When I started looking I was surprised at the number of vegan gluten free cookbooks on the market. I was worried my niche of reduced dairy and gluten would limit by choices but they were actually quite overwhelming. I was drawn to Allyson Kramer’s books by the gorgeous photos. I was drawn to the colors and textures coming alive in the pages before I even had a chance to read the mouth watering recipe descriptions.
Brian gave me her book, Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats from Around the World, last Christmas but I admit I hadn’t cooked out of it a great deal. The year kicked off with a flurry of new clients and projects (such is the life of a fitness professional). When busy I stick to my favorite tried and true quick dinners like the taco recipe from Tosca’s Eat Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook or this great lentil sloppy joe recipe that makes plenty of leftovers. Both recipes are done in 30 minutes or less.
In what may be my biggest criticism with the cookbook, most of her recipes appeared more complicated than I wished to attempt on a busy Wednesday night. For example, the English Cottage Pie is seemly simple dish but the multi step process requires at least 45 minutes of preparation time before it even hits the oven. I save it for Saturday nights when I have more time and need leftovers for the week.
Also, with Brian traveling a lot, I also haven’t cooked as much because I am trying to avoid leftover overload. When he’s gone, they just start to pile up. I’ve also been cooking less when he’s gone to just give myself a break. I cook simple things like eggs or making dishes he doesn’t have a taste for like Instant Potato Soup from another of my favorite vegan cookbooks.
But the cookbook has been calling to me, begging me to experiment with ingredients like jackfruit and dulse. As I made meal plans I consciously included recipes that I promised myself I had to try. In the last couple of weeks here are the recipes from the book I have tackled:
Spiced Lentil Harira
Veggie Frittata (without the Salsa Verde)
Save the Fishies Cakes
English Cottage Pie
Banana Nepalese Pancakes with “Bacon”
Big winners? The Veggie Frittata and the English Cottage Pie. They passed the leftover test (if they leftovers move I know Brian liked it, if they didn’t I shouldn’t make it again any time soon). Both take extra prep time but are worth it when you can. The pancakes were okay but I like my protein pancakes better. I enjoyed the side of bacon more and see myself using it for more than just breakfast.
I can’t say the Save the Fishies Cakes tasted like fish (it’s been a loooong time since I’ve had fish) but they did taste pretty good. The biggest disappointment? The Pain Ordinaire. I must have done something wrong because it was runny like soup. Yet I baked it anyway. It tasted a bit yeasty but actually created a decent loaf, albeit a somewhat crumbly one. I do intend to try it again in hopes it was just operator error.
And I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the amazing collection of recipes she makes with no gluten or animal products. I haven’t even touched the sweet treats, soups and salads. I’m sure you’ll see pictures of future experiments on Instagram or during What I Ate Wednesday on Facebook.
I’m always looking for new recipes to play with. What’s your favorite gluten free and dairy free cookbook? Have you tried Allyson Kramer’s recipes out?