I had the pleasure of meeting Caitlin Weeks, and her husband chef Nabil Boumrar, who coauthored the book Mediterranean Paleo Cooking at Bauman College event recently. The book is impressive, with dozens of mouthwatering recipes, beautiful color photos and insightful information. For any aspiring cook who is looking to incorporate healthy Paleo foods into his or her, diet this is a great source of information. I highly recommend buying this book if you are looking to get inspired in the kitchen, while learning how to cook a healthy meal.
Chef Nabil grew up in an agricultural community in the mountains of Algeria where he was accustomed to eating local, seasonal, organic fresh foods that were bought from the local farmers or grown by the family. In his cooking, he incorporates the exotic flavors of North Africa, his classic French Cuisine training, with healthy Paleo recipes. Caitlin is a Bauman College Nutrition Consultant, who like myself, has a vast understanding of sports nutrition, healthy lifestyle, foods and healthy eating. Together they created a wonderful resource for those who want to incorporate the exotic flavors of the Mediterranean with the health promoting Paleo diet.
The book combines detailed practical information on what it means to eat a healthy Paleo diet, like nose-to-tail eating, healthy ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids, fermented foods, bone broth and the benefits of offal, with an indication of how to adapt each recipe to accommodate different dietary requirements. Categories such as low carb, AIP- friendly, SDC diet, GAPS diet and low FODMAPS are clearly indicated to help meet these special needs.
I decided to test the Liver Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy, (this recipe is nut free, egg free, SDC and GAPS friendly as well as low carb, and can be easily adapted to a low FODMSAPS and AIP friendly diets). Growing up in Israel, I love the flavors of cumin, cilantro and garlic combined with red meat. I knew this will appeal to my taste but I was not sure the combination with liver will work for others. I Personally I love liver and eat it on a regular basis. Offal has many health benefits, as it is nutrients dense and a wonderful source of bio-available vitamin B12. Finding a way to incorporate it into “mainstream foods” like meatballs with mushroom gravy, would be a great way to add these nutrient dense foods into any diet.
I loved them! They were delicious, moist and flavorful. And the mushroom sauce made with beef broth was a wonderfully rich. As my guinea pig I invited a friend who I affectionately describe as a “Recovering Vegan”. Recently, with my recommendations, she has started eating grass fed beef, pastured eggs etc. Until now she had refused to taste liver. To my delight, and a testimony to this recipe, she enjoyed 5 meatballs in one sitting! We served it with cauliflower rice and steamed kale and had a delicious healthy meal.
Some of the highlighted favorites of the book are Sweet Lamb Stew with prunes, raisins and apricots cooked in a delicious bone broth; Paella with chicken, shrimp, calamari and mussels in a saffron, tomato paste infused chicken broth with cauliflower rice; and Chicken and Olive Tagine with saffron, cumin and green olives. If 150 mouthwatering options are not enough to have you order the Mediterranean Paleo Cooking you can always order it for the 21 Paleo friendly dessert options like Flour-less Chocolate Cake or the Strawberry Tart.
Happy cooking and eating!