Monday, March 30, 2015

Cookbooks: The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Susan O'Brien

While I’m as forward thinking as the next guy, it seems to me there is just too much going on in The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Family Cookbook (Da Capo/Lifelong). If I’m very honest (and I know I will likely get rocks thrown at me for saying this) I don’t even really believe that it’s possible that as many people are gluten intolerant as say they are. No matter what the cost, it seems, these days people seem to be determined to be special, in this way if not that one.

That said if you happen to be part of that small minority who does, in fact, have a gluten sensitivity and you are also a vegetarian. Who has a family. Then Susan O’Brien’s latest is for you. 

By the way, this is not O’Brien’s first gluten-free, vegetarian rodeo. She is also the author of Gluten Free, Sugar Free Cooking, The Gluten Free Vegan and Gluten Free Vegan Comfort Food, so clearly this is a topic she knows better than most.

This expertise shows in the book, as well. Nothing here seems like just making do. From Eggplant Lasagna to Hearty Sandwich Bread and Strawberry Coconut Pudding, O’Brien’s book is filled with recipes that are “safe and nutritious for everyone at the table.”

O’Brien’s own focus is on vegan foods, and The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Family Cookbook definitely leans that way. However, there are several vegetarian recipes, though even some of those include instructions for doing them up vegan.

With her down to Earth style and back to basics leanings, O’Brien has created a book that is refreshingly normal. Is this where vegan goes mainstream? We might not be quite there yet but, at the same time, it’s beginning to feel quite close. ◊

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