Customer Reviews: Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat
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VINE VOICEon October 21, 2013
Melissa Joulwan did it again!! Well Fed 2 somehow manages to rise above the excellence that is the first Well Fed. The recipes seem more diverse and the beginning of the book is packed full with all kinds of non-recipe meal ideas including lots of ways to dress up your eggs, burgers, and broccoli.

The book is also about 1/3 larger than the first one but still kept to a manageable size. I cannot stand big behemoth cookbooks with only a handful of recipes I want to actually make. I love that these books are light, portable, and they don't take up too much counter space.

Lately I've been kind of obsessed with making condiments. I was delighted to see that there is an entire section of condiments and every single one of them looks mouthwatering. Including quite a few ways to jazz up your basic mayo recipe.

Before I ever cooked a thing I read it front to back like a novel. The recipes are so full of interesting flavors that pop off the page and make your mouth water. Little personalized touches, stories, and anecdotes make each one even more special. The photos are stunning! Even better than the first book. They are more colorful, brighter, and they make you want to eat!! Like calorie and carb free appetizers! :)

You can also rest assured that no matter how mouthwatering and delectable these recipes are every single one of them is squeaky clean Paleo. Like W30 approved squeaky clean. Well, except for one or two treats. Now I'm totally down for the occasional Paleofied treat but I already have umpteen million recipes for them not to mention the internet is full of ideas for every single kind of Paleo brownie, cookie, pie, or cake you can think of. Treats definitely have their place in a healthy lifestyle but what we really need is more coobooks packed with delicious but clean eats! Which is exactly what we get with Well Fed. So cook, eat, and rest assured that you are nourishing both your soul and your body as you do so.

I got my book last Thursday so had time to look it over and narrow down the first batch of recipes to try. I do a big cookup every weekend so the timing couldn't have been more perfect. Now for the most important part! How the food actually tasted! Here is what I made so far:

Pina Colada Chicken: Such an interesting combination of flavors. It works. This dish is spectacular. I'm not sure if it is supposed to be a stir fry or stew but mine came out pretty saucy. Next time I'm cutting the coconut milk in half. I can tell though that this is going to be a staple from now on.

Oven Baked Salmon Cakes: Super fast, super easy, and super delicious. I served them with the Remolade sauce in the jazzed up mayo section. A-mazing! I made a bunch and froze them for super fast meals later.

Old School Meat Sauce: This was a project to make. It is a dish that you put your heart and soul, and a good chunk of an afternoon, into. Although it was my least favorite of all the recipes so far it is still very good. I just prefer a lighter brighter tasting marinara whereas this is rich, earthy, and herbaly tasting. It is delicious though and my bf and his friends devoured it then went back for seconds. Good thing the recipe made a ton. I doubled the meatballs as one pound of meatballs for all that sauce wasn't near enough. At least not in my house. Ooh I have to say that the Italian sausages after being browned and simmered for hours in that sauce were delectable! I don't think I've ever tasted a more delicious Italian sausage. I set them aside for me without telling anyone! My little secret. :)

Moroccan Chicken and Apricot Meatballs: A huge hit here!! I love the entire Burgers, Balls, and Bangers section. A lot of the recipes use ground pork, one of my most favorite protein choices, so this was right up my alley. My bf and brother devoured the entire recipe, I got to at least taste two of the meatballs, so I had to make more. This recipe inspired me to make a slightly different take on it but with pork and I added some 100% apricot preserves, Lebanese Spice mix, and used pistachios. I love when a cookbook inspires me to take an already amazing recipe and put my own spin on it and come with something equally amazing. It's like paying for one recipe and getting a bunch more! And the trick with water, cream of tartar, and baking soda is genius and makes for soft tender meatballs. Love it!

Deli Tuna Salad: This is tuna salad taken up five or ten notches! I cannot describe the delicious mouthful of flavor you get from this recipe. And it was so ridiculously fast to put together. I will be eating this for lots of lunches this week. On jicama slices!

Tabbouleh: This recipe is not just good. It's life changing I want to eat tabbouleh every day until I die good!! Easily my favorite recipe and I know it will be a staple. The thing is I never even really liked regular wheaty tabbouleh before going Paleo but something about the beautiful picture and the description of this recipe made me try it. I'm so glad I did. Initially I thought it called for too much mint and parsley so I halved the amount. Then tasted it and went ahead and added the full amount. That taught me not to mess with perfection!

Belly Dance Beet Salad: I'm not sure I've ever tasted anything with beets in it that wasn't delicious. They have been one of my most favorite foods since childhood. This recipe takes the classic beet and orange combination for a spin. A savory sweet spicy cuminy cinnamony spin! Delicious!

Lizard Sauce: This instantly became a new staple condiment in my house. It is spicy but not hot. It has such a depth of bright but smokey earthy flavor to it. The first things I'm using it on are eggs and a burger topped with lizard sauce and guacamole.

Almost Amba: Love!! I dipped my morroccan apricot meatballs in this. I never would have come up with this combination of flavors on my own. This is going to be my new veggie dip instead of Paleo ranch for a while.

Lebanese and Jerk Spice Mixes: Delicious and amazing flavor combinations. I never really liked jerk chicken but this jerk mix is incredible.

So as you can see I cooked up a storm this weekend! Everything was delicious and a hit. Honestly there are a lot of mediocre Paleo cookbooks out there. I know because I have almost all of them. They all get the same five star reviews from professional bloggers looking to drum up publicity for their blogs. I think it's great that the Paleo community supports each other in this way but it leaves regular non-professional paleoers like myself at a loss to find credible reviews by people who actually cook the food in the books. Not to worry with either of the Well Fed books. They are packed full of creative interesting flavors yet are accessible and doable for even beginner cooks. These books truly are gems in the Paleo cookbook genre and I couldn't recommend either of them more.
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on November 29, 2013
I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in May 2013. Was told by my family Doctor to drop 60 lbs (minimum) by end of October! He also recommended to join Weight Watchers. I had followed Weight Watchers lost some weight only to gain it all back...with extra weight :( So I went to see a Naturopath; who recommended to follow a Paleo Life Style. Read only good reviews about Fed 2, so I decided to give it a try. Love everything about this book. It is organized. Easy to follow. Recipes taste good. My son and husband were a little worried when I told them I would start cooking Paleo......but I have only gotten raves over the recipes I have cooked from this book. Thank you so much "Melissa Joulwan". You have inspired me to cook and try new recipes; and I look forward to trying them ALL out! Thanks once again you are definitely God sent. Bless you.
By the is now November 29, 2013. I have lost a total of 47lbs to date. My numbers for my Triglycerides are back to normal. My HDL (good) cholesterol is up! Which is good. My LDL (bad) cholesterol is down.....which is great! The good news is that I am NO longer Type 2 Diabetic.
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on November 14, 2013
All but two recipes in it are Whole30 approved. And you will never, ever feel deprived. The flavors sing!

Recipes I've made so far:

Casablanca Carrots - wonderful cold salad to eat alone or atop greens.
Merguez Sausage Seasoning and Meatballs - an instant favorite.
Italian Bangers
Oven-Fried Salmon Cakes - so delicious, and penny-wise.
Fiesta Pork Chops - bye bye bland pork chops.
Pan-Fried Plantains - perfect for breakfast.
Green Beans with Sizzled Garlic - so flavorful - a huge hit!
Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup - a "hug in a bowl" indeed.
Crispy Chicken Livers - surprisingly delicious.
Mashed Cauliflower - Less "heavy" than mashed potatoes, and so much faster. No peeling, boiling or mashing!
Basic Cauliflower Rice - especially great with a curry, saucy dish or soup.
Steam-sauteed Veggies - a weekly staple.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash - always have some on hand!
Roasted Cabbage Roses - surprisingly delicious.
Olive Oil Mayo & Garlic Mayo - these are always in my fridge.
Tahini Dressing - so tasty drizzled

On my "Try Next" list:

Hoisin Sauce
Mulligatawny Stew
Sesame Cucumber Noodles
Coconut Cauliflower Rice
Plantain Nachos
Tod Mun Chicken Cakes
Better Butter
Zingy Ginger Dressing

She has extremely simple yet helpful sections titled "Stuff to Put on Eggs", "Flavor Boosters" that will jazz up any food, How to Dress up Broccoli, Burger Toppings, and suggestions on combinations to try. Great when you are speed-cooking a basic meal!

The original Well Fed struck a perfect balance of simple, fast recipes and dishes that took a bit more time and effort but yielded many meals. All of her recipes have been incredibly delicious. I spend a lot of my time cooking and was truly impressed that Melissa managed to introduce me to several new spices and many new, succulent flavors. And she does it again in Well Fed 2.

I bought this out of loyalty to my love for Melissa's recipes and blog, though honestly I did not know how she could come up with anything to top the original Well Fed.

The verdict: Well Fed 2 is even better. It's pure pleasure to read, devour with your eyes and yes, the recipes are outstanding.

My advice? Buy both. You will NOT regret it.
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on October 18, 2013
Well Fed remains one of my favorite Paleo cookbooks and one of my top three recommendations when people ask me about "must have" books for the Paleo kitchen. Well Fed 2 takes everything that Well Fed did right and remarkably improves upon an already fantastic formula. There are accompanying pictures for the recipes, not just tiny little photos taken as an aside but full page food porn that serve to entice both the mind and the palate of the reader. It's hard not to get hungry while reading this book. All of the recipes except one, are Whole 30 compliant which is something that is amazing for people who follow that idea for 30 days at a time or continually. Personally I would have bought the book solely for the Burgers, Balls & Bangers section which breaks down the prep and cooking required to prepare these items a few different ways from stovetop to grill to inside the oven. I find meatballs are just as good cold as when hot and are easy to both transport to and consume when out in the field and away from any way to reheat my food come chow time. Each section of the book has numerous delicious recipes that I can't wait to try.

The author's "you know how you could do that" notes at the end of the recipes serve to add additional dishes that the recipe could be transformed into with a simple swap of some ingredients. In my mind this accomplishes two things. Firstly it turns one recipe into many more and improves the value and scope of the book, and secondly it challenges you to think and consider how the ingredients work together and how you could alter the listed ingredients and create something uniquely your own. It's not just telling you how to cook, but teaching you. As a matter of fact there are a good many sections of the book that do just that, the page on eggs and how to dress up this simple yet ubiquitous breakfast food is a great little cheat sheet for when you're finally tired the same old egg. This is also done for broccoli and other things as well.

I cannot recommend this book enough, and would suggest you also pick up a copy of Well Fed as both of these books are exactly what any cookbook, not just a paleo cookbook should be. Full of photos, numerous excellent recipes, and they aren't just steps to be completed then eaten... they provide the reader with the framework and teach the mindset needed to become a skilled cook, not a robot who just follows instructions.
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on November 1, 2013
I am amazed with the flavors in the recipes. I actually was a success with dinner tonight! My husband is a professional in the food industry. I generally feel hopeless to even try to please him. I feel so great right now! I made him the Fiesta Pork Chops and the Roasted Cabbage Roses! He complimented me saying the flavors blended well, tasted good and I should make this again sometime! Can't wait for tomorrow to come so I can cook up something new.
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on October 24, 2013
I have tried 6 recipes so far, and without hesitation, I recommend this book. For the most part, the recipes are easy. Getting your pantry prepared with supplies is easy, as there is a short section on this. If you're not Paleo, this book is still recommended. The Sauces & Seasonings section will elevate your food to a new level. I don't love to cook, but this book increases my chances of success in the kitchen.
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on October 20, 2013
It was like Christmas morning when this book arrived on my doorstep. I dove in head first reading making notes and a shopping list. I started sat. night with the Italian pork roast and by morning the aroma had me fired up to embark on a cooking frenzy. I made the Tod Mun chicken cakes with cucumber relish next, then moved on to the sesame cucumber noodles.My constant facebook updates had all my friends green with envy.Every recipe i made ROCKED. Can't wait to try more. I own and love well fed also. Cumin roasted carrots is still in rotation. My best friend jokes that i have a girl crush on Ms. Joulwan , shes right I'm in love with her recipes! Healthy food that tastes amazing.
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on October 31, 2013
Last month I was poking through a large stack of Paleo books at Costco. Each might have 2 or 3 recipes I was interested in (usually desserts, because their main dishes didn't really grab me). Eventually I put them all down and thought, I'm going to wait for Well Fed 2. The original Well Fed is my most used Paleo cook book and i highly recommend that one, too.

Why do I love Well Fed 2? Well, like the original, it's almost all Whole 30 compliant. I think there are two non-Whole 30 recipes, and even they are stricter than I am when I'm not doing the Whole 30. I'm not going to get distracted by desserts in this book. If you're like me, you get a bit tired of the same old, same old when you're doing the Whole 30. You miss your Thai food or Middle Eastern takeout. Those tasty, ethnic food inspired recipes are in this book. And you get so tired of cooking. You can't do takeout on the Whole 30 because you know takeout is full of crap ingredients. So you're cooking 21 meals a week, and it's tedious. This book has simple recipes as well as more involved ones, the real workhorses that get you through the week.

What Melissa really excels at is making it easy to cook for the week. In the first book she had tips for the weekly cookup. In this book she has the terrific Burgers, Balls, and Bangers section. I'm not a hamburger person. But ground beef is the only grass-fed beef I an afford, so I eat it quite a lot and it's wonderful to have a whole section on ways to prepare it. I made the Cuban style meat into balls meatballs and bangers (sausage shapes) and have been eating them through the week for breakfast and lunch. They were delicious. She has a secret tip for making them tender and crispy on the outside without using breadcrumbs. And there are about 15 variations to be used with ground beef, poultry and pork. Next up for me to try are the chicken meatballs with dried apricots. She's got instructions on how to freeze them ahead of time so you can keep a variety in the freezer. Thai. Moroccan. A wrapper-less goyoza. All sorts of great flavors. The Cuban style ones took me about ten minutes to prepare before I popped them in the oven.

There are lots of vegetable side dishes that are right up my alley, like gingered zucchini soup and the bellydance beet salad. There are tons of condiments.

This is the kind of food I could serve to my friends and I wouldn't have to explain that it's Paleo or even healthy. it's just delicious. I have never made a recipe from Melissa's cookbooks or website that wasn't delicious. She's my favorite Paleo cook.
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on June 7, 2014
What I loved about the first Well Fed was its section on home kitchen management, and the equivalent in Well Fed 2 is the first half or so of the book, which is dedicated to clever ideas on how to take healthy, unprocessed ingredients and easily turn them around into yummy meals, without a traditional "recipe." (The recipes, which are great, don't get me wrong, are the second half of the book.)

I'm not a natural cook, so when I realized that to eat healthier, I'd have to cook the majority of my meals from scratch using mostly unprocessed ingredients, it was incredibly daunting. You don't actually roll up your sleeves every time you hit the kitchen and Make A Recipe, especially if you're not an intuitive cook -- it's really time consuming and kind of exhausting. And batch cooking really only gets you so far; what do you do when you're out of/sick of your batch-cooked leftovers and you just want to eat something?

So, Mel included a two-page spread on ways to jazz up ground beef patties (all of which made my mouth water), another two-page spread for jazzing up broccoli (which, of course, could be used on any kind of veggie side dish), a page for jazzing up eggs (the ultimate convenience protein, but soooo boring after a while), another two pages of "flavor boosters" -- and on top of that, many of the recipes in the back include her signature "You know how you could do that?" sidebar showing how you can take the recipe and switch up the ingredients to alter the flavor or cultural flair.

I'm also really excited that Well Fed 2 includes two or three times the number of sauce/seasoning recipes as the first Well Fed, since her Sunshine Sauce, mayo and tahini (from the blog) recipes quickly became kitchen staples. (I've been known, when tired, to take leftover grilled chicken breasts and roasted veggies straight out of the fridge and just douse them in one of Mel's sauces for a quick dinner when I'm exhausted and hangry.)

There really aren't any recipes in here that I wouldn't want to cook at least once. She doesn't fluff up the ending with a bunch of dessert recipes (I can certainly whip up unhealthy treats on my own, thankyouverymuch), so the entire book is just chock-full of Actual Useful Paleo Cooking.

The book itself is laid out VERY nicely too. It's attractive, easy to navigate, easy to use, has great photography, and the writing is sassy and makes me smile. The binding isn't the greatest (my original Well Fed is falling apart, but it still usable), but it's worth it for the reasonable price. For both the previous Well Fed and Well Fed 2, I spend the extra $1 to get the PDF versions for use on my tablet in the event that something terrible happens to my paper copies, so I'm not to torn up over the use the books have gotten.
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on October 21, 2013
You don't have to be Paleo, you don't have to be a chef, you just have to love food and be able to read! The book is full of delicious recipes and mouthwatering pictures. I started with Plantain Nachos, and the taco meat alone is worth the price of the book. Dinner was fantastic and I can't wait for leftovers tomorrow! Oh what to make next??
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