This review was written by my assistant, Christina.
Well Fed 2 is the second cookbook to come out of the kitchen of rockstar Paleo blogger Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan. Those of you already familiar with her blog and her first book, Well Fed, will get more of the same dry wit, tough love, and spunky attitude that has become Melissa’s trademark. Well Fed 2 is a comprehensive beginner’s cookbook with enough nuggets of wisdom (and fries of humor?) to have something to offer cooks of all backgrounds. In addition to its dozens of new recipes, Well Fed 2‘s highlights include Melissa’s personal Paleo journey, a beautiful graphic of Paleo-approved foods, kitchen tips and terminology, what to eat for breakfast, and autoimmune protocol-friendly suggestions for each recipe. Melissa’s advice about surviving social situations and food cravings will be particularly helpful for readers that are just getting started or struggling to stay “on the wagon”.
Most of the recipes have beautiful, full-page photographs and plenty of variations (sometimes dozens) and serving suggestions to keep things interesting. Each page also has room for you to make your own notes, which is a nice little feature for chronic adapters like myself. Well Fed 2 omits all added sugars, including honey and maple syrup, and you won’t find any baking in its pages. Instead, you will find a handful of simple fruit-based dishes, making this the perfect cookbook for anyone trying to overcome sugar addiction or follow a sugar-free plan like Whole30 or the 21DSD.
So far, I’ve made the Sunrise Scramble, SB&J Burger, and Balsamic Grilled Butternut Squash. The Sunrise Scramble took all of ten minutes to throw together, making it a perfect weekday breakfast. It would be great with or without the eggs for anyone on the AIP, and the spice blend added the perfect symphony of flavors to the eggs and sweet potato. The marinated butternut squash was equally simple to prepare and would pair well with just about any meal (but especially grilled meats). It’s a wonderful example of the versatile side dishes Well Fed 2 has to offer. The SB&J burger — a beef patty topped with sunflower butter and strawberry jam — is one of those recipes that makes you think “That looks weird” and “I must have it” at the same time. The combination of sunflower butter and strawberry jam really do taste like peanut butter and jelly and despite having no added sugar, the jam was very sweet. The lightly-seasoned burger offered no flavor of its own and could be served hot or cold, making it a good stand-in for bread. Each of these meals was excellent as next-day leftovers, which is always a huge plus!
Well Fed 2 is a worthy sequel to its predecessor and its strict compliance with Whole30 will make it a boon to anyone following the program. The beautiful design, simple recipes, and excellent practical advice make it a wonderful addition to any cookbook collection. Dare I say it was even better than the first one? I think so!