Y'all... I got a pre-release copy of Ditch the Wheat in the mail the other day. Wow, oh wow. I am so impressed with this feat!
Written by Carol Lovett of the blog with the same namesake, Ditch the Wheat is a fun resource from start to finish. It's chock-full of information regarding paleo and Lovett's personal journey to finding it, all the way through to a variety of recipes (120 of them, actually!) to adhere to this lifestyle. She shuns the notion that anything should be "given up" when dealing with GI distress, food sensitivities, or just the choice to be healthier. This dogma is hugely apparent in her recipes for things like Grain-Free Lasagna (which is a GENIUS version like I've never seen, mind you), Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sandwich Buns, and even Birthday Cake. I've already made the Swedish Meatballs and they took me right back to my childhood! Needless to say, I cannot wait to get to making many more of these beautiful creations from Lovett's book.
The first thing I noticed about this book upon opening the package I received it in was the stunning cover. I mean, yes, you tend to see the cover of a book first. But oh. my. LORD. The photography in Ditch the Wheat is absolutely marvelous. Judging a book by its cover would definitely work with this one; the vibrant colors and fun font used throughout are appealing to the eye without being too overbearing. It strikes a wonderful pose for the crafty side in all of us (and don't lie, I know you have one of those!).
There are two distinctly unique sections I'd like to elaborate on about this book. There are parts on the somewhat-standard-at-this-point information about paleo eating, kitchen stocking, and tools for a successful kitchen. But on top of these, Lovett has included a section in the beginning of her book on kitchen tips that would be an enormous help to the beginner in regards to meal prep. This includes a spread with pictures on how to cut up a whole chicken, how to properly cook mass amounts of starches, and how to make veggie noodles. Following these how-tos are ideas for quick breakfasts and lunches because in reality, those are usually rushed meals for us Americans and convenience plays a huge factor in what we eat at those times.
The second super cool section Lovett has included is an entire chapter on fermentation. Sure, many recipe books have recipes involving fermentation. But Lovett has a "Fermentation 101" spread as the opener for her recipes in this category. This was HUGELY beneficial for me to read because, though I've made my own kombucha before, I tend to heavily rely on store-bought products for my other sources of probiotics. This simple layout of the different kinds of fermentation clarified so many things for me and made making my own pickles and sauerkraut seem a lot less daunting! I will be taking advantage of this guide in my near future... I can feel it. :)
You know what? I think you need a teaser recipe from the book, if my portrayals and summaries just haven't pushed you over the edge to pre-order it yet. Here is the recipe for an oh-so-easy snack, dessert, finger food, appetizer, or all of the above - straight from Ditch the Wheat. I made it for a birthday party last week and it was a huge hit, so I know you'll love it, too!
Salted Mexican Chocolate Clusters
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 7 minutes, plus 30 minutes to freeze
Yield: 20 clusters
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
- Place the chocolate chips in a heavy-bottomed 1-quart pot over low heat. Stir continuously until the chocolate chips have melted. Alternatively, you can place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between intervals, until melted.
- Place the melted chocolate and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
- Using a large spoon, scoop up some of the mixture and place it on the lined baking sheet. Use your fingers to form it into a round shape. Repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have 20 round clusters. Lightly sprinkle salt on each cluster. Put the baking sheet in the freezer until the clusters firm, about 30 minutes.
- Store the clusters in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.