My kids are back in school. Finally! I think that was really the longest summer ever. It was a good one, to be sure, but boy am I glad to have a little peace and quiet in the house. I honestly can’t believe it’s already the middle of September, mostly because it’s still one hundred and eleventy here in Southern California. But also because this time of year truly does rush by with all the birthdays, holidays and more birthdays. I love it though–the colors, the smells, the food. For me it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
Remember many months ago when I went to the Celiac Disease Foundation as a featured blogger? While I was there a lovely woman handed me a copy of her cookbook…fresh off the press. I promised her a review and a post about it. And here it finally is. (Sorry it took me so long, Tracy!!)
Tracy Hill, like so many of us, has severe food intolerances. This fear that she would never be able to enjoy the foods she new and loved drove her straight to the kitchen where she got to work developing recipes that tasted like her old favorites, but eliminated the stuff that was making her, and her family feel crummy. Friends in similar situations began to ask her to share her recipes which led her to begin her blog, Delightfully Free, which naturally led to creating a cookbook. Her self-published book is full of family favorites minus many major allergens like wheat, gluten, corn, dairy, eggs, and peanuts. Recipes include chicken enchilada casserole (dairy free!), rich dairy free creamy garlic wine sauces, gluten-free pizza crust, breakfast recipes, salads and veggie side dishes, comprehensive Thanksgiving and other holiday meal guides, and a substantial dessert section with black bean brownies, pies, cakes and cookies, all free of refined sugars.
I asked her what her favorite recipes from the book were and she gave these suggestions.
Favorite recipes…several come to mind. For savory dishes the lasagna is wonderful, especially because people who eat gluten and dairy free are thrilled to have the chance to eat lasagna again, & this one’s delicious. But I know you are a busy mom, so recipes with fewer steps would be Chicken & Mushrooms Fettuccini with Creamy Garlic Sauce (p. 43), or Chicken de Provence (p. 33), or Enchilada Casserole (p. 13). I love that the Taco Shells (p. 16) are gluten-free, AND corn free…baked. And both of the Taco Fillings (p. 17) are additive and chemical free. The Creamy Garlic Sauce (p. 44) is way cool because it is creamy, rich & delicious, but it’s made in the blender out of cauliflower and white beans! The Coconut Curry Soup (p. 83) is soo good!
For baked…I think my Seeded Quick Bread (p. 59) is wonderful. The Rosemary Rolls are fabulous (p. 61). Both breads on page 63, yum!
Did you notice the gluten-free, corn free, refined sugar free Ice Cream Cones (p. 127)? So wonderful for our gluten-free, sugar-free kiddos.
For sweets, I love them all, but the Chocolate Ambrosia Cookies (p.133) and Black Bean Brownies (p. 135) are amazing! The pies and crumbles are wonderful too. It’s hard to believe that the Strawberry “Cream Cheese” Pie is gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free.
Those all sounded amazing, but since my kids were recently back to school, I decided to make her Tracy’s Delights as a healthy after school snack. I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, but since peanut allergies are so prevalent, and peanuts are inflammatory for everyone, she uses sunflower seed butter in her recipe instead. I had never tried sunflower seed butter, but I found it very comparable to both the texture and flavor of peanut butter. And the kids couldn’t tell the difference at all. These treats are not only easy to make, but they are chocolaty, refined sugar free, and full of crunchy almonds, brown rice and flax cereals. My kids gave them a big thumbs up! I think you will too!
Tracy’s cookbook would be a great addition to your collection, especially if you or someone you love suffers from food allergies or intolerance, or is just looking to reduce refined sugars, grains and other inflammatory items in the diet. I can’t wait to try her creamy garlic sauce, her fruit crumble (with apples!), and her coconut curry soup.
Happily, Tracy has offered to give away one of her cookbooks to one lucky reader. Check the rafflecopter below to find out how to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
These no-bake, healthy, and crunchy cookie bars by Tracy Hill, from her cookbook Delightfully Free, are the perfect not-too-sweet treat. Rich with chocolate and sunflower seed butter, they are free from gluten, eggs, corn and refined sugars as well.
- 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
- 2 cups 100% crispy brown rice, divided
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid stevia
- 1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sunflower seed butter
- 6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax Cereal, or additional crispy rice
- Spray an 8x8 inch pan generously with gluten-free grapeseed oil.
- Pour almonds evenly into the bottom. Sprinkle only 1/2 cup of the rice cereal over the top. Set aside the remaining 1 1/2 cups of rice and flax cereal in a bowl.
- Measure out agave nectar. Stir into it the stevia and salt. Measure sunflower seed butter and set aside.
- In a double boiler or a 2 quart saucepan over a smaller pan of simmering water, melt chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in sunflower seed butter. Next, mix in rice-cereal mixture until well coated. Add agave-stevia-salt, stir well and spoon into pan. Spread to the edges and press down gently. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours. Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares and enjoy!