30 Days Grain-Free by Cara Comini: Cookbook review

Grain-free is one of the hot diets of the moment, and cookbooks on the subject are abundant. Some give recipes based on categories, such as dinner, lunch, and desserts. Others, like this one, attempt to give a comprehensive meal plan that covers a pre-determined length of time. Below, I’ve given an overview of the cookbook 30 Days Grain-free by Cara Comini, and given my thoughts on it.

Layout

Introduction

The 30 Days Grain-free cookbook begins by giving some background information on the author and the grain-free diet. Comini tells how the eliminating grains helped her family, and why this diet is gaining popularity today. A few of the beginning pages are dedicated to educating the reader on the best practices on buying foods, and what kitchen equipment she finds most useful.

Meal plans

The cookbook portion is in meal plan style. Rather than by meal type (breakfast, main dish, dessert, etc.), each chapter begins with a menu plan for the week. Then, the corresponding recipes follow in the order they were listed. Many times the leftovers from one meal will be the basis for another meal, and some recipes are used in subsequent places.

Final sections

The end of the cookbook has a summarized grocery list for each weekly meal plan to streamline grocery shopping. There are a few individual sections covering recipes that may not have fit in anywhere else. Among these are everyday staples, including ketchup and pesto; cultivated foods, like kimchi and sauerkraut; and craving busters, such as dehydrated fruits and macaroons.

Recipes

Main ingredients

Meat and seafood: Chicken, beef, pork, and lamb are all used. Meat is suggested virtually everyday, sometimes twice. Some fish and seafood recipes exist, although rarely.

Dairy: The 30 Day Grain-free cookbook does include dairy, although the author makes it clear it can be omitted. Most forms of dairy occur in yogurt and cheese.

Eggs: Many recipes include eggs in some capacity. They are one of the most frequently seen ingredients in the cookbook.

Coconut/almond flour: These flours are the bases for the baked goods in this cookbook, which is very common in grain-free baking. Without at least one of these, virtually none of the baking recipes are possible.

Recipe types

Some recipes are quite similar, although listed in different parts of the cookbook. I’ve categorized each below, and given some examples.

Main dishes: Many of the dishes served for lunch or dinner are grain-free iterations of classic American staples. Some examples are zucchini lasagna, spaghetti squash and meatballs, and burgers served on portabella mushroom caps. Simply, the main dishes are often some type of meat, served on or along side some type of vegetable.

Vegetables: Vegetables are included at least twice in each day’s meal plan, and is a main focus of the diet. The vegetables are quite diverse, ranging from peas to spaghetti squash to celery root.

Fruit: As stated at the beginning of the book, some people do better by omitting fruit. However, the author includes many fruits, mainly as breakfast, desserts, as a side to a main dish, or in a smoothie. Like the vegetables, the fruits included are quite diverse.

Breakfast/baked goods: Many of these recipes are mostly the same. They consist heavily of coconut and/or almond flour, several eggs, and a fruit.

Smoothies: Throughout 30 Days of Grain-free, there are a few different smoothie recipes given. Most of them are built on a base of full-fat coconut milk and frozen bananas. They are then differentiated by what add-ins are chosen, including fruits, greens, nut butters, and cocoa powder.

Review

Although entertaining to flip through, there was nothing revolutionary that I can’t get off the internet. One take away I did enjoy was how it used leftovers from previous meals in the next. It gave a nice continuity, and is how practical cooking is often done. I think the book is perfectly fine, but I personally wouldn’t buy it. If you find this at the library, like I did, it may spark some inspiration. However, I don’t think it’s worth adding to a collection.

Leave a Reply