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Eat Drink Paleo - book review

I keep seeing that word Paleo pop up and I keep thinking I should really find out more about it, so when Penguin asked me if I would like to review Eat Drink Paleo The Cookbook (by Irena Macri), I said "yes please".  Irena has a blog of the same name and a passion for Paleo cooking.  Click here to visit Eat Drink Paleo The Cookbook .

eight acres: Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook review


While this book is a cookbook and does not get into the detail of Paleo (although Irena suggests a number of books to read if you want to know more) it does cover the basics and presents a wide range of recipes.  Basically, the aim of the Paleo lifestyle is to eat and exercise more like our distant ancestors would have done.  That means no processed foods, no grains and legumes, no potatoes and no dairy.  It also means lots of free-range meat and eggs, fresh veges and fruit and good oils like coconut and olive oil.  Its much like how we eat now, except we would have to give up grains and legumes (I only eat a small amount at the moment) and dairy and eat more coconut.


eight acres: Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook review
Paleo pumpkin soup

The only problem I have with Paleo is the amount of coconut that is featured.  I looked it up, Australia does not grow coconuts.  All coconut products are imported.  I don't mind using a little coconut here and there and supporting developing countries, but I don't want to live on it.  Meanwhile, I can raise a dairy cow and make my own dairy products, sustainably, on my farm.  Irena does promote what she calls a "80:20" approach to Paleo and she includes some dairy in her recipes.

eight acres: Eat Drink Paleo The Cookbook review
Paleo fritters

Whether you're attracted to Paleo because of the health benefits or you just want to try using some different ingredients, you will find this cookbook very interesting.  You will know from previous cook book reviews that I am hopeless at actually trying recipes.  Well I made an effort this time, encouraged by the fact that Irena actually instructs you to play around with the recipes.  That's fine with me, because I tend to use what I have rather than buying the exact ingredients.  And so far everything has turned out extremely tasty.


eight acres: Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook review
Paleo goat balls

I have made the paleo pumpkin soup (unfortunately not our pumpkin, but I did dig up some galangal and tumeric for the occasion!).  For the meatballs we used goat mince (not our own, from a local grower) and I forgot to add the ginger, but I threw in some purslane!  I made the fritters with left over homegrown chicken.  They were nice, but I wasn't convince with the tapioca flour.  I made the cakies and added cacao nibs, and a mixture of walnuts and pecans (almond meal is EXPENSIVE and we had a stash of nuts that needed cracking).  Apart from the fact that I burnt them (cooking in the BBQ is tricky, but I didn't want to heat the house with the oven), they were very tasty.


eight acres: Eat Drink Paleo The Cookbook review
Burnt cakies - my fault for insisting on using the BBQ

And finally, I got all Paleo and made my own recipe for coconut ice cream.  One can coconut cream, one can coconut milk, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp vanilla essence (homemade!).  I had to put it in the blender because the cream had gone a bit solid, then I churned it in our hand ice cream maker and put it in the freezer.  YUM!


 eight acres: Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook review
My own Paleo coconut ice cream

Irena has a very generous affiliate program, which I have joined, so I get a percentage from every book you buy through my link:  Click here to visit Eat Drink Paleo The Cookbook  I am quite proud of actually (kind of) trying some recipes from this book, and I found some that I really liked.  Maybe I should try using recipes more often....  As for Paleo, I think the way that we eat now is pretty close, but I'm going to read a few of the more detailed books that Irena suggests and see if I can be convinced.

What do you think of Paleo?  Have you tried any Paleo recipes?  Do you follow recipes?



Comments

  1. I have realised recently, with no actual plan to do so, I have been eating Paleo for a while now. I didn't read any books on it,but I do have alot of beef customers who are paleo and when initially I was asking questions, I realised I was doing much the same. I am like you though, from a sustainable point of view I worry about using coconut milk when I have a goat in my back yard to milk - but when I changed over during our rest time from milking I felt alot better.....still an idea in progress here. Sometimes I think that a 'wholefood ' emphasis is the best approach and then work with what your body likes best.I don't think there is any one diet for any one population....we are all too different.

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    1. Most of the criticism of paleo is that its an "extreme" diet, but many of us are eating very close to paleo already, so it doesn't seem extreme at all. And I would agree that wholefoods makes 90% of the difference for most people, but paleo provides a framework for people who are not used to cooking for themselves.

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  2. Hi Liz, this is a great review. We have tried paleo but do not stick to it strictly. Like you, I found the coconut milk consumption a bit much, however, the recipes we tried were very tasty and filling. The good thing about the paleo diet is its gluten free, yay!!! With my hubby being coeliac this recipe book might be worthy of a further look. Just won't give up dairy though.

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    1. yes the gluten free aspect is great for coeliacs and the recipes are something a bit different :)

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  3. Thanks for your honest review!
    I think (seasonal) variety is key, with mostly localy sourced, honest ingredients.
    Although I couldn't (wouldn't) go without my grains, legumes and dairy. We have been scaling down.
    In that regards I'm more comfartable with the Nourishing Traditions line of thinking. But then Paleo is not far from it, isn't it?
    Having had a quick look on the website, I think her open way of working with a recipe would suit me well. Mothers Day present?

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    Replies
    1. yes Nourishing Traditions is very close (and one of the books that Irena references), and I think if you are going to eat grains and legumes, if you at least try to prepare them using traditional methods then they are better for you, and if you can't be bothered doing that, you can give them up altogether and go paleo instead!

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    2. Yep, I’ll stick with my homemade sourdough breads, yoghurts, sprouts, broths and the soaked grains and legumes.

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  4. I like the concepts behind paleo - just struggling with why the diet is good if the average paleo man only lived into their 40's......

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    1. I suspect that the answer is that paleolithic man had more to fear from death by woolly mammoth attack than by cancer, but I do hope to find out more by reading the more detailed paleo books, I'm just guessing at this stage.

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  5. I just went to the Paleo Cafe on the weekend and like you it is the amount of coconut that I struggle with. Not only the fact it is imported but also the flavour can be overpowering. We do not eat that much from the grains/legumes category but we do like our dairy and I think this would be something I would not want to give up.

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  6. i'm not all convinced, i mean so many fads come & go, why not just stick to a healthy diet? good fresh foods, it's only been in the last couple of centuries we've started eating grain & only recently a lot of it with all the baked goods, i'm not eating wheat as i found an intolerance to that after giving it up (& heap of other stuff) when i was trying to get on top of my depression over a year ago but i still use different flours when i bake, it's a learning curve trying to find flours suited to what recipe, can't get almond or coconut as they are too expensive. i did like this persons view on the whole idea though, http://vegetablevagabond.blogspot.com.au/ there's some interesting points here
    a good read as usual
    thanx for sharing
    have a great day

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  7. If you want to buy Australian organically grown Quinoa, this is one of the sellers: https://www.biodistributors.com.au/ProdInfFiles/quin.php. Australian-grown Coconut products, mainly dried meat is available from http://ozcoconuts.com/. Search for Australian Coconuts and find people in Byron dealing in fresh fruit, have not tried them though.

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    1. Thanks! I have to admit, I did my research the wrong way around and looked up which countries grew coconuts, on Wikipedia, and I didn't see Australia on the list. This is great news, and certainly if you're into paleo, you should seek out these Australian coconut products! I wish we were just a little bit more tropical and I would try to grow my own :) Thanks so much for sharing this information :)

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  8. I've been wondering what paleo is supposed to mean too. Your assessment is very interesting, and makes me think that unless the diet is defined locally (or at least regionally) then then there will be problems such as you pointed out. Coconut doesn't grow here either! Interesting they would feature goat meat but exclude dairy. Ancient peoples knew about milk, and natural clabbering (cheese). The locovore diet makes more sense.

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Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

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