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4.5 out of 5 stars15
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on 20 October 2002
The world of special diets can be daunting especially when there is no room for error as in the case of my own child. Marilyn LeBreton's first book was a significant influence on our lives. This cookbook which is her second book is everything you could ever need for the GFCF way of life.
Recipes donated by professional caterers, parents doing the diet and from Marilyn herself are so many and varied that you could probably use the book to eat for a few months and never repeat the same meals. The range of foods to cook is tremendous. From biscuits and cakes to puddings and desserts with everything in between from meat and fish based to vegetarian.
Besides gluten and casein free, MSG and artificial sweetener free this book can also be used for those with intoerances to egg, soya, tomato, fruit, teast, corn and for those who need a sugar free diet. Every recipe is plainly coded to show how for which diet it is suitable eg YF for yeast free.
There is a table of UK/US cooking terms and suggestions for substituting ingredients eg eggs, dairy, chocolate.
For anyone who simply wants a healthier lifestyle without e-numbers and additives this book is a must. There are not far short of 400 recipes in this cookbook. It is the only cookbook I own without pictures but to be quite honest they are not needed. This food is the normal everyday sort we don't need unneccessary photographs for and anyway the recipes stand out by themselves.
We are in the debt of Marilyn LeBreton and Rosemary Kessick and all at AIA for their love and support and for giving us back our son and my daughter back her brother. All those who knew my son before we implemented this diet cannot believe the child he has become.
When I reviewed her first Diet Intervention and Autism, I said I wished that I could award more than five stars. If I could I would give this book a galaxy of stars.
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on 9 March 2005
I have had this book for over a year. It is dirty, creased and full of flour. It follows me around the kitchen every day. If you are contemplating following a gf/cf diet this book is a must. I am forever in its debt. It has given me the person I knew my son could be and his brother someone to look up to instead of avoiding. My son never wants to go back to the way he was. He is a completely different person now. The day I bought this book all our lives turned a corner and we have never looked back.
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on 7 February 2003
Regardless of your reasons for needing to follow a gluten and casein free diet, this hands on practical proof of the possibilities that can be achieved in the kitchen is an invaluable aid to it's maintenance.

Too often dietary restrictions mean just that, a diet that is limited, dull and uninventive. The mothers (and fathers) who have generously contributed their tried and tested recipes to AiA for inclusion have dispelled that myth with a myriad of practical and tasty family recipes designed to accomodate the most discerning little and not so little critics.
Thoughtfully sectioned with helpful comments and suggestions guiding the cook through what can be a whole new method of using relatively unfamiliar baking ingredients, there is the added benefit of coding to each recipe as a guide to it's suitability if other dietary guidlines are implemented.
There are many who would not only benefit from possessing this book but will turn it's eventual well worn pages with affection for the ease of use it offers in a dietary minefield
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on 17 September 2013
This is a good resource for a variety of recipes and the ingredients are readily available. An interesting mixture of British & American recipes should cater for all tastes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information on measures is back-to-front. The book tells you to use US measuring cups, stating they are larger at 250ml, actually it is UK cups that are 250ml and UK tbs 15ml, tsp 5ml. US cups are smaller at 237ml (often referred to as 240ml) - USE UK MEASURES, and spoon ingredients into cup then level, rather than scoop with the measure (it makes a big difference).

There are sections covering all aspects of food; The first section has useful substitution information for a variety of ingredients, my favourite being the alternatives to food colours. Unfortunately, it only offers guar gum as an alternative for xanthan gum, (for baked goods especially breads and other products I use 1:10 ratio psyllium husk powder : flour (i.e. 10g psyllium:100g flour) readily available from [...] In other types of baking I use 1tsp flaxseed (linseed) in 2 tsp water.

There is also a useful comparison of UK:US cooking terms, which, unlike the measures, appear to be correct.

Book Sections are:

1. Bakery Goods; Breads, rolls & Pizza bases
2. Biscuits & cookies
3. Cakes, Brownies & Doughnuts
4. Cake Toppings, Icing & Fillings
5. Desserts & Puddings
6. Soups
7. Pasta & Pasta sauces
8. Rice Based Dishes
9. Stews & Casseroles
10. Meat Based Meals
11. Poultry Based Meals
12. Fish & Seafood Meals
13. Sausage Based Meals
14. Vegetarian & Vegan Meals
15. Snacks
16. Condiments, sauces, Marinades, Pates & dips
17. Sauces, Stocks & Gravies
18. Pastry
19 Candy (sweets to us Brits)
20. Miscellaneous

It's a shame that there are no images, as most people eat/choose food with their eyes, but that and the reliance on xanthan gum are the only real negatives.

If you're just starting out this is an excellent resource on your journey to allergy-free cooking.

On a personal note, don't stress, have fun experimenting with what works and what you like. I have had some disasters, but learnt from my mistakes, kept going and have some real success stories now. The book has plenty of white spaces, and I make notes on recipes, what worked and what didn't (so I don't repeat mistakes). Enjoy.

EDIT: Things I've learnt.

* Avoid Xanthan gum like the plague* I'm allergic, and many people with gluten issues can't tolerate it either. Use guar gum at a push (but use 50% more than Xanthan) see previous notes for my substitution suggestions.

1. 'Cake flour' is a US reference, you can't buy it the UK, but it's easy to make, for every cup of plain flour replace 2 tbs with (gf) cornflour (cornstarch in US)
2. I avoid rice flour like the plague! It makes baking crumbly, and without it the addition is gum becomes unnecessary in most recipes.
3. Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour is the BEST by far, I add in tapioca flour and cornflour, in a variety of proportions depending on what I'm baking.
4. GF oat flour substitutes exactly for ground almonds.

Hope this helps.
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on 13 February 2009
without this book, my life would not be sane, my son would not be the adorable lovable boy he is and my daughter would have moved out!! it is a must for all families on the GF/CF diet, filled with a range of delicious recipes for thos on the diet and those who are not!

Marilyn, I have never met you but thank you so much for this book and to the infamous barbara the Bread of whom my thanks would never be enough for the life you have given back to me and my family through your advice and this marvellous book! we love you!
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on 19 April 2011
This Book has transformed the way I cook and eat - in fact, I didn't actually 'cook' before, I realise that now. I've been on GF diet for 20+ years but recently have become intolerant to yeast and dairy - I was in total dispair - but now, I love spending time in the kitchen and my husband thinks he's died and gone to heaven! It was costly buying in all the various 'flours' at once - and I could only source Potatoe Starch Flour on the web (even our local posh health food store thought that Potatoe Flour was the same as Potatoe Starch Flour - it's not!) - but I have a full stock now and I have not stopped cooking since the day this marvellous book dropped onto the doormat. My grown up son is on low sugar, no yeast and no tomatoe diet but it's no problem! I even bought him a copy. The 'sustitute' section is just great and it all works really well - I love that this is a book full of everyday meals and breads and cakes and biscuits and deserts - I'm learning so much from it. This book is for ANYONE with food intolerances - treat yourself!
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on 5 July 2010
a fantastic book chocked full of very useful and easy receipies. all the receipies are easy to follow especially for those not used to cooking on a regular basis. will defintely need to invest in an american measure cup. as a lot of the receipies don't convert to uk ml's and fluid 0z's.
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on 28 June 2011
I bought this book after 4 years following a gluten , dairy, egg, & soya free diet. So alot of the flours / eggs replacers used in the book were already familiar to me. To a new comer, they might seem daunting, but there is an excellent introduction that explains all, including great ideas for replacing cream, milk, eggs etc. The recipes are uncomplicated, and quick & easy to whip for the kids at teatime. I should have bought it along time ago! All the recipes are gluten and dairy free, and where other allergens are used its easy to work out a replacement from the info given in the introduction. For example, I successfully substituted margarine with oil for a biscuit recipe.
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on 7 January 2013
book purchased as gift for wife at Christmas as grandson dairy intolerant we have other friends with gluton issues. Recipies not tested yet but book appears to have a wide choice of standard meals
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on 30 December 2013
This book gives some excellent information along with very good easy to follow recipes. I would recommend anyone with allergy problems to purchase this.
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