Book Review: "The Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook" by Sarah Fragoso
Eating paleo isn't always easy, and it's even more challenging when you're also trying to eat paleo as a family. I've found that having dependable resources on hand goes a long way in helping our family eat healthy. Sarah Fragoso's new book, The Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook, is definitely on that list of resources. Not only are the recipes practical and delicious, but there's also a lot of helpful information for families who are new to paleo and trying to figure out how to introduce it to their kids.
For example, you won't find many recipes in the first sixty pages of this book. Instead, you'll find practical tips for making paleo work with kids and busy family schedules. I loved the lunch box chapter that gives fifteen ideas for on-the-go lunches, and although I don't have any kids in school yet, my husband actually likes a lot of them for his lunches at work. The "Quick and Simple Meal Ideas" section has some great ideas for prep work you can do throughout the week to make meal time less hectic and time-consuming.
I also appreciated Sarah's advice on making paleo a lifestyle change as well as a diet change. She has a great way of encouraging parents to make food and meals an occasion for quality time as a family. The emphasis is just as much on healthy living as a family - playing together, eating meals as a family, laughing, slowing down - as it is on eating a paleo diet. "For me," writes Sarah, "living paleo is about focusing on what really matters, realizing that life's pleasures have everything to do with the ones I love and very little to do with 'conventional wisdom.'"
As for the recipes, we've loved every single one we've tried. Here are a few of the recipes I've made since I got this book:
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Pork Green Curry
- Hungarian Stew
- Fiesta Chicken Soup
- Everyday Paleo Vinaigrette
- Everyday Paleo Chili Verde
- Everday Paleo Chili Colorado
- Tuna Patties
- Garlic Lemon Aioli
- Winter Squash Hash and Eggs
- Kale and Pomegranate Salad
- Pumpkin Muffins
- Savory Salmon and Cool Peach Salsa
- Fried Banana Pudding
- Rocket Fuel
My kids and my husband have loved every one, and I have too, not only because they are delicious but also because the prep is simple. The recipes in this book are not gourmet, and they use very basic and simple ingredients. Although some readers might dislike the lack of exotic recipes, I thought it was fitting for this particular cookbook for two reasons. First, most families I know are on some kind of budget. The recipes are very budget-friendly and if you're smart with your meal planning, you can really make your money stretch with this cookbook. Second, the meals are easy to prepare and go a long way. Nothing drives me crazy like a 'family' cookbook with recipes that serve two or three people. Most of the main entrees we've made have lasted at least two days if not more.
One section I always take for granted in cookbooks is the sauce and condiments section. Not so with this one. If your kids have a hard time eating raw vegetables, try whipping up a few of the sauces and serving them a plate of raw veggies with a few sauce varieties. My four-year-old decided after three years of being a vegetable addict that she doesn't like bell peppers, broccoli, or carrots anymore. When I serve them with Garlic Lemon Aioli or the Everyday Paleo Vinaigrette, she magically likes them again.
To sum it up, The Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook has three main ingredients that make it a great family cookbook. Fragoso's combination of delicious and simple recipes, encouragement for parents, and practical advice for making cooking and eating a family affair.
The Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook is available for $17.07 at Amazon.com.