Gluten-free cookbooks abound

For those with family members on gluten-free diets there are several new cookbooks: The family-friendly gluten-free cookbook (New Holland) is by Sarah King, who with her husband Mitch owns the Gluten-free Grocer store in Auckland.

They and their four children have varying degrees of gluten and dairy intolerance. They found buying prepared gluten-free products expensive so Sarah King started experimenting with making her own.

There are tips for meals and lunchboxes and lots of baking recipes, many with dairy-free options. They range from breads, pizzas and muffins to pies, tarts, biscuits, cakes, puddings and sweets, with many old favourites like Afghans and Anzac biscuits, lamingtons, pikelets, Christmas pudding and hot cross buns.

 

Seriously good gluten-free cooking for kids (Kyle Books) by British chef Phil Vickery in association with Coeliac UK is comprehensive, with recipes for babies and toddlers, children and young adults leaving home, all of which can also be served to adults as well - including the baby vegetable purees as side dishes. There's an introduction explaining coeliac symptoms and giving advice on diet.

Unlike the book above, which is all baking, the recipes in this book are mostly main meals, sides, and snacks, with a few baked goods and desserts. It would be a useful cookbook for anyone with gluten intolerance in the family.

 

One of the super-grains people on gluten-free diets can enjoy is quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). This grain, or more correctly seed, originated in the Andes and contains all the essential proteins as well as many vitamins and minerals.

Rena Patten's second book on the topic, Quinoa for families (New Holland), includes recipes for various varieties of the whole grain (white, red, brown), as well as quinoa flakes and quinoa flour. They range from soups, salads, vegetarian, meat, poultry, fish, dessert and baking, to children's food like crunchy chicken bites, ham corn and pea bakes and chocolate brownies.

 

 

A number of chefs who trained with Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray at the River Cafe in London have taken that experience with them as they've developed their careers. Jamie Oliver is probably the best known, and locally we have Alison Lambert, the Otago Farmers' Market chef. Another is British-born April Bloomfield, who now runs the highly rated Spotted Pig and The Breslin restaurants and John Dory oyster bar in New York and has published her first book, A girl and her pig: Recipes and stories (Canongate).

The recipes in this stylishly produced book are not ''cheffy'' but ones you can cook at home. There's Italian influence from the River Cafe and some traditional British food from her Birmingham childhood, like cabbage and bacon, a suet-crust pie, or her take on curry. Some are simple, like roast chicken with a ripe tomato, and bread salad with anchovies and garlic to give a burst of flavour. A delightful and practical book for those who like to explore interesting, well-flavoured food.