Saturday, October 1, 2011

Paleo Comfort Foods - A Slam Dunk Gluten Free Taste Extravaganza

When Charles and Julie Mayfield's Paleo Comfort Foods arrived on our doorstep a couple of weeks ago, I practically ate the book on the spot. This paleo power couple has gained quite the reputation for their Southern recipes done paleo-style, and the detailed descriptions and accompanying pictures in Paleo Comfort Foods certainly live up to that reputation.

So far, we have tried and loved three recipes from Paleo Comfort Foods: Spicy Chicken Wings (page 52), Grilled Veggies (page 168), and Oven-Roasted Broccoli (page 208) - all pictured below as we made them.
The Paleo Comfort Foods' hot wing sauce,
applied to chicken tenderloin cutlets. Perfectly spicy!
Paleo Comfort Foods' grilled veggies - delicious simplicity.
Grilled veggies as we served them. YUM.
The Recipes

Paleo Comfort Foods' recipes are generally simple, with easy to read instructions. What I really appreciate is the authors' extra notes about possible substitutions or other twists to add to the recipe - this expands the possibilities for each recipe two or three times. These usually fall in the categories of variation, ingredients, and tips & tricks.

There are detailed notes on flavor pairings, including possibilities for those of use who "do dairy", as well.

The Core Strength

I can say without reservation that this is the best lineup of adaptations of neolithic recipes that I've ever seen. In Paleo Comfort Foods you will find delicious-looking, healthy recipes for typically unhealthier classics like mayonnaise (normally manufactured with industrially extracted soybean and canola oils, but not in this cookbook!), deviled eggs, crab cakes, muffins, chipotle dipping sauce, "not peanut" sauce, barbecue sauce, biscuits, coconut flour tortillas, pancakes, bread, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, grits, sweet potato casserole, lemon squares, and much, much more.

What Ingredients You'll Wish Were On Hand

There are a few ingredients that continuously pop up through Paleo Comfort Foods which are (I'm guessing) probably staples in the Mayfields' pantry. Among them are:

  • Coconut flour
  • Almond flour
  • Celery seed
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Worchestershire sauce (The Mayfields recommend Lea & Perrins' reduced sodium sauce)
  • Cumin
  • Thyme
  • Tarragon
  • Paprika
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut milk
  • Fresh garlic

By now, my pantry usually has all or most of these, but that wasn't always the case and may not be for others new to paleo who are cracking open this book. My recommendation is to figure out which recipes you'd like to try first, and then tackle them one at a time, going slowly with the pantry additions acquisition. I know first-hand from experience (last summer!) how quickly the temptation to stock a paleo-friendly pantry can result in an unexpectedly massive food bill.

The Photos

Paleo Comfort Foods is lushly photographed, with mouthwatering presentation on every single page. It's for this reason that I could see Paleo Comfort Foods as being a great "intro to paleo" gift for the cooking enthusiasts in one's life; the pictures are so lusciously compelling that you can't flip through the book and not mentally dog-ear some selections to try making soon.

The Selection

Garlic roasted broccoli.
This is one huge book - it is about the size of a standard college softback workbook. There are roughly 150 (probably much more) full color recipes, and a nice array of categories: Starters and Snacks, Soups and Salads, Sauces and Staples, On the Side, Main Dishes, and Desserts -- in other words, enough delicious options to constitute many, many satisfying paleo meals.

It's worth mentioning that I'm listing just a few of the highlights here - I very much recommend that you pick up a copy of Paleo Comfort Foods for yourself - and for your loved ones. Everyone's tastebuds are sure to thank you!

This review contains only my opinions, which are honest and my own. I was not compensated for reviewing this book, other than receiving a free advance copy. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Primal Kitchen at no additional cost to you!

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