So it's said from the start - I don't know the author, haven't met her (I DID have a short tweet back and forth where she answered a question regarding a recipe for me, but no contact in any other way). I don't know the publishers, her editor, have no financial connection to the book's success. I want to make ~that~ clear, because of just gushing this review is going to be, I don't want folks to think her mom/cousin/best friend is trying to help her sales here!
I'm a cookbook addict. My personal library passed the 1,000 cookbook/food related tome mark a few years. (Hey, it's cheaper then shoes or baseball cards and more helpful to friends & family. And scarily, the rest of my library contains ~larger~ topic collections.) I love to read about food, love to wander oddball little shops and out of the way farmer's markets. One of my biggest joys is being able to feed people. My idea of a perfect date weekend with my husband tends to involve a day of searching out new ingredients and the next spent playing together in the kitchen putting a meal together. I'm a cooking instructor, a writer myself, and am even in the process of starting a small catering business on the side. I read cookbooks like novels, have dozens of notebooks filled with food ideas/concepts/historical triva.... I'm a serious food nerd in every way.
So. All that being said, and considering the fact that I've likely bought 300+ food related books in the past 3 years - it actually DOES mean something when I write that Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats is, without a doubt, one of the (if not THE) best cookbook I've run across in quite a long time. I do have celiac, but I'm NOT a vegan (or vegetarian) and this book has still become Must Reach For First when I'm thinking about planning the days meal. And Mrs Kramer has put together a simply spectacular book, one that manages to both address some sometimes difficult to get a handle on food issues (never again being able to eat gluten & veganism) AND to make those recipes a joy for anyone to eat - with or without those food issues. Gluten-free Vegan recipes are a lifesaver for so many celiacs, even those who aren't (like myself) vegan. One of the real kicks in the butt with celiac (and many other food allergies actually) is that the damage done before the diagnosis often leads to other food issues. I'm lucky, I CAN handle dairy but more that 60% of the celiacs I know are now lactose intolerant. (And while dairy is fine for me - I'm allergic to eggs. And I find over and over in other GF cookbooks that the default 'fix' for no gluten is to bang in a load of eggs. Some GF bread recipes have called for as many as a ~dozen~ eggs. Which isn't bread, it's a dried out omelet.) Having a book that handles no dairy & eggs along with the gluten in stride is simply a Godsend. And even MORE important, they all taste AMAZING.
Every recipes I've tried (I believe I've worked my way through about 15 or so - and I plan on making every single one) has been solid. There is amazing variety - from the absolute basics, through to classic comfort food, on to more exotic fare for the days your tastebuds just need something, anything, -different-! She explains GF-vegan pantry building. Gives recipes for GF-V basics to use in the rest of her recipes (how to make Cashew Cream - which she uses in recipes, but honestly... just grab a spoon and curl up on the sofa - nut milks, pie crusts, veggie stock, and even your own white chocolate bar so you are guaranteed to have an excellent quality that you know to be safe.) and keeps building. Photos that will make your stomach growl for every recipe. Incredibly healthy recipes alongside some seriously decadent ones. But she manages to make the healthy ones taste so amazing you feel smug about your 'resolve to eat right' and the decadent ones so rich and satisfying that you cheerfully climb onto the treadmill!
This is a cookbook that belongs on EVERY shelf. Not just celiacs, not just vegans. The recipes and the information are, simply and across the board, spectacular and will satisfy every eater. Even folks who prefer meat 3x a day need this book. It's not preachy, it's not ranty. It's just ~good~. More and more people are looking for vegetarian recipes for reasons ranging from a desire to simply eat healthier to trying to trim the grocery budget. Vegan meals pop up more and more in my own cooking because I have switched over to only buying meat from a local farmer who goes slow with his critters. Humanely treated & fed what they were meant to be fed - which does cost more. So I just eat a lot less. Vegan recipes help keep the purse full longer! The author has not only written an amazing cookbook to lure folks down the veggie path - but she has managed to make her recipes just as wonderful for folks who don't have to worry about gluten. Few "weird" ingredients, and definitely no 'weird' tastes or textures to put folks off in the baked goodies. The book belongs on everyone shelves.
The author has a website (...) that I'll be haunting often to see what will come next out of her goodie bag - but I truly hope this book ISN'T her only offering because I really want to see where she builds to from Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats. I had hit a bit of a cooking slump before I got my hands on her book (like almost everywhere in the US, it's just been too hot to move, let alone cook. And the thought of even eating was enough to make me whimper!) but she has gotten my cooking engines revving, my stomach growling, and my tastebuds clamoring for more! If you only buy one cookbook the rest of the year, do yourself a favor and make it this one. You won't be sorry.