Melissa Petitto, R.D., a personal chef and a registered dietitian, makes her living designing menus and preparing meals for her clients – many of them Hollywood stars. Because the Paleo diet has grown more popular, she created 30-Minute Paleo Meals to broaden her repertoire of delicious recipes. This cookbook would be an excellent purchase for anyone desiring to cook healthy meals–without spending all day in the kitchen.
What the Book Contains
In 30-Minute Paleo Meals, Petitto covers the spectrum of meal preparation with chapters on:
Salads & Soups
Fish & Seafood
Pork, Lamb, & Beef
Vegetables & Sides
Baked Goods & Desserts
Make-Ahead Recipes & Condiments
In the introduction she writes, “When I first started creating recipes for this book, I thought the difficulty would be in the exclusion of ingredients like grains, legumes, dairy, refined salt and sugars, and processed oils. I could not have been more wrong! The Paleo diet, consisting mainly of seafood, grass-fed meats, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds, is such a rich platform for foodies and Paleo followers alike that I found myself loving each and every one of the recipes I was creating.”
Recipes I Tried
The recipe for Zucchini Pasta with Shrimp, Chorizo, and Saffron is true to the 30 minute mark. It has great flavor,r but we found it a bit strong on saffron (I’ll use ¼ t next time). Also, because chorizo is so spicy, next time I will omit the crushed red pepper. Our mouths were burning mid-meal.
The Blueberry Almond Pancakes recipe offered good texture and taste. I froze the leftovers and put them in the toaster oven for another meal. I also substituted avocado oil for coconut oil, which worked out fine.
The recipe for Blueberry Muffins also yielded great taste and texture. The recipe makes 12 muffins and, due to the almond butter and eggs, the muffins make for a nice, filling breakfast muffin.
In the Spinach and Artichoke Heart “Souffle” recipe, I -used 1/8 t cayenne instead of ½ t, and it was plenty spicy. Calling for a ‘bunch of spinach’ is rather nebulous since bunches of the vegetable can vary greatly in size. I used 4 C of leaf spinach and found the recipe to be a tasty way to eat both artichoke hearts and spinach
The Raw Carrot Cake Bites were a remarkably tasty little snack. I toasted the coconut first, used cashews and almonds, and 1/4 t ginger powder because I didn’t have fresh ginger.
The texture in Petitto’s Banana Bread is very fluffy because of the ratio of eggs to ‘flour’ (the accompanying photo on page 180 must be the zucchini bread rather than the banana because there are green flecks in the slices). Unfortunately, the placement of this recipe (after the chapter divider on Make-Ahead Recipes and Condiments instead of at the end of the previous chapter on Baked Goods and Desserts) is in the wrong section.
The Simple Cucumber Relish is-surprisingly tasty. I served it with fish and found it delightful. The recipe yields quite a lot, and, if it doesn’t keep more than a week in the fridge, I’ll end up throwing quite a bit away. I might cut the recipe in half next time.
Strangely, in the Waffles with Wild Boar Sausage, Sweet Potato, Baby Kale Ragout, and Maple Syrup recipe, there is no sweet potato called for. I substituted Italian sausage for wild boar sausage, omitted the crushed red pepper flakes in the ragout, and found I didn’t need syrup. The recipe, which yielded at least 10 waffles, made an excellent lunch. The waffles had good texture and did not have an overpowering banana taste.
Who needs this cookbook?
In the introduction to 30-Minute Paleo Meals, Melissa Petitto writes about discovering what any Paleo devotee has already discovered. “The biggest challenge in creating this cookbook ended up coming down to the 30- minute time restriction. When researching the traditional Paleo recipe, I found them to be time consuming, which to me means that finding time to create those foods to nourish your body on a day-to-day basis is nearly impossible. I truly hope my book helps bridge the gap between loving how you feel and look on the Paleo diet and finding the time to cook this way every day for you and your family.”
The Paleo diet is growing in popularity because strict adherence to it often produces weight loss and an increase in energy, but beginning to cook and eat this way can be a daunting process. 30-Minute Paleo Meals offers 200 pages of inspiration and practical application. It belongs in the kitchen of anyone trying to follow a Paleo diet.– by Lisa George, RFT Book Editor and Latigo Ranch,Kremmling, Colorado; Photo Hannah George, Latigo Ranch