Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes (Anglais) Broché – 18 juin 2013
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I’ve been eating grain-free for well over a decade, since 2001. While I am very focused on using the foods I eat to improve my health, my primary goal has been to bring people together around good food. For me, this means creating tasty dishes that appeal to everyone, not just those with dietary restrictions.
My friends say that when I’m trying to perfect a new recipe I am like a dog with a bone—I don’t stop until my recipe tastes like the classic dish that I aim to emulate, sometimes testing a recipe as many as thirty times until I get it just right.
Where does this drive come from? It stems from the love I have for my oldest son (now fourteen, diagnosed with celiac at age two) and my desire for him to have food that is delicious and enticing. In other words, I don’t want him to covet the food his friends eat. I want his friends to clamor for the food that I make—and they do. When the boys bring their friends by the house, they all dig in to piles of homemade bagels with healthy spreads, high-protein cookies (made with almond flour), and wholesome ice cream made with coconut milk, hemp seeds, and honey. During sleepovers they raid my kitchen for a midnight snack—little do they know how nutritious the food they are “sneaking” is.
My culinary journey started with an Ayurvedic training that began in 1993. (Ayurveda, or the science of self-healing, is a five-thousand-year-old system that originated in India; it emphasizes balancing the body, mind, and spirit through diet, lifestyle, and exercise.) It became quite handy just a few years later in 1998, when I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Initially, I relied on the gluten-free diet; however, this did little to improve my digestion.
My husband, concerned about my continuing digestive distress, researched solutions and found the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). This diet was created by the brilliant Elaine Gottschall, with whom I later became friends via a series of long telephone conversations. In 2001 I began eating grain-free, and I have ever since.
In 2006, after several years of creativity in the kitchen, I started my blog, Elana’s Pantry, where I have a collection of more than seven hundred grain-free recipes.
In the meantime, the grain-free diet, for the most part now referred to as the Paleo (or ancestral) diet, has taken the culinary world by storm. Now, when I’m at book signings, all types of people tell me about their love of Paleo eating; many want to eat like a caveman.
As interest in the Paleo diet has grown, I’ve adapted many of its additional tenets, including eliminating legumes and dairy. I also avoid some nightshades (including tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant), which proponents of the Paleo diet say may possibly be detrimental to those with autoimmune conditions. Further, given the number of friends I have with nut allergies, I’ve drastically increased the number of nut-free recipes in this book.
As food allergies continue to increase, I am happy to cut out allergens while rising to the challenge of keeping favorite foods flavorfully in the picture. I hope you enjoy this new book and the evolution it has taken from my past work.
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Slices of this blueberry coffee cake, which show off vibrant splashes of blue, will impress your guests at brunch. It also makes a lovely dessert.
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup Spectrum all-vegetable
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup Spectrum all-vegetable
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with shortening and dust with almond flour.
To make the cake, combine the almond flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, shortening, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined, then stir in the blueberries. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
To make the topping, cream together the shortening and coconut sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in the almond flour and cinnamon, then sprinkle the topping over the cake batter.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cake cool in the pan for 1 hour, then serve.
Revue de presse
“I have loved Elana’s recipes for some time now—especially her Paleo Bread, which is not only delicious but has the perfect consistency, too. So I’m thrilled to have an entire cookbook of her simple, tasty, and healing Paleo recipes—full of superfoods and wholesome ingredients—to explore.”
—Dr. Frank Lipman, author of Revive
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I've been a follower of Elana's blog for awhile now, and I purchased another of her low carb books (savory) last year. Another reviewer stated they felt this book was best for beginners to Paleo because it has a lot of simple recipes, and I would definitely recommend this as a book for a newbie to have. Everything in it is pretty straightforward and there isn't anything complicated; but on that same note I found the delicious simplicity of the recipes to be worth it. Chicken Marbella (p. 68) is worth the whole price of the book alone; it was the first recipe I made (never touched a green olive before!) and my husband almost *moaned* when he took a bite of it. Sure, 'mustard and salmon' is almost cringingly basic for more advanced cooks but I think the book strives to make something for everyone. The recipes are unfailingly comprised of fresh ingredients, minimal prep time and cooking effort, for a big flavor payoff. For the experience of the color photos, and the feel of the book, I found the price to be very worth it. I honestly would not have enjoyed this book as much had it been an e-book.
If you are far into the Paleo/low carb style journey you might find most of it to be rather like 'recipe review', but really I think this is a good book with tasty, simple recipes that don't require much thought or effort. The flavor profiles are very balanced, and I haven't had to tweak any seasonings or spices at all. THIS is almost unheard of in my kitchen! I prefer big brassy flavor in my food (rather than salt) so that it's an experience; these recipes are truly tasty just as written.
Note on the Chicken Marbella : I used a 10 lb. bag of chicken quarters, doubled the marinade recipe, and baked it in a giant cake sheet for 1:20 at 350. We had several meals' worth of food with just a 'dump and bake' effort, and it tastes like something you'd get at a restaurant. I could have served this whole beautifully-browned pan of goodness to company and they would have felt as though they were getting high-dollar fare! The entire 10 lb. chicken meal was under $10.00, too.
Full disclosure, I'm someone who is experimenting with Paleo inspired eating, although I am dubious of the science behind it, and particularly skeptical of certain Paleo gurus. I'm waiting for more confirmation from clinical, peer review studies, and not just popular lay experts. I've been around the block a few times with other wonder diets, and the religious enthusiasm of many Paleo advocates really sends up red flags. But I'm a curious sort, and have experienced some benefit so far from eating grain-free.
I'm attracted to Elana because although she is a happy adherent of a Paleo diet, she does not come off as 'Paleo' religious. That comes as a relief after looking at many Paleo cookbooks which read like fervent devotees of doctrine.
This cookbook is also attractive to people turned off by the 'bacon, bacon, bacon' repetitiveness of many Paleo cookbooks, and all the unpleasant macho posturing. Many people just can't tolerate eating all that meat and fat. It makes them nauseous and gives them diarrhea. And some people don't find the "caveman" thing cute and romantic. Instead in Elana's elegant book you'll find lots of tasty vegetable recipes, and some daintier meat entrees that don't make you feel like you have to chew a raw buffalo to be Paleo.
A few of the negative reviews of this book have complained that it is too basic, that there are other more glitzy Paleo cookbooks out there. That's quite true. But for some of the reasons I mentioned above, I'm more attracted to this book for its more subdued, and not hysterical tone (Elana's website is similarly low key), and if the recipes are 'basic' they also look like something I'd actually make week in and week out. A cookbook which provides a solid foundation like this for my everyday eating is worth twice the cover price of this book, at least! My shelves are littered with 'hardcore' cookbooks I rarely use.
I've looked at many Paleo books so far in my 'Paleo experiment', but this is one of the few I would recommend without reservation.
I am an avid collector of Paleo cookbooks. My whole family practices this lifestyle and I always look forward to adding new and exciting dishes to our collection of tried and true faves. This book just falls short of what I am looking for in a cookbook. At this point in the game I know how to make fritatas, I know how to make almond flour pancakes and I know 27 ways to roast a chicken. GIVE ME SOMETHING EXCITING!!
I do think "Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry" would be a good introductory book to the lifestyle for someone just starting their journey, but as a "veteran" I doubt you will find much inspiration here.
I also wanted to touch on one other aspect of the book that I found somewhat lacking: In the introduction Elana goes on and on about how so many of the recipes in this book contain coconut flour or flour other than almond flour and that is true. HOWEVER, almost all of the recipes that contain alternate flour also contain at least a cup of almond flour. You're not doing us any favors touting the use of coconut flour in recipes and then just throwing a Tbsp in here and there. I don't feel like these recipes are all that revolutionary or different than the (great) recipes you will find on her blog or in the other cookbooks.
So to sum it up... this book just left me feeling, "meh". It's a book I would take for a spin from the library but not see the need to reference continually at home.
Overall the book is pretty good. People complained that it was nothing new and not creative. How much more creative can you be with Paleo? It's meat, fruit and veggies. I think she did a good job. I'm glad I purchased it