Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cooking Up a Storm

Once upon a time, I really didn't understand why anybody would actually purchase a cookbook.  Why would I spend money when I could google whatever I was craving at the time and a number of recipes would magically appear in front of me for free?  Then in October 2012, my friend Heather gave me a copy of Practical Paleo as a bridesmaid gift.  At the time I had been cutting some things out of my diet and I was regularly reading a number of Paleo blogs, but I hadn't really taken the dive.

When I decided to do my first Whole30 (well Whole21) in January 2013, Practical Paleo was the perfect resource.  As the title suggests, the recipes are practical!  I tend to shy away from recipes with a long list of ingredients, it's intimidating and I don't want to purchase a ton of random ingredients that I won't use for anything else.  Although I did drop some cash gradually stocking my kitchen with some new to me ingredients (coconut oil, new spices, almond flour, etc.), they are all things that I use over and over now.  Practical Paleo keeps it simple with short ingredient lists and shows you that recipes don't have to be complicated to be delicious.  The book also contains a great section on the "whys" of Paleo that uses language the average Joe can understand, beautiful photography, and a number of meal plans.  It's a great cookbook for Paleo beginners!

With the big day getting closer and closer, I've been striving to clean up my eating but I have been in a bit of a food rut.  Want to know how to get excited about cooking?  Buy a new cookbook!  Since I like Practical Paleo so much, I knew I would enjoy Diane Sanfilippo's other cookbook, The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook.  The 21 Day Sugar Detox is a program similar to the Whole30, but with most of the focus being on breaking your sugar addiction.  I'm on the fence whether I'm going to do one in the near future, but in the meantime I'm loving the recipes!  Just like her first book, Sarah explores simple yet delicious food.  A few of the recipes look a bit familiar, but for the most part, the book is a whole new set of tasty dishes to try!

Here in Pennsylvania it looks like we're going to be hit hard with a snow storm tonight through tomorrow night, so I did what most people do: I rushed to the grocery story and picked up some bread and milk... haha nope.  I stocked my fridge with chicken, bacon, sausage, and tons of produce.  I'm planning on being snowed in tomorrow and blowing up my kitchen!

On the menu:
  • Thursday Brunch - Butternut Squash Pancakes (from 21DSD) & breakfast sausage
  • Thursday Dinner - Weeknight Chicken Soup (from 21DSD)

  • Friday Vday Dinner - Chicken Parm w/Homemade Sauce (not from a cookbook, it's a mash up of my and my mom's recipes) & Vegetable Lasagne - (from 21DSD with my sauce)

So far I've cooked up an Asian style lemon ginger chicken with some greens and salmon topped with a delicious tzatziki sauce from the 21DSD Cookbook.

Tonight I'm switching it up with another Paleo cookbook called Well Fed.  This book is a little more advanced with a few more random ingredients that I'm still gradually acquiring.  I've only made a few things out of Well Fed, but the unique dishes have all been crowd pleasers.  On tonight's menu is a dish called Bora Bora Fireballs, which is a mouthwatering mixture of ground pork, toasted coconut, pineapple, and jalapeno!  What can I say, we are eating well!

What's your favorite cookbook?  How do you get out of a food rut?

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