Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food Offers a Feast of Downhome Delights
Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food: 125 simple and satisfying recipes, from “mac and cheese” to chocolate cupcakes is a cook’s treasure for those who consider ethics and allergies when preparing meals. Susan O’Brien, author of The Gluten-Free Vegan, provides a cookbook filled with dishes that we don’t want to live without—macaroni and cheese, biscotti, eggplant parm, molasses cookies, shortcake, and ice cream—but may have chosen to because we have cut wheat and animal products from our diets.
O’Brien, a gourmet cook, baker, cooking instructor, and food-management consultant, provides recipes for breakfast, lunch, and supper, and didn’t forget that we are a nation of snackers who love our desserts. As supermarkets expand their vegetarian/vegan offerings and add gluten-free aisles, it is becoming easier to follow a diet that advances healthful eating choices.
Given the choice between a satisfying entrée and saving room for dessert, I’ll happily skip dessert, and in a selection of “Family Classics,” Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food includes risotto, lasagna, meatballs, burgers, mock tuna sandwiches, polenta, and potpie, but it’s the “Portobello Mushroom Steak and Smothered Onions” and the “Savory Spinach Pie” that have me racing to the kitchen, rattlin’ those pots and pans.
Other stand-out dishes are “Roasted Brussels Sprouts,” avocado and corn salad, biscotti, “Sweet Potato Biscuits,” hummus, “Candied Nuts,” “Coconut, Blueberry and Banana Milkshake,” “Fresh Corn and Tomato Soup,” “Roasted Asparagus Soup,” and pineapple upside down cake. These are only a few of the many remarkable dishes included in Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food (and my favorites, along with that mac ‘n cheese). Many of the dishes have new dimensions, such as “Baked Beans” that feature a Cajun kick and “Mashed Sweet Potatoes,” a recipe that includes leeks, garlic, and fruity white wine.
O’Brien starts Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food with information about gluten-free and vegan diets, and offers advice on alternative ingredients; the book ends with “Resources,” that all-important section that guides you to retailers that carry what you need if your local store doesn’t.
Whether following a diet restricted by health concerns or conscience, cooks and home chefs will find a nice variety of tempting recipes that are so good, we forget that they are “healthy.” Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food is published by Da Capo Lifelong Books.