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Paleo Home Cooking: Flavorful Recipes for a Healthy, Gluten-Free Lifestyle Paperback – September 29, 2015
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About the Author
A 41-year-old single mother of two grown kids, Sonia Lacasse spent most of her life overweight, a heavy drinker, chain smoker, and food junkie. At the age of 35, she decided to turn things around and embrace a healthy lifestyle. Having struggled with her weight her entire life, she fell victim to the diet syndrome on many occasions and starved herself for months in order to lose the pounds. Sure, the weight would come off, but it was only be a matter of time before it all came back, because she didn’t know how to feed her body properly and, more important, make it stick.
She eventually started a blog, The Healthy Foodie, to keep herself accountable as well as keep track of the food she ate and the recipes she created. In doing so, she discovered that she has a real passion for food and that eating healthy, wholesome food in no way means that flavor or pleasure have to be sacrificed.
Although Sonia initially meant for the blog to be nothing more than a personal online food diary, it soon became evident that her growing number of followers weren’t just getting inspiration from her healthy recipes, but were actually trying them out. It wasn’t long before she started receiving positive comments and emails on a regular basis from readers who had tried and liked her recipes, wanted to thank her for being an inspiration and for putting so much love and care into her blog, or simply wanted to tell her how much they enjoyed her mouthwatering photography. Before she could even realize it, the small seed that she’d planted had grown into a large and magnificent plant, and she eventually embraced a career as a full-time food blogger.
It was only a matter of time before Sonia discovered the Paleo diet, which turned out to be a total liberation for her: no more calorie and macronutrient counting, no more eating small, unsatisfying meals at regular intervals, no more staying slightly hungry all the time, no more stepping on the scale every week and obsessing about that number…and out the window went her fat phobia! She felt a newfound liberty and felt much better physically, too. While many people find the Paleo lifestyle incredibly restrictive, it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for Sonia and made her feel super-inspired to come up with new, tasty, and, most important, healthy recipes. Luckily for you, she’s all too happy to share them!
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Top customer reviews
I have about 15 Paleo cookbooks, many from the more famous Paleo bloggers, but this is hands down the best tasting food. Thank goodness she has a blog to tide me over under her next cookbook comes out.
Her recipes are unique, unlike the same ol' same ol' you get in a lot of the more famous blogger's books. They're all easy, with varying prep and cooktimes, and the ingredients are accessible. Nothing too exotic or expensive.
There is a good sized section for the basics with everything from ghee to salad dressings to spice mixes. With my increasing cookbook collection I've had to become pickier about what books I keep and a good section like this is crucial. This is where you can make meals your own and it lets you be really creative if you don't have time to follow a new recipe from scratch. Because, at least for me, even the "fast and easy" ones take way longer the first time.
She goes on to include individual sections for appetizers, soups and salads, chicken dishes, beef and lamb, pork, fish and seafood, side dishes, a large section on ridiculously good nut butters, and finally desserts. The dessert section thankfully comes with out the increasingly annoying lecture to be sure to eat these in moderation and don't eat cookies 27 times a day just because they're made with healthy ingredients. Maybe it's the sheer amount of "healthy" cookbooks I have but this disclaimer in so many of them is getting annoying. If they're that anxious about desserts and treats just leave them out of the book! I'm an adult and I buy cookbooks to find really good recipes. That don't come with a side of subtle dessert shaming, thank you very much. Anyways.
Oh and she also adds nutritional information on the page of each recipe. A welcome addition that too many Paleo cookbooks don't bother to do.
On to the actual recipe reviews.
Roasted Garlic: Almost too basic to qualify as a recipe but it's such an important ingredient that I'm glad she included it. It immensely improves the flavor of so many dishes. Esp mashed cauliflower or mashed potatoes.
Ranch Dressing: Really really good one! There are plenty of paleofied recipes but very few are as good as this one.
Paleo Pie Crust: So close to the real thing. I didn't find it nearly as difficult to deal with as the author made it out to be and I'm not a baking expert and have made probably less than a dozen actual rolly type dough pie crusts in my life.
Non Dairy Chive and Onion dip: Soo good! It has all the flavor that too many non dairy dips are lacking.
Smoked Salmon deviled eggs: knock your socks off good. the menfolk around here complain now when make deviled eggs any other way.
Beef Liver Pate: I love beef liver but had never seen a pate recipe calling for it. This was good with bacon for smokiness, mushrooms for umami, and chopped pistachios for texture. Delish! One of the very creative recipes that makes me love this book and her blog.
Cream of Mushroom soup: despite what was to me a sort of ugly brownish color the flavor was amazing. It called for a tiny amount of anise seed which I was tempted to leave out since I despise anything tasting like licorice. I left it in though and found it wasn't overwhelming and still very much delicious. I left it out the next time I made it and the soup didn't suffer.
Braised Beef and Caramelized Onion soup: might as well just call this a bowl full of umami goodness. Really really good. One of my favorite recipes in the book. I've made it many times including for company and everyone loves it. This, a quick salad, and a hunk of paleo bread makes a comfort meal in minutes if you make it ahead of time.
Brussels Sprouts and Smoked Ham salad: flavor for days!! It's also got carrots, turnips, and hazelnuts topped with a yummy vinagrette!
Spicy Mango and Cucumber salad: sign me up for any kind of combo involving cucumbers and mango!
Baked Eggs with Creamed Spinach: I made this for a brunch I gave at my home. Without making it once beforehand to test it out. Thankfully it was a hit. It's even better spooned bite by bite onto a paleo biscuit.
Basic Grilled Chicken: not so basic to make because it involves a brine but it's well worth it. Brining chicken can ruin you for any other kind of chicken. It really adds that extra something that makes anything else taste bland.
Chicken Fingers: crazy addicting. A really good breading that actually sticks to the chicken strips and gets nice and crispy. It comes with a honey dijon dipping sauce that I was told is pretty good. I don't care for honey dijon so I used her ranch dressing recipe for myself. Yum!
Spicy Indian Chicken Stew: Yummazing! A lot of times Indian anything in a cookbook basically means curry something or other. While this is reminiscent of curry it isn't just another version of it. It has it's own unique spicy warmth to it, This begs for some paleo version of naan to go along with it. You gotta.
Easy Braised Beef: I love me some braised beef! Onions and a chili moka rub take it to the next level. And it really is easy.
Meatloaf with sour cherry sauce: Sour cherries were probably the most difficult ingredient to find. I'd had this recipe on my mind so once I saw them in the store I snatched them up and made it.
Hearty Meatballs in Wild Mushroom sauce: another recipe with the more "exotic" ingredients. I thought I might have to go to Whole Paycheck but my local supermarket had a nice variety of fresh mushrooms one day so my bank account got a break. Mushrooms and beef are a classic for a reason but this recipe is a unique twist. Very hearty and comforting. I served over mashed potatoes.
French Canadian Meat pie: one of those recipes you should only make when you want to spend a good chunk of time in the kitchen. This recipe was more complicated than others and the layout could have used some improvement. for example it wasn't immediately apparent what "part 1" was (it's basically braising some pork shanks). I just like to be able to skim a recipe and get a general game plan if you will. Once that was down though the recipe wasn't difficult although it did involve a good deal of preparation. It was a labor of love that was well worth it. Unapologetic meaty goodness encased in a crispy flakey flavorful crust.
Fatty Fish Patties: Mouthfuls of flavor! that's the only way to describe these sardine and smoked herring cakes. Very unique among the paleo fish cake offerings.
Orange Ginger Salmon Tataki: this recipe made my mouth so happy. I'm from Hawaii so Asian themed recipes speak to my heart. This is my kinda thing. I've made this for so many people, including my Mother who is a really good cook, and she loved it. One of my favorites and first recipes made out of this book.
Roasted Garlic Caulifower Mash: Normally I would not review something so basic that's in every single paleo cookbook and on every single paleo blog. This one is different. Two things make it stand out. Squeezing the water out of the cauliflower...why have I never heard of this before?? This takes my cauliflower mash game to new heights. This is how you REALLY compete with mashed potatoes. The second is adding mayo. The author gives just the right amount that adds a new creaminess to this most basic paleo 101 dishes. Seriously, follow this recipe to the letter for the best mashed cauliflower ever!
This review is getting too long so I'm not even going to bother with the nut butters or desserts I've made. I'll just tell you that you absolutely must make the rum raisin spread, maple chai candied nut spread, and the toasted butter pecan. And then try not to eat the entire batch. For desserts the butter pecan cake and the pudding chomeur are standouts.
This is one of my favorite paleo cookbooks ever. One that makes me want to make almost everything in it. I hope this book and the blog get more attention (only 24 reviews at the time of posting?? really??) because they certainly deserve it.
Most recent customer reviews
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