Okay, so you've found out that you can't eat gluten — now what? I’m here to share some beautiful cookbooks that have helped me as I've made my own transition to gluten-free eating.
Being instructed to cut gluten out of your diet can seem tragic and overwhelming, and lead you to have all the feelings. I’ve told you all before about how I literally cried over a loaf of bread at Whole Foods before. Not cute.
There wasn't a lot of information available when I first went gluten-free. I got a handout from my doctor, which told me I couldn't eat things like bread, pasta, and doughnuts, but little else by way of support or guidance. The books I'm sharing with you here will be way more helpful and inspiring — I promise. It turns out that you can go gluten-free and still eat beautiful, inspiring food! Life is good.
Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef by Shauna James Ahern & Daniel Ahern
It wasn't long after I became gluten-free that I found Shauna's popular blog Gluten-Free Girl. It was a beautiful space where she shared gorgeous-looking recipes and wonderful prose talking about her real life. This cookbook, which she wrote with her chef husband, Daniel, is just as lovely. It's the kind of cookbook that I read cover to cover. It's their love story through food.
The food that they make together is restaurant-quality, and full of soul. These recipes will definitely not leave you feeling sad about having to cut gluten out of your diet. I mean, how can you be upset about things like Blue Cheese Cheesecake With Fig Crust or Smoked Duck Breast Ravioli? The answer: you really can't.
The couple have since written other books such as Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, which is another incredible resource for everyday meals and a cookbook I highly recommend. But Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef will forever be one of my favorites. Perhaps it's the nostalgia of reading their love story through food and simultaneously falling in love with my new gluten-free life.
The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam
This little powerhouse of a cookbook was gifted to me many years ago. As you can see by my photo, it's well loved — lots of sticky fingerprints on the front from the countless times I've made Elana's Chocolate Chip Scones or her Pear Crisp.
This book, written by the talented food blogger Elana Amsterdam of Elana's Pantry, made me fall in love with almond flour. This was the first time I'd tried baking gluten-free recipes, and they were fantastic. Her recipes aren't overly complicated, and the texture of almond flour produces really buttery and soft baked goods. This was a revelation compared to the brick-like loaves of bread I'd been buying at my local health food store.
I've never had a recipe failure from any of Elana's recipes. Not one. That's got to say something. Since this book she's written other great resources such as Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry and Gluten-Free Cupcakes.
Small Plates & Sweet Treats by Aran Goyoaga
As you can see from all my flagged pages in this book, there is a lot to love here. It is written by Aran Goyoaga, the author of the stunningly visual blog Cannelle et Vanille. You can feel her passion for food through the pages of this book. It's exactly what it claims to be: a collection of small plates and sweet treats through the seasons.
Aran is a trained pastry chef, so when tasked with going gluten-free, she made sure to make her treats up to snuff. If you're a food lover like me, this is pretty much food porn, from the Candy-Striped Beet, Fennel & Raclette Tart to the Candied Sour Orange & Almond Cake. The fact that this book is sans gluten is just the icing on the gluten-free cake.
Against All Grain by Danielle Walker
I found Danielle's popular blog, Against All Grain, a couple of years ago around the time she released this book. I had just started learning about the increasingly prevalent Paleo Diet, and she was a great resource. Paleo recipes don't contain grains, which makes them naturally gluten-free. I almost favor these types of recipes since the ingredients are typically very simple (using flours such as almond or coconut) and yield terrific results.
This book is full of classics that have been re-imagined to be entirely gluten- and grain-free. For example, you'll find things like a Spinach and Sausage Lasagna or Blueberry Waffles (which are amazing). Also, if you are a mom, you will love this book. Danielle includes a lot of great kid-friendly recipes, as she's used to cooking for her adorable son, Asher. Since her first wildly successful book, she has also penned the best-selling book Meals Made Simple. Once again, if you like easy, accessible, delicious recipes, she's totally your gal.
The Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean's Guide to Paleo Cuisine by Simone Miller
This cookbook by chef and blogger Simone Miller of Zenbelly Catering is a new one to my collection, but I can't stop cooking from it. The recipes in this book are truly mouth-watering! Again, this is a Paleo cookbook, so it is grain-free, which inherently makes it gluten-free, but I'll be darned if these pages aren't packed with flavor!
There are incredible savory recipes such as Thai Green Curry Mussels and Coffee Rubbed Flat Iron Fajitas. The book isn't loaded with desserts and baked goods, but the ones featured truly taste like the real deal. I've personally made her Lemon Pound Cake and Apple Cider Donuts more than I'd like to admit. You can feel the care that went into creating this book when cooking from it. Every recipe I make just keeps me coming back for more.
Of course with all of the great content that is out there these days, it was REALLY hard to pick just five books! Here are a few more of my gluten-free favorites: