ISBN #: 978-1462115396
Page Count: 200
Copyright: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing & Media; 1st Edition
(Taken from Amazon)
Break the recipe code for your favorite foods! Free of grains, gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and soy, The Recipe Hacker is a mouthwatering collection of your favorite comfort foods with a healthy twist. Learn to use easy ingredient substitutions to transform traditional dishes into real, healthy comfort food masterpieces, without sacrificing any of the flavor! Enjoy healthier, whole-food versions of Key Lime Pie Crispy Orange Chicken and Banana Pancakes.
Step-by-step photos, dozens of recipes, and delicious flavors will keep you coming back for more. Enjoy all the comfort foods you crave and keep your body (and skinny jeans) happy at the same time!
I know what you're thinking, "How can it still taste good without gluten, dairy, soy, grain, or cane sugar?!" I had the same thought. I chose to review this cookbook because my husband and I need to get on a healthier lifestyle program and this request came in just as I made the decision that we would try the gluten-free route.
Confession time: I didn't follow any one recipe exactly. Like Diana, I, too, am a recipe hacker. I like to read recipes and then tweak them to our liking. Especially since I'm not quite ready to give up any dairy products just yet.
The cookbook is divided up into 5 sections: Breakfasts, Appetizers, Main Dishes, Sides, and Desserts. So, if you were so inclined, you could plan an entire day's menu out of this one book. My intentions were to try one recipe from each section. I didn't quite get that far (I'll explain later).
Since I already had some bananas on hand, off to the store I went for gluten-free flour and organic cane sugar (recipe calls for coconut palm sugar and blanched almond flour - told you, I'm a recipe hacker) to make the Banana Pancakes on pages two and three. I must say, for a healthier version, these pancakes were yummy! My pancakes didn't have a strong banana flavor. I think a banana's used to mostly help bind the batter as well as sweeten it just a tad (especially since you're supposed to use a ripe banana). Overall, breakfast was a success!
Next, I wanted to try a dessert since I've heard that a lot of gluten-free desserts are cloyingly sweet. No, I'm not a huge sweets fan. As a matter of fact, if I eat or drink too much sugar I become nauseous. Upon seeing the Zucchini Brownies recipe on pages 196 and 197, I knew I wanted to try these next. There is some work involved in this recipe since you have to shred, squeeze out the excess water, and mince the zucchini. It really is worth it, though. No, they don't taste exactly like your fudgey, ooey-gooey brownies that you're used to, but these will satisfy that sweet tooth ... and they're healthier for you.
I feel like I need to give you a fair warning: if you're like me and living on a budget, you may want to consider the cost of living gluten-free before completely switching over. Granted, a healthier you is priceless, but there is quite a cost difference between items that include gluten and those that don't. For example: a 5 pound bag of AP flour can be gotten for between $2 and $3. I bought a 2 pound box of gluten-free AP flour for $5.38. As a cost-conscious shopper, paying more for less was not a pleasing thought but I also knew that changing our lifestyle would incur additional costs. I just wasn't expecting it to be quite so much.
Overall, though, I would have to say this cookbook is a success and should be tried by those of you looking to live a healthier lifestyle. Although I may not have followed some of these recipes exactly, this cookbook has inspired me to look at the recipes I make on a daily basis and see where I can cut out the gluten for healthier versions. I encourage you to become your own recipe hacker!
*A physical copy of this cookbook was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.