Our thoughts? Lovely book and for your Average Joe this is a great step towards cleaner living and healthier food, but alas, paleo it is not.
This saddens us greatly as we really, really wanted to love this book. We are desperate for an Australian paleo cookbook that we can stand behind and recommend to everyone. We were hoping that we had finally found it: Clean Living Cookbook looks great, it’s very well done, the recipes sound delicious and parts of the book are very promising…
But at the end of the day, if you’re going to print the word ‘paleo’ on the cover of your book, you better bloody well make sure it actually IS paleo.
…had the cover said ‘Gluten-free clean food’ we would have loved the book.
How much of the book is actually paleo?
Breakfast: 3/10 – appalling!
Honestly, the breakfast section would have been better left out of the book. Not only is this the area of paleo eating that newbies struggle with the most, these recipes serve to confuse and are likely to reinforce the idea that paleo breakfast is a difficult thing. Not good.
It’s almost like all the ‘paleo thinking’ in this book went to the dinner and sweets sections (see below) and the breakfast and lunch recipes were just thrown in at last minute with little consideration to the ingredients in them.
Many recipes use quinoa in different formats, one uses miso paste – and the recommendations for serving with gluten-free toast or bread made us see red. Come on!
Lunch: 8/14 – bad
As the breakfast recipes, the lunch recommendations just don’t stack up. These are the meals that paleo newbies most need help with, so shame on Luke and Scott for confusing them further.
Gluten containing sprouted bread? Feta? Corn tortillas? Gluten-free breadcrumbs? Paleo, you’re doing it wrong.
Dinner: 17/19 – delicious!
The dinner recipes look delicious and only couple of the recipes contain non-paleo ingredients. Provided that the home cook is well versed in all things paleo, this section is probably easily navigated and cleaned.
Most of the dinner recipes sound absolutely delicious! For example, I can’t wait to cook:
- Dukkah Lamb Cutlets with Zucchini and Pear salad
- Roast Pork Belly with Crunchy Raw Beetroot and Apple Salad
- Superfood Soup (Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Coconut)
- Baby Kale, Roasted Beetroot, Brulssels and Walnut Salad
- Tahitian Poisson Cru
We will be testing some of the recipes and posting specific recipe reviews as we get around to it.
Sweets: 15/16 – tempting
Like dinner recipes, this section doesn’t have that many screaming offenders.
The only real offender is recommending the use of peanut butter as their nut butter of choice, while peanuts are clearly not paleo. However, the recipe does indicate that it can be made with any nut butter.
Especially tempting are:
- Raw raspberry Cheesecake
- Frozen Health Fudge
- Raw Carrot Cake
The biggest problem we have with the sweets section is that just about every recipe uses rice malt syrup as a sweetener. This is no different from corn syrup, and would definitely not be our sweetener of choice.
When we get around to testing the sweet recipes, we will be using honey as a sweetener instead.
Sides: 13/15 - handy
As dinner & sweets, only couple of offenders. If you know your way around the paleo framework, you should be fine with these recipes.
What are the offending ingredients?
The list of offending ingredients is long and most of them appear often. These ingredients are in no way accompanied with disclaimers to let people know that they sit outside the paleo framework. For example, the recipes contain:
- Gluten-free bread
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs
- Sprouted bread
- Miso paste
- Corn tortillas
- Peanut butter
Ignore the word paleo on the cover – paleo this book is not.
Average Joe? Great! Clean Living Cookbook is a fabulous book to recommend for the people around you that think your paleo lifestyle is too extreme for them, but they’d like to start eating cleaner and healthier.
Gluten-free? Great to recommend for your celiac and gluten-free friends and family members.
Well-versed in paleo? This could work for you if you treat the breakfast and lunch section mostly as cheat meals. The dinner and sweets sections are mouth-watering and we will certainly be trialling those recipes!
Paleo newbie? Steer clear. This will only serve to confuse you further!