Book Review: The Dairy Free and Gluten Free Kitchen

Book Review: The Dairy Free and Gluten Free Kitchen

With so many gluten-free cookbooks on the market, it’s nice to come across a cookbook that caters to people with multiple food allergies/sensitivities. This cookbook, The Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Kitchen, featuring 150 gluten- and dairy-free recipes, was written by East Bay resident, Denise Jardine, a healthy eating specialist for Whole Foods Market. She offers breakfast options including several dairy-free smoothie recipes, an appetizer section called “Small Bites,” a section for fish and shellfish, poultry and meat, and even a vegetarian section. She finishes off the book with a sauces, salsas, and spreads section, a yeasted and quick bread section and a nice selection of dessert recipes. Some of the recipes that caught my eye are grilled figs, flourless chocolate almond cake, lemon poppy-seed muffins, cheesy mac ‘n’ nut cheese (for Sammy), braised greens with caramelized onions (since I’m always looking for creative, yummy ways to get my daily greens) and the roasted Brussels sprouts in balsamic reduction. I have to say that I really enjoyed reviewing this cookbook. The publisher gave me permission to reprint the Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake, the Rustic Heirloom Pesto Pizza and the Spinach, Pear and Beet Salad recipes. The first recipe I tried was the Rustic Heirloom Pesto Pizza. The crust was amazing. It is the thickest gluten-free pizza crust I’ve ever had. It was easy to make and very tasty. I especially liked the macadamia nut cheese on the pizza. It would be great just as a dip or in other recipes. I do recommend reading the recipes thoroughly several days in advance as there can be many steps to a recipe and sometimes they can be done ahead of time. I made the nut cheese and pesto before hand so there was less food prep the day I made the actual pizza. Below is the professional photo of the Rustic Heirloom Pesto Pizza.

Rustic Heirloom Pesto Pizza

Prepping for the macadamia nut cheese used on the Rustic Heirloom Pesto Pizza. It turned out yummy. I love my Blendtec blender!

The pizza crust for this recipe was really easy. It’s made with rice flour, potato starch, tapioca and sorghum flour. It had a nice rise to it.

Applying the non-dairy pesto sauce to the par-baked pizza crust. I should have applied more. I love bold flavors.

The vibrant colors of the heirloom tomatoes.

Look at the rise on this crust!

I used a small scoop to apply the nut cheese to the pizza.

I highly recommend this pizza recipe. I would probably add more pesto sauce and I added salt to the top of the pizza for more flavor. It was a real treat and a great way to use heirloom tomatoes when they’re in season.


Gluten-Free Flour Mix
  • 1 - ¼ cups brown or white rice flour
  • ¾ cup potato starch (do not use potato flour)
  • ½ cup tapioca flour or arrowroot flour
  • ½ cup sorghum flour or garbanzo bean flour
  1. Free of egg soy nut sugar oil makes 3 cups
  2. Combine the rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and sorghum flour in a large bowl. Mix together with a whisk until thoroughly combined.
  3. Transfer the flour mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. This gluten-free flour mix will keep for 4 months in the refrigerator.
  4. Note: This flour mix does not contain either xantham or guar gum. For more information, see page 17.

Creamy Macadamia Pine Nut Cheese
  • 2 cups raw macadamia nuts (not dry roasted)
  • ¼ cup raw pine nuts
  • ½ cup filtered water (or ¾ cup water for a softer cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Combine the macadamia nuts, pine nuts, water, lemon juice, vinegar, onion powder, and salt in a food processor or high-speed blender.
  2. Process the mixture, scraping down the sides of the processor with a rubber spatula as needed, and puree until smooth and creamy, about 4 minutes.
  3. Use immediately or store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. For longer storage, divide into portion sizes, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 1 week.

Basil Nut Pesto
  • 2 cups whole fresh basil leaves, stemmed and tightly packed
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts or walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon powdered vitamin C, or 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  1. Free of egg soy sugar makes 21/2 cups
  2. Set aside a standard ½-cup muffin tin and plastic wrap.
  3. To prepare the pesto: In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the basil, nuts, olive oil, garlic, salt, and vitamin C.
  4. Process the mixture, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed, until the pesto is smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze overnight.
  6. To un-mold and store the pesto: Tear off 6 sheets of plastic wrap and place them side-by-side on the counter. Run the back of the tin under hot tap water to release the molds. Using a rubber spatula, scoop each portion of frozen pesto onto 1 sheet of plastic; wrap tightly, store in a freezer bag, and freeze until ready to use. Frozen, this pesto will keep for 6 months.
One of my friends helped me with a few of these recipes. She made the Spinach, Beet and Pear Salad (featured in the photo above). I did get to try it and thought it was good. I’m a big fan of spinach salads and beets in a salad. The recipe is featured below.

Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake

The next recipe was very tasty but did not turn out so well. My friend made the cake for me and thinks she may have cooked the almond paste too long. It was very hard for me to spread the paste on the cake (see below). It hardened before I could finish spreading it and then I could not cut through the finished cake because of the hardened paste.

The almond paste would not spread easily. It hardened before I could finish it. This is far as it would spread.

It was fun drizzling the chocolate glaze over the cake. It was very rich and decadent.

Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake
  • 8 ounces semisweet dairy-free chocolate*, chopped
  • ¾ cup canned light coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup almond meal flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup canned light coconut milk
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet dairy-free chocolate*, finely chopped
  • 11/4 cups sliced almonds, toasted (see page 186)
  • Almond Paste (page 156)
  1. Free of soy* oil makes one 9-inch cake
  2. To prepare the cake: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper, generously grease the paper and sides of the pan, and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, grind the chocolate into a coarse meal. Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat, until it just reaches a boil. Pour the milk over the chocolate in the food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer the chocolate to a large bowl. Stir in the vanilla and almond meal flour.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed for 4 minutes, or until the mixture has doubled in volume. Fold the eggs into the chocolate mixture until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a dry crust forms on top but the center is still slightly soft, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the cake to cool completely, about 11/2 hours. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight to set. The cake will fall as it cools. Before removing the cake from the pan, lightly press down on the top of the cake to compact it further and to even out the crusty top. Remove the sides of the pan. Using the cake pan as a guide, cut out a 9-inch cardboard round and place it on top of the cake. Invert the cake onto the round, gently brush away any large crumbs. The cake can be prepared 1 day ahead if tightly covered and kept at room temperature.
  5. To finish the cake: Roll the almond paste between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to a thickness of about ⅛ inch. Cut out a 9-inch circle, using the bottom of the cake pan as a guide. Place the almond circle atop the cake. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and place the rack over an extra-large bowl. The bowl will be used to catch the excess chocolate glaze.
  6. To prepare the glaze and decorate the cake: Set a small saucepan over low heat and melt the coconut milk and chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool until the glaze is almost set but still spreadable. Spread the sides of the cake with just enough glaze to even out any imperfections, taking care not to let any crumbs get into the remaining glaze. Slowly reheat the glaze over low heat until it is smooth and just pourable, but not thin and runny. Pour the remaining glaze into the center of the cake and, working quickly, spread it over the top of the cake and around the sides, working the glaze as little as possible. Allow the glaze to cool slightly. Sprinkle the almonds around the outer edge of the top of the cake, forming a 11/2-inch border. Gently press the almonds onto the sides of the cake so they adhere to the glaze. Transfer the cake to a platter and allow the glaze to set for about 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

Almond Paste and Toasted Nuts
  • 1 - ½ cups almond meal flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 11/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. To prepare the almond paste: Place the almond meal flour in a food processor.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves and begins to boil. When it begins to boil, start a timer and boil the syrup for 3 - ½ minutes, until it reaches the soft ball stage or until a candy thermometer reaches 240°F. (The soft ball stage is the point at which a drop of boiling syrup dropped in cold water forms a soft ball.)
  3. With the motor running, begin pouring the syrup into the processor in a slow stream, and process until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Spread a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and spoon the paste onto the center. Shape the paste into a log and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 week to cure or up to a month. To work with the paste, bring it to room temperature before rolling it out.
  5. To toast nuts: Place the nuts in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss them continuously in the skillet until the nuts begin to crackle and turn a light golden color. Transfer the nuts to a plate and spread them in a single layer to cool.
  6. To toast sesame seeds: Place the seeds in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Toss the seeds continuously in the skillet until they begin to crackle and pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a plate and spread them out in a single layer to cool.
  7. To roast nuts: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the nuts on the prepared pan in a single layer. Bake until they turn a light golden color, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the nuts. Nuts burn easily, so watch them closely. To store toasted or roasted nuts or seeds: Allow the nuts or seeds to cool completely before you store them or they will become soggy. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
The last recipe I tried was the roasted Brussels sprouts in a balsamic reduction. I did not get permission to print the recipe so I cannot include it but do highly recommend it. It is a yummy way to eat Brussels sprouts.

Getting ready to make the Brussels sprouts

Reducing the balsamic vinegar

The finished balsamic glaze

Roasted Brussels sprouts in a balsamic reduction..YUM!

I really love this gluten-free cookbook. It’s a must have for gluten- and dairy-free foodies. You can be gluten- and dairy-free and eat really good food. Yay!


  1. Thank you very much for reviewing this book. It looks so very interesting but I’ve been burned so many times by them being dairy free but not egg free as well. I think of all the multiple allergies out there and all my hundreds of individual ones and not being able to use eggs is the worst. Seriously how does one replace SIX eggs? I’m ready for some genius or other to figure it out. Now would be good. 🙂

    • I agree, Laurel, I think egg is the hardest thing to live without. Out of all my intolerances, I miss eggs the most. That’s what I like about Cybele’s books. They don’t require egg.

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