Danielle Walker has an amazing blog – Against All Grain. The tag line for her blog is DELECTABLE PALEO RECIPES TO EAT & FEEL GREAT. One look at her site and immediately you will see why.
What’s even better for bibliophiles like me is that she has taken some of her most treasured recipes, added 125 new recipes, and published a gorgeous cookbook that overall contains more than 150 gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free recipes. (I must say, I am really delighted to have been given the opportunity to review this amazing cookbook.)
Slow Cooker Sesame-Orange Chicken
There are full-color pictures of each recipe to provide us a glimpse of what the finished dish will look like. Most of the ingredients are probably in your pantry or are easy to obtain. (I did have to order coconut crystals and coconut aminos online.)
Danielle introduces us to her world of paleo cooking by explaining the reason that she took this culinary path. In 2007 she found herself in an emergency room suffering from abdominal pain and digestive complications. This would not be her only trip to the hospital. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and prescribed medications. A couple of years after her diagnosis she started following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and immediately began to get some minor relief. Though her health had improved some, her disease was never fully in remission. With the help of her naturopath, she modified the SCD and discovered through trial-and-error what her body could process.
After touching upon her medical history, Danielle includes a section at the beginning of the book with paleo and SCD guidelines to let us know which foods are permitted and which are not. She also helps those who are trying to navigate a new lifestyle by providing shopping tips and explaining which ingredients she uses and why.
In the cookbook there are recipes for every occasion – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks, condiments, etc. So far I have made Rosemary Breadsticks and Dark Chocolate Brownies. I have notes to make Blueberry Preserves, Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake, Spiced Pumpkin Muffins, Sandwich Bread, Graham Crackers, Seven Layer Bars, Chocolate Fudge Sauce, and about six more recipes – that’s just the beginning. I plan on making the Slow Cooker Sesame-Orange Chicken pictured above when I get my order of coconut aminos.
There is much to like about Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great. (At the time of this review, the book had 560 five star reviews on Amazon.com out of 637 total reviews.) Here is what I really like about it:
- The full-color pictures
- Recipes written in volume, not weight (I have lots of measuring cups and spoons, but not a scale that weighs in grams)
- Realistic recipes with most items being readily available
- There are a lot of healthy recipes, too.
Dark Chocolate Cake Brownies
I have been granted the privilege of sharing Danielle’s recipe for Dark Chocolate Cake Brownies. These sweet treats are delicious. They have a light crumb texture and a rich chocolate flavor. Most people would be surprised that they are gluten-free. The next time I make them, I will double the amount of chocolate chips and maybe add a dash of espresso powder to the batter. (I like chocolate & caffeine, what can I say?)
Dark Chocolate Cake Brownies
- 1/2 cup palm shortening plus more for greasing the pan
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 5 large eggs
- 3/4 cup honey
- One-third cup coconut flour sifted
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with palm shortening.
Place the shortening and chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until melted and smooth. Be careful not boil. Set aside.
Place the eggs and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium. Add the coconut flour, cocoa powder, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Beat on low until incorporated, then on high until smooth.
Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat on medium until batter thickens, about 15 seconds. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Recipe NotesRecipe reprinted with permission from Against All Grain by Danielle Walker.
I am excited about making some of those other recipes that I have noted. I have some ripe bananas and will make Danielle’s recipe for Banana Bread later today.