We have now been Well Fed

When we started our Paleo journey, the only place I knew to get recipes was the internet. Now, I have a bookshelf that is quickly filling up with fantastic Paleo cookbooks. Despite that, and the fact that we wrote our own, I am in love with Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed.

Matt and I are foodies. He said on our Facebook wall the other day, “we didn’t get fat on accident.” And it’s true. We love to cook. And we love to eat even more. Being Paleo has now given us the opportunity to enjoy foods and lose weight, rather than gain it. As foodies, one of the things Matt and I love to do is try new foods. Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Ethiopian, Chinese, Japanese, you name it – we love something about it.

I’ve loved Melissa’s food for a while from her website The Clothes Make the Girl, in fact it’s our go-to for ethnically varied recipes. Her Chinese Pork Fried Rice is one of our favorite dishes. So I was delighted to read her story about why flavorful, fun and culturally diverse food is her passion in Well Fed (read more in the 30-page FREE PDF on her site!). I found myself unable to stop reading the ebook version she generously sent us to review, as soon as I got it.  It was in the middle of the day, I had a ton of stuff to do, and there I was – unable to stop paging through over a 100 recipes I hadn’t yet seen or tried of hers, 115+ total.

Admittedly, I have a little crush on this book. I love that Melissa built a community to put together such a wonderful cook book (it’s really much more than that). It was a risk to spend so much time and effort on this. But that risk has paid off. The photos her husband took are mouth watering, the food styling looks approach-ably fun and the personality sparkles.  I love the plans and suggestions he offers; I love the “You know how you could do that?” game and the overall layout and aesthetics of the book make you feel punk rock just to cook the food.

It’s the food Matt and I would cook more of if we didn’t have 3 tiny mouths driving the flavors at the table. It’s not filled with desserts and it’s Whole 30 approved and endorsed by Whole 9. But, there’s plenty of kid-friendly food in the book, in fact the boys literally licked their plates of two of the dishes we made. But… for some reason, we just don’t experiment with dramatic spices and flavor combinations on our own. We’re super thrilled Melissa’s done the work for us with Well Fed!

The photos above are from Fried Apples with Bacon and Pecans, which we served with breakfast for dinner Friday night. I think we could have doubled that recipe and still not had leftovers. I tweeted shortly after the meal, “I wish Melissa could’ve been there to see Finn literally lick his plate.” I wasn’t exaggerating. Two days later, Cole’s already asking if we can make it again.

Then Sunday we had Salmon A L’afrique Du Nord, Creamy Spice Market Kale, and Cumin-Roasted Carrots.  I practically saw Finian drag out his club from under the table in order to beat his brothers upside the head in an effort to get the last servings of carrots.  And all the boys liked the salmon, the crispy skin is something we’ve never been able to achieve on our own before. The kale was admittedly a bit too spicy for the kids, but we were happy there was something on the table we didn’t have to fork fight the cave kids for.

As I watched Matt hunched over the laptop in the kitchen, declaring to me how awesome her spice rubs were, I knew he needed the book. It’s not just fun. It’s not just delicious. It’s inspiring him to come up with new ideas for our own food, too. And that is truly a gift! Needless to say, we’ve already ordered the printed, softcover version (175 pages). Shh, don’t tell Matt. It’s gonna be a Christmas gift…


p.s. If you buy the printed book, you even get a code to download the PDF version for just $1, which Melissa and her book team are donating to Common Threads, a non-profit that teaches low-income kids how to cook in a free after-school program! So, don’t be a goober like me and get the PDF then decide you want the softcover. Just look at the free preview on her site or on Amazon and decide which version you really want first.)

p.p.s. Stay tuned! Later we will be giving away a free ebook of Well Fed! Comment below on why you’re interested in this particular book and you’ll find yourself with an extra entry in the future giveaway!

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  • Oh! This is so great! Your photos look beautiful — really nice! And I’m glad to know the Fried Apples are a kid-approved recipe.

    Thank you so much for cooking some of my recipes, reading Well Fed, and being so supportive. Much appreciatd!

    • The salmon and carrots were devoured by the kids too. Loved the crispy salmon skin! Thanks for sharing and all your hard work!

  • I will have to get this book it sounds awesome!

    • It’s really great, there’s a Pad Thai recipe we’re going to try and I we’re planning on a cinnamon stew with orange for our Christmas Eve dinner. Preview the free 30 page version and I bet you’ll want more!

  • Annie

    First off, I too love that I have a shelf of cookbooks again.  I hated getting rid of my in-hand cookbooks and wanted to hold on to them even though I didn’t want to cook out of them any longer.  So, I want this cookbook to add to that growing shelf and to learn from.  I love how each of these Paleo/Primal cook books gives a slightly different view of how things can be in this healthy life.  I love the great pictures and the organization looks awesome too! thanks 🙂

  • Cindy

    I am super interested in this book!!  Not only am I obsessed with Paleo cookbooks, but I LOVE Melissa’s Cauliflower Pie!  Yumm!

  • Meghan

    I would LOVE to own this book! In another review elsewhere, I read that Melissa describes a “Hot Plates” system for prepping multiple dishes at once. I need that organization assistance! Also, I have a newfound addiction to Penzey’s and would love some recipe suggestions to use many of my new spices. Thanks for doing a giveaway! 

  • Mary Ann

    This is the  right way to eat !

  • Shaina Alexander

    That looks like an awesome book! I’m still getting most of our recipes online since we just don’t have the money to spend on cookbooks right now but I look forward to expanding my collection! My dad got me Paleo Comfort Foods for my birthday and LOVE it!

  • JoAnne Isgro

    I love this book too!! I was impressed at the different style of the book!

  • Alena M

    TThis sounds amazing! I sometimes need help getting more inspired to experiment too. I’ve gotta go check this out!

  • Cheryl

    SOLD!  Though, really, I was already sold on the idea of getting Well Fed…your post just reminds me that it’s on my “to-do” list.  😀

  • I’m realizing – 4 months into paleo living – that I can never have enough new recipes, expecially ones that are Whole30 compliant. The longer I do this, the more I realize that it’s not a 30 day challenge for me, it’s what I need to be eating for life.

  • Kendra

    I downloaded her free 30 page preview and am really excited about the idea of cooking a bunch on Sunday to be ready for the week. I can’t wait to see the gameplan she lays out in the book.

  • Mel

    Looks fabulous!!!!

  • I have already downloaded the free preview and this book looks fabulous. Something I should really get, as I’m new to most of this after being a very long term vegetarian up to June this year, but I come from a whole foods stand point and very experimental and creative in the kitchen as is. But slowly loosing my drive in the past bit because of some health issues and in the past month slowly trying to work out the gluten and still trying to figure out new things and the whole brain thing when it comes to certain food dishes as is. So this would be a great help me outter.

  • Tina B

    I’m always looking for new and fun recipes.  Those apples sound delicious, I might have to get the book just for that recipe!

  • Kim

    I am always looking for new recipes. These sound especially delicious!

  • Janelle S.

    Wow this book looks great!!  I know what book I want to get next. 🙂

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  • Alicia Kleppinger

    This would be perfect on the plane reading! Plus, we would arrive equipped to cook amazeballs paleo meals at our destination! (in laws) Well Fed for the win!

  • andrea pipkin

    I would LOVE to win a copy of her Well Fed. I dowloaded her free version yesterday and immediatly went to the kitchen and made the chocolate chilli. YUMMM (doesnt even begin to discribe it but thats all I got!) I think its one of those dishes you could eat almost daily. I loved how kid friendly it was! It was full of flavor but not too spicey for even my youngest (19 months). Matt, if you have not tried it, do so!! Anyway I look forward to trying ALL the recipies with their diverse flavors. its a great go-to when you get in one of those ruts where it seems like you are tierd of eating the same ol things over and over.

  • I would LOVE to have this book!  I have recently discovered the paleo lifestyle and it’s really hard for me to follow since my son and husband aren’t on board; I think this book would help convert them!  They both love bold flavors and my husband really loves ethnic food.

  • Sldpchef

    Hubby and I can’t WAIT to go Paleo!  Just getting through this holiday weekend wheat and sugar free is going to be a challenge, but we’ll take it one step at a time…  Paleo starts next week!

  • Suzanne H

    I’m fairly new to Paleo eating, so I’d love to win this book! Her recipes look so great and relatively easy.

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  • Yum!! It’s funny, I don’t like rice, so everytime I see a recipe that refers to rice, I cringe. Then I remember that this is Paleo, there is no rice. Sounds like a great reason to try the Chinese Pork Fried Rice. 😉

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  • momo ni

    amazing book it deos look good recipite