Ditch the Wheat, 120 Paleo Recipes for a Gluten Free Lifestyle by Carol Lovett, the author of the Paleo blog Ditch the Wheat (ditchthewheat.com).
First Impressions & The Book’s Offering
As Carol states, this is a cookbook with a simple mission: “To encourage and empower everyone in their journey to find good health, good taste, and to enjoy each bite along the way.” She further emphasises that as you flip through the pages of Ditch the Wheat, “I want you to laugh with me as you read stories, feel inspired as I offer advice, and know – above all – you do not have to sacrifice. With every page I want you to feel as good in your body as I do…[even though]…that wasn’t always the case.”
Carol battled health issues for many years; and it was thanks to her doctor who one day said to her, “Why don’t you ditch the wheat?” that she finally took charge of her own health journey and changed her life forever.
Ditch the Wheat is a beautiful book, where Carol explains her story, how she was inspired to overcome her health issues, and what route she’s taken to do so using the Paleo lifestyle. The book is filled with practical information on the Paleo diet (many points which to me were quite insightful even after three years on my own Paleo journey and countless hours spent researching), how to avoid gluten and other allergens when food shopping and eating out, and how to shop sustainably and toxin-free even when looking for seafood (I bet you don’t know the difference between wild and wild-caught, right?).
Carol also provides useful, practical, and very helpful advice on basic cooking tips from which even the seasoned home cook can learn and a number of tricks to make Paleo baking a success, specifically using coconut flour! (Hint, think: coconut flour pie base, grain-free bagels, crackers, hamburger buns, pizza crust, and a grain-free lasagna that will actually surprise you with the ingredients.)
There are two very exciting chapters for the beginner, one on basics such as ghee, salad dressings, aioli, butters, bone broth, and other sauces; and another on fermentation, both food and drinks. Kombucha and homemade, dairy-free yoghourt never sounded easier I tell you.
Ditch the Wheat includes an entire chapter on breakfast essentials with innovative ideas, there are plenty of recipes for starters (including the smoothest looking liver pâté), there are soups & salads, a chapter on sides, and the chapter on mains includes many recipes for fish and seafood (something generally overlooked in other Paleo cookbooks and blogs). And of course, there’s a section on desserts, from which I’m sharing a recipe today.
Cooking From Ditch the Wheat
Swedish Meatballs, page 228
Garlic-Roasted Cabbage, page 270
Herb-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, page 276
Chocolate Chip Cookies, page 306 (recipe below)
Out of the 120 Paleo recipes from Ditch the Wheat, I tried the four above. I’m an awful food planner waiting to the last minute to decide what I’ll be making for dinner. Thus settling on things that are easy with the ingredients I have on hand tends to be what underpins my meal decisions.
Having said that, I actually had to plan Swedish Meatball night, since I don’t normally keep ground pork at home. However just the thought of recreating Carol’s beloved Ikea experience (which resonates with me) at home was worth it! Yes, these are like those succulently tasty meatballs one can get at Ikea, but actually better and healthier. Plus, I had enough to freeze as well, so I’ll have them ready for when the urge strikes again!
The Garlic-Roasted Cabbage was the first recipe I tried. I had just received the book from Carol for this review. And I had a large red cabbage sitting in the fridge sort of hiding in the back. I’m not sure who was more weary of whom, whether the cabbage of me or me of the cabbage. I don’t like cabbage you see. But I still buy and use it for variety of nutrients. And thus, I searched the index in the back of the cookbook and found what is a delightfully easy way to prepare this pretty, colourful vegetable. It has become my go-to recipe for red cabbage, aside from this Borscht I made recently. I must confess I did make one slight modification. The recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic. But I’m from Spain and two cloves just doesn’t cut it (I hope Carol takes no offence). So I added a few more! The cabbage came out crispy like chips just like the recipe promises. Delicious.
Herb-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes. Here’s another super easy side dish that cannot go wrong with anyone in the family. I mean, who doesn’t love potatoes? Add herbs, garlic, and your fat of choice, and you’re in food heaven. I make these all the time, generally alternating between butter and Spanish extra virgin olive oil.
And lastly, I indulged in a sweet treat. I’ve not had chocolate chip cookies in a while, so why not? These Chocolate Chip Cookies are not too sweet, just crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside, just as a chocolate chip cookie should be. And because they are so good, I get to share the recipe with you right now!
Chocolate Chip Cookies from Ditch the Wheat, by Carol Lovett
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat the coconut palm sugar, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Use a spatula to stir in the chocolate chips.
Using two soup spoons, drop the dough in roughly 1-inch portions, spaced 2 inches apart, onto the prepared cooke sheets.
Bake, one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms and edges of the cookies are lightly browned and the tops feel firm when gently touched. Let cool on the cookie sheet for at least 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Could The Book Be Better?
I have a few more recipes bookmarked to try ASAP such as Coconut Flour Pancakes, Apple Butter Chicken Liver Pâté (I’m drooling over this), Grain-Free Tortillas, and Yuca Hash Browns. So that sort of tells you what I’m thinking about Ditch the Wheat.
Overall just lovely. And Carol is true to her word in that this book inspires, makes you chuckle here and there, and provides advice on practical Paleo tricks and tips. But it’s not only a complete walk-through of everything you’ll need to embark on (and maintain) your Paleo lifestyle, it’s also a delightful cookbook with recipes that will become staples in your home.
Psst: Please don’t miss out on getting your own copy! Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win your very own Ditch the Wheat!
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