Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed 2 isn’t just a cookbook. It’s a masterful how-to on the art of cooking. Melissa shows you how to mix and match your medium (protein or veg) and your colors (seasonings and sauces) into a brilliant palette from which you can easily create your own masterpieces.
For instance, she shows you how to turn ground meat into any burger, ball or banger (sausage) including 15 different kinds of sausages! So that whatever you may be in the mood for… Italian meatballs, Turkish kebabs or Spanish Chorizo… she tells you how to make it yourself. She also shows you how to turn basic steamed broccoli, everyone’s go-to vegetable, into 10 different exciting new versions. And she gives you 10 ways to dress up fried eggs. Get it? Start with the basics, then embellish. But she doesn’t stop there, with every recipe in the book, she has a section called “You know how you could that?”, where she gives you at least one option to alter the recipe for a different taste profile.
Most books only give you a few good ideas for veggies. But for people who don’t eat grains or legumes, we’re constantly looking for new ideas. Melissa dedicates a whopping 60 pages to vegetables and takes the lowly steamed broccoli up a notch to make veggies not only your staples (Zucchini noodles and Cauliflower rice) but in many instances, a main feature (like her Golden Cauliflower soup or Spaghetti Squash Fritters). Finally, vegetables get the attention they deserve!
While Melissa gives you several delicious comfort foods in paleo style (think Cincinnati Chili, Italian Pork Roast), she is best at giving you the cooking basics and then pushing you out of your comfort zone into globe-trotting adventures through exotic foreign lands. Like her “Almost Amba” sauce. I had never heard of this “Tangy Mango Sauce from Iraq”, but wow is it amazing! And just like in Well Fed 1 (which I also loved) virtually no corner of the world is left out of this book.
A few other recipes that I loved from the book: Thyme Braised Short Ribs, Deconstructed Gyro, Mulligatawny Stew, Grain-free Tabbouleh and “Awesome Sauce!” There are also a few culinary surprises in the book, but I don’t want to spoil the suspense!
Aside from the recipes, and the helpful guidance, on how to get started (and survive) on the paleo diet, I also love that the book is brimming with humor and personality. I personally like the story of Sesame, the punk rock kitty, as well as Melissa’s playlist of favorite songs to cook to. I recommend this cookbook for anyone on the paleo diet, whether you’re just starting out, or you’re looking for creative inspiration and ways to bring more adventure to your plate.
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