The Gayelord Hauser Cook Book: Good Food, Good Health, Good Looks was published in Britain in 1955. Gayelord Hauser (1895-1984) was a German-born American nutritionist to the Hollywood greats. You can read more about him and his colourful life in the review DIET DID IT: GAYELORD HAUSER and look at products available today such as SPIKE and GAYELORD HAUSER DIETETICIEN SUPERLEVURE

Gayelord Hauser believed that cooking is art and that a memorable dish doesn’t need to be fancy. In the introduction to this book, he exhorts housewives not to ‘peel, pickle, cook to death and throw away the best parts of food’ because they are nourishing the kitchen sink, not their family.

Hauser is scathing about insipid American salads, comprised of tasteless hearts of lettuce, unripe tomatoes and ‘revolting sour pink dressing’.

Hauser wasn’t a low carb aficionado, but he calls refined white flour a ‘foodless food’ and says that dead white sugar is probably the greatest curse in most people’s diet. He suggests lemon juice in preference to vinegar and bans pork and lard, without giving a reason.

Hauser advocates ‘short-cooking’ vegetables and favours artichokes, asparagus, lima beans, string beans, beets, beet greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, corn, eggplant (aubergine), onions, peas, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes and turnips. Many of these are starchy root veg, unsuitable for low carbers.

There’s a useful chapter on salads,, with recipes and mix and match suggestions. There’s another chapter, covering salad dressings.

There’s a chapter on soups, starting with the recipe for Hauser Broth This is basically 1 cup each of finely shredded carrots and celery, 1 each onion, celery root (celeriac) chopped plus a quart of water, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and half a cup of shredded spinach. The water should be cold. Boil for not more than 30 mins. Take off the heat, stir in 1 heaped teaspoon of his vege salt and let it stand for ten minutes, before straining. You can add canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, chives and a green pepper. Plus any of these – basil, savory, marjoram and thyme, but not all at once.

Many of the soups aren’t suitable for low carbers or coeliacs, being thickened with whole wheat flour. However, a soupmaker will make simple soups very quickly, without flour. They can then be thickened by the use of sour cream, crème fraîche or double cream.

Gayelord Hauser’s book contains a recipe for making cottage cheese and another for cream cheese. Egg recipes are sparse.

For vegetarians there’s a big chapter on meat alternatives, including several nut loaves, vegetable loaves, stuffed vegetables and souffles, some of which sound rather good.

Hauser advocates eating meat, including offal, but doesn’t give a big selection of recipes, It’s all rather standard fare eg goulash, meat balls, pot roast, stroganoff, stew, vegeburgers (containing minced beef) and chops. There’s a chapter on offal, but scrambled eggs and brains, sauteed brains and liver loaf may not appeal to 21st century tastes.

The fish and seafood chapter relies on flour a lot, so few recipes suitable for low carbers or coeliacs. Small selection of poultry and game dishes as well. Wild rice and mushroom stuffing sounds good, but carby.

The chapter on sauces and relishes includes, for example, Devonshire cream sauce, curry sauce, several butter sauces and a no fail Hollandaise, all without flour.

The big chapters on puddings and bakery are useless to low carbers and coeliacs.

‘Cereals in the modern manner’ includes Bircher muesli and vegetarian recipes using wild rice. Yet more vegetarian food in ‘Yogurt. Brewers Yeast and Other Special Foods’. Hauser was way in front on juicing, in 1955.

Special Menus and Diets includes several menu plans for reducing diets which don’t look too extreme, plus a One Day Hollywood Liquid Diet.

Should you buy it, if you find it ? If you are a vegetarian, YES. Lots of recipes in Meat Alternatives, plus more in other chapters. For low carbers and coeliacs, much of it is useless. On the other hand, if you are interested in food history, this book was big in Fifties America. Hauser had a TV show and did lecture tours.

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