‘Eating Clean, Living Paleo’ is a New Zealand paleo cookbook. Written by Rachael Devcich, aka Cave Girl New Zealand, it comes out August 17th 2015. But I managed to get a copy to test out…
My wife is American so getting this book is a great way to get her to eat healthy food from a made-in-NZ book.
The cookbook includes over 100 recipes which are paleo. Although you don’t need to be following the paleo diet to make or enjoy them. I fit some of the recipes into my non-paleo diet.
It starts with the “chalkboard method” of paleo which presents the general food rules of eating paleo in a loose manner, as if they were written on a chalkboard and can be erased and changed easily to adjust to what suits you. It also goes beyond food and adds to the chalkboard to get “8 hours sleep” along with minimising stress, and to do “regular movement” involving lifting some weights, which I like that the guidelines go into suggesting a healthy lifestyle beyond just the nutrition-focus of paleo. This is really the only section in which the book talks about paleo. It doesn’t try to convince the reader about the merits of a paleo diet or argue the science behind it. Which is good. The book just gets the paleo explanation out of the way, and then quickly goes into the food – the beautiful, mouth-watering, real food. Check out this preview:
The book is written in a casual, light-hearted tone – with personal notes added to the bottom of some recipes, and with photos of family, local growers and generally enjoying life spread throughout.
I actually ate fully paleo for about a month last year, but gave it up because it was just to inconvenient to stick to. My main motivation for doing it in the first place was to see if my skin would clear up… it didn’t, at least not in one month. What I did notice was that my energy levels became awesome! I had consistent energy all day – from waking to sleeping – without afternoon crashes. So while I don’t eat paleo, I still try to stick to the general ideas of eating whole food where possible and minimising processed food.
The real test of a cookbook is not really the writing, it’s the food the book tells you how to make. Or from my point of view of being a hungry man it is. So I decided to attempt making some recipes. I’m not the best cook – so just like Big Macs never looks quite look like their ads, I decided to compare my versions of the food with the book’s professional photographed versions.
Check out the results below.
Crumbed Fish ‘n’ Chips
Being a kiwi paleo book, there’re recipes for paleo fish ‘n’ chips and mince pies, among other goodies. Of course out of all the recipes I had to make the fish ‘n’ chips and the pies.
Pretty good result! My version actually looks as nice, if not nicer hehe, than the professional version. I’d never tried swede chips before and they were delicious! I’ve since made them again on their own without the fish.
Mine turned out a lot smaller – I only had a muffin tray to make them in, plus I think I spread the pastry too thick so it only made four small pies… I was so looking forward to pies that I didn’t want to risk making the pastry thin and then ruining the pie experience as the fillings fell out right as you went to eat it. They turned out delicious. Pie taste-test passed!
Although these should really be called paleo potato-top pies I think, rather than mince pies as the topping, made from cauliflower, basically makes it taste like a paleo substitute for a potato-top: yum.
Salmon and Acocdo Nori Rolls
My sushi didn’t end up as nice looking as the books – mostly because those things are hard to roll up, and even harder to cut correctly without pushing all the fillings out… I haven’t figured out that trick yet. But they tasted good. Although the two sushi rolls it makes were eaten fast so I’d recommend quadrupling, or more, the recipe for going beyond just a snack.
Avocado and Orange Seedy Kale Salad
Yea, this one didn’t turn out looking as nice as the books. But the toasted nuts and the orange zest made the kale tase great!
Cocoa Orange Fig Balls
These were delicious! Although expensive, considering the cashew nuts and figs can be pricey. Strangely, my 7 year old and my 1 year old both didn’t like these – they took one bite and didn’t want any more. I don’t know what’s wrong with their tastebuds – these were sweet treats.
I did pretty good making the recipes turn out looking eatable. But aside from looks, they all tasted great!
‘Eating Clean, Living Paleo’ is a great cook-book: beautiful photos, healthy recipes, I like it and I’ll be attempting every recipe in this book at some point.