Years ago, I discovered I cannot tolerate gluten.
Naturally,I cut gluten out of my diet- in fact, we cut it out of our household (Himself and the Minions of Chaos® can all still eat gluten, but we had problems with me getting extremely ill from cross-contamination, and it rather scared Himself how quickly I became quite badly off). It was challenging, but not because I was mourning the loss of bread- the challenge was in finding good information about going and living gluten-free.
Initially, I found a book called "The Gluten-Free Gourmet". For someone who is feeling lost and doesn't know where to turn, this book is, quite honestly, very helpful. It gave me some basic recipes that we could use that made the transition a little easier. At least the Minions could still have pancakes, and we found a decent pizza crust recipe in there, too (which was good, because the pre-made gf crusts and even the mixes were either really small, or really pricey, or both).
The book also contained some decent information about foods that were safe and foods to be avoided, too. It even touched on additives of which I had to be wary.
But honestly, it wasn't quite what I was looking for at the time. In a household of 7 people, a (large) dog and two cats, buying expensive substitutes for gluten-containing foods is a budget-blowing proposition. I was OK with using some, of course, but wanted to make changes to the way we ate, rather than merely substituting. I didn't know the term for it at the time, but I was wanting to take more of a Whole Foods approach.
This was where Bette's book, as helpful as it was, failed me. It is simply about making GF versions of all the things you used to eat, from bread, to cake, to soups and stews ... things that still use flour and such, only now made with gluten-free flours.
Yes, plural. That's the tricky part about gluten-free baking; no one flour is a perfect substitute for wheat flour, so various flours are combined in ratios to achieve a similar consistency to that of the wheat flour-containing products.
So I found myself searching on-line (as nearly everybody does these days!), and I came across today's featured blog.
Right from the start, I could see that this site was something different. Shauna, the site owner, took a very different approach to living gluten-free than *any* other site or book I had so far found. This alone was enough to interest me. She had a link on her site to amazon, where one could purchase her book. A week or two later, I found a copy of her book in a local bookshop, and without hesitation, bought it.
Best Book Purchase EVER.
Seriously. There are recipes in there that have nothing to do with substitution. But it's not just recipes; it's written like a novel. Shauna shares her journey through illness, diagnosis and recovery- she shares much more than that, though, she shares her passion for food, and even the story of how she met her husband (referred to as "The Chef").
It's a beautiful story, with amazing food thrown in for good measure. If that's not enough to make you want to buy the book for yourself, why not check it out from your local library? If nothing else, you really need to try the Roast Chicken wtih Lemon and Rosemary ...
Anyhow, that's enough babbling from me, please, check out Shauna's extremely popular (for very good reason) blog at Gluten Free Girl and the Chef.