Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Book Review - Cooking for Isaiah

I was drawn to Silvana Nardone's cookbook "Cooking for Isaiah" because it is both gluten free and dairy free, and BoyBee seems to have an issue with both. We had so much dairy in our diet that we had a hard time coming up with meal ideas that were suitable for everyone. Silvana created this book after finding out that her son was both gluten and dairy intolerant, and the recipes are "kid-friendly". I was sold right there.

The first recipe I tried from this book was Cinnamon-Toasted Belgian Waffles on page 34. Jackpot! Oh my goodness these are AMAZING!!! I cannot stress that enough. AMAZING!!! These waffles are better than any gluten-containing waffle I have ever tasted. They make a mess of the waffle maker, especially if you are making a double batch, but it is worth it. My gluten-eating-mother-in-law LOVED them, and she is by far the pickiest eater I have ever met. She didn't even put maple syrup on them, she loved them as is and even went back for more. I often make them without the cinnamon-sugar topping, just to save on cleanup time, and they are still amazing. I always make extra and freeze them...just throw them in the toaster and you're good to go.

Next up was Honey-Nut-and-Banana Crepes on page 35. I discovered that I am not a big fan of warm bananas, but I use this basic crepe recipe on it's own and add my own filling. My family's favorite filling is Nutella, followed by strawberry jelly. I am going to start using these crepes to wrap other foods in, like scrambled eggs or maybe even some roasted veggies (peppers, onion, mushroom) with goat cheese. The possibilities are endless. Again, I always make extra and throw them in the freezer between sheets of parchment paper. Like the waffles, these crepes are better than their gluten-containing counterparts. Incredible.

I regularly make Mom's Banana Bread on page 113. I made the mistake of adding an extra banana the first time and it came out a bit gooey. Follow the recipe and you get a fantastic loaf. You can't tell it is gluten free, which is a great measure of success. Mom's Banana Bread is part of a larger recipe...Griddled Banana Bread Sandwiches with Nut Butter, Bacon and Honey. I have not ventured to try it yet but it sounds incredible!

The meatloaf from Meatloaf Sandwiches on Sun-Dried Tomato Waffle Bread on pages 110 and 111 is great. It is moist, flavorful and perfect for little mouths that are just learning to chew. Although I haven't tried it in the waffle sandwich I am anxious to. What a great idea :)

We really enjoyed Grilled Vegetable Pesto Pizza on page 132/133. I used a store bought frozen crust, and store bought pesto (I'm a busy MamaBee!), but otherwise followed the recipe. It was really fun to grill a pizza on the barbeque and it all came together quite quickly in the end. PapaBee was disappointed that there wasn't any cheese on the pizza, but he quickly forget what he was missing once he tasted it. Although BoyBee isn't all that interested in pizza I grilled some extra veggies to go with his dinner. This is a really unique and delicious pizza.

The Roasted Sugar Snap Peas on page 186 were simple and delicious. I was only making a small batch so I actually pan fried them but they made a great snack.

There are so many more recipes I am looking forward to trying...

I only have great things to say about this book. Silvana has done an amazing job putting it together. PapaBee bought this book around the time that I had just about given up on trying to make my own gluten free baked goods and it has, possibly single-handedly, restored my motivation to keep trying new recipes. I am getting much better at identifying a good gluten free recipe when I see one, but I know that with "Cooking for Isaiah" I can't go wrong!

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