Book Review: “Well Fed” Paleo Cookbook by Melissa Joulwan

Well Fed is one of the latest entries into the field of Paleo cookbooks and it’s by far one of the most flavorful I’ve tried. Read on for details and chance to win a free copy of the cookbook!

While it’s great to see more and more Paleo/Primal cookbooks hitting the shelves these days, one of my biggest complaints is that the food inside just isn’t very interesting. Melissa Joulwan’s new cookbook, Well Fed, just plain obliterates that complaint. In fact, it’s become my new favorite cookbook (and since my boyfriend is my “test kitchen,” I think it’s fair to say it’s his new favorite, as well).

From the start Melissa’s book is different in that she approaches food as a real chef would. Melissa was born into a restaurant family and raised knowing how to prepare foods and meals for quick cooking. As a result there is an entire section in the book dedicated to the “Weekly Cookup” where she walks you through preparing different foods to have on hand for an entire week’s worth of easy meals. She utilizes spices and sauces to maintain variety. She also gives you a math equation to figure out exactly how many pounds of meat to buy each week.

The main recipes, of which there are over 100 are then broken into:

  • Sauces & Seasonings
  • Protein
  • Veggies & Salads
  • Fruits

In addition to recipes, the book includes:

  • Rules of Paleo nutrition
  • Necessary kitchen tools
  • Spices and staples to keep in your pantry
  • Sample grocery lists
  • Online resources for spices & meats
  • Online resources for information on Paleo eating

If you are looking for Paleo brownies and the like, this is not the cookbook for you. The food in this book is actually healthy for you.

If you are looking for recipes with international flair, that are a step above beginner cooking skills, and are far more rewarding in eating experience than the bison burgers, broccoli, and sweet potato you’ve been eating for months, this IS the book for you.

Every single recipe I tried from this book – and I’ve tried quite a few now – was wonderful. Melissa’s mixed ethnic background of Lebanese and Italian has given her a love of spices and textures that comes through loud-and-clear in her recipes – Moroccan meatballs, Char Siu, Citrus Carnitas, and Bora Bora Fireballs are just some examples of the proteins. The vegetable recipes, like Jicama “Potato” Salad and Cauliflower Rice Pilaf, do an excellent job of mimicking non-Paleo foods in a flavorful, healthy fashion.

Melissa’s sassy and fun attitude also comes through in the design and text of the book. I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed out loud reading a cookbook before.

Well Fed is available both as a soft-cover book for $29.95 and a PDF file for $14.95. Knowing full well the irony that cookbooks are often in danger in the kitchen, Melissa offers a free download of the PDF file with the purchase of the softcover edition. For every PDF download one dollar is donated to Common Threads, a charity that educates underprivileged kids in cooking and nutrition. You can purchase either edition of the cookbook on Melissa’s website,

While the recipes in this book might be a little challenging for the beginner cook, for those of us who love being healthy and at the same time truly love food, this is the cookbook for you.

You can win a free copy of Well Fed!

  1. Like Breaking Muscle on Facebook
  2. Like The Clothes Make the Girl on Facebook
  3. Come back here and comment saying you liked us!

This will be earn you an entry into a random drawing for your own free soft-cover copy of Well Fed! The window for entry will end at 12pm Pacific tomorrow, Thursday 1/26/12.

Well Fed is available for $29.95 (softcover) and $14.95 (PDF) at

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