Book Review: The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking by Hayley Mason and Bill Staley

July 10, 2013 in Categories: by

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The 30 Day Guide to Paleo CookingFor many people, the paleo diet can seem like an overwhelming number of changes to make all at once.  Cooking with new ingredients (and without old favorite ingredients) can be daunting and one of the most common questions I hear form someone just starting on their paleo journey is “what do I eat?!” (usually said with a little bit of panic in their voice).

Enter The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking: Entire Month of Paleo Meals by Hayley Mason and Bill Staley.  This book is geared for the newcomer, the person who wants to try paleo but is intimidated, the person who faces the challenge of learning how to cook while they also learn how to eat. This is a bit of a departure from Bill and Hayley’s previous two cookbooks Make It Paleo and Gather (both of which are also excellent paleo cookbooks).  The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking doesn’t contain any desserts or treats (with the possible exception of a pancake recipe), and the recipes are simple and approachable and generally very quick to prepare.

The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking starts with a simple description of what a paleo diet is, with a focus on what foods can be eaten.  This information feels almost like an FAQ section, just answering the practical implementation questions that many people ask when first tackling a paleo diet (“what can I drink?”, “what fats are best for cooking?”, “what about snacks?”).  It includes a list of basic ingredients to stock your pantry and probably my favorite table of any cookbook ever:  what herbs and spices pair well with what protein sources.  In a sense, The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking feels like a “how to” book rather than a cookbook.  In fact, in addition to the 75 recipes included in the main part of the book, The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking contains 30 bonus recipes, which really are “how to” style recipes, giving you general instructions (for example, how to grill meat) to give you the skills you need to keep cooking/eating paleo even after your 30 days are up.

The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking contains a full month’s worth of recipes, with meal plans and shopping lists to make your first month of paleo easy.  These recipes qualify as what is typically called “squeaky-clean paleo”, meaning that they are an excellent introduction to paleo eating.  But, they are also delicious recipes so you won’t feel like, by eating paleo, that you are missing out.

Winter Savory Garlic Lamb Chops from The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking

Winter Savory Garlic Lamb Chops from The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking

In addition to a thorough read through of the recipes, which many look extremely similar to staple dishes in our home, we cooked two recipes from The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking and found them both to be absolutely delicious.  The first was the Winter Savory Garlic Chops.  I love savory but have never paired it with lamb, so I was intrigued.  The prep time on the recipe said 10 minutes, but it was probably closer to 5.  I did have the issue that my lamb chops were very fatty so they ended up being flame-broiled a little by accident.  That made them ridiculously delicious of course, but it was a little nerve racking and I found myself thinking that I really should move the barbecue further away from the house next time I cook a fatty cut of meat!  You wouldn’t have this issue if you were using an electric indoor grill though or if your chops were leaner than mine.  And the flavor was fantastic.  In fact, they were so delicious that, even though I doubled the recipe planning for leftovers, we ate them all in one night!

Pressure Cooker Pork Roast from the 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking

Pressure Cooker Pork Roast from the 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking

The second recipe I tried was one that intrigued me because of its use of a pressure cooker.  I got an InstaPot for Christmas and have been using it more and more, but mainly I use it for making broth and stews.  I haven’t really ventured into the pressure cooked meats (because I don’t know what I’m doing!) and I was keen to give it a go.  The recipe was the Pressure Cooker Pork Roast (which includes alternate directions for a slow cooker).  It was incredibly fast to throw together and, even though the ingredients are fairly simple, it tasted amazing.  By the way, I absolutely love my InstaPot and this recipe made me love it even more.  It takes all the worry out of pressure cooking, can sear, can be used as a slow cooker, and the insert is stainless steel so you don’t need to worry about the chemicals in non-stick coatings (plus it can go in the dishwasher!).

The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking is clearly geared towards a novice cook just starting on a paleo journey.  So, if this is you, I highly recommend this book.   Or, if you know someone who wants to do paleo but is intimidated by the ingredients, the cooking, and the general practical implementation, this book would make a great gift!  The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking is also geared toward people learning to eat a paleo diet on a budget and who don’t have a ton of time to cook.  So, if you are a more seasoned cook but are looking for quick and simple meals to fit into your tight schedule, then I also think you will find this book extremely useful.

So, would you like a copy of The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking for yourself or to give to a friend or family member?  Then enter this giveaway!  Bill and Hayley will ship anywhere, so this giveaway is international!  Yay!  If you buy a copy as part of the giveaway and then win a copy, you can always spread the paleo love and give it to a friend!

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Hi! Nice review and thanks for hosting the giveaway! Just wanted to let you know the “Click to Tweet” option still has your OMG that’s Paleo details, if that’s still editable. (Tried to privately DM you but couldn’t.)

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