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Danielle Walker's Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes to Make Anytime Paperback – September 2, 2014
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Meals Made Simple brings culinary excitement to the health enhancing world of low-carb and gluten-free. For anyone who embraces the notion that food matters in terms of health and longevity, this book is a treasure. (David Perlmutter MD, - Author, #1 New York Times Bestseller: Grain Brain, The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar - Your Brain's Silent Killers)
Some of her popularity might have to do with her easy-to-follow and relatable approach—and the fact that her dairy-free, gluten-free, and Paleo recipes appeal to so many different types of people and dietary concerns... (Molly Gallagher, Well+Good)
Beautifully presented and clearly explained, Meals Made Simple is a delight for Paleo newbies and longterm Paleo-ites alike. The recipes are straightforward and easy to follow, and I like that there are often tips for using leftovers from other recipes in the book. While many cookbooks leave a trail of half-used jars of obscure ingredients scattered across your kitchen, Danielle actually makes it seem easy to stock your kitchen with versatile Paleo staples, all of which can be used in countless ways.... (The Kitchn)
What’s healthy, uncomplicated and definitely not boring? Well, practically any of self-trained chef Danielle Walker’s recipes in her newest cookbook, Meals Made Simple. In fact, all of the Against All Grain blogger’s meals are gluten and dairy-free — meaning you can finally enjoy dinner without feeling too bad about going for that second helping of dessert. (Rachel Sylvester The Nest)
Danielle Walker’s first book --was (and still is) a gangbuster hit, so trust me when I tell you that her second book, Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple, is just as exciting and eye-opening when it comes to eating a gluten free and/or paleo diet. I was looking to try out a recipe or two from the book but while reading it everything looked so amazing I ended up putting tabs on more than half of the pages. (Weelicious)
Danielle Walker, whose cookbook "Against All Grain" made her a celebrity with the paleo diet and gluten-free crowd, offers conscientious recipes for celebrations and holidays in her new cookbook, "Meals Made Simple." (How conscientious? Her pumpkin spice latte includes real pumpkin.) (Denver Post)
After her debut paleo recipe title Against All Grain soared to the New York Times Bestseller list in 2013, she nails it again with inspiring, beautifully photographed recipes that sound incredible—and are all made sans dairy or grains. This time around, you also get 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists. (Self Magazine)
About the Author
Food blogger and author of the New York Times best-selling cookbook, Against All Grain (www.againstallgrain.com), Danielle Walker, is the new face of grain-free cooking. A self-trained chef, Danielle tempts a range of appetites with her innovative, accessible Paleo-influenced recipes that are not only healthy and delicious, but are also credited for saving her life. Paying homage to the dishes she loved from her pre-Paleo days, she imaginatively recreates all of her favorites without grains, gluten and most times, dairy.
A Diagnosis and Decision
For months, Danielle suffered from drastic weight loss, joint pain and malnutrition. After countless doctor visits, she was diagnosed with a severe form of Ulcerative Colitis at age 22, just two months after getting married. Despite her expansive array of medications and prednisone steroids, Danielle found herself hospitalized numerous times each year, admitted repeatedly for multiple blood transfusions due to morbidly low hemoglobin levels.
Left with a choice between surgery or a life-long weekly treatment with harsh side effects, Danielle began her own research to explore other options. A friend’s success on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) led Danielle to give it a try, only eating grain-free, sugar-free, starch-free, and unprocessed foods. Although no doctor would support a dietary change as a part of her treatment, Danielle realized that she could take things into her own hands to achieve real results.
Cooking by Necessity
Danielle noticed improvement, but committing to a new, drastically different diet was not easy. When her son was just 9 months old, she had an extreme setback which caused her to be hospitalized yet again and required multiple blood transfusions. She began eliminating more food groups including grains, lactose and legumes, following a plan that closely mimicked the Paleo diet. Seeing drastic progress after just 48 hours, Danielle began dedicating her free time to creating delicious comfort foods that could be enjoyed on a restricted diet. She focuses on flavors and textures, refusing to feel deprived despite her limited food choices.
Sharing her Success
Danielle started her blog, Against All Grain, to help others suffering from similar ailments continue to enjoy food. Her recipes are all entirely grain-free, and consequently gluten-free, free of refined sugars, and minimal to no dairy. Most are appropriate for those following the Paleo, Primal, SCD, GAPS, and gluten-free lifestyles, and more. With her acquired culinary skills, love for food, and an equal love for journalism, she has become a source of hope for others suffering from similar allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Coveting a large, but loyal following on her blog, Danielle expanded beyond the internet and released her first cookbook, Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great, in July 2013. With a large social media and blog following, Danielle has become a beacon of hope in the food community.
Danielle lives in San Francisco with her husband and son.
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Con: It is simple. Upon first receiving it and glancing through it I was a little disappointed that it seemed sparse and recipes for mayonnaise, cauli-rice and chicken stock stuck out at me. Roughly just over 100 recipes and some of them very basic. I understand why the basics are in here but I didn't expect so much beginner 'education' in a second cookbook. Seems like those of us buying it would be familiar with paleo terms/shopping already. However, as is my custom, I read through it cover to cover and that is where the real value of this book comes out.
Favorite: Those few reviewers that are unhappy with this book aren't realizing that the real value is in the unbelievable amount of time and work that Ms. Walker put into making 8 weeks of meal plans! If anyone has tried to do this on their own they'll really understand how valuable this is. We're talking 8 weeks of coordinated recipes, 8 weeks of shopping list and elaborate recipe indexes. This book is a two month meal plan and yet also a fully functioning cookbook. These recipes all work together, and leftovers are designed to be used in a new recipe (if desired). No longer do you have to open a can of coconut milk and hope the reminder doesn't go to waste, she accounts for so many of the little details like that.
So far each of the recipes I've tried have been wonderful. Actually, every recipe I've tried of Danielle Walker's has been wonderful. Tried and true. To elaborate, here are the things I love about this book:
- meal plan with shopping lists
- indexes! By ingredients, meal type, allergens/dietary preference, time/one-pot/crock-pot and a photo index
- tear-out menu plans and shopping lists. I'm telling you she thought of everything! The tear out pages are duplicates, so people like me who normally wouldn't use them for fear of losing the info. The fact that they're duplicated means I'm more likely to use them.
- more nut free recipes! I'm not allergic but I don't like all the phytic acid in nuts and there are several almonds worth in a few tablespoons of almond flour.
- the photos are great, and I appreciate that each recipe has one
- although advanced cooks might not need a lot of the filler in this book, I appreciate that I can recommend this book to anyone beginner or veteran and both will find benefit.
- again, I'm so impressed with the coordination and organization of this book. It's so elaborate and yet everything can stand alone too. There is so much time put into this cookbook.
- storage tips. I love that she tells you how long things keep in both the fridge and freezer
- nutritional info for every recipe
On a personal note, I love the dedication to her daughter Aila. I love that this book is a celebration of her short life and that she lives on in all our hearts and kitchens as we enjoy the fruit of their labor together.
Danielle was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at twenty-two, and she spent years in and out of hospitals and taking some heavy-duty prescriptions for her condition until she’d had enough. Medical science wasn’t helping her, so she took matters into her own hands and experimented with diet. By eliminating gluten, grains, dairy and legumes, she transformed her health. So successful was she that she started a blog to help others. And so, out of that hugely successful blog, sprang the idea of creating her first cookbook.
Now we have book two, lavishly photographed by Danielle herself and filled with tasty recipes your family will love. There are recipes for quick weeknight meals, slow cooker dishes and ways to create new meals from leftovers.
Danielle shows how to protect the budget by purchasing larger cuts of meat, the whole bird instead of parts and by buying in bulk. She suggests buying online as well. I live in an area where most of the items I need are available locally, but often I purchase online to save. She’s included a Paleo cheat sheet that shows which foods to eat and which to avoid.
Meals Made Simple includes a photo section with 8 weeks of meal plans and makes finding a particular recipe easy peasy. Her Overnight Breakfast Casserole (p. 62) is scrumptious. A bit like a frittata, it contains yellow onions, white sweet potatoes, bacon, bell peppers and eggs.
My favorite dinner recipe is the Ropa Vieja (p. 158). This is a slow cooker recipe with little prep. Danielle uses flank steak in hers, but I found grass-fed tri-tip a bit more economical and it also has the marvelous shredding quality of flank steak. I made this three times already with amazing results. Tip: it’s even more flavorful the second day. The Mediterranean Braised Lamb (p. 176), another slow cooker entrée, is also superb and uses the cheaper cut of lamb shoulder. Also, it can be made ahead and reheated, and it’s perfect for the Greek Salad on p. 110. I served mine with roasted golden beets. Creamy Dill Salmon is next on my list of dishes as soon as I find a nice fillet of wild-caught salmon. I like that it roasts a few minutes in a hot oven and love that I can make the sauce while the salmon is ready to pop into the preheated oven.
I made the barbecue sauce (p. 250) to serve with burgers and Danielle’s cashew flour buns from her first book. The meal was superb, and the bun halves make a pretty nice breakfast toast.
Lastly, Danielle’s Meyer Lemon Curd Cakes (p. 276) are to die for. My all-time favorite dessert is Lemon Sponge, a British treat that’s bursting with lemony goodness, but loaded with sugar. Well, I no longer have to deprive myself of this delectable sweet because these honey-sweetened delights are good for you and contain far less sweetening than my old standby. In truth, I would have bought Danielle’s book for this recipe alone, but it contains so much more. Danielle Walker is a woman and a chef after my own heart. Pick up a copy of this book; you won’t be disappointed. It releases on Tuesday September 2nd, and the copy I ordered for my daughter-in-law is on its way.
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