I have been following the Paleo/Primal lifestyle for almost three years now. I call it a lifestyle because it is not really a diet. At the core of this lifestyle is eating natural food like fruits and vegetables and meats that are grass-fed or pasture raised. The idea is to cut out the processed junk from your life. I have seen countless articles, debates, websites and books about Paleo (or Primal or Caveman) “diet” and how it has worked for many people. All I can say for sure is that since I have been following this lifestyle, I do not have to worry about my weight, my skin is clearer and I just feel better. If you want more information then the best way to start is Mark’s Daily Apple or Nerd Fitness.
I was looking at the latest newsletter of U.S. Wellness Meats, a site dedicated to providing grass-fed meats and other natural products, when I came across a recipe for short ribs. The recipe was from a new Paleo cookbook called Zenbelly. I immediately asked the publisher if they would give me an advanced copy to review and they were gracious to send a copy of this lovely book. The Zenbelly Cookbook does have a nice, short introduction about Paleo and foods that should be embraced and foods that should be avoided and foods that are in the “gray” area. There is also a section on “how to cook like a pro” with great chef techniques and helpful pictures.
I read each recipe in the book and as my mouth watered I chose three items to cook for my family. First I made the lamb burgers with raita sauce. This reminded me of some of the Greek dishes I have made in the past with the mixture of lamb, parsley and lemon in the burgers.
The side dish for our meal was the collard greens with bacon. However, when I made my trip to the farmer’s market I couldn’t find fresh collards, but I did see a lovely bunch of swiss chard so I substituted this instead. Another benefit to this cookbook is that you can make some substitutions and the recipes still work. The cookbook really encourages you to be creative with the food you prepare.
Finally, I decided to make the brownies for dessert. Sugar, and treats in general, is something that should definitely be avoided. This recipe called for 1 cup of coconut sugar and because I do not like things too sweet, I used just one cup of the sugar. The recipe came out perfectly for me.
I found all of the recipes user friendly with easy-to-follow steps. I also loved the fact that all of the recipes come with a illustration. Even if my culinary creation doesn’t look exactly like the illustration in the book, I like to at least know what I am shooting for.
A special thanks to my husband who is my taste tester not only for the food from this cookbook, but for all of my culinary creations. Even though he does not follow the Paleo protocol, he loved all of the recipes that I made from the ZENBELLY COOKBOOK. As he wandered away from the dinner table he slumped to the couch and mumbled something about being in a food coma. Nothing makes me happier than when he loves my cooking, so I will be using the ZENBELLY COOKBOOK often.
Have you heard of the Paleo (or Primal or Caveman) diet? What do you think about it? What recipes have you tried? Let me know in the comments!