Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review~Make It Paleo

I was very excited when my review copy of Make it Paleo: Over 200 Grain Free Recipes For Any Occasion arrived a couple of weeks ago.

Make it Paleo is from the couple behind the fabulous recipe site called The Food Lovers Kitchen.  This is a thick tome with 172 breakfast, appetizer, entree, salad, soup, and sauce and dressing recipes and 43 dedicated to cheats and treats and a gorgeous photo for each and every one.  It's also perhaps the most beautifully photographed cookbook in my sizable collection.  This  is food porn at its finest.

The goal of this book is to make sure that you never feel, despite choosing not to eat grains or processed sugars, that nothing is missing from your meals. Haley and Bill achieved their goal.  
Let's get to the recipes.

London Broil with Balsamic Marinade
I love using garlic and balsamic vinegar in marinades.  The addition of finely diced red onion was really good, considering my aversion to them.  It turned out to be a delicious dinner and the leftovers were great to bring to work.

Eggs Paleo

The idea behind this play on Eggs Benedict is a revelation; poached eggs on top of sliced tomato topped with an avocado sauce and crumbled, crispy bacon but no self-respecting wife of an Englishman would serve a raw tomato on a breakfast plate.  I grilled the thick tomato slices in a screaming hot skillet until golden browned. Not sure why the serving size is just one egg and tomato stack but I went ahead made us two eggs each.  It was the perfect portion for us for Sunday brunch.  

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
I used pastured chicken from the farm.  The recipe instructs you to brown the chicken pieces in a separate skillet then roast the chicken in a dutch oven but it should be a one pot dish because you don't want to lose out on the wonderful flavor you build from browning and cooking the chicken in the same pot.  I browned the chicken in ghee then I cooked the garlic in the rendered chicken fat.  Then deglazed with a splash of red vinegar, a good dish always needs a splash of acid.  That being said, it is a delicious dish, simple and flavorful.  I used the soft, sweet roasted garlic cloves in the mashed acorn squash I served with the chicken and it was amazing. It made me wonder why I don't roast garlic more often.

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Tomato Sauce
This was my first time cooking spaghetti squash and we loved it.  The sauce was so good, but that's because I didn't follow the recipe.  I just couldn't once I read it through.  I was learning to make the most delicious Italian sauces from my Mother and Grandmother when the authors were still in diapers.  The recipe instructs to add the mushrooms to the sauce before simmering but mushrooms need to sauteed otherwise they end up flabby and the sauce ends up watery.  I sauteed the mushrooms with the zucchini and made sure all the water was cooked out before adding the crushed tomatoes.  And then there is the cayenne pepper.

Crushed red pepper!

Balsamic and Rosemary Chicken
The recipe called for three chicken breasts for three servings.  I doubled the recipe for leftovers.  And it made really good leftovers.  The recipe called for olive oil drizzled over then to press the garlic and rosemary into the chicken.  I made a paste of finely minced garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and made a compound ghee.  I bathed the chicken breasts in the mixture and let them sit for an hour before popping the pan in the oven.  Then I drizzled on the balsamic over the hot chicken. Oh, my, this is a lovely way to transform the humble chicken breast into something spectacular.

The sauce, dressing and marinade section is a treasure trove. Store-bought condiments tend to be full of questionable ingredients so this section going to be super useful. Other than recipes and photos the book contains a nice overview of the paleo/primal eating style and a fantastic two-page spread on the most essential kitchen gadgets to have in stock, not a useless item in the bunch.  There are several pages dedicated to the many and varied foods to stock in your fridge and pantry.

If you're new to the grain-free way of eating, Make it Paleo would make an excellent first book. I'd also highly recommend it for new cooks, whether Paleo or not. And although I'm neither a stranger to the kitchen nor new to grain-free cooking, I still enjoyed reading and cooking from Make it Paleo. There are some great recipes here that pack in the flavor with very little fuss.

Make it Paleo is on sale for $19.01 right now at Amazon. That is a fantastic price for such a big book of recipes and if you click through this article, you are supporting my blog. (Thanks a million!)

Full disclosure~ I was sent this book by the authors as a review copy.


  1. Yum! Funny I was just making up my grocery list and decided to put spaghetti squash on there and I see it here!

  2. EVERYTHING looks amazing! Yum yum yum.


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