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on March 11, 2014
Writing a cookbook is not easy. Surviving your teenage years is not easy. Somehow, Joshua Weissman managed both, and while I can't speak for how easily his adolescence is going, this book is a significant accomplishment in and of itself. Couple this with the fact that this book is the product of one young man's journey from obesity to health, and The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook is more than a cookbook - it's an early chronicle of someone destined for great(er) things.

The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook is divided into eight sections: breakfast, poultry, meat, seafood, soups/stews, vegetables, desserts/sweets, and sauces/dressings/dips. Meats, vegetables, and seafood make up the majority of this book. Recipes range from dead simple and easy (Prosciutto Egg Cups) to fairly involved (Herbed Pork Loin) but I don't think any of the recipes are difficult enough to scare away any semi-confident home chef. The recipes do not include a cooking time up front so I would read through them in their entirety before deciding what to tackle - luckily, each recipe is well-crafted, concise, and approachable, so it shouldn't be an issue.

Like many books currently entering the Paleo scene, The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook is testing the limits of what constitutes "Paleo", siding with the camp that believes individuals should make their own minds up about what to eat and what to avoid. In his cookbook, Weissman embraces some forms of dairy (butter, ghee, cream, yogurt) to delicious effect, with substitutions for non-dairy products when appropriate.

The book is gorgeous - peppered with stunning photography across a simple, clean layout. It's very impressive and encourages you to flip through and earmark many of the recipes. A few of the recipes don't have a picture but I didn't find it to be an issue. The recipes don't follow a particular theme, but they do lean on the gourmet side of things in terms of presentation and artistry. Overall, it's a solid cookbook that will do well in a variety of homes - Paleo, foodie, or otherwise.
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VINE VOICEon March 11, 2014
Joshua Weissman has produced an amazing cookbook in The Slim Palate. I received a pre-release copy for review and I've been eating my way through his wonderful recipes. (More about that later.)

This is a new book by Victory Belt Publishing, a press that supports a Real Food diet and the Primal/Paleo lifestyle. The cookbook is a large-size quality publication, 271 pages of delectable, but surprisingly easy-to-prepare recipes and filled with photos by the author. What's even more amazing is that Mr. Weissman is eighteen years old! He tells a story of becoming a foodie at a young age, then abandoning it for a fast-food lifestyle. Over the years he gained weight. Lots of it. Then, tired of the ridicule over his size, he decided to do something about it. His research led him to the Primal/Paleo style of eating. Soon he was losing weight and feeling better, and he started a blog with the purpose of helping others. People took notice and encouraged him to write a cookbook. Enter The Slim Palate, named after his popular blog and featuring not only recipes but lots of helpful information on charting a course to success.

Weissman's writing style is warm and informative, and displays a wisdom beyond his years. Also, unlike many Paleo books, Joshua offers substitutions such as the addition or omission of cheese, sweetening with stevia or honey, thus making a book that you can tailor to your preferred choices.

Each recipe is accompanied by a lovely color photo. I appreciate that the photos aren't the House Beautiful or Martha Stewart idea of perfection, but rather dishes plated in an earthenware bowl atop a length of folded burlap and with a fork your Great Aunt Emily might have used at her table. In short, they're dishes shown as we might make them and the hominess makes them all the more appealing.

It's my method to try several dishes before writing my review. For The Slim Palate I made the Roasted Garlic Soup on page 156, a simple soup of garlic heads, both roasted and chopped, leeks and chicken stock. Served with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, this was a superb starter to the entrée of Crispy Duck Breasts with Port-Cherry sauce (p. 80). Now, days after enjoying this dish, I'm looking to serve it again. Imagine slices of succulent duck, just medium cooked with a topping of the scored crispy skin and garnished with a port wine, chicken stock, balsamic vinegar sauce with sliced cherries. Wunderbar!

To accompany the duck breasts, I made the Fragrant Indian Cauliflower Couscous (p. 172). Yet another winner...and just as nice the next day as a leftover.

Yesterday morning I made Joshua's Breakfast Sausage (p. 36), substituting ground veal for the pork. I made these into patties which I served with eggs over easy. The seasoning, redolent of sage with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon reminded me of weisswurst and is a definite repeat.

Last night I made Grilled Citrus-Mustard Split Chicken Breasts (p. 78) with equally exciting results. The bone-in, skin-on breasts are marinated in a Dijon mustard, garlic, orange and lemon juice mixture, then grilled on a gas grill. Joshua's simple directions for the grilling resulted in the best grilled chicken I've ever made--crispy on the outside and wonderfully moist on the inside. We're not big eaters, so one split breast was enough for a sumptuous dinner for two and LEFTOVERS for tonight!

What more can I say except to urge everyone to give this book a try. You won't be disappointed.

Two thumbs up, Mr. Weissman. Your book is smashingly fantastic.
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on March 21, 2014
I was given this cookbook a week before it's official release as a gift from Joshua. He knew I struggled with finding good gluten-free recipes and everything in Josh's cookbook was "safe" for someone who cannot tolerate glutens. I have made several recipes already - things I never thought I would, or could, make, but I did. Josh has created recipes that are "real" and easy to follow. Everything I have made so far was delicious - loved by my whole family: Braised Moroccan Chicken, Spatchcocked Chicken, Vinegar and Shallot Chicken, Grilled Coconut-Basil Chicken, Chicken Korma, Chicken Leg Quarters with Caramelized Spring Onions and Carrots, Slow Cooker Chicken with Fennel and Capers, Sweet Rosemary Meatballs, Cacao Over Brisket, Thai Fish Cakes, Fragrant Indian Cauliflower "Couscous", Caramelized Butternut Squash with Thyme, Seared Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Lemon, Grilled Zucchini with Tzatziki Sauce, and Cardamom and Pistachio Chocolate Truffles. Yes - that's a long list and we loved every dish. I would never have guessed that I could make dishes like these. I highly recommend this cookbook whether you are following a Paleo diet or not. I knew nothing about Paleo before reading Josh's cookbook. Oh - and the pictures of the food are incredible (Josh did all of his own pictures - very talented) - I love to see what a dish should (or could) look like before making it. Thank you Josh Weissman.
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on March 18, 2015
First - Paleo or not, this is phenomenal gourmet cooking. Not only are all the recipes incredibly flavorful, this book as actually tought me quite a few things that I have incorporated into my own cooking. I have a cupboard full of cookbooks, many of them consisting of popular Food Network stars and the worlds top chef's. They are all just "ok". Nothing ever gripped me and flipped that obsession switch in my head. Because of this, I stopped using cookbooks all together. When I got a hold of Josh's cook book, I started with the most aggressive recipe, the Lamb Shanks. The recipe was easy to follow - and when the shanks were done, I swore it was one of the best things I have ever eaten. I tried a few more of the recipes and those became some of the best things I have ever eaten. I then tried many of Josh's recipes on his website, and THOSE became some of the best things I have ever eaten (carnitas especially). Now, instead of ignoring cookbooks all together, I want to make every recipe in the book and am well on my way
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on March 11, 2014
I’ve known Josh Weissman for a few years now, and I can’t brag on him enough. He has a thirst for knowledge on photography and cooking that really comes through in everything that he makes. He’s the mind behind the blog Slim Palate, which has always floored me with the crazy talent he has. Oh, and Josh has lost 100 POUNDS on Paleo. You want to know what makes this all the more impressive?? HE’S 18! Yes, 18. In fact, he’s about to graduate high school this fall. I don’t know about you, but I was definitely not writing cookbooks when I was in high school.

Josh’s story is so relatable, and I love him for that - he’s opened his world to us and brought us in on his journey. Aside from taking control of his health so early in life, Josh has shown us that there are no excuses. Sure, most of us have full-time jobs, kids, other stuff that keeps us busy, but we don’t have to write papers, study for tests, etc etc. Yes, it’s all relative. But, seriously - I wasn’t this dedicated in high school at all.

Now for the recipes. What kills me is Josh’s natural photography skills. Most of us in the food blogger world have practiced for years to hone our photo abilities. I mean, go look back at some of my early recipes...actually, don’t. Well, look at the recipes but skip over the photos :D Back to Josh - I’m floored by his photographs. He’s working so hard to bring you all something that looks amazing and tastes just as it looks.

If you’re not sold by the photos alone, then the recipes will get you on board. There’s something about his recipes that are so easy to follow and leave you with delicious results. I just flipped opened the book to page 104: “Rosemary and Coriander-Crusted Rack of Lamb” - the photo makes my mouth water and my stomach growl...this recipe like Josh’s others is straightforward and easy to follow. Let’s pick out a few more choice ones at random: Braised Moroccan Chicken with Stuffed Olives, Fragrant Indian Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ and Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge - SAY WHAT??? All of those sound AMAZING.

I don't want to make your stomach grumble anymore, but you need to get a copy of this book immediately. It will be the centerpiece of your kitchen and your stomach will thank you.
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on March 20, 2014
The recipes and photography in this book are seriously impressive! And so is the author himself! He switched to a real food diet as a high school student and lost over 100 pounds, becoming an amazing chef along the way. I made my family his Indian Cauliflower "Couscous" and it was unbelievable. I'm planning to make more of the recipes in the book, but the cauliflower "couscous" was so great, that I really want to make it again!
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on January 22, 2015
Just bought the book yesterday, and the recipes look Amazing! Can't wait to give them a try. Only negative: I bought the Kindle edition since I'm trying to cut back on paper while increasing ease-of-access, and the Table of Contents lists categories of recipes, but not the individual names. This means, for example, that I would need to select "Meats" and then thumb through all the recipes to find the one I want. If it listed each individual name, I could scan the list and then just tap the screen to jump there.
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on April 2, 2014
Some of the recipes in this cookbook are amazing, but I have made two recipes so far that have consistently turned out poorly. The coconut macaroons are really dry and crumbly, and the breakfast muffins turn out more like a soufflé than a muffin. The sections on pantry staples and how to source local foods are really helpful though, and I appreciated the detail.
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on March 24, 2014
My children have moved on and I thought my cooking days were over...Then I bought this book. The recipes are not only easy to prepare and delicious, but also fabulous to look at. My plan is to make them all!
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on March 26, 2014
First and foremost: Impressive young man.
Impressive accomplishment.
Impressive book.
Impressive recipes.
Impressive photography.

I am a caterer, a Stylist, an Art Director, and a life long weight battler. I am so proud of Josh.
I recently was hired to cater a dinner party with strict Paleo eaters. I prepared everything from The Slim Palate. The cover recipe for the Lamb Shanks braised in Adobo Chili and Coffee was a huge hit. Accompanied by the Caramelized Butternut Squash
with thyme, and Sautéed greens , and Ginger Lime Cole Slaw. The most fun was the Paleo dessert: Mexican Chocolate Cookies, and Macaroons, Toasted Vanilla bean and Strawberry Ice Cream topped with fresh berries.
Thanks, Josh.
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