prepare something special for my husband, especially when he is feeling "blue" about eating gluten free. Bette's recipes consistently turn out well and they are not difficult to prepare. I wouldn't consider myself the world's best cook, but I am very proud of what I am able to turn out with this book. If you need gluten-free recipes, you really should add this book to your shelf.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a great book if you are a newly diagnosed person (allergies, Celiac or whatever), or are responsible for feeding a newly diagnosed person. I eagerly bought all three of the Hagman books that were available when my child was diagnosed with multiple, severe, food allergies. I also bought Fenster, and another one that I don't even recall the author of (it was so useless I donated it away quickly).

My reason for the 3 stars is two-fold. First, "Healthy" this food is not. Unless she means healthy because it is gluten free. That much is true. But my biggest complaint is that many of these recipes are just absolutely useless if you are anything other than just a Celiac. She offers a few token recipes that feature substitutes for dairy, eggs, or soy, but having tried them- yuck! I tried substituting for the eggs or dairy in her other, gluten free recipes but have had bad results. As anyone out there who has to cook this way knows, these specialized flours, xanthum gum and GF ingredients cost too darn much to waste.

That being said, she does offer lots of good advice on how to get started living GF, travel, and how to take care of yourself in different situations. There is a good section where she lists the different types of flours and explains their uses. Overall, it is a good read, but I haven't picked any of mine up in at least three years.

It's worth a read, but get it at the library. For good allergy friendly recipes I'd suggest joining one of the many Yahoo groups and/or checking out "Living Without" magazine. It too tends to favor recipes that include dairy and/or eggs, but I have still found enough recipes within their pages to make me keep three years worth of issues (and refer back to them several times).
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was looking for easier recipes then the ones given. My 4.5 year old boy is autistic and needs to be gluten free. I tried some recipes from the book, and it didn't appeal to his kid tastes. I try to put the whole family on Gluten free so what I do now is I just subsitute a GF flour blend I buy in the store with 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of flour. I use all my old favorite recipes with this replacement...cake, cookies, banana/zuccini bread, muffins, (didn't try regular bread yet). Everything comes out wonderful texture and all. Bob's red mill GF flour tastes so much better than whole wheat flour that I used before GF in all my recipes so far. Plus the bean flours are so healthy, definately add some ground flax seeds for added health benifits to whatever flours you use(omega's are so important). I think being GF is much easier than I ever imagined and you really don't need a GF cookbook. Just a food store with a natural food area for the flour & binder (or internet) and some creativity baking. Good Luck.
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