Earlier this week, James brought home a cookbook for me to review called Paleo Comfort Foods, authored by Julie and Charles Mayfield, Atlanta-area CrossFit affiliate owners. The book is set to be released on Amazon the week of Sept. 12, but those who are eager can go ahead and pre-order a copy now.
The name of the book alone was enough to spark my interest. If you’re from the South, you know the meaning of comfort food. If you’re female, you know the meaning of comfort food. And if you’re pregnant, you undoubtedly know the meaning of comfort food.
Sometimes it’s nice coming home and turning to a tried-and-true recipe for dinner instead of figuring out how to make a normal food paleo. Enter, Paleo Comfort Foods.
I haven’t concocted as many new recipes as normal, because my appetite has changed and it seems that my brief free time at home after the gym is filled with other tasks, such as researching gazillions of things before baby Hobson comes at the end of the year. Lately, as in the last 4 months, I’ve resorted to simple dinners and some of my own quick, easy recipes. Sure, they’re tasty, but you can only post about them so much.
So when I received this cookbook, it refreshed my passion for cooking and I immediately thumbed through the entire book, earmarking a slew of recipes that I can’t wait to try out.
My first two comfort foods to dive into were Tom Kha Gai (chicken coconut soup) and Paleo Gumbo. Though September starts tomorrow, it doesn’t equate to fall here in the South. Temps are still in the mid nineties, but I love soups and stews so much that I don’t care what the temperature is outside.
Tuesday night, I came home and cranked out the Tom Kha Gai. Food with Asian or Indian flavors are definitely not my forte, so I was thankful of a simple 10-ingredient recipe that I could count on to get the soup flavor I craved. I opted to double the recipe, because that’s how we roll in my house, and the only ingredient I couldn’t find was Kaffir leaves. But thankfully the book suggested a close substitution of lime zest.
I wish I had some pretty, colorful soup bowls, because this picture doesn’t do the soup justice. Our soup bowls are cream, and these freezer containers don’t help to show off the soup either. You’ll have to trust me when I say it was definitely a soup I’d categorize as a comfort flavor. If I can just make myself hold off thawing these until late fall, I can see myself curled up with a bowl of soup, a cup of hot tea and my Kindle sitting on my then gigantic belly.
I made Paleo Gumbo tonight after I got home from the gym. From the chopping of veggies to the finished product, it took me just about an hour. Not bad for a meal that would feed most couples for days. Too bad we’re not most couples. I’ll get one serving tonight before I leave for Hilton Head tomorrow, and James will more than likely finish off the rest by midnight tomorrow. He’s the only person I know who will eat gumbo at 5am before heading to teach CrossFit classes.
Downing the gumbo and sautéed cauliflower rice as I type this, it’s amazing how much flavor comes from a recipe that omits pepper and salt. The only herb it calls for is bay leaves, but even a single bite certainly packs a punch.
I love that the recipe starts off with a roux made from bacon grease, coconut flour and almond flour. Who knows–it could have been that twist on a classic base that made the dish so delish.
I hardly deviated from the recipe. It called for lump crab meat, shrimp and andouille sausage. I subbed chicken for the crab, not wanting to spend a small fortune on an ingredient that James would probably not even pick up on. Much of the great gumbo flavor undoubtedly came from the andouille sausage I picked up at Harry’s Farmers Market, so I definitely think it was worth the extra dollar or so I paid for it.
Overall, this was a delicious hearty meal with lots of flavor, despite simple ingredients. I’ll definitely prepare several large batches to freeze for after the baby comes.
At least now I feel like a ‘good’ wife who is leaving her husband for 4 nights with the one thing he cherishes most…good, clean food.