While in Atlanta back in July to teach a Practical Paleo Seminar at CrossFit South Cobb, I had the great pleasure of sitting down to dinner at Canoe with Julie & Charles Mayfield, authors of the exciting new cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods. What I loved about the Mayfields most was that they were very down-to-earth, genuine and fun people who love to eat and talk about good food. It's clear that cooking healthy Paleo, gluten-free food is a central part of their lives and their relationship with one another. The Mayfields literally run a farm-to-table operation when they cook at home by pulling fresh produce from their garden to use on their dinner table that evening. Their passion for real, whole, fresh ingredients shines through in their cooking. Check out my recent interview with the Mayfields:
1. What makes Paleo Comfort Foods a special cookbook?
Aside from the fact that we wrote it (tee-hee), there are a few things that we think make it pretty special: We wrote this book, developed the recipes, and shot the pictures all while holding down 2 full-time jobs, running our CrossFit gym, and still getting a decent amount of sleep, time with friends, etc. Heck, we even took a vacation! The point being: if we can write this and create this book, we know the readers will have no issue making the recipes! Secondly, it's special (to us) because we aren't chefs, or people who had a wildly successful blog (we don't even consider ourselves bloggers), or food stylists, we're just folks who love food, love making good food, and we want to help as many people as we can live healthier lives. Last, but most importantly, it's special to us because our dear friends Robb Wolf and Nicki Violetti, as well as Jeff and Melissa Hayes, were sitting with us at dinner one night and gave us this idea to begin with, and had the faith in us that this would be successful and we could in fact do it (little known-fact: some of the original working titles were “You Might Be a Caveman If…” and “From the Trailer to the Cave: Redneck Paleo Cooking.”
2. What was your favorite part of writing the book?
Our favorite part had to be making the food, sharing it all with Grizz (our photographer) and eating REALLY well throughout the process! Most especially, cooking up the Thanksgiving meal for Charles' whole family, and letting his mom relax and not cook the whole meal for the first time in MANY Thanksgivings!
3. What would surprise people most about Paleo Comfort Foods cooking?
I think that there are few surprises about the notion of “comfort food” and paleo. Everyone's definition of “comfort” is really different, just like some people define paleo with their own slant. I think it’s not so much a surprise as a realization that making good, home-cooked “comfort” foods isn’t hard! Making things like mayonnaise from scratch seems difficult in theory, but it’s really not. I think people may also be pleasantly surprised to make some of these dishes for some non-paleo friends and have them comment on how good this “paleo” food actually is!
4. What's your favorite recipe from the book to bring to a party?
If it’s an appetizer party, we like to bring guac or our spicy salmon or shrimp dip (think spicy tuna, only with salmon or shrimp). If we’re wanting to make sure there’s a dessert that we can/would like to eat and enjoy, it’s probably our decadent chocolate cake with a kick.
5. Why is Paleo Comfort Foods a book that every grain and gluten-free eater needs in their kitchen?
Mostly, it’s because of Buzz and Phoenix. How can you not buy a book with their faces in it? In all seriousness, I think Paleo Comfort Foods provides grain and gluten-free eaters with options that – instead of replacing grains and gluten with processed “substitutes” (like gluten-free baking mixes), this replaces grains and gluten with real, nutrient-dense foods. Like our Morning Glory Muffins – they have almond flour, eggs, carrots, apples, coconut oil, raisins, coconut flakes and spices in them – so it’s a take on a usually sugar and flour laden breakfast treat or snack that has some really good, really nutritious things in there! We think every house – not just grain and gluten-free ones – can benefit from our book, in that our objective is simple: we want to show people how they too can prepare comfort foods without grains or gluten and still have them taste pretty darn good!
Thanks for the interview guys! Grab your copy of Paleo Comfort Foods on Amazon.com today and get it shipped as soon as it's available!