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Customer Review

110 of 112 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good cook book for the gluten free chef; relies heavily on bean flour mix., March 19, 2011
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This review is from: Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less (Paperback)
I've been gluten free for about 6 years. I have many gluten free cookbooks, but I was hooked on the promise of simplicity for the recipes in this book. I like the idea of quick, healthy meals for my family that also meet my dietary limitations. Tonight, I tried the mac and cheese and meatloaf. Both were delicious, and the family liked them as well! The recipes are fairly simple, and turned out very tasty. My only "complaint" - which I hope really isn't seen as a complaint but more of a fact - is that the 20 minutes part of the title means preparation time; it does not include cook time. But regardless, I look forward to trying more of the recipes.

As many other reviewers have mentioned, the tips are extremely helpful. There are tips for how to buy dried fruit, storing chickpeas in the fridge so homemade hummus will already be chilled, making double batches and freezing, etc. I love the idea of baking a big batch of brown rice or making extra quinoa and freezing for later use. I have a very active family, and this kind of meal planning for the sake of convenience is huge for us.

The only real negative for me is that Ms. Green's flour mix contains bean flour. I have not been able to tolerate the taste of bean flour in most other recipes (or its effects on my tummy if I eat too much). I seem to have a keen sense for the taste, and have only found a few recipes containing bean flour that I like (one is Bette Hagman's zucchini bread with pineapple, the other is Erin McKenna's Apple Cinnamon Toasties, which are both super yummy!)The mac & cheese I made tonight called for the bean flour mix, but I used sweet rice flour instead, and the recipe still turned out great.

If you have a dairy sensitivity, there are quite a few recipes that call for milk, cream, or cheese of some sort. For those with nut allergies, there are also recipes calling for nuts. In both cases, there are often notes at the end suggesting substitutions to make the recipes dairy or nut free, which I think is awesome! Many recipes are labelled vegan, dairy free, or egg free, to help chefs isolate recipes that will work best for them.

For those who have been disappointed that this book does in fact contain some sugar (in the form of palm sugar from coconut), you may want too look up cookbooks for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, like Grain Free Gourmet or Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. South Beach also contains many, many great and healthy recipes. Just remember the healthiest recipes are going to be those that use whole foods, not artificial sweeteners, which some SB recipes call for.

The bottom line for SS & GF is that is is simple, easy to follow, has an overall healthy approach, and a great variety of recipes. I will be using it quite frequently!
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 16, 2011 2:17:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 27, 2013 12:42:25 PM PDT
Amy Green says:
Just a quick note from the author -

Many of my recipe testers used brown rice flour in lieu of the garbanzo-fava bean flour and they had fabulous results. I haven't tested it personally in all my recipes but if you don't want to use bean flour try brown rice.

Also, the flour blend I use is 1/3 garbanzo-fava bean flour. The other 2/3 are not bean flours at all. Again, you can easily substitute the bean flour for brown rice flour.

Amy Green

Posted on Jan 26, 2012 2:22:44 PM PST
Appreciate the warning about the bean flour. I have thyroiditis (common to occur in celiac and gluten intolerance) which seemed to occur alongside an allergy to legumes. I get arthritis and the half of my thyroid still left to me reacts to beans, peas, lentils, garbanzos etc. So I cut all legumes out.

Consequently I look for cookbooks that don`t rely heavily on the bean flour mixtures. While I could substitute a rice flour mixture as the author suggests, I`d prefer a book that mainly uses the non bean flour mixtures to cook with and the recipes are tested for that mixture.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012 2:29:43 PM PST
Amy Green says:
Hi! Please let me introduce myself - I'm Amy Green, the author of the book. I know that not all people can use bean flours. Since the book has come out I've found that quinoa flour and millet flour are good substitutions for the bean flour. They're both higher in protein and have good structure.

In the gluten-free world there are so many different dietary needs. I did my best to include recipes that would work for as many people as possible. In addition to the baked goods, I also have appetizers, soups, main dishes, side dishes, puddings, custards, frostings, and ice creams.

I don't know if that helps you at all, but thought I'd share it.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012 2:46:49 PM PST
yes it does help. I`m still considering buying your book. Thank you. That actually opens up options for me with the bean flour mixtures across the board. Betty Hagman uses them too. Didn`t realize about the quinoa. I was just looking at a hot cereal made of flaked quinoa yesterday in the store. thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 7:35:16 AM PDT
Lisa says:
Why not include any pictures? Just about to buy the book but not seeing any pictures at all sort of throws me off a bit. :(

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 8:00:30 AM PDT
WallyFam says:
Hi - I just wanted to make sure I followed up and let everyone know I have substituted brown rice flour for bean flour in several of the recipes with outstanding results, which makes me very happy! Thank you, Amy!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2013 12:44:40 PM PDT
Amy Green says:
Hi Lisa,

I'm the author of Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free. The decision not to add photos was made by the publishing company. I didn't have any control over it. While I know photos can be helpful, they couldn't have sold the book for such a great price if color pics were included. It's a trade-off.

Amy Green
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