Book Club Tuesday: Go Gluten Free Magazine

If you’re reading this or have ever looked at my IG photos you know that I love to cook. In fact, I usually take great delight in preparing and cooking 3 meals a day. Yesterday’s dinner was a different story. The morning was grey and cold. Wind picked up as I pumped gas into the car — the forecast called for a huge blizzard (at least 30 cm! Everything closed or cancelled) so I knew that running on empty wasn’t a safe option (even though there was no snow on the ground and nary a flake to be seen). A quick trip to the grocery store and then it didn’t matter when the onslaught of bad weather happened because we were prepared. Lunch ended up being a breeze — I made Margherita Pizza Dinner Waffles that were insanely quick to make and delicious to eat (Sweet Potato Chronicles — need I say more?). By mid afternoon I was starting to feel chilled and head-achy (probably a cold — every man, woman, and child within a 50 km radius of us has been sick) and I was in no mood to cook. This is where Go Gluten Free Magazine comes in.

Let’s backup to last summer. I was testing for the lovely Ella at pureella.com and she had posted that she was being featured in Go Gluten Free. Being a magazine junkie, my natural inclination to buying a magazine was only matched by my desire to support a friend. So when I picked up a copy, I was pleasantly surprised at how many wonderful recipes it contained (including Ella’s)!

I know what you’re thinking: “I’m not vegan/vegetarian/or even gluten-free, is this magazine for me?” For one, it has a mixture of recipes which support all kinds of diets. From omnivorous to Paleo and every diet in between this magazine has you covered. As for being gluten-free — I’m not and I love this mag. Sometimes people get scared by the gluten-free label but when you actually think about what contains gluten and what doesn’t you’ll realize that you’re eating many (as I like to say) “incidentally” gluten-free dishes. Like salad — a completely and incidentally gluten-free dish. One of the first recipes I tried from the Summer 2015 issue was Sherrie Castellano‘s Summer’s Bounty Chopped Kale Salad w/ Nectarines dressed in her Zesty Lime Vinaigrette. Β Even now while I’m looking at the blizzard that’s raging outside my window, that recipe is making me feel like it’s summer again. Also who doesn’t loooovvvve a great vinaigrette??

One of the things about the magazine is that it is created and written by such talented people — I was so excited to be introduced to so many new blogs to follow! Check out Beard + Bonnet , Veggies Don’t Bite, or Dolly and Oatmeal — just to name a few. Even the way the recipes are organized is so helpful! The Recipe Index after the table of contents lists all the recipes by category. If you need a breakfast recipe just glance at the index, which if you have the current (Spring 2016) issue has 6 wonderful recipes! I also love that their features are fresh and seasonal, and often have an exotic flare. Doesn’t Pistachio-Pear Chai Spiced Amaranth Porridge w/ Coconut Milk Drizzle sound out of sight?! This is not to say that the recipes are precious or complicated — they’re not. I’ve found ingredients easy to get and often times the recipes call for very few ingredients (always a plus if you want to have a meal ready on busy days).

This brings me back to last night’s dinner. Feeling run-down and not in the mood to cook (but having people depending on me for a good meal) I grabbed the latest copy of GGF and quickly found one of the easiest and tastiest recipes I’ve made in a while. I don’t often look at the authors of each feature before I make a recipe, but I find it interesting how many times (out of the hundred or so recipes in each issue) that I’m drawn towards a particular author. So the Golden Beet Soup w/ Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream by Sherrie Castellano seemed in keeping with her delicious yet healthy and minimalist recipes. To up the “hearty” factor and support my “Pulse Pledge” I added cooked red lentils and in the end I served a nourishing, insanely delicious, and warming meal. Everyone loved it, I had literally no dishes to do, and I even managed to feel a bit better. I still can’t get over how roasting the golden beets really seemed to bring out such a beet flavour — nothing overpowering just fresh and tasty.

The magazine is published quarterly and rings in at $10.99 CDN, which may seem like an expensive magazine but think of it this way: even if you buy 4 a year and each of has about 100 recipes you’re left with 400 recipes at $45. Most cookbooks are around that price (if you don’t get them on sale or discount) and many only boast a hundred or so recipes. Buying this magazine is a total bargain IMHO. I’m sure my fellow Canadians would agree that with this dip in our dollar, everything from cookbooks to groceries has become more dear. This is one of the reasons why I chose to review a magazine instead of a book this week. If you’re into cooking, I think this is a totally affordable way to indulge without breaking the bank.

If you’re getting used to my hashtag-review system, don’t worry! I haven’t forgotten the show-and-tell part of the review: check out #goglutenfreemagse to see some of the amazing dishes that I’ve made so far. From snacks, to breakfasts and dinners I’ve tried a little bit of everything. If you haven’t tried using chickpea flour yet, I totally recommend it! Lindsay Love‘s Za’atar-Spiced Chickpea Flour Crackers were amazing. I was astounded that I could (easily!!) make crackers at home. I’m not a “Woo Girl” but if I was this is where “WOOOOOO” would fit. Ever looked at the ingredients listed on the side of a box of store-bought crackers? Totally crazy. So if I don’t need to eat extra additives or preservatives I won’t. If you tell your friends that you make your own crackers you could be in danger of looking like an urban homesteader but they’ll forgive you once they try them. Promise!

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