The role of today’s guest food blogger will be played by Connie’s husband, Jamie.
Bill Staley and Hayley Mason over at The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate recently invited Ruby Reduction to review their cookbook Make it Paleo, a collection of over 200 grain-free recipes.
When our copy arrived in the mail, we couldn’t wait to begin.
I should preface this by saying I don’t classify our lifestyle as being Paleo (at least not in the full-fledged, card carrying sense).
Granted, the meals we prepare generally follow many of the principles that form the Paleo or Primal diet: lots of vegetables, a high quality protein source, and a healthy serving of fat.
We also tend to eschew grains and legumes; limit our intake of sugar (including high-sugar fruits); and avoid processed foods altogether.
I was about to write that we’re guilty of still enjoying these delights, but guilt implies being wrong and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either pizza or beer … in moderation, of course. 🙂
Speaking of pizza, we also like to experiment by substituting different ingredients for flour (for example, check out our version of pizza crust made from cauliflower).
Now for the review
Allow me to start by saying that if I wasn’t married to a lover and collector of cookbooks I could easily get by with Make it Paleo as the only cookbook on my shelf: it truly is that complete.
Cooking is such a visual medium. True, it serves a necessary purpose, but it can also be an art form. Therefore, it is important that any cookbook we own features photos with every recipe; in fact, it’s non-negotiable.
I am pleased to say Make it Paleo does not disappoint.
Much like sitting down to a bountiful meal, when you first flip through the pages of Make it Paleo, your sense of sight is immediately awakened. Richly coloured, full-page images showcase every dish, appealing equally to your eyes as they do your appetite.
The recipes are presented in a clean, simple format with an abundance of white space – the perfect complement to the bright colours of the accompanying photos.
The authors also provide a brief introduction to the Paleo Diet and detail many of the common items found in a Paleo kitchen (including ingredients and tools and appliances) – especially useful for anyone new to Paleo. They also include meal suggestions for a variety of occasions ranging from Game Day to Thanksgiving Dinner.
But does it pass the taste test?
A cookbook may have the simplest set of instructions and display the most gorgeous food photography, but if its recipes fail to create food that leaves you completely satisfied (or wanting more), it’s missed the mark entirely.
So, does Make it Paleo pass the taste test? Based on the recipes we sampled to date, the answer is definitely yes. In fact, Connie previewed the first dish earlier this week with her post on Spaghetti squash and meatballs.
For further proof, today’s post showcases another entry from the Make it Paleo cookbook: Coconut-nested eggs. In less than 20 minutes, using only two ingredients, you’ll have a novel looking dish perfect hot or cold, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. With its yellow centre, the coconut-nested egg resembles a lemon-filled Danish. And its baked meringue and coconut blend feels like a soft, fresh out of the oven dinner roll. Delicious.
For what it’s worth, I’ve already prepared three batches – one while writing this post!
Make it Paleo – The Food Lovers: Bill Staley & Hayley Mason
- 2 eggs, separated
- ¼ cup, shredded, unsweetened coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Separate whites and yolks, placing yolks in individual small mixing bowls (I don’t enjoying washing more dishes than I need to, so I left mine in their shells).
- Beat egg whites until they are stiff (You may use a whisk, but I prefer to expedite the process by using the electric hand mixer).
- Fold in the shredded coconut.
- Shape the egg whites into nests on a parchment-lined baking sheet (I recommend creating a bit of a well to help contain the yolks in case they break. Not that I’m speaking from experience. OK, I’m speaking from experience).
- Sprinkle a little shredded coconut on top of the nests.
- Pour yolks into the center of the nests. (I am tempted to add them mid-way through baking the nests for a runnier yolk. Next time).
- Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, until the nests set and the peaks begin to lightly brown.
- Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and serve.
Verdict on Make it Paleo
Following a Paleo Diet is not a pre-requisite for enjoying this cookbook. The step-by-step instructions are uncomplicated and easy to follow, while the beautiful photography actually captures what your meal will look like! How often does that happen with traditional cookbooks?
Make it Paleo is a stunning collection of recipes and one of our new “go-to” references when planning our next meal … or meals … or dinner party. Highly recommended.