Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT "Simply" a Catchy Title, April 28, 2012
This review is from: Simply . . . Gluten-free Quick Meals: More Than 100 Great-Tasting Recipes for Good Food Fast (Hardcover)
The "Simply" in "Simply ... Gluten-Free Quick Meals" doesn't just make for a catchy title. The recipes in this cookbook truly are quick and easy to prepare. I have spent the last week cooking out of this book and am super impressed. The recipes are not over the top, which as a busy mom, I appreciate. I had to chuckle because I can totally relate to Carol when she writes that she is "always looking for time-savers and shortcuts, but ironically I am also a person who tries to cram as many activities into each day as humanly possible." I have to think that these are recipes Carol has cooked over the years as she raised two boys and that she has perfected to a T from a time-to-prep standpoint.

The chapters I have already fallen head over heels in love with are:

* Simple Suppers
* Easy Entertaining
* Pantry Raid

Simple Suppers and Easy Entertaining offer up complete meals--usually a main, a side, and a dessert--that can be made in under an hour. The Pantry Raid chapter I plan to turn to on those nights I have nothing in mind for dinner and the clock is striking four. Recipes in this chapter can be made by raiding your pantry and fridge and using ingredients you may already have on hand.

In our home we deal with a handful of food intolerances and I review books from this standpoint. Recipes in this book do call for dairy, however the author has provided substitutions for dairy (such as coconut or rice milk) and suggestions for other substitutions such arrowroot for cornstarch. So there are ways to work around allergies and intolerances and still cook out of this book--the only exception being the handful of recipes that call for eggs. But still, there are plenty of other recipes in the book that we can enjoy.

I really love the fun themes Carol has come up with for each menu. This week I made:

ALL-AMERICAN MEATLOAF DINNER MENU
Mini Meat Loaves (left out the egg), Smashed Potatoes, Broccoli with Garlic Chips, and Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache with Fruit

PIE FOR DINNER MENU
Polenta Potpies (left out the cheese), Pear and Arugula Salad, and Hot Cherry Sundaes.

I love that the recipes in this book are a mixture of classics and some that take us out of our comfort zone. Sticky Rice and Mango is a dessert I order in Thai restaurants. Now, thanks to this book, I can make it at home. And how about quinoa tabouleh ... that's next on my "to try" list--a dish I've never had before.

Some other notes: the book is black and white with a few pages of color photography. The recipes are well laid out and directions are easy to follow.

My recommendation:

If you are JUST gluten-free: A definite BUY!

If you are gluten-free and dairy-free: Buy if you are comfortable using non-dairy substitutes (soy cream cheese, Daiya, etc. or just leaving it out) and know that some recipes may simply be challenging to make without it the real deal.

If you gluten-free, dairy-free AND egg-free: Buy knowing that there may be a handful of recipes that just may be too difficult or impossible to make without these ingredients (like salmon cakes and breakfast quesadillas).
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