I guess I’m cheating a little bit by not sharing a recipe of my own, but I really wanted to take an opportunity to make a recommendation for Melissa Joulwan’s book, Well Fed. This is totally unsolicited–she’s got no clue who I am but her blog was one of the first Paleo/Crossfit blogs I ever read (seriously, second only to Mark’s Daily Apple) and not only is her food the Bomb-Diggity, she’s an awesome writer and has some killer advice and musings on everything from food to fitness to literature. Plus she’s from Austin, and only cool people live in Austin. So naturally, when I found out she was writing a book, it was in my Amazon shopping cart on pre-order faster than a pair of Manolos.
What I love about Well Fed is that it’s a well-rounded resource for the talented chef and newbie alike. She’s got some recipes on the more complicated side and with some shockingly bold flavor combos (Chocolate Chili?! Booyah!) right next to a nice section on a weekly cook-up and how to throw together a quick dinner with just meat, veggies, and some simple spice mixtures. Oh, and everything is Whole30-approved so you can rest assured you’re getting the best of the best…except for one dessert at the end that’s honestly enough to get me frothing at the mouth.
Anyhow, my plug for the book wouldn’t be complete without a road test, so here’s my rendition of her Char Siu, or Chinese BBQ Pork. Typical of so many dishes in the book, it’s inspired by her worldly travels and is replete with plenty of ingredients I would never think of using together…I was a little wary of the marinade and sauce (applesauce and tomato paste? Ick…) but culinary queen she is, Mel makes it work. What’s even better,the flavor actually got deeper and richer over the course of the three days it took us to finish it (like I said…ass-ton of chops…). Trust me, you want to make this. Right now.
I’d definitely recommend this one for anyone new to Paleo, too, before most others. The food here is not complicated. It’s not Paleo-fied. Mel spells it all out for you–what’s good, what’s bad, and how to make the most of what you’ve got. It’s real, it’s simple, and it’s damn good.