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Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back...And How You Can Too Paperback – January 1, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

* Blogger Ahern's story sheds light on celiac disease, a little-known and difficult-to-diagnose autoimmune condition. Those afflicted cannot digest gluten, a protein in wheat, barley, rye, and related grains. Ahern explains how she learned of her malady and found that she was able to enjoy food while avoiding gluten. She even met and married a chef. This entertaining memoir includes gluten-free gourmet recipes. (Library Journal, February 1, 2008)
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

Do you love food? Do you, or someone you love, have to avoid certain foods? Imagine passing on the pizza during your honeymoon in Rome, or skipping the sugar cookie s your sister makes at Christmas. Shauna James Ahern understands your pain-literally. After years of inexplicable exhaustion and endless medical tests, she found relief in her diagnosis of celiac disease. After giving up gluten, she learned how to live well and love food more fully. Now you can, too!

In Gluten-Free Girl, Shauna James Ahern shares the journey that changed her from a typical Gen-X processed-food junkie to a fun-loving foodie who enjoys cooking and living gluten-free-naturally. Readers from around the world have followed her stories and insights on her award-winning blog, glutenfreegirl.com. Now she shows you how to say yes to a gluten-free lifestyle, too, and embrace a whole new world of fresh foods and flavors.

Even if you never learned to cook, Shauna shows you how to feel comfortable in the kitchen. You'll discover (or rediscover) the kick of ginger, the irresistible crunch of fresh greens, and other delicious delights. She gives you dozens of terrific recipes that every9one will love, such as Curried Carrot Soup, Chicken Thighs Braised in Pomegranate Molasses, Crusty Sorghum Bread, and Fig Cookies. Her dishes focus on ingredients that are naturally gluten-free. She has not simply reworked recipes and plugged in gluten-free substitutes-these are original recipes. You'll also find important guidance on navigating everyday life without being "glutenized," from reading between the lines of food labels to traveling and eating out safely and successfully.

Enlivened with funny accounts of Shauna's experiences, this book is as entertaining to read as it is to prop up in the kitchen. Whether she's reminiscing about the Wonder bread and Fried-bologna sandwiches of her childhood or misusing on the pork-chop -shaped mouse pad she won at a professional cooking conference, her stories are lively and interesting.

Part memoir, part best friend giving advice, part cookbook-and all inspiring-Gluten-Free Girl will put the spring back in your step and your diet, one delicious meal at a time. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470411643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470411643
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shauna Ahern's "Gluten-Free Girl" blog was one of the first that I found after discovering my own issues with gluten. It is a great food blog in showing a "sunny side" of living gluten-free,so I was excited to read Ahern's book. While I enjoyed parts, I found the book a disappointment overall.

Three main points: I found that Ahern's ecstasy over food is better taken in the 'small bites' of her blog, rather than in longer book form. It is exhausting after a chapter or two. Additionally, I think she is rather hard on her parents in general and their food habits in particular, which is off-putting, especially given how supportive Ahern reports them to be once she received a diagnosis. Lastly, the sprinkling of recipes appeared yummy, but many do include dairy,without suggested substitutions, making them unusable for the lactose-intolerant (a very common issue in the GF community).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this from the perspective of somebody who wanted to learn about how to cook for friends and family with celiac allergy/disease. There was precious little for me here, other than "fruits, meats and butter are gluten free, so eat lots of them". Not exactly mindblowing revelations.

This is not a cookbook, but a biography of the author and how her mother tried to murder her with convenience food in the 1970's. Ok, there's a few recipes, but you have to wade through her life story to find them. The book finishes with the greatest love story ever told (her own), and an attempt to find closure with her mommy issues. Don't bother ordering unless you slavishly read her blog; the book was just plain useless.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a good read for someone who is already a fan of the Gluten-Free Girl blog and enjoys reading about her personal experiences, life and food philosophy, and positive outlook on Celiac Disease. Although I like the blog and the author's literary persona, I'm afraid this book did not satisfy my desire for a gourmet gluten-free cookbook. There are some recipes sprinkled throughout the book, and many of them sound (and probably are) quite good. However, the true test of a gluten-free chef is really their bread products. There are only a few baked carbohydrate recipes in this book, including a sorghum bread, pizza, and pie crust. Tonight I tried the promising recipe for Crusty Sorghum Bread in the hopes that quality of recipe would replace quantity and I could enjoy a great gluten-free artisan's bread recipe. Halfway through making the recipe, I was a bit astonished to find that the main liquid ingredient in the recipe, club soda, had no quantity listed. The instructions just said to add "as much as is needed to wet all the ingredients completely." Further, at that point the dough should be "soft and firm, like a baby's bottom." Descriptive and lyrical though that is, I had no idea exactly HOW wet the dough should be. I'm an experienced gluten-free baker, but gluten-free dough can have VERY different textures before being baked. Sometimes they are very wet, like cake batter, and other times the dough is much drier. And I can only imagine that the instructions would be even more confusing to someone NOT used to how weird gluten-free baking can be. I found several strange things about the recipe that in retrospect should have warned me that it might not be the kind of loaf I was hoping for.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the writer's personality coming thru loud & clear, and it was obnoxious. Perhaps other loud abrasive folks like the writer would relate to her (it's ok to have that personality). But if you are a more low-key subdued person, you may find her writing to be "loud & in your face". Threw the book in the trash.
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Format: Paperback
I got this book from a friend because I'm trying to adjust my diet due to some health problems, and although I do not have celiac, I do need to avoid wheat, so I had high hopes for this book and Shauna Ahern's blog. Disappointed is a gross understatement. The bottom line is that this woman can't cook and has no business authoring a church bake-sale advertisement much less a single book. When I found out she has more than one and another cookbook is in the works thru her blog I nearly died. Her recipes don't work, and the ones that do are made with naturally gluten free ingredients so as a cookbook this tomb is only useful as a doorstop. As far as the "love story" portion of this beauty - as other reviews have already mentioned, the author falls all over herself selling readers on her wondrous love with her amazing "chef" husband. First of all, if you're going to reference a chef in the title of the cookbook then the person therein should probably have a few more credentials than a glorified line cook in a couple of middling restaurants, and secondly, I haven't read prose this unbelievable and pretentious since I attempted to get thru Twilight. Don't bother. Really, Don't. Why isn't there less than 1 star? Couldn't we institute a negative star rating of some sort - come on Amazon, work with me!
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Format: Paperback
I got this book because wanted to learn how to cook delicious gluten free meals. As others have said, the author exudes pretension and condescension.

I find her recipes extremely confusing and after several attempts to make the bread, I have completely given up. To make things worse, the recipes in the book call for Xanthan gum and now the author has apparently renounced all Xanthan gum.

As a relatively slender person, I also find the hypocrisy appalling. I stay thin and wan because I'm not in love with food. I actually try not to fall in love with heavy, greasy, buttery, meaty food because it makes me gain weight. And putting a picture of a slender woman on the cover is the ultimate in hypocrisy.

If you want to gain weight and are an expert at deciphering complicated recipes and enjoy reading books by writers who are frantically trying to convince you that the only way to happiness is eating until you explode and getting married then this is the book for you.

I just finished a book by Nora Ephron...a writer who is a legend, who has made millions of dollars producing movies and writing books, and refers to herself in a funny, self depreciating way. She makes no bones about the fact that she loves food, but she never strays into the territory of trying to convince you that her life is just so much BETTER, so JOYOUS, so WONDERFUL.

You don't convince me that you're better by tearing others down. And for God's sake, leave out all the verbose descriptions and just tell me how to prepare a dish. A dish that will work the first time.
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