Food Allergy Cookbook: Cooking for Isaiah

Silvana Nardone is Editor-in-Chief for Rachel Ray's magazine, Every Day With Rachel Ray. She is also the mother of a child who must avoid gluten and dairy. And, like all mothers do when they find out their child must avoid major food groups, Silvana started reading food labels differently and began cooking and baking differently. She has compiled her tried and true recipes, all of which are gluten and dairy free, into a new cookbook, Cooking for Isaiah. I recently had the opportunity to look through the book and try out many of the recipes.

First off, I must say, the book contains gorgeous pictures. From candid family shots to carefully orchestrated portraits of food, you can feel the love and deliciousness ooze through the pages. Another mentionable, is the descriptions which make up the titles of each recipe. This is not a book where one will find "banana pancakes". Oh no, this book has a recipe for "Banana Pancakes with Warm Cinnamon Goo". Now, that conjures up a whole different image, doesn't it? How about "Roasted Red Pepper-Crusted Salsa Meatloaf Pie with Tortilla Chip Crumbs"? No question about what's in this dish either. You'll salivate just reading the titles.

I made several recipes from the book. In our family, we can eat gluten and wheat, but we need to avoid eggs, along with dairy. Some of the recipes I followed exactly, and others I made the necessary substitutions.

Some of our favorites were Silvana's "Rosemary-Garlic Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables" (so easy and so satisfying) and "Sloppy Joe-Stuffed Potato Skins (perfect game-day fare). The "Spinach and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette" is perfect as an entree' or a side dish.

One night for dessert, I made "Penny's Apple-Brown Sugar Coffee Cake". It was heavenly. I must point out that I did use all-purpose wheat flour and I used eggs, as called for in the recipe. One morning I tried the aforementioned "Banana Pancakes with Warm Cinnamon Goo". I used all-purpose wheat flour and Egg Replacer®. The end result was pasty and gummy. This may be a recipe where there is less margin for substitutions.

All in all, I enjoy Cooking for Isaiah. It is certainly perfect for those who need to avoid gluten and dairy. I found it very easy to substitute wheat flour for the gluten-free flour recipe provided in the book. It may be less easy for those with egg allergy to make some of the recipes as many require multiple eggs. The book however does contain dozens of recipes that don't call for egg at all, or only use one egg, which is often easy to substitute. I always appreciate a cookbook that isn't filled with dishes slathered with cheese. and while this book does use nuts, often those can easily be omitted.

So, for all of us who have had the experience of saying to the doctor, "So, what can he(she) eat?", Silvana has provided another resource to help us make great food everyone can enjoy. you can find more info and recipes at her site, Dish Towel Diaries.

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