Since we began Paleo Parents, we’ve been increasingly and routinely asked to review books and products by people in and adjacent to the paleo community. At this point, we get so many we are unable to actually do the reviews of the products in a timely manner! That’s why we recruited the Paleo Parents Review Team to fill in the gaps.
Today Anne reviews two new paleo books that are just coming on the market. First is Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL Is Wrong with My Numbers? by our friend Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman. We know if there’s anyone who’s equipped to tackle this giant topic, it’s Jimmy!
And the second is Primal Cravings by Brandon and Megan Keatley, a brand new cookbook by the team behind Health-Bent. We loved and followed their website years ago before we were blogger ourselves. So, before we passed on Primal Cravings to Anne for review we made breakfast for ourselves from it – and are thrilled Brendan and Megan let us share those recipes with you today – don’t miss the TWO EXCLUSIVE RECIPES at the bottom of this post!
When I first heard about Jimmy’s book I was intrigued. Cholesterol concerns are the #1 response I get from people when I talk about the changes my families made in their diet. “But aren’t you worried about your cholesterol levels?” Even my mom who I love and is pretty supportive of our changes worries about what I might be doing to myself. My dad’s suffered from high cholesterol for most of my adult life and it was a worry that I had as I grew up. Fortunately my levels have always been good and have only improved since going Paleo. But back to Jimmy’s book. How could he possibly address such a complex and scientifically challenging topic in layman’s terms?
He did it! He wrote something that your average person can use to decide what tests they should ask for and how to interpret the results. He concisely compiles the latest research and translates it into terms that even us, non-doctors, can comprehend. This is a great resource that I know I will be purchasing for both my step-father (statin user post stent installation) and my dad. This book obviously addresses cholesterol but it also hits on why and how you should eat for optimal health.
There’s been a massive campaign involving saturated fat, cholesterol, and heart health based on questionable science that has resulted in a flawed health paradigm that vilifies cholesterol as the primary cause of heart disease. “Calling this the single biggest blunder in the history of medicine is not overstating the case,” says the author. All this campaign has wrought is an alarming increase in heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, obesity, high blood pressure and many more of the “Western” diseases.
There is a billion dollar industry in “helping” us address this via medications and selling high carb, high sugar food and inflammatory oils to our ever-sickening populace. I hope someone buys those people this book so they can educate themselves that the cure doesn’t live in a bottle or another “magic pill” but in the food choices they make every day.
My husband and I’ve fought over who got to glance through this book. The pictures and the recipes are all top notch. The beginning of the book gives a good breakdown of the Primal/Paleo lifestyle and the 80/20 that many of us employ. They address some budget beef, poultry, pork and seafood. They also have a quick list of best proteins to cook “slow & low” as well as quick. They have a great section a beginner needs to know how to stock their kitchen. We really thought the section of fats and oils was very informative, although we prefer cooking with lard, tallow and duck fat. Fats that they don’t seem to use as much (but still recommend). I think the section on natural sweeteners are great for the beginner since how to sweeten without using highly processed sweeteners can be a challenge starting off.
But honestly I am most enthusiastic about their recipes. We’ve made the Bloody Mary Pickled Tomatoes numerous times (it took about 4x before I got a picture of them) and they are exactly what you’d expect based on the title. I almost don’t miss the vodka when eating these. I suspect we will always have a batch going in the fridge since we love them so much (although a little spicy for our 6 year old). So far we’ve tried the Hot & Sour Chicken Noodle Soup. The taste was incredible and their recommended noodles were delicious.
And the Moo Shu Cabbage Cups were a fabulous quick meal before taking out son to his first cub scout meeting.
This is a great overall cookbook with lots of recipes that hit close to home. I know it will be staple for us if the porcupine look (tags on all of the other recipes we’ve yet to try) is any indication.
When we first saw this book it was actually carry-on baggage Juli had when she visited. After flipping through and being impressed with the variety and unique ideas, we wrote their publisher and asked for a review copy. So, of course, the boys asked to make a breakfast from it before we handed it off to Anne for review. It took us a while to narrow down their requests, but they finally settled on Caprese Baked Eggs and Smoked Salmon Hash (only we used smoked lean pastured Canadian bacon). And lucky for you, Brandon and Megan have decided to let us share these two recipes from the book! Check these out as a representation of the deliciousness you’ll have from the book!
The first recipe the boys were SO excited about. We have fresh basil in our garden and they happily went out to pick some for the recipe. They knew the flavors were going to be like pizza and the enthusiasm was nearly overwhelming… it was SO awesome to have them excited and helping us in the kitchen for every (easy) step of breakfast!
- 1 cup Pizza Sauce
- 6 eggs
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously grease 6 ramekin dishes with butter (to help keep the
- egg white from sticking to the sides. That’s no fun to clean.)
- Evenly spoon pizza sauce into ramekins. Crack 1 egg into each ramekin.
- Make the pesto by whisking together the basil, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Spoon on top
- of the eggs.
- Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until the eggs are set, about 18 to 20 minutes.
The boys also begged to make this hash, although we didn’t have hardly any of the ingredients. Goes to show, good recipes work when you substitute! We subbed smoked salmon for canadian bacon (also smoked and lean), dill for chives and did a mix of sweet and white potatoes.
- Butter for the pan
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 pound potatoes (reds or Yukon golds will work), peeled and diced
- 8 ounces hot- or cold-smoked salmon
- 1 cup asparagus, roughly chopped
- Tangy Dill Vinaigrette (below)
- In a large sauté pan (that you have a lid for), melt a few tablespoons of butter over medium
- heat. Add onion and potatoes. Place the lid over the pan. Peek in and stir occasionally,
- allowing the onions and potatoes cook through until tender enough that a fork pierces the
- 2 Add smoked salmon, asparagus, and a tad more butter and simmer uncovered. Stir
- occasionally and let the mixture develop a crispy crust—about 10 more minutes should do it.
- 3 Toss the hash with Tangy Dill Vinaigrette.
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Fair warning… Primal Cravings is a primal cookbook. The recipes include ingredients that not every paleo person eats, like dairy, white potatoes and some higher glycemic index starches. That said, this type of cookbook is how I feel quite a few people actually implement the ancestral lifestyle and the ideas are easily adaptable if you want to avoid dairy. Seriously, genius flavor combinations. We can’t wait to get the book back and try some more recipes out!