This week is the week of cookbook reviews. Last time I reviewed Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo, and now I’m going to tell you about Julie and Charles Mayfield’s Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen, which I got a sneak-preview of (lucky me).
Julie and Charles Mayfield are everyday people – meaning they’re not chefs or nutritionists or otherwise Paleo experts – and they’ve created a beautiful, easy-to-use cookbook for all people Paleo. Well, they’re not everyday people: they run a CrossFit gym. And they certainly seem to know their way around a Paleo kitchen, too.
The first recipe I made from their book was the “Scattered, Smothered and Chunked Sweet Hash,” which is this amazing sweet potato hash dish with sausage and onions. We just couldn’t get over how well the sweetness of the sweet potatoes played off the saltiness and pungent flavors of the onion. It was divine.
I then dove into a dessert. The “Luscious Lemon Squares” were both luscious and lemony, even though I forgot about them and almost burned the top (have I mentioned I’m not the most attentive chef?).
The instructions are easy enough to follow and the book is laid out so prettily it makes you want to read each one of the recipes like a book. The only thing is that I got lost a few times because I missed the “Ingredient Notes” at the bottom of the page. Sometimes those notes are crucial, so make sure to read them every time.
This book is almost purely a cookbook – no frills about it. They do go over some Paleo basics, nutrition basics, and give you some awesome resources for handy kitchen tools. But the bulk of the 335 pages is recipes.
The organization of the book is good, but I think they could’ve broken the categories up a bit more extensively in the 6 color-coded sections. For instance, you have to go through all the “Main Dishes” to find something that uses pork. I liked how Everyday Paleo was broken up by types of meat. Never fear, though. There IS an extensive index.
One other thing I like about this book is that it includes some recipes that use organ or otherwise unusual meat. Like the “Tacos de Lengua,” which means tongue in Spanish and the “Dirty Cauliflower “Rice”,” which includes chicken organ meat.
I’m dying to try the “Brussels Sprouts Slaw,” and I can assure you I’ve never used the terms “dying to try” and “Brussels sprouts” in the same sentence before. I also have “Creamed Spinach,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” that “Dirty Cauliflower Rice,” and “Pot of Chicken Pie” bookmarked.
All in all, this book is full of beautiful pictures that make you WANT to spend hours in the kitchen, and easy-to-use recipes that help you make complicated flavors out of simple ingredients. I highly recommend this book to people who want to add more variety to their Paleo diet.