The Intolerant Family Cookbook, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Family Friendly Food. Review and Give-Away.

ITFamily cookbook cover

I get fun things in the mail, often unexpected. One day I received this cookbook, and a lovely letter from one of the authors, Ellen Fitzsimmons. Could I review the book and offer a give-away on the blog?

Sure I could. Ellen and her daughter Molly Lepeska have written an excellent, tasty, healthy cookbook. Ellen is dairy and gluten intolerant, Molly is a type 1 diabetic.

Ellen is also a home economist, with over 30 years of experience in adult education with the University of Wisconsin-Extension. Molly works in health communication and is a mom, to twin toddlers and a new baby. Her family currently lives in the Netherlands. The whole extended family loves good food and good cooking.

My 7 Favorite Things about The Intolerant Family Cookbook

1. Flavor, flavor, flavor. These are tasty recipes.

2. Whole, unprocessed ingredients. 

3. Variety of cuisines.

4. Simple to follow recipes from soup to nuts. Also snacks, salads, veggies, entrees, starches, and desserts. You can cook and eat all day.

5. ITF Tips (Intolerant Family Tips), these are handy sidebars, a total of nineteen. Examples include, “Know your Milk Substitutes” and my personal favorite “Meet the Tomatillo”. 

6. Whole-grain gluten-free flour blend for baked goods.

7. Nutritional analysis for each recipe.

Some Recipes to Tempt You

“Faster than Take-Out” recipes

Chicken and Broccoli, flavored with fresh ginger, garlic, jalapeno, onion, and a bit of brown sugar.

Sweet-Spicy Glazed Salmon seasoned with brown sugar, mustard, rice vinegar, and fish sauce.

Beef Wrapped in Lettuce, a great appetizer, loaded with veggies and spices. An alternative recipe using ground turkey is included.

Super Fast Mediterranean Fish, topped with tomato, green beans, fresh lemon, and black olives.

Ethnic Variety

German-Easy Kraut and Pork Chops.

Mexican-Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde, and Green Tomatillo Chili. Both recipes use tomatillos, everyone should try tomatillos. I love tomatillos. Fresh and light green, they taste a bit like lime. Once you try them you will use them frequently. Mexican will never be the same.

Indian-Carrot Curry Soup. With coconut milk, peanut butter, curry powder, ginger, garlic, onions. And garnished with chopped peanuts.

Italian-Antipasto. A beautiful serving tray of steamed asparagus, fresh or roasted tomatoes, artichoke bottoms, hearts of palm, yellow pepper strips, black and green olives. Drizzled with home-made herb and olive oil dressing. Add GF/DF pepperoni, hard cooked egg slices, or oil packed white tuna if you want a heartier tray.

Midwestern-When It Has to Be Fried Fish. This makes me smile, we are in Wisconsin after all. Friday night fish fries are a tradition here. This recipe uses white fish, cornmeal seasoned with black pepper, paprika, and cayenne. The fish is dipped in rice milk, then the cornmeal mix, then fried with a golden crust. It is a lovely tradition.

Or Chunky Red Chili, made with beef, tomatoes, peppers, onion, and lots of chili powder. A cold weather Midwestern mainstay.

copa 058

fresh tomatillos in the Cuernavaca, Mexico Mercado photo by lsimon

New to You Ingredients

Perhaps you thought, tomatillos, fish sauce, fresh ginger, rice vinegar-“I don’t know about those”. I encourage to to become acquainted, you will soon be fast friends.

These ingredients add zest to life and cooking. They are easy to obtain and stock in your kitchen. The Intolerant Family Cookbook is happy to make the introduction.

Do you wonder if your family will like these? They will. I think it is a crime to limit kids choices to nuggets and fries. There is so much wonderful food to be enjoyed. The secret is to start early. The Intolerant Family Cookbook shows you how.

Nutritional Analysis

Each recipe includes calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein.

Knowing carbs and fiber is crucial to tightly manage glucose and insulin for folks with type 1 diabetes. Ellen and Molly use limited amounts of sugar, no sugar-free products. Better to use the real thing, than a substitute. Some sugar-free products cause GI distress, and who needs that?


Intolerant Family Cookbook is there, with useful info and updates. You can become a fan.

Gluten-Free Cooking Expo

You can meet Ellen Fitzsimmons at the Gluten-Free Cooking Expo Vendors Fair April 17-18 in Lisle, Il. You will find her kind and thoughtful, she doesn’t seem intolerant at all.

Enter to Win an Intolerant Family Cookbook

Simply leave a comment below by April 21, 2010 and a working email. You do not need to publish the email in the comment. It will be recorded in the comment form and I will be able to access it. But please enter it carefully. Too many times, I need to choose another winner because of emails that are undeliverable.

Updated 4-22-2010

Congratulations to our winner Alissa, chosen by random number generator. She was the first to comment, sometimes it pays to be first.

The Un-Constipated Gourmet Book Review and Giveaway

Warning: this punny book is seriously funny.

Warning: this book is not 100% gluten free, but there are plenty of gluten-free recipes.

The whole title is The Un-Constipated Gourmet: Secrets to a Moveable Feast; 125 Recipes for the Regularity Challenged. Author Danielle Svetcov writes a lighthearted cookbook full of fiber, taste, and creativity. How many cookbooks have you laughing out loud? Come on, that is one funny title!

Key foods

The Un-Constipated Gourmet includes no less than 55 foods and fluids that will keep constipation away.  A variety of beans, nuts, veggies, seeds, and fruits are featured. A few gluten free grains are included too, millet and rice bran.

Recipes using wheat, barley, and bulgur are glutinous and off limits for those on a gluten-free diet. Recipes using oats are OK for most gluten-freers if you use only certified gluten-free oats. (For even more info on oats click here, scroll down to the Nourish column).

You might not think of some of the key foods as constipation preventers. Chocolate for one. But I am not going to argue with an expert, err personal experience. And I grab any excuse I can to eat more chocolate.

Plagues of the gut

Disregard this section, it is not written for gluten intolerant folks. Some of the foods listed here are plagues of the gluten free-gut. For example, white flour biscuits.

Some folks will get constipated from these foods. But some will get very ill, requiring prolonged time in the bathroom or bed.

And some of the foods listed are safe and saviors in the gluten-free diet, potatoes for example.

The Go-Meter

Each recipe has a Go-Meter icon, a starred roll of toilet paper with a number, telling you the relative constipation prevention strength of the recipe. The scale is from 1 (poor) to 10 (powerful). No recipe in the book scores below a 5.


I encourage you to read this book just for the fun of it. But at it’s heart, it is a creative and flavorful cookbook. Using real food.

Start your day with Corn Cakes. Made with masa, whole kernel corn, eggs, cream, and green onions.  7 on the Go-Meter scale. Optional topping ideas include: smoked salmon, dill and crème fraiche. I could wake up for that.

Or Dried Fig, Apricot, and Cherry Compote over Yogurt. Go-Meter 10! Another winner.

Try a Nut Shake. Almonds or cashews, dates, apple juice, bananas, and milk or yogurt. Go-Meter 7.

After breakfast, the recipes continue through snacks-dips-spreads, soups, salads, sides, entrees, to desserts. There is plenty to keep you going. *wink*

Svetcov has done her research

Wordy quotes from historical books with windy titles add to the fun. Titles like: Mediations on Transcendental Gastronomy, 1825.

And this one is a doozy: The White House Cook Book, A Comprehensive Cyclopedia of Information for the Home Containing Cooking, Toilet and Household Recipes, Menus, Dinner-Giving, Table Etiquette, Care of the Sick, Health Suggestions, Facts Worth Knowing, etc. 1905. That ought to cover it, don’t you think?

Full disclosure

I checked this out of the library to see if I liked it. I luved it. So I asked the publisher to provide a free giveaway book, they obliged.

Giveaway instructions

It is so easy.

1. Leave a comment below by February 21, 2010.

2. Carefully enter your email. More than once a giveaway winner has had a nonfunctioning email, and I have had to choose a second winner. That isn’t fun for you or for me. Please make sure I can contact you.

3. A winner will be announced February 22, 2010. I’ll update this post with the name of the winner.

Update 2-23-2010 Patty was the lucky winner, and the book is on it’s way to her now.

Gluten-Free, Hassle Free Book Review and Giveaway

A Simple, Sane, Dietitian-Approved Program for Eating Your Way Back to Health.

The overall tone of this book is calm, comforting, and reassuring.  You can turn to any page in the book and find help.

The author, Marlisa Brown was a chef before she was a dietitian. Her mother has diagnosed celiac. Marlisa always tested negative, but she is definitely gluten intolerant. She lives the diet, and helps many others with her Total Wellness private practice and Gluten Free Easy website. Now she can help you with her new book.

The set up

Gluten-Free, Hassle Free is both a reference and a cook book. It is divided into 3 sections.

  1. Making the Change.
  2. Making Gluten-Free Living Simple.
  3. Making your Life Healthy, Happy, and Uncomplicated.

Gluten free, simple, healthy, happy, and uncomplicated. Isn’t that what we all want? Gluten Free Hassle Free will cheerfully help.

Some specifics

This is a comprehensive book, for the beginner and the experienced gluten free-er.

Do you like lists? There are many. Including menus and snack ideas. Also gluten free resources, from associations to manufactures. Even how to cook gluten free grains and beans.

How to read labels

What if it does not say gluten free? It could be naturally gluten free and not say so on the label. Or the manufacturer may choose not to spend the extra dollars to certify it is gluten free. The book has 23 pages of lists of safe, not safe, and questionable items.

Marlisa teaches what to look for and what questions to ask. Read carefully to be safe, and save money.

Where to find missing nutrition?

Detailed lists show food sources for difficult to get nutrients. These include thiamin, niacin, folate, B12, calcium and iron.

Do you want to cook?

Choose from over 100 recipes, everything from appetizers to desserts.

Try Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries, good and healthy. They are seasoned with onion and garlic powder, paprika, and fragrant cinnamon. (It is OK to start smiling).

A recipe I want to try is Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Crepes, made with sorghum flour. What a lovely special occasion meal.

There are also a few pages on successfully creating your own gluten free recipes. Including tips for baked goods with just the right texture.

Flour blends used in the recipes combine whole grain gluten free flour and refined starches. I like to use even fewer refined starches, but acknowledge that it is a challenge. So this is a small compliant, considering the scope of this book.

Marlisa notes her next book will use only gluten whole grains.

Prefer to dine out? Without nasty after effects?

A whole chapter is devoted to dining out. How to choose a restaurant, talking to the staff, ordering, and double checking. All without creating a fuss or ill will.

And the book includes cards of gluten free information you can bring to the restaurant, or take on your travels. Copy from the book or print from the Gluten Free Easy web site. Dining out cards are available in 14 languages and are specific to each country’s cuisine.  It is interesting to see the national dishes in English, and the foreign language in print.

Do you want an authentic Greek, Thai, or Japanese meal? And need to speak the language? Take a dining card with you.


Gluten-Free, Hassle Free also tackles the emotional challenges of the diet and lifestyle. Offering simple steps to deal with anger, embarrassment, depression, feeling hurt or overwhelmed, even culinary boredom.

Win a copy of Gluten-Free, Hassle Free

Leave a comment below by January 13, 2010. A winner will be announced Thursday January 14, 2010.

Kitchen Therapy disclosure

I received 2 copies of Gluten Free, Hassle Free, free. One will be sent to the random winner. One is already dog eared and will be kept for me.