Monday, August 15, 2016

A Gluten-Free Cookbook Recommendation

click here to order on Amazon

Last month when we were in the land of Corn and Soybeans, Beloved and I stopped at an Amish bakery where, among other things, we bought this Mennonite cookbook packed full of gluten-free recipes.

Charlene Kennell spent years developing her family's homey Mennonite recipes into versions that are all gluten-free, dairy-free,* and egg-free. Imagine that. I was very intrigued. 

While I don't normally cook casseroles or bake since discovering my food intolerances nearly three years ago, there are times when I have a psychological need to "fall off the wagon." Unhappily, I always pay for it with some kind of a physical reaction, so those rebellious times are infrequent. But now Ms. Kennell has made it possible to indulge myself with ingredients I can eat. 

I have found it a challenge to navigate her recipe index, but putting that aside, some of the dishes have proven to be very good.

Recently I made the Zucchini-Carrot Fritters on page 171:

Zucchini-Carrot Fritters
In the place of all-purpose flour, she used Brown Rice flour, which is available in major grocery chains by Bob's Red Mill.

Blackberry and Blueberry Crisp - click here for the recipe

You may remember the recipe I posted recently for Blackberry and Blueberry Crisp. That was my adaptation of a cobbler recipe inspired by Ms. Kennell. Dog Whisperer loved it (and so did I).

I've also made her Gourmet Chicken and Broccoli Casserole (page 158), Potato Puff Casserole (page 161, also known as 'Tater Tot Casserole'), as well as one or two casseroles that needed more seasoning than she listed.

I confess that I have not yet attempted her versions of chocolate layer cake, although they sound wonderful.  The cake would be more than what Beloved and I could should eat, and I am wary of preparing it for dinner guests lest it's a failure in our high altitude.

By far, my favorite recipe in the book is her Creamy Onion White Sauce (page 175). She uses 2 large sweet onions and a blender (a Vitamix works perfectly) to make the most fantastic white sauce you could ever want. It is white, creamy, and so flavorful with no milk (or milk substitutes).  She did call for 2 Tablespoons of butter.* I have used it in several recipes, both as a gravy and as a sauce in casseroles. It is superb!

my potato-ham-Daiya cheese** casserole with
Creamy Onion White Sauce

If you need to cook gluten, dairy, and egg-free, I recommend this book. Over 300 pages have something for everybody; even non-celiacs will enjoy the dishes.


*The author uses butter because it is low in lactose and therefore some dairy-sensitive people can handle it better than other dairy products. However, she has also found that EarthBalance Buttery Spread works reasonably well.

**Daiya cheese is a non-dairy cheese substitute found in major grocery store chains. (but not at Walmart)


  1. We don't have allergies to wheat so I'm not that familiar with the gluten-free recipes and products, but I am happy that more and more things are available for those who do have celiac disease and other wheat allergies. I am intrigued by the white sauce. It sounds yummy and I am going now to look at that link and the recipe!

  2. recipe link for the white sauce! :( Will you share it?

  3. Due to copyright laws, I am not able to share the specific recipe for the White Sauce. There is no link for it. Look for the book in a public library. The recipe is on page 175.

    When I shared a link to the Blueberry Blackberry Crisp, I was able to do that because I had changed the recipe from the original, which is allowed per copyright law.

  4. That looks good, I like Bob's products as, if you can't use eggs, what do you use, Barbara? Just wondering, smiles.

  5. This author uses a variety of substitutions for eggs. One of them is Xanthum Gum.

    There are several other options for eggs such as Egg Replacer (a powdered product made by Ener G. Flax seeds combined with water also works in some recipes. Not all replacers work in all recipes, which is where my eyes roll to the back of my head with frustration.

    One of the things I really appreciate about this book is that she has done all the chemistry to figure out how to substitute for eggs. But I have had to say goodbye to scrambled eggs, frittatas, and just ordinary fried eggs.