Primal Cravings: Your Favorite Foods Made Paleo (Anglais) Relié – 4 juin 2013
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Not only is Primal Cravings a beautiful book to look at, with gorgeous photos of food and just a well-made and thought out design of a book, the information contained in it is invaluable. Sources to get specific foods, why they don't include nut flours (thank you!) and why to eat this way. It's simple and concise and easy to understand.
But the recipes. Oh the recipes! They are the reason to get this book. As I sit here typing this I am munching on Sloppy Joe Meatballs (the second time I've made them) and wow, they are delicious. Meaty and just a little bit sweet, with a great tomato tang. This past weekend I made the Cuban burgers (complete with plantain 'buns') and Best Ever Pulled Pork (and ya know what? It is the best ever!). I've made the Gyro Taco Salad with Tzatziki guacamole, the Thai Chicken Meatballs, the Curry Turkey Burgers with Mango Slow. And more. Salads and sides? They're in there too...and so, so good. Snacks and desserts too. It's just a different spin on Primal Cooking and one that I will be definitely add to my cooking rotation. My non-primal husband and son both have also loved everything I've put in front of them...and that's saying A LOT.
Definitely do yourself a huge favor and get this book. You will be so glad you did! And did I mention the Pumpkin Chili? Holy Smokes! Try it (it's on their blog and thank goodness it's in the cookbook too because my printed copy was getting pretty worn down).
(edited to add that my version is the Hardcover, not the Kindle version as is stated above) Get the hardcover! As much as I love my Kindle, cookbooks are just plain hard to read on a Kindle)
When I originally saw this book, I almost didn't buy it. The word 'cravings' threw me. I have spent the last two years getting rid of my cravings...not feeding them...why would I want a book that would change that? Plus, what could this book possibly have that my huge stack on my counter doesn't? Then I saw the recipe for the gyro inspired salad on Mark's Daily Apple and thought that I'd give it a shot.
What a wonderful surprise!! Not only is the book hardcover and absolutely gorgeous (somehow, I was expecting it to be paperback), but on my first flip-through, I saw at least 10 non-desert recipes that I wanted to try. That means 10 recipes totally different than I've been making for the last 2 years! I've now made 12 - 15 things from the book and all of them have been delicious. And the baked goods sans almond flour? Again, I was shocked. I have steered clear of most recipes containing coconut flour because with a lot of coconut flour, they don't agree with me (and they taste weird) but the ones in this book are fabulous. I started with the gingerbread muffins and I had to put half in the freezer so that my husband and I wouldn't gobble them all up in one sitting! (they freeze beautifully, by the way) I've been searching for a good waffle recipe since I went paleo and the strawberry ones in this book are heads and tails above anything else we've tried. The salads are wonderful too! I'm already craving that gyro salad again and we just had it last week.
Seriously - if you buy only two paleo cookbooks ever...this one HAS to be one of them. It ranks as high in my esteem as 'Well Fed' and that's mighty high praise indeed. Trust me.
Second, the recipes are delicious. I've made at least a dozen recipes so far and everything has been delicious. There is no almond flour used for any of the baking which is really nice as I try to stay away from so much nut flour in my cooking. Their new baking method, which I haven't seen anywhere else creates amazing pastries, biscuits, empanadas, bread & pizza crust that you will not believe is paleo once you taste it! I had stopped make paleo pizza completely because all the methods create a soggy crust with a heavy nut flavor. Not anymore. This one bakes up crispy and with no mealy textures or flavors from nut flours.
In addition to all the tasty baked goods, there are great breakfast recipes for on the go and delicious, easy to make entrees for dinner. They also have some great charts for easy lunch ideas. This book is really well rounded and makes a great addition to a paleo kitchen. You will not regret buying it!
Don't get me wrong - these are still "healthy" alternatives, and you won't find yourself mistaking them for something from your favorite patisserie. But often, that is a good thing: while many of the recipes in this book are intended to mimic traditional sweets, in some cases what you're getting is something completely new. Sure, it might look like a cookie or blondie, but it tastes quite different, and is excellent in its own right - as a new creation.
The carrot-cake sandwich cookies are truly incredible (a hint: use the honey in the cookie and the maple syrup in the filling, and try cutting the "shortening" in half), as are the dirty blondies (try adding a few chunks of 85% chocolate and/or some chopped macadamias).
As for the savory items, many of them are quite good. The pulled pork recipe is actually one of the best we've had. And many of them (the empanadas, for example) are quite excellent without the "bread" component.
Weaknesses? A few. In general, we've found most of the desert recipes a tad sweet for our strict primal diet. However, that is an issue that effects every primal cookbook we've tried. The beauty of these gluten-free recipes is that you can typically omit quite a bit of the sweetener from a recipe without adversely affecting the consistency of the finished product. Also, we've found that we've had to reduce the cooking times considerably for all of the baking recipes (over-baking the brownie recipe is a chalky disaster!), but of course all ovens vary. And, a personal pet-peeve I have for 90% of cookbooks out there: <soapbox> all recipes should include weight measurements in addition to volumetric </soapbox>.
The only "real" issue I have with this book is that the nutrition information for the various recipes is located in its own section at the back of the book. This is clumsy to locate, hard to use (serving size isn't in the chart, so you have to refer back to the recipe to find it, but no page numbers in the chart to refer back to the source recipe) and, frankly, just gives off a vibe as though they are trying to hide the information. It would have worked much better to just state it at the top of the recipe so that the user can make an informed decision before they choose to make it. This is, after all, a book aimed specifically at a health-conscious community. But this is far from a deal breaker and kudos to the authors for going the extra mile to include the information at all! This is, after all, a cookbook, and the recipes are fantastic.
Sorry for whining.
Anyway, a final caution: if you have a weakness for sweets then don't even turn to the desert chapter. They're that good. You have been warned!
In short, this is an outstanding addition to any paleo/gluten-free library if used in moderation - or go crazy with the savory recipes if you omit the starchy elements. At the risk of sounding like a total fanboy - buy it now!!
Update 06/16/2013: Just made the "Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies". Wow. Used a chopped 85% chocolate bar instead of chips (to cut down on sugar and avoid soy). There is a little graininess in the finish, but this will happen any time you use coconut flour - and it is very slight. Other than that, these are the best chocolate chip cookies we have ever made at home. You will swear you've ruined them as you follow the recipe, but hang in there and you will be rewarded!!
I own many, many Paleo cookbooks. It really is necessary to have lots of options in order to stay on this diet. This contains BY FAR some of the best recipes I've come across since going Paleo. It contains NUTRITIONAL CONTENT for each recipe which is awesome. It's written in easy to follow instructions, and uses common ingredients, unlike MANY of the other Paleo cookbooks which send me out on a desperate search for random, obscure ingredients that I end up having to special order on Amazon.
There are a few BIG differences between PRIMAL and PALEO. And one of those key differences is DAIRY. We are a paleo family due to food allergies - not a health kick. The diets ARE NOT interchangeable. Paleo dishes are always Primal, but not all Primal dishes are Paleo. The title on this book is confusing, since it mentions BOTH. And the authors always refer to thier diet (lifestyle) as Primal/paleo. Since the subtitle says "your favorite foods made Paleo", I just figured they were paleo. But there is A LOT of dairy usage throughout the book: Heavy Cream, Butter, cheese. There's cheese everywhere. I debated returning it just due to the sheer disappointment of another cookbook that I can't really use, but there are enough really awesome recipes to encourage me to get over allllll the recipes I have to bypass... But man those strawberry shortcake waffles aren't nearly as appealing without the whipped cream... :(