Fresh Approach Cookbook Club- April


Our last cookbook club!

On Wednesday, Brenda began the evening by giving a few tips on keeping a paleo diet:

  • When eating at a restaurant, look at the menu online ahead of time to see your paleo options. Also, call the restaurant to see if they can accommodate you. At the restaurant, order small plates, such as salad, soup and vegetables, instead of a main course.
  • “Think seasonally.” Farmers market produce is listed online or in the newspaper. Take advantage of this fresh produce.
  • Take nuts or avocados with you in case you get stuck in a place without the feed you need.
  • In the evening, avoid animal proteins which slow down your digestive system.

Thursday evening we talked about the following resources for a gluten free or paleo diet:

  • Cooks Illustrated’s Gluten Free Baking magazine is well-tested with good information.
  • Check out the Barefoot Girl website for recipes.
  • Paleo Magazine has a story on the Best Products of 2014.
  • Don’t forget you can have wine on a paleo diet! See the book, Ancient Wine.


Note: All the following recipes are from Against All Grain by Danielle Walker.
 Appetizers and Soups

This month’s offerings included Asparagus, Leek and Prosciutto Quiche, Crispy Chicken Tenders With Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce, Sausage Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust, Mini-Meatload Muffins and Chips, Salsa and Guacamole.

Ellen ” loved” the mini-meatball recipe and thought the homemade ketchup was a winner. Cheryl found the crackers didn’t hold up, so she tried to tweak the recipe by adding an egg yolk. She thought the flavor was good.  Ann thought her sausage quiche was easy and good, but “don’t overcook it!”  Cumalee’s liked her asparagus quiche, but had to cook it 45 minutes, instead of 20 which was listed in the directions. Everybody loved Ginny’s coconut chicken tenders, but you need to “adjust the cooking time depending on their size.” Kristin suggests putting fewer hot peppers into the Thai coconut soup, since it was really spicy. Jeanne’s noodle bowls were delicious and more like a side than a soup






This month’s salads included Marinated Artichoke Hearts on Bibb Lettuce, Arugula, Citrus and Bacon Salad, Summer Island and Salad with Thai “Peanut” Vinaigrette. Liz thought her artichokes (which Catherine made on Thursday) could use more chilies. Also, you could extend the dish by adding more vegetables, if you want. Want a fast, tasty salad? Make this arugula version. You’re done in less than 10 minutes. Everybody loved Mary’s salad with macadamias. Yum!



Our main course recipes this month were Spanish Frittata with Chorizo, Braised Chicken in Artichoke-Mushroom Sauce, Curried Short Ribs, Pulled Barbeque Chicken With Coleslaw, Pan-Seared Salmon in Red Curry Sauce, London Broil with Rosemary Vegetables and Spinach Sausage Lasagna. Whew!

Kathy found the salmon “really easy and wonderful.” Nancy’s spinach lasagna is not hard to make, but time-consuming. (The “cheese” is made from almonds!) The other cooks found their recipes tasty and good. The frittata would be a great brunch choice.


Greens and Sides

This month we enjoyed Sausage and Butternut Squash Stuffed Tomatoes, Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, Leeks and Pomegranate Seeds, Roasted -Garlic Mashed Faux Potatoes, Basic Cauli-Rice, Grilled Lemon-Garlic Zucchini and Toddler Approved Vegetable Curry.

Judi recommends doubling the spices on the vegetable curry. Otherwise it’s too bland. We loved all the vegetables which were all self-explanatory,  including the “super easy” faux mashed potatoes made with fennel.


Breads and Desserts

Our breads and desserts included Sun-Dried Tomato Rosemary Scones, Real-Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cinnamon Applesauce, Chewy Honey Graham Crackers, Dark Chocolate Cake Brownies, Lemon Vanilla Bean Macaroons. 

Tracey’s applesauce was “easy and good,” even though she accidentally used the wrong kind of apples. Kristen warns not to overcook the scones. She said hers were “pretty dry” after less than five minutes in the oven.For some reason, both Betty and Bill had trouble getting their recipes (macaroons and graham crackers) to bind well, although they tasted good. Stephanie’s tip for the chocolate chip cookies? Flatten them before cooking so they don’t remain a ball. Brenda suggests adding nuts or dried fruit to the muffins for more taste. They are a “great recipe.”












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