I had the pleasure recently of receiving a review copy of “Pure Delicious*,” an allergen-free cookbook by Heather Christo. I gave her gluten-free turkey burger with cranberry mustard recipe a whirl (doesn’t it look gorgeous!?!), and I have permission to share the recipe below. Before I share it, I wanted to tell you a bit about this awesome allergy-friendly, gluten-free cookbook.
I get offered a lot of cookbooks to review because I’m a gluten-free food blogger. At first I would accept them, but too often I’m disappointed by the lack of images. Maybe I’m a kid at heart, but I do still love a good picture (cook)book. Before I accepted Christo’s book, I asked her publicist if I could see a few sample pages. I loved what I saw! The images were colorful and seemed too good to be true. I happily agreed to take a look.
I’m so happy that I did.
Christo includes more than 150 allergen-free recipes in her cookbook – all made without gluten, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish or cane sugar. The recipes are simple, straightforward and, with a little common sense, you can swap out ingredients you enjoy for ones she includes in the book (for example, I can eat cane sugar (vs. beet sugar) and I can use the two interchangeably).
While I loved dog-earing all the recipes I wanted to try, I decided to read Christo’s backstory at the beginning of the book.
Christo’s five-year-old daughter, Pia, suffered from many food sensitivities and allergies. Christo’s wakeup call came as she witnessed Pia “writhing and screaming” on the emergency room floor, which forced her to reconsider a thought she had once discarded – that Pia’s distress could be related to food allergies.
Like many of us who have not yet entered the world of food allergies, having an allergy is an inconvenient truth. Food allergies to someone who doesn’t have a food allergy is more like a punchline to a joke than a serious health concern.
She says, “I realized that food sensitivities and allergies were not just some ‘fad’ to roll my eyes at, but indeed played a much larger role in our personal lives and health. I was forced to admit something I really did not want to be true: what we eat matters and food allergies cannot be medicated away.”
Pia’s suffering forced Christo to not only take action for Pia’s health, but also caused her to think about her own possible food sensitivities and allergies. Christo and her two daughters, Pia and Coco, underwent a series of tests to determine if food sensitivities and allergies were at play.
They received the devastating news – they had many food allergies. In fact, they had a long laundry list of items they could no longer eat – including dairy, eggs, gluten, pineapple, kiwi, coffee beans, psyllium, and more.
Christo beautifully lays out her path to uncovering the root cause of her family’s digestive distress – including details on antibody ELISA blood testing, the ins and outs of a food elimination diet, and how to set up an allergy-free kitchen. All this… and I haven’t even mentioned that this cookbooks dishes up more than 150 allergy-friendly recipes created by Christo, a trained chef and mother!
A quick flip through the recipes will assure you that Christo knows her way around a kitchen. She cooks up a variety of gluten-free and healthy dishes including Spicy Tomato, Lentil and Rice Soup, Beet Salad with Parsley-Pumpkin Seed Pesto and Fresh Mint, Veggie Summer Rolls with Spicy Sunflower Butter Dipping Sauce, Old Fashioned Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Berry Sorbet (from scratch!).
While I plan to make so many of these recipes, I decided to pick one to experiment with and share with you.
I picked Christo’s Turkey Burgers with Cranberry Mustard recipe. Perhaps with the weather getting a little cooler and the kids back in school, I was craving this fall-like dish.
I assembled all the ingredients – except I could not find cranberries anywhere (fresh or frozen!). I think I’m a month too early to make this recipe, but no worries, Christo’s recipes are so easy to follow that I felt comfortable enough substituting fresh raspberries instead.
One interesting thing about this recipe – and one that I hadn’t thought of before – is that Christo uses dehydrated potato flakes in her recipe vs. gluten-free bread crumbs. Interesting choice! The potatoes gave the burgers a meaty texture and soaked up the juices. If I had a suggestion for improving this recipe, it would be to add fat (some avocado oil) as ground turkey can be dry. I’d also add more seasonings to spice up the burgers. I think some simple additions would make this already pure delicious recipe even more delicious.
Regardless, this gluten-free turkey burger was divine. The cranberry (opps, raspberry) mustard oozed out of the burger with each savory bite. In fact, the cranberry mustard was hands-down my favorite flavor in this delightful dish.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of Pure Delicious* (which I highly recommend), you can buy it on Amazon.* It makes a wonderful addition to your gluten-free kitchen and, as a gluten-free home cook, I can say it would make an excellent gift for the gluten-free home cook in your life!
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