I started flagging recipes when I first received a review copy of this book more than a month ago. I stopped flagging them when I realized there were so many recipes I wanted to try that the book would just be one big mass of paper post its. So, I started making a list of what I wanted to make.
The book opens with a brief overview of the authors’ philosophy followed by a run down of ingredients, tools, and equipment. Pretty standard but also interesting because the duo, both skilled fitness coaches who’ve done a lot of reading, studying, and experimenting with diet and nutrition, focus on some ingredients you don’t usually find in other paleo and primal cookbooks. The book is well organized and contains basic everyday recipes as well as those you’ll want to share with company.
The recipes don’t rely on nut flours nor do they contain many nuts or nut butters. Nuts and nut butters are delicious...and eating liberal amounts of them, particularly if you’re eating anything other than macadamias, can lead to omega 6 overload, which can promote inflammation. Instead, the Keatley’s have created delicious baked goods using safe starches that don’t contain the phytates found in grains that can block mineral absorption and irritate lining of your intestines. They’ve created breads and breadings, pizza crusts, crackers, and focaccia, and special treats from pancakes and waffles to cookies, brownies, and bars that look amazing. (The only ones here I’ve tried so far are the Olive Oil Focaccia and the breaded Crispy Chicken Fingers; both pleased the people I served them to.)
Note: This is not a dessert heavy cookbook despite the focus on satisfying your primal cravings for familiar foods you used to eat or are working to wean yourself away from. Desserts are a small part of the book.
What I tried
I tried 10 recipes from the book. My favorite was the Thai Chili Chicken Meatballs. I was out of chili garlic sauce so I subbed mild hot sauce. The result was the perfect spicing for me. I liked the sweetness and fruitiness of the sauce and the versatility of the dish. I served it hot one night and cold the next couple of days; the meatballs tasted great in a green salad with cilantro vinaigrette. I also froze some of the dish.
Photo credit: Rachel Albert Copyright© 2103
I really liked the authors’ unique recipe for B-Butter, a satisfying legume-free twist on peanut butter (hint: it doesn’t contain almond butter!). I turned it into something I call Fluffy Nut Butter (from my book, The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook), by diluting it 50:50 with water and chilling it to make a fluffy dip for apples. Mmm! The only thing I would do differently next time is use less salt. It tasted more like peanut butter than almond or sunflower butter.
The Keatleys have some unique recipes that call for jicama, celery root, plantains, fresh or frozen sweet cherries that caught my eye. I plan to continue making my way through their book. I liked that they include recipes for some desserts that are sweetened only with fruit, including popsicles and sorbet. In fact some of their main dishes use fruit to sweeten too. This is a book that’s light on sweeteners, even when it comes to dessert.
Another unique feature among paleo and primal cookbooks is the nutrition index in the back of the book that breaks down the recipes in terms of calories, protein, carbs, and fat, although its not alphabetical so you might have to spend a bit of time going through the list to find the recipe numbers you're looking for. The Keatley’s also include lists of recipes by categories, such as crowd friendly recipes that are easy to make in mass quantities and that freeze, thaw, and reheat well, budget friendly recipes, 30 minute or less meals, salads, and sides, 30 minute sweets, and even vegetarian friendly adaptable recipes.
I highly recommend Primal Cravings: Your Favorite Foods Made Paleo, the lastest release from Primla Blueprint Publishing. It’s a great addition to any paleo, primal, whole foods, real foods, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, or allergy-conscious kitchen and household. I’ll post a recipe soon.
To read reviews of Primal Cravings: Your Favorite Foods Made Paleo or to order a copy, click here or for the kindle version, here or on the icon below.