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VINE VOICEon December 21, 2013
This is one of the cookbooks I've been eagerly waiting for this year. When it finally arrived it did not disappoint. I've cooked from the author's blog for quite a while now so I had already made a few of the recipes in this book. Time hasn't permitted me to do a big cookup all at once but I've spent the past week slowly cooking my way through the book with delicious results.

My favorite thing about Michelle Tam's cooking style is that she uses a lot of ingredients that bring umami to your dish. Umami is that savory meaty flavor that comes from naturally occurring forms of glutamate (not to be confused with MSG...stay away from that junk) and a few other amino acids. It fires up your taste buds while filling your entire mouth with full deep flavor. You know those rich savory dishes that are just so incredibly delicious but you just can't quite put your finger on why? That's umami! Ingredients like mushrooms, beef, seaweed, fish sauce, tomato paste, caramelized onions are just a few of the ingredients that bring this special flavor to your dish and this cookbook is full of them.

The book begins with her and her husband's journey to Paleo, the basic 411 on what exactly Paleo is, as well her tips and tricks for running a kitchen as smoothly as possible. My favorite are the defrost bowl, which I've done forever and it's a huge time saver, as well as defrosting meat (wrapped in plastic...you don't want the water actually touching the meat) in water to defrost in a flash. I've done that for years but I always thought of it as my dirty little secret because I thought somehow it wasn't the safest or most sanitary thing. It was just too easy and convenient to stop though. My mind has been eased as it is apparently perfectly fine and safe. Yay!

I appreciate the fact that all of these recipes are actually Paleo and that the treat section is kept to a minimum. The recipes aren't full of copious amounts of sweeteners like maple syrup, dates, or honey. The author does use honey in a few but it's usually just a tablespoon or two. As someone who does a lower carb version of Paleo I can live with that small amount.

There are some non-recipe recipes that take up a lot of space. I prefer it when authors condense easy staples like zucchini noodles, mashed cauliflower, roasted squash, etc into a couple pages instead of each taking up the same space, or more, as a "real" recipe. Well Fed 2 does this perfectly. Still, I don't feel like these were added gratuitously to bulk up the book and I, as a reader, don't feel like I got conned into buying a book full of "recipes" for things like scrambled eggs and veggies, steamed broccoli, etc. For that reason this small nit pick doesn't merit any deductions in rating. It really is an excellent cookbook that is at the forefront of what is available in the genre right now.

There's a Building Blocks section full of condiments and ideas to quickly and easily boost the flavors of your meal. I love it when cookbooks put effort into things like this. Sometimes on a weeknight I just don't have the time to experiment with an entire recipe from scratch but sear or grill some meat with a fabulous new spice mix, sauce, or dressing and you have a delicious new culinary adventure on the table in minutes.

Despite this being a busy week I actually got to try out quite a few of her recipes (as well as having already cooked several from the blog) because so many are so fast and easy! Here's what I've made so far and what I thought of it:

-Dukkah: Love this blend. Initially I thought it was going to be too high of a spice to nut ratio but it actually works. It's delicious!

-Slow Roasted Tomatoes: Yum! This is a technique I knew about but never actually did. It's really fast as most of the work is done in the oven. I had them with a French Omelette (also in the book).

-Caramelized onions- I made a big batch of these to have them ready to add fast flavor to quick meals through the week. These do take some time and attention but do it all at once and enjoy them for several days.

-Ghee: I've been making ghee for years and I love it. This should be a staple in everyone's kitchen!!

-Macadamia Nut "Ricotta": It's like cashew "cheese" but with macadamia nuts. And fewer carbs with a healthier fat profile! Plus it tastes amazing!

-Citrus Vinaigrette: Bright tangy citrus flavors that light up your mouth. Super easy but super delicious!

-Devils On Horseback: Normally I don't do fussy little hors d'oeuvres type dishes but I already had the macadamia nut cheese and it looked really easy so I was like why the heck not. They are like bacon wrapped dates but better. They're not as sweet and a little more complex in flavor. An excellent idea!!

-Tomato and Basil Salad: I just so happened to have some nice heirloom tomatoes that needed to get used so this was perfect. Another fast easy dish that adds so much flavor.

-Madras Chicken Salad- Yum!! A delicious herby curried chicken salad. Some of these types of recipes get overwhelmed with the curry powder but this strikes the perfect balance of flavors. Next time I make this I'm going to try grapes in it! Or mango!

-Classic Coleslaw- A delicious version of a classic dish. The sesame seeds are the perfect touch and IMO they make the dish.

-Fast/Slow Pho- I did the slow method as I don't have a pressure cooker. I can't fully evaluate this recipe as I used subpar spices resulting in a bland broth. I ran out of my Penzy's coriander, which I love, so used coriander and star anise of questionable quality. I had to doctor up the broth to give it more flavor but I really think it was the spices I used. With the doctoring (garam masala, more ginger, and fresh lemon grass) it came out really good. It's a delicious idea and is a great lower carb dish for those of us watching carbs. Oh and I have an order in to Penzy's for more of the good stuff to try again. This is also not that much work. It's a set it and forget it type dish. ETA: It was definitely the crappy quality spices. Much improved with the good stuff from Penzy's. Although if you have fresh lemongrass it makes a delicious addition. I've made this 5-6 times since. I love it!!

-Thai and French Omelettes: I love that she included these. The french omelette is a good reminder to pay attention to technique. You will be rewarded with a delicious soft fluffy omelette. I used Penzy's Sunny Paris spice mix in it. The thai omlette is amazing. So simple but packed full of flavor. Both are fast and easy enough to make on a weekday morning.

-Broccoli Bagna Cauda: I love baugna cauda sauce but I've only ever had it on fish. This was a new idea that totally works!!

-Spicy Tuna Cakes: These make a delicious fast weeknight meal. I had them cold for brunch the next day too. I didn't have any sweet potatoes so I subbed pumpkin puree and it worked great. Fewer carbs too!

-Fiona's Green Chicken: This is a recipe from her blog that I've made many times. It's amazing. Bright, minty, citrusy, grassy and good! I've done it with grilled pork chops and it made a delicious turkey breast as well. It's a delicious and versatile staple for me.

-Crispy Smashed Chicken: This is the perfect weeknight meal. You can spice it up and top it however you want. I used Penzy's Arizona spice mix in the coating for the chicken and topped with pico de gallo. The cookbook recommends her Spicy Pineapple Salsa or Salsa Roja Asada (both are in the book). Either one sounds amazing and I am going to do the pineapple salsa next time!

-Slow Cooker Chicken and Gravy: Another recipe from her blog I've made quite a few times. It's easy and delicious. The "gravy" is sensational and a good way to use up the veggies from the bottom of the roasting pan that I've previously always tossed. What a huge mistake I've been making!

-Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs: Short ribs are my favorite cut of beef so I always have to try any new recipe for them. This is amazing. Sweet and savory beefy goodness! I've seen this recipe on her blog but never actually tried it until the book came. It's another fast "set it and forget it" type recipe. I made both this and the Pho in no time at all on weeknights.

-Big O Bacon Burgers: This is a big 'ol whollup of umami for your taste buds. So delicious! Luckily I made a big batch and froze individual patties now they'll be ready even faster next time.

-Loco Moco: I'm from HI and this is a staple there. Using the Big O Bacon burgers just ups the flavor even more. I subbed umami gravy for the slow cooker gravy because that's what I had in the fridge. Served with cauliflower rice it's pure paleo comfort food!! I top mine with Furikake as well.

-Cinnamon Apple Scones: These are on the authors blog and I've made them plain, with the apples, and with pears. All the variations came out amazing.

-Strawberry banana ice cream: Do I even need to tell anyone that this is delicious? Well it is. I've done all kinds of berries and frozen fruits as well.

For not having a ton of time this week I sure have made a lot of recipes from this book. This is one of those books where I literally want to make every single recipe. Soon up to try are the Crispy Confit Chicken Gizzards, Magic Mushroom Powder, Magic Poached Tuna, Kahlua Slow Cooker Pig, Eggplant "Ricotta" Stacks, Uova In Purgatorio (spicy meat sauce baked eggs), and the Coconut Pineapple Fried "Rice". I could go on and on!

Paleo or not this book is full of good food and would be a great addition to anyone's kitchen!
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on December 18, 2013
I have been waiting for this cookbook for months, and pre-ordered it at the end of the summer. How great it was to have it arrive yesterday, and have it even exceed my expectations. If you have been following the nom nom paleo blog, as I have, you know that Michelle's humor and easy to read style are engaging. I love the way she is down to earth, fun, child friendly, and is really a good writer. I was delighted to find that her pictures and easy to read style translated beautifully into this fun cookbook. I sat down and read half of it as soon as it arrived, and have already ordered three more copies to give away as holiday gifts. Whether you are new to paleo (or as she calls it, "eating real food") or just sticking your toes in the water, Michelle makes it easy. There are step by step photos, bright, colorful pictures, and really good recipes. I was actually a little surprised to find out just what a great cook she really is...it was easier to see in a hardback, which I would recommend, rather than a kindle. You will not be disappointed with this book, and of course, you will all want a husband just like hers, who set up her blog page initially, and provides the lovely graphics and cartoons in the book. Buy it!!
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on November 14, 2014
10-Word Review: THE paleo cookbook to buy. YOU can cook impressive meals!

I put off buying this book. I've been following Nom Nom Paleo's blog for a long time, and I wasn't sure I wanted a physical book. I am SO GLAD I FINALLY BOUGHT THIS COOKBOOK!

The recipes are amazing. Your family and friends will never know these recipes are even paleo because they are incredibly delicious. And if you have a friend or family member with a gluten, dairy or other food intolerance, this book will let you completely impress them with your cooking.

I've made a few recipes out of this book so far, and the Carrot Cardamom soup is my favorite to date. It's DELICIOUS. Incredibly, incredibly delicious. And so easy.

I'm not sure why other reviewers said these recipes were difficult. Michelle truly is the Martha Stewart of paleo. She tells you how to make it easy! From everything from making your own mayo in minutes to how to boil the perfect egg. Plus she is SO FUNNY! There are many photos and even comic strips in this book. She even includes suggestions for children's lunches. You won't be disappointed.

I've ordered several of these cookbooks for gifts. This cookbook is the one. By that I mean if you get only one cookbook in your entire kitchen, this is the one!
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on May 10, 2016
She is my favorite. She has changed the way I think about cooking and creating my own recipes. Almost every recipe in here is a home run. Excellent even if you are not paleo. She has introduced me to foods I never thought to try before (fish sauce in everything!) If you have the app, may of the recipes are the same. There are a few more included here that aren't on the app.
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on May 8, 2017
Love nomnompaleo online and now this book. I'm a big fan and look forward to cooking some of these amazing recipes!
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on July 8, 2014
Nom Nom Paleo is officially my go to Paleo cookbook. My husband and I embarked on the Paleo journey two weeks ago. We ordered this book and three others. This book scores major points with us for actually being a hardcover with sewn binding and thick durable pages. While I do enjoy my other Paleo books, the quality was the worst of cheap and they all had tattered binding within one week. Short of cramming Nom Nom Paleo down a garbage disposal, this book is meant for the actual, heavy kitchen use.

The book is divided into the following sections: introduction (very basic paleo intro); building blocks (like mayo, sriracha, and other meal builders); nibbles; salads and soups; eggs; plants; seafood; poultry; meat; and treats. Amusing and insightful blurbs precede each recipe, and the photography is top level quality. Little cartoons and asides educate and delight throughout the book.

I have made mayo, a real keeper and super simple as well as the Peruvian roast chicken with aji verde sauce. I think my husband thought twice about peeling all the crispy skin off the bird and devouring it all in one meal. We are also big, big fans of her Liar bars, a snack/energy bar knock off. Every recipe is clearly explained and well written. I see several reviews bemoaning the lack of protein, but there are twenty something protein recipes and that excludes the eggs and seafood chapters. Paleo isn't a free pass to scarf down all of your calories through meat. A wide variety of vegetables and some fruits and nuts should round you out.

If I owned only one Paleo book, this would be it. If you are a newbie like me looking for the cookbook to get you started, I think this should be the book. Most of the ingredients were easily attainable for me in my small town grocery store with the exception of coconut aminos...and Amazon can help you out with obtaining those if you can't procure them. I adore this book, and I have my fingers crossed for another one. I read on the author's blog that she was quitting her job as a pharmacist so here is hoping she'll produce another book soon.
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on February 3, 2014
For once I can't wait to eat something on a diet! This book is jam packed with kitchen tips, gadgets, and tasty recipes. it also includes explanations on taste including flavor combinations
Review Update - 2/11/2014 - I have now made about 14 of these recipes. They are just amazing. This woman is her generations Julia Child. Her suggestions and hints are what really makes the difference and makes this an outstanding book. I have to say I have a good 30 cookbooks, but most I have cooked maybe 2-5 recipes out of. I just can't say enough how good this book is. I have also tried some from her blog. Scrumptious.
I have the kindle edition and bought the book for a relative and to be honest, I'll have to buy another I need to keep the hard copy as well.
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on April 5, 2014
I got my first "great recipe" for Paleo from a low-carb cookbook for bone broth. Every recipe I ran into after that was a transformation of a high-carb diet to a low-carb diet, including many Paleo cookbooks. I knew a long time ago that "Doctor's Quick Weight Loss" worked and stuck to the search. I'm 60 and my health looked dismal, at least to me. My main motivation was to find a cure for an auto-immune disease (GBS), but I also didn't want a recipe for pancakes that involved 15 protein powders I didn't have.

Suddenly Michelle was there. I don't recall how I bumped into the blog, but I did. I tried everything initially and hated her hard-boiled egg recipe, but I had never been able to make mayonnaise and suddenly I could make it inside five minutes.

Then I made her Asian Meatballs (not in the cookbook). There are many recipes I have not made, but Asian Meatballs will be a staple in my home and every home I come in contact with. Umami! Beyond good, and better the next day.

I've learned a lot from Michelle. I own the hard copy and the kindle copy of the book and my only complaint is my inept brain cannot always recall where each recipe is, even when it's in both.

Can't wait for the next!
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on June 13, 2016
This book makes Paleo cooking fun and exciting! Unlike most cookbooks with just recipes, the author welcomes you into her personal life and inspiration through story telling, vivid cartoon graphics, lots of photos, and laid out in a way that is easily digestible. This type of healthy eating is a lifestyle change that can be sustainable and she navigates you through it. I love the yummy recipes I have tried so far (about 10 of them), and have even purchased it for my colleague as a gift because she too wants to eat healthier without sacrificing much taste. Bonus tips: 1) head over to their website to sign up for a free weekly newsletter that contains recipes too! 2) some of her items can actually be found on the hot deli section of Whole Foods if you want to give it a try.
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on April 28, 2017
I've been eating more and more paleo meals and a friend reccomended Michelle's NNP Facebook page and after a few months of trying out some of her recommendations I knew I had to show some love back and try her book out. There are a lot of great meals in here!
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