Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: America's Test Kitchen (December 9, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #3,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #27 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Weight Loss #28 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Paleo
This book follows a grain-, legume-, dairy-free approach to paleo without going to some of the early extremes of the movement (anyone remember the days when paleo meant no salt and no vinegar? yikes!). Though they've become acceptable in paleo circles in recent years (they're even included on the Whole30 "yes" list!), potatoes are absent. They do use sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar) here and there, but use of sugar is limited overall as there are no desserts in the book - it's a cooking book, not a baking book.I'd say the selection of recipes is fairly well-balanced for an 80/20 paleo lifestyle - 80% being meat-and-veggie dishes, while 20% is paleo treats such as crackers, and pancakes. Oddly enough (or maybe not so much), most of the treats can be found in the breakfast section. For people new to paleo who are used to eating muffins and cereal for breakfast, the recipes for paleo muffins and granola will probably become gateway staples to help them transition to paleo.The book focuses on main dishes, though a decent selection of sides and appetizers has also been included. I appreciated the section of vegetarian mains very much as I've been meaning to have a few meatless meals in the week. There's also a subsection of staples, such as condiments and even paleo bread.As it says on the cover, the book includes 150 recipes in total. Though it feels poor compared to other ATK books (their Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook, for instance, contains a whopping 650 recipes!) , I feel it's a solid collection of practical recipes - mostly sautéed dishes, stir-fries and slow-cooker meals. I think that by keeping things simple and easy, they save the reader from inaction due to information overload.
I want to preface this review by saying that there appear to be a couple different camps of Paleo-dieters: Those who eschew dairy, don't eat too many fruits, and avoid even so-called Paleo-approved sweeteners....and those who don't. Some of us are a bit more lax about the Paleo-diet; we are fine with adding a bit of cheese, butter or cream, and we enjoy baking semi-healthy-ish treats like Paleo lemon bars or almond-flour cookies. I am confessing right off the bat in this review that I will never be a 100% Paleo girl.This ATK cookbook offers selections in the following categories: Paleo Basics, Appetizers and Snacks, Breakfast, Poulty, "Beef, Pork, Lamb and More," Vegetarian Mains, Vegetarian Sides, and Seafood. There are no Paleo desserts as such. That is the main reason I took a star off the review, and that is strictly subjective. For some who adheres rigidly to Paleo, that shouldn't affect the overall quality of the book.Some of the recipes I am most looking forward to trying:--gingery stir-fried chicken with asparagus and bell pepper--family-sized omelet with bacon and spinach--spicy breakfast casserole with tomato and Swiss chard--zucchini "noodle" salad with tahini-ginger dressing--batter-fried chicken fingers--bison chili--slow-cooker caribbean chicken drumsticksA couple of notes:*there are some recipes in here that I have seen repeated in many Paleo cookbooks. If you are familiar with Paleo cuisine, you have probably come to expect them: spiralized vegetable noodles, chicken "noodle" soup, cauliflower rice, mashed sweet potatoes, condiments and faux bread-type recipes (in this cookbook, these are: wraps, sandwich rolls, pie dough, pancakes, and two types of muffins.
Okay folks... I just got this book and after glancing through it and reading just the preface I'm 100% sold that I will love it. First two things to know about me. I've followed the Paleo eating plan for about four years now... Not always faithful to it, but if I was a well disciplined person, this is the way I'd eat all of the time. I feel the best eating this way. I have noticed aches in shoulders and knees and heartburn have disappeared and much better sleep. Secondly, I'm a chemist and I absolutely love the way America's Test Kitchen cooks. I'm a huge fan, watch the shows, have purchased loads of cookbooks and even seen Chris Kimball Live! So when I saw that ATK was going to do a Paleo cookbook I had to get it.The Paleo way of eating is not just about focusing on meats and nothing else... Chris Kimball really says this the right way and I'd like to quote him here from the preface of the book: "The central concept of paleo is returning to an unprocessed, non-agricultural diet, one that depends less on the pantry staples we take for granted - flour, pasta, soy sauce, cornstarch, wine, vegetable oil, rice potatoes and commercial broths to name a few- and more on less-processed foods that are free from sugars, stabilizers and other unwanted additives". This was said with such perfection I didn't even want to try and summarize. It's absolutely how I feel about this way of eating.Now being on this way of eating I had to rethink and at time stumble my way through how to cook recipes and stay "legal" to the eating plan. I worked with coconut flour for weeks trying to prefect sweets and breads that never resembled things I use to know. I made my own ketchup and mayo and became of HUGE fan of coconut oil. So that's where ATK comes in and I'm so glad.
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