Book Review | “The Recipe Hacker: Comfort foods without gluten, dairy, soy, grain, or cane sugar” by Diana Keuilian #gfree #vegan

Posted Wednesday, 10 June, 2015 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Cookery Delights | Savoury & Ambrosial | Cookbook reviews by the Bookish Foodie Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Monstruo Estudio.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “The Recipe Hacker” direct from the publisher Front Table Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

In this particular instance, I was meant to be a part of the original blog tour in January 2015, however, there was an issue with the print books being shipped. Therefore I had to opt-out of hosting the tour and simply tucked the title away to check-out later; either via purchase or borrowing a copy through my local library. Whereupon I had the happy surprise of receiving my own copy via Cedar Fort around mid-Spring. Due to a variety of reasons not worth broaching I have been delayed in getting my thoughts put together to where I could share how wicked awesome this cookbook truly is!

Why vegan and gluten-free baking appeals to me:

Most of my life I noticed that whilst eating the regular way most American families do on a weekly/yearly basis was just dandy for a short period of time, I grew up in a bit of a melting pot of diverse foods and cultural fusion options that most families might not have had in theirs as both sides of my family are equally proud of their foodie heritage. Yet, something was always a bit amiss for me whilst I was growing up because it was the fruit and veg portions that held far more appeal to me than the traditional options of getting protein into your system.

Even when it came to sweets, I was a bit abash to admit, I could live without a few things, including chocolate unless I felt I wanted something sweet. It’s my father who has the dedicated sweet tooth, and by default, Mum and I have come along for the ride, but even my Da admits that there has to be better options out there than the highly processed varieties of sweets inasmuch as options for baking that are not as harsh for our systems to digest. If I were to speculate, we all have a bit of gluten-sensitivity bordering somewhere between neutral to mild. Neutral here I define as being not an everyday vice to avoid but an ingredient that crops up when you least expect it too.

When I originally heard about The Recipe Hacker I truly loved the name of the cookbook because it felt like someone had taken their time to re-write the history on recipes and get back into the heart of wholesome cookery and bakery that was not limited by ingredients but rather was high on taste, flavour, and alternative methods on how to whip, dash, dollop, and spin your kitchen into a bit of wicked bliss! I look forward to sharing what I found inside the book that truly had my heart leap a bit of joy in realising that I had a wicked awesome go-to resource now in my personal foodie library!

Book Review | “The Recipe Hacker: Comfort foods without gluten, dairy, soy, grain, or cane sugar” by Diana Keuilian #gfree #veganThe Recipe Hacker: Comfort foods without gluten, dairy, soy, grain, or cane sugar

Break the recipe code for your favourite foods!

Free of gluten, dairy, soy, grain, and cane sugar, The Recipe Hacker is a mouth-watering collection of your favourite comfort foods with a healthy twist. Learn to use easy ingredient substitutions to transform traditional dishes into real, healthy comfort food masterpieces without sacrificing any of the flavour!

Enjoy healthier, whole-food versions of

Key Lime Pie

Crispy Orange Chicken

Banana Pancakes

Beautiful photos, dozens of recipes, and delicious flavours will keep you coming back for more. Enjoy all the comfort foods you crave and keep your body (and skinny jeans) happy at the same time!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

on 9th December, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 200

Published ByFront Table Books (@FrontTableBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #TheRecipeHacker, #healthyeats, #gfree, #vegan

About Diana Keuilian

Diana Keuilian is passionate about creating wholesome versions of your favorite foods. She removes the gluten, dairy, soy, grains and cane sugar from traditional comfort food recipes like cake, tacos, cookies, waffles, enchiladas and more. This hobby propelled her to start the popular blog,, where she shares hundreds of delicious recipes and mouthwatering photos. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two young children.

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Recipes make me giddy for cookery experimenting!

The CINNAMON ROLLS on page 8 (whose photographs follow the recipe) are an incredible find because I have been wanting to seek out recipes for this decadent lovely for a long while now! I believe I found a few varieties previously as I read other authors via Front Table, but here’s the best part about this particular receipe: I already LOVE the ingredients! I am seriously over the moon in love with Kelapo Coconut Oil which I blog about quite openly when I’m diving into cookbooks, however, it’s the flour of coconut I haven’t yet mastered! Such a tricky flour because it’s not as dense as other flours and it has a delicate side to it! lol I have had coconut sugar before, whether it was coconut palm sugar I am uncertain as it was awhile ago when I tried it. I found it was to my liking because it’s lighter, less sweet, and you can get away with using a heap less! Removing traditional sugars from my diet is one of my top priorities, but finding a recipe like this one that captialises on a beloved comfort item is wicked awesome!

If you mention FRIED GREEN TOMATOES around me, you’re going to have to be quite specific in how you are using them in a recipe or which dish you grabbed at which cafe or dive, because I am going to want driving directions! I feel in love with these curious tomatoes as an 8th grader who had this wild idea of watching over 16+ hours of motion pictures in ONE DAY! The film of the same name just had me hankering for the lovelies, and eventually my path crossed with them at a country faire. Ever since? I’ve tried my own hand at making them with moderate success. It’s the batter that’s the trickiest part next to knowing when to make them based on the harvest! I love how this recipe calls for flax meal as I came into flax in the early 2000s as a wicked short-cut to using ‘eggs’ when your ‘off eating eggs’! I *mastered!* the art of creating ‘flax eggs’ in other words — so flax and I are on good terms with each other! The only difference I would make as I truly am NOT a bacon kind of gal, is to fry up some local sourced tempeh and 86 the pepper!

Love, love, LOVE finding a GREEN SMOOTHIE included as I am definitely highly addictive to juicing – so much so I could spend myself blind at a juice bar. There is just something about a jolt-pulse of greens into your veins that makes you feel euphoric and in-step with wellness. It clears up your muck and gets your head back into the clear skies of happiness without anything holding you back. Or at least I get an euphoric high off drinking copious amounts of these smoothies! I would on leave out the stevia and add in a bit of local honey! My allergies will thank me later! (here this refers to curbing seasonal allergies, not an allergy to stevia; bees are my best friends!)

Hold the cookery bliss — someone invented a LEEK & SWEET POTATO PIZZA!? Ooh yes, please! Need I say more!? When you combine leeks and sweet potatoes you won me over! I love using leeks and of course, pairing this with a less than celebrated herb like rosemary is quite fitting too! I add rosemary every which way to Sunday in the kitchen, even at times where I question, should I pinch a bit of rosemary into that or not!? Laughs. I’m definitely an experimental home cook!

And, hold the pages — The Recipe Hacker follows leek pizza up with another charmer: PEAR & BALSAMIC PIZZA! Dear heavens, I can hardly type — talk about getting hungry whilst you turn pages of this cookbook! The combinations appeal to me because their wayy outside the box, non-conformist, and highly original. The kind of recipes I have appreciated coming out of Isa’s Post Punk Kitchen for YEARS! Okay, this is definitely going to be attempted alongside the leeks pizza at some point! I’ll just have to remember to space it out a bit – like I couldn’t make one for lunch and one for dinner! lol

I have this insane personal goal to come up with AT LEAST *52!* veg burgers I can create like a burger cooking champion even though I’m starting off at the rock bottom level of ZERO. When I turnt to page 94, I had an impressive contender for my attention: a QUINOA BURGER with enough personality to whet the palette of a diehard carnivore! Or at least this bookish foodie can hope it will! On a bed of sprouts no less! *swoon!*

SHIITAKE STIR-FRIED RICE oh, tell me how! Throw in a heap of goodness in a fry-up when you start off with shiitake mushrooms, combined with ginger and coconut aminos! Yes, I’ve had the latter ingredient – if it’s made from coconut odds are in favour I know of the ingredient! I’m mad-crazy for that particular hard shelled body of life! I could eat this out of a mini bowl whilst noshing with chopsticks! This is the perfect blend of simplicity and healthy eats by design!

Ooh no she didn’t! She created an alternative ANGEL FOOD CAKE!? Page 178 ladies and gents! Page 178! Now all you need are your local strawberries harvested naturally without the toxic jolt of craziness attached to their delicate little bodies and you have one wicked sweet bowl of divine blissitude to make!

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The author has an incredible YT channel! Here are some of my favourites:

Sweet Potato Egg Cups – on the go breakfast via Diana Keuilian

The recipe for this one is on page 34. When I caught sight of these I must say I felt my mouth water just at the possibility of using sweet potatoes in such a clever new way! This is definitely not a vegan recipe, but the cookbook includes a wide breadth of interest for multiple appetites and is not limited to one version of cooking over another. I did go off eggs for a decade and I might go off them again, but at the moment, I do eat them in moderation and this looks wicked yum!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comZucchini Loaf via via Diana Keuilian

The recipe for this one is not included in the cookbook. I included it because I was happy to find a zuke loaf that looks soft & moist but isn’t caught up in the snare of having to have too many ingredients to have an end result that looks as good as this one!


Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comHow to Make Cauliflower Rice via Diana Keuilian

The recipe for this one is on page 122. The reason this appeals to me is because when you live in a volcanic Southern clime ideally keeping rice *safe!* either in your pantry or refridge is next to impossible due to the high levels of humidity and heat! Don’t even get me started on the insanity because 2015 became the year where ‘rice’ and Jorie quite nearly parted ways! Bring on the Cauliflower Rice Revolution! Check please!

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 This is definitely a cookbook whose variety of lovelies to cook & bake
will become the wicked awesome reference book for me to use!
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Fly in the Ointment: Content Note:

The only downside I found with this cookbook is the over abundance of meat, pork, poultry, and fish as I had originally felt this would have been excluded. Everyone has their own food map and health-driven path their walking, but to me when you go to the extent to include ‘dairy, etc’ free in your sub-title, I am uncertain where the traditional protein’s fit into the scope of the recipes!? Maybe I’m crazy. Generally when I go to grab a book like this, I’m not re-routing myself away from the collective whole of what is being shared whilst seeking out the recipes w/o meat. I am sure other vegans are going to be surprised by the quantity of eggs which proves that cookbooks are sometimes misleading in their titles. This happened to me in the past when I reviewed Sugar Free Mom.

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This book review is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc.:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media
One thing I have wanted to seek out is a way to talk about what befits a book blogger’s soul – part of what makes our soul happy is the food we consume, which is why time to time I will be showcasing a healthy-minded cookbook or baking book to augment this side of my life into my book blog. For this reason, I am still quite grateful Front Table Books and Cedar Fort gave me my initial chance to feature a cookbook — as it marked a transition moment for me, as I started reviewing for their Front Table releases in 2014 whilst continuing now in 2015, I will be regularly featuring non-fiction titles as much as dipping into the Foodie Fiction section of literature which compels my heart to discover.

Follow future installments by: #TheBookishFoodie

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Virtual Road Map of “The Recipe Hacker” Blog Tour can be found here:

The Recipe Hacker Blog Tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & MediaFun Stuff for Your Blog via

Be sure to drop by the following blogs as I enjoyed the bloggers’ posts:

Book Review: The Recipe Hacker by Diana Keuilian @ Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile

The Recipe Hacker by Diana Keuilian – Cookbook Review @ That Artsy Reader Girl

The Recipe Hacker @ Nothing Better Than A Book

Review: The Recipe Hacker Cookbook @ Butter with a Side of Bread

And, a few happy tweeters:

Karen Phillips tweeted out about the fries

Jolene Perry tweeted out love for the granola w/ a picture!

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Find out which Front Table Books I’ve hosted in 2014 + will be hosting in 2015!

Recently I interviewed two vegan centric cooks: Annie Oliverio & Sherry Strong. Be sure to drop by their interviews for keen insight into how to live without dairy. Likewise, I reviewed Oliverio’s Crave. Eat. Heal. and Strong’s Return to Food. In regards to Oliverio, I had hoped I could have prepared some of the recipes because her recipes are very much akin to the happy blossom joy I had in finding The Recipe Hacker as they are strong compliments of each other!

Visit with me again soon!
Reader Interactive Question:
IF you could make a recipe hack which recipe would you attempt to re-invent!?

Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

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In conjunction with my ‘The Bookish Foodie’ Feature on Jorie Loves A Story:

The Bookish Foodie a blog feature of Jorie Loves A Story

This post marks my fourth tie-in on my bookish blog where I am going to be highlighting both fiction and non-fiction Foodie delights! I have always appreciated “Foodie Fiction”, but I am also an amateur sous chef who likes to experiment in the kitchen with her Mum! I grew up with a keen interest in savory and sweet decadence from a Mum whose culinary wanderings spanned the world. We were always a family who were considered to eat ‘bland’ food due to the fact we limited our salt intact, and we never used black pepper! Ironically, it was through the herbs and spices my Mum always fused into our cooking adventures that first sparked my own interest in getting a bit more involved than merely developing a ‘taste’ for what I appreciated. I developed my own yearnings for Indian spices (i.e. Curry Powder, Garam Marsala, Turmeric, etc) and foods, as much as I always had a hankering for extra garlic cloves due to a high concentration of Italian foods I consumed growing up. I wanted to merge my bookish joy of reading ‘Foodie Fiction’ with my quest to uncover a healthier and more vibrant way to eat, live, and thrive. Therefore, I decided to begin featuring what I consider fit under this new Feature of Jorie Loves A Story: The Bookish Foodie! As I am *exactly!* what the title eludes — I’m a bookish girl who has a Foodie soul! Drop back and spend time with me to see where this Feature takes me!

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{SOURCES: Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopsis and Book Cover of “The Recipe Hacker”, Blog Tour Badge and Cedar Fort badge were provided by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Cookery Delights | Savoury & Ambrosial | Cookbook reviews by the Bookish Foodie Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Monstruo Estudio. The Bookish Foodie badge created by Jorie in Canva. Comment box badge created by Jorie in Canva. The recipe videos had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

Tweets on Twitter in regards to “The Recipe Hacker”:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Wednesday, 10 June, 2015 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Content Note, Cookbook, Cookery, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Non-Fiction, The Bookish Foodie

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2 responses to “Book Review | “The Recipe Hacker: Comfort foods without gluten, dairy, soy, grain, or cane sugar” by Diana Keuilian #gfree #vegan

  1. Andrea (aka rokinrev)

    Warning: I am a culinary school graduate and worked in the field a number of years prior to returning to school. Even though IMHO all these “—free” recipes are just an advertizing ploy, these actually look pretty good,and the book goes into the TBR list

    • Hallo Andrea,

      Forgive the delays in my response — June was a bit of a unique month for me whilst I took ill twice in a fortnight of woe! I had wanted to say, in regards to marketing cookbooks, I believe it’s a bit tricky. Most foodies who are seeking carnivore choices might not be as keen on the healthier herbivore choices and vice versa. I think part of the mishap for me was not realising it was a ‘combination’ cookbook – bridging the gap between both styles of eating and lifestyle choices. Most of the cookbooks I’ve read through my local library own true to how they are titled and/or marketed; especially when they are free of dairy or sugar or some such. I think it just depends on how to try to entice the right reader per each cookbook, and for me, this one fell a bit short on the promotional angle but kept me interested by the content.

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