Thursday, October 22, 2020

My Pinewood Kitchen, A Southern Culinary Cure: 130+ Crazy Delicious, Gluten-Free Recipes to Reduce Inflammation and Make Your Gut Happy


My Pinewood Kitchen, A Southern Culinary Cure is an anti-inflammatory gluten-free diet guide with recipes developed by Mee McCormick. Released 14th April 2020 by HCI, it's 304 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

This book is a wonderful resource, especially for family dinners where one (or more) members are trying to adhere to a special diet, in this case inflammatory conditions or IBS or similar digestive issues. The emphasis is gluten free and southern style with -normal- tasting family friendly meal options.

The book has a nice, easy to follow layout. The introductory chapter and how-to's  cover the basic hows and whys of ingredient choices, as well as a really accessible and sensible explanation of the biology behind gut health and its relationship to allergies, depression, anxiety, what probiotics are, improving gut bacteria diversity and more.  The following chapters cover the southern standards: salads, soups, main dishes, veggies to support gut health, dips & spreads, breakfast, gluten-free baking & desserts.

Each of the recipes includes an introductory description, ingredients listed in a bullet point sidebar (US measurements only), step by step instructions, along with some serving suggestions and alternative presentations. There is no nutritional information included.  I would estimate roughly 20% of the recipes are accompanied by photographs. The photos provided are high quality and clear and serving suggestions are attractive and appropriate.

The recipe ingredients themselves are easily sourced and will be available at most well stocked grocery stores. There are a very few ingredients which might be a little more difficult to source or require an international foods grocery (dehydrated hijiki seaweed for example), but definitely nothing that is 'way out there'.

All in all, -very- well written, beautifully presented food, made from (mostly) unprocessed real ingredients which are easily sourced and taste good. Is it, strictly speaking, the fried okra, fried chicken, devilled eggs, sweet potato pie, pulled pork barbecue and other southern staples of my childhood? - well.. the bones are definitely there, and the taste, and the visual appeal, but these are much (much) better for readers than breaded deep fried funnel cakes or breaded deep fried chicken. 

Five stars, I'll be revisiting this cookbook often.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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