Thursday, November 14, 2013

go Against All Grain

If you found Grain Brain interesting and began avoiding or limiting grains, then there's a valuable cookbook out there, ready to help you plan all your grain-free meals.  Even if you're NOT following a grain-free lifestyle, this cookbook has recipes that are savory, sweet, scrumptious, and sure to satisfy any taste buds.

Against All Grain

Danielle Walker's recipe book, Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great, just came out in September.  I frequently checked her website as she traveled the country on her book tour, watching and waiting to see someplace in my vicinity appear on the list.  Last month, Danielle finally took her book tour to New York City, where I joined others in a cooking lesson at Sur La Table.  All day, I'd been looking forward to my grain-free meal, and Danielle did not disappoint.

It was thrilling to see the real Danielle in person!  Her pictures and demo videos came to life, her smile radiating the whole time.  She was warm, inviting, and so friendly throughout the evening.

First, Danielle shared her own background with healthy and grain-free eating, explaining how an SCD- and paleo-based diet alleviated her Ulcerative Colitis symptoms, getting her out of the hospital, free to live her life, free of grains, gluten, dairy, and sugar.  Stories like hers and thousands of others demonstrate why doctors need to start listening, learning, and spreading the word about how dietary and lifestyle changes can improve health, beat chronic disease, and change lives.

Then, the cooking began!  The menu for the evening included butternut squash soup, zucchini noodles with bolognese sauce, rosemary breadsticks, and chocolate cake brownies.

As she demonstrated her recipes in action, Danielle explained why she uses one cooking method over another and shopping tips for what brands she recommends for certain ingredients.  She took and answered questions about the processes involved and possible ingredient substitutions.  Just a few snippets of what we learned:
- Sift coconut flour after measuring
- If you don't want to eat honey, try swapping mashed banana
- When making dough: blend, let it sit, then blend again (because of coconut flour)
- Tips for the cookbook's mayonnaise, such adding the oil slowly at first and using an immersion blender
- Great notes on what brands she trusts, uses herself, and recommends to others

Danielle Walker recommending WellBee Foods almond flour

When she explained the spiral slicer for zucchini noodles, I raised my hand to ask about using sweet potatoes; I want to dare to try soon!

The food she prepared was all delicious, and all straight out of the cookbook.  We ate:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Granny Sarella's Spaghetti Sauce over zucchini noodles

(Grain-free!) Rosemary Breadsticks - Out of this world!

Dark Chocolate Cake Brownies

The rosemary breadsticks... WOW.  The soup was so warming on that cold night.  The sauce, delicious; I wanted more! I refrained from filling my bag with extra breadsticks, but did take a brownie to go. Good thing I've got the cookbook and can make my own breadsticks at home!

After the cooking and tasting was complete, we mingled and lined up to have Danielle sign our books.  It's always nice being around other locals who follow this lifestyle.  When someone wanted to know about finding bones for bone broth, another attendee was able to suggest a butcher at Chelsea Market for reasonably priced bones.  It's great having people to bond with and learn from.

As we waited to get our books signed, another attendee commented on all my Post-its in the book.  Yes, I marked it up with all the (many, many) recipes I want to try.  We laughed about the colors and organization, and she asked if I was a teacher.  Ha, actually... (yes!).

Meeting Danielle Walker, author of Against All Grain

Danielle was a pleasure to meet and was amused by my post-its, too. It just goes to show how many appealing recipes are in her book; can't wait to try them all!

I have already tried a few recipes, and loved them.  My favorite so far is probably the Braised Chicken in Artichoke-Mushroom Sauce.  As I told Danielle, I cooked it one night to pack up as lunches for the next couple days, and I took one bite just to taste test, and suddenly, it became that night's dinner, too.  It was THAT delicious!! A new favorite, for sure:

I've also made the Fried Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower, scattering them aroun my salmon.  These were excellent.

One morning, I tried my hand at Danielle's grain-free Crepes.  Some came out well and crepe-like, while others were more of a pancake form.  All were tasty!  It's been a long time since I've had anything resembling crepes or pancakes, so these were a treat.


Grain-free crepes with almond butter and bananas - YUM! 

It was a lovely evening, and simply a cool experience, watching a favorite blogger/recipe author cooking right in front of you!  I'd previously had no idea that Sur La Table offered these near classes, but I'd definitely go again :)

Want to see what else is in store?  Here's an inside look at Against All Grain:

Interested? Order on Amazon today!

Thank you, Danielle, for a lovely evening!

Have you cooked from Against All Grain?  What is your favorite recipe??

I purchased the book and my ticket to this event independently; this post is in no way sponsored, contains all my own opinions, and is simply intended to spread the word about a great new paleo cookbook!  This post does contain Amazon affiliate links; see Disclaimer page for details. 


  1. looks like a fun event with some delicious food!

  2. Looks delicious! Very cool

  3. while i totally adore grains, i also am open minded to grain-free dishes. all of the ones featured in this post look so amazing! i also adore your shirt! what a cool event.


I would love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences below: