What Else is to Eat?: The Dairy-, Egg-, and Nut-Free Food Allergy Cookbook by Linda Coss
I had the honor to be a recipe tester for this book, which was Linda Coss’s third (the first two consisting of the cookbook What’s to Eat? and How to Manage Your Child’s Life Threatening Food Allergies), so I got a sneak preview of many of the recipes … and I liked what I tasted!
For my part, I tested and fell in love with the Pineapple Fried Rice (a brilliant blend of flavors), Kevin’s Carrots (maple glazed, yum!), and the Dilled Pan-Roasted Carrots (can you tell I like carrots?). Time wise, I still haven’t managed to make my way through the many recipes I want to make, such as the Wholesome Snack Muffins (recipe below), Spaghetti and Meatball Soup, Hoisin Chicken, Everyday Barbecue Sauce, Molasses Chewies, and the Incredible Apricot Coffee Cake (with a name like that, how can I pass it up?). But, considering how easy her recipes are to throw together, I will likely find myself reaching for this cookbook to whip up one of the many dinner recipes when we are down to the basics in our cupboard and fridge.
As a mom of a severely food allergic child, Linda has to prepare virtually every meal and snack at home, which can be a daunting task. But, she keeps it simple with recipes that use everyday pantry items and have relatively few ingredients. In fact, it is easy to picture Linda’s kitchen: your basic selection of easy to find dried herbs and spices; necessities such as white and wheat flour, brown and white sugars, cooking oil, dairy-free margarine, vinegar, rice, broth, canned fruits and vegetables, inexpensive dried fruits, and a small assortment of pasta shapes; and some “shortcut” condiments that you can find in nearly every grocery store, such as bottled garlic and ginger, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, Dijon mustard, and perhaps a jar of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. Add some fresh fruits and vegetables to your cart, along with some chicken and beef, and you can make most of Linda’s recipes while keeping well within (even below) budget! If you are familiar with my alter ego, then you know how much this last part pleases me.
Just a last minute note on the vitals, the cookbook is a handy size (roughly 8.5” x 5.5”), contains 115 recipes, and covers the basic range of soups, salads, meals, vegetables, breakfast items, snacks, and desserts. Linda moves away from the norm, taking a practical approach to chapters. Rather than “entrees” the chapters are broken down to type, like Beef, Chicken, and Pasta, and rather than “desserts” you will find chapters for Cookies and Cakes. Those few that don’t possess a sizable enough category, fit snuggly into the Miscellaneous chapter. The layout is extremely neat and tidy, with just one recipe per page (many with room for notes).
For a preview of What Else is to Eat?, Linda Coss shared this wonderful muffin recipe for a wholesome start to any day, or to fit snuggly into the lunchbox of a loved one … "Inspired by a giant zucchini that grew in my garden, these relatively healthy treats resemble a cross between zucchini bread, carrot cake, and bran muffins."
Preparation time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 35 minutes
- 3/4 pound zucchini
- 1/4 pound carrots
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed pure cane dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons water, and 2 teaspoons baking powder, mixed together
- 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (in addition to oil listed above)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 16 regular muffin cups with paper muffin liners.
Trim ends off zucchini. Using a food processor that has been fitted with the grating disk, grate zucchini. Measure grated zucchini to ensure that you have 2 cups; set aside. Grate and then measure carrots; you should have 1 cup. Replace grating disk with metal blade and place the grated vegetables back into the bowl of the food processor; process until vegetables are very finely chopped (yes, I am asking you to chop the vegetables that you just grated – the consistency comes out better this way).
Place all ingredients (including prepared zucchini and carrots) in a large mixing bowl; mix well.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each one until it is full. Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Makes 16 muffins.
Copyright 2008 Linda Coss, What Else is to Eat?