Fall always feels like a great time to turn over a new leaf (pun intended), and if you’re thinking of cleaning up your diet Paleo-style like me, Ready or Not! 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes by Nom Nom Paleo is a fantastic (and fun!) place to start. Released at the beginning of August, this second book from the husband-and-wife duo behind the award–winning Nom Nom Paleo website and cooking app offers an incredible variety of nourishing whole-food recipes and meal plans that encourage readers to eat as broadly as possible. Recipes are organized by degrees of readiness: Get Set! (Kitchen staples to buy or make ahead of time and have on hand like All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce, Cauli Rice and Grain-Free Tortillas); Ready! (Make-ahead meals for when you have ample time to cook, like Chinese Chicken in a Pot, Buffalo Cauliflower Things, and Orange Cream Tart); Kinda Ready! (Turn leftovers and pre-made components into quick and tasty meals like Mexican Watermelon and Cucumber Salad, Naked Salmon on a Hot Pan, and Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Egg Muffins); Not Ready! (Simple, speedy meals ready in 15 to 45 minutes like Simple Egg Drop Soup, Cantonese Crispy Chicken Thighs, and Chicken Curry in a Hurry) and Beyond Ready! (Weekly dinner plans and shopping lists to make the most of your time and ingredients). All in a comic book format with step-by-step photographs, charming illustrations and family-friendly humour that isn’t too corny. (It is grain-free, after all.)
First up to the plate (er, bowl): Hot and Sour Soup (Not Ready!, 40 minutes).
As delicious as it looked, it wasn’t a hit. The fella found it bland, the kids had a spoonful and gave me that look (you know the one) and it wasn’t my favourite. Where did I go wrong? I’m sure I must have taken a left when I should have gone right. Let me try it again and report back.
Chicken is one of those things I go off every once in a while so I left it out of the Chilled Asian Zoodle Salad With Chicken and Avocado. (Kinda Ready! 25 minutes.) “Raw zucchini and carrot noodles are the perfect substitute for starchy, gummy strands of pasta in this salad. Slices of buttery avocado, toasted sesame seeds, and fragrant herbs lend extra texture and flavor to this dish, too. Best of all, with pre-made dressing and leftover chicken, this salad can be assembled in no time at all.” Get the family involved! My eight-year-old loves cranking the handle on the spiralizer and seeing the veggie noodles magically appear. (Almost as much as he does stealing a few to wave in his big sister’s face.) This salad was a winner.
Mmmm, Haricots Vert and Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad (Not Ready! 10 minutes). This was the easiest dish to prepare and maybe my favourite. Super easy to throw together and the fresh veggies really shine. Next time I might sprinkle a handful of slivered almonds on top for a little extra touch of fancy.
The PB&J Energy Balls (Not Ready! 20 minutes) are my new go-to before spin class or when I need my sweet fix mid-day. “There’s no peanut butter or jelly in these bite-size energy balls, but their nutty crunch and sweet strawberry flavor never fail to bring back fond memories of munching on my favorite after-school snack. Unlike the PB&J sandwiches I used to make for myself, these homemade treats are made with just nuts and fruit (and a pinch of salt).” Make a double batch because they’ll go fast.
And because it looked and sounded divine, the Orange Cream Tart (Ready! Five hours; 40 minutes hands-on). The crust and the custard take some patience to be sure, but it’s well worth the effort. Creamy and dreamy with the perfect amount of tang. And you can tell your tasters (as Michelle does) that it’s inspired by the Lemon Cream Tart at San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery. Ooh la la.
Ready or Not! is just as fun to read as it is to cook from, and the tremendous variety of nutrient-rich recipes for every degree of readiness is going to put it in heavy rotation in my kitchen.
To enter to win a copy of Ready or Not!, tell me which recipe mentioned in this post you’d like to try first. (This entry is mandatory.)
For an additional entry, follow try small things on Facebook and share this post, then tell me you did so and your name on Facebook in the comments below.
For a third entry, follow try small things on Instagram, and tell me your Instagram handle in the comments below.
And feel free to tweet the following once per day and leave the url for your tweet in the comments below (one entry per tweet). Make sure you’re following try small things on Twitter for your entry to count.
#Win “Ready or Not! 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes by Nom Nom Paleo” from @trysmallthings http://bit.ly/readyornotnnp CAN 9/15
The giveaway is open to Canadian residents 18+ and ends at 11:59 p.m. on September 15, 2017. The potential winner (chosen at random) must respond to prize notification within 48 hours and provide the correct answer to a skill-testing question, otherwise another will be selected.
Good luck everybody!
Update September 16, 2017: Congratulations Joy KM!
Simon & Schuster Canada sent me a copy of Ready or Not! in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.