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Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings and Toppings Hardcover – December 5, 2012
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About the Author
Mark is the one of the leading figures in the primal/paleo/ancestral health world, with his MarksDailyApple.com the most visited site in this category. Mark has followed the revolutionary bestseller, The Primal Blueprint, with six other books on primal living and eating. He is a former world-class endurance athlete (2:18 marathon, 4th place Hawaii Ironman), BA degree in biology (Williams College). Besides blogging daily and writing books, Mark hosts PrimalCon lifestyle retreats in North America
Top customer reviews
One of the best things about this cookbook is that it makes for a dinner on the table in lightening speed. Steam some veggies or make a salad, grill or pan fry some meat or a burger, and use one of the recipes from this book. It makes for endless variety but easy, fast, healthy. Perfect for weeknights!
Here are a few of my favorites:
Tartar Sauce: I eat more fish because of this recipe. Simply amazing. And it works on everything from sole to salmon. And salmon cakes!!
Hollandaise Sauce: So simple but so flavorful. A little goes a long way and a unique way to use it is as a dressing for a chopped salad with hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, scallions, and leftover roasted chicken. Of course it's great for the more typical uses as well.
Sausage Gravy: 3 ingredients and amazing flavor. I watch my carbs so I top a spaghetti squash omelette (from the Quick and Easy primal blueprint cookbook) with this. I recommend the pork sausage from US Wellness.
Spicy Poblano sauce: Perfect for a mexican fix without the junk. Pan sear any meat and top with this.
Creamy Arugula Sauce: So summery and refreshing. I add some lemon juice and turn it into a dressing.
Stir Fry Sauce: Delicious!!! I like to add a tsp of red boat fish sauce for some extra flavor.
Coconut Milk Whipped Cream: Decadent! And guilt free. I top 1/2 cup of berries and sprinkle some slivered almonds for dessert.
Ranch Dressing: The best ranch dressing hands down. I don't do dairy often but this is a nice splurge for me.
Bacon Dressing: Need I say more?
Sesame Coconut Dressing: Yummy for an asian style salad. Add some almond butter to make it even more decadent.
Mayonnaise: To me most homemade mayo recipes are all pretty much the same. Oil, eggs, salt, lemon juice, and/or mustard of some sort. The real difference is the oil you use. I use this as my basic mayo and do 1/2 and 1/2 of avocado oil and light olive oil.
Blueberry Chutney: I've made this with cherries too and it's yummy both ways.
Taco Seasoning: awesome way to avoid the stuff in the packets...with all the junk.
Nori Salt Blend: Mmmm! Reminds me of furikake. I use it on eggs and asian salads.
So as you can see I use this cookbook all the time. I never thought I'd get so much use out of a book without any "real" recipes. This has become one of my favorite cookbooks though!
The condiments and sauces are a place where I have struggled, because even though I have gotten pretty creative with roasting vegetables and pureeing them with spices and coconut milk to make sauces, doing my own homemade mayo, etc, I haven't felt like my own homemade sauces and condiments have been as good as I'd like, so I have occasionally used storebought dressings or traditional recipes with dairy or starches as thickeners when I have been too busy to try researching yet another new recipe that might be "the one".
So given that I am such a huge fan of Mark's work, and given that I really needed ideas for sauces, dressings, and toppings, I thought that this book would be a slam dunk hit. And I am really enjoying it. But I have to say I'm a little bit disappointed because I was really hoping for a number of warm sauces that I could use over spaghetti squash, vegetables, and meats to make them seem like old familiar favorites. While this book shines in the dressings and condiments department, there are very few sauces in the book that would be good warm, over dinner foods.
In addition, some of those sauces that are warm and would taste good over vegetables and meat really have not been adjusted much from their traditional origins, so they still contain a LOT of dairy. For example, the Mornay sauce includes whipping cream, butter, almond butter, a cup of cheese, and nutmeg. While it certainly an interesting touch to include almond butter in a cream sauce to thicken it, there are already a few different Paleo -ish ways of thickening a sauce, such as arrowroot starch or even pureed root vegetables of some kind. What I'm really looking to get rid of is the cheese, which I don't think of as being primal or Paleo at all. The ranch dressing is another example, since it contains sour cream and buttermilk. I don't need a special primal book to tell me how to make ranch dressing using dairy - any recipe book would do that just fine.
I know Mark says that high-fat dairy is okay if you tolerate it well and especially if you can find raw sources, but I think the vast majority of us do not tolerate it well and cannot find good sources for raw dairy, so I was really hoping that a book about primal sauces would include some more innovative ideas for substituting out the dairy.
Another element that was a mild disappointment is that a lot of the sauces are things that have never really been off the diet in the first place. There are a number of different kinds of gravy, for example, which has always been pretty easy to make in a totally Paleo way. Bolognese and marinara sauces were something I made in my first week of being primal, and really had no issue eliminating the teaspoon of sugar contained in most recipes. There are about five different gravy recipes and five different tomato-based recipes, plus a number of vinaigrette recipes, so those kinds of sauces took up a lot of space in the book and didn't provide a lot of new ideas for me personally. There were also a number of dry spice blends included such as for taco seasoning, chili powder, and barbecue rub. I don't need a special primal book to tell me how to make a dry seasoning blend. I buy a special primal book to tell me how to make things that other cookbooks wouldn't tell me. I'm happy for extra information like this to be included, but I really wish the meat of the book had been focused on unusual solutions for making sauces that are usually off the diet in a new, healthy way.
A note: Mark has a little milk symbol in the table of contents which is meant to indicate that a recipe has dairy in it. However, I found at least one recipe, the coconut lime sauce, that is not listed as having dairy even though it does. They also do not consider butter a dairy product, which is fine in my view because I can always substitute ghee, but you should be aware of that you are doing a whole 30 or trying to avoid all dairy. A large proportion of the recipes do contain butter.
Now, for the good: there are a ton of cold sauces such as pestos (which do list parmesan as an ingredient but say you can substitute half an avocado instead, which is an idea that I really like), and a lot of really fun salad dressings and dips that you can use with vegetables. The tarragon dressing, which uses hard-boiled eggs to get a creamy consistency, is brilliant. The chocolate pudding sauce, which uses coconut milk and avocado for a delightfully rich mouth feel and texture, was divine. I can't wait to try the hot harissa sauce, the sweet potato bacon dip, the roasted cauliflower dip, artichoke dip and the coconut milk whipped cream, which I've seen on Mark's site but have never actually tried.
There are also a lot of ideas that I want to adapt to be dairy free, such as creamy arugula sauce, which contains arugula, sour cream, fresh parsley leaves, and salt. I also want to try to adapt the coconut lime sauce, which contains creme fraîche, coconut milk, lime juice, and lime zest. I'm hoping there's some way that I can use a non-dairy product in place of the creme fraîche in this recipe.
Overall, I'm enthused about a lot of the ideas in this book, but the more I read it, the more I realize that almost all of the recipes that I'm truly excited about are ones that use dairy. Given that most of the recipes I'm interested in trying will need some form of substitution in order for me to eat them, I probably could have gotten almost as much benefit from buying a traditional cookbook about sauces and just used it as a jumping off point for my own experimentation. That said, I really enjoy cooking and have been making my own paleo pestos, condiments, vinaigrettes, and sauces with pureed veggies for some time, so it's not that there aren't good ideas here, it's just that it doesn't fill that niche I was hoping it would - of bridging the gap between food I miss eating and food that is on the diet. If, however, you are new to making your own paleo condiments, sauces, and dressings, you will definitely find a lot of great inspiration here for interesting spice combinations to add to a vinaigrette and ways of making some basic, delicious condiments and sauces that will be a staple of your primal plate.
Here's a listing of every single recipe in the book (I have listed the dairy ingredients separately, but have not specified butter as A. there's a lot of butter in the book and it would take forever and B. you can always substitute ghee if you need the milk proteins gone)
horseradish sauce (1 cup sour cream)
Mornay sauce (3/4 C whipping cream, 1 cup cheese)
marsala sauce (1 T of optional whipping cream, but coconut milk is listed as a sub)
almost traditional turkey gravy
roasted meat gravy
sausage gravy (1 cup whole cream, coconut milk listed as a sub, but since the entire recipe is comprised of sausage, almond butter and cream, I'm not yet convinced that coconut milk will be a great sub because there is not much to make the dish taste more like cream and less like coconut)
onion mushroom sauce
quick mushroom sauce
slow simmered mushroom sauce
pancetta tomato sauce
peppery roasted tomato sauce
Veracruz sauce - basically a tomato sauce with olives
spicy poblano sauce (1/2 cup heavy cream, coconut milk listed as a sub)
Bell pepper sauce
roasted red pepper pesto
coconut cilantro pesto
arugula watercress pesto (1 cup grated parmesan, with the clever sub listed of half an avocado)
creamy arugula sauce (3/4 cup sour cream or greek yogurt)
minty caper sauce
fennel olive tapenade
leek garlic sauce (optional chicken stock, cream or coconut milk)
coconut shallot sauce
lemon butter sauce
brown butter sage sauce
tomato coconut curry sauce
coconut milk whipped cream
dark chocolate coconut sauce (basically coconut oil and chocolate which hardens up when chilled, so good to dip strawberies in)
dark chocolate pudding sauce (brilliantly awesome with some clever ingredients)
very coconut sauce
raspberry butter sauce
coconut lime sauce (1/2 cup creme fraiche)
ranch dressing (3/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup buttermilk)
thousand island dressing
blue cheese vinaigrette (blue cheese)
dairy free green goddess dressing
basil lime dressing
basil oil dressing
basil berry dressing
coconut cilantro dressing
avocado lime dressing
creamy avocado dressing
sesame coconut dressing
lemon ginger dressing
coconut masala dressing
tahini olive dressing
macadamia oil dressing
garlic oil dressing
sweet and smoky paprika dressing
Dips Condiments and Garnishes:
fresh tomato ketchup
easy catch up
scallion ginger relish
harissa hot sauce
basic hot sauce
red pepper hot sauce
bacon chive butter
sweet potato bacon dip
roasted cauliflower dip
onion dip (1 cup sour cream)
sun-dried tomato dip
chicken liver dip
Indian spice blend
green curry paste
coconut spice blend
za'atar spice blend
chimichurri spice blend
French spice blend
nori salt blend
dried herb blend
lemon herb blend
basil lime marinade
spicy cilantro marinade
ginger garlic marinade
lemon garlic marinade
lemon pepper marinade
balsamic rosemary marinade
coconut almond marinade
aromatic Thai marinade
Indian marinade(1/2 cup yogurt)
I strongly recommend this book (in combo with any other paleo/primal cookbook) (my wife and I have been loving the Primal Blueprint Cookbook) to anybody who is having trouble getting their kids or spouse to enjoy healthy paleo or primal foods.
One thing though, the pictures and the descriptions of the pictures do not match on the ebook. It would be nice to get sn update with the proper labels.