Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Which Cookbook?

Question: If you could pick just one Paleo, Primal, or low carb cookbook, which would it be?

I want to pick one to look through and get a feel for what I will be eating in maintenance, and I also think it may give me some inspiration for my Lean and Green meals now.  But I don't want to buy a slew of cookbooks... just one to start with, maybe a second one when I get closer to goal.

Some I am considering:

Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle
Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook: Real Food for Real Life
Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat
The Primal Blueprint Cookbook: Primal, Low Carb, Paleo, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free
Make it Paleo: Over 200 Grain Free Recipes For Any Occasion
Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen

All of them have great reviews on Amazon, but I'd love to hear from people who have and actually use these books or another favorite that's not on the list. Which would you pick?


Karen said...

Everyday Paleo family cook book. Recipes are easy and quickly become family favorites. The non paleo eaters and kids tend to like these recipes.

Taryl said...

I have Paleo Comfort Foods and while it is my go-to for Paleo recipes, along with Melissa Joulwan's "Well Fed", I confess I stay on play better with less elaborate meals that don't require a cookbook. Broiling a steak, sautéing up some mushrooms, whipping up a dressing and adding it to my salad - that's my best personal recipe for success (keeping to that sort of template for each meal, with simple ingredients prepared in simple ways).

Recipes tend to cause me to overeat - flavor variety is something I save for the weekend date night, but my daily menu must be boring and delicious all at once or I tend to overeat. It took me way too many years to figure this out :)

Deniz said...

Wow Lyn, this is really timely for me too so I'm really looking forward to seeing what other people suggest.

We're looking into the very same thing and have so far come up with:

The Low-Carb Gourmet by Karen Barnaby (which we have as a 'proper' book)

and a couple of Kindle books:

Michelle Newbold's The Frugal English Paleo/Caveman Cook: Budget Recipes For Gluten-Free/Paleo Dishes Suited For British Tastes


Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook: Real Food for Real Life

Leslie said...

I also have Everyday Paleo Family cookbook by Sarah Fragoso. Anything I've made from it is very good. Thanks for reminding me I have it!

Jac said...

Like Taryl, I own Paleo Comfort foods and Well Fed - but I actually ended up giving PCF away, because it wasn't really my style. A few recipes have become permanent in my kitchen (BBQ sauce, fried chicken), but that's it. Seemed to be just what I would consider "American" comfort foods. (That's not a shot - it's just about geography. Seriously, nobody around here eats okra.) On the other hand, we LOOOVE Well Fed, but it's heavy on the ethnic food side. That's something we love, but may not be for everyone.

One thing Well Fed has going for it is fantastic tips on how to make one day's worth of pre-cooking turn into a whole week of delicious meals with lots of variety. As a busy mom, that's something I really appreciate! (I know you can get Well Fed as an e-book for about $15, so the lower price tag may also be a point in its favor.)

Final thought - If I were going to buy another one right now, I'd probably get Make It Paleo, only because I've found their website to be so helpful, that I imagine their cookbook would be just as great.

While you wait to choose your new book, you might want to consider browsing chowstalker.com or thefoodee.com.

Mary (A Merry Life) said...

My coworker has Practical Paleo and Everyday Paleo and likes both. They are both on my to buy list though I think I will get Everyday Paleo first. :)

andrea. said...

I have Paleo Comfort Foods, which I find only so-so. I also have Well Fed, which I LOVE, but a lot of what I love about it is all her advice on how to manage a paleo kitchen, and ways to improvise on her recipes, and ways to come up with your own meals quickly. (The 3-4 recipes I've made out of it have also been great though.) The thing about Well Fed though, is that most of her actual recipes are on her blog, so you can always try that.

Anonymous said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE Well Fed! Great ideas for making paleo eating easy and convenient. Her hot plates are brilliant. This book is unlike a lot of cookbooks - more than just recipes...a plan for eating well and easily every day. And the recipes are amazingly delicious.


I have many of the ones you mentioned, but if I had to pick one it would be Well Fed. It’s the one I’ve been using the most lately because of the practical info about how to plan out cooking for the week as well as great versions of staples like mayo (and all sorts of incarnations like creamy Italian/ranch dressing), mashed cauliflower, etc. In fact, that’s what I like best about it – it’s more about techniques with many variations that are easy and fast rather than fancy recipes. Her concept of “hot plates” is just genius. Also, the Meal Map at the end of It Starts with Food was done by the Well Fed author and gives a great template for making easy meals with lots of variety, if you are also looking for a good book about the Paleo diet as well – it’s a great combo resource. It is similar to Practical Paleo in that way, which is a fantastic book, too (although I seem to like the look and idea of it more than I’ve actually picked it up to use it, if that makes sense).

Anonymous said...

Paleo cookbooks were a gateway for me to cook and eat paleo baked goods..which quickly got out of hand.


Tabitha said...

I have a couple of these cookbooks, but my favorite is Well Fed. I love all the ideas for different meals using the basic recipes, as I'm not very good at thinking out of the box, LOL! I love some of her spice blends, too. However, I'm a lot like Taryl in that I generally stick to basics most of the time. Recipes also generally make me eat more. I stick to baked/broiled meats, chicken and fish, roasted veggies, salads... I don't really like to cook so I cook up a bunch of stuff at once and eat from it all week.

I wanted to tell Karen that I think she and I might be twins, LOL! I lost the same amount of weight on Medifast that she did (we must have hit our goal at around the same time too). I've kept it off by eating (mostly) Paleo. Heh - another thing Karen and I have in common is that we're both shorties, LOL!

Lyn said...


yes, I was thinking about that. I can see where that could be a problem. I see that some of the Paleo cook books are mostly for baked goods, and I think I'll avoid those. I just want some ideas for dinners, mostly, that my kids will be able to enjoy WITH me. Some new ideas... since we already do basics like roast chicken, roast beef, baked salmon, and veggies.

Anonymous said...

You really don't need a cookbook for Paleo..it is about 'the basics' as you said. Protein, vegetables..that IS Paleo. Cooking the 'basics' =food as fuel, nutrition. Jazzing food up for me is food = entertainment - not healthy for me.


Anonymous said...

Just continue to cook those 'basics' you metioned and maybe add some reasonable carb to the plate for the kids. Simple.
THAT is paleo. Why wouldnt they "enjoy" such lovely home-cooking? No need for recipes. Add some time and talk at the dinner table..that's a great dinner.

Vb said...

Well Fed is awesome.

Did you ever finish your home gym? Or did I miss the pictures with the new paint color?!

Fair Enough said...

I have a feeling I just left my comment on the previous entry by accident...but in sum I basically believe in no cookbook since cookbooks/recipes seem to trigger you.

Anonymous said...

Can you take the books out of the library and review before you decide to purchase any? That is always my go-to solution.

CatherineMarie said...

What about seeing what your local library has?

Lyn said...


it is done, but not painted. The paint chips got put in the "later" file while we've been dealing with some medical stuff. When it is painted I will post pics :)


yes, I did see your other comment, thank you. I have found it more easy to get sucked into food blogs and spend way too much time looking at them, surfing them, etc, so I was thinking a cookbook, being a finite set of recipes, might lend to less obsession. One cookbook or two, though... not ten! I could get sucked into too many if I'm not careful.

Re: library~ good idea, didn't even think about it since I haven't been there in a long time. I will check it out.

Re: why the need for recipes~ mainly, my older kids really like traditional "home cooking" that I have done since they were infants. I am thinking I could find some alternatives to the noodle- and rice- based casseroles and dishes they prefer.

Lyn said...

Thanks so much for the suggestions! I am going to check at the library, and then go to the Well Fed author's site to look at some recipes. I am leaning toward Well Fed.

Anonymous said...

For fun paleo recipes and saucy humor check out paleomg! Juli is hilarious.