I love to cook!
Remember my previous blog “I love to eat”?
Now I love to cook! I’ve always enjoyed cookbooks, the ones with pictures especially. I’ll buy a new one and browse through all the pictures and look at the ingredients to see which ones sound like something I’d actually love to eat. I’ve actually got a few that I’ve never tried a recipe out of…should of returned them I guess.
To start we need to talk a bit about what we eat. Steve and I have been researching healthy eating habits for a while now and we eat lots of meat, eggs, vegetables, some fruit, nuts (probably too many of these) and fats. We try to not eat grains, sugar, legumes, and polyunsaturated oils. We use olive oil and coconut oil to cook with. Dairy we do eat, butter, cream in the coffee or whipped on berries (yum), occasionally cottage cheese and some cheeses. Always the full fat versions and organic if we can find it. Not paleo purists, but it’s been working for us. So within those guidelines how do I cook?
I would like to share my favorite cookbooks with you and my least favorite.
“Everyday Paleo” by Fragoso: this is by far the cookbook I use the most. A mom, with young kids plus a teen, writes it, so I figured if she can get kids to eat like this her recipes must be good. My favorite recipe, gee its hard to narrow it down, but she has three chicken recipes that we love, especially with homemade cranberry sauce sweetened with splenda. (I told you we weren’t paleo purists) Better Butter Chicken is one that I would not have tried just by looking at the picture and ingredients. But I was feeling adventurous one day and thought I’d give it a try. We LOVED it. It’s an Indian inspired recipe on top of Swiss chard. (One of our favorite veggies) But it has lots of steps so it isn’t a quick meal. I often make this in the afternoon before coming to the Taekwondo school and heat it up when we get home. Then there is a chicken thighs breaded with pecans, Steve’s favorite and chicken thighs breaded with almond meal/coconut flour. We eat both of these with cranberry sauce. Hmm-good thing I just had breakfast. The last two are fairly quick, that I cook up on an early evening home around 7.
“Paleo Comfort Foods” by Mayfield I’ve really only tried a couple of recipes from this book. I don’t really like the way it’s laid out, but others rave about it. I did learn a very important lesson from this book. All the steps in a recipe are there for a reason, many times that reason is to add flavor. They have a beef stew recipe that is the best stew I’ve ever had. Lots of steps before you get to “just cooking “it. In the past I would tend to ignore all those steps…especially for something like stew…it all goes to the same pot eventually. But I found out that all those browning this and that first adds a tremendous amount of flavor. So I don’t skip steps now!
“Well Fed” by Joulwan: This is my latest acquisition! So I haven’t tried a lot of her recipes. Chocolate Chili was the best homemade (as apposed to Wick Fowler’s) chili I’ve ever made! Yum. I usually add all sorts of toppings to my chili, cheese, coconut, and pecans…unusual I know…but with this chili I ate it plain and went back for seconds.
The thing that is the most unique about the book “Well Fed” is her tip on weekly pre prepping her meals and Hot Plates. For someone who doesn’t eat sandwiches for lunch this was an incredible idea! She half cooks several veggies, browns up ground beef and grilled chicken and then for a quick meal she stir fries the veggies, meat, and adds spices/sauces to make a meal. What an incredible idea! It will take me a while to figure out exactly how much food I need to prep since I wound up going crazy and cooking way more food than we could actually eat in a week.
For those cookbooks I don’t like? Anything that says low carb, these seem to be ideas for lowering the carb count…using less sugar, less potatoes, less rice, but still using plenty of it in my mind. I think we are better off using the paleo cookbooks even if not totally paleo in mindset. Who needs a cookbook to tell you to use less of an ingredient?
Well HAPPY COOKING! And HAPPY EATING!