Gluten-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook
Updated: 07 Jan 2009
Welcome to a cookbook filled with only gluten-free foods, most of which are also soy-free and milk-free. While most of the recipes here are available only for purchase through our online catalog, most of the basic information (index, glossary, helpful hints and so on) as well as a few basic recipes are available right here.
Newcomers to this diet often find that a huge amount of the foods that have been a part of their lives for a long time are now "off-limits" since most of them are made with wheat. You won't generally find gluten-free cookies, breads, cakes, cereals or pasta at your local grocery store. It is possible to purchase many of these items at health-food stores, or via mail order, however they are expensive, and it requires extra shopping time, and on mail-orders, a long lead-time to get these things. This is why many of us find that the most practical and cost-effective method of broadening our diets is to start cooking foods for ourselves.
Luckily for many who have not spent much time in the kitchen, most of my recipes are quite tolerant of inexperience in cooking. The recipes are generally fairly simple, and while measuring accurately is always wise, they have to be able to handle small variations since the ingredients that go into the mixes are not standardized (e.g. you can use either buttermilk or potato flakes to make up Linda's Bread Mix; you could use either white or brown rice flour in the White Bread Mix). All that you really need is a willingness to pay attention to the instructions and follow them as closely as you can. Usually the most important part of my recipes is the section where I tell you what consistency you are aiming for in the final product. For this reason there will usually be one ingredient listed with a quantity and followed by the words "more or less" which means this is the one you adjust to get the right consistency in the end product.
To reach the widest possible audience, many of my recipes contain optional ingredients. You can leave out the powdered milk or keep it in (milk in a product usually enhances flavor, improves the color, helps delay staleness, and makes it more tender). Sometimes I offer substitutes. For those who have the extra challenge to the gluten-free diet of additional restrictions, I offer an index of recipes that are also free of other common allergens. You can check here to see if the recipe you'd like is both gluten-free and free of whatever else you avoid (corn, eggs, milk products, nuts, rice, soy, or sugar).
Those foods we have been so used to are often called "comfort foods" because they are the ones we turn to when we want to relax into the familiar and comforting flavors, tastes and textures that we were raised with. It's my belief that for many of us, it's the loss of these traditional foods that makes the diet feel so restrictive and, for many, hard to follow. I realize that a lot of these comfort foods -- pizza, cake, chocolate chip cookies, and so on -- are not always thought of as the healthiest choices (they often contain a lot of fat) but my intention here is not to force you to eat like an ascetic, but to offer you foods that will make you feel less limited and more at home following a gluten-free diet. I have found that just knowing that I can have pizza or a cookie if I want it makes me feel better about myself and the diet when confronted with other people eating them.
Here then, for your use, are only my best recipes, the ones that have been thoroughly tested through constant use in our family, the ones that pass as being "just like the real thing" when tasted by unsuspecting wheat eaters. If there are recipes that you'd like that you don't see here, please feel free to email me with your wishes. I may not be able to turn right around with a recipe for you, but if I get enough requests for something, I will certainly work on developing it.
-- Linda alias "no-wheat"
P.S. If you'd like to learn more about the Gluten-Free Diet (what's safe and what's not) or about celiac disease, dermatatis herpetiformis, please visit my Primer.
The title "Gluten-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook" and all the recipes contained therein are © Copyright 2000 Linda S. Blanchard, All Rights Reserved Worldwide. The background to the "Gluten-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook" is tartan MacQuarrie, faded to a pastel.
All information contained in this web is ©
Copyright 2000 Linda S. Blanchard, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Page added: May 21, 1999. Last update: January 07, 2009