I was asked if I wanted to review a copy of Paleo Takeout, the new recipe book by The Domestic Man, Russ Crandall. And I agreed, being a bit curious as to how exactly you would be able to recreate favourite takeaways on a paleo diet. And surely, the whole point of craving a takeaway is that it's instant (well, enough time to ring up or order online and have it delivered to your door) and fuss-free. You don't have to cook. The recipes would have to be, you know, pretty easy to make, to be successful.
Well, I can tell you that it totally is.
The book's layout is modern, down to earth and it explains everything. There are sections on Chinese, Japanese, American and South East Asian foods. Each one comes with a photo and all the recipes are straightforward and easy to follow.
As I've mentioned before, although I eat paleo because it's what seems to keep my psoriasis under control, my family eat mostly paleo but if they fancy a takeaway, they ring up and order one. It's their chance to feel dirty and eat something trashy out of a plastic container. They sit there, tummies full, surrounded by little white, fluffy prawn cracker crumbs. They LOVE their takeaway. So, I thought - this would be a perfect time to test out the children (and the husband) on paleo and healthier takeout meals. Would they hit the spot?
The first recipe I cooked from the book was the Chilli Fries. I left out the chillies, because no one in the family likes them - I'd created a beefy, tomato sauce with flavours of garlic, cumin and paprika. I ladled it over Russ's perfect oven fries and took it to the table. They LOVED it.
And it didn't stop there. The Vietnamese Pork Meatballs were bouncy and full-flavoured and took just a few minutes to grill. I served it with his fried rice and they gobbled all that up, too. The seasoning you pour over the rice at the end of cooking was really tasty. It's what elevated the dish from the usual fried rice I make to something that tasted a LOT more like a takeaway.
Then I kept going. I made the kebab-style Gyro meat and served it with a Greek Salad for dinner one night, and ate the burger with the buns for lunch.
Check out those buns.
So what's next? I already have chicken in the fridge to make chicken with cashew nuts, pork for the Char Siu and the girls are pestering me for chilli fries again sometime soon.
And if you have to avoid nuts, eggs or are on the AIP or Whole 30 diets, you can find a list of subs you can make, where possible, here. So you can totally enjoy these recipes, too.
The recipes, photos, writing and layout of this book is brilliant. But the best thing is that Russ has featured recipes here that you really do crave. They fit in the real, modern world. Burgers, noodles, curries, flatbreads and fried rice. I haven't put this book on the bookshelf with the others - it's propped up on the kitchen worktop behind my fruit bowl, just in case I need sudden inspiration for something to cook - or when everyone fancies a takeaway.
I realise I've written nothing but praise for this book, but it's all truthful. It's food my kids love, I love and it's fun to make, too. Makes takeaway night a hell of a lot cheaper and healthier, and that suits me.
Oh, and don't underestimate the sense of achievement you get from making paleo burger buns from scratch in just over 15 minutes. Brilliant.
Check out Paleo Takeout on Amazon now (affiliate link):