Review & Giveaway: Weeknight Paleo

I’ve been sitting here, staring at the screen and out my window, typing and deleting words for about 20 minutes now, trying to figure out a way to introduce you to my pal Amber of the blog Paleo Savvy and her swell new cookbook Weeknight Paleo. Amber is one of those people that bubbles with enthusiasm and has great taste in food, so I’ve been stumbling over how to adequately capture her sweet essence. I mean, look at her cutie face and her adorbs cookbook cover:

Then I realized I could totally cheat and share part of what I wrote in my foreword for her snazzy recipe collection. This is what I officially have to say about Amber and Weeknight Paleo:

Here’s the thing: I love cooking. The alchemy of chopping and blending and browning and stirring. Inhaling the aroma of freshly-ground spices and imagining myself in a spice market somewhere exotic like Marrakesh or Zanzibar. Expectantly visualizing my family and friends gathered around the table to talk and laugh and share over plates of comforting foods.

You know what I don’t love? Making dinner. The grind of getting food on the table when my dining companions and I may be any combination of hungry, tired, cranky, overworked, or out of patience. To me, making dinner is a drudgery, a chore to be survived. Making dinner is the unpleasant, ill-behaved stepsister to the charming Cinderella of cooking — and I would like nothing more than to banish “making dinner” to a tower somewhere isolated and devoid of delicious things to eat.

But then along came Amber Beam’s cookbook Weeknight Paleo, and I had to re-think my ideas about making dinner. ‘Cause here’s the thing about Amber: she doesn’t really like making dinner either. But she didn’t let that discourage her from finding a way to make her paleo meals delicious — and you shouldn’t either.

Using what she calls “Paleo Savvy,” Amber shows you how a little prep work in advance can help you get dinner from fridge to table in under 30 minutes, on a random Tuesday, difficult Thursday, or celebration-worthy Friday.

So now that you’ve learned a little bit about why I think Amber is a good egg, let’s dig into Weeknight Paleo with…

5 Cool Things About Weeknight Paleo

1. Amber is a paleo devotee, but not the food police.
Thing that Amber and I have in common #1: We were both lifelong dieters before we discovered the food-peace of paleo. Thing that Amber and I have in common #2: We both really love to eat food that tastes good — no more deprivation diets for us. In her introduction, Amber shares that she strives for 95% compliance with her paleo habits and spends lots of time in the 85% area. That’s real life and real success, and I like it! You know what else is pretty great? In her first 30 days of eating paleo, she lost 10 pounds, reduced her acid reflux, slept soundly, and got compliments from strangers on her glowing skin.

2. Think bistro food!
Remember that thing I mentioned about Amber having good taste in food? I wasn’t kidding around. Get a load of these recipes: Eggplant Napoleon, Fusion Lasagna (looks like lasanga, tastes like a burrito!), Thai Pork Meatballs, Chorizo Fajitas, and Chicken in Tarragon Mustard Sauce. It’s the imagination and flavor of restaurant food, except it tastes even better and it’s 100% paleo.

3. Enjoy the genius of This, Then That.
Amber’s included instructions for how to turn one ingredient into two distinct meals. As she explains, “What starts in the refrigerator as four steaks becomes Surf and Turf the first night and Spicy Steak Stir Fry later in the week.” I have no problem eating the same thing for days (weeks?) on end, but I know most people go bonkers eating the same old-same old, so This, Then That is a neat trick for appeasing kids, significant others, and roommates that complain about boring leftovers.

4. Boredom buster: There are nine weeks of meal ideas.
Speaking of slaying boredom… the book is arranged around menu and shopping plans that mean you can eat nine weeks of dinners without any repeats. Nine weeks! And the recipes are arranged to help you take advantage of time- and energy-saving ideas like This, Then That and Quick Cooking Meals that can go from ingredients to dinner in under 30 minutes.

(Click this to see it in a larger, more readable form.)

5. Stay organized with comprehensive shopping lists and make-ahead tricks.
Each week of recipes begins with tips for the “Make Ahead” schedule that will save you time in the kitchen, along with a comprehensive shopping list so you have everything you need to feed yourself and your favorite dining companions. There’s also a handy section in the front of the book with tips for stocking your pantry, as well as “Flavor Boosters” — like Paleo House Seasoning (you know I love a good spice blend!) — so when you have to wing it, your kitchen is locked and loaded (or something like that).

Get In On The Giveaway

UPDATE 10/30/12: We have our winners and they’ve been notified. Thanks, everyone!

Amber and I have teamed up to give 3 lucky winners an ebook version of Weeknight Paleo. Yay!

To Enter:
Follow @PaleoSavvy on Twitter, then copy and paste following into a tweet: “I want to win a free copy of Weeknight Paleo @PaleoSavvy on @Melicious11:”

2. Post to comments to let me know you followed Amber, and you’re good to go! That’s it! So easy!

Deadline to Enter: 11:59 p.m. Central, Monday, October 29, 2012; winner will be announced Tuesday.

And bonus! The first 50 of you that head over to Amber’s blog Paleo Savvy can download the ebook for the reduced price of $9.99 (a $5 discount) — just use the code Melicious at checkout!

Can’t Wait? Buy A Copy Now!

Why gamble on a random drawing?! Head on over to Paleo Savvy to help yourself to a 39-page free sample of the book and see all your buying options, or hit Amazon right now now to treat yourself to Weeknight Paleo. Remember, the first 50 of you can get your hands on a copy of the ebook for $9.99 (a $5 discount) — just use the code Melicious at checkout!

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