Finding reliable recipes that make only one or two servings is tough. To help, we’ve put together these lists of cooking for one cookbooks and cooking for two cookbooks. They offer a variety of perfectly-portioned recipes to fit any lifestyle from vegan to vegetarian, low-fat, and more.
Our goal is to do a full review for every book on those lists. But for now, the first cookbook we’ll be reviewing is Gluten-Free Cooking For Two by Carol Fenster.
Carol is a pioneer in Gluten-Free cooking. She’s published 13 cookbooks and writes at Carol Fenster Cooks too. Basically, she knows her gluten-free cooking.
Quick FYI: This post contains affiliate links. That means as an Amazon Associate we earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Also, this is not a sponsored post. Just my honest opinion about a cookbook I purchased.
If it wasn’t obvious from the title, Gluten-Free Cooking For Two is full of gluten-free recipes designed to feed two people. The recipe chapters include Breakfast & Brunch, Soups & Sandwiches, Main Dishes, Sides, Breads, and Desserts.
There’s a wide range of recipes. From familiar comfort foods likes Meatloaf, Coffee Cake, Chicken Pot Pies, and Lasagna to more adventurous dishes like Coconut-Curry Salmon, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Chia Breakfast Pudding.
While Tim and I are fortunate to not have food allergies and don’t eat gluten-free it’s something my mom has been exploring. So I checked out this cookbook with the hopes of recommending it to her.
What You Might Like About This Cookbook:
- The cookbook is available for your Kindle or in paperback. The paperback measures a small 7 x 9-inches, the perfect size for keeping on your kitchen counter.
- Inside there’s beautiful photography for most but not all of the 125 recipes.
- The recipes have the ingredients on the left and instructions on the right. I’m a big fan of this format because it makes adding ingredients to your grocery list (without missing one) a breeze.
- Nutritional information is included for every recipe.
- The headnotes are fantastic. They include serving ideas along with substitutions and customizations for the recipe.
- Many of the recipes have tips for storing and using up leftover ingredients like egg whites and half a can of beans.
- The introduction covers the best appliances, pans, and utensils for setting up your cooking-for-two kitchen. If you’re new to gluten-free cooking, there’s a primer on flours and cross-contamination. Plus resources to learn more about celiac disease and gluten-free living.
Things You Should Know:
- There are 40 main dish recipes but only 5 are vegetarian and none are vegan.
- Like most gluten-free cookbooks, the gluten-free flour used in the baking recipes is the author’s special blend. Though it has minimal ingredients, you will need to buy and store one flour and two starches.
- In the introduction, it’s suggested you purchase a special set of measuring spoons. If you have a 1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon (like the one in my favorite set), I think you can get by fine without them.
- Some of the baking and sauce recipes contain small amounts of xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is on the more expensive side and some people have sensitivities or allergies to it.
The Recipes We Tried
Gingerbread Pancakes (Page 37)
Flipping through the cookbook for the first time, this recipe immediately jumped out at me. I mean come on Gingerbread + Pancakes!
With the promise of holiday flavored pancakes on the table, it wasn’t hard to convince Tim to help me make a batch. Start to finish, the recipe took us about 25 minutes.
At first, the pancake batter was pretty thick so we had to add more milk (about 1/4 cup extra). What’s cool is how the recipe directions note that you might need more milk.
Once we got the batter consistency correct it was smooth sailing. And we ended up with the perfect amount of spicy, fluffy, delicious gingerbread pancakes for two!
Full disclosure: We substituted an equal amount of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour for the author’s blend. It was already in the fridge and we didn’t want to leave the house.
The pancakes turned out great so I imagine using her blend would only make them taste better!
Chiles Rellenos Casserole (Page 131)
I choose this recipe because I wanted to make something in our countertop oven and Tim loves casseroles.
Since the ingredients needed were basic pantry staples, the only thing we didn’t have was a 1/2 cup of sour cream. Luckily, the ingredients list included the option of using a sour cream alternative so I substituted a 1/2 cup of 2% plain yogurt.
My favorite part of this recipe is that you dump all the ingredients into a bowl, mix well and bake. With only one dirty bowl and a few measuring cups to wash cleanup was a breeze.
Using the conventional oven directions, I cooked the dish in our Breville Smart Oven Pro. It took about 30 minutes, the same amount of time as the directions indicated it should.
I can’t say enough good things about this dish! It’s everything you want in a good casserole: rich, comforting and creamy.
The eggs, yogurt, and cheese balance out the heat from the green chiles. And oh-la-la, how gorgeous is that paprika sprinkled on top.
I could see us making this regularly and adding black beans or corn and green onions. If you’re cooking for one, the leftovers would make a tasty filling for breakfast tacos too.
Chocolate Puddings (Page 217)
Have you made pudding from scratch before? Until reading this book, I had not.
So I was thrilled to find a recipe for chocolate pudding that made only two servings. I figured not too much would get wasted if I mucked it up.
The recipe turned out well but being a pudding novice I could have used more detailed instructions.
There were some issues with the brown sugar clumping but they worked themselves out. And the directions state to “pour [the pudding] into bowls” but a bowl size isn’t given. Guessing, I grabbed a pair of 6 oz ramekins.
After chilling and some aggressive stirring the pudding was smooth, creamy, and rich. Tim liked it so much he ate most of my pudding too!
I was really impressed with how accessible the recipes were. We had many of the ingredients on hand for the recipes we wanted to try. And there were options for substituting any ingredients we were missing.
Due to the lack of meatless options, this is not a book I’d purchase for our house. But I did buy a copy as a present for my mom’s birthday. You can pick up your own copy of Gluten-Free Cooking For Two on Amazon.
Skills & Effort Required:
- Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
- Recipe Effort: Easy to Medium
Who This Cookbook Is For:
- Your favorite omnivore that’s following a gluten-free lifestyle and cooking for only one or two people.
- Anyone interested in learning to cook gluten-free without making large amounts of food.
Do you own this books? I’d love to hear about your favorite recipes in the comments!