Customer Reviews: Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook: A Seasonal, Vegetarian Cookbook (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series)
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on July 23, 2010
I've long been a fan of Leslie Cerier's easy, earthy style of cooking, full of hearty grains, gentle seasonings, and organic produce. Though I'm not gluten-free, I added this book to my collection for all the above reasons.

The previous review is so unfair-- to give a book a one-star review because it has no photos? It would have been nice, for sure, but some publishers don't have the budget. And because there is a recipe for cooking short-grain brown rice? These instructions preceded a whole chapter on making healthier sushi, hence its inclusion. Also such instructions are good for people who buy grains in bulk and who are just getting familiar with healthier grains.

I've already made several recipes from this book and they are outstanding. Corn Grits with Sautéed Onion, Kale, and Cheddar (I used vegan cheese), Soba with Tempeh and Broccoli in Coconut Sauce, and Cilantro Pesto were all great. There are probably more dishes here for cool-weather cooking, so I'm looking forward to trying things like Spiced Yams with Pecans and Garlicky Baked Beans with Parsnips and Butternut Squash in the fall.

Aside from being good for gluten-free cooking, this book is a great introduction for using a wide array of whole grains we don't usually think of, like millet--it's such a tasty, healthy grain, and I rarely think to use it. Thanks, Leslie, for another great collection of recipes and tips! If you like this you'll also like Going Wild in the Kitchen, one of my favorite veg cookbooks.
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on December 9, 2010
For me, this book focuses less on practical gluten-free vegetarian cooking and more on how to use alternative grains. A huge number of the recipes rely on ingredients like teff or millet -- delicious additions, but expensive and not something I can afford to cook with every day.

Recipes also include hard-to-find ingredients like maca powder or Bhutanese red rice. I'm sure Madagascar pink rice is delicious, but I'm also sure none of my local markets carry it.

Other recipes, like the smoothies and sides, are accessible (and tasty!), and I love the short sushi chapter, but I was hoping for more dishes like those. In the end, this isn't going to be a cookbook I reach for often.
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on August 30, 2010
Every now and again, I actually sit down and read a cookbook cover-to-cover; I did with this one. "Gluten-free recipes for the conscious cook" is a cookbook that fulfils its promise: it approaches green and gluten-free cooking like a creative sport. Leslie has us travelling boldly into territories of ingredients and recipes, in a land not yet well-travelled by many of us--the land with no gluten. Here we walk the edge of a truly original culinary adventure.

The amazing flexibility in these recipes, along with the full permission to explore, experiment and be playful --is SO refreshing!! And since so many variations and substitutions are provided, we are not stuck if we don't happen to have--or like--everything the recipe calls for. Hallelujah for flexibility!!

Leslie begins by introducing, in some detail, 10 gluten-free staple foods, which provide a foundation for the 100 or so unique recipes to follow. She also teaches us how to cook beans from scratch, make nut and seed milks, and even sushi! Next, she tours us through creatively-designed recipes for all 3 meals. These are laid out in a clear, clean and easy-to-follow manner. I like this presentation a lot.

I have enjoyed making and eating a variety of these recipes. My taste-sensibilities have had the chance to grow and expand. I am delighted to be able to make "normal food", such as pancakes and muffins, that are within the bounds of a gluten-free diet. With confidence increased, I have even begun to improvise for myself.

On behalf of gluten-free eaters everywhere, thank-you, Leslie Cerier, for sharing with us your inspiration and your expertise in making nutritional, tasty and beautiful food-- without gluten!!
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on March 1, 2014
My family has gone from eating normally to a nightmare of: one's a vegetarian. one has celiac? (wheat-based allergies), another who thinks they are allergic to gluten'(til some delicious pasta dish shows up), another who hates mostly everything (but sweets), and on and on. How do you cook at family get-togethers?!?! After 40 years, my husband and I want to give up cooking for others, so we can just smoke some ribs, put together a green salad and a potato salad (with eggs - which another in the group hates), and a big tray of stuffed, baked apples.

This book has helped a lot. Not difficult and more enticing than I expected. I have only tried a few recipes, but intend to keep going, because I am now serving 2-3 veggie dishes with broiled or braised chicken/fish at family dinners , and it is working.

So, what can I do but recommend it! If anyone knows any other - not too weird cook books - please let me know - and THANKS.

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on June 26, 2014
I bought this book so I could cook for friends who are afflicted with celiac disease. The recipes in general are good, although the basic bread tastes more like cake. If you're suffering from gluten sensitivity, you may want to try these recipes.
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on October 16, 2011
I got the kindle version of this book for m wife and she reports that it is horribly borked. The recipes are truncated, measurements are very wrong (4 cups of pure maple syrup??) and there is no linked table of contents. This may be a one off problem but it has made the book useless to us.
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on August 26, 2010
Leslie has managed to craft a wonderful ookbook full of both delicous recipes and educational info. The first chapter dedicated to describing different products and methods of cooking is great for a beginner to cooking with whole foods and a wonderful refresher for those of us accustomed to cooking with whole grains. The introduction of new, less familiar grains is a wonderful break from the typical alternatives to using wheat. The recipes are clear and simple and offer a great deal of room for added creativity with some really helpful suggestions. And the recipes for basics like dressings, nut milk and sun dried tomatoes are a welcome addition and wonderful alternative to buying the expensive, processed options sold in stores! I have been very pleased with this cookbook!
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on February 3, 2013
I love this cookbook! It has simple recipes that don't require obscure ingredients that are hard to find. Instead, the recipes are easy to make that require simple ingredients that you can find at your local store. Plus, the recipes are tasty and still creative even though they are simple and easy to make! I am not a cook, but I have enjoyed making delicious recipes from this book, which my friends have enjoyed immensely as well. As a vegan, I really appreciate that the recipes are vegan and give you the option of adding a dairy ingredient if you prefer instead of the other way around. I'm not gluten free, but I try to eat less gluten and love that this book caters to my dietary needs and desires. Thank you, Leslie Cerier! Fantastic book!
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on August 27, 2010
In general I try to feed my family and myself a gluten-free or low gluten diet. I have been looking for a good cookbook to help us in eating this way, and this is the one!!!
It is clear, grounded and educational without being wordy and making my head spin.
It is inspiring and creative yet also practical with ideas and recipes that I will actually use and make.
It is aware of the earth, natural cycles and rhythms and actual natural health. I've seen some gluten-free recipes and books that are not whole health concerned.
All in all I am loving this book and excited to read/use it more!
Thanks Leslie!!!
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on September 28, 2012
This little cookbook is a gem! I wish it would have photos - I rarely buy a cookbook without photos, but after getting this from the library, I am buying it. I never made my own waffles before, when I could eat gluten, because it was easy to buy them, but now I tried some with fruit(pears in my case), and they were heavenly -best waffles I ever tried. I was thankful for 2 page tips on how to tweak them so that they won't get stuck on the waffle maker walls, and after second batch, they came off nicely with very little prying with a fork.Of course, I had to choose waffles with fruit in them for my first time, even though they are the ones most likely to stick.
Recipes are healthy and fun, and there are plenty of tips on cooking, substitutions, qualities of lesser known grains. No refined sugar as in some so called healthy cookbooks.
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