When we started our Paleo journey, the only place I knew to get recipes was the internet. Now, I have a bookshelf that is quickly filling up with fantastic Paleo cookbooks. Despite that, and the fact that we wrote our own, I am in love with Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed.
Matt and I are foodies. He said on our Facebook wall the other day, “we didn’t get fat on accident.” And it’s true. We love to cook. And we love to eat even more. Being Paleo has now given us the opportunity to enjoy foods and lose weight, rather than gain it. As foodies, one of the things Matt and I love to do is try new foods. Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Ethiopian, Chinese, Japanese, you name it – we love something about it.
I’ve loved Melissa’s food for a while from her website The Clothes Make the Girl, in fact it’s our go-to for ethnically varied recipes. Her Chinese Pork Fried Rice is one of our favorite dishes. So I was delighted to read her story about why flavorful, fun and culturally diverse food is her passion in Well Fed (read more in the 30-page FREE PDF on her site!). I found myself unable to stop reading the ebook version she generously sent us to review, as soon as I got it. It was in the middle of the day, I had a ton of stuff to do, and there I was – unable to stop paging through over a 100 recipes I hadn’t yet seen or tried of hers, 115+ total.
Admittedly, I have a little crush on this book. I love that Melissa built a community to put together such a wonderful cook book (it’s really much more than that). It was a risk to spend so much time and effort on this. But that risk has paid off. The photos her husband took are mouth watering, the food styling looks approach-ably fun and the personality sparkles. I love the plans and suggestions he offers; I love the “You know how you could do that?” game and the overall layout and aesthetics of the book make you feel punk rock just to cook the food.
It’s the food Matt and I would cook more of if we didn’t have 3 tiny mouths driving the flavors at the table. It’s not filled with desserts and it’s Whole 30 approved and endorsed by Whole 9. But, there’s plenty of kid-friendly food in the book, in fact the boys literally licked their plates of two of the dishes we made. But… for some reason, we just don’t experiment with dramatic spices and flavor combinations on our own. We’re super thrilled Melissa’s done the work for us with Well Fed!
The photos above are from Fried Apples with Bacon and Pecans, which we served with breakfast for dinner Friday night. I think we could have doubled that recipe and still not had leftovers. I tweeted shortly after the meal, “I wish Melissa could’ve been there to see Finn literally lick his plate.” I wasn’t exaggerating. Two days later, Cole’s already asking if we can make it again.
Then Sunday we had Salmon A L’afrique Du Nord, Creamy Spice Market Kale, and Cumin-Roasted Carrots. I practically saw Finian drag out his club from under the table in order to beat his brothers upside the head in an effort to get the last servings of carrots. And all the boys liked the salmon, the crispy skin is something we’ve never been able to achieve on our own before. The kale was admittedly a bit too spicy for the kids, but we were happy there was something on the table we didn’t have to fork fight the cave kids for.
As I watched Matt hunched over the laptop in the kitchen, declaring to me how awesome her spice rubs were, I knew he needed the book. It’s not just fun. It’s not just delicious. It’s inspiring him to come up with new ideas for our own food, too. And that is truly a gift! Needless to say, we’ve already ordered the printed, softcover version (175 pages). Shh, don’t tell Matt. It’s gonna be a Christmas gift…
p.s. If you buy the printed book, you even get a code to download the PDF version for just $1, which Melissa and her book team are donating to Common Threads, a non-profit that teaches low-income kids how to cook in a free after-school program! So, don’t be a goober like me and get the PDF then decide you want the softcover. Just look at the free preview on her site or on Amazon and decide which version you really want first.)
p.p.s. Stay tuned! Later we will be giving away a free ebook of Well Fed! Comment below on why you’re interested in this particular book and you’ll find yourself with an extra entry in the future giveaway!