One of the hardest things about making a major dietary change like becoming vegan or gluten-free is that it may seem like you can no longer enjoy your favorite foods.
Well fret no more! Susan O'Brian's new cookbook, Gluten-free Vegan Comfort Food, offers vegan, gluten-free versions of the foods you may be missing now that you are a gluten-free vegan.
Gluten-free Vegan Comfort Food offers vegan gluten-free versions of waffles, fried chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, pizza, meatballs, cupcakes, and more.
When I'm cooking for vegan or gluten-free people, I like to focus on foods that are already naturally gluten-free and vegan because I find them to be easier and tastier. But sometimes you just crave a certain food.
Maybe your favorite aunt Lucy used to make you chicken nuggets, and eating them brings back happy memories. But what's a gluten-free vegan supposed to do when they're missing their aunt Lucy? Turn to Susan O'Brian's cookbook!
To test the recipes I first made Mac and Cheese. This recipe calls for three cups of non-dairy cheese which is expensive and often lacks the protein and calcium found in dairy cheese. There are less expensive, more nutritious vegan cheese sauce options, but when it comes to comfort foods, authenticity of taste and texture trumps nutrition, and the texture and taste was right on.
All my tasters agreed that while the mac and cheese was not a perfect reproduction of the childhood staple, if they could never again eat mac 'n' cheese with dairy and wheat, this recipe would definitely satisfy that craving. The crunchy brown rice cracker topping was a big hit as well.
The next recipe I tested was Meatless Meatballs. This recipe was not quite as successful as the macaroni and cheese. The recipe calls for you to roll the meatball mixture into balls, but the mixture was too mushy and moist. I ended up stirring in another half cup of mashed potatoes and another quarter cup of crushed rice crackers. The mixture then held together enough that I could scoop out the balls with a large cookie scoop.
I suspect part of the problem with the meatballs' consistency may have been the type of mushrooms that I used - moisture content varies a lot in mushrooms. The meatballs held together well once they were baked.
Most of the tasters thought the Meatless Meatballs were delicious. My 3-year-old niece happily wolfed down an entire meatball with ketchup, while other tasters thought they were a little too mushroomy. Mushroom lovers rejoice!
I'm looking forward to trying some of O'Brian's other recipes like Mock Chicken Noodle Soup, My Favorite Lasagna, and the ultimate comfort food, Apple Pie.
Overall Gluten-free Vegan Comfort Food is a nice solution for those times when you are feeling nostalgic for foods that don't fit with your current diet. And the great thing about this cookbook is that anybody can enjoy these recipes - gluten-free vegan or not!