Saturday, September 3, 2016

Gluten-Free For Good by Samantha Seneviratne (book review)



Gluten-Free For Good: Simple, Wholesome Recipes Made From Scratch by Samantha Seneviratne

Gluten-Free For Good is an elegant cookbook by Samantha Seneviratne. It has a total of 101 gluten-free recipes sorted by the following categories:
          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.

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