Pete Evans is known to U.S. audiences as the host of PBS’s The Moveable Feast, but he’s been known in his home of Australia for far longer. He’s a health coach, writer, and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. This is his eighth cookbook: The Paleo Chef: Quick, Flavorful Paleo Meals for Eating Well. It made me remember my visit to Australia, as the food aesthetic, and flavor combinations, were similar to those I experienced in Melbourne and Brisbane. Fresh ingredients, cooked without fussiness, with Pacific and Asian influences.
Layout and design:
The book’s aesthetic is black, white, and red, very masculine. This would be a perfect gift book for a guy who loves to grill, or one just getting into the paleo way of eating. Evans’ good humor and personality comes through from the beginning, as he shares his philosophy on eating paleo, starting with: “The cave is optional.” Similar to Mark Sisson, he seems like the kind of guy who would be fun to hang out with. He talks ingredients, fermented foods, and then gets right into the recipe chapters: breakfast, vegetables sides & snacks, seafood, poultry, meat, dessert, and drinks.
Beautiful photography by Mark Roper with styling by Deb Kaloper brings every recipe to life.
Recipes that intrigued me include: licorice root sausages with fried eggs & greens, warm baby beet & sorrel salad with cashew cheese & walnuts, wild salmon with coconut-lime sauce & sweet potato purée, jerk chicken with papaya-mango slaw, lamb liver kebabs with sumac & parsley salad, and pumpkin pie with bacon bark. Basics at the end include some not-to-be-missed recipes, including stock, mayo, a host of sauces and dressings, sweet pie dough, cleaning squid, and more.
What I liked about the book:
Good layout, friendly tone and approach to paleo (which can be very strict), gorgeous photographs and delectable-sounding recipes. Plenty of new ideas to try. The entire book is gluten-, grain-, and dairy-free. He does include eggs, soaked nuts and seeds, and fermented foods. If you know your triggers, there’s plenty in this book for people following the migraine diet, and if you use common sense, it can easily be low-sodium.
I wasn’t so keen on:
Nutritional analysis is not provided, which would be helpful for low-sodium eaters.
paleo, dairy-free, grain-free, celiac, gluten-free diets
Not recommended for:
Migraine, vegan, vegetarian, or low-sodium diets
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (extremely-low-sodium for my Meniere’s Disease and trigger-free foods for migraine relief), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.