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Inventive and generous use of spices! 

This book was a surprise hit for me! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, and only bought it because I was actually doing a Whole30 in January 2017. We’ve been vegetarian for about 7 years, so eating and cooking all this meat, well, let’s just say I needed some help. The first thing I was impressed with? The recipes are very creative! They are easy to follow, don’t take a lot of time. As you know, I have a baby and a toddler and work from home, so I particularly loved the slow-cooker recipes that make extra meat that is then used for different recipes later in the week. Genius!  

Melissa make liberal use of spices, and as a spice blender myself, nothing could make me happier. And when I say liberal…I mean, this book uses 50 different spices, herbs and seasonings. Some other reviews mentioned the recipes call for some hard to find ingredients. I did not find this to be the case. Besides the occasional call for capers or fennel bulb, most everything can be found at your local store. Spices on the other hand, there are a few that you might need to source online if you don’t have a gourmet foods market near you. If you were to make all the recipes in the Whole30 Cookbook, you’d need:

  • allspice (ground)
  • ancho chili
  • arrowroot
  • basil
  • bay leaves
  • cajun*
  • caraway
  • cayenne
  • cinnamon (ground)
  • chia seeds
  • chili (seasoning blend)*
  • chipotle
  • cloves (ground)
  • coriander (ground)
  • coriander (seeds)
  • cream of tartar
  • cumin (ground)
  • cumin (seeds)
  • curry (powder)
  • dill
  • dukkah*
  • fennel (seeds)
  • garam masala*
  • garlic (granules)
  • garlic salt
  • ginger (ground)
  • harissa
  • herbes de provence
  • italian seasoning*
  • jerk (seasoning / no sugar)*
  • lemon peel (ground)
  • mustard (ground)
  • nutmeg (ground)
  • nutritional yeast
  • onion (granules)
  • oregano
  • paprika (sweet)
  • paprika (smoked)
  • pepper (ground black)
  • peppercorns (whole black)
  • parsley
  • ras el hanout*
  • red pepper flakes
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • sesame seeds
  • tarragon
  • thyme
  • turmeric
  • sea salt (coarse)

*Some of the seasonings (cajun, chili seasoning, dukkah, garam masala, Italian, jerk, ras el hanout,) you can blend yourself if you already own the other spices on the list.

Moroccan Chicken Whole30 Cookbook Review From Pasta to PaleoOf these 50 spices, the essential, most often used ones are coarse sea salt, cracked pepper, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, cayenne, onion granules, garlic granules and ground cumin. However, you better have ras el hanout (or the spices to blend it) because it was hands-down the best chicken I’ve ever made (Moroccan Chicken with Carrot-Pistachio Slaw, page 143). Here is a photo of this fabulous Moroccan Chicken by From Pasta to Paleo. She also made the dish multiple times! Click here for her review of the Whole30 Cookbook. Other highlight recipes for me: Beef and Sweet Potato Chili (pg. 33)—we ate that all week for lunch, Slow-Cooker Italian Beef Roast (pg 43), Mediterranean Bison Burger (pg. 53), Slow-Cooked Moroccan Spices Shredded Beef (pg. 61), Thai Beef Curry with Green Beans (pg. 77), Pork Posole with Tostones (pg. 87), Chipotle BBQ Chicken Thighs (pg. 128), Grilled Jamaican Jerk Salmon (pg. 192), Mexican Salmon Cakes (pg 198), Dukkah-Crusted Brussel Sprouts (pg. 224)...should I go on?

The first thing you should make from this book? Red Curry Roasted Cauliflower (pg. 242). If you follow Gneiss Spice on instagram, you’ll see tons of posts from this book in January and February. If you're debating a Whole30, don't hesitate to buy this book! Nothing is harder than trying to follow the strict rules, and have no inspiration for what to cook for dinner. With most cookbooks, I usually feel the urge to change the recipes. With this book, I was content and confident to make them just as is. My only complaint about the book would be no mention of portion sizes. I had to head over to their website to find suggestions (they have a cool graphic using your hand to measure portions—not sure why they didn’t include it in the book). Here is it:


Whole30 Portion Sizes Diagram

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