The Paleo Mom (Sarah Ballantyne) never fails to impress. She’s a science brainiac, a Paleo and health educator and a genius in the kitchen.
Sarah specializes in Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) cuisine, a protocol used to heal food allergies and leaky gut and manage autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s, Chron’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus.
Aside from the usual Paleo restrictions, the AIP diet removes nightshade veggies and spices (tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplant, peppers, cayenne, paprika, etc.), eggs, dairy, chocolate, nuts and seeds, coffee and tapioca.
After removing all that, you might want to say….”What’s left to eat?”
Well, The Paleo Approach Cookbook answers that question with 158 tempting recipes!
It’s got carob dessert substitutes to satisfy your chocolate fix, tricks for getting baked goods to stick together without eggs and lots of exotic veggies to try so you forget about the ones you can’t have.
The silver lining of restrictive diets is that they encourage adventure with new food. And the recipes in this cookbook are not just adventurous but contain some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, like organ meats, gelatin and sardines.
There’s a big section on organ meats with creative ways to mask the unfamiliar textures and flavors until you get used to them.
I’m creative with food but I wouldn’t have dreamed up her beef heart borscht. And while I’m pretty adventurous, I hesitated when I saw lamb testicles at the butchers. The Paleo Mom has no fear, she demonstrates how to properly prepare lamb “oysters”.
Some interesting recipe highlights include dehydrated veggie flour, green tea and garlic pickles, plantain crackers and cauliflower gravy.
Because I love to play with new foods, this cookbook is right up my alley. I decided to make a recipe with bamboo shoots (a food I’ve never cooked with before).
I made her Har Gow-inspired shrimp balls. Har Gow is a traditional Chinese dumpling served in dim sum. Honestly, I thought dim sum was off limits until now.
I prefer to call this dish shrimp ‘dumplings’, because who can take shrimp ‘balls’ seriously? And this is a seriously delicious recipe. And seriously quick and easy to make
You can be eating these in 20 minutes from start to finish, even if you’re a slow cook.
And you really can’t mess it up… because I did by leaving mine in the oven too long so they shriveled, but they still tasted amazing.
Of course, Sarah lists complete nutritional info for all her recipes, and handy kitchen tricks through out. It has more of a text book feel than cook book because it is so densely packed with information.
The arrowroot in this recipe binds the dumplings together and creates that chewy texture you expect with dim sum dumplings. So yummy and comforting when you’re craving carbs.
1 pound of raw shrimp, shelled
1 teaspoon of fish sauce (I use this Paleo-friendly brand)
1.5 teaspoons of coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon of arrowroot flour (I buy mine here)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of chopped bamboo shoots (Buy them here)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, aluminum foil or a silicon liner.
Place the arrowroot, fish sauce, salt, shrimp and coconut oil in the food processor. Process until shrimp is finely ground.
Add the bamboo shoots and pulse once or twice to incorporate.
Wet your hands with cold water and form the mixture into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. If the mixture starts to stick to your hands wet them again. Arrange the shrimp balls onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes, until fully cooked and pink through out. Enjoy!
You can pick up your copy of The Paleo Approach Cookbook right here.
My not-so-perfect little dumplings
They came out shriveled like cute little dinosaur brains, but didn’t taste dry or weird. They were chewy and moist and stored well in the fridge for a next day snack.
This is what they were supposed to look like….
- 1 pound of raw shrimp, shelled
- 1 teaspoon of fish sauce
- 1.5 teaspoons of coconut oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon of arrowroot flour
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ⅓ cup of Bamboo Shoots
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, aluminum foil or a silicon liner.
- Place the arrowroot, fish sauce, salt, shrimp and coconut oil in the food processor. Process until shrimp is finely ground.
- Add the bamboo shoots and pulse once or twice to incorporate.
- Wet your hands with cold water and form the mixture into 1 to 1½ inch balls. If the mixture starts to stick to your hands wet them again. Arrange the shrimp balls onto the baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until fully cooked and pink through out. Enjoy!