Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 01 edition (December 30, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #338,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #80 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > High Protein #301 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diets & Weight Loss > Low Carb #431 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Low Fat
Right off the bat, the author reassures the reader that the Paleo system he advocates is not really some type of extreme diet: "There is no need to be put off by the terms Paleolithic, primal, caveman, or Stone Age. Although many of the principles of this way of eating and living come from our hunter gatherer ancestors, the approach I have taken are backed up I respected contemporary scientific research, common sense, and what has worked for me."I thought this clarification was helpful, because I confess that I am a novice in this type of food selection, nutrition, and preparation. So, I am a newbie, and I appreciate the author teaching me the basics. The author explains that this system "is a way of life, not a gimmick or a diet." This, I confess was a new idea for me. I always thought that Paleo meant a diet. Okay, I understand now that it's a lot more than that.Pete explains that "There's much more to Paleo than a list of food you can or cannot eat. It's also about where that food comes from, how it's prepared, and when and how you eat it. Paleo covers how you drink, move, sleep, breathe, work, and relax. In other words, it's about every aspect of life." Pete's philosophy on what ingredients to include is based on eating whole, unprocessed foods: "I advocate nose to tail eating and choose 100% organic, humanely raised, pasture fed and finished meats and organs, which are sustainable as a food supply and healthiest for the body and the planet."For beginners like me, the author suggests changing slowly to the Paleo system "so that your body and mind can adapt. I would look at it eliminating refined sugars from your diet for a month to start, then move on to wheat and other grains, and then to dairy if you choose." Sounds like sensible advice to me.
One of Evans's goals is to make Paleo accessible for busy people. I'm ambivalent as to whether he succeeded or not. On the one hand, we did find most of these recipes to be pretty straightforward and simple. On the other hand, I think many people would look at the long lists of ingredients for some recipes and bounce. The length of those lists is deceptive. Much of the complexity comes from one of two places: First, many of the recipes in this cookbook are meant to be whole meals. For example, a recipe for pork cutlets includes a cabbage salad as well as a sauce. Obviously this will expand the ingredient lists. Second, many of the extended ingredient listings include a variety of spices and/or herbs, which are very easy to throw together in a moment or two. So I suggest you look past those things to the (entirely reasonable, in my opinion) amount of time and effort the whole recipe is likely to take.Recipes in here typically have a lot of flavor. We made a meatballs in chipotle sauce recipe. It used all of the chipotles in two cans, plus a dash of the adobo sauce. Very spicy, but that spiciness is moderated by a nut `crema' made of chopped macadamias, lemon juice, and lime juice that did a surprisingly good job complementing the meatballs. My only dislike in this recipe was that the sauce and meatballs got rather greasy while cooking, but skimming the excess fat out took care of that with no problem. As a note, the recipes often work with amounts of ingredients that don't end up using up, say, an entire can of whole peeled tomatoes. So we took the leftover tomatoes, tomato paste, and adobo sauce and made a lovely soup out of them.The first recipe we made out of this book, and also my favorite, is a wild salmon with coconut-lime sauce and sweet potato puree.
If you follow a Paleo diet and want to throw a fancy brunch, but together a lovely snack bar or dessert buffet, or have a dinner party, The Paleo Chef might just be for you. But for the average person who might be considering trying the Paleo diet and is perusing Paleo cookbooks to help make that choice, or the reader who wants quick, easy recipes without tons of obscure or expensive ingredients to make following a Paleo diet less of a challenge, keep looking.While there are a few simple recipes with short ingredient lists (cauliflower "rice" or nori chips with sesame, for example), most of these recipes suffer from the conceit that is the downfall of many cookbooks: they require too many ingredients home cooks are unlikely to have on hand, and several of those ingredients are used in tiny amounts, but can only be purchased in larger quantities, making it impractical to try cooking these dishes just once to see if one likes them, or if they "turn out" as expected, like most home cooks do when exploring a new cookbook. I certainly understand that a good, useful cookbook can include more advanced, involved recipes, what is a Paleo cook to do when just wanting a creative take on a quick hot lunch for 1, or dinner for 2 that doesn't cost $50 in ingredients he or she might not ever use all of, and take hours and multiple kitchen appliances to make?The introduction would be helpful to those wanting to begin following a Paleo diet (or even to those trying to understand exactly what one is). The food photography throughout the book is as gorgeous and eye-catching as one would hope to find the pictures in any cookbook.
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