This past week, we've been cooking from Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry by Elana Amsterdam. I'm followed Elana's blog and twitter for a while now, and years ago, she was far more of the “gluten-free” tribe than paleo. That meant she had a lot of recipes I could use, and others that were easily changed (swap grapeseed oil for coconut oil, agave for honey, and so forth) to fit into our kitchen.
So as she tended to embrace more paleo ingredients and techniques, I noticed. And I was pretty pumped. And then this happened:
And yup, still pumped. There are only 3 downsides to this cookbook, and they're pretty small ones.
  1. Not all of the recipes have photographs. This is a personal problem. I just want all the pictures!!! I want to drool! But I have a pretty good imagination so I pushed through. Whew! No, seriously. There are tons of great photos in the book. I just wanted more!
  2. Elana uses (like most of the culinary professional world out there) olive oil for high heat cooking. I've fully transformed to only using it as a dressing/raw oil since olive oil can oxidize easily at higher temperatures. Simple switch… I use coconut oil or ghee instead.
  3. I don't have an ice cream maker.
And if those are the only three downsides, this cookbook is doing amazingly. Let's look at some of the PERKS – a few of the recipes we tried! (And there are lots more on the to-cook list.)

The first recipes we tried were the “tortlilas” (I put it in quotes because they don't really compare to conventional tortillas, but they are yummy and useful!) with rosemary lemon chicken. This was really easy to whip up, and we all loved the chicken, so this will be one (er, two) to repeat.

The second recipe we tried was the Blueberry Coffee Cake. I had some blueberries from our berry picking adventure in the freezer, so I actually had all of the ingredients on hand.

Well, that's a lie. I don't have/use coconut sugar (yet?). I just substituted some brown sugar because I had some in my pantry.

I also didn't have palm shortening, so I used butter instead, which worked great. But I ordered some palm shortening so next time I'll have it!

We were all nearly in tears when this was gone. Figuratively. But our mouths were sad. This blueberry coffee cake is ridiculous delicious y'all. Make it. Do it. I'm gonna be making it again this week for when we have some friends over for brunch. Yup. I'm gonna double the hell out of this recipe and we'll probably still run out.

How often does something come out of the oven looking like a photograph from a cookbook? This cannot go wrong.

We tried the Chicken Marbella another night last week. It has olives and prunes and garlic a whole boatload of capers… and other stuff…

It's pretty darned easy to make. You throw everything into a bowl to marinate for a while, then dump it into a baking pan and chuck it into the oven for 40 minutes. Which means this is something awesome you can bring to new moms or whoever needs a hot meal and some help.

Just bring over the raw stuff an hour before dinner (in a disposable foil pan), throw it in their oven, do a load of laundry or wash the dishes in the sink, and get out of dodge before dinnertime. BAM. You helped someone.

My husband is pretty excited about having these leftovers for lunch at work too.

One of the first recipes that caught my eye in this cookbook was the bagels. Probably because it's one of the first recipes in the book. But really, they looked so good with their lox and cucumbers all over them… they were just missing a schmear of non-paleo cream cheese. So I decided to put off reviewing this book until AFTER my Whole30. So that I could make the bagels. (And that coffee cake up there!)

The bagels were great! I enjoyed them fresh from the oven for familiy brunch before my husband headed out on a weekend getaway with his brother. *cough*bachelorparty*cough* But I probably enjoyed the leftover one for lunch a bit more since I toasted it in some ghee in a pan (we don't have a toaster) before topping it. It toasted up nicely and was delightful.

The only problem was that I seem to be out of poppy seeds! So I subbed in some black sesame seeds, which was fine… but I had to re-stock my poppy seeds. I love them so much.

I actually have 2 bagel/donut pans, so I could whip up a dozen of these with very little fuss. They would be great for having company over, or a baby shower, or even as sandwich bread for picnics.

Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry is definitely a cookbook to have on your shelf if you're into paleo and like “lighter” types of recipes. By which I mean flavors that aren't so heavy, recipes that use less fat than other paleo type cookbooks tend to, and recipes that are a bit lighter on meat in general.

Elana is also sensitive to nightshades so her recipes are nightshade free. No tomatoes, peppers, eggplants… good for anti-inflammatory diets, and people who don't like spicy food.

Or it's a great cookbook to add to your collection if you're a cookbook fanatic, someone who likes food in general, or if you avoid grains and/or carby stuff in your diet.

Would your family like any of these recipes? What would you be most excited to try in Elana's newest cookbook?

PS We also have ingredients for salmon burgers, but didn't make them before the review. They look good!

PPS I made almond milk from this cookbook too. It was gone before I took a picture. Super delicious. And hilarious because I got to use something called a nut milk bag. Really? Nut milk bag? (And yes, this is the parting thought I leave you with.)



3 Comments on Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry

  1. Camille says:

    I’m curious to know what sort of things a person needs to have onhand to be able to easily make most things in this or (any other)paleo handbook. What are the staples of your paleo kitchen? Im 5 months postpartum and would like to geack to eating more paleo. though I’ve lost pretty much all the weight I now have this wicked sweet tooth and Bfing means my hunger is through the roof plus I work out of the house fulltime and its HOT here in Brooklyn at the moment. All this to say.. HELP!

  2. mommy says:

    Bagels?!? Seriously???

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