About two weeks ago Jesse surprised me with a birthday gift of assorted fruits arranged to look like a bouquet of flowers. It was really quite amazing and the perfect gift for a whole food fanatic. To top it off little rounded pieces of apple had been dipped in dark chocolate. We couldn’t wait to devour it but we thought it was wise to gobble up the treats throughout the week and share the splendour with our roommates instead. Sharing is caring, and to be honest I couldn’t eat all that fruit by myself. Anyways, long story short a certain someone could not resist the temptation of the chocolaty goodness and within a day all of the little chocolatey apple bites were but a thing of memory.
I guess that certain someone was feeling a bit guilty about eating all the chocolate. To my surprise the next evening I discovered “nomnom paleo” cookbook hiding underneath my pillow before bed. Apology accepted. In fact I was so happy I even gave the book a hug, like it had feelings.
You see, I’v never actually owned my own cookbook before and I had my eye on this baby for awhile. The bright colours with the bold print hooked me in like a moth to bright light. I’m surprised I didn’t buy it myself actually. These past couple of years I have been more and more interested in cooking. Normally I get most of my recipes online (see resources) but having a cookbook with readily available ideas is surprisingly useful and rewarding to have on hand in the kitchen. Michelle Tam and Henry Fong’s nomnom paleo cookbook is not only hilarious but an excellent introduction and resource to paleo cooking. So much so that I decided to write a review on it.
Robb Wolf (author of The Paleo Solution) – “I don’t care if you’re a discriminating foodie or a picky tot: If you’re a human who eats food, you need this book.”
Michelle Tam first started sharing her zest for delicious paleo cooking on nomnompaleo.com in the fall of 2010. Since then she has received awards for her blog and inspired many with her unique, playful and heartwarming approach to healthy cooking. Michelle along with her husband Henry finally decided to release a cookbook filled with recipes free of grain, soy and added sugar. When talking about inspiration, the visuals alone are enough to inspire you to eat healthier but I personally think it is Michelle’s unique passion and humour that really shine through in this book.
“There’s a contagious joyousness about the way Michelle presents food that makes you want to cook along with her. I want to cook Paleo because she makes it look so fun!” -Michael Ruhlman
The book is broken down into very practical chapters that are tailored towards a paleo diet. For example preparation is very important when eating paleo because if you want a bit of extra flava flave on your omelette, grabbing the sriracha sauce from the store will add a lot of unnecessary sugar and sulphites. Instead if you want sriracha you will have to make it yourself. Fortunately this is very do-able and tastes super delicious (i’v tried it!). Chapter One: Building Blocks has a bunch of excellent paleo prep meal tips and ideas like home-made sriracha, paleo mayonnaise and easy guacamole to name a few. If you feel like your options are or will be limited on the paleo diet a simple solution is to be prepared! Dedicate a day of the week (Sunday works for most folks) for food preparation so your week can be filled with delicious, no stress feasts! If you don’t have any ideas, grab a cookbook or start to browse online recipes (check resources). Other chapters include Eggs, Plants, Soups and Salads, Meat, Seafood, Nibbles and *gasp* even some Desert!
Michelle does an amazing job at keeping the tone of the whole cook book simple, hilarious and very personable. She is realistic and extremely relatable when addressing the paleo lifestyle. She discusses her challenges and successes with the family eating paleo, her own health journey and a realistic insight into what it is like to live this way. A simple introduction to paleo foods at the beginning of the book by using a “Green Light, Red Light, Yellow Light” list of ingredients keeps the focus less on rules and more on the delicious food. Throughout the entire book there are funny little comics that offer cooking tips, answer questions about Michelle’s life and add comedic expression to the beautiful food photography and practical layout. There is enough information about the diet to get you started and help you feel confident in your choices but not so much that it takes away from the main focus of the book which is clearly that eating paleo is delicious!
“Use a Julienne peeler or a spiral cutter. (Of Course, if you’re a certified kitchen ninja, feel free to hand-cut your zoodles)”.
The theme is oriental flavour meets trendy Californian attitude. Too many recipes can become overwhelming but this book has the perfect amount. Enough to keep you curious and satisfied but not too many that you never actually get around to cooking anything! You don’t have to be a master chef to enjoy any of the foods either, simple steps for delicious meals that pretty much everyone can do. All the recipes all paleo friendly and provide some innovative cooking ideas to make the transition a bit easier. Like cauliflower rice and an assortment of paleo “chips”. Some of the recipes do require extra equipment though. Like the spiral cutter mentioned above. It cuts things into noodle shapes, yay! For example you can make zucchini noodles… or carrot noodles too. If you are going to be spending more time in the kitchen (which you will) it’s probably a good idea to stock up on kitchen tools anyways.
This book is a must have for any whole food or paleo enthusiast. Perfect for any beginner who doesn’t know where to start or is a bit confused about what to eat. Even if you are a seasoned vet in the kitchen, some of the ideas and tips in this book could refresh your creativity and liven up your palette. If you are caught in a rut of eating chicken and vegetables every night for dinner then do yourself a huge favour and check out this book or visit Michelle’s website first for a taste of what you will find in the book. The website is how she got started and offers lots of recipes for you to try. Check it out! http://nomnompaleo.com/
Anyone who says there isn’t enough to eat on paleo needs this book and they need it now. Did I mention I was a fan?
6 . TESTED RECIPES
Caramalized Onions: Success
great to cook them in bulk and add to meals through the week
Paleo Mayonnaise: Disaster, then Success
First attempt I ignored the instructions and blended it all at once. Don’t do that. Second attempt was a success and I made Louisiana Remoulade with the mayonnaise!
Paleo Sriracha: Okay
The taste is phenomenal but I couldn’t find red jalapeño peppers anywhere so I settled with green. Just not the same without that fiery red…
Holy’Moly (Easy Guacamole): Success
So simple, so delicious
Apple Chips: Okay
I found these too sweet and they took a long time to cook. Not worth it in my opinion. They resembled apple crumble flavour though so they get an okay stamp.
Kale Chips: Success
A new staple in my diet. Many people seem to have trouble with these. Either too soggy or too burnt. Follow this recipe. When you master them, you will never turn back. Also, a note from my aunt: Don’t refrigerate.
Chopped Liver + Bacon: Success
Some people can’t stand liver. I have to confess, when my mom used to cook liver in the oven as dog treats and the house filled with an unmentionable odour, I was sure i’d deny liver foreverrrrr! This recipe blew my mind though. Unbelievably flavourful, great as a dip and a fantastic source of Vitamin A.
Chinese Egg Foo Young: Okay
I wasn’t sold on these. Although I used tuna as a meat filling instead of the recommended ham. She said use any meat you like!! The recipe makes a large batch and they don’t keep well. You should eat them right away.
I first tried these in NZ thanks to my host mom’s ingenuity. These are for the pasta lover. I mean c’mon… ZOODLES! How fun is that?
Slow Cooker Kalua Pig: Success
The slow cooker can make almost anything taste good but this was so unbelievably flavourful Jesse and I both had extra servings.
Thanks for reading.