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Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen Paperback – September 12, 2011
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"Paleo Comfort Foods bridges the gap between traditional cookbooks and the paleo diet in a seamless and beautiful way...This is the cookbook you'll give to your Mom, your co-worker, your best friend, to get them started on a healthy eating plan in a way that feels familiar and easy." - Melissa Hartwig, RKC
"Superb photos and inviting format...The book makes it clear that it's no longer a matter of avoiding gluten but of enjoying all the gluten-less foods that nature provides...Anyone unsure of embarking on a paleo-type diet will find comfort in Paleo Comfort Foods."
Philip J. Goscienski, M.D., author, Health Secrets of the Stone Age.
"My mouth watered on just my first opening of Paleo Comfort Foods...Anyone searching for recipes consistent with the healthy "Paleo" diet approach that are unique, tasty, and simple will not be disappointed with this gorgeous book!" - William Davis, MD, New York Times best selling author of Wheat Belly
From the Back Cover
'Healthy' and 'delicious' can coexist, and Paleo Comfort Foods shows you how! In this one-of-a-kind cookbook, Julie and Charles Mayfield teach you how to make old-fashioned, homestyle recipes with real ingredients, resulting in dishes that are sure to please anyone living a paleo, primal, or gluten-free lifestyle. You will stave off mealtime boredom with classic favorites such as Pot of Chicken Pie, Shrimp and 'Grits,' Fried Green Tomatoes, and Jules' Banana Pudding. All of the 125+ recipes are accompanied by mouth-watering color photographs, inspiring even those afraid of the kitchen to create these delightful recipes. In addition to recipes, Paleo Comfort Foods breaks down the basics of the paleo kitchen, helps you stock your pantry and fridge for healthy eating, and offers tips and tricks that will make your life in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable. Armed with Paleo Comfort Foods, making healthy eating a permanent way of life for you and your family has never tasted so good!
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Top Customer Reviews
One downside: there is no table of contents! Only an ingredient-based index! So if I search for 'cauliflower', there are 10-20 pages where cauliflower is mentioned and I have to go through all of them to find, say, the cauliflower puree. Makes no sense! That's the big minus for me.
A wonderful new cookbook has just hit the stands, and it rejects that nonsense in favor of offering up painless prescriptions for individuals who wish to shun the convenience in a box or bag, and control what feeds their bodies, _Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking in a Gluten-Free Kitchen_, which is available at Amazon now.
I received a review copy from the authors, Julie and Charles Mayfield, because I have a desire to bring to folks any tools that can assist them in their journey from the SAD (Standard American Diet) toward a real-food lifestyle that offers them long-term health and the joy of being self-sufficient in the kitchen. This book is a marvelous tool that will help individuals to deep-six the Lean Cuisine and Hot Pockets monstrosities and unleash their inner chef.
Upon receiving the book, I experienced some immediate skepticism - the book was very large and the short chapters at the front presented some very large type. As I thumbed through the early chapters, however, I noticed the colors and layout popped out at me in a pleasant sort of way. The type size calmed down for the actual recipes, and the larger size of the book even grew on me after a while. The book is easy to fling around in the kitchen as you are moving about and putting together your next remarkable meal. I also questioned the word "Comfort" in the title, that is, until I discovered, in the introduction, that there is some Southern influence behind this book. The Southernisms are a bonus, especially when you note some of the traditional, carb-loaded Southern foods mellowed out paleo-style for your health-nut lifestyle. The recipes for okra, collard greens, green fried tomatoes (using almond flour), and paleo grits are an indicator that the book is a wee bit different than your usual paleo cookbook. I have already made the collard greens recipe using my pastured bacon and ham hocks from a half hog I just welcomed into my freezer two weeks ago. A raging success!
My personal belief is that recipe books are a compilation of suggestions, and it is up to the reader to use the suggestions and build upon them through customization. The book's introduction contains a confirmation of this when the authors state that, "This cookbook is not meant to be all things to all people. Rather, it is intended for those who want to expand their "real foods" cooking repertoire, learn a few bits here and there, and maybe get some creative ideas on adapting recipes to these frameworks."
That is what this cookbook promises, and it succeeds. Not only is it an outstanding tool for expanding your catalog of food preparation ideas, but also, it is the perfect starter kit for the raw beginner who thinks he can't cook and doesn't know where to start. The book starts out with some real basic stuff for beginners - kitchen foods and cooking tools. A number of people write me often and tell me they have been relying on convenience foods for so long that they do not know where to start, what to get, and how to put things together. Since this is a cookbook that embraces a particular lifestyle - paleo or real food - it has the starter guide that many folks need and deserve to have in any cookbook.
On the other hand, this book is also a valuable resource for seasoned paleo and real-foodist pros, too. I am very creative and experimental in the kitchen, and this book only adds to my innovativeness. Many of the recipes, I find, are great to start from and customize to your own taste and desire. The authors include "Variations" with many of the recipes, and these are gentle reminders that there's more than one way to skin a cat on any recipe in the book. Julie and Charles also include some "Tips & Tricks" and "Ingredient Notes" throughout the collection of recipes.
One point worth mentioning when reviewing any paleo cookbook is that the recipes reject the standard industrial oils, wheat, and the usual sweet frills. Instead, the recipes use items not found in the average American kitchen: nut oils, coconut oil, coconut milk, almond meal or almond flour, coconut butter, clarified butter (you can buy ghee), etc. The average person might need to buy a few staples of the paleo lifestyle to get going in the kitchen. Whole Foods and Amazon.com are good resources for this one-time shopping binge.
As one new to cooking, you might want to know - what is the single best thing about this cookbook? The answer is that there is a photo (or two) for every single recipe in the book. Yes, people are still publishing cookbooks without photos, which I find to be intolerable. As a creator of food on the suggestions of others, I want to work toward the visual that appears before me, even if I change up a few items to reflect my peculiar inclinations. Visual people want photos, especially if they are newbies to cooking with a lot of real foods, making stuff from scratch. The book's photos are outstanding and tempted me to stick page markers on one-third of the recipe pages.
What is also notable is that Julie and Charles include recipes for some of my favorite paleo staples such as homemade mayonnaise, tarter sauce, and ketchup. Handcrafting these items with simple recipes allows you to avoid the high-fructose corn syrup and soybean oil typically found in the shelf version of these products. They also include recipes for stocks (chicken and crawfish) and sauces that can be used with various concoctions. The overall recipe coverage is there: starters and snacks, sauces and staples, soups and sales, side dishes, main dishes, and sugar-denying desserts.
Almost none of the recipes within this book are time-consuming or difficult, even for the newbie who swears he "can't boil water." This is easy stuff, folks, and I would not mislead you on that fact. Wheat-free pumpkin pancakes, fish tacos, peanut sauce, and meat-stuffed acorn squash - they can all be made in short time with minimal mess.
Furthermore, note that the paleo or real-food way is the opposite of a diet - it is a lifestyle that will allow you to rediscover real, nutritious food, with a smattering of resources at your disposal, with the most important being the roadmap, or cookbook, that will guide you toward developing accountability for your own long-term health outlook.
Be forewarned: buying this book will force you to invert the federal food pyramid and deny its authority while claiming the mantle of heresy.
The day my guests were arriving after a long day's drive I decided to make some guacamole for their arrival, and I recalled seeing a beautiful guacamole in the cookbook. So I pulled it out and did looked up "guacamole". Nothing. Not there at all. So I went to Avocado, hoping maybe to see something like "avocado, guacamole" as I have in other cookbooks. But NO, I got there and saw: "Avocado 30, 46, 56, 66, 92, 96, 128, 156 ..." and on and on. Lots of page references with no hint as to what the references were. My time was short so I just gave up and made my own guacamole recipe from memory, which is tasty anyway.
I also recalled seeing really excellent looking muffins in the cookbook and thought they would be great to make for breakfast one day, so again I turned to the index and looked for "muffins" and again under "muffins" there was Nothing, Zip, Nada. This time I was lucky however, as my eyes happened to fall on the entry "morning glory muffins" - right above where muffins SHOULD have been in the index. Yay, I made them and they were fabulous. But suppose they had been called "early rising muffins" or "great start muffins"? I sure never would have found them by searching the index.
I later found the guacamole when I had more time by starting at page one and thumbing through, and finally found "chunky guacamole" on page 66. And sure enough, the index referenced "chunky guacamole".
But is a person supposed to remember the NAME of every single recipe in order to find it in the index? I'm starting to write in by hand in the proper alphabetical location the recipes that look of interest to me. But why should I need to to?
That said the recipes I have tried were really good: morning glory muffins, banana bread, basic biscuits. And the pecash butter is totally awesome. I love that one. :-)