Monday, September 24, 2012

Cookbook Review AND Giveaway – Giveaway Now Closed.

This giveaway is now closed.
Thank you.

I’m absolutely thrilled to share this review and cookbook with you today!  AND offer you your very own copy along with two extra goodies (see below on how to enter the giveaway)

May I introduce you to the wonderful cookbook: Culinary Creativity by Dawn Allen (who authors the blog Cuter Than Gluten).  Let me tell you what this cookbook is all about here right off the bat and what you’ll find.  All 110 recipes found in this cookbook are gluten free, dairy free, cane-sugar free, soy free, baker’s yeast free, and nightshade free (and 105 of the recipes can be corn free).  Oh yes, that’s right.  Dawn has created an amazing cookbook for those of us who eat an alternative diet AND for those of us who love amazing food.  I don’t know if there is another cookbook out there like this?  Let me tell you, I’m so glad Dawn came along and created one.  

THANK YOU DAWN!  

Okay, let’s get started.  Below you’ll find the many recipes I’ve made from this cookbook.  I didn’t plan on making so many, but they all looked so delicious, easy and with very few ingredients.  I’ve already adopted many of her recipes into my weekly dinner, lunch, and snack rotation.  Her cookbook also includes a bunch of delectable desserts, but I am always desperate for lunch and dinner ideas. So I focused on these recipes.  
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First, here are just a few reasons why I love this cookbook:

1.  Every single page is in COLOR 
(I just love that).


2.  Each recipe comes with a picture (also love that). 

3. Every recipe has full nutritional content (listed in the back in Appendix II) – so you know the calories, fat, fiber, sugar, etc., of each recipe (that’s pretty awesome). 

4.  Each recipe comes with notes or fun stories about Dawn’s travels and culinary inspirations. 

5.  The recipes are easy to make and the instructions are easy to follow and every page is nicely organized.  It’s compact and easy to handle.

6.  BENTO LUNCHES!!  Dawn dedicated 29 full pages to Bento lunches with 32 incredibly inspiring ideas (from leftovers)!

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Okay on to the recipes

The first recipe I made was a red sauce.  It’s Dawn’s version of a pasta sauce (made with beets).  I’ll admit, I was skeptical of this recipe as I’m such a huge tomato sauce lover.  But let me tell you, it’s amazing.  I was astounded by the flavor.  And my kids LOVED it too.  They both asked for seconds of the “pink pasta.”  Even my husband was surprised by how much it tasted like a tomato based sauce.  There is just a slight hit of beet.  This recipe was huge for me, as I’ve come to realize nightshades really irritate my digestion and contribute to inflammation.  I’ve been feeling great since following Dawn’s nightshade free recipes

Red Sauce (page 118)
vegan, gluten free, dairy free 

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This dinner knocked my socks off.  Pictured are three separate recipes I made for dinner one night.  Dal, rice and seeds with tahini dressing, and balsamic chicken.  The dal is my FAVORITE recipe.  I’ve made it several times.  Dawn has generously allowed me to share one of her recipes with you, and I chose this one (see end of post).  It’s a great example of her recipes: easy, few ingredients, and full of flavor.  The rice and seeds are also a family favorite.  

Dal (page 93)
Rice and Seeds (page 103)
Balsamic Chicken (page 82) 

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Here I’ve made another three separate recipes into one dinner.  The baked beans are flavorful and hearty, the cabbage is sweet and tart, and the pesto chicken burger is moist and the pesto is balanced perfectly.  I think the pesto burger is just so smart.  These three recipes and the above recipes are in my weekly dinner rotation.  

Stovetop “Baked” Beans (page 96)
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage (page 98)
Pesto Chicken Burger (page 87)

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I made this soup for lunch one weekend and my kids LOVED it.  It’s a delicious creamy black bean soup just bursting with flavor.  Another family favorite right here.  

Black Bean Soup (page 42)
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Another winner lunch!  
Two of Dawn’s recipes are featured here: fast fusilli and ginger roasted beets served with steamed peas.  The pasta recipe calls for umeboshi vinegar which I have used before but didn’t have any on hand.  So I added 1/2 teaspoon of ACV, extra oil, and some garlic/onion granules.  Really great flavor (and, this recipe only has ingredients – talk about fast, easy pasta).  And the beets, oh the beets, so delicious.  We are huge beet lovers, especially my son and everyone just loved this recipe.  What a successful and healthy lunch.   

Fast Fusilli (page 48) 
Ginger Roasted Beets (page 92)
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My husband is currently learning how to cook and so for dinner one night he made one of Dawn’s recipes: Sesame chicken with broccoli.  It. Is. Amazing.  Seriously, Scott felt very confident while making the recipe and commented that the instructions were easy to follow.  I think he was shocked at how great it tasted (like, did I just make this crazy good dinner).  I was very proud of him. 

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli (page 86)

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And finally, some fun snacks.  I was very interested in the almond “cheese” recipe from the getgo.  It was very easy to make.  It has a slightly spongy texture (at least mine did, and I think this is from the agar agar).  It has a nice smokey flavor and is just delightful on the crackers (that I made with 3 times more garlic that the recipe called for).  The crackers have 7 ingredients and you can add so many different herbs and flavors.  They are made with a garbanzo/fava bean flour.  My son really enjoyed these with the “cheese.”  

Crackers (page 168)
Almond Cheese (page 115)

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I’ve made several other recipes from the cookbook, including breakfast recipes and a few desserts.  Everything has turned out delicious.  And so many more are bookmarked.   
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The Giveaway

I am giving away 1 copy of Dawn’s awesome cookbook.  And as a thank you to Dawn for sending me my own copy to review, I am throwing in 2 other goodies with the giveaway: 1 bag of organic raw cacao powder and 1 box of Ancient Harvest quinoa flakes.  These are two ingredients you will see often in her recipes. 
To Enter

You have 3 chances to win.  Please leave 3 separate comments for each action.  Giveaway closes on Saturday, October 6th.  Winners will be announced on Sunday October 7th.  The winner will be chosen at random from random.org.  Only US entries please.  Cannot be shipped to PO Box.  I advise all participants to subscribe to my blog so you will receive posts via email and the winner announcement.  Winners will have 72 hours to claim their prize.  

Please leave a separate comment for each of these actions to be entered to win 3 times:

1.  Share this giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a comment telling you did so 
(I will check for authenticity) 

2.  “Like” Cuter Than Gluten on her Facebook page and leave a comment telling you did so 

3.  Leave a comment sharing your food restrictions (gluten free, dairy free, soy free, yeast free, nightshade free, corn free, grain free, vegan, sugar free, etc). 

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Dal (page 93)

(1 hour 30 minutes) 4 cups
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups dried yellow split peas
-3 1/2 cups water
-1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric (divided)
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons oil
-1 large onion finely chopped
-2 cloves garlic (I use 1 2 teaspoons garlic granuels)
-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
-1/2 cup coconut milk
-1/2 teaspoon ground pepper 

How To:
1.  In a large pot, combine the peas, water, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and salt.  Cover and cook on low for 90 minutes until the peas are tender.

2.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet on med/low and saute the onions until translucent (about 15 minutes).  Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, cumin, and ground pepper.  Stir for a few minutes.  Add in the coconut milk to deglaze the pan.

3.  When the peas are done, add the onion mixture to the peas.  The dal should be the texture of thick chilli.  It will thicken as it cools (quite a bit).

4.  Serve warm with rice and curries, or enjoy as a thick soup. 

Nutritional Information: 
-Serves 6
-2/3 cup per serving
-272 calories 
-Fat 9 g
-Saturated fat 4 g
-Cholesterol 0 g
-Sodium 303 mg
-Carbohydrates 36 g
-Fiber 5 g
-Sugar 4 g
-Protein 13 g
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Where To Buy This Book

If you want to purchase your own copy of Culinary Creativity, visit Dawn’s store HERE and purchase your copy today.  This would make an excellent Holiday gift for a friend or family member.

Dawn is offering 15% off your total order until October 5th.  
Use promotion code:  amber0924 

Get your copy of Culinary Creativity today and
 “Let your Restrictions Set You Free.”
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All opinions about this cookbook are my own.  I was not paid for this review.  Dawn sent me a copy to try with no obligation to review.  Simply put, this cookbook rocks!

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Shared on: Fat Tuesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, 

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Labels: Cookbook Review, giveaways.

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