Good Reads for Great Meals in 2017

One of the culinary arts that just keeps getting better and better is cookbook writing for special diets. There are plenty of the usual inspiring celebrity chef books, but there is a real rise in interesting recipes from talented home cooks. Here are a few of our favorites. They’ll definitely keep you busy and well fed.

Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great by Danielle Walker

Cookbooks based around special diets can often go pretty astray. In an effort to “eat perfectly clean” flavor can be sacrificed and recipes can become unbalanced. That’s certainly not the case with this great looking cookbook. Danielle is a die hard food lover and she is definitely not letting her battle with autoimmune disease get in the way of a great meal.

Her recipes omit dairy, grains, gluten, and processed sugar. That’s a lot of tasty ingredients for sure, but when you eat this way, you really do feel great. Especially if you’re battling Celiac or Crohn’s. We run into quite a few people who are looking to improve their health through diet and this is book is an easy recommendation for us to make because the recipes just taste so good.

One of the standout features of this book is the plethora of kid friendly recipes. Danielle is a mom and brings that experience to life on the page without nonsense. She isn’t some oddball Hollywood diet guru. She’s a real cook with a great perspective on living a healthful vibrant life.

Practical Paleo, 2nd Edition (Updated and Expanded): A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle by Diane Sanfilippo

We are proud to have met Diane back before she was a famous paleo expert. She used to come into our Ferry Building shop and ask all the right questions. When the first edition of this book came out we had it on our counter and showed it to just about every person who came to us “paleo curious.”

People call her book “The Paleo Bible” and we agree with that. There simply is no better book to start your paleo journey than this one. It’s full of tremendous recipes, meal plans, and advice on how to transition to this way of eating by building good habits. If you like to get your science on, you’ll be very pleased at how well referenced this book is and how effectively Diane breaks down the information. It’s easy to understand, but never dumbed down.

If you have the old version, you will probably still want to get this one. It has a lot more clarification on the most common questions paleo newbies (and experienced folks) have. There are also 3 new 30-day meal plans and over 40 new recipes.

Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans by Michelle Tam

This is easily one of the most fun and flavorful paleo cookbooks out there. Michelle has compiled a ton of accessible recipes that have big flavor. Her chicken wings are really delicious and her slow cooker short ribs are something we could make every week and not get tired of.

Michelle is also a mom and has a lot of kid friendly recipes. We’re pretty big on kid friendly because we love the idea of turning people on to good nutrition at an early age. If you set people up with good food habits early, they tend to be healthier and more successful in life. If you shape your kids palette with these recipes they’re going to grow up to have good taste.

A great feature of this book are Michelle’s staple recipes such as Paleo Sriracha, Magic Mushroom Powder, and Paleo Mayonnaise. With these, you can add nutritious flavor to just about any simple meal. Once you have the hang of her cooking style, you’ll be able to riff on her recipes and make them your own.