Hi there! Katy here, Assistant and Content Coordinator for the Paleo Parents. Usually I don’t do book reviews because we have a whole team of reviewers, however we have had so many books to review lately that I got the opportunity to do this one. I have to say, I was really excited to receive my copy of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, by Mickey Trescott, the blogger behind autoimmune-paleo.com.
My usual everyday cooking tends to be heavy on nightshade and seed based spices. After I went to French culinary school, I decided to do my externship at a fine dining restaurant that had a Tex-Mex style of cooking due to its Mexican born head chef. I had learned all about the classics, and I wanted to push myself to learn different flavors. I did learn a new style of cooking, and those flavors have quickly become my go-to spices. Well, its time I learn to push myself again to learn how to flavor my everyday cooking with less potentially inflammatory seasonings.
Mickey’s beautiful book was the perfect resource. I loved it’s simple, clean, and uncluttered layout for the recipes, and I also really appreciated the guides in the beginning of the book that have lists of the allowed foods and the foods to avoid. While The Paleo Approach is an exhaustive resource that is very detailed about everything concerning Autoimmune conditions and the foods that aggravate them, Mickey’s book provides short, and to-the-point explanations with a few simple guidelines, and then she gets right to the food. In my opinion, the two books go well together, especially for a newbie. Mickey’s book explains all the basics, and makes the method in Sarah’s book seem simple and approachable. Once a newbie is comfortable with the basics of the Autoimmune Protocol, they can learn more about all the details and the why’s in Sarah’s book.
And what was my honest opinion about the recipes? I loved them, and for quite a few reasons. Because I have a chef’s background, I rarely follow a recipe to a “T” when its not a baking recipe, but rather I collect cookbooks as reference materials and for inspiration. Mickey’s book was perfect for this. Let me show you what I mean:
The first recipes I made of hers were the Citrus-Avocado Dressing, the Mediterranean Salmon Salad, and the Citrus- Spinach Salad. The flavors all went so well together that I served them together for lunch one day for me and my husband. That’s one of the main things I loved about the cookbook – Many of the recipes go well together and make balanced meals.
The only changes/tweaks I made to her original recipes were to add finely diced red onions and some fresh grated garlic added to the chopped Mediterranean Salmon Salad (pg.153), but those are just because of personal tastes. I love red onions and use them in almost everything, and my husband is a self proclaimed garlic-aholic. He loves garlic so much that he is always willing to peel the garlic cloves so that I use more of it. Peeling garlic is my least favorite thing to do while cooking. It makes my fingers sticky! We both really loved the Avocado-Citrus Dressing (pg. 115), and my husband also insisted that I add garlic to that too. Again, just his personal taste.
From the salad section of the book, I also made two more recipes, because it has been extremely warm this week, and during the warmer months, I tend to make salads almost everyday. My husband insisted that I make the Radish and Jicama Tabbouli Salad (pg. 142). He loves the spicy-ness of radishes, the crunch of jicama, and we both can’t get enough of any type of olives, but especially kalamata olives. The salad also has chopped cucumbers and carrots – talk about #morevegetablesthanavegetarian! And so colorful!
I really loved the flavors in this chopped salad, and also its versatility. It could be eaten alone, used as a topping on leafy greens, or on top of a lamb burger, sauteed piece of fresh fish, or mixed with a can of Wild Caught Tuna in Olive Oil. Again, I tweaked the recipe a bit and added finely chopped red onions and minced garlic. Mickey has kindly let us share this recipe today!
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 bunch radishes, finely chopped
- 1/2 pound jicama (about 1/2 a small), peeled and finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 cucumber, finely chopped,
- 8 kalamata olives, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
- Sea Salt to Taste
- 1/4 of a red onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated on a Microplane grater
- Combine the parsley, radishes, jicama, carrots, cucumber, olives, mint (and red onions, if using) in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lemon ice, and salt.
- Toss the dressing with the salad and serve.
The last meal I wanted to make out of the cookbook were the Garlic-Sage Chicken Patties (pr. 210) to serve alongside Cabbage Slaw with Olive-Avocado Dressing (pg. 145), but alas, when I opened the packages of chicken thighs that I had bought to grind using my Meat Grinder Kitchen Aid attachment, the chicken had spoiled. YUCK! What was I going to do for dinner?
I quickly flipped through the seafood section of the book, because I had some wild-caught Mahi-Mahi in my freezer that I knew would thaw quickly. I landed on the Mediterranean Salmon on page 242 and I decided that this recipe would work just fine with Mahi-Mahi. I already had all the ingredients already, because they overlapped with the ingredients in the tabbouli and the Mediterranean Salmon Salad. The recipe calls for you to make a tapenade of sorts with kalamata olives, parsley, and lemon juice, and then simply spread it over the fish and bake. Again, I added some garlic (I told you- we can’t get enough!), and instead of chopping the ingredients by hand per the recipe, I used my mini food processor to make quick work of the job. The recipe worked beautifully, even though I changed the type of fish, again displaying the wonderful versatility of the recipes in this book.
I went ahead and served the Mahi-Mahi alongside the Cabbage Slaw with Olive-Avocado Dressing (pg. 145).
My husband and I both loved this light, citrusy slaw, but we also thought it would be better served with a good, fatty piece of pork, perhaps like a Slow Cooker Kahlua Pork.
I really appreciate that this book is filled with plenty of inexpensive recipes, made from everyday ingredients that you can find in most grocery stores. While there are a few recipes here and there that call for some things you may not always have on hand, that’s not the norm. I also really liked that many of the ingredients overlapped in recipes. That’s valuable to me because I didn’t have to buy lots of ingredients that could only be used in one recipe, which made it easy to make quite a few dishes with a limited budget. Lots of times, when people buy a paleo cookbook, that’s a main complaint – that the recipes are too expensive to make on a regular basis, but that is definitely not the case with The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook. I’m really happy to have this cookbook in my collection, because it shows that you really can cook and AIP meal with lots of flavor, and feel satisfied, instead of deprived.
I’m looking forward to cooking my way through this cookbook and learning more ways to cook the AIP way, and I highly suggest it to anyone interested in exploring the Autoimmune Protocol.
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