Let’s face it. We all love comfort foods. Anyone who’s Paleo and doesn’t eat cheat meals regularly probably craves some good home cooking every once in a while. And although the benefits of a Paleo diet far outweigh the occasional feelings of self-deprivation, being able to find similarly flavored meals which you can digest and feel good after eating is win/win.
Except when it’s not. There’s definitely a time and a place to just eat whatever it is you’re craving. If you’re not suffering from an autoimmune disease, a cheat meal every now and again isn’t going to kill you.
Having said that, the elaborately prepared dishes in the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook are a marvelous alternative for when you are craving a specific flavor but not the effects that come with it. Deviled eggs, crab cakes, spicy chicken wings, sliders, hummus, chili, enchiladas, fried chicken, pot pie… as well as comfort foods that are already Paleo: your salsas and dips, meatballs, dill pickles, tomato sauce,
There’s some great soups and salads, including a delicious tomatillo stew and Paleo gumbo. And while I don’t really crave grits, the cauliflower-based alternative was absolutely delicious.
Hash, slaw, fried green tomatoes and multiple okra recipes definitely showcase the authors’ Southern roots. I was also pleased to see recipes with less-traditional meats including some wild game. We’ve got mushroom stuffed quail with dijon sauce, venison medallions with mustard sauce, braised rabbit and venison-stuffed peppers.
Then there’s things like biscuits made with coconut flour and almond flour, coconut flour tortillas and pumpkin pancakes. I’ve been experimenting with these and find that their flavor stands on its own… perhaps it is elitist to assume that this is superior to, say, vegans eating not dogs or tofurkey, but I really do think some of these recipes stand on their own right and that giving up entire textures or flavors is not really necessary.
Going Paleo causes your taste buds to adjust, so the cave ketchup, barbecue sauce and other condiments are a very welcome addition. And while we haven’t dug into the dessert section yet, the selection is delicious: cakes, breads, tarts, pies, pudding…
It is a truism that you can only have two of the three: high quality, high speed or low cost. Meat and vegetables, in my mind, are quite affordable and the recipes are certainly quality. Some of them do take a bit of time to prepare, though. I believe the shrimp and grits took about an hour, between the chopping and cooking and preparing. I’m okay
with that, but if you’re always in a rush, perhaps Everyday Paleo might be a better fit, or even just picking and choosing simpler recipes.
All in all, I’d highly recommend Paleo Comfort Foods. The types of recipes included are not really available, Paleo-style, anywhere else. There is a huge selection, easily classified by color-coded sections–starters and snacks, sauces and staples, soups and salads, side dishes, main dishes and desserts.
The cookbook is also beautiful to look at, with full-page full-color photos. If you’re looking for healthy versions of delicious homestyle recipes, look no further–this is the cookbook for you.
The book retails for $29.95 but includes over 125 recipes and runs 336 pages long. I’ll admit that I don’t have more than a handful of tried and true favorites–so thirty bucks is a small price to pay for brand new recipes to test out.