Paleo Every Day

I’m not a Paleo or any other ‘speacial’ diet advocate unless there are specific intolerances or allergies, my view is to enjoy a varied, balanced diet that’s rich in fresh foods and limits manufactured products; having a thoughtful approach to what we choose to eat, so hadn’t set out to buy Pete Evans ‘Paleo Every Day’ cookbook. In fact, I was drawn to the title, gift shopping in the FNAC store in central Paris where it was the only English book in a sea of French literature. Flicking through the pages, I was wowed by Mark Ropers’ photography of healthy, super-yummy looking dishes, not bypassing the equally yummy cover portrait of Pete Evans…

Aussie Pete Evans is a restaurateur, TV chef turned Health Coach with his website dedicated to Paleo living, offering a 10 week online diet plan that’s tempting if he is a living example. In the meantime, as I have no particular intolerances and would rather continue my healthy, balanced-diet philosophy that doesn’t exclude certain foods or food groups but instead can include some wonderful healthy dishes, Paleo or not.

“In ‘Paleo Every Day’, Pete Evans shares his favourite recipes for good health and vitality. Inspired by a ‘paleo’ way of eating, these are the meals he cooks for his family everyday, featuring loads of fresh veggies, nuts and seeds, sustainable seafood and meat, and free of gluten, sugar and dairy.”

120 recipes are divided between breakfast, soups, salads& vegetables, seafood, poultry, meat, snacks, cultured kitchen, desserts, drinks and basics plus a comprehensive glossary of more unusual ingredients. That said, the majority of recipes are prepared with ‘everyday’ ingredients and most of the specialist items would be easily available from the supermarket or Asian grocer though I have also made near-ingredient substitutions.

A couple of ideas could be thought of as being a little wacky: Pete’s Sprouted Seed Bread, Chia Seed Puddings, and the Cultured Kitchen fermented vegetables but once you understand why they are there, the more sense it makes. Otherwise, the recipes are bouncing-healthy delicious and the book has already earned its own place on my kitchen counter. Watermelon & Radish Salad, Cucumber Salad with Avocado & Ginger, Courgette Noodles with Rich Tomato Sauce, Cauliflower Fried Rice (double yummy) Salmon with Pomegranate and Herbs, Prawn Cakes in Lettuce cups (a real winner) and Spiced Chicken in Banana Leaves (see photos of my attempt) are amongst the recipes that I’ve enjoyed. Substitutions were made according to the contents of my store cupboard that included chickpea flour in place of coconut flour, lime zest in place of Kaffir lime leaves and found the recipes successful.

There is a certain freshness in the way Australian chef’s such as Bill Granger and Donna Hay approach food and am delighted to add Pete Evans to my bookshelf.