Preparing healthy, wholesome meals from quality, natural ingredients is a huge part of being a natural mommy. In our house, meals consist of meat, vegetables, seafood, fruit, nuts, and seeds (we eat relatively Paleo-style). Sometimes it’s easy to put meals together, but sometimes I need/want some outside inspiration.
I have a lot of cookbooks… I collect them, and I use them almost every day.
I have several that I frequent MOST often. Against All Grain, Meals Made Simple, and Practical Paleo are among them.
BUT… choosing a favorite is easy. I pre-ordered Real Life Paleo the first time I heard the premise of the book. It’s a three-phased approach to Paleo eating… with recipes catering to beginners, to folks who are a little more savvy, and to folks who are on the search for ultimate nutrient density.
Aside from the fact that the book is absolutely gorgeous, inside and out, it’s packed full of delicious recipes and handy tips.
I love the practical perspective that Matt and Stacy bring to the table (no pun intended). They are busy parents with three young boys. This is the first Paleo cookbook that I’ve come across that truly relates to busy families.
The recipes in the book are all things I’d actually make… nothing super-fancy or complicated. Rather, they are simple and easy, and the ingredients are items that you likely already have in your Paleo pantry. Most of the recipes can be made in under 30 minutes, or in one pot, or with less than five ingredients.
The three-phase premise is brilliant. Matt and Stacy explain how to first “swap” out unhealthy foods with healthier options, then how to “remove” those substitutions for more nutritious options, and finally how to “heal” your body with the ultimate nutrient-dense diet (with emphasis on broth, organ meats, super foods, etc).
I haven’t seen another cookbook that contains everything from Key Lime Pie (which is sweetened only with fruit and a little honey), to beef heart jerky. That range truly demonstrates how I personally live my Paleo life – there’s a nice balance of both healthy and fun.
There is so much creativity in this book! Recipes like Zucchini Cauliflower Tots, Veggie Lasagna (with cashew “cheese sauce!”), Chinese Lettuce Cups, CC’s Perfect Hashbrowns, Energy Bars, Healthiest Ice Cream Ever, and Butternut Squash Lasagna have me intrigued. And there are tons of tips with each recipe on how to make it even easier, even more nutrient-dense, etc.
I’ve made about 10-15 recipes from the book so far, and I’ve been extremely impressed. The Peruvian Chicken is, hands down, the best chicken recipe I’ve ever tried… and it’s unbelievably easy. I am also so impressed with the Creamed Kale (not a recipe I thought would be a “favorite”). I also splurged on the most extravagant recipe in the book, “Chocolate Layer Cake with Fresh Fruit,” and wow… I’ll just leave it at that.
If you’ve been looking for the perfect family-friendly cookbook, look no further (click here!). You can thank me later. :)