The Pure Kitchen (a gluten-free, dairy-free book review!)
I was asked to share my favorite cookbook, and while I would be hard-pressed to select a top pick “of all time,” I can definitely tell you that The Pure Kitchen by Hallie Klecker is my favorite new cookbook of 2012.
There are hundreds of “pretty” cookbooks, and even more creative recipe collections, but I’ll pick the cookbook that I actually use any day of the week. The Pure Kitchen is nestled in the small bookcase right next to my desk, along with just a dozen cookbooks and food reference books that I want to keep handy. Here is the short list of why I like this cookbook so much:
Simple Recipes – Recipes need not be complicated when you are using good whole quality ingredients, and Hallie knows this better than anyone else. You won’t find elaborate concoctions with unique flavor pairings. Rather, you will find wholesome, reliable, everyday recipes.
Clean Layout – The print is easy to read and the recipe formatting is clean and simple. I love that I don’t have to fumble around, flipping between pages to view a single recipe.
Succinct Notes & Tips – Hallie’s style is simple, as is her writing. She is to the point and includes ideas and suggestions where they fit in perfectly without getting too wordy.
Versatility – The simplicity of the recipes means there is a ton of room for personalization. I love this!
Wholesome Ingredients – The Pure Kitchen is entirely gluten-free and dairy-free, but Hallie also avoids highly refined sweeteners (maple, honey, coconut sugar, etc. are her sugars of choice) and she doesn’t use gums! That last part is music to my tummy.
I don’t always have time to make recipes from other cookbooks since I have to do so much recipe creation myself! I use cookbooks like this one mostly for inspiration, BUT I have already made three recipes from it. The Thick & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies were hearty, healthy, and delicious. The Buckwheat & Olive Oil Flatbread (pictured below) was surprisingly light, but with a pleasant whole grain flavor. And finally, the Arugula & Fennel Salad (pictured below) had a bright and fresh flavor.
Alisa Fleming is the founder of the largest dairy-free website, Go Dairy Free, and author of the best-selling special diet book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living.