Simple Inspired Meals for Everyone
By: Jenna Short
Publisher: Taunton Press
Publication Date: 11/11/2014
My Rating: 5 Stars
Jenna Short is on a mission--to help home cooks create meals that are safe--and delicious--for anyone who suffers from food allergies or who follows a special diet. As a caterer who specializes in events suitable for those who choose a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, or kosher lifestyle, Jenna knows it's not easy to meet these different needs at the same time. In Cooking Allergy-Free, Jenna comes to the rescue, with 150 recipes that are suitable for weeknight cooking as well as entertaining. Each recipe is free of one or more of the most popular food allergens--wheat, milk, eggs, nuts, shellfish, fish, soy and corn--easily identified by colorful icons, and includes substitutions to convert the recipe for other allergens. Icons also indicate recipes appropriate for those who follow a gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan diet.
Jenna's collection of recipes include starters, soups, salads, main dishes, sides, desserts, and breads. Sample the Mustard Raisin Marmalade on Toasted Crostini, Moroccan Stuffed Tomatoes, Rosemary Skillet Chicken with Mushrooms and Potatoes, Sloppy Joes, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Blackened Fish Tacos with Guacamole and Cilantro-Lime Slaw, Blueberry Lemon Crumble Pie, Mini Fudge Brownie Bites, Granola Bars, and more. With Cooking Allergy-Free in hand, you'll discover flavorful, easy-to-make dishes that aren't off limits.
Menu suggestions for setting up a kitchen to be allergen-friendly, and essentials for stocking your pantry will make Cooking Allergy-Free your most trusted source for delicious cooking.
A special thank you to Taunton Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Wow! Cooking Allergy-Free, Simple Inspired Meals for Everyone is “the best” allergy-free book out today! Jenna Short has created a beautifully packaged “must have”, all in one food book for everyone. Unique, delicious, and inspiring recipes which are adaptable for any, and all food sensitivities or allergies.
Not only does Jenna include the most stunning high resolution color photos, well formatted layout, delicious easy to make 150 recipes, but critical information and essentials about food allergies, and best of all—easily identified labels-colorful icons, by allergy type, and substitutions to convert the recipe for other allergens (which is imperative). Icons also indicate recipes appropriate for those who follow a gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan diet. My entire wish list!
I was delighted when I found Cooking Allergy-Free on NetGalley and was approved. I was blown away and have been telling everyone about this “all in one incredible book, a cooking bible, which is way more than a cookbook.
My Experience with Food Allergies:
About five years ago I began experiencing all sort of allergic problems, from chemicals, medications, environment and mostly food allergies. It became so serious with emergency rooms visits, an array of allergy specialists, physicians, and cardiologist, etc. With full blown anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock (5 times-very scary), always carry an Epi-Pen, ongoing sinus infections, ear infections, heart palpitations, PVCs, PACs, headaches, stomach problems, etc. This was very serious, and began keeping a food journal of everything I was eating from morning until evening, any snacks, and noted date, time, symptoms, ingredients, as well as recording of blood pressure, heart rate and exercise. (I even developed excel spread sheets, and it was well worth the time and effort). Over the course of two years, I began eliminating foods and seeing a big difference.
I am pleased to say, for the last three years, I have been a vegan (no meats or dairy), gluten free, no alcohol, no sulfites, no caffeine, no salad dressings, no additives or preservatives (all these things were contributing to my problems). I eat organic, use only sea salt, and drink only Smart Water and occasionally decaf coffee or teas (certain brands). I eat fresh vegetables, some fruits, quinoa, beans, lentils, and whole grains. For the last three years I have experienced no heart palpitations, no anaphylactic attacks, no allergies, sinus issues, or stomach problems. I take no medications, or vitamins, no prescription drugs, or over the counter medications. I have have tons of energy, healthy, fit, and have maintained a size 4 dress size, and will never go back to eating bad things. I plan my meals, am very organized, and very seldom dine out, as do not trust the unknown additives.
With this being said, I am always looking for creative ways to cook and stay within my regime. Cooking Allergy Free is totally awesome, as I can quickly go to the Allergy free Icon Keys: Wheat Free, Milk Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Shellfish free, Fish free, Soy free, Corn free, Vegan, Gluten-free or substitutes (there is also Vegetarian if this works for you). I have tried many of the recipes which I loved, as it is ideal for entertaining, weekdays, weekends, special occasions, and holidays.
Even if you do not have serious allergies, this book is for anyone wanting to learn more, and also a great way to cook for those friends, and family which are allergic or have food sensitivities. You may be on the fence about going vegetarian or vegan, have celiac disease, or maybe looking for a change, and this this book is an excellent place to begin. You can try new things without giving up great food. It is simple and easy to follow.
First, and foremost, talented Jenna Short gets it! How many cookbooks have I read and reviewed that the author has given no thoughts to photography? This is my pet peeve. As a former publisher, and a current graphic artist and online web content strategist consultant –in today’s social world, high resolution imagery is imperative, especially when it comes to food styling and food photography. As food is an emotion and an experience—imagery draws you in. If you review any of my social media boards (Tumblr, Pinterest, Clipzine, websites, blogs) photography is a must.
With the author’s vast background in graphic design, publishing, her journey as a foodie, chef, caterer, and a baker, as well as her new-found allergy and her vast love of food-- A classy 5 star ++ book, you will be so proud to give as Christmas gifts or for other occasions. Most everyone has some sort of food allergy today. The “WOW” factor is apparent front cover to the end, and everything in between.
Easy to read chapters are broken down by Kitchen Essentials for Allergy Free Cooking, Starters, Soups and Salads, Main Entrees, Sides, Desserts, Breads/Breakfast, and Sauces and Dips, Menu Options, Metric Equivalents, Recipes by Allergen, and Index.
Menu option include: Menu Options, Starter, Main Course, Salad, dessert, Baby/Bridal Shower (Starters/Desserts), Mothers/Father’s Day Luncheon, Game Day Open House, New Year’s Brunch, Cocktail Party for 20+, Vegan Menu, Vegetarian Menu, Nut Free Menu, Gluten Free Menu, Dairy Free Menu, Brazilian Night, Mediterranean Tapas (Many small plates to share), Moroccan Dinner, Rustic Feast, and Asian Feast.
Need I say more? Buy It. Cooking Allergy-Free is the only cookbook you will need for all your allergy-free cooking! Highly Recommend.
“It is not unusual for at least one person sitting at your dinner table to have a food intolerance or allergy. If you are one of those people, you might feel left out of a great meal if the cook did not account for your needs. The purpose of this book is to include everyone in the same meal. Food is emotional, nostalgic and most important about togetherness, and to be able to include everyone sitting around your table in that experience is priceless.” -- Jenna Short, Cooking Allergy-Free