I had been seeing and hearing the word “Paleo” tossed around in the food blog corners of the world that I frequent occasionally. Without much research I picked up on the fact that it refers to eating like our Paleolithic ancestors and followed the principles of eating real food instead of processed ingredients. Intrigued, I wanted to learn more since I, myself, am on the real food journey. When it came time to make my next selection from Blogging For Books, I chose a Paleo themed cookbook called “The Paleo Chef” by Peter Evans. With buzz words like “effortless” and “delicious” describing the book’s 100 recipes for a Paleo lifestyle, it was sure to be a winner.
So let me stop right here and add a disclaimer: If you are already a follower of the Paleo way of life or are very seriously contemplating the lifestyle, this book MIGHT be just what you are looking for. But in my quest to learn more and possibly consider the aspect of further defining my real food eating habits, this cookbook made me realize that Paleo = Hell No. My review issues are mostly with the principle of Paleo and not so much with the book itself.
I enjoy food. The preparation, consumption, and social activities involving food are a big part of my life and I don’t see much enjoyment with this plan of eating. It seems that it’s more about eating only for fuel, energy and survival. The photographs in “The Paleo Chef” weren’t even appealing to me – they seemed sparse and void of enjoyment. After thumbing through the entire book, there was not one recipe that jumped out as something I’d want to try just for the sake of giving it the old college try.
The Paleo lifestyle restricts a lot of foods that I enjoy – dairy and alcohol being two categories. “Occasional fruit” is optional on the Paleo plan and I can’t give that up either. I understand eliminating grains in your diet if you have allergies or sensitivities, neither of which I do, so I’ll keep them around as well. Legumes are off-limits because they didn’t grow during the days of our cavemen ancestors. Cavemen didn’t have electricity either but I don’t see any big movement to rid ourselves of that convenience. I’m in total agreement with the concept of eliminating refined sugars and processed ingredients, so Paleo and I are on the same page in that regard. And the idea of eating offal (organ meats and entrails) was enough to seal the deal for me turning a blind eye to Paleo. Chef Evans includes a recipe for seared beef liver with fig salad and raw steak topped with a raw egg. No thank you.
Peter Evans obviously doesn’t shop for groceries in my neighborhood. Some of the ingredients used in several of his recipes are not commonly found in my grocery store. It’s hard enough to incorporate a special trip into my busy routine to pick up humanely raised meats and farm-fresh eggs, so I don’t want to squeeze scavenger hunting into my schedule as well. The recipes contained a lot of nuts and seeds but you first had to ferment these items. I occasionally find something fermented in my refrigerator but it’s not there intentionally.
Again, if you are a Paleo enthusiast, this book could be right up your alley. But if you are just looking to see what the buzz is all about and not whole-heartedly into the concept, skip the book.
|Paleo = Pillow for the Schnoodle|
I received this book free to review from Blogging for Books. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.