“G-Free” and Yummy: Four Cookbooks That Promise Taste and Healthfulness

Hasselbeck, Elisabeth. Deliciously G-Free: Food So Flavorful They’ll Never Believe It’s Gluten-Free. Ballantine. 2012. c.288p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780345529381. $30. COOKING

When Good Morning America contributor and cohost of The View Hasselbeck released her 2008 best seller, The G-Free Diet , the Celiac Foundation issued a warning that the book, which erroneously defined celiac disease as an allergy, was inaccurate and dangerous. This new volume‚ a cookbook that states correctly that celiac disease is not an allergy and explains gluten intolerance fairly well‚ is an improvement over the previous one, which is more of a diet and lifestyle guide that touted a gluten-free diet as a trendy weight-loss solution. Here, Hasselbeck shows readers how to make family-favorite comfort foods, including breakfasts, appetizers, main courses, and desserts, adapted to be gluten free. A Get Fit section, which includes a small number of salads and nutrient-rich shakes, is also included at the back of the book. In addition, Hasselbeck covers kitchen procedure and organization, instructing cooks on how to avoid cross-contamination. VERDICT Though this is useful and much better than the earlier work, it is not preferable to such staples as Danna Korn’s Wheat-Free, Worry-Free and Robin Ryberg’s The Gluten-Free Kitchen . [See Prepub Alert, 7/5/11.] ‚ Lisa Felix, Mishawaka-Penn-Harris P.L., IN

Kicinski, Carol. Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals: More Than 100 Great Tasting Recipes for Good Food Fast. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2012. c.224p. illus. index. ISBN 9780312622077. $29.99. COOKING

Kicinski, a food blogger and author of Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts , believes in focusing on what the gluten-free person can eat as opposed to what he or she can’t , and this cookbook stays true to that philosophy. Rather than pining over bread and settling for mediocre substitutes, the author aims for simple, delicious foods that have always been gluten free and for foods such as pasta that have tried-and-true replacements. By organizing her recipes into menus, Kicinski makes it easy for newly gluten-free individuals to put together a meal without stress. VERDICT Recommended for those just diagnosed with celiac disease and for anyone who is looking for new easy, healthful meals.‚ Emily Thompson, SUNY Oswego

McCosker, Kim & Rachael Bermingham. 4 Ingredients Gluten-Free: More Than 400 New and Exciting Recipes All Made with 4 or Fewer Ingredients and All Gluten-Free! Atria: S. & S. Mar. 2012. c.252p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781451635713. pap. $15. COOKING

McCosker and Bermingham, coauthors of the 4 Ingredients cookbook series, are back with this gluten-free version. They include more than 400 recipes, including Easy Hummus (which calls for chickpeas, garlic, and cumin), Beef Stroganoff (beef, gluten-free beef stroganoff seasoning, cream cheese, and mushrooms), and Mango Chicken (gluten-free mango chutney, gluten-free Dijon mustard, cilantro, and chicken). Brazilian Fried Bananas, French Toast, and Tofu Nuggets will delight even the most finicky child. A brief introduction provides information on gluten-free foods as well as websites helpful for the new gluten-free eater. The authors caution cooks to read labels carefully. VERDICT As with the original series, this new volume is sure to save cooks time and money. While there are plenty of gluten-free books on the market, this one will well serve gluten-free eaters and their families. ‚ Carrie Scarr, West Fargo P.L., ND

O’Brien, Susan. Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food: 125 Simple and Satisfying Recipes, from Mac and Cheese to Chocolate Cupcakes. Da Capo Lifelong. 2012. c.256p. index. ISBN 9780738214900. pap. $18. COOKING

This sequel to The Gluten-Free Vegan provides recipes for American-style comfort food classics minus the gluten and animal products. It’s not all grilled cheese sandwiches and baked beans, however; the Ethnic Favorites section features such dishes as banana and macadamia nut curry, falafel, nori rolls, and enchiladas to reflect the diverse American palate. O’Brien, also the author of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Cooking , has embraced her sweet tooth this time around. The Delightful Desserts section uses a variety of sweeteners, including organic maple syrup for Chocolate-Dried Cherry Biscotti, agave nectar for Banana Cream Pie, and coconut palm sugar for Peach Ice Cream. Ground chia seeds are used frequently as an egg replacer in recipes such as Meatless Meatballs. At the beginning of the book, O’Brien includes a handy list of gluten-free pantry staples along with the pros and cons of various gluten-free ingredients. Appendixes include cooking equivalents, English-to-metric conversions, and a list of gluten-free food suppliers, magazines, and support groups for people suffering from celiac disease. VERDICT Recommended to readers looking for gluten-free, vegan versions of their favorite homemade dishes. ‚ Mary Schons, Hammond P.L., IN