I’ve been following Nom Nom Paleo, off and on, for a few years. I was excited when I heard the blog’s newest cookbook, Ready or Not!, was to be released on August 1st of this year.
Michelle Tam’s blog is a staple in the Paleo community and I don’t think it is a stretch to say this will be a best seller in the cookbook section on Amazon. Very few of Michelle’s recipes have failed me and quite a few (hellooo, slow cooker kalua pig!) have become regulars on my kitchen playlist. Magic Mushroom Powder is also from Nom Nom Paleo and it is THE BEST THING that ever happened to a grilled hamburger. I also have NNP to thank for introducing me to InstantPot and Red Boat Fish Sauce.
But the truth? I have mixed feelings about this cookbook. I want to love it and give it 5 stars but I’m just not quite there.
From a graphic design standpoint, their formatting was an interesting, if slightly distracting, choice. Cookbook as graphic novel. I do wish they had decided to combine more traditional recipe formatting with the graphic novel approach. For me, it will keep it from being a book that I will go back and page through time and time again. I couldn’t help by compare it with Robin Ha’s Cook Korean!, which I’m fresh from reading. I think Cook Korean! was a little more successful in marrying the comic book/graphic novel format with a cookbook. Still, I can’t be too critical. This… this was a labor of love. The cook and designer in me can tell you a hell of a lot of work went into this project.
This is a thoughtfully put-together cookbook. They start out with assembling building blocks of a Paleo kitchen, both DIY and store bought. They move into the Ready, Kinda Ready, and Not Ready sections that are organized by how much time and effort you want to put into your meal. You’ll see many recipes referencing others, which can be a blessing or a curse depending on how well you plan. Example, there is a Sunday Gravy recipe that is used several times in some unexpected ways. Their point? Dinner can be delicious and healthful, whether you want to spend 30 minutes or a few hours on it.
My recommendation? If you’re Paleo and a foodie, check it out. Heck, check it out even if Paleo isn’t your bag. Good food is good food. And if you love kitchen gadgetry (pressure cookers, sous vide, etc), you’d probably really dig NNP. But I’d test drive a copy from your library before committing to adding it permanently to your book shelf.
This review is based on a NetGalley ARC provided in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion.
On My ‘To Make’ List:
- Smokey LIme Pepitas
- Thai Citrus Dressing
- Ginger Sesame Sauce
- Chicken Breasts with Ginger Scallion Pesto
- Pressure Cooker Bo Ssäm
- Roasted Carrots with Ginger Sesame Sauce
- Thai Green Apple Slaw
- Thanksgiving Bites
- Spicy Bacon Honey Nuts
- Mango Cabbage Slaw
- Persian Cauliflower Rice
- Cracklin’ Chicken (a staple from the NNP blog but worth mentioning again!)
- Thai Roast Chicken
- Pot Sticker Stir Fry
- Golden Milk
- Mango Coconut Cooler