Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review: 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes

125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes 
By Carol Fenster, PH.D.

I don't like to think the husband and I are superstitious, but we do have a habit of taking note of things in threes, good and bad. We simply know things haven't come full circle until we've faced three.

When we moved to our second nest, we arrived to find the hot water heater was busted, the fridge wasn't cooling and the water running into the washer was set up backward. (Luckily it only took a couple of washes to realize "cold" actually meant "hot.") Once we got those three discomforts straightened out we were good.

The husband has even tried - and disliked - meatloaf three times. (Yes, Momma, even your meatloaf.) So I've given the man the benefit of the doubt and promised him to never ever, ever, ever serve meatloaf again. I've resorted to ordering it restaurants, as strange as that sounds.

When I received Carol Fenster's 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes cookbook in the mail I was quite excited. I'd never bought, or even been given, a vegetarian cookbook before, so I was excited to put Fenster's creations to use for Meatless Mondays. 

We started out with the Sherried Mushrooms on Crispy Polenta Rounds. Unfortunately, neither of us wanted to star this one in the cookbook. So we put the book aside for a couple of weeks. Once the husband got the taste of those sherried mushrooms well out of his mouth I decided to make Fenster's Creole Vegetables on Basmati Rice. The husband is all about Creole spices. I thought surely this one would win him over.

Unfortunately, we found we were both underwhelmed, for lack of a better word. The husband loved the rice, but we both thought the dish needed a bit more hot sauce. It lacked a little flavor, in our opinions, and I found myself crossing that dish off the list as well.

One more recipe to go, the husband told me, and this cookbook would be done. 

I wasn't ready to give up on these vegetarian recipes just yet. I'll admit I picked the next recipe based on one of the husband's favorites, hoping he'd like it and not pack Fenster's words way in the back of my cookbook cabinet, never to be read in this house again.

With basil coming out of our ears this summer, I decided to make Fenster's Basil Pesto. The husband was in love. I cut the oil a little so we could cut down on some of the fat, but I followed the recipe otherwise. We both thought it was a winner. 

Next up were the Stuffed Mushrooms. I think I could make these every weekend and the husband would never get tired of them. I cut the recipe in half so we'd have three servings between the two of us. Those three servings were gone in no time. The little mushrooms were tasty, healthy, at just 110 calories per serving, and impressive enough to serve to guests. 

I'm happy to say this book is still in use in this house. We may not have enjoyed the first two dishes I chose, but I do believe there are more recipes in this
 unique vegetarian book that we can enjoy. We've got breads, breakfasts, stews, casseroles, dips and even desserts to choose from - and all of the recipes include nutritional information.

We're still firm believers in threes. I have a feeling, though, that one of Fenster's hearty stews - or her delicious-sounding Cincinnati Chili - on a cool fall day will have the husband saying there's no need to shelve this book. 

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge to write this review. I received no monetary compensation; all thoughts are mine alone. 


  1. It pay to keep on trying. I'm glad you found some things your husband would eat. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier entries. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the tone of your blog and the food and thoughts you share with your readers. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  2. Good thing you didn't give up after the second try!! Glad the other recipes were great! I really need to invest in a cookbook like that. I was Vegetarian for a year... and I know eating gluten free is so healthy for you. Maybe next time Im at the bookstore Ill look for it!


Thanks for taking the time out of your day to show my space a little love.


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