Thursday, March 5, 2015

Against All Grain

Today’s post is a book report.  I bought myself a beautiful cookbook, Against All Grain, "delectable paleo recipes to eat well and feel great", by Danielle Walker.  I love cookbooks with lots of photos, and I tend to sit in my chair drinking coffee and looking at the pictures, but not actually cooking many of the recipes.  This year is different, so I decided to choose one recipe from each chapter and let you know how they turn out.

To Start Off Your Morning - Banana Nut Porridge – very tasty!  This is surprisingly sweet with no sugar.  I made it as instructed, except used only 1 13.5 oz can of coconut milk (so as not to have to open a second can for just a little bit) and only 1.5 tsp cinnamon.  I can tell my old Cuisinart didn’t make it completely smooth, but it's not critical for this.  It tastes just as good as my old favorite cream of wheat with milk and brown sugar.  It froze well, and is very convenient when I need to be somewhere early in the morning.

Small Bites - Rosemary Raisin Crackers – good!  Would be even better with brie and fig jam  : )  (oops – dairy and sugar.) One recipe didn’t make very much, but they are easy to make and it would be easy to increase the amounts. 

Danielle’s suggestion to cut before baking with a pizza cutter is genius – some other crackers I make always break when I cut after baking and come out all raggedy.  I’ll do it this way now.  (Of course, I put the best ones on top for the photo - don’t feel bad if yours aren’t all quite that even.)

The Main Event - Slow cooker sesame-orange chicken – I used catsup as I forgot to buy tomato paste, and tamari (GF soy sauce) in place of coconut aminos.  (Danielle used the coconut aminos to avoid the soy in soy sauce or tamari.)  This smelled delicious while cooking and tasted good.

 Soups, Salads and Sides - Basic cauli-rice – This is cool!  I didn’t say anything to Stan, just served it with the chicken on top.  He ate all of it.  When I asked after dinner how he liked the rice he said "It was good…it tasted like rice". (He's starting to get suspicious of what I cook.)  He was surprised to hear it was cauliflower – he had just assumed it was a different kind of rice than I usually use.

You're going to have to check out the cookbook for the rest of these recipes, as I don't find them on Danielle's website. The book is available from the library.  (However, while I was looking, I found many delicious-looking recipes, including Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Wow - I'm going to try that!)

For the Kid in All of Us - Hidden-veggie muffins – Yum!!  These are delicious!  And easy to make.  I wasn’t sure the dates would get chopped up very small, but you can’t tell they’re in there.  I’ll be making these again for sure!

 Muffins, Loaves and Morning Cakes - Orange cranberry muffins - These muffins are good, but it wasn't exactly a true test because my QFC produce man said cranberries are out of season, so I used blueberries instead.  It calls for 1.5 cups of whole fresh berries, and I think that was a bit too much.  Next time I will use 1 cup of berries, and I'll make them again when the cranberries are available.

 Sweets and Treats - Real-deal chocolate-chip cookies - Stan's granddaughter, Sydney, helped me make these and we think they are delicious.  You would never guess they're made with a healthy flour alternative.

  Sweets and Treats - Snickerdoodle Cupcakes - I would never have chosen such a complicated-looking recipe, but Sydney wanted to bake something else and we had enough ingredients to make these.  I didn't have raw cacao butter, so just used regular butter.  Amazing!  You would never guess these weren't regular white-flour cupcakes.  They are mostly eggs and a bit of coconut flour, and delicious with a honey meringue frosting.

Bottom line:  Now I totally trust Danielle's recipes.  They are tasty and the cooking instructions and times are accurate.  They are also simple enough that an average cook can be successful on the first try.  I'll definitely be cooking more recipes from this book and from her website!


  1. So much good research and great pictures. I love that you link right to the recipe. i do read every one of your posts but don't comment all the time. Very impressive.