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The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen, by Denise Jardine

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Updated February 28, 2012

The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen, by Denise Jardine
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It's difficult enough trying to follow the gluten-free diet, but when you mix in some other sensitivities — dairy, for example — you find you're incredibly limited as far as the prepared foods you can eat.

That's where The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen comes in. This cookbook's 150 recipes show you how to make many dishes, including pizza, ice cream and flan, that normally would contain gluten and/or dairy ingredients.

But the recipes go farther than that for people with additional food sensitivities: for each recipe, author Denise Jardine provides an easy key to show whether the ingredients also are free of egg, soy, nuts, sugar and oils. Many are free of all these ingredients or most of them, making this cookbook extremely useful for people with multiple food sensitivities.

Cookbook Includes Recipes from Breakfast to Dessert

The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen starts with breakfast dishes (French toast, pancakes and a frittata), and then works its way through appetizers, salads, soups and main courses to dessert. There are plenty of vegetarian options (mushroom kale lasagna, for one, and two different kinds of pizza), along with several pasta dishes, plus recipes that feature tofu and recipes that avoid soy completely.

Jardine also includes a gluten- and dairy-free fiber-rich sandwich bread recipe, along with GFDF recipes for cornbread, muffins and scones. Desserts include bread pudding with pears and chocolate (yes, you can make gluten-free, dairy-free bread pudding), flourless chocolate almond cake, coconut ice cream and pumpkin cheesecake.

The recipes are easy to follow, once you've gathered the ingredients, and seem to turn out reliably well. Unlike many cookbooks that are aimed only at people eating gluten-free, many of these recipes are naturally gluten-free; the emphasis is more on avoiding dairy.

Cooking Gluten- and Dairy-Free Often Requires Working from Scratch

It's no surprise when you can't have gluten or dairy (or foods such as soy) that you may need to make some of your own ingredients, such as chicken stock, nut cheese or nut yogurt, a milk alternative or even tomato sauce. Jardine includes recipes for all these items (plus a few more basics) in her cookbook, and bases many of her recipes on them.

She also includes a series of dairy-free smoothie recipes (Tropical Smoothie, Spicy Green Smoothie and Blueberry Banana Smoothie), plus six salad dressing recipes (useful when almost every commercial salad dressing contains dairy or soy).

Jardine's introduction contains some good information on avoiding dairy and gluten on food labels, and also explains some of the repercussions of eliminating those foods (for example, you may need to keep an eye on your calcium intake if you're not drinking milk). She also stresses using local, organic produce where possible, which she says tend to be more nutritious and flavorful.

The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen Excellent If You're GFDF

If you're avoiding both gluten and dairy, this cookbook would make an excellent addition to your collection — it provides multiple decent recipes that steer clear of both those problem proteins. If you have additional sensitivities, such as soy or eggs, even better yet: you can pick and choose from among the many recipes that are free of those ingredients, too.

The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen is less useful for someone who's only gluten-free and not dairy-free — as I said, many of its recipes are naturally gluten-free and focus more on replacing dairy ingredients. If you don't need to do that, you may prefer a different cookbook aimed more squarely at gluten-free cooks.

However, I don't want to sell this cookbook short: it really does a great job of eliminating both gluten and dairy ... so good that you don't really notice that some of these recipes are dairy-free and gluten-free.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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