What a disappointment. I've never returned a book before now, but honestly, this one was a dust collector right off the bat. Baked apples? Seriously? I don't know many people who don't know how to put some cinnamom and nutmeg on an apple and put it in the oven. Maybe it's because of the incredibly strict rules that Cordain follows. Get off grains, lose the sugar and avoid soy, corn and other processed oils at all costs? You bet. Toss the processed food and find grass fed, pastured, free range and organic meat and eggs? I'm with you. But if you then remove all dairy (cheese, butter, cream) and go low fat (why you would do this I have no idea), it's pretty darn hard to create a dessert.
(UPDATE: I understand that Mr. Cordain has revisited the idea that saturated fat is bad in his new Paleo Diet book. This might change his recipes, but for now, back to the review....)
Here's my take on paleo eating in a nutshell (it'll save you the price of a cookbook): Cook some grass fed, free range or pastured meat or wild fish (the size of your palm is about right), put it on your plate and fill the rest of the plate up with organic veggies and salad (raw is always good). Snack on nuts. Easy on the fruit (berries are the best!) and heavy on the veggies. Stay far, far away from sugar, grains, beans, soy, processed stuff and food covered in chemicals. Don't eat animals that were fed these things, either. Dairy? Some say no, some say okay. Honey? Same thing.
Want to approximate your old favorites? Cauliflower is life's wonder food: use it in place of rice or potatoes. Spaghetti squash is pasta, as is zucchini. Cabbage can be lasagna noodles. Romain lettuce leaves = wraps for just about anything you could put in a sandwich. Turnip and rutabagas do just about anything potatoes can do. High heat frying can be done in pork fat, beef tallow or (to some extent) coconut oil.
Want to make desserts? Bake with almond meal and coconut flour. Use stevia to sweeten and coconut oil, butter and olive oil for healthy fats. Eggs and cream help a lot. Organic feta and cream cheese can be found if you eat dairy. If not, you can still do some baking with coconut oil, coconut milk and eggs. You can make SUPERB ice cream with premium coconut milk (the high fat stuff), stevia, eggs and some melted Lindt 99% chocolate. No sugar, no dairy, total paleo, and you won't believe your taste buds.
Anyway, this book did not entice me into the kitchen or spark my imagination. No pictures, no new ideas, no fun, many ingredients that would be really hard to find...just not much there to love.
Pick up The Primal Blueprint Cookbook if you're looking for paleo meals, or a good low carb recipe book.