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Gluten-Free for Good: Simple, Wholesome Recipes Made from Scratch Paperback – August 2, 2016
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About the Author
SAMANTHA SENEVIRATNE was a food editor at Good Housekeeping, Fine Cooking, and Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food before starting her blog Love, Cake, which was a 2015 finalist for the Saveur Blog Awards. She is also a recipe developer, food stylist, and the author of The New Sugar and Spice. She lives in New York City.
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Homemade Essentials (11 recipes)
Breakfast and Brunch (17 recipes)
Soups, Sides, and Salads (17 recipes)
Hearty Mains (26 recipes)
Sweet and Savory Snacks (13 recipes)
Desserts (17 recipes)
In addition to this mostly even division of the recipes, you'll also find full-page mouth-watering photographs of over half of the finished creations.
Upon viewing the cover, my hope was that "simple" recipes meant simple ingredients. Things I would mostly already have on hand or could easily find at my local Walmart. On this notion, I was sorely disappointed. When Samantha does a quick run-down of the ideal gluten-free pantry at the beginning of the book, she lists 15 "alternative flours", 4 "starches", and 2 "gums". And while she specifies that you can customize the recipes to suit what ingredients you have on hand, she also is very careful to state that "my recipes feature blends that suit the flavors of each dish." Most of the recipes that contain flour only call for 2-3 different kinds, but this still limits your ability to randomly pick and choose recipes if you don't have space in your freezer to have all 15 flours on hand.
Instead, Samantha's terminology of "simple" seems to be referring to the actual process of making the recipes once you have all of the ingredients ready to go. In this usage, she is very accurate. Most of the recipes only have 3-4 steps, and are explained well enough that they don't require a lot of culinary know-how.
Overall, I'm giving this book 4/5 stars, because it's just not what I was hoping it would be. It seems more appropriate for a small family of 2-3 or the hostess who wants to be able to make exquisite delicacies that will be enjoyed and appreciated by a much more sophisticated crowd than my 8-12 year old children. This is not a negative point by any means, I just don't find that it's congruent with my lifestyle as a busy mom in a house of six, working around three diets. I was also hoping it'd focus more on veggie alternatives rather than relying so much on other grains to move in and take the place of wheat.
*Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging For Books for the purpose of an honest review.
In the beginning, she lists flours; tells where they come from; describes what it tastes like and its characteristics when used in cooking. For example, Coconut flour – “This high-fiber flour is made from dried defatted coconut meat. It has a very light coconut flavor and is great for baking. Coconut flour is very thirsty, so be sure to add extra liquid when using it/or just follow a recipe designed for coconut flour.”
An index of recipes is listed in the front of the book under categories such as – homemade essentials, breakfast and brunch, soups, sides and salads, hearty mains, sweet and savory snacks and deserts.
I made the Maple-glazed Butternut Squash bread. The instructions were easy to follow and the ingredients can be found at the grocery store. What I liked about this recipe is the fact that is was a basic bread. You can easily add to the recipe and be creative. For example, add chocolate chips, nuts, M and M’s etc. The bread was more like a type of coffee cake. I was surprised at how moist it was; how easy it was to make and how good it tasted.
I liked the variety of recipes and how creative this author is with the ingredients she uses. I also liked that she used different flour blends, she didn’t say use a gluten-free flour blend you can purchase at the store. No, she gives the measurement in cups and as a weight. This way the user can get familiar with the different blends; how they taste and how they bake up so they can be creative too!
The other recipes in this book I’d like to try are: Gingery Chicken soup with spinach and egg, Carrot Fritters, Carrots with miso Orange butter, Garlic Saffron Asparagus, one pot chicken thighs and wild rice and leeks Lemongrass pork meatballs, white Pizza with Blistered tomatoes, saluted lemony gnocchi, sweet pea and ricotta ravioli, chocolate and orange cheese cake, oatmeal and chocolate chunk ice cream sandwiches. I look forward to trying these and many more in the new year.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Bloggingforbooks website. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”
Nora St. Laurent
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