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The Big Wheat and Gluten Free Cookbook - Jody Vassallo

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Genre: Food & Drink / Dieting / Author: Jody Vassallo, Dianne Boyle / Paperback / 128 Pages / Book is published 2008-03-31 by Grub Street

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      02.11.2010 00:47
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      Innovative ideas for Coeliacs

      Available on the Bookpeople website for £5.99 this book retails for £12.99, it is available in Waterstones and all good bookstores as well as Amazon.

      Created by recipe writer and food stylist Jody Vassallo, this is a book for Coeliacs and anybody with a gluten or wheat intolerance. This is a condition that now affects one in ten people in the UK and is designed to help people bored of the plastic Gluten free pizzas or breads found in Supermarkets.

      The book is broken down into specific sections, the introduction is a thoughtful introduction to the life of a coeliac, it talks about how a condition can be diagnosed, how it can be treated, what foods to eat in your diet and what to avoid, this introduction isn't preachy and is interesting and informative.

      Following this there is a section dedicated to breakfasts, this is actually one of the most imaginative sections of the book, using quesadillas, polenta or making things such as grit cakes, it is a wide and interestingly diverse range of breakfasts that make mealtimes both healthy and exciting.

      Lunch is the eternal problem for Coeliacs, unable to use wheat, unless using the excellent Genius bread or a variation, in this book, it offers ideas using corn tortillas for wraps, noodle salads, patties, slices and other options, it is an interesting mix of eastern and western cuisines and while some of the ingredients can be difficult to find, the meals are excellent, personal favourites include Chicken and Noodle patties and Spinach and Feta Pasta bake (using rice pasta shells).

      Snacks is a section dedicated to light bites, if you can't eat pies, bread or the like this can be difficult, apricot dream balls offers an interesting alternative here, as do sesame and tamari crackers and Pizza melts, using rice cakes. I found some of the snacks here were hard work to make but definitely worth it.

      Main Meals covers your dinner, from pad thai and the gorgeous honey fish with crunchy snowpeas to Chicken tortillas, this section definitely has a very eastern flavour and I found the roast chicken with quinoa mushroom stuffing felt like a cheat as roast chicken is something I could cook easily without this book whilst the stuffing didn't really add much.

      Dessert covers pavlovas which any coeliac knows how to make through the gorgeous caramel maple cheesecake to upside down banana polenta puddings, all are inventive and great alternatives for Coeliacs, the options i've made have been tasty and sweet without being overwhelmingly so.

      Breads and Baking offers uses for gluten free bread mix or flour in making biscuits, apple tea cake or delicacies such as Pumpkin, Feta and Rosemary Corn bread. These are inventive and individual and taste great to people who can eat wheat too as they are soft and not cardboardy like many gluten free breads and bread based foods.

      Basics offers gluten/wheat free ideas for making pastries, coatings, toppings, batters and sauces, as these can prove incredibly difficult without using wheat.

      Finally there is a further list of foods that are safe for coeliacs and some that aren't, this is a handy go to guide which is common sense to most coeliacs but is useful nonetheless.

      The book is well presented with great photos of tasty looking food as you would expect from a food stylist, the recipes range from simple to very complicated and overall i'd say this is an inventive and innovative alternative to some of the less imaginative books for coeliacs that are available, it makes good use of tortillas, polenta and corn whereas many of these kind of books base everything on the limited gluten free wheats on the market.

      Overall its a handy and interesting book which I refer to when cooking for company and family to try and make food appear interesting for those members of my family who are coeliac.

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