A couple of weeks ago I decided to float around in the “Your Recommendations” section of Amazon.
Amid the number of books Amazon thought I might be interested in was one that, while it had been floating around on my list for a while, I had never really taken the time to dig deeper into.
I’m not certain what inspired me to look inside that day.
Maybe it was the simple cover.
Maybe it was the title. I mean, I do like to eat.
Maybe it was the fact that I had just signed on to the weight-loss contest going on at work and finally decided it was high-time for me to make the total switch to a paleo-focused lifestyle (versus the heavy dabbling I have been doing for more than a year now).
Whatever it was, from the moment I finally dug into Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat, I was hooked.
Up until that time, the name Melissa Joulwan was still foreign to me.
Undoubtedly some of you are reading this and thinking “seriously, how could you not know Melissa?”
In the two days between placing my Amazon order and receiving her book, I began to wonder the same thing.
Like me, Melissa is a Texas transplant who grew up in a food-centered home.
Like me, Melissa struggled with weight throughout her childhood, avoided P.E. as best she could and secretly desired to be fit enough to someday follow our dreams through the military, but we were too embarrassed and overwhelmed to ask for the help we needed to get there.
In time Melissa found her way to health and happiness, a story she shares not only in the opening pages of Well Fed, but also on her seriously fantasmic blog The Clothes Make the Girl.
Within 24 hours of having Well Fed in my hands, I knew this book was going to be my new love.
Free of processed foods, grains, legumes, soy, sugar, dairy, alcohol, white potatoes and vegetable oils, Well Fed offers everything I needed to take that final jump into the paleo way of life without feeling the least bit deprived. Approved by the authors of Whole9, Melissa and Dallas Hartwig (who also wrote the forward for Well Fed), there is no doubt this book offers nothing but the best of the best.
I know what you are thinking…how can you go without everything listed above and still be well fed?
Take a look at this preview over on The Clothes Make the Girl and be sure to download the free 30-page sampler while you are there.
See the Meatza Pie?
What about this Velvety Butternut Squash?
Now tell me your mouth isn’t watering.
With such beautiful food, such simple recipes made from real-food that is easy to find, how could you feel deprived?
After feeding my family for several days using Melissa’s recipes, I did something I have never done before…
I requested a copy of her book for you.
You see, this gluten-free, celiac awareness and whole-food lifestyle has blessed me with many wonderful blogging friends. A number of my friends have written cookbooks, and in turn have privileged me with copies to review.
But to reach out to someone who I had never even conversed with was something I never felt bold enough to do.
It’s just, this book is that good.
With a resounding “yes”, Melissa not only has graced me with a copy of her beautiful book to giveaway, she has offered a lovely recipe to share.
The Country Captain Chicken is every bit as good as it looks. Rich with exotic seasonings topped with sweet raisins, delicately roasted almonds and delightfully rich, wonderfully crunchy bacon, this is a recipe I look forward to making time and time again.
Once you have recovered from the deliciousness below, be certain to scroll down and see exactly how you can enter to win your own copy of Well Fed.
Reprinted with permission from Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat. Copyright © 2011 by Melissa Joulwan. Published by Smudge Publishing, LLC. Photo Copyright © 2011 by David Humphreys.
Blue Ribbon Country Captain Chicken
my mom’s award-winning version of a southern classic
In 1971, wearing a groovy vest-and-pants outfit she sewed herself, my mom won first prize in the Pottsville Republican’s annual Share-Your-Recipe contest. In the photo of the award ceremony at the swanky Necho Allen Hotel, she is clearly the hippest looking lady in the crowd. And she bucked tradition with her Country Captain Chicken recipe, too, omitting tomatoes and accessorizing with a sprinkle of bacon and almonds.
Food historians wage an ongoing battle about the origin of Country Captain Chicken, which seems appropriate. The name most likely refers to a British sea captain who carried the exotic flavors of the East to Britain and the American South sometime in the 18th century.
PREP 20 minutes
COOK 45 minutes
3 strips of sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon (optional)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
4 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
3 large bell peppers (red and/or green), thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons raisins
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons curry powder
3 scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted*
* To toast almonds, cook over medium-high heat in a dry skillet until browned, about 2-3 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Cut the bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch wide pieces. Place the chopped bacon in a cold skillet, turn the heat to medium-high, and fry the bacon until it’s crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan with a wooden spoon and drain on a paper towel.
Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Add the coconut oil to the bacon fat in the pan, and reheat the skillet, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken in a single layer, smooth side down. Don’t crowd the pan and don’t annoy the chicken! You want it to form a crisp, brown crust, so place it in the pan and leave it alone, about 4 minutes per side. You may need to cook it in batches or be daring (!) and get two pans going at once. As the chicken browns, place it in a single layer in a 13X9 inch pan.
In the same pan, without draining any remaining fat, sauté the onions, peppers, garlic, and raisins until the vegetables just begin to soften, but are not cooked through. Spread them on top of the chicken and return the skillet to the stove.
Pour the chicken broth into the hot skillet and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Add the curry powder to the pan and stir until the sauce begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and wrap the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake 35 minutes, then remove the foil, increase the heat to 400 F, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle with scallions, bacon, and almonds.
So are you ready to win your own copy of Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat?
Leave a different comment for each action below, up to seven entries per person.
1. Visit The Clothes Make The Girl, download the free 30-page PDF sampler and tell me which recipe you want to try first, and why. If you try it, be sure to come back and let us know how well you enjoyed it!
2. “Like” And Love it, Too! on Facebook and leave a comment saying you did.
3. “Like” The Clothes Make the Girl on Facebookand leave a comment saying you did.
4. Follow @andloveittoo on Twitter and leave a comment saying you did.
5. Follow @melicious11 on Twitter and leave a comment saying you did.
6. Help us get the word out about this giveaway by posting about it/sharing the link on your Facebook status (be sure to include @And Love it Too) and leave a comment back here saying you did.
7. Help us get the word out about this giveaway by Tweeting about it/sharing the link (be sure to include @andloveittoo in your tweet) and leave a comment back here saying you did.
Giveaway ends Friday, April 6 11:59pm CST. So many ways to enter 🙂 Best of luck to you all!