A New Allergen-Free Cookbook

April 24, 2016
Today's post is another in my occasional series of cookbook reviews. This one is Pure Delicious, by Heather Christo (Pam Kraus Books, Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 2016).
Heather Christo is a long-time foodblogger whose daughters' health crises forced her to change her mind about food allergens. A lot of cookbooks these days cover gluten-free or dairy-free cooking, and there are a lot of vegan cookbooks. But Heather Christo's book offers recipes without gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, or cane sugar.
The book is a beauty, well bound and generously illustrated. In addition to telling Heather's own familial journey, the first fifty pages offer great information and encouragement for anyone who suspects that food allergies might be causing problems. How do you set up your kitchen for this new way of cooking? How do you bring your children on-side (although, in her case at least, the elimination of severe stomach pain was very persuasive). How do you eat out? This introductory material is essential and nicely presented, given how overwhelming a task it can be to implement wide-ranging dietary changes.
The heart of the book is the 250-odd pages of recipes, divided into: Soups and Chilis; Salads; Appetizers; Sides; Baked Goods; Pizza and Burgers; Pasta; Mains; Desserts; Breakfast. Anyone struggling with preparing family meals while avoiding eggs, dairy, etc., will embrace this book. Every recipe is safe. Every recipe is do-able. Just open the book and choose a page.
As the author points out, you won't need to apologize for any of these dishes. This is "straight-up good-tasting food that is packed with naturally wholesome ingredients and nutrients" (p. 56).
An excellent book. Anyone who cooks for people with food allergies should have it.


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