I was very excited to receive a copy of “Make it Paleo” yesterday. I met Bill & Hayley at the AHS and they really were just as lovely as they seem from their blog. I've used quite a few of their recipes, so have been immensely looking forward to receiving the book. I took the book down to the park this morning to have a read through, whilst topping up my Vitamin D levels in the sunshine.
I hadn't realised how big the book was going to be! It's the size of my old Chemistry text book – but much more enjoyable to read. As with the Primal Palate site, the book is full of beautiful photos and well over two hundred recipes. You could cook something different everyday for months on end! There's a great introduction about Bill & Hayley and lots of information about Paleo; which ingredients are good to use, different cuts of meat, useful kitchen equipment and cooking tips. I think these sections will make the book a great Christmas present for friends who have expressed an interest in Paleo, but may be a bit hesitant about diving in.
Initially, I was a bit confused at first as to why the book had so many recipes for entrées – then I remembered; that is the American word for main course!
Tomorrow is the first beach Barbecue of the Sydney Paleo meet-up group, so I've decided to make up a few things from the book to take along with me. What better testers than more Paleo people? There are lots of dips and sauces that look really good in the book, so I'm going to make up a few to dip vegetables in, and to go with the meat. I'm also going to try the Fennel & Orange salad, which I hope will be as good as it looks, I'm very curious to try that one. I'll probably make up a few other side dishes, and possibly something from the treats/ cheat section too! I bought some beautiful organic grass fed steak to put on the barbecue, so it should be a good feast.
Most of the ingredients in the book are very abundant here in Australia. I did have to visit four shops to find the Fennel, despite it usually being easy to find. I also had lots of trouble locating Chipotle, which I eventually found out is in fact American for coriander leaves (at least, I hope it is, as that is what I'll be using!) There are a couple of other ingredients I've noticed in the recipes, that might be more challenging to find in Australia, such as Jicama (which appears to be a root vegetable) and spaghetti squash; but I'm sure these can be substituted – or perhaps if you've seen them over here, you can let me know where, in the comments below?
I usually try to make something different for dinner every evening, so it's great to have a new collection of recipes to try. I'm especially looking forward to trying the Chicken & Vegetable “lo mein”, as I rarely eat Chinese food anymore (I find it usually has very un-Paleo ingredients). I very rarely cook seafood at home too, so I will take the opportunity to cook a few dishes from the seafood section. Whilst it's not strict Paleo, it's great to have a chapter on cheats and treats! The natural, grain free ingredients are a million miles away from their conventional purchased and home-made equivalents – a far better alternative for birthdays and the odd special occasion.
The recipes look straight forward and well explained. I've chosen my dishes, gathered the ingredients – but not yet tested any of the recipes. So, I need to get cooking for the Paleo barbecue tomorrow… I'll post a write up and photos of the end results! Fingers crossed for sunshine!
Make it Paleo is released next week – If you only have room for one Paleo cookbook, I don't think you'd go wrong with this one. Amazon UK currently has free shipping to Australia with orders over £25 – a great deal for a book this big.