The Grain-Free Family Table: Cookbook Review

As a Paleo mom and one who is always looking for new ways to keep my family interested in our food plan, I am delighted by this new offering by Carrie Vitt of Deliciously Organic, The Grain-Free Family Table.

The variation in the book is amazing, including non-recipe inclusions like Carrie’s personal story, healing with grain-free, how to stock a pantry and fridge, important information about saturated fats, and how to adapt recipes.

Need to know “How to Eat Out?” on grain-free? That’s in here, too, to keep you on-track while having a night out, while you’re on-the-go, or on vacation. I loved this addition to the book.

If your kids are like mine, getting them to convert to grain-free seems like a daunting task, but she tackles that, too, in a chapter called “How to Encourage Your Kids to Eat Grain Free.” Knowing how to make the transition, and get your kids on board, is crucial. Teaching your kids how to also know the importance of their food choices is just as ideal as what they’ll eat, so that they can make decisions when not in your home.

The recipe sections will amaze you with Breakfast, Starts, Salads, Sides, Main Dishes, Desserts, Kid’s Favorites, and Basics. She will show you how to you can still have waffles, as well as cinnamon rolls (I bet you miss those. I did). Miss Chinese food? Well, that’s in here with General Tso’s Chicken. Love Taco Tuesday? How about her Beef Taco Bowl? Need Game Day ideas? How about Loaded Fries or Tater Tots? And your Sunday night dinner won’t be complete without Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf.

She concludes the book with some lovely tips with a Universal Conversion Chart and Resources list.

With recipes that are new and unique, there are 125 recipes to please everyone.I highly recommend this book, for both the grain-free newbie to the seasoned Paleo chef.

It is available now at booksellers near you, or online:

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Recipe Feature: Kids’ Squash and Cheese

This recipe comes from my sweet friend Molly. Molly and her husband, John, run Apricot Lane Farms in Southern California. The farm is one of my kids’ favorite places to visit—feeding the chickens, saying hi to the goats, picking ripe fruit off the trees, running wild through the pasture. It really is a magical place. Molly’s Squash and Cheese is one of my kids’ most requested dishes.

SERVES 6
PREPARATION TIME: 45 minutes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of cayenne
Dash of ground nutmeg
11⁄2 cups shredded white Cheddar cheese
3 cups cooked spaghetti squash (see Note)
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into 1⁄8-inch slices
1⁄2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

HOW TO:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and adjust the rack to the middle position. Butter an 8 x 11-inch baking dish.
2. Place the butter, cream, salt, pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally (be careful not to scald the cream). Whisk in the Cheddar cheese, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from the heat. Stir in the spaghetti squash, mixing until all the squash is coated with cheese sauce.

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on the squash and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Drizzle the olive oil over the casserole and bake for 50 minutes, or until the tomatoes are roasted and edges are just turning golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.

PALEO/DAIRY-FREE ADAPTATION: Use 1 cup Savory Cashew “Cheese” (page 264) in place of the cream, salt, pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, Cheddar, and Parmesan. Instead of the directions above, melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cashew cheese and stir until incorporated. Stir in the spaghetti squash. Pour the mixture into a buttered 8 x 11-inch baking dish. Arrange the sliced tomatoes over the squash. Drizzle the olive oil over the casserole. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the tomatoes are roasted and the edges are just turning golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.

NOTE: To bake spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half, pole-to-pole. Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon and discard. Place the squash halves cut side down in a large baking dish. Prick the skin with a fork 10 times on each side. Bake for 1 hour. Use a fork to pull the flesh of the squash into “spaghetti,” then measure it to use in the recipe. You can also serve it plain with a little butter, salt, and pepper or with marinara sauce.

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