I have a ton of cookbooks...and I tear out recipes from all the gluten free magazines I read each month. I also have several binders full of recipes, including a lot of old family favorites that I adapt to make gluten free (like my husband's and my favorite lasagna recipe). So another cookbook is not necessarily something I desperately needed.
But am I glad to have gotten a copy of Carol Kicinski's new Simply Gluten Free 5 Ingredient Cookbook! The premise is that all the recipes include only 5 ingredients (not including things like water, oil, salt, and pepper) and take only about 15 minutes to make. For a busy mom juggling a business, that's music to my ears. I make dinner most nights, and sometimes it can take an hour or more to prepare. So I like the sound of easy, as long as it's healthy and my family will eat it! So I opened the cookbook and started paging through it.
The difference between this cookbook and others is that I dog-eared about every third page! Everything sounded so delicious -- and there were some really cool and creative recipes.
Since I wanted to enlist the help of my Celiac son to make some of the recipes, I started with a dessert. Let's face it, when I give him a cookbook and ask him to pick something to make, he always selects a dessert! One in Carol's new cookbook popped out at me: Frozen S'Mores. Our family loves s'mores, and this was a frozen variation, made in cupcake pans.
We went to work, crushing the gluten free graham crackers (we used Pamela's brand), mixing it with melted butter, and smashing a spoonful into the bottom of the cupcake pans, Then we added mini chocolate chips, and scooped softened chocolate ice cream into each cup. We froze the pan until after dinner, when we added fresh whipped cream topping. This is where we decided to customize the recipe a bit by adding marshmallow "Fluff" to the whipped cream topping. I'm not typically a "Fluff" fan and don't even usually keep it in the house. But we had some left from another recipe, and we felt we needed that marshmallow flavor for a true s'mores feel (plus, it added some bulk to prevent the whipped cream from drooping too much). We surprised my husband and older son after dinner, and the dessert was a big hit.
After our foray into the dessert section of the cookbook, I set out to make a dish that was all for me...the Artichoke and Quinoa Salad. If you have a spouse or kids who like quinoa and/or artichokes, you are lucky. Mine do not! But it looked too good (and easy)...plus, it would give me a yummy, protein filled lunch to last a good part of the week. It turned out to be so good that I did manage to eat it all -- instead of freezing some for another time!
Because my family is pretty "meat and potatoes" in terms of their taste, the two entrees I've made from the cookbook so far have been pretty basic: Easy Beef Brisket and Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry. I've tried a lot of beef brisket recipes, many in the slow cooker. Each calls for slightly different ingredients to make up the sauce. What I liked about this Beef Brisket recipe was that you use your favorite gluten free barbecue sauce (we like Sweet Baby Ray's Original) mixed with a can of diced tomatoes and green chilis (plus water). This recipe uses the oven, not a crock pot (although you can probably adapt it for one). In addition to adding potatoes during the last 45 minutes of cook time, as the recipe instructed, I also added carrots and celery. Everything turned out great, although I'd probably add the carrots and celery (and maybe even the potatoes) for the last hour of cooking (I like them a bit softer). I'd definitely make this recipe again, along with the easy (and popular with the family) Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry. For this, I used a new gluten free teriyaki sauce I found in the grocery store: Sky Valley (it says "Gluten Free" right on the front -- that's what I like to see!).
Here are just some of the other recipes in the Simply Gluten Free 5 Ingredient Cookbook that I'd like to make: Frittata in a Mug, Grilled Vegetable Salad, Grilled Corn Salad, Warm Potato Salad, Watermelon Salad, Warm Tuscan Chicken and Bean Salad, Pesto Chicken Soup, Baked Crab Dip, BLT Deviled Egg Dip, White Bean Dip, Oven-Roasted Maple Mustard Salmon, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Pistachio Mint Crusted Lamb, Grilled Orange Chicken Skewers, Asparagus Gremolata, Cauliflower Au Gratin, Scalloped Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic Mashed Parsnips, Sauteed Spinach with Feta and Walnuts, Bacon and Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Scalloped Potatoes, Almost Instant Chocolate Mousse, Mudslide Pie, No-Bake Pistachio Chocolate Truffle Cake, Dairy-Free Chocolate Pots, Blueberry Fool, Limoncello Syllabub, No Bake Cookies-and-Cream Cheesecakes, and Key Lime Pie. There are even some yummy alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails I'd like to try making: Almond Biscotti Martini, Pomosa (pomegranate mimosa), and Cherry Lime Spritzer. That's just a taste of what you'll find in this amazing cookbook, which can be purchased on Amazon.com.
If you've purchased this cookbook and have any feedback on your own favorite recipes -- or even how you may have adapted some -- share by submitting a comment below!