Whether watching the Galloping Gourmet on TV, the chefs at my father’s restaurant or my mother at home preparing Veal Parmesan, Osso Bucco (not my favorite) or macaroni and cheese, I was enthralled by the flame, the pan and the dishes they gave birth to.
I loved the elegant dance of the chefs moving from stove to plate, the aroma that teased my little belly and the tastes and flavors that later shaped my career and my life. In time, I learned that cooking can be not only an act of creativity, but an act of love, community, giving and sharing. Through further education I learned how the foods we cook and eat could either heal or harm. That brings us to this book.
What better task is there than to express your affection and prepare a delicious and nutritious meal on a day designed for love and lovers? And so here I am. My first cookbook, Valentine’s Day and a diet and topic that begs to ask: Why Paleo?
Why Paleo? To be totally honest, I am pretty new to Paleo eating. I don’t follow a particular diet and at first glance when I heard of the Caveman Diet, I had images of Fred Flinstone or people in loin cloths being chased by saber- toothed tigers or being eaten by a T-Rex. I personally focus my meals around organic, free range, seasonal whole foods and very little in the way of packaged foods.
As a chef, nutritionist and personal trainer I have come to really respect the logic behind Paleo eating. Focusing your meals around lean protein and non-starchy, fiber-rich vegetables appealed to me. I agree with the science that says excess starches, sugars, alcohol, grains, dairy and processed foods should be reduced or stopped altogether depending on one’s health. I prefer everything in moderation.
With all the information regarding gluten intolerance, chemicals in food, pesticides, harmful oils, and more, it’s a no-brainer to choose a dietary approach that entails fresh, nutrient dense foods that keep you feeling full and feed the body the way it was designed to be.
Some people choose to focus on more of a strict approach to Paleo eating that include only the following:
• free-range lean meats
• fruits and vegetables
• nuts and seeds
• healthy fats
The No Nos are:
• processed foods
• dairy foods
Some people question whether foods like beans, tomatoes and olive oil can be used and you will need to make a decision on your own about that. I personally love each of them and you will see them in my cooking from time to time. Feel free to omit them.
Now, put down your caveman club, grab your partner by the hair, and let’s eat some Paleo Valentine’s Day food! Bon Appétit